Yoga Taxes!

Yes, it’s that time of year. Just as you finish celebrating the winter solstice (for you yogis that is), arriving in your inbox is that warning that it’s time to start filing your taxes, especially if you are a small business owner.  images.jpg

Though it may be a pain to save your receipts through out the year, being able to “write off” your yoga gear and yoga workshops can be one of the perks of being a freelance yoga teacher.

If you’re running a yoga studio and have to issue any sort of employment form, we highly recommend Yearli. It’s super easy to fill everything in, then they send the forms off for you. File before Jan. 31st and you receive a discount.  And click on our referral link (RIGHT HERE) and you’ll be sent a discount promo code on your first time using their services.

Mind Body Green also has some tax tips for ya.

Namaste!

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Coco Coco Coco Loco!

Last week was the first week of school, and though it was actually a delight to see our old student and meet new faces, it did make us work at a higher energy level than during the summer months.  What a wonderful surprise to receive a care package from Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil in the mail.  It truly lifted our spirits!

One cool thing we learned is that you can use coconut oil to brush your teeth, whiten them and keep your breath fresh. Their peppermint flavored sample is delicious! We’ve also tried the face exfoliant. Though it has an oil base, it doesn’t make your face oily at all…just nice and smooth.

It’s not too late to think of those small holiday gifts for teachers. We think these products would be a wonderful choice. See more here.  You can get 15% off by using the code SKINNYCO15.

Not to mention, Asana Alphabet has a training in baby yoga coming up in a couple of weekends in Brooklyn. These oils could work really well for baby massage.

Basic Yoga Poses for P.E. Teachers

Our founder is really looking forward to working with PE teachers from the Chatham School district in New Jersey tomorrow.  Here are most if not all of the poses we will go over in detail.  We like Yoga Journal’s pose dictionary because it gives contraindications and very clear pictures. Enjoy

If you don’t see a particular pose below, check out the general Yoga Journal dictionary here:

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose-finder/

Mountain Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/mountain-pose/

Easy Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/easy-pose/

Boat Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/full-boat-pose/

Cat Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cat-pose/

Chair Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/chair-pose/

Child’s Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/child-s-pose/

Cobra Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cobra-pose/

Savasana: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/corpse-pose/

Cow Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cow-pose/

Downward Dog: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/downward-facing-dog/

Eagle Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/eagle-pose/

Plank Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/plank-pose/

Standing Forward Bend: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/standing-forward-bend/

Tree Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/tree-pose/

Staff Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/staff-pose/

Warrior 1: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/warrior-i-pose/

Warrior 2: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/warrior-ii-pose/

Warrior 3: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/warrior-iii-pose/

Straddle: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/wide-angle-seated-forward-bend/

 

Beautiful Baby and Terrific Toddlers Workshop in NYC!

Come join Asana Alphabet founder and director in this crash course for teaching yoga to the youngest humans! For teachers, yoga teachers, parents and others who want to use the benefit of yoga for children.
Saturday, Sep. 24th, 12-5:15pm
Sign up by Sep. 15th: $95; After Sep. 15th: $108

Good for Yoga Alliance credit
Baby Development
BabyYoga Techniques
Toddler Yoga Techniques
Family Yoga
Yoga Songs
Yoga Storytime
Lessons Plans for kids
age 0-3
Come join us! Questions/registration: AsanaAlphabet@gmail.com

Help wanted: kids yoga

The school year is only a few weeks away on the east coast (and has already started in some other U.S. Locations). NOW is the time to start looking for those kids yoga jobs. Asana Alphabet‘s short list of recommendations:

–Tell your social network what type of work you are looking for…write a friendly yet professional email attaching your resume to personal contacts, post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc
–Check job posting websites DAILY. The early bird catches the worm. While you can search for “yoga jobs”, you may also be able to find interesting job matches through other terms like “children”, “kids”, “Afterschool”, etc.
–Can you create a job where you already have a connection? Maybe you have been a school teacher but you can add on through your school’s Afterschool program for instance.
–How can you diversify? It’s not like there are tons of full time kids yoga jobs everywhere (nearly all kids yoga teachers we know are freelancers teaching in many places). Asana Alphabet’s founder began by teaching gymnastics and dance while introducing kids yoga to those same schools (and even worked extra during snack time and could sub Spanish language classes every now and then).
–Where is your niche? In cities that are saturated with certified yoga teachers, what sets you apart? Several Asana Alphabet teachers have made their way in NYC by promoting themselves as a kids yoga teacher specializing in students who speak a foreign language (like our Russian speaking teachers in South Brooklyn). Many of our graduates are also dancers so they’ve approached dance studios about integrating yoga into their curriculum.
–Are there related businesses that could help you gain more contacts for your ultimate end of teaching kids yoga? Lululemon and selling clothes may not be your ultimate dream but perhaps meeting the yoga teachers who work and shop there could be helpful contacts.

These are all just simple business ideas. If you are practicing a truthful path of yoga, you can have faith that your efforts and positive thoughts will come to fruition. For prosperity, we recommend the Meditation for Prosperity from Kundalini Yoga (chanting har while hitting sides of the hands together like a bowl, then flip palms over and hit the index fingers sides of the hands together. Start with 3 minutes daily and be careful what you wish for because it’s very powerful!).

Not having enough income through meaningful work can be stressful, so we also recommend kundalini yoga sets for anxiety and meditation for gurprasad.

Boost your skills. For those of you who got certified in kids yoga with Asana Alphabet, all qualified graduates can opt to enter our job bank in NY or gain referrals in other geographic locations. Our next basic training in NYC is Nov 19-20 or become a specialist in yoga for babies this coming September 24th. More at www.AsanaAlphabet.com.

Star Wars Yoga

From the Founder of Asana Alphabet Yoga for Kids, Ann Robideaux, c. 2016

star-wars-yoga1.jpgI don’t often design kids yoga classes around commercialized characters, as we can get much more  authentic in our kids yoga practice than talking about the wonders of Disney (of course there are others, but most of my young students seems to mention Disney characters and stories the most).  Some schools we bring kids yoga to explicitly say they do not want ANY lesson plans using commercialized characters.  BUT, a yoga teacher recently asked if I had ever done a Star Wars yoga class (no I have not), but if I was going to, I’d probably add these few things in. You know, sometimes meeting kids where they are at with what they already like is one way to entice them to start yoga in the first place.In the end, yoga is about being happier, and if Star Wars is the way to get you there, so be it.:

—Take long deep breaths…loud through your nose like Darth Vadar. These are good breaths though! 

—Explore Warriors, 1, 2, 3 and Peaceful War with positive energy lightsabers.

—Meditate like yoda in the mountains.

–Practice half-moon rising and crescent moon poses as you explore the galaxies.

—Inhale turn your head left and exhale turn your head right like R2D2 (Kundalini Yoga inspired here)

As a small but important note here, I personally call yoga poses by their given names ALWAYS.  So for instance, I may say, “take giant warrior 1 steps like Chewbacca” but I would never say, “do Chewbacca Yoga Pose”. Let’s keep yoga authentically yoga please.

So after creating a few quickie ideas, I turned to Ye Olde Google Search and wasn’t surprised to find some great Star Wars Yoga Cartoons as well as a fun kids yoga video on that theme.  If you teach Star Wars Yoga to kids, let me know how it goes. If you want to learn more fun ways to engage children in real yoga, come train with Asana Alphabet. Our next basic trainings are in NJ and Arkansas as well as a Baby Specialty training in NYC this May.  Namaste!

star-wars-guide-to-yoga-01.jpg

True Yoga Stories: Success with Middle Schoolers

Report from today, March 11, 2016; All boys yoga class; average age: 11

Teacher: First day of yoga, please come in and lie down on a mat to relax a bit.

Students: Everyone runs to a mat. Three boys make a pile up on one mat and wrestle, the rest of them flop down in various positions.

Teacher: Please keep your voices off so you can hear what to do.

Students: Two boys call out, “I’ve done this before!” ; another, “ssshhh!” and yet another pretends to snore in savasana. A few do listen quietly.

Teacher: OK, time for sun salutations

Students: Everyone participates while yelling out what poses they can’t do (mainly touching their toes).

Teacher: Now for some partner yoga.

Students: Several partners wrestling and play hitting each other, then trying out the partner yoga poses with some success.

Teacher: Let’s learn warrior 1, 2 and 3 poses.

Students: I want to do warrior 7 and 9 instead!

Teacher: Ok, everyone into child’s pose please.

Students: everyone (literally everyone) is quiet

Teacher: Ok, now some challenge poses. Let’s try side arm balances.

Students: All doing their best. Some giving up but finally giving it another shot to find out they can do it.

Teacher: Now let’s lie down in savasana.

Students: Everyone (well, ALMOST everyone except for one trying to pinch his neighbor) is quiet and still.

Teacher: Time to go, please clean up your mats.

Students: “Yoga is over already?! That was too short.”

PDS child's pose.JPG

Kids Yoga for School Counselors!

We already know several school counselors who effectively use techniques from children’s yoga in their practice, whether in individual sessions with students or implementing stress-relieving strategies for their schools. Feb. 24th, 2016, Asana Alphabet’s founder Ann Robideaux speaks with school counselors from New Jersey on this very topic.  Here’s a wrap up if you missed it! (This e-version created in an effort to not use too much paper!)

school counselors nj

Photo courtesy Rich Polk

Yoga from A to Z (or F at least!)

First off, if you were in attendance, remember you can take 10% off with your coupon towards the next intensive training in Hopewell, NJ this April!

Yoga is so effective because it is a holistic science with years of development behind it.

A is for Asana: Asana is the Sanskrit term for any yoga pose. Each yoga pose possesses specific benefits but even beginning yoga teachers can get down some of the basics fairly easily.

A sun salutation from Asana Alphabet teen yoga is a way of giving many different asanas that warm up the body, release stress by stretching the back of the body, coordinate breathing and work on sequencing skills (amongst other aspects). In general, when you are open in the chest, you are energizing the body. In general, when you fold forward, you are in a more calming position. So the sun salutation combines both energies to leave students feeling balanced both physically and mentally. All ages can do this—sun salutations can become more advanced with age and ability.

Counselors in particular may be interested in calming poses. We consider child’s pose to be a magical calming position.

Child's Pose

Taking a child’s pose break during an Asana Alphabet basic teacher training.

Tree Pose is another pose which not only elicits calm, but requires focus as well.

Tree photo in a circle

Tree Pose in a circle

B is for Balloon Breath and the Body-Mind Connection.

Breath connects the mind to the body and vice versa. A slow, long deep breath allows “monkey mind” to slow down and become calm.

Balloon Breath–for most kids, a vivid image makes practicing and becoming aware of the breath more fun. Check out this video on balloon breath here.

Other breath images: “blow out a candle” “blow dandelion seeds” “blow on a window in the winter”

C is for Community: A good yoga class or practice facilitates an awareness of community and in schools, respect for one another. In yoga, we can illustrate this principle by practicing partner yoga.

rosa candela tree pose  IMG_1999

D is for Delightful Dancer Pose Indeed many yoga poses, especially those that arch and open the chest and shoulders, elicit a happy response. Try sitting with “good posture” with your shoulders in proper alignment (rather than rounded forward). With practice, the good mood will start to flourish.

Yoga in the Park

Asana Alphabet Certified Teacher Diana teaches yoga for kids in Oklahoma

E is for Excellence and recognizing our positive qualities

F is for Four Relaxations

Savasana at School
  1. Using an instrument, like a singing bowl or triangle, focus on counting the amount of times it rings while relaxing.
  2. A spin off on the above, when sound ends raise your hand
  3. Tense and relax: When you hear the name of a body part, create muscle tension there…then relax when you hear the sound of the instrument.
  4. Visualizations in deep relaxation –Note that this yoga relaxation is given for adults. You can sub appropriate words for a child for each image, for instance, instead of Egyptian Temple, you may want to use something like “waterfall”. Students can also contribute their own words so they take ownership of it.

Visualization given at the meeting (you can read this as is or make substitutions for other words as you like):

A number of different things will be named now and you should try to develop a vision of them on all levels… feeling, awareness, emotion, imagination, as best you can… pause If you are able to find this vision your relaxation is complete for the time being… and if you are not able to, then you need a little more practice, pause Burning candle… burning candle… burning candle-endless desert… endless desert… endless desert… … torrential rain… torrential rain… torrential rain… snow capped mountains… snow capped mountains… snow capped mountains… … birds flying across a sunset… birds flying , across a sunset… birds flying across a sunset… red clouds drifting… red clouds drifting… red clouds drifting… … stars at night… stars at night… stars at night… full moon… full moon… full moon … wind from the sea… wind from the sea… wind from the sea…-waves breaking on a deserted beach… waves breaking on a deserted beach… waves breaking on a deserted beach… the restless sea… eternal restless sea… eternal restless sea… long pause

We highly recommend the book, “Yoga Nidra” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati for some very thorough explanation of using relaxation to change negative subconscious patterns and for other narrations as are listed above.

This was a short yet information packed PD opportunity. Please consider bringing Asana Alphabet in to help your teachers and staff integrate the benefits of yoga into their classrooms or join us at an upcoming training!

 

 

2015, Asana Alphabet Kids Yoga in Review

So many exciting events happened with Asana Alphabet this year!

IMG_2439

First off, we held our first ever trainings in Vitoria and Vila Velha, Brazil. With the help of several amazing translators, our guidebook could be given out and the teachings spread orally. Really, our photos convey best how much fun we had!

IMG_2411 IMG_2528

With our continued partnership with the Cornelia Connelly Center, we were able to host three successful teacher trainings in NYC this past year. When we rent from a school like Cornelia, our training participants are directly supporting positive educational programs—in this case, for middle school girls at an all-scholarship school. Second level trainings were then held in Bethlehem, PA at Kula Heart Yoga—one of our favorite spots always full of smart and positive students.

11890943_994288043924799_5037588151039084905_nSilver Kim, director/owner, is always posting photos of her in handstand—we think this would be a fun project for high school students to take on as well!

End of the year celebration!!! We received the tremendous news that the grant funding Asana Alphabet yoga classes at SCO family of services has been extended for 2016! This grant funds 20 KIDS YOGA CLASSES PER WEEK for lower income students. Not only are students served but this gives three of our expert teachers a significant chunk of hours to rely upon so they can do what they love for work.

addie baby yogaOur founder and director gave birth to a baby this year too and she’s already practicing yoga with baby. She especially recommends kundalini sufi grinds (or criss cross legs then rotate them around and in gently towards the stomach) for relieving baby gas, baby massage before bedtime and cobra pose (aka tummy time) to our followers with infants. IT WORKS! Note, you too can become a baby yoga expert by taking our May workshop in NYC.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Stay tuned for our post on what’s in store for 2016.

Upcoming Events for 2015-2016!

After a wonderful spring with our first trainings in kids yoga in Portuguese in Brazil followed by an NYC basic training and trainings in baby yoga and yoga for kids with special needs at Kula Heart Yoga, we are quickly planning our 2015-2016 season and we hope you’ll be a part of it! Here’s what’s in progress and/or confirmed:

June 21: Asana Alphabet proudly supports Summer Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness! Sign up NOW to reserve a spot at this unique event where you get to do yoga in one of the busiest places in the world.  Participants will be offered a discount at a future NYC Asana Alphabet workshop too!

June 21: Asana Alphabet also proudly supports INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA IN BELIZE!  We hope to make it down to this beautiful locale sometime in 2016 too!

June 27-28: Basic Training in Children’s Yoga with Asana Alphabet at Synergy Yoga.

Nov. 21-22 will be our next NYC basic training (go to Mind over madness to receive a discount for this one).  More info at AsanaAlphabet@gmail.com.

2016 brings us a January basic training at Kula Heart Yoga in PA, a talk to NJ school counselors in April,  as well as more trainings in Brazil.  WooHoo! triple boat at a recent training