Tag - Yoga

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Summer Fun for the natural-minded family
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Celebrate Belly Love Day on June 21
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Love Your Body day brings yoga to the masses
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Welcoming winter!
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Fall wellness recap!
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Holistic Moms Network to host Natural Living Conference
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How to find balance during fall, the Ayurvedic vata season
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Inspiration abounds at first National Kids Yoga Conference
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Resources for Children’s Yoga
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First Kids Yoga Conference Comes to DC September 27

Summer Fun for the natural-minded family

What are you plans for summer? Here is the first attempt by Mindful Healthy Life to capture some of the great summer 2015 opportunities of special interest to natural-minded and mindfully-inclined parents in Metro DC, otherwise known as all the cool stuff I wanted to catch this summer or to remember to look for next year!

Please comment below or on the Mindful Healthy Life Facebook page with suggestions and we will add all we can!

All events are subject to change. Please follow the links and check the sponsoring websites for complete information and updates.

Saturday, June 20Healthy Living Day expo sponsored by Natural Awakenings, Rockville, MD, 9-2

Sunday, June 21 – Father’s day and lots of yoga opportunities to commemorate the summer solstice. See http://www.virginiayogaweek.org/ for more information

Wednesday, June 24 – Sunday, June 28 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall

Saturday, June 27

Sunday, June 21-28 – Family HEART Camp West Virginia

Monday, June 29-Friday, July 3: Drop-in outdoors and arts camp with Christy and Amrita in Arlington, 9-1

Tuesday, June 30 – Thursday, July 2 – World Children’s Festival of activities and performances with the International Child Art Foundation on The Ellipse next to the White House. Most days 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday 10-5, closing with a drumming ceremony. Day Themes: Tuesday: Environment & Health; Wednesday: Creativity and Imagination; Thursday: Peace & Leadership. Awards Banquet Friday, July 3.

Wednesday, July 1 – Waldorf Wonder-days at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Alexandria, VA Repeats the following Wednesdays: July 15, July 29, August 12 

Wednesday, July 1 – Sunday, July 5 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall

Tuesday, July 7Play-In for Climate Action with Moms Clean Air Force, Upper Senate Park, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Moms Clean Air Force Play-In 2014 capitol front

Moms Clean Air Force Play-In 2014 press conference Heather Clark

Friday, July 10 – first day of four-week Herb Camp for Kids at Centro Ashe Farm, Bryans Road, MD, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Saturday, July 11  – Lotus & Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Washington, DC, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens child with lotus

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens dark pink lotus

Saturday, July 25

Sunday, July 26  – The Powers Of Observation: A Special Program For Budding Naturalists Ages 6 To 10 Years Old (& Their Parents) at Meadowlark Botanical GardensVienna, VA

Saturday, August 1Big Latch On, Cloverdale Park in Woodbridge (22192), 10:30 a.m.

Monday, August 3 – Family Yoga at Arlington County Library with Cathy Burke, 1:30 at Glencarlyn and 4:30 at Cherrydale. Repeats 8/4 at 4:00 at Shirlington, 8/5 at 4:00 at Westover and 8/6 at 4:00 at Aurora Hills and 7:00 at Central

Wednesday, August 5 – Summer Reading Puppet Show at Green Springs Garden Park, Alexandria, VA, 10 a.m.

Friday, August 7  – Hum Along with Hummingbirds Campfire at Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington, Virginia 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 15 – Family Fun: Wildlife Habitat at Green Springs Garden Park, 1 p.m., Alexandria, VA

Sunday, August 16 – Down South Paleo cookbook launch party with local mom Jennifer Robins of Predominantly Paleo blogBon Vivant Cafe + Farm Market, Alexandria, VA, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 20 – MommyCon, DC Convention Center, 9-5

Saturday, August 22

Sunday, August 23 – Lubber Run Amphitheatre Interactive Family Concert with Levine School of Music, Arlington, VA, 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 27 – Summer Night Hike at Fort C.F. Smith in Arlington, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 29 – Lubber Run Amphitheatre performance by Groovy Nate, Arlington, VA, 4 p.m.

More outdoors ideas:

Annmarie Sculpture Garden stage

Here are some quick links to more children’s programs at a few locations

Regular all-ages events at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens including Creature Feature and Garden Walks. Lilies and lotus are in bloom in July and into early to mid-August

Summer Camps and Family Programs at Audubon Naturalist Society in MD and VA

Gulf Branch Nature Center programs in Arlington County Library Summer Reading Program, July 20-23.

Campfires at Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Center, various Fridays and Saturdays, 7:00-8:00 p.m. See The Snag for dates and themes

Outdoor Entertainment

List of some area Virginia Nature Centers & interesting features of note

Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center and Dora Kelley Park, Alexandria. Live animals and exhibits in center; closed Monday and Tuesday. Birding and wildlife trail.

Ellanor C. Lawrence ParkFairfax. Animal exhibits, hiking trails (some with blackberries). Closed Tuesdays.

Gulf Branch Nature CenterArlington (north). Animals, Native American exploration area, pollinator garden. Closed Mondays

Long Branch Nature CenterArlington, VA (south). Trail to Glencarlyn Park and W&OD and Four Mile Run trails; children’s book display on trail; creek and pond; center with small play house, books and activities; animals. Closed Mondays

Hidden Oaks, Annandale. Outdoor Nature Playce area, trails, indoor dress-up and play along with animals. Closed Tuesdays

Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria. Trails including boardwalk over wetland area with bird viewing, nature center and gift shop. Visitor Center closed Tuesdays.

Riverbend ParkGreat Falls. Trails with river views, Native American exhibits. Visitor Center closed Tuesdays.

Family & Kids Yoga
family yoga lil omm

lil omm yoga studio in NW DC offers the following classes:

  • Family yoga for crawlers through age 2, Saturdays, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
  • Family yoga for ages 3-8, Saturdays, 10:30-11:15
  • Crawlers, Walkers & Me (age 8-24 mos), Mondays 10:45-11:30
  • Little Kids Yoga & Dance (drop off class), Mondays 3:30-4:15 p.m.
  • YogaFIT Playtime (children may join), Mondays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Yoga Flow/Playtime (children may join), Tuesdays 10:45-11:45, Thursdays 12:30-1:30, and Fridays 10:45-11:45: “Yoga Flow/Playtime is an energetic flow class that everyone can enjoy.  This unique class is geared toward adults and welcomes children of ALL ages into the room during practice to either sleep, play, watch or participate. Older children are also invited to entertain themselves without supervision in the childcare room. Yoga Flow/ Playtime is an adult flow class for all levels.”
  • Walkers, Jumpers & Me (up to 4 yrs), Thursdays, 10:45-11:30 (and also Wed., July 1 at 4:00)
  • Other prenatal and baby classes available, and childcare also available.

family yoga lil omm airplane

Friday Morning Playtime class at Yogi Underground in Falls Church, VA, 9:45-10:45 a.m.

“If your kid/s are home for the summer and you need a place to practice, this is for you. This practice is a bridge between gentle and vigorous yoga, and explores a variety of foundational poses (standing, seated, and on the floor) and breathing exercises. It provides low-key circulation, deep restoration, and your children are allowed in the room. You are responsible for your child/ren and may bring a toy/book/quiet game for them to play with, or they may practice with you!”

Summer Camps and Kids’ Classes at Local Motion Studio in Alexandria, VA. There is also a childcare room for children ages 6 mos to 8 years for use during adult classes.

Summer Kids’ Classes at Honest Soul Yoga in Alexandria, VA. Child-minding also available for ages 6 weeks to 10 years

Mommy & Me, Mommy & Movers and prenatal classes are offered at Mind the Mat in Alexandria.

Beloved Yoga in Reston is hosting a  Barefoot Boogie Family Jam on June 27 and several sessions of  kids yoga camp

Yoga offerings for children, tweens, teens and families available at Dream Yoga Studio & Wellness Center in McLean, VA

Sun & Moon Yoga offers Kids Yoga Camp in Arlington the week of July 20, a Teen Week in Arlington the week of July 13. Other offerings in the summer schedule include Moms & Babies and prenatal

Arlington Library Summer Reading Program Yoga in the Libraries, August 3-6, various locations.

Also see the Our Kids Guide to Yoga in/around DC

Yoga photos courtesy of lil omm yoga studio

Celebrate Belly Love Day on June 21

We were delighted when our friends from lil omm yoga studio, recently voted #1 best place for family fitness by Washingtonian Magazine, connected us with Jen Young of Spitfire Fitness Arts to tell Mindful Healthy Life about Belly Love Day, which takes place on Sunday, June 21.

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Love Your Body day brings yoga to the masses

Love Your Body Day yoga festival in Reston Town Center brought out hundreds of adults and children to practice yoga, chant and dance, and connect with businesses that focus on health and wellness. Read More

Welcoming winter!

The winter solstice is coming on Sunday, December 21, and there are lots of great opportunities for reflection. So many that we haven’t even had a chance to put them all in our calendar yet!

So here’s a quick compilation of solstice and winter events. Be sure to follow the links for information on prices and registration. Most of these events are not free.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yoga Nidra: Relax and Renew at lil omm yoga in NW DC, 6:15-7:45 p.m.

Winter Solstice Hike at Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington, VA, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Winter Solstice Shakti Flow with Jeneen Piccuro at Local Motion Studio in Alexandria, VA, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Note – this class has been canceled. Look for it to run in January!

Winter Solstice Celebration (ages 3 and up) at Locust Grove Nature Center, Bethesda, MD, 4-6 p.m.

Winter Solstice Celebration at Brookside Nature Center in Silver Spring, MD, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Winter Solstice Yoga class for donations to ASPAN, Sun & Moon Yoga, Arlington, VA, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Note that the Fairfax County Solstice Event for Sunday was canceled due to low numbers, but there will be some discussion of the solstice at the Friday, December 19 Wintertime Warmth Campfire at 7:00 p.m. 

 

Other ways to welcome winter:

Lay out greens for an Advent Garden, a magical spiral that children at Waldorf schools annually walk in silence toward a candle.

Host a Solstice Party of your own. You could do crafts related to dark and light, make special snacks, sing songs about cold or about sun, do things by candlelight.

Read books like Winter, Awake!, The Winter Solstice, and  Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice, or make up stories in the wordless Gerda Muller Winter board book.

December 28: Warm Up to Winter Dance Party,  lil omm yoga, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

December 31: Family New Years Eve party at  lil omm yoga, 4:00-5:00 p.m. for ages 0-3, 5:30-7:00 p.m. for ages 3 and up.

And of course, for more winter fun beyond the solstice, consult all the other great websites that feature lists of children’s activities around the DC area. Scroll to the bottom of our Around DC page for all the ones we know about.

Be sure to tell us anything we’ve missed! Add an item to the calendar, email us at jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com, Tweet to us @MindfulHealthy or comment on our Facebook page.

Fall wellness recap!

This fall I’ve had the opportunity to attend several events at which I’ve learned great information on health and wellness that I’m using at home and at my children’s school. My reaction to these learning opportunities tends to be first elation, then the heavy weight of responsibility, thinking about all the things I need to research and do for my health and my family’s health, and then the desire to write about what I’ve learned, both to process it for myself and to get up here on the site.

And yet, what most of those events have had as their fundamental lesson is the importance of reducing stress! And the importance of cultivating an atmosphere of gratitude. So rather than bemoan the fact that I haven’t yet done in-depth reporting on all of these events, I’m going to shift my perspective to consider it a gift that I got to go to them and that I can share them with you in this fall recap.

Okay, I’ve rolled up my sleeves so here we go!

The fall health and wellness season launched for me at the end of the summer, when I gathered five other panelists to address the topic of “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health” with me at Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria’s August meeting.

Holistic Moms Arlington Alexandria Children's Emotional Health panelWe talked about positive parenting, calming ourselves and modeling healthy coping strategies for our children, food as trigger or healer, energy healing modalities (Reiki, Accunect and hypnotherapy) and bodywork (craniosacral therapy, chiropractic and massage), spiritual coaching, and more. We then did a daytime meeting repeat in October, at which got another demo of Accunect, read the children’s book Anh’s Anger and talked more about our challenges and shared strategies.

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Holistic Moms Network to host Natural Living Conference

Holistic Moms Network is a cool enough group for local and online support for living holistically, but it’s even more fun when you get to meet people in person from different chapters around the country. The non-profit organization is holding its annual Natural Living Conference on Saturday, October 25 in New Jersey at Montclair State University just outside of New York City.

NLC_logo_2013-2

Okay, it’s not in DC, Maryland or Virginia, but it’s only about four hours away. By car. Last year I got to meet some of the leaders from California chapters. They had to be on a plane for more than four hours!

This year’s event is featuring a keynote with Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting and a screening of the documentary Unacceptable Levels and a Q&A with the film’s director, Ed BrownUnacceptableLevels

 

Breakout sessions include:

At just $55 for the whole day or $40 for a half, the event is a great deal for all the information it will impart as well as the goodie bag treats and all the other samples you’re likely to find in the exhibit hall.  There, parents can learn about wonderful products — food, skin care, and more – and services like Well Amy. One could really spend the entire day in the exhibit hall (and you can do just that for a reduced rate of $20).

The conference is an adult-focused event where babes in arms are welcome. Children may come into the exhibit hall for a reduced price ticket ($10) but need to pay the full rate if they require a seat in the sessions and workshops. The keynote is in the morning and the film screening and Q&A is in the afternoon. Lunch can be purchased separately.

For more information, see annualconference.holisticmoms.organd register at register.holisticmoms.org/

And if you’re looking to make a trip of it, I’m told there is plenty of fall fun to be had in New Jersey, including pumpkin and apple picking. Budding artists might enjoy the Montclair Art Museum, future naturalists will want to explore Brookdale Park and Verona Park, and animal lovers will get a kick out of Turtle Back ZooTripBuzz has a list of Things to Do With Kids in Montclair, NJ, and the New Jersey Mommy Poppins site also has a list of 15 Fun Things to do in Montclair, NJ along with plenty of additional ideas for exploring the area and for weekend happenings.

So take the family up with you if you have a partner, friend or family member who can treat the kiddos to some New Jersey (or even New York City) adventures while you learn lots of wellness tips to nourish your family and connect with other like-minded parents.

Holistic Moms Network has over 100 chapters around the country. In the DC area, there are HMN chapters in Arlington/Alexandria, Northern Virginia (Fairfax) and Loudoun County. The Burke/Springfield chapter will be relaunched soon. Anyone can start a chapter, too. There’s an awesome leader meeting on Sunday, October 26, the day after the conference, so if you’ve been thinking about starting a chapter, now might be a great time to see what that’s like!

 

How to find balance during fall, the Ayurvedic vata season

If you’ve noticed a challenge feeling balanced during these busy back-to-school fall months, the wisdom of the ancient healing science of Ayurveda might shed some light on the cause.

Today’s guest post about fall, the vata season, comes from Ileana Gonzalez of Apurva Ayurveda Healing in Vienna, Virginia.

Although the seasonal change is subtle, it can have a big impact on the mind and body.

As the seasons transition, our mind and our body also experience a transition, as they adjust to the inevitable changes that nature brings with it. This adjustment period is normal, and vital, but it can also lead to certain imbalances if we don’t manage and ease into the transition.

Autumn is known for the decreasing temperatures, the increasing winds, and the overall instability of the weather. Vata, the air and space energy (or dosha), intensifies during this time, leaving our mind and body dry, cold, and unstable.

In our culture, it is normal to start the bulk of our activities during these months. The kids go back to school, they have more activities (sports, schoolwork, and hobbies).

soccer

Your job becomes more demanding with deadlines and objectives. But if you observe nature, you will see that animals actually prepare to wind down and hibernate during the cold months. This anti-nature behavior we adopt actually leads to a lot of imbalances in our mind and body.

Perhaps you have the beginnings of a cold, or maybe you get more frequent headaches and are more moody during this time. Your skin becomes drier, your hand and toes are more sensitive to the cold. All of these things are just a way for your mind/body to adjust to the changing season. Even our cravings change. We crave “comfort” foods like soups, stews, and sweets.

The good news is that our mind and body were designed to adjust to these changes. We just need to “tune in” and manage the adjustment so that it is easy, smooth and hot tealeads to balance. In ayurveda, this management is easy if you apply the simple rule of “like increases like.”

Because vata is cold, dry, light and mobile (unpredictable, unstable), we have to add warmth/heat, oily/unctuous, and predictable/stability to our lifestyles and diets. If you master this principle, your transition from one season to the next will be a lot easier!

Keep this principle in mind when you prepare the kids’ meals/snacks. Choose grounding foods that are heavy, warm, and sweet like rice, sweet potato, and dairy; avoid raw, cold and dry foods. Download this great vata shopping list.

A great way to cut down/prevent on the colds and sniffles kids get this time of year: dab a Q-tip in warm sesame oil and place in the ears and nostrils daily after their bath. This will not only help to keep the area germ-free, it will also lubricate and nourish the area. If your child is prone to vata-like imbalances (dry cough, change in sleep pattern, constipation), try giving him an oil massage using warm sesame oil; the more often you do this, the better. A few minutes before a bath is best, but you can also do it at bedtime.

Something the whole family can practice during this time of year is savasana, or corpse or dead man’s pose. Lie flat on your back, legs and feet apart, palms up at your side. Breathe and surrender for at least 5 minutes. Guaranteed calm! Drink warm milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg, and enjoy a little quiet time before bed. This will help everyone get a good night’s sleep.

As for the grownups in the house, it is normal to feel less concentration, insomnia, and chronic fatigue with the increase in vata energy. For them, I recommend a wonderful vata-pacifying therapy called shirodhara. It is designed to directly activate the ajna chakra, thereby affecting the mind in a profound way. It provides mental clarity, decreases heart rate, decreases blood pressure, and an overall sense of calm and rest. Most people fall asleep during the treatment!

shirodhara

This treatment, as well as other vata-pacifying techniques, is available at Apurva Ayurveda Healing in Vienna, Virginia.

Lastly, don’t forget to increase seasonal fruits veggies—nature’s way of helping us through this transition. Look to squash and root veggies such as sweet potato. Mmmmm. So grounding and nourishing. Try Monica B.’s recipe from Hey Monica B: A Blooming Resource on Ayurveda for Roasted Root Veggies with Garlic & Rosemary.

  • Any mix of root vegetables like butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Chop the root veggies into bite size chunks and place in a pan.
  • Drizzle with plenty of olive oil because when cooked it will caramelize and turn extra yummy.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes uncovered

Thanks to Ileana for this guest post!

Updated in October 2017 with Apurva’s new location

For more tips on balancing during vata season, check out these articles at Chopra Centered Lifestyle or Yoganonymous.

Inspiration abounds at first National Kids Yoga Conference

YogaKids DVD was the first television I allowed my son some seven years ago.  Since then, he and his little sister have been to a handful of kids and family yoga classes, and a day of yoga camp. This summer, my daughter had a delightful yoga birthday party at which her older brother showed off his knowledge of poses and Sanskrit phrases. They are not without some yoga knowledge.

But truth be told, though I try to practice daily on my own, yoga has remained something of an extra rather than an integral part of my parenting. It’s always there in the background in theory, but in practice, when I’m working so hard just to stay well by cooking all the time and am also staying involved in volunteer efforts whose higher goal is health and well-being for families, I don’t always ooze groundedness at home. I never have, anywhere. This really is a lifetime journey.

Enter the first National Kids Yoga Conference conference this past weekend! As if it weren’t inspiring enough just to interview the organizers, I emerged from the conference in awe of the many benefits of yoga for children and bowled over by the numerous strategies out there to make yoga accessible to young ones. It was truly transformative. I hope and believe that my parenting – my life – will never be the same.

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Resources for Children’s Yoga

At the first National Kids Yoga Conference on September 27, we learned about many wonderful recording artists, authors and others providing support for yoga with children and providing training.

Check out this list of Resources for Children’s Yoga taken from the conference exhibitors, sponsors and speakers and organizations mentioned by speakers and exhibitors.

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First Kids Yoga Conference Comes to DC September 27

The organizers of the first National Kids Yoga Conference are moms who putting their mindfulness skills in practice with every step of planning toward the Saturday, September 27 event at George Washington University’s School of Public Health.

I’ve long admired the work and commitment of lil omm yoga studio owner Pleasance Silicki and Michelle Kelsey Mitchell, co-founder of the Alexandria-based non-profit organization YoKid. When I spoke with them about how they’ve managed to pull off such a huge endeavor, I got even more inspired.

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