Reminder: “Breathe with Me” tomorrow at 11:00 am PST

Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope you get a chance to get outside today and enjoy whatever weather is like in your neck of the woods!

Thank you for your enthusiasm in the “Breathe with Me” class.  I was very excited to see all the sign ups this morning.  That being said, a few of you have reached out and shared that Monday mornings are a hard time to stop, breathe, and destress. Though maybe that is when we need it the most? Just saying… 
Not a problem at all! I get it! Some of you might prefer to do this sort of practice at the end of your day, or after a long bout of studying or working.  That is a GREAT idea.  Luckily, that’s where the recording comes in.  In other words, if you are interested but see yourself in the middle of a meeting or out for a sunny walk at 11:00am PST simply register and I will send you the link by Monday afternoon.

What do we need for class?

Great question! For the first half of class you need a comfortable place to sit.  I will be seated on a chair, but if you prefer your couch, upright in bed, or your car (because it might be your only a quiet space) that is fine, too.  Just be comfortably upright.

The second half of class will be a series of restorative yoga postures and gentle yoga.  Grab 2-3 rolled towels or blankets and a bolster or firm pillow. If you are bed bound, just get comfy!  The idea is to relax and let your body down regulate.  Gentle movement is an added bonus.

Why this class?  Doesn’t everyone know how to breathe?

Yes, we all breathe – that is why we are here! But the fact is many of us suffer from respiratory challenges (chronic asthma, sleep apnea, mouth breathing) and also autoimmune issues which point to a dysregulation of the body.  Learning efficient breathing techniques that you can practice throughout the week is like flexing your breathing muscles.  The more you practice these techniques, the more efficient your respiratory system will be.  Breathing effects everything.  Think about it – without breath we wouldn’t be alive.

Wouldn’t it be better to do a strong yoga practice after? 

Sure, if that was your goal.  In fact, guided breathing techniques have been used to improve elite athletes’ performance and opera singers’ stamina.   But the purposes of this class is to downshift a bit.  Gentle yoga and restorative poses aim to down regulate our central nervous system by calming our “fight, flight and freeze” response and encouraging our “rest and digest” abilities.  Learning how to “actively rest” can be a tool for us during stressful times or when our anxiety is getting the best of us. In addition, practicing restorative yoga can be a gentle practice that is available for many when other more vigorous activities are not possible.

How do I pay?

Class is free! Yay! A class like this would normally be $15-20. So treat yourself to something nice that day (lunch out?) or save your pennies for future self care endeavors. 🙂

Lastly…

Thank you in advance for your time and interest!  I am looking forward to connecting with you in this class or others.

xo
Francine

Looking back fills me with gratitude

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude this week…

I do that, in times of recent tragedy, loss and overwhelm. I also find myself yearning for good memories.  This week I thumbed through albums (yes, the paper kind) and even updated frames with more recent photos of the kids.  Btw, I think they are growing at lightening speed.  And I reflect.  What was I doing this month two years? Three? Five? Thank you Google Photos for helping answer that question so easily.  As I wandered down memory lane this week I came across the photo above.  It was taken June 7, 2017.  My 36th birthday.  Also the day we finished our month long journey of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain with our then 18 month old son. It seems so long ago, yet the memories are fresh in my mind.  I can feel the heaviness of my hiking shoes, my sweaty shirt, the curiosity in my mind of how we would spend our last few days in Spain before traveling home.  Honestly, I don’t remember what kind of hotel or hostel we stayed in that night. I don’t recall what we ate for my birthday dinner.  But I do remember feeling comfortable, confident, and well in the world.  We had just experienced a month of moving from place to place traveling on foot, bus, train and taxi.  We stayed at hostels, hotels, houses, and pensions.  We ate at grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and from street vendors.  We had spent four weeks relying on one another and trusting strangers who became friends.  The feeling of completing this excursion in a different country, in a foreign language, (with a toddler!) and with so many other unknowns felt, well, amazing.  

I will hold on to that feeling whenever life feels like way too much.  I will go back to that memory when it feels INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to trust the world around me. I will flip through these photos, both physically and digitally, when my body and soul are yearning for confidence in myself and in others.  And I will strive to teach my children, by example, to live as best as we can with hope in our hearts for ourselves and the world around us.

Opportunities for self care this month…

We all need self care.  I could say “we need it right now more than ever” but truthfully, whatever the season, we owe it to ourselves, our families and our community to take time for physical and mental wellness.  It is eminently important.  This month I have two opportunities for you to make time and space for these healthy habits.  First is my Thursday Move with Me mat class.  (Description and registration below.). We move, we laugh, we perspire a little.  If you are physically able, Join us!  The format is both challenging and doable.

The second offering is my newest class, Breathe with Me, on Mondays for the month of June at 11:00am.  The class on June 6th will be free, and open to anyone who registers.  A link will be sent for those who can not attend in person. Breathe with Me will be a seated practice of guided breathing techniques that help regulate and calm our central nervous system.  The second half of the class will be a series of restorative yoga postures and very gentle yoga.  Please have yoga bolsters, pillows or small couch cushions handy.  Those who are chair or bed bound can rest for the second half rather than move from pose to pose.  To register, please click on the links below.

From my deep breath to yours,
Thank you,
xo
Francine