Yoga with Papa

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Parenting and Practicing Yoga: Always get Back by Petra Carmichael

Petra is a yoga teacher and the owner of Divya Yoga Studio in Zagreb, Croatia.
She is currently based in Boston, travelling and managing the yoga school in Croatia.  She is also studying at Middlesex University of Ayurveda London.

Always get Back

I’ve been practicing yoga for a several  years. Do I really have the right to say that considering it’s a 5000 year old practice? Anyway let’s just say I have some experience.  I can definitely say that it’s something  I’ve been looking for my whole life.

Yoga teaches you to focus and aside from the physical exercise, it takes you away from the everyday activity in to your own space.  A space where you can see the real values helping to step besides your own little world and realize there is more to everything. Now this might be a little confusing. First I said it takes me into my little world and then besides it.

About a year and a half ago I found out that I was pregnant.  As you practice yoga you definitely develop some sensitivity towards the changes in the body.  I remember the time when I felt that something was different.  I took a home test and it was positive. That moment was amazing – I was happy and scared. At the same time I kept the big news to myself for another couple of days.  Straight away I stopped practicing asanas trying to take the best care of myself.  I really loved being pregnant.  It’s a special time in a woman’s life.

When my pregnancy was stable I came back to the physical part of yoga, to the asanas, and I must admit, it felt great.  My back especially, but the whole body and mind were almost screaming for movement.  When you are pregnant people sometimes treat you like you are sick or disabled.  I definitely took precautions and was very careful with what I was doing with my body.  But I was on my mat everyday.

The practice was completely different from what I was used to. It was soft and gentle all the way into the ninth month of my pregnancy carrying a big baby.  My little son (10 pounds 6 ounces – so much for little) was born six and a half months ago.  I felt more love than I have ever felt before.

He was a strong healthy baby, but he didn’t pass the hearing test. That really scared my husband and me.  Further testing showed that our little one is profoundly deaf.  That moment when you find out such news is indescribable. First you start questioning what you have done wrong. Why you. Why your baby.? There is no answer to these questions.  I know I didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s simply how it is.

But to come to that point of understanding it definitely takes some time and energy.  The practice helped. I got back on the mat 10 days after my C-section; only tiny stretches to keep myself sane.  It wasn’t easy not to be able to touch my toes and to go through pain as the body was slowly getting back into shape.  But it definitely kept me out of my mind and of the situation.

I hear a lot of parents complaining about how they can’t keep the practice because of the child.  It’s not easy and I am very lucky to have a calm child who watches me as I practice, with a smile. But it’s not always like that.  There are days when I have to assist him many times, get off the mat and feed him or change a diaper, but the important thing is to GET BACK ON THE MAT.

My Transcendental Meditation (TM) teacher, dearest Narasimhan, told me if there is someone at the door, go get it, do what needs to be done but then return and continue with your meditation.  I think that’s really what it is and it doesn’t only apply to parents.

So I have  one suggestion for every soul fighting with tapas – the daily practice.  Just get on that mat every day no matter what happens, and keep returning.

At the moment we are in the process of getting cochlear implants for our son.  Hopefully he will be able to hear his first Om in late July this year.

Parenting and Practicing Yoga: Against all Odds by Maher Kassar

Maher lives in Chengdu with his wife Natasha, and children Leila and Rahul. An amateur runner and yoga practitioner; he openly admits the difficulty of balancing his activities with work and raising children.

Against all Odds

Hong Kong 2009. These were stressful yet exciting times. Times where everything was possible, yet everything was impossible. Times where we hoped for life, but feared death. Times where the most skeptical became believers. And I, among them, turned to my own invented superstitions.

It was during my 40 minute runs at the Happy Valley Race Course that I started singing my reggae hymn to Rahul and Leila. I would repeat it in my head over and over like a mantra. It was my own prayer to whomever.

First, I prayed for them to hang on as long as possible with their mother, inside her belly. Then, when they were in the Neonatal ICU, I prayed for them to start breathing on their own, to start eating, and digesting on their own. To put on weight and be strong enough to get out. I prayed for Leila’s test result to show no sign of intestinal necrotizing, and for Rahul’s apnea to stop.

I always carried 2 dollar coins with me. I would stop by the Frangipani trees inside the racecourse, kiss the coins and throw them at the feet of the two trees I thought were the frailest and neediest looking. And I would repeat my prayers.

Often, I would look up, and between the glowing skyscrapers try to spot the majestic kite eagles that fly the skies of Hong Kong. If I spotted two at a time, our day would go well.

It was then, in apartment 20F of the V-Residencies, Causeway Bay that against all odds, it happened. I didn’t expect it, and didn’t even expect to try it. It was awkward and ugly. But it was there undoubtedly: my first padmasana. In my eyes it was like a rare sporting moment when the ultimate underdog becomes the champion. Me, the stiff runner, from a notoriously stiff family; I suddenly found myself in the lotus pose.

Everything else happened as well. Rahul came out, and then Leila came out. The New Year came and all our relatives flew to Hong Kong. We celebrated with the twins at home. When they grew stronger, we returned to Chengdu. Slowly, normal life returned and the feel and memory of these strange times vanished.

I sometimes miss that edginess; the feeling of improbable yet realized hopes.

I remember the coffee in a jam jar and the triple layer peanut butter sandwich I prepared every Friday evening and kept in the fridge. Early the next morning, I would drink the ice-cold coffee in the car to the airport. I would board the 7:10 China Airways flight from Chengdu to Hong Kong. Up in the air, I would savor my sandwich. From Hong Kong airport it was straight to the NICU. Wash hands, facemask on, and I could finally see Rahul and Leila.


Parenting and Practicing Yoga: Maybe Tomorrow by Ian Hoke

Ian Hoke is a husband, father, and teacher living and working in Zurich, Switzerland. Catch more of his thoughts at his education blog.

Maybe Tomorrow

I am, by no means, a yogi. I have practiced, enjoyed, and benefited from yoga, in particular from the practice of Ashtanga. For several years I delved into and became absorbed by my yoga practice. My practice developed into something regular, five to six days a week. My body felt stronger and simply more comfortable than it had for years. My mind was more focused and disciplined. The two years in which I explored Ashtanga were also the first two years of my eldest daughter Dorothy’s life.

Dorothy is like a clock, wedded to routine, and has been from three months old. The predictability of her schedule and the amount of freedom afforded by life in Chengdu, China, where a teacher’s wages made us fabulously wealthy allowed me to attend several yoga classes each week. Household chores were nonexistent. My job was relaxed. Once per year, we flew to a fabulous Thai island for a week of clean food, yoga, and massages. These were, in the words of H.I. McDunnough, the salad days.

When I arrived in Switzerland, I practiced several times, tried out some new yoga studios, and ultimately stopped cold. The reasons for this are myriad, but can be boiled down to a poor reaction to change on my part and a reduction in what I perceive as my free time. For the first year in Zurich, I could easily have continued to practice, but in May of last year, we had a second daughter and I no longer see any spaces at all for practice. I have no doubt that opportunities exist, but I do not see them.

As such, the past two years have seen my body weaken, my posture slump, and my mind become more distracted. What I learned through my brief yoga practice, I still know. What I gained in a concrete sense, like improved discipline, is gone. But what I wonder is this: Am I stopped on the path or have I lost the path entirely?

That yoga is a tradition emphasizing the importance of gurus makes sense to me now more than ever. What is a teacher if not a guide who cares enough about the long view to keep us working today, against human nature that seems remarkably myopic? I have not found a teacher yet, or maybe I have and chose to forget. In a virtually connected world, the importance of physical proximity to one’s teacher remains clear, uncluttered by wires and silicon chips. I don’t have that.

What I do have is a mat and the knowledge of part of the Primary Series. What I lack is the will to roll out that mat and begin. I should. I may. It would be, for a man with two special daughters, powerful modeling that inaction is no thing, no way, and that right action is better.

I think “Maybe tomorrow,” but there is some today yet remaining.

Parenting and Practicing Yoga: 40 Day Salute by Kalley Hoke

Kalley is a stay-at-home mom, trying to model a life well lived for her two wonderful daughters.

40 Day Salute

When I practice yoga regularly, life is better.

I first discovered this relationship while travelling in Kenya at age 20. After finding a basic (though oddly illustrated) book on yoga in Mombasa, I began to complete a simple series of postures on a daily basis. For the first time, I felt strong and capable in my body. The practice, along with the mind-opening experience of living in a different culture, gave me a sense of peace and power previously unknown. I found myself making better decisions and glowing in increased self-faith. It was a wonderful process that I wish for every 20-year old girl. Unfortunately, I quickly fell out of the practice after returning to the US.

The next time I practiced regularly was three years later after leaving my second Peace Corps assignment. Though not as consistent as my practice in Kenya, I once again found carving out time and space for yoga to be motivating and empowering. Yet, as before, as soon as my circumstances changed and I had a more demanding job, I dropped the yoga.

Thankfully, seven years later I met my fantastic teacher, Natasha, in Chengdu, China. Natasha introduced me to Ashtanga yoga, and I finally developed a consistent yoga practice. My body and mind responded accordingly. I felt more grounded, confident and creative. The practice was so motivating that I was able to wake up consistently before 5 in the morning to get it done – even with a couple of wakings each night to feed my young baby.

I was able to maintain my Ashtanga practice more or less regularly for about two years. However, I became pregnant with our second child immediately after moving to Switzerland and the first-trimester blahs took any motivation out of me. Although our second daughter is now nine months old and I am well settled into this new country, I cannot get my practice back on track. I know the multitude of benefits that consistent yoga provides, but when I have the space, I can’t find the time. When I have the time, I can’t find the motivation. When I have the motivation, I can’t find a space in our little apartment. It is a vicious drain on my well-being and I need to make a change.

With that in mind (and a little nudge in the back by Natasha’s request to write for her blog about parenting and yoga), I have decided to stop complaining and making excuses and reactivate my practice. My first step is to tackle my perception that I don’t have time. In order to make the leap, I am committing to 40 days of Sun Salutations. I am dedicated to completing five simple (Sun Salutation A) salutations a day with an open mind about where each salute will lead me. On the days I have more time and energy, I will do more. On days when those precious resources are scarce, I will be happy with the basic five (and remember that five is plenty with a 9-month old squawking in the corner and a 3-year old climbing under every downward dog).

Day 10- Lows and Highs

I managed to complete my minimum commitment of five sun salutations nine out of the past ten days. I could make up some pretty good excuses for why I missed that one day but when it comes down to it, I just didn’t get them done. I felt awful about it – like giving up the whole idea. I tend to be dogmatic that way. Thankfully I realized at the time, and the next day, how ridiculous the thought of giving up was.

That low point was balanced out by a substantially more extreme high today on the tenth day of my commitment. In the morning, I experienced a familiar disinclination to complete the salutations. However, this afternoon, amid a minefield of toys with both girls at my feet, I pulled out the mat. Immediately, D said she wanted to join me. She made it through two and a half salutations (without my guidance!) before calling it quits. Those were the best sun salutations I’ve ever experienced – brought on in part by my commitment to daily practice regardless of when and where.

In addition to occasionally blogging about my 40 day salute, I will be using a social networking website called SuperBetter for extra motivation. I have been fascinated by SuperBetter since hearing about it five months ago. The network was created to help those with traumatic injuries improve their healing processes by playing an imaginary game against barriers with the support of friends and family (“allies” in the SuperBetter world). It has taken some time for me to create my account because I felt like a fake without a traumatic or life-changing injury. However, five months after initially becoming interested in the site, I have made no changes to my routine even though I know how critical yoga is to my physical and mental well-being. Not traumatic, but definitely life-changing for me. If you’d like more information about SuperBetter, visit www.superbetter.com and contact me if you’d like to become an ally in my mission to reactivate my yoga practice.

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Day 31
I intended to sit down every 10 days and reflect on my 40 day commitment.

Where did the time go?

I think my missing updates are indicative of the results of my commitment to 40 days of 5 sun salutations – I have experienced a range of changes physically, but far fewer emotionally and spiritually. My body feels stronger and is noticeably more flexible. I notice poor posture readily and my back occasionally feels tense and misaligned- a sign that it is leaning toward alignment and away from the couch. Because I have practiced a small range of postures, my hips and torso are itching for opening – telling me that the sun salutations are not much more than a teaser. My endurance has increased and I can complete far more than my minimum five without getting winded.

On the internal side, I continue to feel rushed and harried (especially during my kids’ “witching hour” – late-afternoon and early-evening), though perhaps not as intensely as before. I don’t look forward to the mental component of my practice and my mind doesn’t “itch” for it the way my body does. My breathing, while on target, is not deeper or more meditative. I have noticed few changes to my level of patience or compassion.

My results so far lead me to the conclusion that while five salutations is something, it is not enough to bring about deeper changes (at least not for me). I need to continue searching for time and space to complete more thorough practices.

Parenting and Practicing Yoga: Featuring “My Children and Yoga” by Paul Dallaghan

Welcome to the first in a series of Guest Posts: “Parenting and Practicing Yoga”.

If you are interested in Guest Posting on this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me at nat(dot)devalia(at)gmail(dot)com.

I’m happy to have Paul’s permission and honoured to post his article on my blog. The article as published originally, as well as many more articles both by him and others, at the Centerd Yoga website – Resources section.

Paul is a senior Ashtanga yoga and Pranayama teacher, founder of Samahita Retreat Centre in Koh Samui, Thailand.

My Children and Yoga

I am often asked the question: “Am I teaching my kids yoga?” My typical response is: “They are teaching me yoga.” Tongue in cheek it may be but nevertheless much truth lies within that response. At the same time, stepping back in to the parental shoes, what should I be teaching them and where does yoga fit in? Is it merely introducing them to the asanas and telling them to breathe?

Anyone who has the good opportunity to raise a few kids knows that it is the seventh series. It does require sacrifice and tests your patience and inner abilities to control yourself just so you can be a normal human being, and not this ogre screaming over minor things in the course of life that have all accumulated here today and burst out in one mass of frustration (whew!) Not that that ever happened to me but you can read about it on parenting blogs everywhere. Shocking stuff really. As Chekhov once said, “Any fool can handle a crisis, it’s the day-to-day stuff that wears you down.”

So when I consider what yoga means to me it is an opportunity for willing self-reflection, a building of character, an effort to be nice, ultimately working on myself. It’s obviously all the things I am doing in life. And much of that has, and should be, spent and shared with my adorable children (eh, sometimes, no, of course, most of the time:)).

The time taken to practice is the training time in working on myself, refining the nervous system. I am happy to report that over the years of practice I have seen a positive change. I have seen myself transform in terms of handling and being with the children. In that case it was not the practice alone but being given the precious situation with the children to temper it, to mould it. In other words, the practices without corresponding life situations would be close to impotent.

The big lesson here is that my response to whatever it is coming up with the children, while being primed so to speak, is actually the teaching I give them, the yoga I pass on. Especially in their formative years. In years to come will they remember their daddy’s asana practice or ones I showed them or will the memory of being together, sharing, having fun, bonding, be embedded in them? A thoughtless reaction borne from frustration, not properly channeled, sticks much stronger in a child’s memory. I have witnessed a particular stimulus bring up a frustration in me and from there I have observed the pre-existing pattern of how I could act. Fortunately, I feel from awareness practice over the years, I have the wherewithal to see the two options inside and am able to channel that force, energy to respond in a more constructive manner with them, which may include a stern rebuke or a patient response to further explain. And may I say, this is a work in progress, by no means perfected. But that is exactly what I mean by the interaction with the children being the yoga lesson.

As a first principle then I value love, care and time shared together as the primary yoga with children. Next to that is the set of values I have worked on in my life that I aim to share with them. In terms of a yogi it is easy to hone in the values from the yamas and niyamas. I am grateful to my kids (and wife) that I am able to look at these everyday, inculcate them, live them. Believing in ahimsa, I will promise them that I will not hurt them. I have to look at that on all levels: physical responses to mind games and emotional care. Am I living a life based on truth, honestly, or is it just when it’s convenient?

Though these and the other values are often considered obvious they can easily be forgotten in the course of a day. To live with these values of being kind, honest, respectful, loyal and faithful, and knowing what is enough is to share them with your children. They will naturally have the opportunity to form their own values over time and have their own personalities but these are universal and essential. I prefer to see signs of caring coming from my boys than them being the “best”. This may again seem obvious, especially to one not involved, but be clear, time and opportunity all too easily slip by. You have to make a clear inner resolve to “be” it at all times. I see this as one of the true values of what yoga has taught me and also what I have learned during my time with my parents. My wife and I have not forced any formal religion on them as they are exposed to many through our life and the community but already they know certain Sanskrit mantras as we’ll do them together at night when giving thanks.

Finally then we come to the techniques of yoga, the practices of asana and more. I know that constructive skills learned at an early age can be invaluable throughout life. At the same time it is important for anyone, including my children, to come to a practice of yoga by their own volition. But my wife and I do have both the duty and opportunity to introduce these elements. Already the kids have played with yoga poses and are quite adept at using it as a term to get rid of me, “papa, go do yoga”, if they don’t want me around (which of course is very rare:)). I also see they are a little young to properly engage in it yet. That is a popular question: what age should they start? Some say 8, others 12 or as long as the child can take care of themselves (through dressing, feeding and teeth brushing). So that leaves it a bit open. In my opinion it comes down to a certain amount of maturity to want to do something. At this stage soccer is much more valuable for them than yoga. It’s their primary choice and it really gets them moving. Of course in time they’ll find this ‘stuff’ their parents do can help their football playing.

As my specialty lies in the breath I am always aware of how I or others breathe. I have noticed the rapid breathing of my children as infants to a more normal one, still quick, as young children. When they have been upset I have put my hand on their upper abdomen and tried to get them to be free there and breathe. I have tried but it is difficult because the emotion at that age overrides the rationality and a reactive state takes over. It’s almost an inevitable part of human growth. And at this young age to keep an awareness on the breath is almost impossible. It requires maturity. Yet if I can introduce an awareness on the breath early on I feel I have done some good for these growing boys.

In a sense I could breakdown the sharing of yoga with my children into different ages and phases. Early on it is all about the care and love. These should dominate throughout life but naturally change color and shape. The sharing of clear, strong values is imperative to their growth and maturing, something that becomes more relevant as they get into later childhood and adolescence. Then finally, the practices themselves, that are initially play but later, really post-puberty, constructive and formational. From their mid-teens on it’s really up to them. I myself only began yoga at 23. I had many other things to experience and pass through. All things being equal it would have been great to have been exposed earlier but that cannot even be considered as life had its path of experiences to share with me regardless of what I think I could have done. So it’s all about what I do with it now. I hope to share yoga in all its ways with my children: through love, kindness and caring; with strong, clear values that carry them through life with integrity so they develop in to adults that are of value to society and all beings everywhere; to the practices themselves, full of their own inherent wisdom and refinement that can help transform their nervous systems and enrich the children’s growing years into adult life.

In the Game

Early Sunday morning, I tell L and R that I’ll be out until lunch; that I’ll be teaching Pranayama (breath-work) workshops.

“Afu Pa-ya-ma-na,” Rahul pleads with outstretched arms. (Afu is what he calls himself.)

I pick him up; tell him that he can do some Pranayama with me, but that he’s got to stay with “ayi” (meaning aunt, aka nanny in this case) for the morning.

10 minutes later, he blocks me from entering the shower, “Mama Yoga. Mama Pa-ya-ma-na.”

———————

The response was overwhelming. My Yoga teacher friend Judy, who organized the 2 sessions, back-to-back at her lovely little home studio, and I, haven’t worked together since I got pregnant two and a half years ago. It’s not only the “together” bit though, I haven’t taught at all.

Of course I was nervous. All week. It’d been a while.

But, I am confident about Pranayama, especially after all the workshops I’ve attended over the years, and most importantly, from my own regular practice: the years of regularity, the continuity of it regardless of bed-rest during the pregnancy, the slip during the NICU phase and stressful first year, the irregularity of practice coming back to it, and the decision of, “that’s it – it’s got to be for real, or not at all.”

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Maher attends the 9 O’clock session. L and R hang onto our sleeves, crying as we leave the apartment.
It does him good to have a refresher. It’s a nudge, to get him back into a regular practice.

“I need it,” he says to me, almost every day.

He’s sick more often than ever before. The children are always coughing. As soon as we’re in the street, I have sharp headaches. I catch myself turning around to see if there is someone smoking right behind me. All the time. We’re feeling the pollution. It’s worse than it’s been in the last 6 years. There are more buildings, more cars, and more people.

———————

A month ago I did my first serious workshop since before I was pregnant. It was in Koh Samui with Paul – my teacher. He asked if I was Back in the Game. He meant everything – Asana, Pranayama. He has children of his own. He’s had many other first-time-mum students who needed the push to get off their butts and practice again. He’s dealt with the ones who disappear for a few years, and then return, for a nudge. He knows about my pregnancy and the early birth, the stresses.

I suppose that’s why he asked me if I was back. A few times over the 2 week course. My doubtful but positive response at the beginning of the workshop had a completely different meaning to my confident one at the end.

———————-

At the end of each session, Judy and I leave 5 minutes for questions.

“It’s doubtful that I will remember any of this. Can we have a follow-up class?” one of the students asks.

———————

I rush home after the second class. Maher, R, and L are having a good time. Laughing. Playing.

“They had a great morning; they didn’t cry a drop after you left,” ayi reports as she leaves.

———————

We’ve organized one follow-up session; possibly more over the next few weeks.

So am I Back in the Game?

A written declaration of it might make it more real.

Practice at home with your little yogis.

Here’s my five cents on the “Saving money with multiples” theme week at How Do You Do It?

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The yoga industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry, attracting hordes of us to join the trend. It’s wonderful that more people are benefiting from yoga, but it’s not so straightforward to know what you really need. Some studios are looking and acting like high-end spas. Yoga clothing and equipment is becoming specialized, even hyped. There are whole lines launched by big-name designers. You can buy yoga tank tops, bras, pants – long, short, wide, or tight. Then there is everything you can put on top of your practice wear, skirts, jackets and hoodies. There are scarves to keep you warm and looking good while you walk to and from the studio  and then to use as a blanket in Savasana the final relaxation. There are yoga gloves and shoes that grip. Not sure what the deal is with those, that you can practice without a mat on a ship maybe?   There are eco-friendly yoga mats,  funky bags, chakra-balancing jewelery… There are  hundreds of yoga magazines featuring hot, fit models in wild postures. They must eat healthy, organic, and take strangely named supplements.

And then there are as many studios as corner stores offering many styles. There is Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, even Chocolate yoga, and Doga (Yoga for dogs). How do you choose? And all teachers say different things don’t they?. Taking a yoga class can be costly. A single class can range from $10-$25. Multiple class passes or monthly memberships are more affordable, but depending on the studio, still quite pricey. And how many times a month can you, MoM get to a studio anyway? What’s supposed to be an ancient method to simplify and unify our thoughts and outlook has become a daunting world to join. How can you start simply, without either sprinting away from or falling for all the crazy marketing?

My suggestion: develop a self-practice. Do it on your own floor or on 1 good quality yoga mat (they wear out quickly otherwise). Wear comfortable clothes that you find in your cupboard. Do it any time other than right after a meal. Take ten minutes or an hour, by yourself or with your little yogis alongside. More likely they’ll end up on top of you, under you, or both. Read on.

Yoga and coconuts in Samui

Our week in Samui is zooming, blue skies, sunshine, and swims in the sea. Lots of yoga and coconuts.

Maher drives us to Yoga Thailand every morning. I practice while he plays with the children in the “Kids club.” Sean and Dylan’s out-grown toys and mini playground are more than enough to keep L and R occupied for the two hours I get to breathe and move at my pace.

It’s been two and half years since I did six days in a row of mysore (self -practice). Half-way there now. It’s wonderful that I have this opportunity and I am grateful to Maher for it.  I’m beginning to trust my body and its ability again. The softness is slowly seeping in from the energy in the shala (room), the sincere practitioners, and experienced teachers around us. The practice is becoming natural. I’ve almost regained my all of it, posture-wise. I am still doing half the jump-back, jump-through vinyasa’s and not planning to add them back in yet. Even the drop-backs are back. Assisted of course.
Slowly, slowly… The practice reminds me of this if I slip.

This morning I was running out of steam. Three days in a row after a month of every other day at best, is quite a jump. No matter how hard I tried today, all the jumps back and through were steps, Chataranga (Plank pose) vinyasa’s to Up-dog were with knees down, and the focus was wavering. It’s really no use pushing too hard.
Again, pole pole as Nanu would say.

Since we got to Samui, the children have woken up at least four times each, every night. Tonight they are sleeping well and I am up surfing the web, Facebook, YouTube, blogging. Not exactly prudent. Back to the sleep story though. We were down to one or two wakings a night. Recently they’ve gone through some crazy separation anxiety for both “mama” and “papa”. It can hit around eighteen months I read. They are twenty months now. Close enough. Travel, new beds, a different routine and probably dehydration from playing in the sun all day add up. They wake up to drink, and then to pee!

I wake up to a cold coconut every morning. Maher bought three bags from the Tesco in Lamai the other day. He drinks one in the morning, one at YT, and one after his run or practice. Me? Don’t ask. I claim sustenance on them. I have no case studies to back this up. Well, a Canadian friend Steve, also of some Indian heritage was doing just that when we met in Mysore. I’m not sure how long he went, but he was on a self-imposed satvic (balanced and pure) diet. Yogi’s are meant to eat healthily, neither too much nor too little, not only one kind of food either. So I’m not sure where he got it from. I wonder if it works as a detox though, if done for a short period?

Coconuts are certainly perfect thirst quenchers, and the one’s in Koh Samui are particularly good. Coconut juice is abundant in minerals. It is Maher’s natural sports drink. A lot of the food here is also coconut based. The research as to the health benefits of eating and drinking coconuts is on.

If you’ve got any thoughts and ideas on this please share!

Related articles: Health benefits of coconut oil, water, and more

Yoga House Ahmedabad

Dec 2010, Ahmedabad

In July 2009 I was put on bed rest due to complications in my pregnancy. I have taught one class since. It was in my grandfather’s house in India. My habit of teaching in living rooms continues. Maher, my two brothers, two cousins, and an uncle took the “Intro to Ashtanga” class that morning.

With 16 of us under one roof, it was no easy task to organise anything. Thanks to Maher and Nanu for making the class happen, Saloni for the lovely photos, and the willing students for trying it out.