Where Should my Feet be in Downward Dog?

Q: Where should my feet be in downward dog? Together? Apart? I've seen it done different ways.

A: I love downward dog. When I'm feeling stressed or just need to get out of my head for a bit I will drop into a downward dog any ol' place. I don't care if I'm in my kitchen or outside of the school waiting to pick up my kids. With a few deep breaths in downward dog I feel like a brand new person ready to face whatever lays ahead.
As for your question…the feet. I too have seen it done both ways. I have always been taught to have the feet hip-width distance apart. When your feet are together you can't fully rotate the inner thighs back or extend in the hamstrings. So my advice would be to have the feet hip width distance apart, in line with your pelvis and trying to get the heels to touch the mat.
Thanks for asking!
If you have a question about a yoga pose shoot me an email- I'd love to feature your question. Gretchen@BeeYogaFusion.com

Legos in Kids Yoga Class? YES!

 I believe that the children in my yoga classes are not all physical learners. Physical learners see you do the pose and can easily replicate it. But other kids need to visualize the pose, to see it on paper in order for their mind to understand what their body should do. And then there are the hands on learners, kids who need to build with their hands to understand the pose both in their minds and in their bodies.

In the kids yoga classes that I teach I often combine all three of these types of learners, and it's easy to do. First I teach the pose physically, we talk about the pose, the kids ask questions and we share what the pose feels like in our bodies.
Then we look at the pose using the picture cards that I created. And finally I dump a huge pile of lego bricks of various shapes and sizes in the middle of the room and I ask the children to make the pose out of legos. It's incredible to see their minds at work creating yoga poses out of Legos.

Try it with your children tonight. First chose a pose to do, talk about it, google the pose and look at pictures of the pose online, do the pose together and then finally build it out of legos.

You might discover what type of learner you are verses what type of learner your child is. Thinking into the future, how can you help your child with homework now that you know what type of learner that they are? Could you present it differently? Maybe use your bodies to act out a math problem or build spelling words out of playdoh.
Keep an open mind and try to look at the situation from a different perspective. ENJOY!

Strengthen Your Core- Quick & Easy!

We could all use more core strength- let's be honest! We know we need to strengthen our cores not to have a six pack stomach but to have better posture and to be able to hold our yoga poses longer. We know this but the idea of doing crunches has us reaching for another piece of chocolate.

Put down the snack and instead try a 30 second forearm plank. Come down onto the ground and place your elbows right under your shoulders, tuck your toes under and lift your body off of the ground. Think of drawing the belly button into your spine and fully engage the legs as you look directly down onto your mat between your two hands. Focus on your breath, breathing in and out at a steady rhythm.
30 seconds, that's it. Quick and easy! You will feel and notice the benefits within a few days. Go ahead try it right now. Gather your friends at work and start a forearm plank challenge, 30 days for 30 seconds!

"Be Still!", Parents give this a try!

It's hard for children to understand the need for stillness in the yoga poses, often times when they come to a yoga class they just want to move…a lot!  
A way in which I have found to teach children how to become still in a pose is to place small rubber ducks on their body. It works great in Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Two). With their arms outstretched and their bodies in the fullest expression of the pose I have their classmates gently place small rubber ducks along their arms, legs, feet and head. The child in Warrior Two can visually see the effects of balancing the ducks and the importance of remaining very, very still. Often times the children stop talking and I can see them focusing on their breath while trying to remain in the pose and while trying to place the duck on their classmate. 

Try it with your family tonight. Choose lightweight toys and see if you can balance them along your arms while standing in Warrior Two. I'd love to see pictures, use the hashtag #BeeYogaFusion.  

Feel Good in your Soul Exercise

When a child leaves this earth it breaks every parent's heart. You cry for the parents knowing that this could have been your story. Life is such a wonderful gift that too often we take for granted. 

Rafael Martins lived an inspirational life, he was born with a rare syndrome with only a few known cases worldwide. When he was born his kidneys did not function and the doctors told his parents that he would most likely live one year. Instead he lived ten fabulous years! Filling our community with spirit, love and one of the most infectious smiles. To read more about Rafael told from his father's voice please click here.

Every year the Greenbelt Elementary School community comes together to celebrate Rafael's life by participating in a 5K Run and 1K Walk. Both adults and children participate and it is a wonderful morning of celebration and life, this will be the 4th year of the run/walk.

Bee Yoga Fusion is one of the proud sponsors of this 5K Run and 1K Walk. I am so honored to be apart of such a fantastic event, all of the proceeds from this race goes to Greenbelt Elementary School to fund field trips for all of the students. The day before Rafael passed away he was on a field trip with his fourth grade class where he saw a bald eagle. Please join me in celebrating Rafael's life by participating in the 5K Run or 1K walk.
You can register here:   https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=11840

After the race bring your race bib number to a yoga class to receive a FREE "Kindness is Contagious" Women's t-shirt. (While supplies last)