Yoga for Elephants

Yoga for Elephants | www.sproutingbalance.com | #everybody #yoga #accessible

Laurent de Brunhoff, the son of Babar creator Jean de Brunhoff, wrote BABAR’S YOGA for Elephants. Originally published in 2002, the book provides step-by step instructions on yoga asanas (poses) and shows how yoga can be used in daily life and travels.

Using Babar to show various poses breaks the western stereotype that you must be tall and slim to practice yoga. Even though Babar is a cartoon figure, it allows a person who carries weight to consider that their body could possibly move through flows and practice the meditative effects of yoga.

Given that this was written over 15 years ago, de Brunhoff was ahead of his time. The image of yoga in North America is only now starting to show a representative image of the practice. Just scroll through the cover pages of Yoga Journal on the Toronto Public Library website. Almost all of the covers involve a female model, skinny, and generally blonde.

Until the January 2019 issue with Jessamyn – in her words, “a black fatty who doesn’t hate themselves on the cover of one of the whitest magazines”. Why is this significant? She is representing a large portion of the yoga-practicing nation. People can relate to her.

The classes I teach are a representation of this forgotten group. I have people doing chair yoga, individuals that use walkers and canes, two participants in wheelchairs, various replacement parts (e.g. hip/knee), the usual stress related aches and pains … and they all range in body size, race, gender and age. Sadly, Yoga Journal didn’t run Jessamyn’s cover on all the copies and did half of the issues with another typical model. I don’t know anyone who can recreate the cover on the right (or would want to!).

Yoga for Elephants | www.sproutingbalance.com | #everybody #yoga #accessible

I admit that I read Yoga Journal, they do have some good articles and can help me with my teaching and personal practice. BUT and this is a big BUT, it is the imagery that they promote that stopped me from doing this for YEARS. Why would someone like me (aka not a size 2) ever go and become a yoga instructor? I have a hard enough time with the criticism I get for being a fitness instructor and that doesn’t require becoming a pretzel and being graceful at the same time.

The promotion of this imagery also means that many in the general population think that “good” instructors or “real” instructors have to look like the cover of the magazine. I have been told (more than once) by a participant that I had no right to be teaching, that I was a disgrace to the industry, and that I couldn’t motivate anyone since I’m fat. Well, I’ve been doing this for 20 years – that is why. I have worked hard to achieve, maintain and add to my certifications including my canfitpro Fitness Instructor Specialist and East to West Yoga 200hr Certified teacher. And I believe that I can help.

Why can’t we promote that EVERY BODY and EVERYBODY can practice fitness & yoga and we can do it anywhere? Going back to Babar’s Yoga for Elephants, he gracefully practices yoga on the subway, in the park, at the airport, and in front of international treasures like the Eiffel Tower. In the end, most people want to feel better and have a nicer spirit. It doesn’t matter how we look when we are doing it. I’m proud to be the graceful elephant inspiring others.

 

In the comments, please share your thoughts on media imagery or making yoga accessible! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and Facebook!

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

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War & Peace

War+Peace

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row”

Wednesday was Remembrance Day in Canada; we took the time to acknowledge the soldiers who have served in the past and still fight in the present.

“That mark our place; and in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below.”

My friend and I went to a free showing of the movie Hyena Road in the afternoon. The movie is set in Afghanistan and shows the struggles of Canadian soldiers and the innocent citizens living in a war zone. The small children who have grown up to see war as normal haunted me. And the mental and physical strength of the soldiers is humbling.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie”

Friday, another attack on innocent people – this time in Paris.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.”

The people of Paris have shown that they will take up the fight against this violence … but with compassion. They opened their homes to those that were stranded by using Twitter and the hashtag #PorteOuverte. They lined up for hours to donate blood. Paris taxi drivers turned off their meters. And Facebook set up a page for family and friends to check on love ones. These normal citizens have become heroes for many.

The world mourns another senseless act like New York’s Twin Towers and London’s 7/7. Our large western cities are a little more fearful but I am grateful that despite these violent acts, I can raise my child in Canada, far from daily acts of war.

If you wish to read more about these events, please follow any of the blue links in the post.

Quotes from: John McCrae, In Flanders Field.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance

PROPS!

PROPS on Sprouting Balance

I have spent the last few weeks focusing on my LITTLE SPROUT. She started Junior Kindergarten on September 8th and thankfully has adjusted well. This means that our family is learning new routines for both mornings and evenings. My little girl is also staying for lunch, which is an adjustment for all of us. Up until this point, her big meal of the day was at lunchtime and was often a full hot dinner. We have had to be creative since she doesn’t eat sandwiches. I will do another post on this including our love of Planetbox and our lunch ideas to this point.

LITTLE SPROUTS:
Lunch Box Comparison | Wendolonia
During the summer, I did a lot of research on the best lunchbox for my little one. I came across this blog post by Wendolonia after we purchased our PlanetBox. The chart in her post is a fantastic summary of six readily available bento style boxes. Although I am listing this post under LITTLE SPROUTS these are boxes adults can use for their packed lunches too!

SPROUTING HEALTH & WELLNESS:
The Everyday Item That’s Causing You Back Pain and How to Stop It | mindbodygreen
The things we carry everyday whether we are male or female include our wallet, phone, keys and hopefully, a packed lunch for those going to work. Then there are the extras such as a water bottle, a book/reader, random paperwork, diapers, toys, and the list goes on. All these extras mean a heavy bag that our muscles have to carry. Then we have our children with their gym kits, homework, packed lunch and their miscellaneous extra items. I suggest that at a minimum, your child’s backpack is reviewed nightly and the adult bags reviewed on a weekly basis to minimize the extra weight.

EXAMPLE OF SPROUTING BALANCE:
Mom Strips in Public to Push Self-love Message | HLN TV
I haven’t met a person who doesn’t have (or had) issues with their self-esteem. We live in a media driven society that has engulfed us with images of the “perfect” person. This mom striped to a bikini at a public market and posted the following sign: “I’m standing for anyone who has struggled with a self-esteem issue like me because all bodies are valuable. To support self-acceptance, draw a ‘heart’ on my body”. She asked for hearts but got more – after nearly one hour she received hugs, smiles, and words of encouragement.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance

PROPS!

PROPS on Sprouting Balance

SPROUTING COMMUNITY:
Toronto Library to Roll Out Book Lending Machines at Union Station | The Toronto Star
I like the idea of a book dispenser to pick up a new read. It will encourage people who don’t normally use the library system to participate. But the best part in my opinion? Having a convenient spot to drop off library books. Our closest branches have limited parking and even dropping off a library book in the return box can sometimes be challenging. This way, parents can take a bag with them to work and drop off returns on their way to work. The downside to the whole adventure is the cost of $200,000 per machine. Yowza.

ORGANIZING OUR ROOTS:
5 Things you Should do Every Single Day even when Life is Stressful | Money Saving Mom
Read it … and watch the video too. Trust me. Then follow through on the 5 steps. I’m practicing too.

EXAMPLE OF SPROUTING BALANCE:
Coloring in this Picture Helped Me Erase $26,000 in Debt | Quartz
Bad debt isn’t good. Good debt like your house or student loans is still debt. Ignoring debt is a disaster waiting to happen. If you are a visual person, this article is for you. This is a beautiful way to show progress in debt repayment.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance

Blog Love Friday! 2015 May 1

Blog Love Friday

How have I been Sprouting Balance the last few weeks? Well … hubby, daughter, a friend, and I went on a little road trip to Buffalo. Hubby & Daughter went to the Buffalo Museum of Science (and had a blast). My friend and I went rushing around Amherst shopping at Kohl’s, Trader Joes and various other companies that are not in Canada. It was a lovely (and long) day. The following week, I drowned myself in chores and children’s events. This gap has led to this week’s first topic…

LEARNING TO SPROUT

This is a reminder for myself but will hopefully help you too … PLAN! SCHEDULE! PLAN AGAIN! I have a lot on the go: teaching 5+ fitness classes a week, event planning committee, chauffeur, chef, cleaner, medical appointments … you get the point. I need to remind myself that this site and the business it will become is a part of that list. My aim is to provide these weekly links to share the bright ideas of the blog community. I need to make sure that they are scheduled just like everything else.

ORGANIZING OUR ROOTS
Acrylic Remote Caddy Stand | i heart organizing
This is such a cute little project! You can personalize it for your space by adding patterned paper or washi tape. The real takeaway from the article? Make a place for the remote controls to live.

Tips for Storing Re-Usable Bags | Modern Parents, Messy Kids
I found this on Pinterest recently and started doing it immediately. My crazy pile of reusable bags has now been tamed. Spend the extra time and do this – just saying.

LITTLE SPROUTS
Why We Should Stop Going Over the Top for Our Kids | Scary Mommy
This is a controversial topic. Every parent is different. And certainly every child is different. The comments on this post are as interesting as the read. I want you to understand why I chose this article … kids need to be kids. It is wonderful for them to get the experience of Disney, fabulous etsy-supplied parties, and to try various after-school activities. I want you to remember that your kids need time away from ‘experiences’. Let them play at the park without hovering. Let them have plain paper and coloured pens to explore their creativity. Let them build a pillow and blanket fort even if it means a messy living room. Let them make their own experiences.

GREAT EXAMPLE OF SPROUTING BALANCE
How We Keep Our Days Sane and Smooth | Carrots ‘N’ Cake
Tina’s post is an excellent example of how she is learning to Sprout Balance while running a successful blog, looking after her cutie, and training for the Boston Marathon! Tina and her husband Mal look like they are doing a great job at keeping things sane.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance