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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3D Print

3D Print | www.sproutingbalance.com | University of Toronto Makerspace at UTSC including 3D printer | #3D #print #utsc #library

As a University of Toronto Scarborough Campus alumni, I get the UTSC Commons magazine updating all on the adventures of other alumni, the staff and the campus as a whole.

In the Fall 2016 edition, the last page ‘Annotation‘ showcased the Makerspace in the library. It is a 1400 square foot space that amongst other technology, it includes a 3D scanner.

Could I please start my degree again?!?

I can’t begin to imagine how different an education these students get to receive. To be able to create a 3D model of a building, a chemistry structure or a film prop as part of an assignment. It allows students to think in a whole different plane. And yes, there is an app to make a lot of this possible.

If you had access to a 3D printer/scanner, what would you like to create? Would this type of technology have been helpful during your school pursuits? 

In the comments, please share your answers. 

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.

Winter Driving

How do you prepare for Winter Driving in Ontario? | www.sproutingbalance.com | #winter #driving

I am a born and raised Canadian and understand as an Ontarian that my winters will include snow, slush and icy conditions. I was taught as a child to wear my snow boots so I had a better grip when I walked the sidewalks (and my parents preferred my feet stayed dry too). We also protect ourselves from the elements by adding coats, scarves, hats and gloves to our person.

Now, why do some people choose not to outfit their cars with the same layers of protection? Washer fluid to clean the windows, brushes to clear snow, and snow tires to grip the streets? Continue reading

Props! to new headlines

PROPS on Sprouting Balance

 

As someone that works in the fitness industry, I enjoy learning new techniques and ways of teaching. I go to the canfitpro conference each year and normally have the opportunity to attend a dozen sessions by internationally renowned presenters.

I used to love flipping through magazines and had several subscriptions to various publications. But they depressed me; instead of promoting health, they were promoting thinness. “Get the Bikini Body” or “20 Ways to Lose 20 Pounds” were repetitive headlines.

Continue reading

canfitpro 2015

canfitpro 2015

Each year I attend the Canadian Fitness Professionals (canfitpro) Toronto Conference and Trade Show. Registered members, like myself, are required to complete education credits to maintain their certifications. We do this by attending workshops, lectures or trainings. The Toronto event also includes the trade show where we can purchase new equipment at a discount.

I thought I would give you a highlight of some of the presentations I enjoyed. These presenters have resources on their sites that may guide you on your journey to becoming more balanced.

Kathy Smart | Live the Smart Way
After being diagnosed with celiac at a young age, Kathy realized that her life’s mission was to help others with the disease or gluten sensitivity. Kathy is an entertaining presenter that truly has a passion to share her knowledge and help others.

Drew Hume | Navina
I took two sessions with Drew: Thai Yoga Massage and Ayurveda & Food. Both were insightful and encouraged me to explore these topics in more detail. I was surprised how relaxing Thai Yoga Massage is for both the giver and the receiver. My hope is that my husband will learn a bit so I can get some assisted stretching at home.

Dai Manuel | aka The Moose is Loose 
Given that Sprouting Balance is a new business and does have an Internet presence, I felt it was important to learn a little bit more about social media. I do hope that his sessions are offered again in 2016 as there are others that I did not get to take.

Jully Black | Artist/Presenter 
I have to admit that I didn’t understand why canfitpro decided to invite Jully Black for the closing ceremonies. What does a musician have to say about fitness? I was presently surprised by a beautiful presentation that included stories about perseverance intermingled with her powerful songs. By the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

canfitpro 2015 - Jully Black

These are merely highlights and an opportunity for you to check out some passionate people in the health and wellness field. You can also check out the hashtag #worldfitnessexpo on twitter to see what my fellow participants found worthy of sharing.

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

Sigh. July is over and there is only a month left of summer vacation for the Little Sprouts. The shops are putting out the school supplies and I will admit that I am thinking about what to buy my daughter who is starting JK. Trying to figure out the best backpacks, lunch boxes, and water bottles … so many options! Tell me your favourites in the comments!

SPROUTING CREATIVITY:
Watch 1000 Musicians Woo Foo Fighters to Italy | The Verge
Passion and perseverance will hopefully get these musicians something they want in their town in Northern Italy, a concert by the Foo Fighters. Please stop and watch the video. If you don’t like the Foo Fighters, put it on mute and just watch the passion and organization of the 1000 people playing music together.

SPROUTING KNOWLEDGE:
Jen Welter, training camp coaching intern, introduced by Cardinals| ESPN and
Could This French Shortstop Be the MLB’s First Female Player? | Time
My daughter wants to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. How do I tell a 4 year old that professional sports are a male dominated profession? Should I tell her that the professional women’s teams that do exist make a fraction of the money and television airtime? That most likely we won’t see mixed gender professional sports? There are some minor changes happening in the sports world. A 16 year old has been registered with the MLB meaning she is eligible to be signed to a club. This means she is talented but not signed to any team. The Arizona Cardinals has “hired” a female coach for pre-season training. And hired is not the word that should have been used by these reporters – she was GRANTED an INTERNSHIP.

SPROUTING HEALTH & WELLNESS:
Special Announcement by Mark Zuckerburg | Facebook
Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook, and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan are expecting their first child. They posted this announcement today on his Facebook page (of course) but included in his post was a description of their struggle with miscarriages. They hope by sharing their struggles other couples might realize they are not alone.

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