This post is co-written with my good friend Chara Rodrigues who is an amazing Readers and Writers Workshop coach in the Bay Area. @CharaRodrigues1
We love books. We love the story they tell. We love how they inspire us to be better for kids. We love talking about them with other educators to see their perspective which opens new doors for us.
We really love a book that makes us stop and think. Makes us examine who we are, take a step back, and then move forward with a different plan. ‘I Am Yoga’ written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds is that book.
It was no happenstance that I Am Yoga appeared in my mailbox when it did. It was a day when I needed a quiet reminder to “be still.” It was a day when my kids needed a quiet reminder that it’s okay to “be slow”. It was a day when I wish I could remind teachers to “make room in their minds to create and imagine.” This book speaks to a soul. Your soul, my soul, our souls. It is a message that leaves a mark - one that lingers. One we need to return to, time and time again.
When I look back on my life, I find that most of the time, I was juggling.
Balls in the air.
Dropping left and right.
Picking up dropped balls as I needed to get back in the game.
It was okay, everyday was a new one and new balls would take precedence.
But I never felt in control. I never felt I had a good handle on things.
Spinning. . .
Or shall I say juggling?
But balance - that is what I strive for. That is what I want my children to strive for. It makes us better people. Better citizens of the world.
One of my yoga teachers whispered in my ear one day, “Be the warrior, not the war!” And that, my friends, is the true essence of balance.
We must find balance in our lives, all of us. At work, at home, with friends, with digital media, with social media - we’re better for kids when we’re balanced!
- Take time each day to balance yourself.
- Find that space where your mind can relax and balance comes back to your core.
- Take several long and slow deep breaths. Clear your mind. Breathe in your intentions and exhale your stress.
- Play calming music and close your eyes.
- Our children can see our stress, they can sense our anxiety, they feed off our energy. Make that energy positive, calming, and focus on being present in their lives.
We feel I Am Yoga has a few different messages. What do you take from the story?
Do some yoga - Breath a little more deeply - Spend time outside in nature - Slow down - Enjoy the moment you’re currently in - Read books with kids - Have a conversation with someone - Enjoy!
Check out Susan's blog here!
Author Susan Verde striking a tree pose!