What a month of yoga did for a regular person…

photo (12)


In a rare fit of consistency, I decided to practice yoga every day for a month. I am not a yogini, but an average, works-out-a-few-times-a-week kind of woman. I told myself that I would commit to just 15 minutes a day, nothing crazy. In the process, I started to feel better physically (less tension in my neck and shoulders, no more back twinges) and I learned some new things about what I could accomplish.

  1. I can make a new habit. Doing yoga every day taught me that if I can do this every day, then I can do other things every day too (like write, read to my kids, make sure the dishes are done before bedtime). It gave me confidence that I can build other little habits into my routine. My drive toward self-improvement sometimes gets out of control, but keeping my expectations modest actually boosted me up rather than left me feeling hopeless, like I did in the past when I’d get overwhelmed trying for things that were big, long-term commitments (writing a book, running for a half hour straight) without breaking them down into manageable chunks.
  1. I can be realistic. Last January, I tried to do yoga every day, but I made grandiose plans. I was going to build up to an hour a day and I was going to be doing the advanced classes and be able to master every pose in the yoga app I was using. This time around, I didn’t make any promises about what I’d accomplish from doing yoga, just that I’d do it. Better done than perfect, I say. We are always taught to focus on our desired outcome, but sometimes the goal is so far off that it can feel overwhelming. If I keep this up, maybe I will get to advanced-level yoga, but even if I don’t, I’m still reaping the benefits of daily practice. The rest would just be cool party tricks anyway.
  1. I can follow a schedule, but I don’t have to be rigid about it. Generally, I go through a cycle of classes: strength, relaxation, combination, flexibility, repeat. But sometimes I feel really tired and crummy, and I give myself permission to do the easiest routine (the relaxation one, of course!). Because I’m a teacher, most of my day is pretty much set into blocks of time, and that regimentation carries into my home life as well. But I learned with my commitment to 15 minutes a day of yoga that sometimes I’d have to do it in the morning, sometimes at night, and sometimes I’d have to skip something else that day so that I could still have time for the yoga.

Some days yoga has been life-changing, and others, it’s just another thing to cross off on my to-do list, but no matter what, I’m feeling better.

If you are interested, the app I use (for the iPad) is called Yoga Studio.

The picture is me in lizard pose, and by the way, doing yoga does not look as sexy as it feels.


Please check out my first novel, Giving Myself Away, about a divorced mom making tough choices.


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Is it okay to put your kids online?

Amy Webb wrote this thought-provoking article in Slate called “We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online.”

What do you think about this? Most of you know I’m a mom.  When my kids were babies, I put their pics on Facebook. However, after they were toddlers, I removed those pictures and haven’t posted my kids’ pictures or names online.

It’s hard for me not to talk about them or put their pictures on Facebook because my primary role in life is Mom and of course I’m proud of my kids the same way any other parent is. I also like looking at my faraway friends’ and relatives’ pics of their kids to see them growing and changing.

For me, this decision was more because of my public role as a teacher: the closer my kids get to the age of my students, the more I realize their privacy is compromised by what I put online.

When I was 12 and older, I would have been mortified at a lot of the pictures and anecdotes my parents could have put on Facebook, if it were available then.

This article goes into a lot bigger reasons to protect your kids’ anonymity, dealing with their future virtual identity.  Webb believes kids who are online will never have a chance for anonymity, and that these pictures and information can be used insidiously for data mining.

Webb and her husband have gone so far as to search for their child’s chosen name online to make sure it wasn’t one with any negative associations.  They’ve also set up social media accounts in their daughter’s name that they are keeping on hold until they feel she’s old enough to create her own online identity.

I’m not sure if I’m paranoid, and I’ve mostly given in to the idea that none of us will ever have a chance for privacy anymore, but I’m doing what feels comfortable for me.

Do you put your kids’ pictures online?  If you do, do you have any second thoughts or concerns about it?