"We are peas - alphabet peas! We work and play in ABCs.
We're acrobats, artists, and astronauts in space.
We're builders, bathers, and bikers in a race.
We're painters, poets, plumbers fixing leaks.
We're pilots, parachutists, we're peas and we're unique!
We're weavers, wishers, and x-ray doctors, too.
We're yogis in a pose, and zoologists - that's who!
We are peas from A to Z.
Now tell us, please...who are you?"
"Who are you?" When I came across Keith Baker's book L M N O Peas, I immediately used it in a lesson with my Alluem Little Kids, asking the children - "Who are you?" With adults, this question often brings on a pinch of anxiety, but with kids - they embrace it! They love this question as they are continuously exploring everything around them. What do I like to do? What do I like to play with? Where do I like to go? Who do I like to be with? What makes me happy? What makes me feel loved? What brings me peace? What brings me joy?
As I approach the 30th year of my life, I discover that I am still on my way to finding my answers to those questions, as I believe the questions never stop. That is the beauty of life. We live the questions. This Friday, September 10th, brings me closer to living that very question that I have been asking for quite sometime now. Who am I? Having graduated from college with a BFA in Illustration and spending much of that first year post college trying to self-promote as a freelance artist, I struggled. Finding a part time job with a major retailer and quickly moving up the ladder to the corporate ranks, I still struggled. Commuting in and out of New York City everyday for the past 5 years living the corporate life, I continued to struggle - constantly asking the who am I question and all the questions that follow.
On September 10th, I will be trading in my 6'x8' cubical with the 5th Ave window for a 2'x6' yoga mat with endless possibilities. As the students and teachers at Alluem Yoga celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the studio, I am more then honored to celebrate with the growth and expansion of the Alluem Kids program. In addition to the current Sunday classes, we will be adding 4 weekday opportunities for the Alluem Kids to grow their practice, along with welcome new and younger yogis to the studio! Here you will find fun and exciting workshops and events for kids, like the upcoming Soccer Yoga Workshop on 9/24 and free lessons at Cranford Musicfest on 9/18. You'll even run into Alluem Kids at your local Barnes & Noble for the upcoming Yoga for Students and Educators on 9/11-9/12. And you may even find me in your classroom for Yoga in my School lessons this school year. The list goes on and on!
I am unbelievably grateful to be so supported by the community, my friends, my family, and by Alluem as I make this transition in my life. Yoga is a practice in which we constantly grow, constantly change, constantly discover new things about ourselves and those around us. When I started practicing yoga 8 years ago under the loving instruction of Clarissa Alliano, I never would have believed it would have brought me to where I am today. I can not thank her and my classmates enough for planting the seed of possibilities of where this practice could take me. After going through my first year of teaching children's yoga, every time I'm greeted by a studio full of students, my heart goes out to the most amazing children's yoga organization, Little Flower Yoga, of whom I trained with. Founder, Jennifer Cohen, and director, Kate Reil, have been such a light to me and so many of the trainees that have crossed their paths. They will touch more lives than they will ever know. And given the opportunity to share the wealth of knowledge they have provided me with, would not have been possible without the dream of Gina Pachkowski, owner and founder of Alluem Yoga. I am very lucky for our paths to have crossed just as her dream was taking form in the beautiful Old Mill on the Rahway River that has become such a sacred space and sanctuary to so many adults and children alike.
I feel so blessed to come to this point of my life as I live the questions and learn to embrace them. My mother often reminds me that everything happens for a reason. With the love that she and my father have instilled in me and the strength that they both show everyday, I am encouraged and ready for each new day with all it has to offer. Everyday will bring a new outlook, a new challenge, a new opportunity. I believe I am at this point in my life for a reason and I welcome this opportunity to grow with open arms. And of course, I will continue to live the questions...just like the L M N O Peas!