Saturday, July 30, 2011

Camp Alluem Kids!

So much fun! Enjoy the video!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Prayer for Children

Camp Alluem Kids (ages 8-12) Week has come to a close. What a fantastic week of yoga, meditation, relaxation, reflection, fun and energy! This was a most insightful group of tweens and during each one of our conversations, they never ceased to amaze me. Appropriately, as I walked into Gina's Thursday Flow Class after camp, she chose to read a poem that was sent to her that day...and wound up speaking volumes to both of us...

A Prayer for Children
We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper
who erase holes in math workbooks
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes"
who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead in,
who never saw a circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

We pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no security blanket to drag behind them.
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
who spend all their allowances before Tuesday
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food.
who like ghost stories,
who shove their dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream into the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried, and for those who must be.

For those we never give up on, and
For those who never get a second chance.
For those we smother
And for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Off the Mat Into the World

Last week I had the privilege of making 46 new friends! What an amazing community!
I'm STILL processing from all I've learned about myself, my community, my practice and my world. This life is such a journey...constantly growing, forever changing. There is only one word to sum it up - amazing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On my way! Everything's A-okay!

As I sit here packing my belongings for what will most likely be one of the most amazing weeks of my life, I can't help but think about how much I will miss being at the studio with the kids and the rest of the community! I haven't been away for this long since we've opened! (Btw, our 2 year anniversary is coming up soon!) Tomorrow I will be leaving for a week long intensive at the Omega Institute with Off the Mat and Into the World:
In Off the Mat, Into the World®, yoga experts Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling guide us through an intensive transformational process to uncover our deepest passion and motivation. This personal work is the first part of our yoga practice.

Another vital part is interpersonal. It has to do with the yoga of our relationships: to other people, our environment, and all living beings. Defining and knowing our purpose is the compass that guides us to live on point, with richness and community.

This intensive is an opportunity for us to discover the connections between the yogic path and the way of divine service. We combine asanas, meditation, process work, and ritual with the practical tools of communication, organizing, and collaborating to help us become more effective leaders and agents of change in the world.

I am so excited for what I am about to learn about myself, my practice, the world of activism and how I will be able to better combine all three! As you may know, Alluem has already been working so closely with this organization, raising money for the Global Seva Challenge, through which Gina will bare witness in Haiti empowering those in need. All participants must raise $20,000 by December and thanks to the Alluem Community we are already at $13,600! Off the Mat has been a huge part of our lives over the past year, and after this week, I know it will continue to hold a huge space in my heart!

SO! Until I get back:
- 8 week Summer Session has ended and the Fall Session will begin the 2nd week of September. FALL REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
- Storytime Yoga is cancelled this week.
- There are still spaces left in the Alluem Kid's Camps:
- Ages 8-11: July 25th-28th
- Ages 4-7: Aug 1st-4th
- Check out the new workshops coming up this August:
- Aug 8th - The Art of Yoga (ages 8-12)
- Aug 24th - Sea Shell Yoga (ages 5-10)
- Aug 11th & 25th - Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids (ages 7-12)
For times and descriptions and to register visit the website:

Back to packing! I made sure to bring my Sesame Street "It's All Good in the Hood" tee shirt. I hope the other attendees like it! The Alluem Kids sure do!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Freeze Up! Warm Up!

Each day is made up of different situations - good and bad. And just like yoga poses, some situations may be difficult causing us to freeze up or want to get out, while other situations (or poses) makes us feel good and relaxed. Being in new places or meeting new people may make us feel so shy we don't know what to do or say. Being in the dark or in deep water may make us feel so scared that we panic. All of that is okay. It's important to notice what makes us "Freeze Up", so we can learn how to handle those situations and learn how to "Warm up!"
On a hot day on the patio by the river, the Alluem Kids stuck their hands in a bowl of ice. Why? To cool them off, sure, but to also teach them a lesson about letting go of stress and maybe even how to deal with the people, places, and things that cause stress. They were encouraged to hold the ice for at least 30 seconds, but knew that if it became too much, they should listen to their bodies and put it down. After holding the ice cubes, it was interesting to see the way each child dealt with the cold sting. Some said, eh, no problem and dealt with it. Some screeched and wanted out after 15 seconds (which of course, I reminded them they could put the ice down at anytime!). Some felt the cold for the 30 seconds and then threw the cube back in the bowl, immediately caring for the cold hand - holding it with the warm hand or wrapping it in a towel. After putting as many feeling words as possible to how our hands felt, we realized that everyone deals with stressors differently.
At times when we "Freeze Up" (like our ice cold hands), we might forget that we can in fact make ourselves "Warm Up" and be the ones to care for our bodies and minds. Some may instinctually react and self soothe, but for some we may need a gentle reminder. Making a list (writing or drawing) of things that freeze us up (things that make us feel bad or scared) right next to the things that warm us up (things that make us feel happy or loved) serves as a great visual to help us through those "Freeze Up" moments. And seeing or thinking of those things that help us "Warm Up" is always a good way to keep us happy and healthy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Congratulations to all of the Alluem Kids who completed the Firecracker 4 miler and 1 mile fun run at Nomhegan Park this past 4th of July!!! So proud of you all!! And congratulations to the Cranford Jaycees for putting together another great event - 32 years strong!!! And thanks so much for coming by and practicing with me at the Alluem Tent!
Be sure to watch the footage below brought to us by the Cranford Patch and watch for the Alluem Kids!