Thursday, March 31, 2011

All the World

I saw the cover of this book and immediately fell in love. Not only is it titled, "All the World" by Liz Garton Scanlon, but the cover art, created by one of my favorite children's book illustrators Marla Frazee, was absolutely captivating. LOVE!

In an article I found, Marla Frazee stated, "Illustrating a book titled 'All the World' was a daunting proposition. I mean, it’s supposed to be about all the world. I was totally overwhelmed. Then I considered the times when I’ve felt the most connected to the world at large, and remembered that none of us ever inhabit all the world but merely our own small place in it. So I focused on one of the places I love the most—the central coast of California—and set the book there. Many of the illustrations in All the World are inspired by grace notes in my life. The grandfather under the oak tree is an homage to my own immigrant grandfather, who had enough patience and faith in the future to grow oaks from acorns—trees he knew he would never live to see taller than himself...I drew my zippy orange 2007 Honda Fit, and my faithful dog, Rocket, in its front seat, pulling out of the farmer’s market. The tulips, the Mediterranean architecture, the pink house, the purple-and-yellow sunset, the beach ball—all of it means stuff to me. I hope that readers will find many things in All the World that mean stuff to them, too. I love Liz’s text because it celebrates the small things, the big things, children, and grown-ups in equal measure. And I love how it is all mixed up and jumbled together and interconnected and personal and universal." I couldn't describe this book any better then that.

I gave the Alluem Kids this opportunity for a brief visualization after reading this book. Sitting tall, eyes closed, we thought about all the places we have been in this world. (Recently I've noticed how some of my students are more travelled then myself! Good for them!) These places could be local - in our own backyards, or global - foreign countries we may have vacationed to. Then we thought of which place in the whole world made us FEEL the best. We asked ourselves questions - why did it make us feel so good? What did it look like? What did it smell like? Sound like? Feel like? Who were we with? What were we doing? Capturing the image in our minds again, I asked them kids to sit in stillness with that image and those feelings. Knowing they could access this image at anytime - whether it is a time they are upset, sad, angry, or just want to relax and feel good. Before losing that image, I asked the kids to gently open their eyes and capture this image onto their sketch paper...I witnessed some of the most beautiful images appear on their papers - beaches, forests, parks, Disney World, Paris, Grandma's House, and...yes, I'm being biased - my favorite...Alluem Yoga:

For more incredible ways to use this book in your classroom, visit:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Namaste, Taylor.

This is Taylor. Taylor is an 11 year old Alluem Kid. Always smiling, she is a light in the studio - exuding positive energy every time she steps onto her mat. Unfortunately, for the past 5 years Taylor has been fighting a rare auto-immune inflammatory disease called Dermatomyositis. It causes her to have muscle weakness and pain. Yoga is one of the best therapies for her - stretching and strengthening the muscles. Her favorite yoga pose is Cat and Cow, which warms up the spine.
This year will be Taylor's third year working with the Middlesex County Arthritis Walk Committee to raise AWARENESS & FUNDS needed to find a CURE. She could use your help! Taylor has a goal of raising $5,000. If you are able to donate, please visit her personal donor page by May 22nd to help her reach her goal. Any amount helps.:
In Taylor's words..."Not only am I taking medicine to help me manage this condition, but I am trying to help find a cure so that others don't have to suffer like I have. I refuse to let this stop me from growing up to be a beautiful, strong person."
Taylor, I believe NOTHING will ever stop you from becoming a beautiful, strong person! Namaste.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome Spring...or make your own!

First day of Spring and,'s kind of rainy and gloomy on the east coast. Some of us even saw snow this morning. What do we do when we can't find the sunshine, green grass, and bright colorful flowers?? Inspired by the book, Rose's Garden, the Alluem Kids, for one, make their own! Rose's Garden by Peter H Reynolds is an inspirational tale dedicated to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. After collecting seeds from her travels around the world, she finds a small patch of land in a big city that she decided could use some color. Planting her seeds, she waits patiently through the rain, cold, and snow...never doubting that the beautiful garden she envisioned would one day come to be. Word spread through the city of Rose's faith in her garden and children from around the world began arriving to her garden with handmade flowers each with their own story. Filling her garden with love and handmade flowers, with time and because everyone believed in Rose's garden, real flowers began sprouting up!
This book truly "celebrates the spirit of community, the beauty of nature, and the power of faith and imagination". The Alluem Kids loved it. We took this chance to not only practice out Flower Pose, but to also make our own paper flowers with hopes of brightening up this chilly rainy first day of Spring! Using every bright color we could find! Imagining what our own garden of flowers would look like! Because when you can't find it out in the mud, you must make your own inspiration!

Cut a paper flower for a base. Using glue and balled up tissue paper, create your own Spring! And here the youngest child can develop fine motor skills by tearing, balling up and gluing the tissue paper to the flower pattern strengthening their hand coordination! Namaste.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You are nice.

Today I was asked, "Do only nice people do yoga or does yoga make you nice? You yoga people are all so nice!" It made me smile. There sure are a lot of nice people in our yoga community at Alluem, not to mention a TON of nice people practicing and teaching yoga around the world. Maybe nice people are drawn to the practice. Or maybe yoga does make you nice. I thought about this...when you walk into a studio there is that certain feeling of peace and calm. The air feels warm and it just smells good. When you roll out your mat, it is familiar and comfortable. You know here you are accepted for who you are in your body today. What happens before you arrived, does not matter. What you're going to do later, does not matter. All that matters is that moment. It's a nice feeling. When you practice, you move, you stretch, you breathe - moving slow and listening to your body. No need to rush, no need to push. Taking time to just be.
My response to the original question, "Yoga is more then poses and exercise. Yoga is a way of life. Listening to your body and treating yourself with love and respect keeps you happy. Treating others, as well as animals and our earth, with that same love and respect is what makes those around us happy. When we live in a happier world there is more peace and less stress which I believe makes us 'nice people'."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky for Yoga!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The day to wear green! The day to eat soda bread! The day to search for rainbows and pots of gold! And at Alluem Kids - the day to think of what we are lucky to have in our lives. Going beyond the insignificant material goods - the Wiis, the iPod Touches, the HD TVs - we realize these things are not the things we are lucky to have. We come to our mats today to think of what's really important in our lives. Our friends, our families, the rooves over our heads, the beds we sleep in, the food on the table. And at this time as we are bombarded with heart breaking images of the recent tragedy in Japan, we may feel even more "lucky", or should I say greatful, to be where we are today. We have homes that are still standing. We know our immediate family members are safe. We don't have to wait for hours in a line of people knowing that that small bowl of rice will be the only food we will have all day. We don't have to worry about radiation poisoning. We are truly "lucky".
I, for one, feel truly lucky to have Alluem Yoga in my life and to be surrounded by such amazing groups of children that make up the Alluem Kids program! Each student that walks through the doors of this studio is a gift and I feel lucky to know each one of them. I am lucky for this life.

Here are some of the things the Alluem Kids feel lucky to have in their lives:
- "My home"
- "My family"
- "The best parents ever"
- "My dog"
- "My legs - some people don't have legs"
- "Trees - for oxygen"
- "Love in my life"
- "The sun"
- "Food"
- "People who care about me"
- "Yoga"
- "Life"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Registration for Spring Session is Open!

8 Week Session starts the week of March 13th!

In order to give your children the attention they deserve, we're giving them more space to breathe and better focus on the age groups! Please take note of the added class time and new age groups!

Alluem Tweens (10yrs-12yrs):
Mondays - 3:45-4:45pm
Sundays - 11:15am-12:15pm
Alluem Kids (ages 7yrs-9yrs):
Thursdays - 3:45-4:45pm
Alluem Little Kids (ages 4yrs-6yrs):
Sundays -10:00am-11:00am
Wednesdays - 4:30-5:30pm

15 student maximum (which will be strictly enforced)!
Register NOW!
$96 per 8 wk session

Sign up at under the workshops tab!

Please Note: There will be no class Sunday, March 6th or Thursday, March 10th - these sessions have ended. The last class for the Monday session will be March 7th.

And don't forget about Storytime Yoga every Thursday: 1:30-2pm - $5 for yogis of all ages!

All fees and packages are non-transferable, non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Any classes not used in duration assigned are forfeit.