Seva

yoga reaches out

It’s all about seva, or service.  Our yoga practice stirs in us the need to help others through the full body prayer that is our practice.  I have had so much fun doing benefit classes to help the Milton Residents Fund and Saint Rock Haiti Foundation in the past few months.  April provides another great opportunity.

This coming Good Friday, April 14th,  I didn’t have any classes scheduled (I figured some people might be away and others might be managing life at home with the kids out of school that day).  I’ve decided to hold a benefit class that day–I am dubbing “Do Good Friday”–we’ll practice and raise money for Boston Children’s Hospital as part of the Yoga Reaches Out effort underway in April.  The class will be from 8 -9:15 a.m. I can’t wait!

If you are interested in donating to the cause, here is the link to my fundraising page:
http://yogathon.yogareachesout.org/goto/FranKaroff

Thank you for considering a donation to amp up the funds raised on “Do Good Friday!!”
childrens hospital

Going With The Flow

go with the flowLast week my family and I traveled to Utah to ski.  It was my first time ever skiing out west and it was quite spectacular to be in the mountains, the vistas were magical.  I’ve gotten very disenchanted with skiing over the years with what I was sure was my declining ability.  This trip for me was really more about being together as a family, as one of our boys was home from college on spring break.

Day 1:  We made it to the mountain, and not surprisingly for me the first couple of runs were bad, with less control and more fear and tension than I could bear.  So when lunchtime finally came I called it quits.  While everyone went back out to ski, I brought my 15-year old rusty skis to be sharpened and waxed (I got yelled out by the technician!), and learned that my trusty old ski boots were a full size too big (!).   No wonder skiing felt like I was trying to grab molasses.  You must know what happened next:  I bought a new pair of boots to go with my sharpened skis.  I needed to know if the trouble was me or my equipment and it seemed right to figure it out on the first day of the mini ski vacation.

Day 2: Opposite day.  It was a dream.  After over a decade of being the slowest most cautious person (and scared!) on the trail, I found myself moving with confidence and at a good clip.  It was like all the mental lessons that I had been holding onto finally clicked.  The kids and my husband were shocked, tossing me nicknames like “ski queen” and “ski mamma.”   Mid way down on the first run one of them even said, “Wow.  You can really ski!”

For years and years and years I had been in the ski game purely to be with my family, not because I loved the sport.  And as the kids grew, it was a prime opportunity to be with them in an unplugged way and connect doing something in the great outdoors.  But now things had changed.  It wasn’t a terrifying adventure each time I got off the chairlift.  It was actually fun.  I was at ease, finally enjoying skiing.

At one point along the way, I spotted a sign, “Go With The Flow.”  Oh, indeed.

And this image below is not me, just a skier in dancer pose for your enjoyment 😉

skiier in dancer pose

 

 

 

A Deep Bow

long-breath

Last week three separate people approached me to talk about the struggles they are having as they are dealing with parents that are ageing, some focused on end of life issues.  And those are only the ones who spoke up.  My classes seem to attract my own demographic: women between the ages of 45 and 55 who are in what is called “the sandwich generation.”  They are tending to their people (blood related or otherwise) as they age and pass into the next life, and to their children, uncomfortably sandwiched in between.  Not to mention if they work–not like tending to those we love is not work, it certainly is real and meaningful work–but providing income and stability for a family is no small thing.  Regardless of your situation, there is a LOT to hold up and show up for, and we do.  That’s just what we do, no matter the circumstance.

When you sit back and look at all that responsibility it is stunning.  I want to put a crown on everyone in my classes, this whole generation, really.  So it’s no small surprise that people show up to yoga for rejuvenation and nourishment.  They need it like they need a daily vitamin: to hit pause, regroup, and reconnect with themselves.

My classes this week are focusing on tuning into the breath as a tool for navigating not just our yoga practice on the mat, but also the challenges in our lives. When the mind is distracted whether it be from the myriad of devices, challenges, stresses, you name it in our lives, there is just a storm–like a snow globe.  The mind is compromised, distracted.  And a distracted mind is not a powerful one.  So we tune into the breath to bring clarity, presence and peace.  So you can keep showing up and soldiering on in your life.

I offer a deep bow to you for all that you do.  Namaste.