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Fat Kid Yoga Club

Open Your Heart and Mind – Back to School Yoga Challenge – Day 1

Today’s the day, y’all! We’re kicking off our seven-day challenge!

I love starting a new school year. It’s a time of excitement and optimism, and I can’t wait to meet my new students. But things are different for many of us this year.  If you’ve got school-aged children, you may be weighing the decision to keep them home or send them back to the classroom. If you’re an educator or work in schools, you may be feeling a sense of dread as you try to imagine what your classroom will look like this year. Personally, I’ll be telecommuting and teaching my university classes via Zoom. It won’t be the same, but then again it never is. 

It’s important to approach new experiences and opportunities with an open heart and mind. Often, our expectations will prepare us for one type of experience that may or may now come true. And it’s a real bummer when your expectations and reality are at odds with one another. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want to have a good time, instead, I’m inviting you to consider how you can have a good time even when things don’t go how you thought they would!

In this video, I share three variations of my favorite chest-opening yoga posture, supported fish. In yoga communities, “chest-opening” and “heart-opening” are often used interchangeably. This is because the Anahata (heart) chakra is located in the chest. Additionally, if you’ve studied Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, you are likely familiar with Sutra 1.2 “yogas chittavrittinirodha” or yoga is restraining the churnings of the mind-stuff (Chitta).  What is mind-stuff you ask? It’s often described as our “lower-mind”, our internal monologue, or even our feelings. For me, chest opening practices are an invitation to open my heart and mind to new possibilities.

To try the variations in this video you will need a blanket or towel, yoga blocks, and a bolster (or alternatives). BUT – and I cannot stress this enough – you don’t have to practice supported fish today! You’re in control, so you might try another back bending posture that you LOVE instead. This yoga challenge is an invitation – an elective if you will.

So, before I ramble too much more… the journal prompt for today is:

What are you looking forward to about the new school year (or this challenge)? What is one thing you are committed to learning more about in the next few months?

Please consider leaving your response in the comments below. If journaling isn’t your thing, consider leaving a comment to tell me which posture(s) you practiced and/or which of the options I provided was your favorite!

Also, please feel free to play along and share your practice on Instagram with #fatkidyogaclub and #backtoschoolyoga!