In my morning yoga class, students file into the chilly room, place their uniforms in their lockers and roll out a mat. We start the class with the same ritual, beginning in lotus pose we center our breath and begin with side stretches to awaken our bodies, or self massage to warm up our muscles and connect with ourselves.
The asanas build as we work through our practice, and I have added a self directed time into the practice for students to work on inversions, crow pose, or a pose that they struggled with during class.
Teaching my students about mindfulness, meditation and yoga has helped them in times of stress, and the yoga practice prepares them for their day. One of my students said, "On yoga days, well I HATE getting up, getting to yoga is the worst, but once I am there it is the best!"
Each class ends with Savasana and an affirmation for the day. Sometimes the affirmations and talks I give the students are long feminist manifestos or talks on self love, and some days we practice mantras in meditations, one of my favorites which always puts a smile on their faces is, "today will be a gorgeous day to remember."
Adding mindfulness and yoga practice to my life has helped me tremendously as a teacher, an artist, a partner and a mother, and I am so elated to bring this practice with all of its benefits to my students as well.