Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home or away

It is getting very close to September.  In our house that means back to school.  A welcome change for all of us.  More time for me to spend with my daughter and more time for my boys to spend with their friends learning new and exciting things. 

At the beginning of August just after purchasing some new pants and a few t-shirts for my boys, my 5 year old said to me "Mommy, I'm homeschooling this year".  We have a few friends who home school so this is not a foreign concept to him.  I said "oh sweetie, we'll see".  He has been persistent for weeks about not going to school.  When people ask him if he is excited he tells them point blank "I'm not going to school". 

My yoga mind is torn.  I want to be present and accepting in what my child wants and probably knows what is best for himself.  At the same time - we all went to school and did fine.  I have been doing my research (for years I think).  I have come to the conclusion that I am a home schooler who sends her kids to school.
As a parent I do believe that in most cases our children do know what is best for them.  Encouragement sometimes helps but if a child says they are scared or not ready, they know when they will be.  If I think of myself being an adult if I am not interested in doing something for whatever reason, encouragement does not always help.  Sometimes it makes it worse.

I have the tools I am ready to home school.  The other part of the equation is that my husband is not in favor of the home school.  He believes that we all went to school, our kids should too.  I am normally in charge of most of the activities, school choices and programs that our children do.  I am torn to ignore what my husband feels is best with doing what I think is best.  After all I will be the one doing the work right!

Right now, listening to my son seems to be what matters most.  In my mind home schooling seems like such a gentle approach to learning.  The child learns at his or her pace.  Has plenty of one on one time with the "teacher".  Does not waste time learning things that he already knows but other kids may not.  Learns things that he or she is interested in rather than what the teacher wants to teach that day.  Home schooling to me really falls in line with yoga philosophy, being kind, gentle and listening and knowing your self.  Also following tradition of one teacher, one student. 

It just makes sense to me.  Let's see if I can help it make sense to my husband...


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yoga Travels.

I just spent the past three weeks traveling with my family.  One husband and three children to be specific.  We drove for two and a half days to Newfoundland, then for a day and a half to PEI and then another day and a half back to Ottawa.  The kids were great in the car but we did have to take several breaks to stretch and care for ourselves.

I will have to be honest in saying that this kind of travel had an affect on my yoga practice and frequency of it.  I was able to practice and sometimes the practice was great and sometimes it left me feeling disappointed.  During our frequent stops along the drive I would do a few sun salutations or standing postures by the side of the road.  I am sure I was quite the sight for people driving by.

While we were in Newfoundland staying with my in-laws space, time and silence were a huge issue.  My in laws do not have a huge house and they had more than just our family of five staying with them.  As well any given time during the day would bring in more family members to hang out with.  Thus bringing the space and the noise factor up a notch.  I had a few nice practices but they were often short and interrupted.  I often settled for a nice long walk outside.

Prince Edward Island was a completely different story.  We rented this lovely house with my brother-in-law and his family.  It was not a big house by any means but the lay out was fabulous.  I was able to do a morning practice almost every morning (I missed 2) on the deck outside.  The deck overlooked fields of green and hay as well as water and a beautiful garden (see picture below of the view).  In the evening on several occasions I had a lovely practice in our small living room.  I closed the doors and went to it, I didn't even mind when my niece wandered in to grab a book.

As far as asana practice went I had a nice balance of listening to my body and my family as to when it was appropriate and when it wasn't as well as not beating myself up if I didn't get to it today.  Vacation is supposed to be like that.

The practice of bramacharya with respect to moderation was out the window, this tends to happen on vacation right?!  I ate too much, I drank a bit too much (I'm not a big drinker) and I certainly slothed to much.  The tapas was not always there and I think it is because of the over indulgence.  Really who feels able to get up in the morning when they ate a huge plate of onion rings (you have to try Spud onion rings in Deer Lake), had a couple of beers with the family and stayed up until 1:0am?  Reality says not me.  I would much rather sleep in, get fat and enjoy than get up go for a walk and then have a nice relaxed practice and meditate.  Honestly if I sat and meditated I would probably be thinking about the next plate of onion rings and perhaps some Pizza Delight (maritime pizza chain - yummy!!!)

I am home and back to reality.  My yoga practice will be back on track, my eating back to normal, sleeping and meditating (not about onion rings).  Vacation is nice but it is nice to be back home!