Friday, March 22, 2019

A Super Easy Family Cleaning System That Works!

Recently I shared a post on my Instagram about our new Saturday morning cleaning time and it got some votes for its own post with allll the details. I mean, figuring out systems to get your kids to actually DO stuff can be so frustrating, so I'm happy to share the details with you! This has been working really well for us, so I hope it helps you, too!

A simple family cleaning system that works! Flexible for all lifestyles and ages - see how we do it! | www.enrychment.com

During the week, our house falls apart a little bit at a time, and our busy schedules leave us feeling really tapped out and unmotivated to put it back together. I found myself feeling like I was stuck in an endless loop of repetitive chores that were undone minutes after I completed them, and I was in maintenance mode far more often than the rest of my family members. Not fair, right? RIGHT.

But it can be hard to say, "hey guys, your room needs some help" and then expect them to put down their screens and fun weekendy things to jump up and happily get to work. Weekends are their freedom in this age of hard work and high-pressure schooling. So our compromise looks like this.

Screens Are Free on Fridays

My kids are not allowed to have screens (video games, videos, etc....some TV after homework is ok) Monday through Thursday. Before setting this regulation, they would zip through their homework without focusing or putting effort in so they could race right to the screens. As soon as we took the possibility away, they did a better job. However, the negative side to this is that they developed a certain entitlement about having a screen free-for-all Friday through Sunday. We work to regulate it with timers, but they weren't really "earning" that time. They forgot that it was a weekend privilege and mistook it for a guarantee.

I know the value of a fun, mindless activity when you are a wound-up ball of stress, and the great relief and fun in doing whatever you want when you finish school on a Friday. So on Fridays, they earn their screen time just by getting through the week. (They can, however, loose it with bad behavior.) For the rest of the weekend, though, I wanted to them to start earning it! (This can work for anything your kids love to do, naturally - my kids are just especially fond of video games.) So I decided that they would have to complete a list of tasks on Saturday morning before they were allowed to dive in.

example of our family cleaning check list

Mom Makes A Checklist

My boys have swimming lessons early on Saturday mornings, and since it's easiest to deal with the boys dressing room, Matt usually takes them. So I sit down at the computer with my morning coffee and using a pre-made spreadsheet document, I make a checklist for the entire family. I will usually take a walk around the house to pinpoint the problem areas, and then I make the list based on our needs and what each of the boys are reasonably capable of. I make a list for myself as well, and Matt usually texts me things he wants on his list while he's sitting in the viewing area of swimming.

Morning Cleaning Time

When I'm finished with the check list, I put it out on the kitchen table with a pen and a highlighter, and the boys know right where to look for it when they get back from swimming lessons. We put some music on, and then get busy! They follow their own lists, check them off themselves as they go, and manage their own responsibilities.

The idea is that we are all working together - no one gets out of it, and no one has to watch others sitting around while they're working hard. Here's the one thing to note, especially if you have younger kids: they typically ride a roller coaster of emotions during family cleaning time. There will be defiant moments, denial moments, angry moments, sad moments, and moments where they are unsure of what a task requires them to do. You will have to coach them a bit (as I'm sure you're already used to doing), and put your own list on hold while you guide them through theirs. After a few weeks, though, they get used to most of the chores and are familiar with the routine, so there's less and less resistance.

The Chores

Hopefully you can see my lists well enough to get some task ideas for your own lists, but just in case you can't, some of the things we often assign the boys are: making beds, dusting, folding towels, washing windows, collecting dirty dishes, collecting dirty laundry, picking up sticks in the yard, changing out garbage cans, pet related tasks (like brushing them, washing their food bowls, putting their toys away), finding things to declutter/donate, and putting away or scrubbing specific messes they've made.

The Rewards

We have a minimum start time of noon for screens which does two things - ensures that they don't rush through their chores without doing a good job, and allows everyone time to catch up on their list so they can start using screens around the same time. If early finishers start playing, it's really hard for the stragglers to stay motivated to keep going. I will also sometimes have a treat planned that we'll sit down at the table together and enjoy after lunch (like cookies and tea, or something similar).

checking off his chores during family clean time!

Tips For Making The Checklists

There are a few notes on how I make the checklists that I thought might be useful guidelines if you try this out yourself! First, I give every child the same amount of tasks (they are quick to count and compare!) UNLESS one of them volunteers to totally overhaul their bedroom themselves. That means mom-level cleaning! If they do (and only my two oldest are really capable), then they only get  1-3 chores. Otherwise, everyone gets 6 assigned to them with 1 blank spot that we leave empty in case we come across something as we work that we want to add on.

I start each of their lists with "Hug Everyone" as a momentum booster. It's so easy to accomplish and cross off so it gets them moving and sets them up with something to succeed at. It's also a sweet gesture that helps diffuse some of the "oh man we have to clean" anguish. You'd be surprised how easily this little task turns their attitudes around!

I try to change their chores up from week to week which does a few things. They don't know what will be asked of them ahead of time, so there's an element of surprise when they get home from swimming lessons. They race over to the list to read it. It also keeps things from getting stale so they don't get sick of doing the same thing over and over again. I mean, maybe it's not realistic because I'm 1000% sick of doing the same things over and over again, but they need a little extra variety to keep moving.

Bonus Time + Allowance

If they finish all of their assigned tasks before noon or before everyone else is finished, they can work on "bonus time," and all extra tasks completed during this time earns them allowance. Their list of tasks is kind of their "everyone earns their keep" responsibility (along with helping keep the living room clean, putting their dishes in the sink and their laundry down the chute every day during the week). They earn their allowance by doing more than what's required of them. That doesn't mean they have to come up with the extra tasks themselves - they can ask what they can do to help, or they can look at other people's check lists and complete tasks for them. Luke will often step in and make beds, dust, or put things away on another family member's behalf. (He's also the most entrepreneurially inclined lol.)

family cleaning plan

The Results!

Usually by lunch on Saturday, the obvious pressing tasks of the house are finished, the floors are swept and vacuumed, candles are burning, and it feels SO GOOD! Everyone has free time, and it's guilt-free without the pressure of looming tasks. Sometimes it takes longer than the morning to get through things, and sometimes Matt and I will carry some of our tasks over to Sunday. If we have Saturday morning plans, then our entire cleaning time moves to the afternoon, or Sunday morning if need be (though we try to avoid that). It helps us start the week with a clean slate and the motivation to KEEP things clean so we don't have to spend as much time getting through our tasks on Saturday. It also helps show the boys what it feels like when the tasks you've completed get undone by someone else, so they're less likely to make messes or walk away from them. Which of course doesn't mean they've stopped making messes - haha. They just might think twice about some of them.

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Phew! That's a lot, I know, but I wanted to cover all the bases! There's so much flexibility and variety involved with this plan - schedule it for any time of day or day of the week that works for you! Choose any chores that apply. Come up with any reward system you're comfortable with. The bottom line is that everyone works together, each of the kids take ownership of their own lists while earning privileges, and the house gets cleaned!

Let me know if you give this a try - I'd love to hear how it works for you!!

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Matilda Jane March Jane Parade!

Matilda Jane's Brilliant Daydream March Release Women's Pieces | www.enrychment.com #matildajane #mjc
It's hard to believe it's already time for another MJ release!! Thankfully new MJ isn't the only thing March is bringing us...I am READY for some sunshine!!! I'm sure I'm not alone ;)

For now, let's talk super cute clothes, shall we?

Matilda Jane's Brilliant Daydream March Women's pieces | www.enrychment.com

Hands down, my favorite piece is this new maxi.

mjc floral tank maxi dream weaver maxi dress

It's a flowy, comfy, stretchy dream of a dress with a sweet cut out neckline in back and a flattering tie at the empire waistline. I pinned the sample for pictures, but with just using the tie and a single pin at the top, this XL didn't seem all that big! So that said, I would assume this runs a little bit on the small side. At the very least, if you're between sizes, I'd say go with the bigger one. I'm ordering mine in a small! And I can't wait to take it on vacation!!

Next is this super sweet yellow dress from the sneaks last week.

mjc women's yellow dress fantasy fancy dress

This warm vintagey print isn't usually my style, but the cut of the dress is SO flattering! I was really surprised by how much I liked this beauty!! I would say size down in this one as well, though. I'm wearing the small, and the top part of the dress is verrrry loose (and I have a chest to fill it out, so it's not that!) While I like the fit everywhere else, the top is quite large, so I would get the XS in this one. My TK said that a simple tacking at the shoulders would fix the small for me, too, if you're the tailoring type!

Next up is a remake of last year's Navigate You Tee, and it's got you covered for St Patrick's Day!

mjc sugar sugar tunic spring to mind sweater green cardigan

The design is nearly identical (long, tunic length, ruffled sleeve, a little roomy), but it's a white shirt with a thin green stripe. I'm wearing the small, and it's roomy, but I think I like it at this size. I do think this fabric is maybe slightly less stretchy than last year's grey one, so I like the extra wiggle room. And then, of course, I paired it with the new cardigan, and while you can see it in the sleeves, I was shocked that this XL sample didn't seem very big! So I'm guessing that this is running pretty small, and I would probably get the medium for myself.

You can't go wrong with a clairvoyant, and MJ made a short-sleeved one this spring!

mjc short sleeved clarivoyant walking on a cloud top

This is a pinned sample (it was either L or XL, I can't remember for sure), but it seemed to run like all of the other clairvoyant styles, and it was just as comfy and effortless to wear! So I'd probably order the small for myself. The pattern matches the flip flops, too, so if you grab those to go with your swim wear, they'll match this top also!

(PS, I didn't get them on because they were too small, but the flip flops seemed to be lacking in height though maybe typical in length, so I would recommend sizing up.)

Next is a sweet little dress!

mjc navy tank dress swing time dress

I love the style and the full skirt on this one, but the sizing was a little confusing for me. I'm wearing a small, and the top was very, very roomy - unwearably roomy. Yet, the elastic waist is quite strong and snug. So while I would need the XS for the top, I'm nervous that the waistband would be too tight. I was also a little confused on where exactly the waistline should lie (I pulled it up a bit and then folded the top over, which looked cute, but definitely shortened the hemline). I think this one would be adorable with some cowgirl boots and a cute jacket, but I'm not entirely sure on the sizing on this one for myself. I felt like it was all over the place, so just take note when you're ordering!

There was one more dress, and this one....was super fun to wear.

mjc long green dress age of aquarius dress

This has a really flirty, flowy design that just made it fun to have on! I have a pinned L or XL here, not quite sure which it was, so the arms look more flowy on me than they will in the correct size. There's no give in the fabric, so I think I would go with the small for myself.

Okay, swimwear...I know everyone has questions!

mjc blue bathing suit coverup sandy seashell cover up

First, forgive the photo because I swear....I just could not get this cover up to take a good photo!! It's cute, but very big (I'm wearing the small here and I'm not sure if even the XS would work well), so it looks ridiculously bulky. I have the women's one piece suit on under it, and I'm sorry...I could not release a photo of it to the internet! lol We had issues! haha

SO. I was wearing the small in the suit, and unsurprisingly I'd need the medium (I bought last year's swim in medium also). This has kind of a short torso to it, which makes the halter feel uncomfortably tight even if you loosen it up. You can't loosen it too much, though, or your chest will fall out. There's little to no chest coverage if you're anything over an A cup. It's kind of obscene, really lol. However, that said, it is ADORABLE, and I think a lot of the problems would be solved in the medium. So go up a size in the one piece!

For the 2 piece - no, there's no matching bottom to the tank. MJ likes to mix and match patterns, and they were hoping to get away with just the one bottom, I think. I like the style of the bottoms, but the difference in the patterns was just a bit much for me.  The mismatch is cute on littles...not so much on an adult woman - in my opinion. I didn't even try it on because of that, and in hindsight I should have for sizing purposes. Just guessing, really, but I would still probably suggest going a size up in the tank as well if you need a B cup or larger.

One more top for you, and it's a millie.

mjc grey millie top thinking outloud top

I really liked this floral-on-grey pattern, though the sample was a pinned XL so the style isn't accurate. It's a super easy-to-wear top for spring though, I really liked it. The fabric doesn't have any give, so I'd suggest your larger size (I'd go with the small myself).

Finally - the promo!!

matilda jane march promo beach blanket and tote

The colors in this set are SO gorgeous! You get both pieces at the promo price - the circular beach towel (which is pretty large!) and the coordinating tote. The tote is terrycloth on the outside, but lined on the inside with a couple of handy pockets. You get both for $30 when you spend $175.

matilda jane march promo inside bag

And that's it!!! The tween pieces didn't come in sizes I could really wiggle into, but I REALLY like the grey tee! I looked it over and I think I'd probably get the 16. It's super cute in person!

Anyway, let me know what your favorite piece is this month, and if you have any questions I didn't get to answer! You can find everything on this post (plus LOTS more, including tons of easter options for your little ladies) right HERE, and I'd love it if you choose me as your Jane at checkout! <3

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Currently February

Current Book(s)
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman
Shasta of the Wolves by Olaf Baker
Move Your Stuff Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter (still reading, it strangely gives me anxiety so I read it in little peices)

Current Music
Omgggg Ariana! She's killing it right now, and it's so so good. I love ALL of the thank you, next album, but my top 3: break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored, fake smile, and NASA.

Current Focuses
Working through my 19 for 2019 list and getting my 100 years of children's lit challenge underway - though this is a very low-key, sleepy time of year, I feel like chipping away at these are fulfilling little things I can do while staying cozy at home. However, I'm slowly switching into "get the house ready to sell" mode, and I'm also working hard at my blog lately, so I expect my focuses to have flipped a lot in a month!

Current Random Happenings
I accidentally bought 4 of the same dress but in different patterns. Only it wasn't at all an accident and more of an impulsive "holy crap these are perfect and only $8 and I need every colorway" moment. The deal has since ended, but look at this perfect little sillouette!

Current Guilty Pleasure
I think children's books are going to be my guilty pleasure for the next year, lol. And I guess maybe Rae Dunn mugs and bowls, and too many cups of coffee.

Current Celebrity Crush
Ah, I don't think I have one right now! Weird.

Current Nail Color
This is boring, but I'm still basically swapping between Licorice and Buy Me a Cameo. I predict a change next month with vacation looming. (BTW as of this writing, licorice is on sale - I usually buy a new bottle of black every 6-12 months so, if you need a new one there you go!)

Current Outfit
At this very moment it's dark grey MJ leggings, and a dark grey oversized sweatshirt with gold polka dots. #cozymode Lately it's all about the cozy warmth...jeans or leggings with hoodies or big chunky sweaters. It's that boring, endless time of year.

Current Slang
Maybe it's obvious to say thank you, next, but that's where I'm at. ;)

Current Drink
Black coffee, water, vanilla lattes, flat whites.

Current Food
I said recently that I wish we could just have like, nutritionally sound food replacement drops to put in coffee and just drink that all day long. Thinking about and planning for food, shopping for food, cooking food, getting your kids through eating the food, and then cleaning up after food is TOO MUCH WORK.

Current TV Show
Netflix documentaries. Just flew through the ted bundy tapes and now working through the keepers. Both of which make me sick and fascinate me at the same time. PS, I grew up in the catholic church, in a catholic school no less, and the keepers is creeping me out hardcore.

Current App
Netflix, Marco Polo, Fairway Solitaire

Current Pastime
Researching children's lit and then reading it. Checking too many books out of the library. Watching movies while folding laundry.

Current Wish List
-this dress, and this one in tall (both look so easy to wear in summer)
-this MJ top, and this MJ dress (I really gotta knock it off with the dresses)

Current Needs
Our vacation. I need the warmth, I need the break, and I need the change of scenery. Baaad. It's not TOO far away, but far enough that I'm getting desperate.

Current Bane of My Existence
Dressing for winter (how sloppy it is outside determines the boot, the color of which determines the coat, which determines what's on under it and what won't be too hot or bulky - UGH so annoying!), and meal planning/grocery shopping. That will be a thorn in my side so long as I have kids living at home, I'm sure of it.

Current Quote

Current Picture

Current Blessing
Getting to spend a lot of these winter days at home...warm and cozy. I'll never stop being thankful for that. And also the library. Always.

Current Excitement
Vacatiooooon. Hurry up!

Current Mood
Getting pretty done with winter! So, what is that, stir crazy? Annoyed? Probably those. ;)

This post contains some affiliate links at no cost to you. If you click on them or shop from them I might get a teensy tiny commission (like, pennies), but every little bit makes me do a happy dance and helps me keep this blog going! Thank you SO much for supporting me & my blog! xo

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Friday, February 22, 2019

100 Years of Children's Literature

100 of Childrens Literature Challenge! Read one book from each year of publication starting with 1919 | www.enrychment.com

It feels like another lifetime now, but I had planned on being an elementary school teacher for most of my life. Did you know that about me? How and why that changed is another story entirely, but I will say that the education I received leading up to changing my mind was fun for me. No one likes getting up early for class and writing papers, but the subjects of my classes fascinated me. And one of my very favorites was a class studying children's literature.

Until that point, I'd never really thought much of it. I was obsessed with children's lit, unsurprisingly, as a child. And I'd already started building up a library for my future classrooms. But to really dig into the world of picture books, easy readers, and beginners' chapter books never really crossed my mind. I was completely oblivious to the incredible imagery and artistry to be tapped in the genre until I took that class, and it changed my view of children's lit forever.

Children's book stack

Since then, I've happily proclaimed that I prefer YA fiction over adult fiction. I've felt no guilt about amassing an impressive collection for my kids to read (or buying them every single book in a series they take an interest to). And I enjoy spending time with the sing-songy lyricism of the prose and the bright and gorgeous symbolism of the illustrations when I read the same books to my kids over and over again.

In short, children's literature lights me up.

Yet for the past ten years, my involvement with it has centered around my kids. Not shockingly - of course their introduction to literature is through the children's genre, and it's my job to share it with them. Over the years, though, I've been curious about certain books, authors or series for my own enjoyment. And the idea of watching it evolve as childhood itself evolves is so interesting to me.

some popular recent children's picture books

And with that thought, I decided that I really wanted to experience children's lit on my own and in my own way. I wanted to see it grow and change over the last century. I wanted to experience it from past to present, in all of its forms, in it's highs and lows, and it's lessons and silliness.

My goal is to read one book (by year of publication) from 1919 to 2019.

I've already made my picks for each year - it took a while! It's hard to find records for children's lit specifically. From the limited information out there, I wanted to pick a mixture of classics and never-heard-of titles spanning everything from picture books, to chapter books and middle grade. I wanted to take in a few titles from specific popular authors to get a feel for who they are or were. I wanted to read Cadlecott and Newbery winners and see for myself what made them so great. I wanted to revisit a few from my own childhood and experience some that I may have heard of but never read.

And oh my gosh, my list feels SO exciting!!!

Children's books from 1919 and 1920

I picked my 1919 and 1920 books from the library the other day and I'm juuust getting started. Here's the deal: there's gotta be some other children's literature lovers out there, right? I would love-love-love some buddies for this ride. It's cool if it's not your thing - I'm happy doing this on my own. I just thought if you'd ever been curious about children's lit and it's history also, you might care to join me.

You could read the same books as me, or pick some others (though I'll warn you, the farther back in history you get, the harder it is to find accurate records).

It's super simple, no-pressure-easy to join me.

100 of Childrens Literature Challenge! Read one book from each year of publication starting with 1919 | www.enrychment.com #100YearsofChildrensLit

1. Grab my PDF of the books I chose, sorted by year. Many years have an alternate title listed in case you can't find the first option or don't like the first option. (I plan to get the vast majority of mine from the library.)

2. Use or watch the hashtag #100yearsofchildrenslit, mostly on Instagram...perhaps some on twitter.

3. Finally, I created a separate mailing list for those of you that wish to receive update emails specific to this challenge. Sign up for that HERE, and in case you missed it or can't find it later, the welcome email will send you a copy of the PDF again.

And that's it! I'm so happy to be doing this, but I'm crossing my fingers pretty hard that some buddies join me along the way.

Happy Reading!!!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

15 Facts About My Yoga Practice

I'm closing in on three years of a dedicated yoga practice, and it's been so cool to evolve with it (and let it evolve with me). I call myself a novice yogi - knowing that there's A TON I don't know and that I'm not capable of, but feeling like I have a special connection with it even so.

I value yoga so, so much. It's never going to be my whole life, and I will probably never be capable of those wild acrobatic poses, but that's just because I know exactly what yoga is for ME. I looked at yoga from the outside for many years, having my own uneducated (but intrigued) opinions of it. It's nothing like I expected. And in case the idea intimidates you as much as it excites you, I thought I'd share with you some of the random truths I've noticed in my own yoga journey.

15 Facts About My Yoga Practice (that might help you start your own) | www.enrychment.com

I first tried yoga in 2004.

I bought the cheapest DVD I could find because a co-worker and I were going to the gym together and she recommended I get yoga for stretching at home. I didn't really take to it then, but I always wished I could look as graceful as the instructor did when she was in the poses.

An exercise regimen finally brought me & yoga together.

It was actually during the 21 Day Fix that I finally fell for yoga. It was a gift every Sunday, to have such a great, relaxing workout after all the tough days before and after it. I noticed that there was something about corpse pose for me during this, despite staying in it for a terribly short amount of time. Matt used to make fun of my favorite part being the "do nothing" part, but you'll see shortly that there was more to it than that.

We once had a "yoga & yogurt" family tradition.

Matt's been taking Tae Kwon Do for years, and he liked doing my yoga days with me during the fix. Then of course, the kids would join in since we were both doing it. He proposed that we do family yoga every weekend, and we tied it with sharing yogurt parfaits when we were finished. We looked forward to it every week!

I manifested my perfect yoga instructor.

I was really loving yoga and feeling this intense pull to it, but I knew that one DVD workout a week was only going to take me so far. I wanted more, but didn't want to keep buying DVDs and hope that one would stick. I was nervous about trying any random class, too, because I wanted the slower, more intentional kind of yoga, and I needed an instructor that wasn't obsessed with flying through poses and doing acrobatics but would care more about connecting with their students. I waited 2 years, asking everyone I could think of to try a yoga class with me. One day, my mom was introduced to someone through a healthy eating class and invited me to come along on a meditation workshop to get to know her. INSTANTLY hooked! I've been taking her classes for close to 3 years now.

I didn't know there were ethical practices in yoga.

I think this is pretty typical with our Western view of what yoga means. Most people assume that you're twisting your body into a pretzel and doing a million headstands. I knew there was more to it, but I didn't know how much more. Or that the actual physical practice of yoga is just one piece of the puzzle.

The spiritual side of yoga was the catalyst to a major reality shift in my life.

Maybe it was really the fact that I was digging into a whole lot of things at the same time, but being part of an actual practice in wellness and spirituality shifted the way I approached and viewed everything. It was like an instant up-level that there's no going back from. While a lot of it is unrelated, most of my woo-woo interests started on my yoga mat.

I am most at home in Savasana.

And I don't just mean that in my yoga practice. There's something about an intentional corpse pose that instantly strikes a chord with me. My entire body settles down, and I am reminded that I am just using it temporarily. When I lay there long enough, I can actually feel myself "wearing" my body, which probably sounds crazy...but get into an intentional corpse pose during reiki, and you'll feel what I mean.

My favorite pose is tree pose.

I'm drawn to balance poses, even though I can sometimes be terrible at them. It all depends on my mood, my energy, and the environment. Typically, though, these are my favorite poses to spend time in. And, here's a weird fact about me: I naturally find myself in tree pose all the time! If I'm doing something like washing dishes, making dinner, standing in a line, talking to someone when they're visiting or I'm visiting them.....suddenly I notice I'm in tree pose (just the legs part of the pose, my hands are usually busy). My body is just happy there!

I can't practice yoga until after I've brushed my teeth.

Okay, this is a weird one, but it's true. Whether I'm practicing at home or heading out for a class, I have to brush my teeth first. I've asked myself why I do this, and I think it's because yoga is such an internal practice, and you go so deeply inside yourself, and well...your mouth is an internal part of your awareness. If it's not clean, it bothers me the entire time.

I hate hot yoga.

I went to a workshop once in a borrowed studio that normally offers hot yoga classes. They would only let my instructor turn the thermostat down to a certain temperature because there wouldn't have been enough time to heat it back up for their own classes after. I was dyyyying, and it wasn't even as hot as hot yoga usually is. I just can't breathe in heat like that, and I'm already kind of naturally warm, so I felt like I was going to pass out a few times!

I've brought almost all of my closest friends to a class with me.

I just feel like everyone should have yoga in their life, especially with my amazing instructor. I just have to share it!

I can't get my heels on the ground in down dog.

I know it's not required, and poses look different on every one, but this one has become a little bit of a joke between me and my instructor. I also can't reach my toes if I raise my leg out to the side. I blame it all on my arms not being long enough. But, it's a goal of mine to be able to do it at least lamely someday, so I focus on it a little every single practice.

My most most hated pose is chair pose.

I normally like poses that involve the legs being strong, but there's something about this one that just makes me feel all kinds of antsy. I'll do it...but I'm not happy about it! lol

In my opinion, yoga + the outdoors are best friends.

The very first yoga studio where my instructor taught had a great view - outside of the long windows were trees and leaves and plants. The studio was on the second floor, too, so it was all at eye-level. Whether there was sunshine, rain, or a breeze going on, looking at the trees always helped me get in the zone. And often, after I leave class, I crave time outside to take a walk or watch the sunset. I also really like practicing outside in the summer. Tying the outdoors to my practice makes me love it so much more!

My practice is always changing.

After years of practice (not always daily, but weekly+), I started to notice all of these things I've listed, but also that I had some patterns in how I practice. I love big, tricky, expansive yoga in the warm months. This is when I want to be pushed through harder poses, spend more time in my practice, and really dig into the physical aspects of yoga. In the colder months, I like to slow it down, keep it smaller and cozy, and focus a lot more on the internal side of yoga. I love a dark, candle-lit room with a short self-lovey practice and lots of rest at the end in winter. I used to fight against these patterns, but once I accepted them I felt way more connected to and relaxed about yoga. It's okay to design your practice to be exactly what you need!

If you practice, do you share any of these with me?  Do you have any yoga quirks? Leave it in the comments!! Namaste, xo

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