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June 9 2024 - Celebrating My Mom aka How to Cultivate Patience and Gratitude -Heart-Opening Yoga Poses and Making Tabouli

My Mom’s 91st birthday was Friday. I think about all that she done and contributed in her life and, admittedly, I also think about practicing patience.🤣🎂🍰


The last time I wrote about patience was after being on vacation with Mom a couple of years ago. As mom ages and becomes more forgetful, I remind myself to take a deep breath and give her the respect (and time to remember) that she deserves.

I remind myself also that no one intentionally doesn’t remember something, if it is frustrating for me to wait for her to remember something, think how frustrating it must be to be the one forgetting - and the forgetting thing happens to me as well.

Last week we talked about leaning on our yoga in transitional times, so should we lean on it when we find ourselves being impatient or frustrated with those around us. Here is where our breath work can help! Taking some nice deep inhales and exhales when we get impatient is always a great tool. When we do this, not only does it calm our nervous system, but it also gives us those moments to pause and remember how insignificant this frustration probably is.


I realized today that 30 years ago I started my current job and got married; my mom was just about the same age I am now. That made me think. Many of the things I love to do I learned from my her: reading, tennis, thrifting and scavenging, walking and gardening. Definitely not cooking, that I got from my Dad! My mom is still such an avid gardener that we siblings often must drive to her house (she never answers the phone when she is outside) to ensure she has not passed out from dehydration in her flower beds. While her vocation was teaching (she had a PhD and taught literature at RISD), she was also a passionate activist, is still avidly political, a deeply committed Catholic and a stickler for Emily Post manners. So, as my family gathers to celebrate her today, I am digging into my yoga practice to honor her with lots of deep breaths, lots of gratitude and some movement!


This week I encourage us all to lean into our yoga practice, reflecting with gratitude on the lessons our parents (or other mentors) shared with us and how they helped us become who we are today. As we move into our day, putting our best self forward, we can share with our own children, relatives, friends, some of this bounty.


Our Practice – Setting Intentions - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)


As we try to incorporate gratitude into our practice, perhaps take a moment at the beginning of class to set an intention. Sometimes our instructors remind us, sometimes they don’t, but we can certainly weave that into our practice ourselves.  When we create an intention, and focus on gratitude and expressing it, we are deepening our yoga practice. 


Yoga poses that can help us invoke gratitude are ones that activate and open our heart and throat chakras, usually upper body opening and back bends.  These poses, like cobra, can help relieve stiffness and tension in our back, improve circulation, elevate our mood and reduce fatigue.  This week we are trying variations of cobra using different arm positions and blocks.


Practicing Off The Mat - Meditating on Gratitude For Our Parents/Mentors/Role Models


As we move our practice off the mat, let’s take some time this week to think about those people in our lives who have led by example, helping us positively become the people we are today.


“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.  We got here because somebody-a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns-bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” – Thurgood Marshall


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Nurturing with Food – Tabouli


Summer outdoor parties have started and this weekend we attended a graduation party. My mint is already 2 feet high, perfect for a batch of tabouli for the party and another batch for Mom’s celebration tomorrow. It just tastes like summer! The link to my recipe follows.  



See you on the mat!


Julia Anne

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1 Comment

4 days ago

Love our moms, love yoga, love tabouli and Love Yoxou!

Nasmaste Mama!


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