Do the World A Favor. Move Out of Your Mind’s Way.

Do the World A Favor. Move Out of Your Mind’s Way.

A fascinating phenomenon happens when you call yourself who you think you are . . . a special educator, a yoga teacher, a mom, a meditator, a student, a funny person (these are a few of my own labels). Do you have some of your own?   I’m not sure about you, but labels have kept me locked in a cage from time to time. Let me explain.   When I think of myself as a student, I think I am lacking when I am not in the place of learning something. When I think of myself as a mom, I think I am lacking when I am not actively caring for my children. When I think of myself as funny, I think I am letting someone down when I have feelings that don’t even come close to funny. And let’s not forget this one – when I think I am a meditator and I don’t meditate . . . oh boy. The. Struggle. Is. Real.   So I’m going to be radical. Starting today, I am declaring myself a human be-ing. That’s it.   Do you feel that?   It’s freedom.   Here’s my plan – when I find myself learning, I will BE learning. When I find myself engaged with my children, I will BE engaged with my children. When I am offering a lesson to a child, I will BE offering a lesson to a child. When I am feeling a certain feeling (no matter what it is), I will BE with that feeling, fully – no apologies. And when I find myself meditating, yup –...

Please Stop Time Traveling. It’s Bad for You and Your Child.

  What I am about to share is going to happen to you (or someone close to you) within the next few weeks, I promise. Take this as a warning.   Yesterday, I was enjoying my daughter’s swim meet at the local pond. The day was Tuesday and the time was 5pm. The afternoon was something you read about in New England summer travel magazines and watch in movies with ‘heaven’ in the title. Enter the time stealer . . . you have met this person before, and most likely you have been this person (it’s okay, I won’t judgey on you).   I ask her how she is doing. In that moment, she literally changes time with her response. “I can’t believe September is right around the corner, can you? It’s one of the reason’s I don’t like August.”   Freeze.   Hold on, I thought there were 31 days in August . . . yes?    Ok, unfreeze.   I gently attempted to bring the time traveler back to the moment we were actually in on the beach, and I failed. She wasn’t willing to let go of the fear of what was coming (the return of school and everything she had decided comes with it). It was almost as if it was wrong for her to stop.   I think worrying gives people a false sense that they are ‘doing’ something productive with their time while not worrying may feel like one is being complacent.    I will leave you with this – time traveling into the future robs you of the moment you are actually...
Teacher Spotlight: Meghan Powers, RYT200, RCYT

Teacher Spotlight: Meghan Powers, RYT200, RCYT

Yoga Entered Meghan’s Life Meghan walked into her first yoga class in 1998 as a 22 year old looking for a way to stay fit, active, and flexible. She walked out having discovered a truth that from then on would help to challenge her body and nourish her mind and spirit. A lifelong gymnast and gymnastics coach, Meghan has a kinesthetic sense that naturally transitions between gymnastics and yoga. In 2011, Meghan completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Renee LeBlanc and Adena Muncey. Between the spring of 2016 and the spring 2017 Meghan completed Lara Hocheiser’s “Flow and Grow Kids Yoga” 20 hour yoga teacher training and Elizabeth Goranson’s “Stretch What Matters Yoga For Special Needs” 20 hour foundations and 95 hour teacher training.   Meghan’s Why In her teaching and in her life, Meghan’s intrinsic love for people and deep desire to help them is what makes working with Meghan so special. A gentle communicator, Meghan brings yoga to adults, teens, and children and provides them with tools to maneuver through their busy worlds, reminding them to slow down and savor each moment.   Meghan is driven to support children and teens to feel empowered and to be their authentic selves, regardless of gender, background, or societal pressures.   Complimentary to yoga, Meghan is certified in Reiki I and II (Lisa Campion 2013), and is certified in Aromatherapy (Boston School of Herbal Studies 2014-2015) Meghan creates holistic blends and body care products using essential oils in her own line, Artisan Aromatherapy. She believes that the worlds of yoga and aromatherapy relate.   Both are tools that evoke ones true essence...
What’s Love Got to Do with It?

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Do you sometimes wonder if you have chosen the right path? If you said yes, you’re in good company.  I was in this place of fear before I began Stretch What Matters and long after it started. The fear was so powerful, that I almost threw in the yoga mat. I started the business because I had so many reasons to commence. Isn’t that how all great ideas become a reality? Well what if I told that at the exact same moment, I had more reasons not to start? Yup. How’s that for truth? So what happened? What ultimately made me begin? I lovingly said yes to the list that outlined my dream. Mind you, I didn’t say yes to the whole dream all at once. That’s just crazy. Instead, I started with one student and I charged her nothing but the experience I gained. I learned that the experience was more valuable than money. In a sense, I became an apprentice and it was the best business decision I ever made to date. I did this for quite some time and it grew me, quickly. “What about the money?” said Fear. Dreams take time – so I made sure I had another source of income coming in to support myself during my internship. Did you see how love entered that decision?  Pay attention, I’ll show you.  Love is the voice inside you that nudges you in a new direction when a part of you is ready to grow.  Love begins as a whisper and overtime grows increasingly louder when ignored, pushed down, laughed at or is down right bullied. Love invites you to trust it...
Teacher Spotlight: Maryann MacDougall

Teacher Spotlight: Maryann MacDougall

Maryann’s Why In July, 2006, I began a yoga practice after 2 years of walking by a studio. It was time to go in. Within a few years of practice I began to think about a Teacher Training to learn more and possibly integrate it into my speech and language practice and my work with children with special needs. My personal yoga practice allowed me to discover that the principles of yoga can easily be brought to my work with young children as a speech-language pathologist. I found the right training with Stretch What Matters. Breathing, calming activities, focus, understanding emotions, and social skills development are critical early learning skills, especially for children with challenges. In classrooms, implementing simple strategies across the day help children become more self-aware and learn what they need to focus, calm down and/or express emotions. Yoga, incorporated into therapy or in a classroom, does not necessarily need to be about poses (although this, too, is a lot of fun) to be successful. Maryann’s Yoga Dream My dream is to continue my work as a speech-language pathologist and integrate yoga into the sessions. Blending the two brings an opportunity to build communication skills, flexibility (cognitive and physical), and internalizing new behaviors. My strength lies in working individually with children with a focus on the whole child-empowering the child’s ability to see his/her strengths and build on theses skills with guidance, using the Stretch What Matters Yoga system and philosophy. Where you can find Maryann Maryann offers private and small group yoga to children with special needs in an around the Boston area. She can be...
The Doors That Open You Up To Change

The Doors That Open You Up To Change

Doors with a promise of change open up for us every day. What we do with an opened door, is entirely up to us. There have been a number of doors that have led to the creation of Stretch What Matters. One of the doors that felt the heaviest was one I was required to open before beginning a college internship. I was a senior and before graduating with a degree in Psychology, I was assigned to work with adults with special needs employed with jobs entailing assembly line work (packaging products). On the first day of my internship, I was sent into a private office with a large television set. The woman responsible for getting me started, told me that all new staff were required to watch a short video prior to working with anyone on site. Easy enough, I thought. The woman turned on the video and kindly excused herself. She explained that she was short staffed that day and that I should come out when the video was over. What happened next rattled me to my core. As the video unfolded, I realized it was an informational piece on the deinstitutionalization of individuals with special needs from 1960 to 1980. The long process of shutting down and releasing people from formalized institutions took well over 20 years. In this moment, I witnessed real footage of people confined to spaces unbelievable to me. Everything I viewed felt like a nightmare and my whole body felt sick. I was filled with fear, rage, grief, sadness and despair all at the same moment. The door opened. The video ended and I...