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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Reflections. 2013 Instructions.

12 Things I learned in 2012.
  1. I got certified to teach Visual Yoga.
  2. I may not always sound smart, but I always sound friendly.  This led to losing a private client because of his jealous girlfriend.
     3.  People will always find fault with what you do, especially if you are an ultra-hot yoga teacher giving their boyfriend private lessons.
     4.    I have a serious crush on Daniel Day Lewis, Jeremy Irons and Richard Parker.
     5.   Daniel Day Lewis and Jeremy Irons have no interest in me. Romantic or otherwise. I also might have a strange affliction for older men. With English-ish accents.
     6.    I am an adult; I can eat as much of anything as I want. I am also allowed to curse as much as I want.
     7.    No one really cares about my Reflections and Instructions.
     8.    Living without chocolate cake is like being a yoga teacher who does no yoga. Moronic.
     9.     My instincts are always right. My heart is always true. My stomach trumps instincts and heart.
    10.  Giving respect is the best way to get some respect.
    11.  Hard work does pay off, I know one day you will need me and I shall have the last laugh. And the last slice of chocolate cake.
    12.  Grieving is important, so is Celebration.
   
5 More things I learned. It’s been a productive year. 
  1. Surround yourself with happy people and you will be happy.
     2.     I would rather be an optimistic fool than a pessimistic genius
     3.   You can make it happen. If it doesn’t happen, there is something greater in store. Cliché I know, but just wait and see.
     4.    I think Craig Ferguson is the funniest man on Late Night TV, but Jimmy Fallon is the cutest.
     5.   I am in no rush, to have kids, to lose weight or to get into scorpion. I am in no rush because I realize now that the journey never ends.

13 Things I need you to know.
  1. There is no 'that', ‘then’ or 'there'. There is only ;This', 'Here' and 'Now'.
     2.     I am love. I will love the living daylights out of you.
     3.    I am more than what I used to be. I am more than the sum of my experiences. I am going to be a bad ass.
     4.     Do not underestimate the power of a cute bunny. Especially a bunny butt.
     5.    The best way to beat stress is to accept it, embrace it, love it, listen to it and understand it. The perfect way to get started on this path? An awesome yoga teacher :)
     6.     The power is yours. Unless it is mine.
     7.   I mean something to someone. Someone out there really really loves me, someone also really really hates me (Section 1, #2), someone has no idea I exist (Section 1, #5), but I still mean something. To someone.
     8.    There are hidden treasures inside of you. There is quiet goodness in darkness.
     9.    You are exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to be doing. Everything has been building up to this one moment. There is wisdom in your present moment.
     10. The journey never ends. Take a deep breath and live in the now.
     11.The secret to realizing your potential lies in acknowledging that you’re limitless. You hear me? You are  limitless.
     12.  Eat chocolate and watch Craig Ferguson.
     13. Love bunnies. Love all animals but love bunnies.

     


    May all your dreams and wishes come true in 2013.

    Namaste.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fire Up!



We have come at last to Fire, the most dynamic of elements and to me the most interesting. How many of us have looked for answers into its deep blue flames, cuddled up with someone over smores and looked on in horror as it wipes out whole forests and homes. Yes, Fire is very interesting, mesmerizing and complicated.  What makes Fire so interesting is its dynamic and transformative qualities. It is the only element that cannot exist by itself.  It destroys' another element (for example, air) in order to exist. It also transforms any element that it comes into contact with. So water is changed to water vapor or air, It burns objects into smoke, ash, heat and light. 

Fire is fascinating; it creates and it destroys. It can be bright, active and hot like the sun, or cool and steady like the flame of a candle. On a deeper level, the Fire element within us reveals itself as joy and manifests within us as love, laughter and a zest for life. 

Unlike Water, Fire is a masculine element. Characteristics are change, passion, creativity, motivation, will power, drive and sensuality. It governs the heart and the small intestines. This makes complete sense since both organs are responsible for providing our bodies with 'clean' energy. The heart takes in air, filters out oxygen (transforms), takes in 'impure' blood and cleans it up and sends it back to our body. The SI is responsible for sorting nutrients from waste. So the SI also transforms the food we take in to provide us energy. 

At optimum health, our Fire works like a thermostat. Your fire will tell you when and with whom to be open, trusting and warm and when and with whom to be protective and cautious. Physical and Mental 'pollution' can overwhelm our system and affect the way we process and filter toxins and feelings. When this process malfunctions, we start to feel heavy, sluggish, untrusting, defensive, depressed and anxious.

The other extreme is when our fire is white hot. We don’t know how to control it. It feels like a blaze that won't stop. Always going, always 'on', always talking, self-centered, restless and always wanting to 'make things happen' and be 'productive'.

So how do we control our fire? The flame that ignites us, how do we learn to look within and figure out if we are burning up or if we need to nurture and feed our spark?

When Fire is Unrestrained or Excessive
  •         Too much Fire dries up Water. This affects the lubrication in our joints and lungs. This can cause an inflamed throat and sinus.
  •       Affecting the small intestine, it can cause constipation, chronic infections, dry stool and burning diarrhea or/and urination.
  •         Affecting the heart, it can cause depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

When Fire is Lacking or Deficient
·         Too little Fire can cause an excess of Water. Again, lubrication systems are affected so joints, digestion, metabolism, menstruation will all come into play.

Poses to help Nurture your Fire
  •  Twists are a great way to help get your digestive track moving. Twists also help release toxins and increase blood and oxygen flow. 
  •  Inversions are a great way to increase blood flow and flush out the liver, kidneys, nourish the digestive organs and release toxins.
  • Supported Back Arches help create space in the abdominal area. This will help with better flow and release pressure around organs.
Think about poses that help fire up your core, Plank, Boat, Warriors are a few examples.
Mantra:          “Breathe in Fire, Breath out Anger”.
“Breathe in Strength, Breath out Fear” 
   
     Poses to Tame your Fire·        
  •  Standing poses help ground energy. Standing Balancing Poses go further to help you ground.  
  •  Legs up the Wall, reclining bound angle. 
  • Fish, Spinal twists.
Mantra :         “Breathe in Love, Breathe out Hate”
“Breathe in Patience, Breathe out Doubt”
“Breathe in Joy, Breathe out Sorrow”

Fire provides you with heat and warmth but if not controlled can ignite and leave you smoldering. Fire can give you wings of compassion and courage, but it can also be selfish and will destroy anything in its path. Don't be afraid of fire, look within and find a way to nurture your flame. Fire represents your dreams, your beliefs, your virtues, and your spark. Don't stop at imagining them, be fearless and realize your fire, your dreams, your desires. Fire is that tiny voice speaking to you, burning in your soul. Fire knows no fear, shame or doubt. 

Learn how to engage your fire, help it transform any negative energy into love, compassion and strength. You are stronger than you think. And anytime you need to remind yourself, put your hand over your heart and feel your fire warm your soul.

Namaste.

"Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit."
-- Mary Lou Retton

To see my previous posts, please click Earth , Water. Next up: Air!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Letter to my Molester

Recently I got a friend request from an old family friend. He was an uncle of my neighborhood friends and I would often see him when I went to their house to play. He was unmarried and always liked me a lot. Always bribing me with sweets, magic tricks, I just thought he was so much fun. And then, it started to get weird. He would always want me to sit in his lap, always pressing me against him. I felt something was wrong but my 5 yr old mind could not comprehend it. I never thought about telling anyone. And then one day, he was just gone and I found myself feeling relieved.

25 years later, he has sent me a friend request through Facebook asking me if I remember him, that he is my '**** Uncle' and that he is proud of me and that I have grown up into such a lady. And everything came flooding back. Every. Single. Moment. I understood every touch, every violation, every trick, and I was disgusted. And so, I wrote him this letter. I am sharing this, because I know I am not the only one with these stories. Molesters are HUGE manipulators, seducers and if I had my way, everyone of them would be castrated. You are not a victim, you control how you feel. Feel angry, feel strong, feel the energy that you and I share and stand up to your molester. It is never too late to reclaim your soul. This is the letter I wrote to my Molester to reclaim my soul. He was not my only molester and if any of the others read this, know that this is exactly what I think of you too.

I share this with you my friends in peace. 
 Namaste

PS - When I say 'Allah' I mean God.

This is the email I sent him:

"I accepted your friend request for only one reason. I could not send you a message unless we were friends. I am not sure how you are able to see my pictures or comment on them.

I remember you **** 'Uncle', I remember you well. I had forgotten what you did to me. I never understood it because I was so young, but one day I understood it and you, Allah, and I know very well that you molested me. I always knew something was off in the way you were treating me, but I never comprehended it.

And then one day, I completely understood, there was no doubt. You took advantage of me, you behaved like a pig and I never got to say how I felt to your face. I remember you making me sit in your lap, your sick hard on, you making me lie in bed with you. I really don't care what you say about it, if you deny it, if you apologize, or if you feign no memory of anything, but you and I know exactly what you did. 

I don't care how young and stupid you were, or how ignorant or misinformed, or whatever you were, or were not. You were an adult and I was a child and you did things to me without my consent or understanding. You tricked me with your stupid magic tricks and I do not appreciate that. From browsing your pictures, I find myself relieved that you have no daughters. And if there is ever anything you want to say to me, rest knowing that you can say it to Allah one day.

So be happy in the fact I will never forget you and I know you will never forget me either. I will be happy in the fact that Allah knows, and that one day you and Allah can decide what price you will pay for what you have done to me.

 
You are absolutely nothing, don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Update: After I sent this email, he completely disappeared from Facebook. No trace. I kept feeling shame after I posted it, because now everyone knows, but I have to keep telling myself that I do not need to feel ashamed. I suddenly realized, damn, everyone on my friends list knows this, relatives, acquaintances, everyone, but it is not my fault. This was something that was done to me. I was a child. As long as I feel shame, he has power over me and I need to take control of the situation.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Being Deaf made me MORE.

I recently went for some training. It was a Visual Certification Course which means I can now teach Yoga to deaf or hard of hearing people. There are of course people who are already teaching it and I applaud their efforts. I wish I had that kind of mastery over sign language in order to go full fledged into it. In order to simulate a class full of deaf students, we had to turn our voices 'off'. I did not expect to learn any more than I already knew about myself by turning my voice off. 

I am fairly open about my feelings but I consider myself very tactful. I don't get offended easily and most often you would probably not know if you hurt my feelings. To my fellow yogis and friends I seem very calm, put together and sure of myself. I know I wear a mask when I'm outside. People don't see the mood swings and the binge eating, but essentially I am a nice person. I knew who I was, yoga, rice, sleep, animals, tiramisu, spicy food, yeah,  I knew who i was.

And then I went for this training and I heard a 'clink'. You know how before a storm hits, the glasses start to clink, lights buzz and then the storm hits. I heard that clink when I arrived at that ashram. I felt that clink inside. Something wasn't right. I loved my instructor, I loved my fellow yogis, but I had an unsettled feeling.

The one thing I am told over and over at the end of a yoga class is how they love my voice. How I should tape it and sell it. My response is always the same, 'I wish my husband felt that way, haha' But I never realized how much of my own communication was through my voice. How the inflections in my tone would playfully tease someone, show my insecurities, my indignation or hide my anger. And then I go to this course and my voice had to be turned OFF. Now people were looking at me, looking into me and I felt so exposed. I felt so lost. All I had was my voice and that was taken away from me. I had no idea how to 'talk'. Even if I sign how do I show my 'tone'. I would have to make exaggerated facial expressions for emphasis but I didn't want them looking at me. Deaf people are of course pros at this. They are comfortable with facial expressions, they are comfortable with touching people, because your touch will tell them how strongly you feel about what you trying to say since they wont be able to hear the passion in your voice.  I know logically I am a good teacher, but how good could I be now?

Have you ever wondered what it is like for deaf people?  How do they ever get through school, the way a deaf person and a hearing person functions is completely diff. Take communication. We are taught 'Jack and Jill went up the hill', in ASL, that would be 'J-a-c-k, J-i-l-l, together - they - go up - hill - they' How does a deaf 5 year old learn English they way we speak it and then learn it the way they speak it? And if learning basic sentence structure seems hard, how do they grasp more complex subjects, algebra, newton's laws, and french? And remember all this is done mostly without interpreters, so imagine you are in a sound proof box, there is a teacher at a board outside this box. This teacher is scribbling on the board and you have no clue what they are saying, they are writing french or calculus, they have their back turned away from you so you can't lip read, how can you be expected to excel in this course? We just expect them to join us and figure it out, how hard can it be? It is no different if you go to a Russian school and they are discussing everything in Russian, how would you get through a class like that? It's mind boggling to me, it truly is. I heard of one lady who wanted to become a yoga teacher and her local studio would not hire an interpreter. They did not realize she was even deaf because she lip read so well. This poor lady had to sit in a class for a whole year studying yoga concepts, all through lip reading. How much do you think she learned and will she be able to be the best teacher she can be? The system makes no sense which is why I want to start teaching Visual Yoga.
   
And then we had to do an exercise, we had to sit as a teacher and communicate directly with each student. We had to look into their eyes and communicate one emotion, any emotion. I thanked my stars that there were only 2 other people in the course. But the exercise completely shook me. I liked these people, I knew I was a good teacher but I was scared to look into their eyes. I didn't know what they would see in my eyes and even as I write this, my breathing has quickened, my fingers are shaking and I am having to calm myself down. I got through it but the whole day I was upset. I felt exposed and vulnerable and so confused. What was the big deal? Do some sign language and teach yoga, simple right? 

But it was so so hard. I thought I had it all figured out, had my life, my love, my yoga, my peace and my place in the world figured out. And yet I wanted to hide, I kept looking away, scared that they would see something and what scared me was I didn't know what I was ashamed of. And then a thought came into my mind. I am scared to say it, and I am not too concerned about what people might think, but I am petrified of what my family will think. So why am I even putting it out there? out here, where I know my brother is one of my 5 followers. I don't understand it and maybe putting it out there is my way of hoping to make some sense of it.
 I don't know where the thought came from, why I thought it, but for a second, I wished that if I have a child, I want my child to be deaf. Why would I want to deprive my child of something, and I know a Deaf person will be offended, will say, 'Being Deaf is not Being 'Less', I know, I know what you will all say but I cannot help the thought. I have replayed the moment I thought it in my head a million times, why did I think it? am I cruel for thinking it? does it mean I will be a bad mother? how can I wish for something so difficult for my child?

I am still trying to understand it. A part of me feels putting it out here on the web is a stupid idea, but the thought consumes me and I don't know what to do with it. I have no sense of peace and I am not sure of my wants and desires anymore. I never was sure what drew me to learn ASL, I know for sure that I am meant to cross paths with someone with whom I will share something special. If this person will be a fellow yogi, a deaf pet, a senior, or if this person will be my child, my child who I have never met but who I  know I love so much more than I ever loved myself, only God knows.

Update: I wrote this piece in April and could not bring myself to post it because I was still trying to understand it. I have come to the conclusion that I will of course love my child no matter how he or she is born, deaf or hearing, yellow or blue, but if I am able to teach my baby sign language from the start, my child can still grow up knowing what the deaf world is like, know how great tactile communication can be, feel free to look into someones eyes and have no shame or guilt to hide behind.  hopefully my baby will pick up the best of both worlds.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Great Love Brings Great Miracles

Today I am sharing an email I sent my parents earlier this week.  I had a miracle happen to me. It might not seem like much but I am convinced that there is a power, god, universe, whatever you call, and this power will guide you to being your best. Have faith, don't be shy to ask for everything, and to pray for all your wildest dreams to come true. You never know when God is listening, and when He sees the truth in your heart and hears the honesty in your voice, He will bless you with the perfect life.

PS - I am Muslim and I say Allah but there is no difference in what we call God. You guys already know that right?

Letter I wrote to my Parents on  May 24, 2012

Hi Dad and Mum,

How have you both been? something special happened today and i wanted tell you both about it.
you remember our friend H? The Egyptian boy who had come home? Well he has helped us many times with our pets, looking after them when we travel. he has one cat of his own, Bussi (boo-see), he finally booked his tickets to go home to Egypt after 4 years in the states and asked us if we could look after her. We said of course. So he brought her Sunday and she took 2 days to adjust. we were sure they would all fight but alhamdulillah (this is the Muslim version of 'Thank God') everything went well, everyone got along.

Today I had a busy day, I taught 2 classes and then I was having a friend and her daughter over for lunch. So after I came home, I got busy cooking, then they came, we ate, chit chat and they left. Emre and I wanted to take a nap, so we lock up the house and look to make sure all animals are in the house. and we couldn't find Bussi anywhere. 

We looked in every closet, every room, under every couch, even under the bathroom tub, behind curtains, on top of cupboards, we looked behind the washer, dryer, fridge, under the car, in the garden. No sign of her. I keep the door open when i cook, and they sit out in the yard, but its a fenced in yard and so they cant escape. I checked the garden for any holes, then we started walking in the neighborhood, asking neighbors, looking in our neighbors yards, looking into any holes. I was so upset. First of all,  how did the cat get out? She is petrified of going out, there in no way she got curious and went exploring. Logical reasoning tells me she has to be in the house, but Good God! where in the house could she be?? Its now close to 104 degrees outside, this poor cat, what if a car hit her? She has never been outside four walls, she must be so scared and then what do I tell H? He asked us to do this for the first time and the day he sits on the  plane we lose his cat. What if someone lost my Zelda or Caesar, I would have been heartbroken but so angry with them! we spent an hour walking outside looking looking searching hoping praying. No Bussi. 
We finally came back home. Emre forced me to sleep. He was right, many of the neighbors were at work so we couldn't ask anyone anything. He said lets go out again at 5-6 when they come back. I slept.

I woke up hoping it was all just the the worst nightmare, but it wasn't, there was no sign of this sweet cat. She had just disappeared. I have had my cats for 6 years, how could I lose my friends cat? So Emre put coffee and while we were waiting, i just said aloud,
 'Allah, you can make her appear, you can make her just walk in front of me, please Allah let her just appear, I know you can make this miracle happen,'
and in my mind and in my heart, I made a promise to Allah, I said 'Allah, if you bring her to us i will fast a week'.  
 I go get my coffee and we hear a noise. Like someone is knocking, it was coming from the bathroom. We ran to the bathroom and she is just standing there! Looking cute and sleepy meowing. I burst into tears. From relief of getting her and that Allah had answered my prayer just like that. I know it might not sound like a lot to other people but for us at that moment it truly was a miracle. I said those words, I turn around and she is there. she had found her way into a drawer and took a long nap. I had looked in that bathroom and every cabinet and corner. I never thought she would open a cabinet and walk through into a drawer, and nap for 5 hrs. She could have responded to the millions of 'Here Bussi' but no, nothing beats a cats siesta time. All  that searching, worrying and the whole time the brat was taking a nap. I asked and Allah gave and now I have to fast :) I am starting tomorrow. But my faith has been re-energized. All I had to do was ask, ask from the heart, ask for something true and something honest and God answered.

Of course we then ask, why didn't Allah answer me before, or I should have asked for something else but He felt my despair and He chose to take away this pain and I feel so blessed. I feel grateful to be in Allah's shadow.  My dearest dad and mom, if my prayers count for anything, I pray you both have a good healthy long life. I pray to be closer to you and i pray for us to always love each other. I pray for all your troubles to just go away and that you live life the way you want to.

love,
fari
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 This is Bussi


I looked in these cabinets. She opened a door on the right and wiggled her way in to a drawer and finally came out of the drawer in the picture below.

 Bussi's hiding spot while I was slowly having a heart attack,


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Where there is great love there are always miracles.~Willa Cather
Namaste,
Farida

Monday, April 30, 2012

Be Like Water My Friend...


For someone who does not know how to swim, I love the beach. I grew up by the beach. I have spent countless hours collecting shells, building sand castles, jumping waves. Why don't I know how to swim, I don't know, it just didn’t happen. But this post is about Water. So different from Earth, it is fluid, it moves, it hugs everything and it spills everywhere. 

I love water routines because it forces me out of my element, pun intended :)  I am used to order and following rules and so water routines help me break free of the mold I have forced myself into. I suspect most yogis feel the same way. 

Water is the only element that defies gravity. In our bodies, it moves up with our blood, in plants it helps the seedling grow up away from the earth, away from gravity. And so, water seems a perfect complement to earth. Water seems to hug the earth, moving in streams, rivers, ponds, washing away dust with the rain, it smoothes its way upstream, downstream, it takes up the shape of any vessel and just like that it is shapeless. Water seems so graceful, endless, deep and is a part of us. 

What is it about the ocean that makes us go silent? There is something in the rhythm of the waves, the unending horizon and the world that lives just beneath the surface. It’s coming, going, cold, warm, skimming, crashing, starting, ending...just like our breath, just like Vinyasa. 

Water governs the pelvis, its source - the ball of the foot, its medium the bones, and its control the joints. Twists are a great way to detox your kidneys, intestines and liver. Apply pressure on the line following the big toe to help stimulate your kidneys. 

What can we learn from water?

Water is Patient and Persistent - Water finds the path of least resistance. And if it has to force its way, it smoothes everything along its path. The Grand Canyon is a shining example of how water slowly chiseled away to form one of the greatest natural wonders of our time. A true lesson in patience. 

Water Stays True to Itself - Water always comes back to being water, no matter how or what changes it. Water is unique in that it is the only natural substance that is found in all three physical states—liquid, solid, and gas Water to steam to water. Water to ice to water. water is always water. We should always come back to our true self, our center, our truth, no matter what changes we go through. 

Water is Flexible - Water takes the shape of any vessel yet it is shapeless. This soft, transparent and yielding quality allows for outside things to show themselves. Empty your mind of thoughts, empty yourself of feelings, be formless yet whole, be fearless yet soft. 

Water is Still - It’s what we inherently crave. Every profound moment has come from one moment of complete stillness, one moment of complete clarity. In absolute stillness, you can't see what’s under the surface; instead you see your reflection. 

Water can be Dynamic - Ask any surfer. It’s all about breaking out of routine, every wave is different, you don’t know what is coming but you ride it the best way you can, just like life. Water can also fall hard to generate electricity or softly lap at your feet, kissing the beach. 

"The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing" - Bruce Lee

Water can Co-Exist - Water and Earth do more than co-exist. They seem to bring out the best in each other. However, water can be made to live with air. Look at a soda can, the liquid is mixed with water but it’s under pressure, pour it into a glass and they separate, increase the pressure and it explodes. We know what water does to fire. But besides extinguishing fire, water changes form and becomes steam.

Water is Expressive - It shows its anger in the stormy seas and in the waves of emotions you feel. It shows its tenderness in the soft rain and in your tears. Anonymous said it best "May your joys be as deep as the ocean, your sorrows as light as its foam."

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” -  Antoine de Saint-Exupery
We may not see it but water is everywhere. It might be deep in the ground, high up in the sky, its in the ladybird buzzing around you, and it’s in every breath you take. Water might be the one thing that connects us all. Venomous reptiles, plants, your annoying neighbor, the people living in the desert, and the people living in the mountains. We are all connected. 

Water Routine
- Start in Hero's Pose. Bring your hands to Om Mudra palms face down. Float your hands up in Om Mudra, reach your hands up, palms face out inhaling. Keeping your hands in the mudra for as long as you can, exhale your hands down and past your hips. Do this a few times, finding a rhythm to your breath. After a few times, as you exhale, lift your hips as your arms go back and then sitting back into hero's as your arms reach up with the Om Mudra. (Courtesy: Namaste Yoga)

-Come into a runners lunge with your right foot forward. You can modify bringing your left knee to the floor. Bring your left palm to the floor on the inside of your right foot. Inhale your right arm up, exhale it down reaching under your right thigh. As you do this a few times, you can reach further back with your right arm to help open up your shoulders. 

-Cat Dance - Start in table top. Lean forward and then take your hips to the right, sit back into your hips and take your hips to the left. The best way to do this is to imagine that you are making circles with your back. Do it a few times on each side.

-Start in mountain. Lace your fingers behind you, Inhale, lift your chest, and exhale into rhinoceros. On your next exhale, release your fingers, bend your knees, lift your chest and sweep your arms up into chair. Inhale. On your next exhale, bring your hands behind you to lace your fingers. As you do this, you are straightening out your legs (keeping a slight bend if you like) and coming into rhinoceros. Flow through this a few times. 

- When doing a water sequence you want to think about lubricating your joints, smoothing out rough edges. Come into down dog. Point your left leg up, bend your knee, and stack your hips. Breathe. Now, taking your time, and keeping that knee bent, make circles with your knee, 2 or 3 in one direction and then switch. Once you have done that, straighten out your left leg, and point it to the left, your leg is at 90 degrees.  Hold for a breath. Bend that knee and stack your hips one last time. On your next exhale, bring that knee through to pigeon. After a few breaths, curl your right toes and press all the way back to down dog. Repeat on the right side.

- Laying down, come into a shoulder stand. If you are in the mood, go into plough. Staying in control, release and sit all the way up coming into cross legged position or bound angle. Lean forward on an exhale to help open your hips.  Stay here for a complete inhale and exhale. Inhale your chest back up, lay down bringing your knees to your chest going into shoulder stand or plough. Go through this flow at least 3 times. 

Water Meditation
You can do a visual meditation where you let your students imagine they are at a beach. They can hear the waves, taste the salty air, feel the sand underneath them. They hear a wave coming, it caresses their foot and ankles, as it returns to the ocean, it takes away some of the tension and pain. Keep doing this, slowly going up the body until you reach the shoulders.
Word of caution: I had an instructor do this and I did not enjoy it because I don’t know how to swim. Imagining water ‘claiming’ me was not pleasant. Be sure to ask your students if they have issues with water before you proceed with visual meditations.

"Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, be shapeless - like water. Water is fearless. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, drip, creep or crash. Be water, my friend.”
--Bruce Lee--

Namaste