I was sitting on the beach on a beautiful afternoon with my family, surrounded by a beautiful cacophony of sounds - from the waves lapping in the ocean, playful shouts, and laughter. To my right, was an extended family sharing food under a tent. Chairs, beach toys, towels, and coolers flanked them on all sides. Clearly, this was going to be an all day affair. The women sat together chatting. A baby sat happily on her mother’s lap. The children played in the sand and surf. To my left, a group of young men set up a makeshift baseball field and enjoyed their game. Behind me, a group of teenagers lay on beach towels surrounding a fire pit, where they would stay until it was time to build a fire, roast food and share stories and laughter. When we returned home, we had dinner together and played a board game.

Sharing time as a family can be a daunting task in our fast paced society. However, family time amongst working parents is on the rise according to a 2010 study by two economists at The University of California San Diego according to Tara Pope in the New York Times article “Surprisingly, Family Time Has Grown” . There are a wealth of benefits to spending quality time together as a family. The family unit benefits from strong connection, feeling supported and valued as individuals, and learning the meaning of a team. Children thrive in a strong family environment by learning healthy habits and building confidence from parents as role models.

Spending quality time together does not have to be complicated or expensive. From movies, games, or cooking together at home, to trips to the beach or the park, to bicycling or hiking in nature, the choices abound.

Promote peace while bonding with family at this free and exciting event courtesy of Chicago Kids Yoga!

Promote peace while bonding with family at this free and exciting event courtesy of Chicago Kids Yoga!

My story.

Wise words from a Yogi, Dad, Teacher…,

My friend, Randy White, a yogi for the last 10 years and teacher for 5 years shares how yoga has unexpectedly changed his life.

“I orginally took my first class at a health club because I was looking for an easy workout to compliment my triatlon training at the time. Boy was I ever wrong. Yoga brought a new element to my health routine and it took me a few times to really start to enjoy the practice. But something kept bringing me back to my mat because no matter what I did, I never felt better than when class was over. I continued my practice, got better and found a new element to yoga besides the physical. Yoga opened my eyes to the many other beautiful things in the world that I never knew existed. Wanting to learn more, I enrolled in a teacher training program and 5 years later, I am sharing my passion of yoga with many others. I feel yoga has opened my heart and mind and I have become a better person because of it. You can ask my friends and family. I am a better friend, husband, and father to my kids. Yoga continues to keep me on my toes, exploring not only the physical aspects, but the spirtiual and mental sides of the practice. Where it keeps taking me is part of the journey that I love so much. It’s as if it is a musical note that has no end. I feel blessed that I decided to take a class, give it a chance and keep an open mind. Yoga truly has changed my life for the better.”