Mama Madison: Summer stress solved by yoga

A free program lets parents and kids practice together

The first week of summer break at our place usually comes and goes without incident. At times, one could argue, it even verges on pleasant. I have no school lunches to pack and the kids have no 7 a.m. buses to catch. There's no nagging about homework and my children actually seem (or at least pretend) to appreciate the swimming lessons, tennis classes and other assorted trying-to-keep-then-busy-while-I-work activities I've signed them up for.

During the first week of break we slept in a little each morning and grilled out on non-severe-weather-warning weeknights. For the most part, we all kind of enjoyed (or at least pretended to) each other's extended company.

But then, as happens every year, week two comes roaring back like a caged tiger sprung from imprisonment. Somehow the romantic notion of what break is supposed to be like -- lazy evenings at the pool, everyone quietly engrossed in a summer read and sucking on a Popsicle -- has been unceremoniously tossed out the window.

Sure, there's been laziness, but it's gone way beyond poolside. It's now also kicking in at the precise moment I ask the kids to unpack the dishwasher or mow the lawn. Neither of my younger offspring seems to be reading anything at all beyond the occasional street sign and directions on how to make microwave popcorn. And the only Popsicles I've experienced thus far were in the box my kids allowed to melt on the basement floor as they fought over who would have to put them in the freezer like I asked.

I have gotten one of my summer wishes though; it's really is kind of quiet around here. I guess that's what happens when none of the kids are speaking to each other. Or I to them.

So where's the summer tranquility this mom's been falsely promised? At this rate, it's going to take a lot more than a box of Calgon to take me away, especially since my daughter has already clogged up our only tub trying to give the dog an ill-advised bath in a fit of summer break boredom.

So I was pretty pleased to see that this coming Saturday, June 28, Jamie Gepner, an instructor at Blackbird Family Yoga and founder of Little Om BIG OM, a Madison-based outfit that specializes in teaching yoga to kids, will be conducting a complimentary class for all ages at Lululemon Athletica at Hilldale Mall, 574 N. Midvale Blvd., at 9 a.m.

It's the perfect 60-minute, free chance for parents to enjoy firsthand many of the stress-reducing benefits of yoga. And they can enjoy them right along side of some of life's biggest stress-inducers: their kids.

I'm hopeful my daughter (there is no way I'll be able to convince my teenage boys to don the requisite Lycra) and I will be there. It will be great for us both to strike those mountain, eagle and warrior poses we've heard so much about.

I'm also very much looking forward to watching my daughter attempt a downward dog that doesn't involve rinsing an overabundance of detangling shampoo off our Jack Russell terrier.

And I will plan to take a well-earned savasana, aka the corpse pose, at the end of the class.

That is, if week two of summer hasn't killed me first.

comments powered by Disqus

More to read

Loading More Articles
No More Articles

Mama Madison: Back-to-school confidences

Is it just me or does each summer seem to go by quicker than the last? The end of summer is upon us and for many families this means the start of a new school year.

Mama Madison: Does back-to-school really mean a whole new wardrobe?

This past week, on the way to the grocery store, my daughter asked what I believed she thought would be a innocuous question, "Mom, when are we going back-to-school shopping?"

Mama Madison: Next generation of bloggers

Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words.

Mama Madison: Returning to the workforce

This past week I gleefully accepted an offer for new job on the UW-Madison campus. My kids are getting are older and I guess I've felt for a while now that it was time to figure out what would be next for me on the professional front.

Triathlons raise money to teach kids healthy habits

"Kids spend so much time in and around school, it's the only place where some have a chance to develop an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle," says Katie Hensel, founder and executive director of Tri 4 Schools.

Mama Madison: Kids will find their own passions in their own ways

"I'm envious, mom," said my twelve-year-old daughter as she hopped in the car after theater camp last week. "All the other kids in my group seem to really like, and to be really good at, singing, dancing and acting. But I think all those things are just okay."

Vital work is being done at the Lussier Community Education Center, from community-building to STEM skills

"People are looking to book space here all the time," says Remy Fernández-O'Brien, communications and facilities coordinator for the Lussier Community Education Center, a private, nonprofit community center on Madison's west side. "They want to throw their child's first birthday party here or hold a Girl Scout meeting. We're really busy year-round, but it's especially lively here in the summer."

Mama Madison: Parental dice rolls?

Last week, in response to the county-wide Sleep Safe, Sleep Well public health campaign that encourages parents to "share the room, not the bed" with their sleeping infants, Isthmus contributor Ruth Conniff penned a lovely opinion piece in defense of bed sharing entitled "Confessions of a Co-Sleeper."

Mama Madison: What constitutes a keepsake?

As much as I'd like to believe there is latent genius in my daughter's early finger paintings, I'm pretty sure her works are not distinguishable from those created by the pointer fingers and pinkies of thousands of other children from across the world.

Mama Madison: Young love

Seeing Romeo and Juliet this past weekend was a definite reminder that I need to prepare for something that might resemble a (Near) West Side Story around our place pretty soon.

Mama Madison: What a mother fears most

All during childhood, we calmly tell our kids they don't need to be afraid of the dark, thunder or the monster under the bed. But it's pretty hard to keep your parental cool when your kid is about to embark on the one thing that terrifies you. I knew the problem wasn't really with him. It was with me.

Operation Fresh Start's Youth Conservation Corps helps kids, and kids help parks

Last January, when temperatures dipped below minus 30 and most people between the ages of 16 and 24 did anything to stay inside, a small yet sturdy group of at-risk teenage boys and young men stacked wood and managed controlled burns at Festge County Park near Cross Plains. Five months later, following a temperature swing of more than 100 degrees, Isthmus found some of those same guys removing invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn at Lake View Hill County Park on Madison's north side.

Mama Madison: Summer stress solved by yoga

The first week of summer break at our place usually comes and goes without incident. At times, one could argue, it even verges on pleasant. I have no school lunches to pack and the kids have no 7 a.m. buses to catch.

Mama Madison: The greatest fans of road repair

Have you tried getting anywhere on either Verona Road or East Johnson lately? I'm pretty sure a six-month old could crawl to Fitchburg, or across the isthmus, in less time that it takes me to drive there these days.

Mama Madison: The alarm sounds

As soon as the door closed behind him, I poured myself a cup of the coffee he had made and took a moment to let the enormity of what just happened sink in. My son was ready that morning despite my inability to properly set an alarm clock. My kid was ready that morning without nudging, cajoling, or reminding. He was ready, even when I wasn't.

Mama Madison: My summer book list

For the past 17 years or so (i.e., since I've had kids), I haven't made books the priority in my life I know they should be. It's not that I don't try. Just this past weekend I had the best of intentions of picking up, and even finishing, I am Malala, this year's UW-Madison's Go Big Read pick. But the copy still sits untouched on my nightstand.

Make Music Madison gives young artists a chance to perform

The longest day of the year is upon us. For those of you keeping track, the sun will rise at 5:18 a.m. and set at 8:41 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. All that daylight, courtesy of the annual summer solstice, will provide the perfect backdrop for Make Music Madison, a daylong event featuring hours and hours of free performances in nearly every corner of the city.

Mama Madison: Watching talent grow

Last week, for the first time, I made my way up to one of the open gallery nights during Madison West's Fine Arts Week, the school's annual showcase for all things creative. The scope of the event is huge, with nearly 1,600 students participating, and the quality of the presented works is phenomenal. It's almost as if the school had been lifted off its perch on Regent Street and traveled back in time to Belle Époque Paris.

Mama Madison: Writing time at Olbrich

If you have aspiring authors in your house, this summer offers a fabulous opportunity for them refine their writing skills. For its second summer, the Greater Madison Writing Project, in partnership with Olbrich Botanical Gardens, is sponsoring two week-long camps in August for young writers entering grades 3-8.

Mama Madison: When UW-Madison's semester is over, the kids want out too

There are lots of benefits to living in a college town. First and foremost, there is always something going on -- a lecture, a film series. Maybe even a protest, if you're lucky. And since becoming a Madisonian, I, for the first time in my life, find myself interested in college football.


Emails from Isthmus Parents feature event highlights, story links, site updates, and occasional special offers from trusted sources. Name and email address are required. Thanks!