It keeps evolving … your own practice

As a yoga teacher and therapist, I’d love to explain what each yoga style is all about and yes, ask me.  Sometimes, the class may be titled very general such as “Hatha Yoga” or “Yoga for Back Care” – so what does that title really mean and what kind of practice would that be?  Who would benefit most from one style to the other and … why are there so many different branches and styles of yoga?  Short of history or the roots talk, I found this article to be simple and short at explaining some of the major styles of yoga you often hear about – and of course your local yoga studio should be able to define each class they offer more clearly:

Here you go !

Just hanging out …dangling, spine elongated just by giving into gravity …

Great Wall Yoga is super yummy for back care and those none gymnasts, dancer, not even athletic- back ground, regular folks who want to stay fit mentally spiritually and physically  – say goodbye to lower back compression; relieve neck/shoulder stiffness –  plus the benefits of an inversion – although these props have been used in Iyengar yoga from inception  … so to have it here is a … wow.   What if I had curated music (No Coldplay – for my past post referencing, click HERE ) and blended the wall practice with flowy mat practice … Mix the Styles …  What might that look like and what might that be called ?  Yoga for Creativity:) ?? With something like 20+ hrs training, had to think about how to incorporate the wall part with none-wall part … recalling how at Iyengar studio I used to go to, some students just went off on their own to use the wall.  They knew what they needed and how to modify a pose to fit their needs.  Interesting. It’s adult playground:)  Same goes for all props … some know exactly what they are doing and some using props for the first time … so fun to see how we explore and discover something about our own body each time.  Tending to our body-temple:)

Yoga could be thousands of years old, as is traditional martial arts, sure,  but needs of our ancestors from waaay back then might have been vastly different than our needs today … while the underlying human struggles and suffering remain the same:  we get sick; we get hurt; we experience loss; we will all die and no one is exempt (did I depress everyone?), it is what it is – or is it?  Yoga allows you to question – if there’s another way.

So while the basics of humanness remain the same … back at the early stages of yoga practices, there may not have been any of all this sitting around,  hours on chairs looking at screens …there were no processed foods; there were no …. (fill in the blanks); and in return we have today all these modern conveniences  and medical advances … would the practice that served our ancestors serve our needs the same way today?

So today’s yoga is the evolution of all that has come before us.  It keeps changing while the basic philosophy and tenets remain rock solid.  It’s up to us to find and develop a practice that’s suitable to our own unique body bone structure, our own needs reflecting our age and condition … our own intention for getting on this mat today.  Challenging ourselves help us grow but when what we are looking for is healing at every level, the practice starts to look a little different.

Yoga Therapeutics is not a “style” of yoga:

“Yoga therapy is the process of empowering
individuals to progress toward improved
health and wellbeing through the application
of the teachings and practices of yoga.
Yoga is a scientific system of self-investigation,self-transformation,and self-realization
that originated in India.

 

The teachings of yoga are rooted in the Vedas and grounded in classical texts and a rich oral tradition.This tradition recognizes that the human being’s essential
nature is unchanging awareness that exists
in relationship to and identification with the
changing phenomena of the empirical world.
The yoga tradition views humans as a multidimensional
system that includes all aspects of body; breath; and mind, intellect, and emotions and their mutual interaction.

 

Yoga is founded on the basic principle that intelligent practice can positively influence the direction of
change within these human dimensions, which
are distinct from an individual’s unchanging
nature or spirit.The practices of yoga traditionally
include, but are not limited to, asana,
pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting,
mudra, ritual, and a disciplined lifestyle.

 

Yoga therapy is the appropriate application of
these teachings and practices in a therapeutic
context in order to support a consistent yoga
practice that will increase self-awareness and
engage the client/student’s energy in the direction
of desired goals.”

– excerpt from IAYT publication

 

Fully supported inversion where you feel …weightless … thanks to Jason Cull, Yoga Therapist, Yoga Wall TT teacher 🙂  Humble and yet thorough in his teachings … a yogi that he is.

My flyer for the Thanksgiving class …

Subbing for beautiful Lorraine tomorrow night – Pure Yin:)  I love Vinyasa as that’s my practice, the core; but Yin is my roots:)  Thank you for the opportunity.

Hoping to practice more in 2019 at the Great Wall of Yoga with guidance of Iyengar Yoga Institute certified teacher, the magnificent Maria @

Yoga Health Center@ 677 Laurel St #200, San Carlos

Speaking of an Authentic Teacher …

More book recommendations …

Here’s one – a life long practitioner … nothing like doing a Surya Namaskar to his chanting of the Sutras.  You realize then that it’s about the entirety of lifetime of dedication, everyday,  honoring of your body and mind at one’s own temple alter where movements synchronize to your breath. It’s such a buzz to hear the mantra as we move … each sound strikes a chord; it’s a rush.

Not only to have the Sutras – Vedas verses memorized, but to chant them along with breath regulation moving through one Asana to next sequence … is no easy feat – a masterful and daily practice is reflected. Amazing feeling when your mind is crystal clear, blood veins and arteries flowing as they should, there’s this alertness and clarity but there’s calmness.  It’s how we wish to feel every single moment – fully ALIVE & AWAKE 🙂

“Asana practice should ultimately lead to the ability to be seated for a long time, so you can do pranayama and meditation, and so the body is not a source of distraction. Meditation cannot be done without proper preparation.” – so true … unless of course, the asana practice also weaves in a degree of “light” version meditation …i.e., my Yin/Yang fusion practice.  When time for self-care is scarce and limited, efficient and practical means to do all three – anasa, pranayama, meditation –  in one session – a way to compensate that’s only effective if you string together each class, as though a peal bead, one after another into a beautiful long strand of a well rounded personal practice.  It’s kind of like those acupuncture sessions – one time does nothing – we have to repeat over and over and relatively SAME so that there’s a way of noticing any changes in one’s body and mind. If the sequences kept changing weekly, then, there’s no way to notice any subtle changes for the bettter.

Sir Srivatsa Ramaswami used to teach 200hrs TT but now he only offers 100 hrs. Few years ago, had a weeklong workshop series having the 200 hrs already- as just continuing education I had the honor of attending.

Today wishing to learn direct again from this master teacher – while he’s still able. He’s a very humble man – 80 years old teaching teachers. It’s so ridiculous that he’s just 500 hrs. experienced yoga teacher ?  He’t too modest – how about maybe thousands of lifelong hours … his experience and training is beyond these current 200 hrs. 500  hrs. stuff – he’s above and beyond – how about Teacher Emeritus status – it’s just so ridiculous that he should even be in the same category …as me ( right?)  in the directory –  and I guess that’s why some teachers find Yoga Alliance to be irrelevant.  Can you believe it?  Srivatsa Ramaswami is like a PhD professor of yoga and … he’s e-500 hrs.?  It’s ludicrous … It’s like bestowing? BKS Iyengar that he’s e-500 hrs. certified … it’s like a joke.  It’s a joke when yoga teacher’s organization promoting yoga teacher’s training and education is unable to recognize the Master Teachers as a class of their own … a teacher who publishes a book that can be considered a textbook is … just 500 hrs. – ah… for Sir Srivatsa Ramaswami, simple math tells me at least 20-30,000 hours.  It’s a crazy world we live in where marketing and promotion is so part of this commercialization of yoga.  And true yogis, really don’t care – they all show up to his workshops and seminars as we know – We know who’s real vs an impostor …guess, that’s what counts – those who care to receive his gifts, the lineage to somehow be passed on will …show up.  For the discerning practitioner, we know who the real teachers are and we seek them out.

An authentic teacher, with so much knowledge to be teaching yoga at a University but still willing to travel to humbly pass on what he learned from over 30 years under the father of modern yoga (i.e., Master teacher to BKS Iyengar & P. Jois, both), the legendary Krishnamarcharya.

“In Hindu philosophy, life is determined by the number of breaths you take. If you slow the breath down, you live longer,” per Ramaswami … and interestingly, modern science has proven that basic yoga principal to be true.  That is, if you manage your stress through various yoga techniques, including all 8 limbs of yoga, then,  it’s no longer anecdotal but true evidence based science.  To get out of the fight, fright, freeze modes to really value balance – the importance of balance in our nervous system and to that end, the power of breath is …  all.

Guess what?

“Neuroscience Reveals 50-Year Olds Can Have the Brains of 25-Year Old If They Do This 1 Thing”

Want to be forever young?

Reads the enticing heading to this Inc. magazine article … so read up.  For a yogi, no news but glad that it’s in such mainstream media.

This ONE thing !  What is this ONE thing?

It’s

That ultimate intention purpose and goal of yoga … as we peel the layers of our Koshas to uncover that light that joy that state of Ananda:)