Chitta Vritti Nirodhah

My Pleasure Reading Revealed – Admittedly, kind of nerdy?

Just about the physical?  What about going deeper ? But one has to start somewhere – it need not be spiritual at first – it’s all an entry way into Self at whatever level to bring about joy … and that joy could merely be about being free from pain or tightness … it’s about not even having to think about the body as it’s so FREE – what joy that would be:

Geeking over these incredible resource.

Interesting to note the above has the same title as Judith Lasater’s Relax & Renew book on restorative yoga. But completely different. This was purchased awhile ago at Golden Bridge Yoga studio in Santa Monica – it was a kind of a dreamy utopia back then… no I don’t mean it was a commune or an ashram (maybe it was) but it was a yoga studio and this was what they put out,  yet another version, the Kundalini yoga school’s Relax & Renew yoga – different, both books a gem to yoga lovers.

So I have trouble with folks with superficial or limited knowledge of yoga becoming the critic providing a layman’s critique sometimes that make little sense ? comments like – it wasn’t yin or it wasn’t vinyasa or it’s too hard, too easy, etc. – they need to get over themselves and be open.  Suggesting that a student really have a look at the training of the teacher who stands before you and question the teacher’s intention – is this class going to serve me and my pursuit of wellness, my wholeness ?  If you want power yoga, then, why?  Why do you seek power yoga?  Do you feel that by practicing it, you will become … powerful?  And why do you seek that?  Usually a power yoga teacher means a teacher trained in the Ashtanga tradition – do you know what that means?; if you want alignment and balance, maybe someone more influenced in the Iyeangar teachings- do you know what that means?; or if you want more the spiritual, meditation aspects coupled with physical challenges, maybe Kundalini; all can be in a room heated or cooled down depending again, on the intention set by you, that’s uniquely yours.

Not all restorative- or for that matter, not all yin yoga is the same. It’s true when you walk into Iyengar yoga studio, it’s completely different from Vinyasa class but I embrace both – I find BOTH to be beneficial for me.  What one finds “inspiring” could be considered “too busy” “too hard” “too challenging” thus stressful or injury causing – for some, so it’s about managing expectations while educating the students especially in the art of patience and flexibility – and being open and not stuck to one rigid idea that it must look and feel a certain way.  There are so many ways to get there – you know – so many means, so many ways to get to that end.

Within yin yoga styles, the original yin master’s yin practice was quite … yang ?

Check out Paulie Zink, the founder of yin yoga vs Paul Grilley, also founder of yin yoga and Sarah Powers, if not the founder, a master of it.  How could all of them be the founder or the master?  Because their yoga is called “Yin Yoga” but each school is very different.  Then, there’s Bernie Clark and Norman Blair.  Each a “master” of their own style, each so different from another I think. Yet, they all claim to be THE yin yoga master teacher or even a founder of that style.  Best not to label too much as I’d like to blend a hybrid that works for you and “me” that day, that time. If that’s called “eclectic”… it is what it is. It’s Yoga:)  I propose that each student do the same – find a “blend” depending on the season; depending on the condition of that very temple our soul resides.

Yoga Alliance & International Association of Yoga Therapists

are two trade groups/associations that advance the yoga teachers interests (& protects the general public/consumers) by setting up the credentialing gold standard, requirements and membership eligibility.  One way to hold up the quality of teaching is that the association assures the qualification process, which determines if  the credentialing is sufficient for each teacher. Not so much of  “woo woo” or ” hippy dippy” yoga – rather science based yoga that supports the outgrowth from ancient traditional yoga with a modern twist either validated by advances in scientific and medical findings  or refined with latest in what have transpired in terms of findings about our body and mind and nature of diseases.

After some debate, renewed Yoga Alliance membership now upgraded with a little designation of “E” for experienced yoga teacher able to teach continuing education credit hours to other yoga teachers. In updating the profile description of kind of yoga classes I teach – Hatha Flow; Vinyasa Flow; Yin; Restorative – one of them “Yoga Therapeutics ” got rejected. U I am pointed out that Yoga Alliance prohibit the use of that term, “therapy” by the members and yoga teachers.  Reminded we cannot use the term “therapy ” in any shape or form. BUT I AM yoga therapist as much as I am a yoga instructor.  Then how about – yoga for back health; yoga for cardiovascular heath; yoga for weight loss; yoga for diabetics; yoga for stress reduction …  Yoga Alliance prohibits the use of the very word “therapy” because … well, after all, just 200 hrs. of training in yoga is not enough to conduct yoga therapeutics.       In fact, that would be unsafe.  Yes, yoga as a whole is good for our spine but … is the student suffering from hernia? slipped disk? degenerative condition? scoliosis? SI joint instability?  So many variations and so many red flags in keeping with doing no harm. At best, allowing the student to find the healer within by learning some mind-body techniques and inspirations from yoga philosophy that lifts the spirit.


In order to have that freedom to share yoga therapeutics, renewed International Association of Yoga Therapists membership as well.  This way, I can call the class I lead as “therapeutic” – if that is the intention behind the fitness image – after that 5th cycle of Sun Salutations or Circle of Joy or other sequences to build a class … I am mostly interested in how to provide self-care as the masters listed below do so well  … and as I emulate what they do, renewed the yoga therapist membership, received their latest publication, filled with many inspirations in keeping with their mission and vision in “Bridging Yoga and Healthcare”.  Very educational while reviewing the past material from one of the best teachers around in East Bay.  Really miss assisting Teacher Baxter’s Yoga for Back Care class.  In terms of therapeutics, I find these teachers to be excellent – so happy to have learned from them:

  • Baxter Bell, MD, eRYT500, c-IAYT Author of a wonderful book “Yoga for Healthy Aging” forward by Linda Sparrowe, a well respected yoga teacher and Rodney Yee – my favorite power yoga teacher ! Teacher Baxter is also an acupuncturist in addition to being an Western trained MD – and also a talented musician – when he plays the violin during savasana … Hahhh beautiful vibe that leaves ripples of imprints in our nervous system, even off the mat.
  • Harvey Deutch, PT, Yoga Teacher – loved take the afternoon off series …so good.
  • Tianna Meriage-Reiter, DPT, c-IAYT, WHC – former Faculty at Niroga doing her magic in Alameda:)

*** Then there’s of course

  • Juidth H. Lasater, PT, Yoga Teacher, PhD, Author of several books on yoga & non-violent communication – just love her for her wit and wisdom. Besides yoga for back care course she makes so much available online and I am honored to be on her Directory as a Relax & Renew Trainer – she had us trained well in the art of yoga therapeutics by tackling the … anatomy which I was not fond of before and now … thanks to her influence – geeking over the subject of anatomy and kineseology.  It’s so fascinating to explore your own body temple …
  • If you are a yoga teacher, get the latest in yoga therapeutics by attending one of Doctor Bell’s workshops … he holds one every now and then, worth checking out to deepen our understanding.