Fruitful Efforts – Fascia-nating !

What I love about this practice space is that … there’s a labyrinth in the middle:)  You know how I love them – as I practice, step by step to find my center, the labyrinth is a walking meditation (sprinkled with yoga poses:) to really get ON THE GRID of life.  This is not a fancy place, in fact, quite modest, and kept very clean.  It’s my version of an ashram, an urban version … and indeed, for some, it’s a sacred place.  It’s a humble auditorium of an inner-city neighborly church (filled up max capacity this term as it’s their last year to offer IAYT approved Yoga Therapy Advance Training…hope they reconsider), so we know our tuition is going to the teachers and to maintenance of cleanliness, not to any fancy decors.  It’s a NPO, a foundation headed by those with a vision, a mission, devoid of pretensions.  It’s real. It’s not an image on an Instagram, a Madison Avenue magazine cover – it’s to meet the everyday needs of people like you and me, who can use the yogic tools and techniques for betterment, for wellness. The faculty is absolutely stellar and that’s what matters the most to all the teachers (min. 200 hrs. certified) here.  There are no textbooks for the 2 year course as each master teacher will bring a material thick enough to make a book.   BUT

during the course of 2 years, books were published by two of the faculty members …  the first book would make a good Mother’s & Father’s Day gift, if not for yourself; and the second one is the other spectrum of demographics – our youth 🙂 geared for classroom teachers and parents.  Dynamic Mindfulness?  It’s yoga – to strip it of the unattainable image and preconceived notions that it’s only for girls or that it’s about achieving a pretzel pose or touching the toes- whereas, Dynamic Mindfulness ?  It’s for everyone.

Yoga for Healthy Aging

by Baxter Bell, MD


Teaching Transformative Life Skills to Students:

A Comprehensive Dynamic Mindfulness Curriculum

by BK Bose, PhD


Got to go to NYC for a quick whirlwind stay to attend an auspicious event so squeezed in MOMA to stand before originals in awe – to note, lots of yoga studios here which speaks to the level of stress from all the stimuli good like GREAT to not so good New Yorkers are exposed to in their day to day.  Besides, the weather was not so great so really want to take refuge at a studio …:

Having attended countless yoga classes, noting there’s a confusion with Gentle, Hatha, Restorative and Yin styles of Yoga so … let’s be clear on what we are doing?  Or are we setting the intention to blend the teachings?  I, actually am – as that’s what I am exploring – the blend, that’s not an abstract but “real” and authentic.   Not like mix red and blue to create purple but keep the red red, keep the blue blue and maybe have some bleeding of colors at the edges to have that lovely fade-out.  Keeping it separate so there’s that one-pointed attention and care – then merge a bit later, once we “get it” – then it’s not a confused abstract but something that speaks to our hearts and souls:) without over-thinking. There’s this lucid clarity with our intentions.  Nothing grandiose but just that natural comfort and joy we all long for. It’s a mixture of EFFORT & EASE.  The Yang & Yin.

Paul Grilley Interview Part 1 & Part 2 on Fascia and Yin Yoga

google and listen to them – if you are practicing yin yoga and don’t know why:)

& at a lost or at best, feeling sheepish, when there’s honoring of one’s intention in practicing it.  You want to know why you are doing something and be purposeful, right?


Otherwise, your efforts may be wasted as prana just dissipates into thin air.

Just know – It’s a “fascia-nating” practice:)

We want to harness and retain or multiply that energy so off  the mat, you can live enlivened, freed from all those things, those obstacles that may weigh us down. Our temple, our body needs attention; then the mind will follow … so it’s not just the Thinking Brain but … it’s a Thinking Body.   Turns out there’s a book entitled just that “The Thinking Body” by Maple Ellsworth Todd, a Somatic educator who created a method serving as a precursor to the Fendenkrais method.  It’s interesting to note that the method is heavily influenced by martial arts, such as Judo.

Last chance?

It’s kind of like the last concert to be given by Beatles (of course missed – a little before my time…) or Rolling Stone’s (are they around still breathing?) or the last Cirques du Soleil  or the very last Devi Premal & Mitan concert or how about Krishna Das – if you heard that, would you not want that ticket?

Okay, okay, a bit different but same idea in terms of ICHIGO-ICHIE, a Japanese concept of impermanence…

In this age where anything is “taught” or all sorts of information is on the internet, I feel, the direct, in person, personal and customized teaching is invaluable. It’s gold. A direct learning from a well experienced and passionate (about this craft) teacher is … once in a lifetime gift.  It can’t be rolled out again and again. Such teaching represents years, if not decades of their own learning, a wealth of knowledge and techniques they had acquired over the years and that … is hard to transmit over utube even though it’s nice to have to re-visit and review.  Real front line experience dealing with actual students – that experience and what that teacher learned from all those interactions and now shares is … invaluable.

& for the students, that experience does not repeat itself.  Have you ever been to a lecture or a talk where you know it’s being recorded or you know you can get the notes later – have you noticed how you are not as engaged, not AS FOCUSED or attentive?  Have you noticed you saying to yourself – ah, oh, well, I missed that but I am just going to re-watch this video later, etc. You stop having that “need” to ask questions or be honest with the teacher – ah, I didn’t catch that – can you repeat what you just said? No you skim through thinking that you have that crutches of a recording. To inquire later; not fill the holes “later”.

That prevents us from the need to KNOW right there and NOW.  You put off the questions that you could DIRECTLY ask the teacher right there, thus, teacher-student relationship is also lukewarm – it’s just not as dense or meaningful … yeah, there’s that video you can watch “later”.  You lose the direct human connection.  The relationship is superficial at best.

This thought crossed my mind as I sign up for 4 hour workshop given by a teacher soon to go off on a sabbatical after 35 years of service.  I do the same for any authentic teacher – sorry, I can’t learn anything new from  someone who just picked up a 200 hrs. certificate at some exotic vacation destination who did tons of ballet and gymnastics growing up – while nothing is wrong with that and body beautiful is appreciated but that teaching style probably does not serve my needs  – true teacher is someone who lived YOGA and demonstrates an unmatched a degree of commitment to this craft. It’s deeply human and inspirational while steeped in wisdom accumulated the years of experience. I want THAT lesson.

Bowing with sheer Respect.

Late Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama

Who is this doctor?  Not a medical doctor but doctor of philosophy and a Shinto priest in Japan who passed away at age 89 couple of years ago … One of his books is a required teacher training text reading for Yin Yoga style founder (there’s also few others who founded this similar style), Paul Grilley who was Sarah Power’s teacher.  They are currently both considered the senior teachers in this style of yoga – and both Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers learned from Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama  … I always loved Insight Yoga teachings and Paul Grilley’s anatomy videos.  It’s a shift in perspective they invite into your yoga practice.

So one of the readings recommended to enroll in Paul Grilley’s teacher training is Awakening the Chakras and Emanipation by Dr. Motoyama … BUT it’s just not available on Amazon or elsewhere.  So the search led me to the above alternative book by the same author and eyes popping … it’s just not affordable at over $200 list price, and that, used paperback !!!

SOOOO I just realized I can get the books originally written in Japanese – so check the Japanese publication market and just read them in Japanese ! YES … how convenient. So the search confirmed, they have these books in Japan at an affordable price:)  So happy to find these books in original texts and cannot wait to read all about:  Chakras, Kundalini Yoga and meditation.  I can even fly over to Tokyo to pick them up – along with some learning to be had from my mother, a greatest healer of all by demonstrating with each breath she takes, how to recover from life’s tough lessons and obstacles.

“Secrets of Yoga” ?

“Awakening Chakras & Consciousness” ?

And as I was chasing after his books, I found this gem of a blog – here – I love reading her blog – LOVE her recipes YUMMY and if I lived in her community, for sure, I would be at her yoga class !  In fact, does she have the book I am searching for, lol:) And she’d definitely be on my potluck list ! A great chef is a gift.  Great food enlivens our prana and leads to recovery of a sunken heart.