Heather Stang SN
Yoga and Grief
Introduction of Heather and the topic
5:05 Tips to stay healthy while grieving. Sleep, digesting, hydrating may all be difficult. Yoga is one of the activities that can be accessed early. Doesn’t require talking about our emotions and brings us back into the body. Can help with sleeping, digesting and hydrating. People are dealing with the ongoing connection they feel with the person who died. The relationship continues.
7:50 Myth has been that you “get over” grief by detaching from the person who died. Research shows that maintaining a continuing bond helps with living your life.
8:20 What to do for the teacher and other class members when a long-time member of a yoga class dies. Understanding that the class needs to be modified, slow the pace, each person encouraged to share their feelings, perhaps a letter to the person or write down feelings. Open ended yoga questions: what does grief feel like in your body. Create a yoga pose to reflect those feelings What would a statue look like that represents the person who died. Have your boecaedy look like that pose. Allow people to speak freely about their grief. Disenfranchised grief – not allowed to speak freely because of a perceived social position. For instance, a friend’s grief is not as valued as a family member’s grief.
14:20 Anniversaries of death can be difficult in the yoga class. If student share a date, then keep note of that because often time coming up to the anniversary is difficult for the person. The grieving person needs to plan ahead of the anniversary to do what they need to do that helps them
18:09 Heather has written a book called: Mindfulness and Grief. She had started Yoga and Grief previously, an 8 week program for people grieving. She was also exploring meditation in more depth. She interviewed past participants of the yoga and grief classes to see what the long term result of the classes were. The book is in an 8 week format, but can be done in the time period that an individual needs. There are a variety of tools to address the physical symptoms of – anxiety, tension – and tools to use for their life after loss. Chapters are: Mindful Awareness, Conscious Relaxation, Compassion/Forgiveness, Vulnerability and Courage, Unstuck, Reconstruction and Transformation. Each week/chapter has tools for that week including journaling, creative projects, yoga.
Grief permanently changes you in many ways and the change may even be positive.
Yoga consists of ancient techniques to tend to our suffering.
26:15 Grief does not have to look a certain way; it is different for everybody. Some show their emotions easily, others show little emotion but both are grieving. Yoga teachers may be dealing with our own grief and need to take care of ourselves also
28:10 Recommended books:
Mindfulness and Grief by Heather Stang
Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness by David Treleven
IRest Program for Healing PTSD by Richard Miller
All are available on Amazon
Dayna Hanlon-Pinkerton #74
“The Perfect Amount of Challenge”
2:28 Introduction Dayna Hanlon-Pinkerton – experienced in yoga, yoga therapy and experiential education as a home educator for her children. Experiential education is very individualised similar to how a teacher/therapist develops a practice for either a yoga therapy client or a yoga student.
4:07 Testimonials on the website: Themes of intuition, meeting individual needs, “perfect amount of challenge”. Dayna tunes into the energy of the room before beginning class, (doesn’t plan her sequences before class). Starts with anchoring people and having fun with it, but with seriousness. Trying to teach them to hold space for two opposites – having fun and being serious – simultaneously. Teaching them to look at other viewpoints, not to be rigid, these are tools to help them.
11:49 Uses Pranyama as a tangible example of holding opposites. Feeling the fullness at the end of the inhalation and then the contrasting emptiness at the end of the exhalation. You can feel both of these opposites in your body within seconds of each other.
14:37 Dayna gave some presentations and mini-classes at a yoga festival, one of which she named “Way Clearing”. Her purpose was to harness energy to get our “stuff” out of the way like attachment, shifting energies to help people make the changes they want to make.
16:25 Dayna gets her inspiration from many places but also nature. Develops themes based on the cycles of nature. This may connect with a student or client but using nature is a good way to encourage reflection.
17:55 Dayna works with those suffering from anxiety and depression. Through her own journey, she is aware that the seat of healing is in the mind. She combines the koshas and the gunas to help people find a balance. To reflect on: “how long have I felt this way”, etc. (Gunas are three qualities that exist in nature – rajas: energy, passion, heightened end of emotions, tamas = darkness, inertia and then sattva = finding balance between these two extremes.
22:57 Look at yoga in the bigger picture; it is so much more than movement. Helps students/clients see themselves.
2:12 Introduction to Yael Sunshine and integrating dharma into class for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
2:58 Definition of Dharma: Following your inner guidance and connecting with universal principles.
3:51 Designing a class with dharma – start with 5 koshas (physical, mental, energy, thoughts, universal consciousness
4:35 What’s happening in their life because of the diagnosis – dealing with fear, choices are difficult because may be pressure from medical community and/or family.
5:55 Work on deep connection to self, in spite of fear, find authentic choices for themselves, surrender so they can navigate the illness
Give them more tools. Build a relationship between the concepts, ideas, to being felt in the body.
7:05 Difficult to go against medical advice, some can follow their own body’s cues, others may trust their doctor for the treatment.
8:55 Weave some specifics into the class: Ahimsa – violent self-talk, notice the quality of their thoughts, are they judging themselves, not listening to the body, violence against the body. Class pause reminded to come back to their thoughts and observe. Feeling betrayal of the body, anger at the cancer, do I do what the body needs. Observing Pratyhara, not being swayed by the sensory inputs, but listening closely to self and body without distractions. It is often a roller coaster ride and difficult to find and maintain equanimity. May just need to accept the emotions generated by the cancer journey. Using other somatic movements are helpful. Did a runway show where they were to walk down a “pretend” runway and say to themselves I am beautiful. In another instance, Yael gave them permission to say “Get your hands off me” This journey has a lot of people touching you without permission – medical personnel etc. and the cancer patients have little choice. Was a deeply felt emotion to take back control of the body. Can I inhabit and experience what I am feeling. Need space to express negative feelings; feelings that are socially unacceptable.
16:15 In each class, the students’ health is varied from just diagnosed, to being in treatment, to being in remission, etc. Class must be modified to match the energy of the students in the room. Although dharma and the goals of the class may not change, the asanas, breathing and meditation may be modified to reflect where the students are and what they need.
18:15 Teaching is dependent on intuition Cultivate being able to sense the energy in the room. Question the students on how they are feeling and what they want from the class and always have some ideas of what you can do given the situation of the class on that day. What is the final pose? How do we work up to it? What’s the emotion of that pose that people can feel? Need preplanning, experience, intuition. This is a learning experience for a new teacher and can only be obtained by teaching. Experienced teachers may rely too much on their experience, but planning what they want to achieve this month and what is the precept they want to offer and how to do that is also important?
24:21 Yael is an educator, so uses curriculum mapping and uses this tool to address planning for her yoga classes. What is the nature of the students, each class especially one that has a stable membership, has its own character. Different issues arise for different ages, conditions. Sometimes resistance is warranted, sometimes not. Using the 5 koshas to figure out a way to practice and organise the class. What is the most pressing issue?
Your Shift Matters: Breakdown to Breakthrough – book by Dana Zarcone. Yael has contributed a chapter.
What does it look like to be an Australian Yoga Teacher in 2018?
With Cate Peterson
Opportunity: Hersha Yoga is offering an online course to expand your knowledge of teaching pregnant women with medical issues. To explore the course: http://bit.ly/HERSHA If you choose to take the course, use this code CFOYHERSHA to receive 15% off. This is a limited offer with set amount of places available at this reduced rate.
2:30 Introduction to Cate and to the topic
Cate believes Yoga is a vehicle for social action and has created/or is part of many organisations doing that.
2:55 What does it look like to be a yoga teacher in 2018 vs. What does it look like to be an Australian yoga teacher in 2018? These are different because we are connected to a country that has the oldest, living, continuous culture on the planet. Aboriginal culture has two major precepts - taking care of the land and practicing what it is to be human that apply to this conversation about yoga. What can we learn as yogis from this ancient and modern culture for our yoga practice? GetOffOurAsana, IYTA, Yoga Australia, and Off the Mat and Into the World have handed out about 2000 postcards encouraging yoga teachers to start their yoga classes with acknowledging country. Paying respect to country and its custodians is more common in Australia than many other parts of the world.
6:50 Yoga Australia is working the relationship between Australian yoga teachers and the elders of the Aboriginal communities around Australia. Aboriginal yoga teachers look at teaching yoga to through different lens because of their cultural background although there are similarities. But yoga must be tailored/taught differently within their communities. The British colonised Australia 240 years ago, very destructive and they tried to destroy the Aboriginal culture. It went underground and has remained strong. Harshness of Australian climate, the Aboriginal people had to maintain their health through dance, ritual movement, nutrition, fasting and pushing the body to the limits, coming together in song to relate to one another and dadirii, aboriginal meditation techniques. Many of these same activities are also in the yoga culture. What can we as Australian yoga teachers learn from and use in our practice.
12:30 Cultural appropriation is a contentious topic in yoga right now; is it Ok to practice another culture’s spiritual practices? Is it Ok to use the cultures images, symbols, techniques out of context? Yoga is 6000 years old, drawing from that about how to be human. But are we paying sufficient respect to the roots of yoga?
14:25 Yoga is evolutionary discipline and changes as the need changes. Can we (should we) meld the Indian lineages of yoga with the Australian Aboriginal culture? Don’t know but the conversation needs to be started. Yoga Australia is starting this conversation. There are some parts of yoga that are easily distorted. Gurus from 19 lineages are in court for sexual misconduct. The guru model gives power and some will take advantage of that power. What is the appropriate model for teaching, or the passing of information?
19:30 In Aboriginal culture, traditionally individuals were stewards/advocates of some part of country – a tree species, an animal species, a waterway, etc. No one person was at the top.
20:55 Yoga is regaining our own physical, mental, spiritual being. What can we learn from the Aboriginal culture and how might that drive yoga in the future?
21:30 What is the goal for bringing together the yoga and Aboriginal communities? Asking yoga teachers to bring elders into their classes for welcome to country, to start conversations, stories of their culture.
23:40 How do you know that anything beneficial has occurred? The next step is to submit the reconciliation action plan (www.reconciliationaustralia.com) and have one year to reflect on the plan and bring communities together to decide what they want to do. When that is approved, then will start on the innovation reconciliation plan to actually put the ideas into place and to monitor and gather data. The third step is the elevate reconciliation plan where Yoga Australia etc will mentor other, similar organisations.
Each yoga teacher must ask permission to integrate these aboriginal tools into their practice. These are one on one discussions to open pathways, build relationships, community building is most important.
27: 35 How yoga was originally taught was to find a guru and the guru was responsible for giving you information as you were ready for it. They were there when you needed someone to go to when you were struggling with spiritual matters. How it looks in the future is unknown but starting the conversation is important?
Note: the crowdfunding Start Some Good that Cate mentions has not gone live yet but will soon.
Body Acceptance with Beth Knudson
Opportunity: online course for accessible yoga for pregnant women
Online course information: http://bit.ly/HERSHA
15% on the course code: CFOYHERSHA. Limited offer.
2:08 Introduction – Beth Knudson – Body Acceptance and Understanding
3:20 “ We are not meant to be the same size all of our life.” Beth was a fitness instructor – helped people lose weight. She had eating disorders – anorexic, orthorexic. Helped women restrict their food, which leads to restrictions in your entire life. If we are restricting in any area of our life, then we are restricting our whole life.
What happens when we change the mindset from diet culture – massive amount of unravelling of beliefs. Start to reframe your thoughts, reframe your beliefs, can take years.
6:55 Started eating in an intuitive way. Listen to the cues of the body, understanding what those mean, so eating when you are hungry, understanding your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
All foods are equal, any food is OK at any time. Tune in to the body, honor those cues. Yoga is very helpful because it focuses on paying attention to physical cues and sensations. Meditation provides focus for internal dialogues. Gives you a practice to start listening to the body.
9:30 Thinking about your weight and what you are supposed to eat or not takes up a tremendous amount of mental time.
“Your life’s purpose is not a weight loss project” – using the weight loss project as a way to not deal with other areas of your life. We have all been carrying around a 20 lb rock and when we put it down, we can do other things.
12:20 The perception of yoga supports the “diet culture” – the young, slim, yoga body. This perception is a big obstacle but there is a group of rebels who are pushing that yoga is for everybody. Beth lives her life and her practice to model and authentic and honest yogi life. There is more than one way to be (a yogi).
14:30 Beth offers a variety of modalities:
Thai Yoga: assisted stretching. Client is totally passive, Beth provides a facilitated meditation with assisted stretching, rhythmic movements, pressure in soft tissues. Client gets into his/her body in a different way. People who don’t pay attention to their body, gets them into their body.
Ayurvedic Face Lift and Thai Reflexology: great ways to start for those with trauma. Both are very restricted in the areas that are touched so there is certainty about where they will be touched by someone else.
18:50 The process that Beth uses with new clients:
1 A get to know you call and see if Beth is the appropriate person for this person’s needs – can refer to others.
22:50 Diet culture – we have lost the ability to understand and notice our body’s cues. Cannot feel for ourselves. Works on more love for ourselves and our body. Work on interoception and pay attention to your body.
If we understand anatomy and physiology we would know that our body is amazing and miraculous. We should be in awe of our body. “We are not meant to be he same size and the same shape our entire life.”
FB group: make peace with your body
Jivana Heyman and Accessible Yoga
Opportunity: Hersha Yoga is offering an online course to expand your knowledge of teaching pregnant women with medical issues. To explore the course: http://bit.ly/HERSHA If you choose to take the course, use this code CFOYHERSHA to receive 15% off. This is a limited offer with set amount of places available at this reduced rate.
2:12 Intro to Jivana Heyman and Accessible Yoga
3:24 Changing the message of what yoga is and can be. Yoga is accessible. Jivana became involved with accessible yoga as an AIDS activist and teaching yoga to those with Aids and other disabilities. Yoga helped with the sadness and sorrow of losing so many friends for both Jivana and his students. He was inspired by students with disabilities. Even though they be sick and dying, they were learning through yoga to cultivate peace of mind.
7:18 Gym yoga was increasing in numbers and in the process becoming less inclusive. Jivana trained teachers over 20 years but students with disabilities wouldn’t consider taking teacher training. In many cases it was too difficult because of short time periods, etc. People with disabilities did not have the opportunity to participate in the depth of learning/understanding of philosophical and other aspects of yoga that occur in a teacher training course.
9:45 Wanted to connect the physical with the philosophical aspects of yoga.
10:15 Trained with Integral Yoga which is a classical yoga lineage developed by Satchidananda. It includes clear and understandable teachings in yoga philosophy.
11:38 Jivana wanted to add a clear community component to Accessible yoga. Developed conferences and the ambassador program; both of which concentrate on building community and providing support to teachers who are teaching special populations. Conferences also provides a platform for marketing the teacher’s skills that may be more authentic than the business model of marketing.
15:51 Currently there are 600 ambassadors = a free program to support yoga teachers who teach underserved populations. There are several FB groups based on geography and language to support each other.
16:52 Jivana wants to develop an alternative model to the business model which fosters competition. We need another method to support teachers teaching accessible yoga
17:54 Jivana did develop a teacher training for people with disabilities. It was a year long and provided individual support. Now Accessible Yoga’s teacher training now helps yoga teachers to learn how to adapt for people with disabilities. How to teach a class that has people at multiple levels of wellness. It is basically a skill-building course.
24:25 To become an Accessible Yoga Ambassador, (although Accessible Yoga’s Ambassador program is changing shortly –details on the website) complete the application form and just have to explain how you are bringing yoga to underserved populations.
26:10 Jivana has emphasised the community aspect to get beyond the competition driven by the business model. He believes the only way to be successful is to collaborate with other teachers.
28:06 The Accessible Yoga conferences are opportunity for the community building component of Accessible Yoga. It is a gift to support each other. Approximately ¼ attend on a scholarship. Conferences planned: October – Germany, May 2019 – St Louis.
Yoga for Men with Missy Hoffman
4:30 Discrimination against men re: yoga
Many believe that yoga should not be modified for men; yoga is for all.
But men and women have different social conditioning, motivations, physical and muscular differences.
6:30 Missy’s research: 80% of Western men agree with the statement that yoga is for women. In India, yoga was primarily a male activity. As it moved from India to the West, businesses started marketing it to primarily more affluent women. In the West, yoga is seen as feminine. Men want to know the outcome, benefits, and function to start practicing yoga. Their motivation in different
9:20 Yoga conversations are demonising physical aspects of yoga and yet this is the way many men start. They are at the beginning more interested in the physical aspects, especially how this can help them with injuries, stress and other athletic endeavours.
About half the men start yoga by coming with a friend, usually female. It helps to get over the barriers invisible to women but obvious to men in a yoga class.
12:16 To teach men, break it into steps and a slower progression, use language they understand
Meet each student where they are at, assuring them that being uncomfortable at the beginning is natural. Tell them the tangible outcomes of a yoga practice. Enhances awareness of the body and emotional state.
15:00 Men have to come to their own realisation of the worth of yoga in relation to what are the outcomes for their body and emotions
18:35 Missy explains why she is adding touch to her list of skills as she takes training in massage therapy. Touch is quite controversial currently with many men being accused of inappropriate touch. Men can be quite confused about what is ok and what is not. There is a lot of fear and shame around touch for men. So may tend to not touch in any situation. Touch helps them with their evolving yoga practice. Touch can also be a trigger for trauma, so permission is always asked for and only given with permission. Teaching about boundaries with asking for permission to touch.
29:00 Attracting men to yoga classes and as yoga therapy clients. You teach men differently. Have them opt-in to the process: this is what I see, here is the process with explanation based on evidence based principles, here are the goals you told me you want to achieve. Functional mobility is of most value to men at the beginning and should be where the emphasis should be placed initially. When they see the value, they often become yoga practitioners for life.
33:30 Missy has launched an online course on to develop and maintain a home practice. And also offers a free 30 minute mobility assessment. More information is on her website.
Online course: www.missykai.yoga/courses
Opportunity: If you are interested in learning about or expanding your knowledge about teaching accessible yoga to pregnant women, Hersha Yoga has introduced online training in this subject. www.hershayoga.com is the website. Clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/HERSHA will bring you to the page for the accessible yoga for pregnant women and you can also pay for the course. If you add the code CTOFYHERSHA in the box for codes you will receive 15% off. This is a limited offer.
Benefits of yoga retreats
Different types of retreats: one day, multi-day, international
Look at the story we tell ourselves about our life
1:30 Introduction to Lauren Maher and Volare Retreats
2:38 Therapeutic Benefits of Retreats
Breaks down barriers between people and barriers within yourself, Brings people into community,Time to be introspective, Longer retreats give you the opportunity to establish a personal practice
6:21 Shorter retreats – asks attendees what they are experiencing to establish a thread to plan the retreat.
International retreats – a chance to leave stress and anxiety behind. Forming support systems, intention to do yoga.
8:27 Benefits articulated by students
Fresh eye and new perspective, Find like-minded friends, Step our of our environment and can make needed changes, Feeds your soul
13:39 Lauren offers a variety of retreats: one day retreats in the LA area, multi-day retreats in California, and longer retreats internationally.
15:01 People choose an international retreat in Lauren’s experience: they are seekers in life, want to partake of the culture, see the art, eat the food, interested in life. They have a spiritual side and also want to do some yoga.
17:07 Lauren’s retreats include yoga but also exploring the culture, the area, the art, wine, and food.
19:39 Retreats give us the time and space to explore the stories we tell ourselves about our life.
23:30 Travel generates resilience.
Yoga website: www.breathedeepyoga.com
Travel website: www.volareretreats.com
SN: Nikola Ellis of Adore Yoga
Yoga Research into Eating Disorders
Research: If and how yoga is beneficial to individuals with eating disorders.
Using western protocols for research
At the beginning, she wanted to research the effect of faulty interoception, objectification, and trauma on the eating disorders. And how yoga may be beneficial.
Standardised the classes so all yoga teachers were essentially teaching the same things in a trauma-informed yoga class.
Asked the yoga teachers and the clinicians there observations of the benefit of yoga.
Outcomes: In addition to the research paper, Nikola developed a series of protocols for giving a yoga class for individuals with eating disorders. These protocols are available at www.adoreyoga.com/blog/
2:07 Yoga Research in the popular press
The number of yoga research projects (in the West) has increased in the last 10 years. The media writes about how yoga helps people with a variety of issues but with little detail about what exactly did the yoga given look like and how did it help the participants. Without this particular information, doing the wrong kind of yoga given the condition may exacerbate the problem.
6:00 Nikola’s guidelines for her research into the effect of yoga on teenagers with eating disorders:
8:10 Nikola found there were three elements that may be involved with why people have eating disorders.
Nikola wasn’t allowed to actually directly measure what happened to the patients that were in the yoga class (it was considered unacceptable to ask very sick children these types of questions).
Modifying the research, the researchers decided to ask the yoga teachers giving the intervention and the clinicians working with the teenagers what they saw as a result of the yoga intervention. Anecdotally, the participants felt it had helped them. The yoga teachers and clinicians also saw improvement and gave very positive feedback.
17:29 The intervention was a 10 week term with one yoga class a week. The yoga teachers were given a template for the classes so that the classes were standardised. It was based on the precepts of trauma-informed yoga and designed using the lenses of yoga therapy. Language is invitational, there were no alignment cues, students were given choice as to how to do the pose within the bounds of safety. Gave students a choice which is very rare during their treatment.
29:50 Outcome: In addition to the research paper, Nikola has designed a set of protocols for yoga teachers or clinicians that want to add yoga to their treatment plans. These protocols are can be accessed on Nikola’s website.
FB, Insta, Twitter: adoreyoga
Working with other professionals to meet the needs of the whole person.
Benefits include better proprioception and social engagement
Collaborate with the family to help special needs children.
1:00 Introduction to Sheelah Rodriguez and Adaptability Yoga
Works in therapy centres, after school settings
Works with different challenges –physical, developmental, and mental challenges of children from toddlers to over 18.
May introduce the same material e.g. super heroes but at different developmental levels.
Class – starts slow, moves to the peak of activity, then down to calmer activities and then relaxation
Uses themes, music, mantras (self-affirmations), poses, meditation, some pranyama in classes
13:15 Work on the whole person
15:30 Collaborate with family and other professionals. Team approach; incorporates yoga concepts to meet the goals for the child set by other professionals.
Experience with other organisations and professionals through her work and has found that the other professionals are quite generous with their knowledge and support
18:30 Benefits to students include better understanding of proprioception, and helps with social engagement.
Highlights: Intensive Yoga Retreats for Cancer Patients
Lee Majewski has created and implements a 3 week intensive for those diagnosed with cancer.
Anyone with the diagnosis, in or finished with treatment can attend the retreats.
Yoga tools are taught to help them with their fear, feeling like a victim and negative thought patterns
6 years of research shows significant benefits for the attendees.
1:16 Introduction to Lee Majewski
3:15 Created a 3 week Intensive Retreat for Cancer Sufferers. Based on her own experience of cancer. There is a gap in care for cancer patients in that during or after the medical treatments there is no support or resources for dealing with the effects of the diagnosis or treatments.
6:20 Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, in treatment or finished with treatments of any type of cancer is eligible to attend the retreat. Each attendee develops with the facilatators their unique practice. Small groups
7:40 A typical day:
Asana and pranayama early, yoga lecture, pranayama and meditation, restorative yoga with mudras/guided meditation, yoga nidra. Chanting. Each is developing their own practice using tools they need to help them with their cancer journey.
10:45 Lee has done research on the effects of the retreat. Attendees take standardised psychological tests the first day, the last day and 3 months after. They have recently added tests at 6 months and 12 months post-retreat. They have 6 years of data.
14:00 Attendees Benefits: given back their control and lose their victim status. Many feel fear and/or depression. The tests show marked decrease in depression over the course of the retreat.
17:00 Structure of the retreat
First week: getting used to the place, diet, techniques, yoga and the other attendees.
Second week: Face their own fears, give them tools to help with these fears
Third week: Learn to manage their thought patterns. Establish their own unique practices and how to find time to do the practices daily.
23:10 Lee has also designed a chronic disease retreat based on the same organisation.
25:37 Lee is looking for other yoga therapists to help her spread these retreats to other English speaking countries and then worldwide.
YAMA Foundation of Hong Kong founded by Hersha Chellaram
offers classes and training in:
Accessible yoga for pregnancy, for differently abled children and adults, and training to become a yoga teacher for those with different abilities.
Yoga teacher/therapist must read the class to provide the correct tools to meet the student/clients’ needs.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) combined with the yoga – asanas, breathing, visualisation, and meditation can help find the source of trauma.
Movement can disrupt trauma held in the body.
Have a healthy relationships with emotions like fear. Ignoring emotions stores them in the body.
1:15 Introduction to Yael Sunshine
2:56 Yael explains her classes for those suffering from breast cancer at Nyack Hospital. People can either be physically compromised from surgery or compromised energy from treatments. The yoga teacher/therapist should read the needs of the clients since there will be students all along the spectrum of breast cancer from diagnosis to years after treatment.
6:00 Healthy relationship with fear – Everyone has fear; fear can run you or you can have a relationship with fear. Allow yourself to feel fear (or any strong relationship), having dialogue with self about the emotion. Moving the body expresses/releases strong emotions.
8:45 Yael working with a psychologist uses Internal Family Systems (a type of therapy) based on Richard Schwartz’s work and yoga to help people and sustain change.
16:50 Recovery classes use yoga to physically feel the 12 steps as well as emotionally.
19:10 Take ourselves too seriously in yoga sometimes; need humor.
20:00 Yael contributing to “Your Shift Matters” which is based on the idea that a traumatic event can lead to transformation.
Your Shift Matters: Breakdown to Breakthrough – Dana Zarcone
1:20 Introduction to Charlotta
3:25 Research on how yoga affects young people: Hippocampus .eu Working the with the European Union and includes asylum seekers. Training those who work with young people like social workers, psychologists, teachers. Just started working with refugees in Italy. Syrians are open to yoga while Muslims from Africa can be concerned about religious issues.
6:20 Charlotta works with women in the UAE and has designed some yoga classes sensitive to Islam. The women in the UAE have said that their yoga practice brings them closer to their religion, single gender classes, allow them to express how yoga might challenge or support their religion.
9:42 Pressures and stresses of being a teenager today. 1 in5 14-17 year olds have a diagnosable mental health issue. Suicide is the largest cause of death for males under 21. Social media is impacting health – constantly having to present yourself in a certain way while having a strong desire to belong. Acutely aware of suffering across the globe which can be difficult for young people.
13:40 Yoga’s benefits for young people: their greatest fear is being alone and not belonging. Yoga allows you to be alone with others. Moving, breathing, together but being in your own body.
16:11 Charlotta’s book: “Teen Yoga” a practical handbook on how we can help young people physically, mentally, spiritually (available in August 2018) . Audience for the book is professionals who use yoga as therapy within their professions. But is also good for parents.
18:15 Teen Yoga Foundation - became a charity in 2016. Charlotta started teaching yoga in schools and because of the need, started training others to teach teen yoga. Invited to bring her teach in orphanages in Sierra Leone for children that had been traumatized. Invited to Kashmir. Will be working in Johannesburg in the townships. All of these places are hoping that yoga will cultivate inner peace which will then lead to outer peace and stop the fighting that these different countries have experienced.
24:50 Teenagers are disembodied – Psychologists almost always say that teenagers are disembodied; their bodies are not their friends. They look at themselves from the outside. Leads to less satisfying relationships, not knowing what emotions are (since they live in the body) they can’t get what they want. Yoga brings inner peace and self-acceptance
28:15 Have just launched the beta version of a yoga app for teenagers. Allows them to do yoga without having to go to classes. It should be available in 2019. Anyone wanting to know more about the foundation, especially young people, can contact Charlotta through her website. They always need more resources: people, money, assistance.
FB, Instagram: teenyogamindfulness
Book: “Teen Yoga” – Amazon – available August, 2018.
Marsha Danzig – Yoga for Amputees
1:15 Introduction of Marsha
2:35 Yoga for Amputees – classes, yoga teacher training for teaching amputees. The basis of the classes and training is: every person is whole. Amputees may not feel whole physically, emotionally or mentally. Maybe stared at often. Takes effort everyday. Need resilience.
7:37 Marsha’s journey: starting teaching classes for “normal” people but attracted students with challenges. Students started asking for her help for their family, friends. Started teaching yoga for kids with challenges. Offered classes for veterans and gave workshops on that topic. The workshops grew into training because of the demand.
Yoga for amputees has been celebrated as one of 13 top programs for adaptive yoga for DoYouYoga.com
13:40 “Yoga for Amputees” – Marsha’s book will be published soon and it is quite complete: includes types of amputations, prostheses, adapting to amputations, chapter for clinicians and developing a patient care plan including yoga
Continued learning and client is the expert on what will work for them
16:00 How to make an amputee feel comfortable in class Teach to capabilities and the highest possibilities. Your belief in their ability to do yoga will make them believe it also. Amputees are inventive and creative, since they will be faced with new situations every day and have to figure out how to adjust. Don’t put hands on the prosthesis. Amputees practice mindfulness daily as they must be very aware of the situation and how their body will react.
23:02 Teacher training for teaching amputees. On-line course for trainees worldwide. With online weekly classes, trainees have more time to absorb the information. For teachers that may need help with a student with an amputation, Marsha provides consultations to develop the teacher’s expertise in providing yoga for that student.
25:57 “From the Roots: Marsha’s book about her journey. Includes poetry, stories, essays on how to live with long-term illness. Can be ordered from Amazon. Everyone should live daily at their highest essence and create daily.
Website, FB, Instagram: yogaforamputees
1:19 Introduction to Melissa Turnock
2:35 Neurogenic Tremor
4:35 TRE definition
9:32 TRE in a yoga class
12:50 Benefits to students of TRE
17:45 Teach regulation and integration in class
Looking for irregular breathing, eye contact, engage in conversation, stop and start tremors so students know they are in control.
1:12 Introduction to Christine Wushke and adjustments
2:15 Adjustments – many of us were taught hands-on adjustments to make the student’s body take a certain shape. Christine prefers supporting the student to go into their own body and learn to make their own adjustment and correct their own movement. Her philosophy is to a) help the meet their own yoga goals and b) how to support them to realise what they need to do make their own adjustments. Christine uses the Hakomi (a body-based therapy) precepts of mindfulness, non-violence and organicity to direct her adjustments.
8:15 Walking toward experiment. Two individuals each go into mindfulness, one quite deeply. The other one walks toward the other one. When in mindfulness, one is highly sensitized to movement and proximity. Students in a yoga class are usually relaxed and will be in some form of mindfulness and so very aware of movement and proximity.
16:25 Student led yoga – teacher supports them in meeting the student’s yoga goals and not the teacher’s goals. Teacher needs to be aware that cues will be interpreted differently by different students. Teachers need to learn how to track their students to see if a cue is causing them to react negatively.
21:00 Adjustments for safety. When is it appropriate to touch a student? Need consent, trust, and a sense of safety before adjusting. What is your reason for and how to touch a student to make an adjustment. May touch to show a student a part of their body that they are not aware of or to emphasize a movement that is dysfunctional. But a light touch or tap is sufficient.
27:00 Bigger adjustments may be needed if the movement disrupts the student’s ability to understand where their body is and how it moves (i.e., arms overhead and how to externally and internally rotate the arms). If the teacher puts the student in the pose, then they haven’t learned anything.
29:00 May not be able to do the movement because they don’t have the neural pathways to do so. Students may not be aware of habitual movements and don’t know where there body is in those movements.
35:07 2nd toe lift: after warming up the toes, lift only the 2nd toe. Because most of us have worn shoes all of our life, we don’t have the neural pathways to move our toes individually. Doing the 2nd toe lift builds neural pathways (can help by having a finger lift up the toe) and then have to work on “training” to build strength to lift the toe without the finger.
35:45 Fine tuning our tactile touch. Just touching and gently moving the student to the extent that the student does not resist. Don’t push to the resistance and beyond – this is where injury can happen.
1:14 Introduction to Vinaya Saunders
1:50 Began with corporate yoga and was pregnant while she was teaching. Some female students became uncomfortable and didn’t come to class as the baby grew. One student said it was painful to see someone so pregnant as she had had great difficulty becoming pregnant. Vinaya started studying Gynocologic Ayurveda in depth and found what the ancient teachings said about fertility Western Medicine solves symptoms, rarely the root cause. Vinaya works with clients using the Ayurvedic practices to develop a healthy uterus, some of her clients have become pregnant and had healthy babies.
Birth control and infertility treatments affect the hormones in many ways and are deleterious to fertility. Pranyama is good for vata imbalances and many fertility issues are based in vata imbalances.
11:50 Vinaya likes to work with women in their 40’s because they have tried everything that Western Medicine has to offer and are looking beyond that paradigm. Western Medicine prescribes birth control pills for teenagers with heavy periods, women experiencing menopause and those with endometriosis. Long term use of birth control can have very deleterious affects on a women’s fertility.
14:45 Vinayam – a humble approach to yoga. Vinaya created this type of yoga based on specific poses for each day of the week. Each day of the week is associated with a planet in Hinduism. Each planet has different aspects and the yoga poses are chosen to support their aspects.
21:50 Vinaya’s journey from corporate yoga to fertility support. Her original training was for young people in their 20’s but her students needed a different kind of yoga. Started studying classical Ayurveda. She looked at fields where Western Medicine has few prescriptions to offer individuals like gynecology, dermatology, and obstetrics. She studied Ayurveda in great depth in these areas. Individuals need to understand the causes of their conditions/diseases not just the symptoms.
30:40 Western medicine works with fear so that people give up their body, mind and spirit to the doctor to fix. Gurus can do something similar; they want control also but use a person’s beliefs and trust. Each individual has to trust their own body, mind, spirit and find support for it to heal itself. And heredity has little effect on health, but rather the patterns of thought that have been passed down from parents or grandparents have more effect on health.
1:06 Introduction to Ashley Adams, owner of Fit Yoga Factory and author of “Zen and the Wonder Woman Complex” - a book to help mums build their tool kit for self-care.
2:12 Ashley defines building a community as creating a safe, comfortable space. Getting rid of whatever preconceptions someone may have of yoga teachers and yoga studios. She brings a real life perspective to yoga classes and yoga studios. She has a healthy mix of students from 13 to 73. Lots of moms that if they have to can bring their children to class so they don’t miss their yoga. Don’t have to be perfect, look perfect, or wear perfect yoga clothes. Her community helps her stay a real person. Its not a “perfectly perfect studio” or “perfectly perfect” yoga teachers, but rather real people who like yoga.
7:05 Ashley’s book – “Zen and the Wonder Women Complex” is the written version of what she is trying to achieve in the studio of being real and accepting that some days can be challenging. The book gives tips and tools on how to start each day with balance and intention.
9:15 Ashley started with online yoga classes (Leader of the Yoga Mom Rebellion) and many of her viewers asked where they could take classes with her in person. So she explored starting a yoga studio in her hometown of Tarpon Springs, FL in the USA. She found a space and opened full time in February 2018. One of her unique classes is Wine Down Wednesday where they have a short class, drink some wine and share a potluck dinner. This can breakdown the perception of what a “yoga studio owner” is like to build a community of like-minded individuals.
13:30 Ashley’s tips on building community through a yoga studio: a) patience and b) accept that you are running a yoga studio and have two hats – a yoga hat and a business hat. Know the differences between those two and what are your strengths and weaknesses. Find others to help with your weaknesses while you use your strengths to build the studio and the business.
15:30 Started the studio because teaching a variety of venues, caused chaos in her life. She wanted to incorporate into her job the ability to fund her yoga dreams of continuing yoga education. She found a place to have the studio and she can do podcasts, classes and workshops, etc., out of one place. Wanted to stay in the yoga world instead of moving between the yoga world and the world of another job.
18:00 Ashley and her teachers have developed systems to allow anyone to take any class regardless of experience or ability. They try to direct people to appropriate classes: emphasising that the class is not ready for you yet instead of you aren’t able to do this class. They modify and work with anyone (including pre-class one on one’s) to help students find the safest way to do yoga in the class they want to attend. Acceptance is a subject brought up often to help people accept where their body is on the that day.
25:05 Ashley’s studio has multiple classes and 3-4 teachers. She started with a full, consistent schedule so that current and prospective students know she will be open and able to provide a variety of classes. Run’s regular hours 5:30 am to sometimes 9:30 pm on the weekdays and only one class on the weekends.
Book: “Zen and the Wonder Women Complex” on Amazon and www.fityogafactory.com
1:23 Introduction of Nancy Candea and Yoga Impact
3:15: In 2009, moved from Hawaii to Boulder, Colorado USA. Wanted to teach more marginalised populations and give back. Started teaching in women’s shelter and a client helped her establish a non-profit charity. In addition to providing yoga to marginalised communities, the charity also wanted to provide teacher training to individuals from these communities.
Nancy teaches at the VA at a women’s trauma unit (for those sexually assaulted in the military). As individuals left the program they asked Nancy for recommendations for where they could take yoga in their community. She didn’t know and started the Yoga Impact teacher training. Students will feel more comfortable if the teacher understands what the students have experienced. As a result, in 2017, Yoga Impact teacher training graduated 17 people of color and one week remains for the teacher training offered on the Navajo Reservation. Some trainees have already been teaching in the community.
Yoga Impact provides resources – both monetarily and other resources – for teachers that have a vision for their community that improves wellness. As an example, Nancy used to teach at the Boulder Women’s jail and when a student finished her sentence, she asked Nancy how she could take teacher training. Yoga Impact funder her training and she has taken over the yoga classes at the jail, works with the parole officers and others that provide support to help students with the transitions from jail to living on their own.
9:45 Nancy and the board are currently expanding Yoga Impact’s vision to help support new teachers as they begin to teach in their communities. It may include financial support, mentoring, or training on how to be an entrepreneur to start wellness communities.
10:44 They want to expand the reach of Yoga Impact into more communities by working with small business, corporations, and entrepreneurs to expand their financial base.
13:50 There are a variety of sponsorships to support Yoga Impact: individual sponsorships, small business and corporate, and yoga studio sponsorships are available.
17:57 How to work with corporations or entrepreneurs. Providing a well thought out program that targets the corporation’s or entrepreneur’s community with a specific request that requires little corporate effort is often successful.
20:56 What is the contribution of Yoga Impact? There is a large community of connected people who want to serve – a network of people who want to reach out and be part of the upliftment of humankind.
Email: yogaimpact @gmail.com
FB: yogaimpact 501C3
1:05 Introduction of Caroline
2:20 Corporate Yoga – started as part of wellbeing programs in work place. Caroline was contacted to provide yoga classes and meditation courses. Some corporations are committed to their staff’s wellbeing but less common in last few years. Benefits to students and to the organisation. Company benefits include increasing profits through employee retention and improved employee output. Need a champion to talk to senior management about implementing the program and can also help with logistics. Co-contribution by staff reinforce commitment to attend.
10:20 Corporate classes: Caroline teaches them so that the postures, breathing and relaxation can be replicated in their offices, at home or while travelling. Teaches what the poses do – i.e., opening hips. All classes include work on the mat, standing, and in a chair. Pranyama and meditation.
13:00 Meditation – changed Caroline’s life. Due to health issues, wanted to improve her health and immune system. Asked Craig Hassad (a colleague) for information but he just told her to start meditating. Just 5 minutes to start and tell him how it was. Using meditation assisted in bringing her white blood cell count from zero to near normal. This led to completing teacher training and creating her own yoga studio. Realised climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t very fulfilling. She is now calmer, sleeps better, her problem-solving is better.
23:00 She has created a Japanese garden around her studio to create stillness and serenity.
25:18 Caroline’s study of yoga therapy and Ayurveda led her to realise that these two can help individuals with their issues. Hopes it will become an integral part of the health system.
FB and Instagram: experienceyoga
Diana Tokaji Part 2
Self-Care during Acute Trauma
1:00 Wrote a book “Six Women in a Cell” of her experience with assault by police. It isn’t a yoga therapy how-to, tells stories of the womens’ experience. Reader and listener share the experience. Story of what it takes to survive. It’s for any survivor and those that work with survivors.
5:20 Diana’s assault occurred three years ago. This time frame has allowed her to start speaking publicly. This and working with clients with similar problems requires a lot of self-care, emotional rebalancing and release.
7:00 Self Care Tips: what restores each of us comes from what we love. Soon after the assault took up boxing – contact, rhythm – really helped. She dances, moves, shares. Recommends that yoga therapists learn re-evaluation counselling where the counsellor is trained to be present, a quality listener to another person. Yoga therapists should be available to each other using this technique.
10:50 Presence is being sware of what the body is asking or trying to do. Learning what it really takes to be present. It is the best gift you can give anybody. In a session, visiting different scenes of Diana’s assault, I knew nobody wanted to hear about the assault, or what I went through. When the therapists described the defeat she saw in me, the dam broke and I talked about it. The yoga therapists held the space while those scenes replayed.
16:03 Diana’s book Six Women in a Cell telling the story of her assault experience is written with only a few edits remaining. Then she will be looking for an agent and publisher. The performance based on the book is another avenue for the story. Perfomance was a carrot for Diana’s GoFundMe site to fund writing the book. The GoFundMe has been successful in providing funds. (See resources for the finding the site if you would like to donate.)
21:30 The physical aspect in yoga therapy (e.g., mudras) are very helpful. Pull, press, push the hands and the being registers the courage needed in life. Creates a sense of tone; translates to the mental and emotional states. The physical practices are equally important.
Yoga Therapy Today, Diana Tokaji, “ Yoga Therapy as Early Intervention for the Acute Stage Following Assault or Trauma: Highlights from a Self-Case Report”, Winter, 2018, p.42
www.GoFundMe.com search for Diana Tokaji
Diana Tokaji Part 1
1:10 Introduction to Diana Tokaji
2:16 Acute Stage of Trauma following assault. Acute state can appear at any stage to life. Some of the go too’s of yoga therapy may not be appropriate but may put the body in danger. Body may need to rally to face challenges of acute state. Acute stage is survival state. “Yoga Therapy Today” Winter, 2018, Diana’s article recommend rest and relaxation for PTSD and trauma. But body may be in acute stage which is a state of survival which is the right state for the body to be in. Putting it into relaxation can drop the body into freeze state which could be dangerous.
9:00 Aspects of Diana’s protocol for acute trauma: vigilance, head-centered, legs parallel, close chain, quads and glute engaged, eyes open, heels on the ground. Vigilance = be able to see all around, can scope your horizons. If client wants to be in relaxation pose, Diana may offer to be vigilant for them. These aspects meet the body’s need to watch out for danger.
15:00 Presence is needed to know what is required for a client in that moment. Yoga therapists and teachers may have too shallow a knowledge of trauma. Have to meet the wisdom of the sympathetic NS. This approach gives another frame with a client with acute trauma. These ideas are becoming more well-known and accepted.
19:45 “I teach courage, physically and emotionally. I always reject shame. I offer specific cues and direction to rally muscle as well as mind support.” Fear can be overwhelming. Need executive function to deal with the aftermath of an assault –legal, medical, relationship, etc. Plus fear of the assaulter returning. Trauma is like a rupture of your being.
Yoga Therapy Today, Diana Tokaji, “ Yoga Therapy as Early Intervention for the Acute Stage Following Assault or Trauma: Highlights from a Self-Case Report”, Winter, 2018, p.42
Dayna Culwell – Yoga for Chronic Pain
1:30 Introduction to Dayna Culwell
3:08 Using yoga to interrupt the pain signals. Alert from brain that there is pain and something be done. Sometimes the pain signals become mixed and that the wound that originally caused the pain is healed but the pain continues. The brain needs to be reset. Start with grounding and breathing. Can redirect the pain signals if you can learn a strong focus through yoga; readjust pain signals so that you don’t notice them (as much) or reset so that the brain stops sending false pain signals. Reground: pain makes us lose perspective, power of pain is very strong (survival mechanism). Reground: connecting with the earth (i.e., child pose).
13:00 Chronic Pain Programs in Hospitals: Dayna’s teacher developed and taught the physicians of the hospital. Seeing the value, the physicians helped implement the program. Leads to better recuperation because yoga can address the changes due to the emotional impact of the illness and treatment. Program includes grounding and breathing based on the kosha model, start with physical body and then go through the rest of the koshas.
20:00 Has started meeting 60+ women in their homes and them yoga to meet the student’s goals. Together they create a yoga space in the student’s home so that they have a place to practice. Discuss things like where can you keep your props, do you have a clear wall space, how will the space work? This increases compliance with the practice that Dayna designs for each student. She is also seeing clients in nursing homes and working with people with dementia. She uses music, talks softly, has a kind expression and the students start to positively react to that and follow her movements. Caregivers at the home may also take the class next to their client which is beneficial for both.
29:00 Dayna is very interested in and wants to interact with others on the subject of yoga for scoliosis. She would like to hear from others that may want to do a project on using yoga to help those with scoliosis.
1:12 Introduction to Nityda Gessal
4:15 When is yoga appropriate for someone in trauma. Need tools when beginning therapy or yoga. Touch can be a trigger for people with trauma. Get permission to touch several times during class.
Need referral list for therapists for students. Yoga is “yoga therapy lite”. If students describe behaviours of hurting themselves or others, tell you their trauma history, then a yoga teacher should give them a referral for a therapist or if in therapy to see their therapist.
13:32 Teaches trauma informed yoga for therapists and teachers. Therapists are accepting of yoga; accepting of alternative modalities. Therapists understand that trauma is held in the body, right side of the brain and trauma work needs to include movement. Trauma is held in the right side of the brain but fragmented = fragmented, intrusive thoughts. Traditional talk therapy is left brained and can’t reach the trauma. Need to access the right brain, creativity, movement. Yoga integrates the right and left brain. Intrusive thoughts are all right brained and need to integrate the logical, rational left brain to understand the thoughts.
18:30 Yoga movement to help trauma as opposed to restorative yoga. Holding in restorative yoga is so long allows intrusive thoughts. People need to feel sensation in the body, perhaps yin yoga which holds to feel sensation in the body is conducive to healing trauma. People need to move through their trauma. Keep talking keep them present in restorative poses.
22:06 Trauma-informed training for yoga teachers. Significant education about what is trauma, prevalence (in a class of 25, 3 will have diagnoses of PTSD and 15 will have trauma issues), how is trauma stored in the Nervous System and the brain, trauma therapies and referrals. Invitational language, sensitive to issues of trauma survivors. Important for teachers to have knowledge of the trauma informed approach.
30:00 Nityda has started creating and posting trauma focussed youtube videos. Yoga practices for trauma.
You Tube Videos – google Nityda Gessal
Resources: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk.