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
1:05 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
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.
1:11 Introduction of Jean Di Carlo-Wagner
3:56 Created a class for people in treatment for cancer, long term survivorship, and in transition. She was diagnosed with cancer and could find no suitable yoga classes as she went through the stages of cancer treatment.
Students are all laying down for the entire class. Yoga allows people to deal with the emotional aspects of the diagnosis or living with a chronic disease. Allows them to decompress. 60% of people diagnosed with cancer will have a re-occurrence. They become chronic patients then and need to manage their nervous system as they go through the process. Yoga provides equanimity as it has the most tools to help and makes the most impact. The ripples of the diagnosis last for a long time, often resulting a many stress-related issues. There is nothing that yoga can’t make a little better.
13:00 Benefits for students – class concentrates on breathing fully and naturally. People in stress often have constricted breathing. Makes space for people that are in some form of healing, it provides community, and cancer often motivates people to have a healthier lifestyle of which yoga is one aspect.
21:50 Witness – a non-judgemental look at ourselves, accepting our bodies as they are now, notice what is happening without attaching emotions. Jean gives a one minute witnessing meditation that she often uses in class.
22:30 Class begins with students that want to introducing themselves and what their bodies need. Language is very invitational asking people to move in any way that their body can do easily. Class usually consists of 25 minutes of stretching, 25 minutes of meditation, and 15 minutes of breathing.
Medical doctors are more accepting of yoga as part of the treatment for healing from cancer but do want valid research about yoga in this role. Research in yoga is changing from surviving cancer to the quality of life in the journey. Recent research which is more valid than older research shows that yoga is the safest and best for the majority of students in a class for people with cancer or surviving.
40:45 Transition – Jean brings the classes breathing and meditation aspects to the student’s home that can no longer attend class. Yoga allows space for discussing what is eternal in us; what transforms but does not die. Yoga helps us “walk each other home”. Helps other students in the class accept the death of a former student.
43:45 Yoga for Healing Phone Call – once a month Jean posts the date on FB for the monthly phone call which is very similar to the class.
48:40 Jean has uploaded 52 meditations on her website (www.yogabeing.net). This is her legacy to produce content that will be of use to others with chronic diseases or those that enjoy the meditations.
FB, Insta, Vimeo, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Alignable: Jean Di Carlo-Wagner
Sound-Cloud.com – Yoga Being
1:12 Lara Benusis Introduction
1:40 Yoga Research Protocols - Lara developed protocols for departments at Sloan Kettering. She also was a subject of research projects when she was at university. She also dropped out of one which gives her insight into the issue of keeping subjects continuing with the research study. Can give incentives, but incentives have to be acceptable to a wide variety of subjects for the research results to be applicable to the whole population that is being studied. Developing protocols is a collaborative effort which has positive and negative aspects. 1st step is literature review to look at what yoga research and other movement research has studied on the research question.
13:120 Medically trained and Ph.D.'s are becoming much more accepting of good quality yoga research and yoga in general but they need the expertise of experienced yoga teachers to add to the protocols developed. Lara is constantly applying the concepts learned from research to her teaching and research.
17:00 Yoga teachers generally have low interest in yoga research. Lara is contemplating a Facebook group like a book group to read and discuss yoga research. Wants to share her expertise to other yoga teachers. She speaks up about misuses of research (e.g., yoga (mats) cause plantar warts which led to cleaning yoga mats after every use) but this was based on 5 instances of yoga students having plantar warts among a podiatrist' s clientele. However the cause of the warts was not definitively yoga - could have been many things.
26:00 Yoga teachers also need to be more collaborative because if they don't they have to be a expert at everything. Teaching basic yoga may not need as much collaboration but when teaching students with health issues it becomes very important.
2:30 Mindfullness vs meditation. Is there a difference or does it matter.
6:30 Increase in anxiety - our technology is a key contributor to the increase in anxiety. The devices are intentionally addictive and our brain produces dopamine at every ding to ensure that we will continue to use the device.
12:00 Using hypnosis in treating anxiety. All of us have reached a hypnotic state which is a focused state of awareness. Driving somewhere and then not remembering how you got there is called highway hypnosis - the subconscious took over while the conscious thought of something else. You change your focus by focusing on the positive which needs consistent practice but it can lessen anxiety. Yoga helps with this by emphasising focusing strongly on one thing.
17:25 Stephanie works with women with anxiety primarily. She has developed a variety of techniques to help so each person has something that will calm them. It is partnership between the two of Stephanie and her client.
20:30 Short term vs long term anxiety. Although there are differences, there are more similarities. Using the techniques to calm the nervous system will work in either situation. Have to build the capacity for resilience daily with simple techniques. Two simple techniques are discussed and why they work.
26:43 Stephanie will have a book published soon: "Goodbye Anxiety - Hello Freedom: Building resilience to overcome anxiety"All of the many techniques that Stephanie uses are explained in the book so that anyone can find something that will be beneficial for them. To find out about the launch of the book: go to 5easywaystocalmanxiety.com to download tips on helping with anxiety and when the book launches, you will receive notification of how to access the book.
29:10 The techniques require that they be practiced daily. Stephanie helps with building that habit or choosing an accountability buddy can help build that habit. Stephanie works online with women, men and children to help them build resilience to calm their anxiety
FB: Stephanie Dalfonzo
To find out about the launch of the book: 5easywaystocalmanxiety.com