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Changing the Face of Yoga Podcast

Hosted by Stephanie Cunningham, a yoga teacher herself who is committed to sharing yoga with anyone, especially the over 50's. Stephanie created this podcast to share how yoga can be practiced by anyone with amazing benefits. Yoga teachers themselves will share their stories; discussing why they teach, who they teach, how students benefit. Every fortnight or so, we will release a new episode. We will talk with teachers about teaching children, curvy bodies, the elderly but also those that each yoga to support students with diabetes, cancer and mental health issues.
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Now displaying: September, 2018
Sep 25, 2018

 

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?

 

Contacts:

act@getoffyourasana.com.au

Cate: 0419609991

Note: the crowdfunding Start Some Good that Cate mentions has not gone live yet but will soon.

Sep 18, 2018

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.

  1. Complete a questionnaire
  2. Meet face-to-face or online
  3. Beth envisions the overall structure concerning the sessions but the client directs. Where the body takes us, where the beliefs takes us. Using movement, journaling, meditation, art. Online can see each other so can do asanas remotely. Beth has cultivated a network of colleagues that she can refer the client to for face-to face work.

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.”

Contacts:

Website: www.bethknudson.com

FB group: make  peace with  your body

Sep 11, 2018

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.

Contact details:

Website: www.accessibleyoga.org

FB:           AccessibleYogaProject

                Accessibleyogatraining

Insta:     #accessibleyoga

               

Sep 4, 2018

Yoga for Men with Missy Hoffman

2:36 Introduction

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.

Contacts: www.missykai.yoga

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.

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