Introduction of Mark and Embodied Yoga
2:04: Definition of Embodiment – Subjective aspect of the body
3:20 Mark came to embodiment yoga when he realised his life as a teenager was screwed up. With yoga and aikido, he realised there was a lot of beauty and richness in the movement and something in it for him. The next step how do I teach this to others.
4:25 Embodiment principles = life skills that can’t be learned from a book, i.e., leadership, yoga, stress management.
Practical life skills: breathe, peripheral vision, relax your tummy are skills to bring down your stress levels. The yoga teacher models relaxation and this flows out to the class and they also relax.
7:04 Yoga off the Mat - YouTube videos of Mark teaching embodiment principles. Asking students to take up space and being seen – spreading the arms and legs out and making yourself big and then bringing the limbs in and ducking the head to be small. People will feel comfortable in one of the opposing poses and not in the other. What is the emotion attached to being uncomfortable, is this a pattern of living are questions to ask to build a practice for yourself off the mat.
Can learn micropostures to do outside of the yoga class. Breath, extension, small movements of limbs that bring the essence of the pose and its emotional impact to daily life
12:00 Why and How does Yoga Change You?
Mark’s aim is to make that transfer of change off the mat more effective and efficient
14:02 What is the biggest change you have made because of yoga: he’s alive, sober, and in an intimate relationship. Need self-awareness, self-care, an self-regulation to be in a long-term, happy ,intimate relationship.
15:25 Embodiment is looking at how you are feeling in this pose, not the perfection of the form. Teaches that the postures are good enough – safe and can use as an enquiry. Doesn’t obsess about the form, but rather the emotions generated by the pose. “Where do I need this pose in my life?”
17:29 What as yoga practitioners can we learn from other movement modalities?
19:38 Students come to Mark to explore themselves through movement. Each teacher has to decide what their aims are and fashion the practice to meet the aims. Using whatever movement modality is best. Mark has developed a system for confronting and exploring oneself and how to change the things the student wants to change. As an example, Mark may do svasana in the middle of a workshop since the purpose of the pose is to explore what the student is dead to in their life or as a hard-core death meditation. It is inappropriate for the end of the class.
23:10 Modern yoga has evolved into the guru, hippy, Gordon Gecko model. Each has its positive sides: guru has tradition, Gordon Gecko is based on evidence-based, logic, exploration and the hippy questions hierarchy, lack of equality, acknowledging feeling in the somatic body. They each have a negative side.
27:13 Yoga in the 21st Century – yoga for everyone and flexibility of approach.
28:00 Resources: Free - E-books (e.g., Making Yoga Meaningful), Embodiment podcast, YouTube videos for those who have been in yoga for awhile and wanting something deeper. Teacher Training: Embodied Yoga Principles Training, Deepen Knowledge: Embodied Facilitator Course
Embodied Conference in mid-November 2018. Free, online with a wide variety of speakers.
YouTube: Integration Training
Introduction to Osteoporosis: bones become fragile which leads to increased risk of fractures. May be due to bone mineral decreases or the failure of the microarchitecture.
5:30 No symptoms there is a test called the DEXA test that measures bone density (but not bone microarchitecture) It tests three sites on the body: hip, vertebrae and wrist. Each site receives it’s own score.
Vertebral fractures can also lead to kyphosis which is 1) a risk factor for more vertebral fractures, it impacts breathing and balance.
9:59 Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, is recommended to move the muscles that then pull on the bones to signal the need for increased density.
Axial Skeleton – skull, vertebrae, ribs. Protects the core organs and gives structure to the trunk. Women lose more bone (as a percentage) from the axial skeleton than men do so they have an increased risk of vertebral fractures.
Need strong core muscles to protect the bones and to help with holding up the trunk.
11:35 Dr. Mersheed Sinaki, has done several studies on osteoporosis at the Mayo Clinic in the US. She recommends more than just weight-bearing exercise but also need to improve a) flexibility, b) core strength, c) cardiovascular fitness, d) axial strength, and e) gait steadiness (to prevent falls from loss of balance).
13:00 Yoga poses to strengthen the axial skeleton (primarily the vertebrae).
16:45 Appendicular Skeleton: limbs, hip and shoulder girdles. Breaks in hip are often at the neck of the femur which causes a fall. Hip fractures are highly correlated with death in older individuals so a hip fracture is quite dangerous. Wrist fractures often occur when trying to stop a fall. And falls increase fracture risk.
19:34 Contraindicated poses
24:30 With kyphosis, yoga can provide tools to help breathing. Need more space in the chest to allow the lungs to fully inflate.
25:25 New study correlates disturbed sleep with osteoporosis. Yoga Nidra is good for showing students how to relax and can be a tool to help them sleep at night. Or any relaxation tool used in savasana.
Yoga Vetebral Fractures & Osteoporosis: Research and Recommendations, Norlyk, E., Boses, A., International Journal of Yoga Therapy, No. 23 (1) 2013
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation in Patients with Osteoporosis: Rehabilitation of Osteoporosis Program (ROPE), Sinaki, M., Journal für Mineralstoffwechsel & Muskuloskelettale Erkrankungen 2010
Yoga Spinal Flexion Positions an Vertebral Compression Fracture in Ostepenia and Osteoporosis of the Spine: Case Series Sinaki, M., MD, MS Clinical Report
Impact of Sleep on Osteoporosis: Sleep quality is associated with bone stiffness index, Sasaki, N., Fujiwara, S., Yamashita, H., Ozono, R., Teramen, K., Kihara, Y.
Sleep Medicine 2016 Sept: 25: 73-77
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.