Introduction to Sandra Gilbert and YCAT
2:00 Yoga taught in chemotherapy infusion suites, bedsides, waiting rooms, and for their carers. Yoga is available during diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and end of life and for caregivers. Would like to have yoga available during diagnosis and prevention of cancer. Yoga is good for stress management and decreases stress hormones. Yoga teaches body awareness and promotes a healthy lifestyle, a person can take control thru mind-body practices.
4:17 Yoga for Cancer Research: working with the medical profession. Originally started with yoga for the special child. Became a caregiver for family members with cancer. Began practices with mother who was hospitalised. Then found YCAT training.
5:41 Not trained as a medical progession but mentor was a nurse. Sandra accompanied her mentor to conferences and research meetings. She made connections and started building relationships. Her mentor told her that no yogis were not medial professionals but we should stand in our own expertise. Through relationships and connections, became part of a medical team. Must respect all members of the team for their expertise.
7:35 Sandra is involved in current research of yoga for women with breast cancer with or without lymphodoema. The research has not finished yet so no outcomes. They are measuring pain, psychosocial and emotional elements. Finding if yoga is helpful for those with lymphodoema. Will be finished in June.
8:33 No consistent response to cancer. Everyone’s journey is different. First evaluation very important to listens and meeting them where they are. Where they are with regard to their cancer treatment.
10:16 Foundation of work is building a relationship with person. Questioning/listening helps them clarify their thoughts. YCAT classes structure: awareness practice to begin to notice physical, emotional, thoughts, energy and breath. Very empowering to understand what the body and mind are feeling. They learn to check in with themselves. Learn tools to help them.
12:18 Provide yoga for the caregivers. – yoga empowers them to take care of themselves while caregiving. Educating caregivers to take a break; give them a yoga practice if they like. Learn what they need and how to give that to themselves. Creating relationship with someone so that each caregiver finds exactly what they need for self-care. Supporting someone in finding out what they need.
15:37 YCAT is based in Integral Yoga. Integral Yoga Class and YCAT class structure: awareness, asana, breathwork, yoga nidra, meditation. Dean Ornish based his work in Integral Yoga for improving heart disease and chronic conditions through a healthy lifestyle. Joy Devi did a lot of research in this area to show the benefits of yoga for heart disease and chronic conditions.
17:46 The YCAT founder died in 2017 and Sandra took over as director. YCAT as an organisation decided to include more grief training in their organisation and their training. YCAT curriculum helps with grief by recognizing and having people explore their own grief in there experiences.Someone who has received a cancer diagnosis feels grief over their old life. Their new life will be very different. People with the diagnosis need to be aware of how this affects them; it could be very different from person to person. Honoring each person’s process of grieving. YCAT offers support; but must accept where each person is. Can have hard discussions about loss if person is ready and wants to talk.
22:20 Future of YCAT: Sandra is starting to work with other providers of yoga for cancer training and IYAT to establish a set of guidelines for yoga for cancer training. YCAT is positioned as continuing education after receiving 1000 hour yoga therapy training. YCAT is also promoting mentoring for teachers. YCAT supports new teachers as they find the area in yoga for cancer – they learn about themselves and self-care. Trainers model self-care. And also thinking how to provide support for health care workers.
1:52 Interest in Thai Yoga – more authentic than yoga as it is currently taught. It is called Ruesri dat ton. The monks in Thailand practice this yoga. Uses the breath, great attention to detail, build pressure and then with poses let the pressure dissipate.
5:57 Michael teaches Thai yoga principles but not Thai yoga postures in his classes. Works with the breath, don’t push breath down to the belly but rather keep in thoracic area to stretch out the thoracic area which provides support to the pose. People of size often have large belles which push down and restrict the movement of the rib cage.
8:20 Modification for large-bodied people: Using forward bend as an example, forward bending is difficult because the belly is in the way and to get fingers to toes requires extensive stretching of the hamstrings. Bend the knees and may feel opening in the thoracic rib cage. Belly will push into diaphragm and back opens more. Belly used as a catalyst to open up rib cage. Child pose as an example, the purpose is to fold the joints and then let the weight of the body sink into the pose. Many (often men) have trouble with flattening the tops of the feet in child pose and need something (blanket, mat) under their ankles to get into the pose. Use Chair for the head. Play with the movement, come out when uncomfortable and then back into the pose.
14:15 Works with students in yoga classes and also as massage therapists. Has yoga teachers coming to him for help with injuries – wrists, lower back, neck and shoulders. Repetitive movement that goes unchecked can lead to injury. Self- practice is for self-exploration, self-relfection, paying attention to the body.
16:50 Is yoga more accessible now? When Michael started 20 years ago, there was little interest in teaching large-bodied students. Only 3 teachers in his area were teaching large bodied students (lives in NYC) Started his own studio because of the lack of opportunity. Now included in norms of yoga but there is a push back. Mainly a financial concern: large-bodied people need larger exercise clothing, larger mats, and more space to do yoga. So it is not of interest to corporate yoga companies. A grass roots approach is working now and it may not be taken over by big business. It is better as there is more creativity in the grass roots.
19:35 Big business yoga can be very dogmatic, very limited, too financially based, no room for ordinary people. Looking for a “famous” teacher can also be unhealthy. Classes/students look the same, no growth occurring. Teachers limited in the type of students they can teach. Yoga will survive, but growth in yoga teaching/practice is questionable in these circumstances.
Teachers we looked up to 20 years ago are experiencing injuries because of the type of yoga and student they teach. Their students will have the same problems in 20 years.
Individuals must have their own practice – take classes, read, work out what is best for their body in their own practice. Can get too engrossed in the movement without paying attention to how the body feels.
23:00 Why are students attracted to Buddha Body Classes? Students are quirky, funny, talkative curious and often have a lot of fear. Fear can be generated from previous classes where teachers did not know how to teach them and they feel shamed because of their body type.
Michael has started streaming classes on Sat AM – the audience is growing and more and more are interested in these classes. Allows someone to do the class in their own space where they may be more comfortable. Because of Michael’s emphasis on safety, he breaks down the pose as much as he can, give variations, explain why they are doing the pose but emphasize they must pay attention to their own body.
27:20 Play with yoga, pay attention to your own body, ask yourself how you feel and most importantly why you feel that way. Don’t worry about completing a pose. Keep asking yourself why. Teachers are guides not rulers
2:12 Experience in improvisation and vintage dance instructor. Uses these skills in her yoga teaching. It was a natural progression to move to yoga from these other skills, and yoga fulfils performance and movement for Natasya
3:40 Adds dance movements to the beginning of class to have people start to feel into their bodies. Start with table top and moving and experimenting with movement within the pose
5:40 Students learn to individualise for their own bodies according to the precepts of Bernie Clark in Your Body, Your Yoga. How Does yoga make you feel, don’t force people into poses.
6:30 Promoting inclusiveness in her studio. Doesn’t teach a certain style or brand. Students come from word of mouth because people are comfortable coming and can be themselves. Gives lots of variations, lots of different levels of yoga. Beginner classes provide the basics so that students can attend any class and feel comfortable. Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley also promotes letting your body find the way. Allow our body to tell us what is right.
10:15 Yoga videos are available. Encouraged by Yoga with Adrien videos to make her own. New endeavour: meditation and transformational online courses. What to affect change as a positive result in students’ lives. Asking what can I bring to the yoga video world that reflects me. Videos are based on loving our bodies, loving ourselves. Loving our authentic person and speak in our authentic voice. Meditation will be the jumping off point to start self-love and healing. All online courses will have a meditation component. But stilling the monkey mind will not be the purpose but rather to acquire a sense of acceptance using meditation.
15:35 Anticipating releases of videos starting with a 6 week course in February 2019 at the latest. Current thinking for the videos will be based on planting the seed concept. Guided meditation to plant the seed to self-love, what are the blocks to self-love, forgiving yourself and others, and then planting more seeds to encourage self-love. Also includes exercises, group, journaling, etc.
19:34 Includes the Hawaiian ritual forgiveness of Ho’oponopono. Realising you are the cause of everything you see in the world, recognising that, asking forgiveness . One form is: I’m sorry, I love you, Please forgive me, Thank you. Accepting responsibility for everything you see is acknowledging we are all one.
23:28 Teaching Yoga to Toddlers Have to go with the spirit of the day, Always manages to get them into svasana. Its very improvisational, take kids on a journey and the kids develop the story.
yoga videos www.youtube.com/c/theyogapantrywithtash
Courses: www.natasyayusoff.com (send ideas for courses)
Bernie Clark Your Body, Your Yoga
Paul Grilley Yin Yoga
Ho’oponopono – Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness