Tag Archives: Yoga

Brighter Than The Sun

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“There’s courage involved if you want
to become truth. There is a broken-

open place in a lover. Where are
those qualities of bravery and sharp

compassion in this group? What’s the
use of old and frozen thought? I want

a howling hurt. This is not a treasury
where gold is stored; this is for copper.

We alchemists look for talent that
can heat up and change. Lukewarm

won’t do. Halfhearted holding back,
well-enough getting by? Not here.” Rumi

The word Niralambaya comes from the Anusara Yoga Invocation.  The invocation is about the true teacher, within and without, the auspicious, intrinsic goodness within our hearts.  Niralambaya suggests that the essence of this teacher, the “Tejese”, the divine luminosity within is independent in existence and completely free from limitation.

At times external circumstances can make us feel rough and worn down.  It can be challenging to trust or believe that our light is still there.  Our yoga practice helps to polish us from the inside out.  We do the work so that we are able to tap into something bigger than us, to source, to an effulgence that can not be extinguished.  Our practice creates an alchemy that melts obstacles, transforming the dull and rough into something that is brilliantly bright.  I have been told that sometimes, at the end of your practice when you have all but exhausted your physical strength, can be an opportunity for you to achieve the greatest metamorphosis.  That when you have to rely on your intention alone, a shift will occur.  We can often find our greatest strength and teachings from those moments when we are tested and feel most vulnerable.

Diwali, The Festival of Lights, began yesterday in India and will last for five days.  During the festival, thousands of candles and lanterns will be lit to celebrate the victory of light over darkness.  Symbolically, the lights can also represent the triumph of good over evil.   Dipali Desai states, “Diwali represents ‘rows of lighted lamps’ but also it represents a time of  lighting up millions of lights or lamps (individual awareness) to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and expand the radiance (Consciousness) of wisdom…”

I hope that we will all light a candle or a lantern to celebrate our increasing awareness and grace.  It is my deepest wish that we will continue our individual practices, both on and off the mat, in order to keep sight of our wisdom even in times of struggle and darkness.  Let us all continue to burn brightly, so that we can collectively set the world on fire with a love that burns brighter than the sun!

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Balancing the Polls

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Your Other Name

If your life doesn’t often make you feel
like a cauldron of swirling light –
 
If you are not often enough a woman standing above a mysterious fire,
lifting her head to the sky –
 
You are doing too much, and listening too little.
 
Read poems. Walk in the woods. Make slow art.
Tie a rope around your heart, be led by it off the plank,
happy prisoner.
 
You are no animal. You are galaxy with skin.
Home to blue and yellow lightshots,
making speed-of-light curves and racecar turns,
bouncing in ricochet –
 
Don’t slow down the light and turn it into matter
with feeble preoccupations.
 
Don’t forget your true name:
Presiding one. Home for the gleaming. Strong cauldron for the feast of light. 
 
Strong cauldron for the feast of light:
I am speaking to you.
I beg you not to forget.

–Tara Sophia Mohr

This morning I had the great pleasure of experiencing another one of Elena Brower’s extraordinary classes on yogaglo.  The class was called: Cultivate a Deep and Generous Connection to Your Self.  During the class, Elena stated: “We create a very strong & clear vessel, with boundaries, with sweetness, with crazy amounts of courtesy.  And then, inside, is softness and listening and receptivity…”

At the end of class, she shared the poem above.

The practice was perfection.  Her words, as always, timely.  You see, today the world is in a state of upheaval.  It feels a bit like standing on the middle of a giant seesaw.  There are a lot of people on both sides and I am stuck in the middle trying to find some balance.  I didn’t want to feel defensive or on edge.  I made sure to take the time this morning to cultivate that necessary equilibrium on the inside.  Firmly rooted and connected, with a deep remembrance of who I am, I can walk through the swirling voices, opinions, and signs.  From a place of spaciousness and softness, I now go out into the world to vote my truth.

I hope you do too : )

Debunking Your Theory That You Don’t Have Time For Yoga

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I reached out to Laurie Gerber, President of Handel Group to ask her a few questions about her experience with yoga and how she creates the time in her very full schedule for this practice. The Handel Group uses a methodology that they created, called: Personal Integrity®. This methodology teaches you to live in accordance with your highest ideals, to align your heart, mind and body and to keep your promises to yourself as the source of true pride, power and self-confidence. I have experienced this method in action and it is truly amazing to me how effective it is. The authenticity and alignment pieces are very similar to the practice of yoga itself and this is why I chose her for this interview.

AS:  As the President of a thriving company, a wife, and a Momma, you mentioned to me that you create space in your schedule for a little yoga every day. How and why do you do this? Do you find that making yoga a priority for you enables you to be a more effective participant of your life?

LG:  Honestly, why I do it (besides that a break midday helps me clear my mind and feel more at ease) is that my back used to go out a few times a year, but since I began my 20 minutes of daily yoga, it doesn’t anymore. How I do it, is I schedule it. My promise is to do 20 minutes, but I actually block out my whole “lunch hour” knowing I’ll want to try to cram other things around it, avoid taking a break or feel like something else is more urgent. Twenty minutes before my hour is up, I drop to the floor and begin, either following what my body wants or visiting Elena Brower on yogaglo. The break in my focus always lets in more creativity. Not becoming immobilized with back pain is an incredible boon to my work life and life with my husband and kids. Generally, I have a working lunch, but I always stop for at least 20 minutes to stretch and manifest, no matter what, because it contributes so much to my productivity, vitality and well-being (not to mention my ability to sit at a computer 13 hours a day).

AS:  I often hear people tell me that they know yoga would be beneficial to them and would really like to incorporate a practice into their lives, yet they insist that they are too busy and do not have time. What would your advice as a Life Coach be for them?

LG:  Skip something else. If you are too busy at work for 20 minutes, delegate something or skip your lunch break. If you are with kids all day, do it during nap time or find the right video. I know I sound cavalier about possibly compromising other “values” or responsibilities, but we are fooling ourselves if we don’t think our spirituality and self-care are meant to be at the top of the priority list. It’s not idealistic; it’s just practical if you are thinking long-term. You have to last. Schedule it into your calendar with reminders and alarms and implement a consequence if you skip, like no chocolate or coffee or tea or Facebook the next day, if you skip. That way, you will stay focused on being true to your plan. Lastly, try it for four weeks (at least three short practices a week) and then vote if it is worth it. Our problem is that we vote before we even test the new idea. You have NO idea how you’ll feel when you have a regular practice. If you do, because you have tried it, then you know what you’re missing and you were just waiting for this article to kick your butt back to the mat.

AS:  I have heard you say that people believe their personality is stuck, that they “just are the way they are” and that is why they are incapable of x,y,z. I am frequently told: “I can’t do yoga, because I am not flexible.” I would love to hear your response to this.

LG:  That actually truly makes me laugh. That’s like telling a baby they can’t have xyz profession because they are a baby. How funny are we? “I just am X way” is the perfect way to get off the hook from doing the right thing. We have found by implementing a three step process, called Personal Integrity®, we can teach people how to “change who they are.” Thank goodness. Most people don’t start flexible; they use yoga to become flexible. Learning and developing yourself are some of the most exhilarating opportunities we have. I know it’s scary; that’s why a promise and consequence are very helpful when starting a new habit. They are the tools that clear your mind so you can stay focused on what you really want to have and who you really want to be.

AS:  What are some tools that individuals can use to help a regular yoga practice become a reality for them?

LG:  Simple. A promise and a consequence. I will spend X minutes, X days per week or I lose Y. You fill in the blank based on where you are right now and how quickly you want change. Then you tell the people in your life. Next, you make sure you have the right teachers and resources. As I’ve said, I fancy yogaglo for on-the-go yoga anywhere there’s wifi.

AS:  What are some of the qualities that you look for when choosing a yoga instructor?

LG:  Honestly, I don’t feel the need to follow an instructor, even when I have a video on that I “could” follow. So really I go by vibe. If I think they are honest and funny, I want to listen to their voice. Or if they have been so kind as to have recorded 20 minute practices for my back, well, they rock!

AS:  What are your thoughts about the complementary benefits of life coaching and yoga when applied to achieving more of a balanced existence?

LG:  Now on this topic I could go on and on. The principles of yoga-alignment and oneness are brought off the mat and into life with Handel’s coaching principle/practice of Personal Integrity®. When you bring the concept of yoga to your life, you align your relationships, money, body, health and career with your highest ideal, and you learn to communicate honestly, gracefully and effectively. Both yoga and coaching impact body, mind and soul, and are therefore perfectly complementary. In addition, yoga can be used to aid people with coaching breakthroughs. Our founder Lauren Zander and Elena Brower have teamed up to lay out HGYoga: a practice that will combine yoga and coaching completely.

To learn more about Laurie Gerber and the Handel Group, please visit:

http://www.handelgroup.com/coaching/life-coaching/our-life-coaches/laurie-gerber

http://www.handelgroup.com/

Yoga and Feng Shui – The Conscious Alignment of Energy

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As a Yoga Instructor I receive a lot of questions from friends, students, and people that I meet on a day-to-day basis.  Despite Yoga’s increasing popularity and the tremendous amount of media attention it has been receiving, there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding this ancient practice.  I decided that I wanted to reach out to people I admire in their respective fields to dig a little deeper, find some new answers, and new information about yoga.  I conducted this third interview with Peg Donahue of Feng Shui Connections.  Feng Shui Connections is a conscious, continually evolving and environmentally focused business. Drawing on the universal principles of feng shui, quantum physics, energy, Bau-BiologieTM, intuition, and intention.  Peg helps you align the energy of your home and/or workplace with your goals.  I have been studying with Peg for a while now and I am consistently amazed at how powerful and effective the principles and application are.  She is an extremely knowledgeable and inspiring teacher and I am looking forward to continuing my work with her on and off my mat.

AS:  Please tell me a little bit about your first introduction to yoga and how that practice has evolved for you?

PD:  I began my practice with Richard Hittleman’s Yoga 28 Day Exercise Plan when I was in high school many years ago. This easy to follow book taught me some of the basics of yoga and the importance of breathing, mindfulness, and an overall healthy lifestyle. My practice has evolved over the years to participating in classes and studying with teachers to expand what I learned on my own. It is a lifetime commitment.

AS:  Since beginning my work with you, I am fascinated by the similarities in our work. I would like to talk a little bit about how feng shui and yoga complement one another. How has the practice of both of these modalities been advantageous to you?

PD:  Everything in life is connected in one way or another. Feng shui is the practice of arranging your environment to enhance your life. It is all about chi flow. The objective is to attract positive energy to your space and allow it to meander throughout, cultivating life enhancing vitality and overall good fortune. Yoga is also about chi flow … the breath of life through your body. By drawing the breath in and bringing it deep within yourself you tap into your inner power and wisdom. Each of the postures stretches and assists me in strengthening my muscles while also developing flexibility and mindful awareness.

One of the principles of feng shui is that your space mirrors yourself and holds patterns of what happens in your life. Yoga is all about your inner and outer self as well. By connecting to your breath you become more conscious of what is transpiring within. Yoga empowers you to move with grace and ease, leaving stress and strain behind. Feng shui practices help you to arrange your outer environment to create more ease and flow in your life.

Both practices help me to navigate daily life with a positive, life-affirming approach.

Yoga continually teaches me to change what I can and to accept wherever I am on any given day. Working with “what is” empowers me to do what I can. Some days the stretches and movements come easily and other days my body feels less flexible. A very nice aspect of yoga is that of a personal practice. There is no competition. You do what feels right on any given day.

AS:  Yoga practice makes room for and moves energy in the body, allowing the practitioner to move towards the removal of emotional and physical blockages. Feng shui does the same for your home, property, and business.

Do you feel that your yoga practice assists you with your work? How has it helped you with other aspects of your well-being?

PD:  Yes, my yoga practice does assist me with my work. First, it helps me to feel great. Second, as energy moves through my body, it is also reflected in my space. When I slow down or get stuck, I see the patterns in my space as well … such as clutter that needs release.

As it relates to work, both practices bring much synchronicity to my life. Things just happen. They move right along. I might be thinking about someone and then the phone rings or an email pops into my box. Often when I am ready for a new client, one emerges.

Yoga brings balance to my body and to my life. Long ago it taught me to be at peace with myself and to accept things as they come. Acceptance creates space for opportunity and change…because you are not expending energy pushing things away.

On a physical level yoga helps me keep my body flexible. Both of my parents had arthritis and it limited them beginning about the age I am now. My mother had trouble raising her arms above her head. The posture clasp is a stretch I do regularly to stretch my arms and shoulders, something my mom could not do. My dad had both hips replaced multiple times also beginning at my age. I have no signs or symptoms of what my parents experienced. So on one level yoga is helping me to move beyond inherited family patterns.

AS:  Often times we work with clientele that have very specific needs that they are working on or a particular outcome that they desire. In these cases, do you feel that it is beneficial for us to work with them privately as opposed to in a group setting?

PD:  Yes. Both group and private settings are beneficial. Group settings are effective for teaching and sharing basic information that everyone can benefit from. Private sessions enable you and I to target specific areas of interest in a compassionate and confidential manner. To paraphrase Eckhart Tolle, we walk around carrying our “pain body.”  All of us have life challenges. We grow as we accept our challenges and move through them with grace and ease. Both yoga and feng shui are very effective means for helping people to shift their lives from the inside out and outside in.

Energy

Did this interview answer some questions for you?  Is there additional information that would like to know?  Please let me know.

Namaste ૐ

Yoga – Creating an Optimal Blueprint for Holistic Health

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As a Yoga Instructor I receive a lot of questions from friends, students, and people that I meet on a day-to-day basis.  Despite Yoga’s increasing popularity and the tremendous amount of media attention it has been receiving, there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding this ancient practice.  I decided that I wanted to reach out to people I admire in their respective fields to dig a little deeper, find some new answers, and new information about yoga.  I conducted this second interview with Andrea Paquette of Holistic Health Services.  Andrea has been a board certified nurse practitioner for over 20 years, working in the southern New Hampshire area in various health care settings.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing  from Salem State College in 1984 and her master’s degree in Maternal/Child Health Nursing from Boston College in 1988.  She earned her certification as an Advanced Holistic Nurse in March of 2009.  Clients say Andrea’s kind and compassionate care addresses the needs of the whole person – body, mind and spirit.  Her areas of expertise include holistic health care, pediatrics and eating disorders.  She specializes in nutritional counseling and education, behavior modification counseling, dietary supplementation, mindfulness training and relaxation techniques.  Andrea is a strong and dedicated Yoga Practitioner whom I admire as a friend, a teacher, and a student.

AS:  Please tell me a little bit about your first introduction to yoga and how that practice has evolved for you?

AP:  I started doing yoga about 15 years ago.  I was tired of the gym and wanted to enjoy exercise.  Yoga gave me so much more than I expected.  Not only exercise, but body awareness, alignment, flexibility, strength, balance, stress reduction, joy and clearer thinking about myself, life and relationships.  Yoga is an integral part of my life and always will be.

AS:  I am fascinated with the ways that Yoga has assisted me and my students with channeling energy into a positive experience for body, mind, and spirit?  How effective do you find Yoga as part of a holistic approach to treating anxiety and depression?

AP:  Regular yoga practice is very effective as part of a self-care regimen to keep you healthy in body, mind and spirit.  It helps with many symptoms of anxiety and depression, such as low mood, nervousness and body aches.  Your yoga practice can be very meditative and private when you need to calm down and refocus.  Or it can be very social and physical when you need to build confidence and challenge yourself.

AS:  In what ways do you see Yoga as a tool to help individuals that have issues with food?  Do you find that the practice assists them with figuring out what types of foods fuel their body to be strong and healthy?  Do you find that it helps them pause and become more mindful about what they are putting in their mouths?

AP:  Yoga is an excellent practice for mindfulness training.  You can use the same principles of body awareness and thought awareness taught in yoga to become more mindful about your eating patterns.  Yoga also helps with self-esteem building which leads to self-trust.  When you trust your decisions about food, you can eat more intuitively which is usually healthy and balanced.  Also, you just want to eat well because you have this awareness of which foods fuel you and which deplete you.

AS:  What are your thoughts about how important the education and experience of the instructor is?  How necessary do you believe it is for the instructor to have a yoga practice of their own?

AP:  I think it is very important that a yoga instructor be well educated.  I like instructors who learn several different styles of yoga and integrate them into their teaching.  Amy, your integrative, eclectic approach to teaching really makes yoga accessible and enjoyable for anyone.  I like to keep learning new poses and techniques so I expect my yoga teacher to do the same and keep her/his classes fresh and fun.

AS:  As a medical professional, what do you consider to be some of the biggest health benefits of Yoga?

AP:  Wow, I could go on and on about the health benefits of yoga!  To start with, just learning to breath properly is so beneficial for oxygenation of the organs, muscles, brain, etc.  The twisting poses help with digestion and detoxification.  The focus on correct body alignment contributes to good posture and prevention of injury.  The practice of quieting the mind lessens chronic worry and anxiety. Yoga has so many well-documented health benefits that all types of health professionals prescribe yoga for several types of physical and mental health conditions.

AS:  Have you seen Yoga make a dramatic difference in your well-being and/or the well-being of your patients?

AP:  Personally, yoga has been a stabilizing factor in my life.  Along with good nutrition, yoga can be the cornerstone of a vibrant healthy life.  In my work, I have seen many patients experience physical symptoms that will not resolve because their mind and/or spirit are distressed.  If the mind and/or spirit are not healthy, then patients can experience chronic symptoms in the body, such as stomach upset from nervousness, headaches from stress, etc.   Yoga is an exercise/practice that keeps the whole person in a balanced state of well-being.

AS:  As a Holistic Nurse Practitioner, how often do your “prescribe” Yoga to your clients?

AP:  I prescribe yoga for many different health conditions.  Usually clients bring it up before I do, asking if yoga will help them and where they can find classes.  I would like to see more of my clients practice yoga, but they often say they don’t have the time.  Believe me, yoga is worth finding the time, money or whatever it takes to get you on the mat working your body and brain.  For me, even if my yoga practice is challenging it is always restorative.  I come out feeling more energetic, uplifted in spirit and proud that I did something for myself.

Did this interview answer some questions for you?  Is there additional information that would like to know?  Please let me know.

Namaste ૐ

Teaching is an Exploration, It’s a Conversation, It’s a Dance

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One of the biggest questions I am asked as an instructor of Yoga is “What style do you teach?”  I used to cringe as those words were leaving their lips.  I know it would simply be easier to say “Hatha” and be done with it.  However, the answer is so much more complex than that.  I read a blog post yesterday about teachers creating their own styles of yoga and how that may not be an authentic approach to honoring such an ancient practice.  The bottom line is most of us teach our own style.  Our style becomes an intricate blend of the styles of our teachers.  Much like cooking, we learn from other people, their shared ideas and recipes.  Then when we actually sit down to make the meal ourselves, we do it our way, the way that feels comfortable to us; ultimately creating a flavor and design that makes the most sense to our taste receptors.

I was very fortunate that my initial 200 Hour Teacher Training Program consisted of teachers of all lineages.  It was as though the creator of the program had laid out a buffet table and we had the opportunity to sample a multitude of flavors.  We were than able to decide which ones we enjoyed enough to revisit and which ones we would leave behind all together.  Many years later when I developed my own Teacher Training Program, I designed it the same way.  I invited teachers who I respected and who had a style of teaching that resonated strongly with me.  Each one of my students that graduates from my program does not tell people they practice “my” style of Yoga or even my school’s style of Yoga.  Each one of them has developed their own recipe for teaching that is an intricate and beautiful blend of what was taught and what was genuinely true for them.  You can spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours on training but until you actually digest those teachings and serve it up in your practice, your teaching, and your life, it is not going to taste or feel authentic to you or your students.

This summer I have kept my teaching schedule quite light, teaching one class a week with a few private clients sprinkled in between.  I was excited to receive an invitation to teach two back-to-back 90 Minutes Classes as part of a summer dance intensive at Academy of Performing Arts New England.  As I was preparing for teaching two different age levels of dancers, I realized, there was no tangible way for me to develop a theme or even a basic class outline.  I needed to walk in and begin a discussion with them.  Ask them questions about their previous experience(s) with Yoga.  What they liked about it, what they didn’t like, what postures they might be interested in exploring.  From there, I just let the classes organically unfold.  The best way to approach teaching this way, I find, is to do something Amy Ippoliti calls “vessilifying” or “vessilification”.  For me, this means, doing my best to ensure that my body is fueled with the right nutrients, the right amount of sleep, plenty of yoga practice, as well as inspiration from my teachers and my vast library of Yoga Books.

I took a fabulous class with Amy on YogaGlo last week called “The Power of Faith and Intention”.  She talked about Shraddha, the Sanskrit word for faith.  When I researched Shraddha further, I discovered that, rather than meaning faith in a religious context, it means something closer to “trust” or “conviction.”  “It most commonly refers to the conviction that develops from one’s own direct experience and practice.”

Amy also talked about Nataraja, the dancing Shiva, how it is said that he dances on the boundaries of the ever expanding and contracting Universe.  Our classes are filled with students whose expectations, abilities and boundaries are ever expanding and contracting.  How then, can our style or our teaching be labeled, rigid, or defined?

When I teach my style of Yoga, I have to vessilify, I must have Shraddha.  I have to walk into that space and trust; allowing all of the teachings I have received from training, practice, experiences, and books to just flow from the universe, through me, to them.  Teaching is not a style.  Teaching is an exploration, it’s a conversation, it’s a dance.

Physical Therapy Meets Yoga; The Complimentary Balance

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As a Yoga Instructor I receive a lot of questions from friends, students, and people that I meet on a day-to-day basis.  Despite Yoga’s increasing popularity and the tremendous amount of media attention it has been receiving, there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding this ancient practice.  I decided that I wanted to reach out to people I admire in their respective fields to dig a little deeper, find some new answers, and new information about yoga.  I conducted this first interview with Chris Pierce from Balance Physical Therapy.  Chris Pierce is a Physical Therapist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy and has completed a residency in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy from the Institute of Orhopaedic Manual Therapy, an affiliate of Mass General and Boston University.  At Balance Physical Therapy, Chris works with a variety of people, including children with physical challenges, competitive athletes who have experienced injuries, as well as healthy adults seeking to enhance their strength and conditioning. He gains tremendous satisfaction from helping his clients help themselves get better. His goal is to help every client perform at his or her highest ability, both in sports and in their overall lives. His ability to motivate people is legendary.

Over the past four years, Chris and I have worked together to tap into some of the therapeutic aspects of Yoga and to develop variations that are safe and accessible to many different types of practitioners.

Here are the questions that I had for Chris:

AS:  Please tell me a little bit about your first introduction to yoga and how that practice has evolved for you?

CP:  I first started to practice Yoga about five years ago, soon after we opened Balance Physical Therapy.  I was introduced to the concept and some of the movements a couple of years prior to that, while living in Montana , and knew that it was something that would be helpful for me and that I wanted to explore more in the future.

Once I started to practice regularly with you, I learned some interesting things about myself and Yoga.  I am a competitive person, but Yoga is NOT a competition.  It is a very personal experience that requires tuning in to your own body and tuning out the distractions around you.  Once I let go of the competition (Lord knows I am not going to win any flexibility contests anyway), I was able to improve my strength, flexibility, awareness of my body, and reduce my stress level.  It was also a great way to recover from Rugby matches.

Although I am not formally practicing, I continue to include Yoga movements into my daily workouts as well as in my Physical Therapy practice.  Certain Yoga movements are fantastic for reducing muscular tension and alleviating compression forces on some of the body’s structures (for certain people).

AS:  What advice do you have for practitioners of yoga that would enable them to get the most out of their practice and help them prevent injury?

CP:

1)    Listen to your body: if it hurts, DON’T DO IT.

2)    Learn from a well educated, experienced Yoga teacher.

3)    If you have injuries that are troubling you, but want to try Yoga, consider one on one training, as this will allow you to share your issues and help you develop a practice that suits you.

AS:  What are you thoughts about how important the education and experience of the instructor is?  How necessary do you believe it is for the instructor to have a yoga practice of their own?

CP:  At many health clubs, you can find “Yoga” instructors that received a certification from a weekend course.  Having been an instructor of Anatomy and Physiology in a Yoga Teacher Training, I can tell you that one cannot even begin to scratch the surface, of the depth of knowledge requisite to teach Yoga, in a weekend.  Ask the question “How many hours was your certification class?” and “where did you receive that certification?”.  Do you really want to learn Yoga from someone who has little more experience than you?

It seems to me that no matter what activity, sport, etc. I am trying to learn, I would like my teacher to have fairly extensive experience doing before they teach me.  With Yoga, this is especially important.  In order to teach you movements and keep you safe, the teacher must know what each pose feels like, what tricks-of-the-trade may be helpful and understand the potential for injury, so as to protect the learner.

AS:  What are your thoughts about the complimentary benefits of physical therapy and yoga when applied to rehabilitation and healing; as well as performance enhancement and injury prevention for athletes?

CP:  I mentioned earlier that I use certain Yoga movements with some of my P.T. clients.  I also refer certain “graduated” patients on to Yoga instructors like yourself, who have experience and understanding of injury and ways to avoid potentially harmful movements.  Yoga can be very beneficial when performed properly, at the right pace and with proper guidance.  It can have negative consequences when done without care and without a properly trained teacher.

ALL athletes will benefit from Yoga!  As a way to build core strength and stability, Yoga is hard to beat.  The improvements in flexibility can be tremendous and this, combined with strong movements found in Yoga, can translate into significant injury reduction.  I find it very helpful in bouncing back from the hard knocks I take on the rugby pitch.  I have seen improved performance in a variety of athletes across a range of sports.

AS:  You and I spoke about our goals as facilitators of these modalities.  We talked about creating a sustainable routine/practice that leaves our clients feeling like the best version of themselves when they are finished.  What are your thoughts about the best way to make this scenario a reality for both provider and client?

CP:  The provider must foster an environment that allows each person to experience Yoga at their own pace.  It is essential that the student fully understand that this is a personal journey (not a competition) and that the road is long and twisty.  What I mean to say, is that although there are positive physiologic changes that occur during and after each session, many of the benefits of Yoga occur over time with continued practice.

Did this interview answer some questions for you?  Is there additional information that would like to know?  Please let me know.

Namaste ૐ