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I have an empathic friend, I’ll call Lisa, who’s been teaching yoga for many years. Recently she told me that she frequently attends large family gatherings and while it’s fun catching up with her relatives, underneath the celebratory mood she often senses some deep currents of pain and sadness.
“I come from an extended family full of alcoholism, but most of my relatives are in recovery,” she explained. “So, while it’s a lot of fun to see everyone, and there’s so much hope, there’s also a lot of pain. And it’s weird because I feel like it’s deeper than my living relatives, like we are somehow carrying the pain of our ancestors.”
People freak out when they feel like they’re not in control – and this virus is nowhere near controlled. A woman on TV from the CDC says that everyone needs to wash their hands a lot and that will eliminate 50-60% of the risk. But I wish they would tell folks to do some basic yogic/Ayurvedic routines as well.
Even though we don’t have a CDC microphone to get the word out, at least we can share these simple tips with our students.
So perhaps human beings respond to rhythmic, bilateral and/or cross-crawl movements because the ida and piṅgala (the two energy channels that thread through the center of the chakras as they crisscross their way up the body, and form the template (or biofield) for the human physical structure) are forever seeking their union in the Suṣumnā or central channel.
As children develop, cross crawl movements help to build hemispheric communication, help to coordinate the function of the hemispheres and also, developmentally, help the brain to differentiate its functions. In other words, movement is essential during childhood for building a healthy adult brain.
Substances and Yoga? I think there are some things to take into consideration including: Is a liquor licensed required to serve whatever substance and if so, do you have one? What about liability insurance – someone gets in a car after a couple of glasses of wine and has an accident? Even for a BYO, are you liable should any mishaps occur?
I’m not teaching yoga to show off my asana chops, I’m teaching yoga to help people develop theirs. Using props myself conveys the idea that you can kindly and compassionately support yourself and, of course, minimize the risk of strain or injury. But the idea that you should “use a prop if you need one” (advice I’ve heard often over the years) is dismissive at best.
what is typically not talked about in workshops (or teacher trainings unfortunately) is that:
Joint mobility is largely genetic and those with more typical ranges can easily hurt themselves attempting this stuff; and
Frequent, repeated performance of hypermobile poses may exacerbate problems for those with hypermobile joint issues because these folks need, for the most part, to focus on stability rather than mobility.
“Before, every time I did yoga, I pushed myself,” she said. “I used yoga to beat myself up – like all my other exercise. But now I see a totally different way of being with myself. It’s like I’m retraining my nervous system.”
I’ve found the English word “surrender” to be a rather bitter pill to swallow.
Surrender to whom? To what? Why would I surrender? Am I being attacked or something? What would I surrender?
When I started to think about practicing and teaching surrender, I realized that I could use softer sounding words like “let go”, “release”, or “hold lightly” to express the concept more compassionately and in a more trauma informed way.
When you’re talking about the physical plane, there’s never a simple or straightforward connection between visualizing and making stuff manifest. There are karmic and/or genetic factors, samskaras, as well as psycho-social and geopolitical limitations to our individual access to physical resources.
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