Have you ever experienced the powerful shift elicited by the mantra OM? Come experience the potency of the primordial sound of OM, the origin of the Universe, when we chant for one hour with a collective of practitioners. Some experience deep purges […]
Powerful. Mysterious. What is this enigmatic life force that yogis talk about? If you look up the term “life force energy”, a variety of definitions appear from the more esoteric spiritual concepts to the more scientific descriptions of physical energy. In many […]
Powerful. Mysterious. What is this enigmatic life force that yogis talk about?
If you look up the term “life force energy”, a variety of definitions appear from the more esoteric spiritual concepts to the more scientific descriptions of physical energy. In many healing modalities, it’s referenced by different names such as “prana” (Indian Yoga), “qi” (Chinese acupuncture), and “ki” (Japanese Reiki).
“Sometimes it is equated with the movement of breath in the body, sometimes described as visible “auras”, “rays”, or “fields” or as audible or tactile “vibrations”. (Wikipedia)
We know that every living being has a vital life force or a composition of energy. Our current scientific knowledge can explain much of it and then there are the subtler parts that have no scientific basis. Life force energy is coursing through our bodies and we are emitting an energetic field around us as well.
In Yoga, “prana” or “life force” is often paired with talk of the “subtle body”.
“The subtle body is one of a series of psycho-spiritual constituents of living beings, according to various esoteric, occult and mystical teachings. Each subtle body corresponds to a subtle plane of existence in a hierarchy or great chain of being that culminates in the physical form.” (Wikipedia)
Our life force travels on the breath in this subtle body structure within a system of channels throughout our bodies like electric wiring. The physical form is a manifestation of characteristics of this invisible energy. If we can understand our subtler energies, we can start to understand more deeply our physical manifestations.
“The Yogic, Tantric and other systems of India, the Buddhist psychology of Tibet, as well as Chinese and Japanese esoterism are examples of doctrines that describe a subtle physiology having a number of focal points (chakras, acupuncture points) connected by a series of channels (nadis, acupuncture meridians) that convey life-force (prana, vayu, ch’i, ki, lung).” (Wikipedia)
In many healing modalities it is proven that when we unblock the channels that carry the prana, we maintain a very healthy long, vital life. We can unblock energy in many ways for example through touch (massage), needles (acupuncture), manipulation of breath (yoga), meditation and sound.
In many cultures you may hear that we are “being breathed” by a universal presence of which we are all a part, which is our life force. This force is what unifies all living beings. This prana is consciousness. This unified field of energy and love is in all things and symbols of this love are all around us.
How can we describe consciousness?
Deepak Chopra explains consciousness as not material at all, but “a quantum reality… What we think of as tiny particles are actually not material at all, but waves of potential. The waves represent different potential outcomes of reality. Only when observed does the wave collapse into one perceived outcome and is seen again s a particle. The physical world as we see it is not reality, but pure potential.”
If you can wrap your head around this concept for a moment you will witness the exquisite nature of the Self and become the Seer that is a creator of physical reality.
Our life force is pure potential. It has no beginning or end and exists apart from space and time. It is infinite.
Nicole Doherty is a 500-RYT YogaWorks Certified teacher, shamanic reiki energy and sound healer, wellness coach, singer and writer. Through the study of various healing arts and a disciplined yoga practice, Nicole spent most of her adult life on an extensive spiritual inquiry that empowered her to overcome multiple traumas in her life ultimately finding love, light and sustained joy. Her work included wide-spread travel to third world countries and studies with world renowned thought leaders in the areas of yoga, meditation, subtle body, Reiki, shamanism, women’s empowerment and life coaching. What she discovered on this path to wholeness fuels her passion to inspire others to heal and find their highest potential. Committed to embodying her truth in service, Nicole encourages others to do the same with her contagious laughter, endearing smile and lightness of being.
Whenever we are faced with obstacles on our journey, they are actually amazing opportunities in disguise to create stillness, to go within and to find gratitude for all things. With every obstacle that arises we have a chance to see the shadowy […]
Whenever we are faced with obstacles on our journey, they are actually amazing opportunities in disguise to create stillness, to go within and to find gratitude for all things.
With every obstacle that arises we have a chance to see the shadowy parts of ourselves that lay hidden beneath the surface. The fluctuations of the mind, the ego, and external forces create a landmine of distractions that can keep us from going deep within to listen to our soul. We all know how easy it is, when faced with obstacles to judge and to move outside of our alignment toward self-destructive, punishing behaviors and thoughts of our wrongdoing. Or we can distract ourselves outwardly by socializing, searching for people to rally around our ‘being right’, or help those who are troubled so that we can forget about our own issues.
As described by the ancient philosophies, the truth is that the way to harness our power is to create stillness. In stillness we magnify our power by listening to silence. Silence gives us a glimpse of the free, unconditionally loving spirit within. It strengthens our intuition, which is our ability to see the inner world, in contrast to using our eyes to interpret the ever-changing outer world. Creating stillness is what most of us need and what most of us despise. Stillness can be perceived as uncomfortable, frightful, lazy and lonely.
Let’s not forget that we are spiritual beings living in a human body and not the other way around. The love for others and ourselves originates from our connection to Source energy.
“You are not a troubled guest on this Earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents, you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.” ~David Whyte
In the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, (1.14) it is written, “control over the mind’s fluctuations comes from persevering practice and non-attachment”. These two guiding concepts of Abhyasa (consistent practice) and Vairagya (non-attachment) help us to find meditation. Although they seem like opposites, effort and surrender, they work as compliments to find this peace within. Peace does not come without practice.
For me, the most effective way to design a practice is to create a sacred space right next to my bed. This way before I start my day, or before I go to bed, I have no excuse, but to stop at my altar. I have adorned my altar with many representations of beauty, people, deities, rocks, stones, crystals, scents and elements of nature. I now have a meditation cushion to curb my excuses that it’s just not comfortable.
I also have slowed down significantly to find prayers of gratitude before my daily rituals like eating, yoga, or healing sessions to tap into my Source energy for guidance and love. If the mind is heavily distracted I learned through the Law of Attraction to acknowledge all of the things that I am grateful for through stream of consciousness. This will turn my attention away from negative thought patterns and will line me up with Source energy. From Source, I can more easily drop into meditation.
For my meditations, especially if I am restless, I turn to wise meditation teachers to steer my silence through their guided meditations. Some of my favorite teachers are Deepak Chopra, Rod Stryker, Richard Freeman and Jeddah Mali.
On a final note about those feelings of discomfort, I want to share an analogy that I love from a Shaman I trained with in Peru.
Imagine for the first time you have just stepped onto an airplane. Bad weather appears outside. The plane gets bumpy and is jolted. Major fear arises. You think are going to die. You reach for the barf bag in the seat in front of you and get sick. The second time you get on the plane, you feel the jolt and you know what is causing it and the feeling of sickness may have dissipated. After several plane rides you know the territory and you feel more safe. Now, you can fall asleep on the plane with no effort. You completely trust and surrender that you are in good hands.
The next time you sit down, remember that everything that’s new has its obstacles and that’s what provides the biggest growth. Sit with your fear and send it love.
This year has been one of the most challenging years of my life, with the biggest obstacles and it has also the most expansive on all levels of my being. Finding my meditation practice has transformed my life.
In pure love, light and joy, may you find peace this holiday season and find meditation in all your days to come.
Photo Cred: caleblandon.com
Origionally Published at Yoganonymous
Becoming a great athlete takes a lot of work. It takes time, dedication, practice and commitment. One of the first orders of business for a professional athlete is conditioning—cleaning up the body and priming it for optimal performance. The same is true […]
Becoming a great athlete takes a lot of work. It takes time, dedication, practice and commitment.
One of the first orders of business for a professional athlete is conditioning—cleaning up the body and priming it for optimal performance. The same is true about the practice of Yoga.
Our physical form, which is our body, is very much like a machine. Much like a car, we need to clean the outside, vacuum the inside and perform regular maintenance, like changing the oil, on schedule.
We need to do the same with our bodies; we need to maintain our personal vehicle.
Most athletes are great at what they do because they have detoxified their system and have become attuned to their bodies and its needs.
To continue using the car analogy: Detoxified your system and becoming attuned to your body makes it function at peak performance. This helps it operate well at high speeds, keeps it from breaking down over long distances, and helps keep the wheels on. Simply put, successful athletes learn how to maintain their bodies.
Most people come to Yoga with bodies like beat up Chevys.
And that’s OK because at least they are beginning the healing process. Think of Yoga teachers as mechanics who are prepared to make repairs using the right tools. In Yoga, we start to work the outer layers to move toward the inner layers using techniques to create body awareness. We peel away past injuries and the negative compensations that have developed over time as a result these injuries. We also peel away tension and stress. More importantly, we use the practice to prevent new injuries, open the body, and detoxify the system.
In Yoga, the outer layers of the practice address the functional anatomy—aligning the body, working isometrically, isolating muscles, strengthening, stabilizing and elongating them.
Part of the practice of releasing impurities is achieved utilizing postures like “seated forward folds” and “twists”, which help to stimulate and wring out the intestines, where most of our garbage resides. But even more important than these particular poses is the use of the breath. When we consciously breathe we generate heat in our system that burns off the pollutants found in our gut. There are many different breathing techniques that are part of the cleansing process, a common one found in classes today is called “Breath of Fire”.
Once we begin the purification process, we notice that it begins to take hold in other aspects of our being.
Ever notice the way you feel after you’ve cleaned your car? I have a Mini Cooper and when that little cutie is clean and sparkly, well, I just want to put the top down, blast the radio and drive all over LA!
My point is this: When we freshen up, we start to feel better. Our energy is cleaner. We present ourselves differently.
Our mind is serene when there is less clutter on the floor and the seats. Detoxifying the body soothes the internal chatter of the mind. The whole goal of Yoga is to still the fluctuations of the “mind stuff” or “citta” as the term is known in Sanskrit.
I began practicing yoga over ten years ago, and I really didn’t understand these concepts very well. Maybe I just chose to ignore what I needed to change about myself. I loved the way Yoga made me feel every time I walked into a class, but my lifestyle outside class was not supporting the practice. I worked really hard and partied even harder. I was stressed out. I never watched what I ate. I slept a little—mainly watched the clock. I drank caffeine to stay awake during the day and would take sleeping pills at night. Even worse, I actually thought this was pretty normal because it was behavior I learned was shared by friends and coworkers. I simply didn’t think change was needed.
Now that I have learned about the mind-body connection and how energy works, it seems so crazy that I couldn’t figure out why I still didn’t feel great. But I should have known. Gold Medalists don’t win those medals training every now and again while binging on cupcakes, donuts, caffeine and sleep aids. They talk the talk and they walk the walk.When I started practicing yoga regularly, 3 – 5 times per week, I really started to become aware of shifts in how I was feeling. Once I began to purify my body, my mind followed.
Every time I showed up on my mat, I was confronted with the thoughts that were feeding my addictions and patterns of behavior off the mat.
I learned that going inward into the highly individual practice of Yoga became a journey of realization, discovery, acceptance and awareness. Every time I released the tension and toxins of my body, a little more of my mind’s negativity went with them. I began to experience peace, joy and happiness. These came in bits and pieces at first but then became regular occurrences.
In Yoga, as with all athletic practices, dedication and consistency is encourages.
This is defined as “abyasa” in Sanskrit. Following this course, we can unravel the complications of the body and mini traumas (or big ones) that have occurred on our life path. We can use a practice of breath and movement to release resistance and move toward more spaciousness in our minds. With more space, we can develop a keener awareness and sharper focus. When we are ready, we can dive even deeper to discover more through yogic practices like meditation.nd Yoga has spilled into every crevice of my existence. I no longer succumb to any of the aforementioned behaviors. Interestingly enough, I’m now a sober, vegan Yoga teacher who also leads seasonal food cleanses. This certainly was not my intention 10 years ago when I walked into the Yoga studio. But my life has become amazing.
If you are resisting detoxification through a Yoga practice (or any training), it’s probably your Ego telling you to not change. But like any good coach, my suggestion is to just keep showing up to practice. Put in the time.
With consistency and dedication, you can make a real shift in your life. As Patabhi Jois, one of the founders of Western Yoga has famously said: “All is coming. Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.” Yes, it’s really all about experiencing it first hand.Carve out some time, dedicate yourself to a practice and commit to real change.
When I first began my yoga practice, it was nothing more than a willingness to get my butt kicked. All the trainers at the health club I worked at were talking about how challenging it was. It sure made me curious. My […]
When I first began my yoga practice, it was nothing more than a willingness to get my butt kicked.
All the trainers at the health club I worked at were talking about how challenging it was. It sure made me curious. My first class was insanely hard and I found myself going back day after day.
Yoga definitely snuck up on me.
After an on and off practice for many years, so many things in my life started changing as a result of my practice, but I never related those changes to yoga until years later in review, when I realized that everything changed because of yoga.
Year after year, I’d change my yoga practice from two to three times a week to three to four times a week to four to five times per week, until I was practicing every day with just one day of rest. I started to free up my schedule and dedicate my life to a practice that was slowly revealing itself to me and was absolutely worthy of my full attention.
I took my first teacher training after seven years of practice, simply because I was curious again. I knew that things were transforming in my body, mind, lifestyle, and food choices, but I wasn’t really aware of why these things were happening. I felt amazing and more alive than ever, but yet completely burdened knowing that this practice was uncovering some major stuff beneath it all.
My desire to shift and fully transform
I realized behind all of this practice what was driving me was a broken version of myself that needed some serious healing. My desire to shift and fully transform was the real reason why I decided to take a teacher training even though I didn’t know it when I signed the application. I guess subconsciously I knew that I could undergo a process of major transformation in a safe, loving environment with people seeking the same peace in their lives as me.
One of the best definitions of yoga that I have come across recently is from master teacher Rod Stryker. He writes that yoga brings the unconscious to the conscious.
When I took my YogaWorks Teacher Trainings, we were given the time and attention to self-reflect. I began to see my ego at work. I began to watch my mind’s projections and to uncover my stories. I could feel the barricades I placed around my heart. I noticed my stubbornness and unwillingness to listen. I had created many obstacles in my life to protect myself from my past experiences, traumas and fears, none of which were really working for me.
As we were taught the anatomy of the body, we were also learning the science of Yoga from master teachers and applying the Yoga Sutras philosophy to the practices in efforts to watch and still the mind. We were learning how to really breathe and meditate. We were being taught how to reveal our unconscious ways.
Transforming dark to light
In Sanskrit, the word Guru means transforming dark to light, sometimes also translated as teacher. In the my teacher training, we learned how to be our own guru. We became responsible for transmuting our darkness to light as a witness to ourselves. We learned how to become empowered and to find our resolve through working the physical form and the deeper layers of the subtle body.
When studying Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, we figured out what food choices assisted or depleted our systems. We learned that yoga is so much more than a physical asana practice. We learned how to build confidence in our own voice through the camaraderie of a loving community of supporters. We learned how to get present and not judge everyone’s process. We purified our bodies on a whole new level which brought us to a peaceful state of mind. We became intimate with our own bodies so that we could stay safe in our practices for a lifetime. We became more open and comfortable with ourselves, with others and with spirit.
We learned ultimately that everyone is the same underneath it all, just striving to live a better, healthier, happier life.
Through this major journey, I was truly inspired on levels that I didn’t even know I could be. Thus, I revealed my dharma, or soul’s purpose—to share my love, light and joy fully and inspire others to reach their greatness. I now am a yoga teacher on this path of sharing my yoga experience.
You may decide not to teach after a teacher training, but you will definitely discover more about yourself and embark on an amazing journey toward a new way of being.
By Nicole Doherty – Article published in yoganonymous & myHealthyOC
Mass production of food is literally making us sick. The original intention of the food industry was to feed more people as our population boomed, but as this industry increased in size, intentions got lost, money prevailed, and greed entered into the […]
Mass production of food is literally making us sick. The original intention of the food industry was to feed more people as our population boomed, but as this industry increased in size, intentions got lost, money prevailed, and greed entered into the equation. Today the food industry is in bed with the health care industry.
If people don’t eat well, they get sick and they are sold drugs to “cure” those illnesses, which in many cases lead to more problems. It’s a perpetual loop. We all know the importance of a healthy diet in preventing disease, yet this simple wisdom is ignored. Fast food and processed food have become addictions that are linked to diabetes, cancer, and many other health problems.
As Americans, what can we do to reverse the effects of this industry on our own health and take back control?
1. Eat organic. Avoid consuming unwanted pesticides, hormones and GMOs. Did you know that with over 40,000 brands on the shelves of supermarkets today, only about 5 companies actually produce it all and many products are a derivative of GMO corn and soy? The current standards and health codes that we think are being enforced are actually regulated loosely and the food industry is run almost entirely by just a few companies. We know about the use of pesticides and hormones, and ammonia to color our meats. What else are we ingesting? What don’t we know about?
2. Shop at farmer’s markets. Meet the growers of the produce you buy. These foods are organic. The farmers live and work locally so you’re reducing your carbon footprint in addition to taking charge of your food supply.
3. Eat seasonally. Our bodies were designed to thrive on food that grows naturally in each of the four seasons and in our environment. For example, certain food properties help our systems in cold weather versus warm weather. By eating this way, you will avoid genetically modified foods.
4. Grow your own food. If you have a little space in a yard, try a basic essentials garden. You’ll appreciate the love that goes into the food. The vibration of the food that you are eating will be higher through that love.
5. Flex your spending power. Ask for more organic food at your local grocery stores.
6. Pack your lunch. When you make your own food, you have control over what goes in and out of your body. Don’t let fast food convenience be an excuse to not having food choices that are good for you.
7. Cleanse to boost your immune system. Just as you would change the oil in your car, it’s great to flush your system of toxic residue. Participate in a whole food cleanse to clean your digestive tract. It will increase your ability to absorb nutrients.
8. Take probiotics and superfoods. Keep your stomach strong and maintain your overall health by boosting your digestive and immune system.
9. Raise your food’s vibration. Bless the food you’ve been given and raise its vibration. You can read about the studies done by Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water blessings and how positive thought alters the crystalline structure of water. There is energy in whole food also that translates directly to your body .
Eat well and stay healthy!
By Nicole Doherty – Article published in MindBodyGreen
You exercise. So you’re healthy right? Not necessarily. What do you put into your body for fuel? Do you know what you are eating or why you are eating? There are many folks out there that exercise, but don’t pay much attention […]
You exercise. So you’re healthy right? Not necessarily. What do you put into your body for fuel? Do you know what you are eating or why you are eating?
There are many folks out there that exercise, but don’t pay much attention to their food choices until they get older and receive messages from the body in the form of illness, a warning from their doctor about cholesterol or weight gain.
What’s the state of affairs for most of us?
Many of us are sick emotionally and physically. We eat too much, we drink too much, we eat processed food because it’s easy and fast. We eat out a lot. Most restaurant food is high in fat and sodium and overly processed. We don’t sleep enough, we don’t exercise enough, we worry too much and we don’t allow ourselves any down time. Even though our bodies are capable of eliminating toxins, we feel toxic. We don’t pay any regard to our food as a source of real nourishment.
How have we gotten this detached from our bodies and our relationship to food?
Thousands of years ago, in Vedic times, we were in touch with our food. Food was a source of nourishment and also used in the process of healing. Food choices have always been closely linked to the practice of Yoga. Yoga’s sister science is Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional alternative medicine native to India that pays particular attention to what and how we eat, mainly as a system of maintaining good health.
We know Yoga in the West as a system of detoxification. Each yoga pose has a medical benefit and a purpose relating to the muscles and the organs. Yoga cleanses the body through the use of breath and movement, but it is also a holistic science that affects the choices that we make with regards to our inner and outer worlds – a large part of which is food.
It seems logical that when we become more aware of our bodies through yoga and other forms of movement and exercise, we would naturally want to understand how to make our vehicle function optimally, thus, the marriage of Yoga & Ayurveda.
I exercise. I do Yoga. I juice fast!
Detox products and juice fasts are the current trends in the health & fitness industry. There are more products on the market than we can imagine. Because we are a fast food nation, we want our bodies to eliminate quickly and conveniently to match our super busy schedules. The problem is we do these fasts and then we go right back to the unhealthy eating habits when we are done.
What’s the truth about these extreme fasts?
If you Google the word “cleanse”, the first thing that pops up is “The Master Cleanse”. Almost everyone has heard of this cleanse in which all you consume is lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 7 days for a full detox. The Master Cleanse offers weight loss, elimination of toxins, and a light, focused cleansed feeling.
Not eating for a week is just not that fun, it’s quite confronting and it’s not naturally how we are physically hardwired. I want to acknowledge the Master Cleanse as a powerful process, but also tell people that this is not the only way to cleanse either.
Back when we were gatherers and hunters, often times we had to deal with months of drought, famine, etc. During these times, food supply was low, so we had to eat less. When we are deprived of food, our brain signals our body to go into reserve or starvation mode. When we are deprived of nutrients that we need, our brain sends signals to every muscle, every organ, and cell in our body and our heart rate and metabolism slows down in hopes to conserve energy until there is food again. This is how our bodies are hardwired through evolution. So when doing extreme cleanses like “The Master Cleanse”, our brain literally thinks we are starving, and as soon as we eat a morsel of solid food, guess where it goes …right to your gut (or your thighs or your butt or wherever else you tend to gain weight).
Scientists and nutrition experts have researched, tested and argued the validity of extreme detoxes, and have concluded that there is little to no scientific evidence that they legitimately work. Most of us don’t realize how fantastically functional our bodies are. We take for granted the fact that we can breathe in and out fairly easily without thought, that when we get a scratch, usually it heals without much effort. Well the same goes for toxins. Our bodies are extremely well equipped when it comes to eliminating toxins (unless you have liver, colon or kidney dysfunction).
Generally, when doing extreme detoxes for long periods of time, the risks outweigh any benefits. Sure, you will eliminate something when you consume very little (like in the Master Cleanse), but you are also eliminating vital nutrients your body needs, and that just isn’t a good thing.
What are some cleansing alternatives?
Let’s start by going back to our roots and eating, real, whole, seasonal, organic food. We can start eating via the color wheel methodology and cut down on our processed food intake.
If we emulate the colors of the rainbow when eating our fruits and vegetables we maximize our intake of a diverse and broad range of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
We can begin by removing substances that our bodies are not naturally inclined or designed to process like dairy for example. I know you love those cheese platters so much, but maybe cut down your intake and make it a special treat for the week. Most of the dairy that we consume has been derived from cows that are fed hormones, antibiotics and other things that our bodies weren’t designed to assimilate.
It’s also time to observe the addictive substances like caffeine that jacks our adrenal system and creates a false sense of being awake, when and we really need is more sleep.
We can begin to reduce our intake of refined sugars, sodium and processed foods. Processed foods are loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors & colors, corn syrup and loads of other things invented in a lab. When we consume these things, our bodies have no idea what to do with them. Some of it does get eliminated, however, some of it is processed into your bloodstream, your organs, muscles, bones, etc. Unfortunately, your body was not meant to ingest these things, so they become toxic. In the long run, these toxins can create problems like ulcers, blood clots, and even cancer.
The last one to mention is meat. This is a deep subject, but worth mentioning mostly because of the energetics of what you are putting into your body. The way that the animals are treated and what their state of mind is when they are killed, we ingest. In watching Food Inc many years ago I was convinced that meat was not the way to go for many reasons.
So, what’s the Yogic way of eating?
As a yoga practicioner, my food choices changed quite naturally. I never really sought out a new way of eating, but in listening to my body and understanding my body, I began to eat completely differently. Also, in observation of my mind, I saw my relationship to food choices. The process of eating changed as a result of my body-mind awareness.
Our food choices are affected by our state of mind.
Most of us eat for reasons other than hunger as we mentioned earlier. In fact, we eat quite emotionally. Most of the damaging things we do to our bodies are emotionally driven (ie: binge eating, anorexia, smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc.). Herein lies the problem. Unless we can take care of the emotions that drive us to over eat, drink too much, or smoke a pack a day, most likely no detox or cleanse will help in the long run.
The Key To Successful Food Cleansing
The key to successful food cleansing is to support the cleanse process by also alleviating the toxins in the mind. We need to find the bad habits that cause us to want to harm ourselves.
Our yoga practice supports the cleanse process because the main tenants of yoga are to watch the habits and observe the mind. To detoxify the patterns of behavior that causes us to suffer. When we practice yoga regularly we begin to make mindful decisions from our hearts. We learn to have more compassion. This, in turn, translates to how we make most choices, including our food selections.
Through Yoga we get a deeper understanding of our emotions and how they are affected by the foods we eat. Using the lifestyle principles of yoga, we can mold our cleansing process into an enjoyable experience. Yoga is a process of cleansing. And, we can cleanse also in a yogic way!
The Yoga Sutras, the ancient texts of yoga, were written to offer tools to reduce human suffering and gain incite on how to maximize our joy with a calm, “sattvic” mind. In Ayurveda, it is clear that foods that we consume can contribute to more sattvic states and keep our bodies in balance.
Through our yoga practice and the principle of “ahimsa” in Sanskit or “non-violence”, we learn to choose foods based on learning the yogic principles of compassion for all living things and love for our earth and nature. We learn what it means to live and participate in a sustainable environment. We learn how to live in harmony with nature, thus allowing ourselves to eat according to the seasonality of what’s available, clean and organic. We learn to listen to the ways that our bodies react to foods energetically, chemically, and emotionally.
Eating the yogic way gives us a more sanguine, sustainable energy. We can feel more focused. Our skin will seem brighter, our hair shinier, our teeth and the whites of your eyes will sparkle, and we will probably lose weight.
The best thing about this type of compassionate and realistic cleansing is that we are capable of maintaining this type of eating long term. Eating this way is not a quick fix “cleanse”, but rather a sustainable, conscious lifestyle choice.
So as you begin your path of discovery with yoga, start to watch the other ways that Yoga informs your choices with regards to your body and mind.
By Nicole Doherty – Published in American Athlete Magazine
The avid yoga student of today doesn’t have it easy when it comes to figuring out a path for themselves in the ever-expanding field of yoga. There is a lot of noise out there in the market and a tremendous amount of […]
The avid yoga student of today doesn’t have it easy when it comes to figuring out a path for themselves in the ever-expanding field of yoga.
There is a lot of noise out there in the market and a tremendous amount of choice. With countless styles, locations, studios, teachers, prices, and time formats, how does one go about picking a teacher training?
Below is a list of things to consider when you are doing your research not in any particular order. You will need to prioritize what means the most to you and then craft your decision from there.
Is the Teacher Training Yoga Alliance Certified?
The regulating body for the Yoga industry is the Yoga Alliance. Be sure to enroll in a Yoga Alliance Certified program to ensure that there is consistency around the basic information that you are receiving and a minimum quality standard set for the training.
What style of Yoga will you learn in the Teacher Training?
It’s important to know when enrolling in a program what style of yoga you will be learning, so that in the future you will know what you are able to offer your students as a teacher. As you are learning how to teach, most teachers will ask you to imitate their teaching style until you really integrate the information that you are learning. So you want to make sure that you really resonate with their teachings and style.
If you aren’t sure what style you wish to teach at first, that’s fine, just get trained in something more broad based and general that teaches you a great foundation. When you have a great foundation upon which to build then you can add specialty trainings down the line and get creative. Also, take as many classes from the teacher trainers to see if you like the method that they offer.
Are you learning one set sequence or how to intelligently and creatively sequence?
There are teacher training programs out there that only teach students one sequence to memorize and this sequence is specific to teaching just at that studio. This is fine if you plan to only teach at that studio or within that system, but if you have plans to move beyond that studio or teach private clients one day you may wish to get your training elsewhere.
Private clients have a variety of body types, injuries or illness and memorizing poses is a very limited framework that doesn’t teach you how to customize a sequence or teach with full intelligence about the anatomy of one’s body. You may wish to learn how to teach to people’s bodies and create safe, intelligent and creative sequences so that you can take your training anywhere.
Will you get a teaching job after your teacher training?
There are many studios out there that claim they will offer teaching jobs after completing their training, but we all know that this is not a sustainable business model unless they can afford to continually open studios. If you want a teaching job, you may want to ask what the career path is to getting on the yoga schedule as a paid instructor. Find out how the yoga studio’s business is doing, what their turnover rate is, and if they have plans to open other studios and when that will be. Be diligent in your questioning of the business and the process of getting a job there.
Will the teacher training allow you to teach locally, travel with yoga or teach abroad?
This is an important question when it comes to your career path. If you plan to stay in your local community, you may choose to train at the popular studio in your local area. If you plan to travel with your training and teach in the US or abroad, you may wish to choose a larger brand that is globally recognized and offers trainings in many cities or countries.
How long have the teachers been training and is their teacher training network growing?
It’s logical that you would want to learn from the best and most experienced teachers in your market, or maybe even travel to train with a very experienced teacher or group of teachers. Research teacher’s bios on the roster of your local studio and notice where they were trained. Research the big name teachers out there too and see where they trained.
Ask about the teaching lineages of the trainers of your program and how much experience they have training students to become teachers. If these teachers are training students well, then their students will become great teachers too down the line.
Additionally, you can inquire how the teachers that are training you became trainers in the first place. Some programs out there just pick their most popular teachers to teach or the studio owner teaches everyone. In other programs, teachers need to go through very vigorous specialized trainings and certification programs for several years before becoming a trainer.
What is the price of your teacher training?
There is a bit of a range of pricing when it comes to training. For a foundational 200 hour program you will probably pay anywhere from $2500 – $4000. Be sure to look at some of the other criteria when picking training other than the price tag. Quality trainings are usually carrying a higher price tag because they have to pay their teachers well since they are in such high demand.
What is the program format of your teacher training?
You definitely want to consider the format of your training so that it fits within your overall schedule. Immersions taken over the course of the month are quick so ask yourself if learning this way fits your learning style, lifestyle and work or school schedule. Immersions will require you to do yoga all day long, every day and take many tests within a very condensed time frame.
Three to six month extended program formats are popular for their digestible nature. These formats allow students to learn the material more spaciously helping them with their integration process. But again, this is up to you. Some people also really love traveling abroad to take a training in another country, fully immersing themselves in yoga.
So when choosing a teacher training there are many things to consider, take the time to decide what’s most important to you. Don’t get too overwhelmed either, going down this path is one of transformation no matter which way you slice it.
And, if you really love this path and decide it is for you, I promise you will take many more trainings and workshops down the line. Yoga offers lifetimes of knowledge.
By Nicole Doherty – Article published in Yoganonymous
Yoga A consistent yoga practice offers incredible benefits for the body, mind and soul through the use of movement, breath and meditation. Yoga provides an overall sense of well-being and is a path to wholeness and long-term sustained joy. Some of the […]
A consistent yoga practice offers incredible benefits for the body, mind and soul through the use of movement, breath and meditation. Yoga provides an overall sense of well-being and is a path to wholeness and long-term sustained joy. Some of the key benefits for the body are the reduction of stress, improvement of flexibility, increased strength and vital energy, creation of endurance and better sleep. For the mind you can find harmony, balance between the hemispheres of the brain, reduction of mental chatter, and a true shift in thinking through observation and meditation. For your soul, you can access your Higher Self, connect to your Divine wisdom and find your Soul’s purpose. Nicole teaches public classes, private sessions, workshops and retreats.
The healing arts encompass a wide range of teachings that deal with life force energy or Prana. With healing intention, Nicole works with various energy systems that constitute your body to help facilitate the healing of your physical, emotional and mental suffering. Some key benefits of energy medicine work are the healing of the physical, emotional and mental states; clearing of abuse and sexual traumas; releasing limiting beliefs and re-patterning old stories and conditioned behavior; changing addictive behaviors and maintaining lasting health; removing energetic blockages to cure ailments and prevent disease; increasing your vital energy and finding your power; attuning to a higher vibration, frequency and plane of consciousness; linking up to the universal matrix of energy, love and spirit.
We can make changes in our life to shift our energy and get healthy, but the real challenge is maintaining it. There is no quick fix. It’s about making choices that support the work you are doing and fit your busy lifestyle. Nicole can help you develop and implement personal wellness plans to support your overall well-being in order to achieve long lasting and fulfilling results. This increases your self-awareness and helps you attain a higher level of wellness in a safe, honest, and confidential environment. With Nicole’s coaching you can create new goals in many areas of your life – lifestyle, fitness, nutrition, weight, and stress management.