Are Private Clients needy?

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I have a private client that was attending an event downtown recently and she was seated at a table with a local yoga teacher. During their conversation my client mentioned she did yoga but had a private teacher. The person she was talking to said she did not take private clients because private clients were ‘just too needy’……. Hummmm well my knee jerk reaction is “what a jerk!” but that’s not very Yogi like is it. So I thought about it for a minute and I know that each of us has our talents and the gifts we were born with. And I’ guessing that her gift is something other than working with private clients. It does take a specific skill set to be successful at working one on one.

But I think it’s her perception of private clients as being needy that I took the most exception too. It is way off base……They aren’t needy but they are in need. They need the specialized training that a private yoga teacher has. If you had a heart problem you wouldn’t go to a General Practice Doctor you’d go to a Cardiologist. If you need help with your teeth you see a dentist. If you are training for an Iron Man event you don’t go to your local gym and hire just any Trainer you hire someone who specializes in coaching athletes.

And the people who go to a dentist, cardiologist or hire a coach aren’t considered needy. But they do have a need.

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And just as not all yoga teachers are gifted as private teachers, private yoga isn’t for every student. Most of you will never have that ‘need’. But don’t assume that because someone is hiring a private yoga teacher that they are needy and just want a lot of attention. All of my clients have very specific needs, such as pain reduction, mobility issues, illness or injury recovery to getting ready for a marathon or Iron Man (and many others). But whatever your reason it should be looked at as part of your self-care regime. Just like getting a massage, seeing a chiropractor or having your teeth cleaned it’s all part of what you do to keep yourself health and well.

You keep doing what you need to do to be healthy and well!

 

Om Shanti

Cheryl

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Often times we don’t see it coming. The big event or the one little word that starts us on that roller coaster ride that shakes us, bounces us around and with twists and turns it brings us back to the beginning. It seems that we are trapped  on that merry-go-round of emotions for most of our lives.

These moments or events can cause us to doubt ourselves, to create drama on the inside that doesn’t exist anywhere else. And most of the time its a big fat nothing that causes that shift in our perception, that brings up the old manifestations of negative self-worth. Some rigid idea that we aren’t good enough that we don’t matter as much as someone else. That our dreams are foolish or insignificant. And then we turn that nonsense outward, flinging poo at other people.

Don’t we know who we are. Don’t we know are significance, our value. When we practice Yoga & live by the basic principles yoga can teach us to respond in a manner that is compassionate, that requires Love to dampen that fire of doubt.

The practice of Ahimsa is a kind of self-love that is a cool rain on a sticky August day, it calms and soothes and then we can embrace our dreams and with love and peace we can ignore the outside triggers and we can surrender these old patterns of behavior to the universe, and allow things to happen as they should. No resistance, no misunderstanding.  You learn to recognize that other people are not the ones who doubt, who question, who don’t understand those thoughts are within us. With a consistent yoga practise we become flexible enough to move out-of-the-way of  the slings and arrows of someone else’s discontent, of our own discontent and then we begin to understand our divinity

Quotes About Moving On 0173-175 (Spiritual Quotes) (1).

Om Shanti

C

Restorative insites

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In an active asana class (Vinyasa, Flow or Ashtanga) we are learning and practicing the art of ‘doing’. Doing the pose, doing the breathing, doing the movements…. But with restorative yoga we are cultivating the art of ‘being’; Being in the pose, being with the breath, being patient, being focused, relaxed and aware.

Yoga as a whole is the art and science of being. Being human, being well, being Love, being you…..the art of restorative yoga allows us to more deeply cultivate that sense of ‘being’.

Judith Lasater refers to Restorative Yoga as ‘Active Relaxation’… that sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it. But if we aren’t actively involved in the process of learning to relax, if we are just going through the motions, then the body doesn’t respond in the way we want it to, it doesn’t actually relax. You might fall asleep during a restorative class, which is ok when you are first learning the process, but sleep is passive relaxation. We want to be able to turn on the relaxation response when we need to; we want the body to know when to relax and when to flee and then how to relax again.

When you’re doing a restorative yoga practice give consideration to gravity. Observe the gentle pull of it, the way it softly tugs at you, take time to notice it.

Throughout our daily lives we fight with gravity, we have work to stay upright, to walk, to move, just staying upright is a constant battle between us and gravity. And as we age if we think of gravity at all we think of it as the enemy. But gravity has a purpose; it holds us close to the earth….. Connected….. Tethered…. Gravity keeps us tethered to the Earth. And restorative yoga takes advantage of the tether, of that connection. Restorative yoga gives us a chance to use gravity, to work with gravity.

Now, go back to observing how the body responds to the pull that is gravity and then give up the fight, surrender to that gentle pull, honor it, it’s what keeps us from floating off into space, gravity is what grounds us.

Think of ‘being’ grounded the next time you are ‘doing’ restorative yoga and explore the tugs and pulls of gravity

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Om Shanti

Cheryl

A brief talk about Nidra

WHAT IS YOGA NIDRA

Yoga Nidra in Sanskrit mean Yogic Sleep, but it is not sleep. It is a powerful meditation technique from the Tantra Yoga tradition. It is both a name of a state of being and of the practice that creates that change of consciousness.

The practitioner through Nidra learns to relax and to facilitate their healing and can manifest seemingly magical changes in their life, helping to clean up karmic debris in their life.

We can use different means to achieve the state of nidra but the following will always be included:

1) Pranayama: Control of breathing and the ability to control and direct Prana, the life energy force.
2) Dharana: Concentration, cultivation and heightening of inner perceptual awareness
3)Pratyharya: the withdrawl of the senses and influences of the  mind.

The stages of the Yoga Nidra Practice are usually followed the same way, whether it’s a 10 min nidra or a 45 min practice.

1) Relaxation – you begin with a preliminary preparation of the body
2) Sankalpa– A personal goal is declared silently

3) Rotation of Consciousness – we then tour the whole body in a structured fashion
4) pranayama –awareness of the breath
5) Creative Visualization – Various images are visualized mentally
6) Your Sankalpa is repeated and, now in a highly suggestible state of consciousness, is programmed into the subconscious mind.
7) Return to Full Awareness – a careful and gradual return to a normal state

So what is a Sankalpa

‘Kalpa’ means vow, and ‘san’ is a derivative of the highest truth. A sankalpa then, is like a commitment in support of the deeper meaning of our life.

A sankalpa is the resolve, determination and good intention will that resonates precisely in your core and aligns with your highest intention .  Swami Saraswati describes it as a will power that is flexible enough to account for changing circumstances changes begin to manifest in your inner and outer world.

Think of your sankalpa as the seed and your mind the garden, we plant a seed and for it to grow we must cultivate it, water it, feed it and encourage it to grow.

We can often struggle to hear our own true sankalpa. We sometimes develop it within the practice of Yoga Nidra, without really understanding what it is.

What it isn’t is a wish, or a new years resolution. It isn’t a ‘wanna’ (I wanna lose weight, I wanna quit smoking I wanna a new job). Typically this kind of statement lacks commitment; a sankalpa is a statement of deeply held fact.

Roger Miller calls it  “a heartfelt desire, the calling of your higher self our DHARMA, it is what resonates with your true soul & what speaks of your true nature”. It takes time to find your sankalpa, to develop the deeper understanding of who we are before we can truly know where we are going.

You need to learn to listen to the deep voice within. Your heartfelt calling is already there, in you waiting for you to hear it.

Learning to find what you really want is a process that takes time; you have to dig through all the preprogramming that you have, the samskaras, the grooves in our record.

  • Here are a few tipson finding your sankalpa
  • Find and follow your Bliss
  • Try don’t to string too many things together
  • Make it simple right now your samkalpha might be to take the time to find a good sankalpha
  • Keep it in the present moment – the word WILL, means will power, but can also mean in the future
  • Tap into your psyche, your inner strength
  • you can say ‘I am stronger, I am becoming healthier, I live a healthy life, I belong, I am powerful

And remember that a sankalpa made with conviction, determination & perseverance but mostly from a deep sincerity will never fail you.11032678_10153162371738099_6929746366132006448_n

What is death or ‘What If Oprah asked you’

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No one knows what death is or what happens when we die

It is the great unknown. We … can’t … know.

But I think it is an opportunity, another opportunity to process

The ultimate process

We are all processing~ digesting. Especially those of us that are seeking, we the willing learners.

The Souls seekers digest and process everything or so we think.

But the life we live is filled with so much fear and busy-ness, and unless we actually sit in stillness, sit in and with Presence, that we can’t process everything.

And so comes Death, the ultimate stillness, the only real opportunity to sit with Presence and in the presence of God and process….everything.

From our first Breath to our last Breath,  Everything….

Everything we have learned, everything we have taught, everything we have heard, seen, touched, Loved, Feared. All without the constricts of our fear based suffering, without our judgment, without feeling the need to fix or change it but to simply process.

Death is the opportunity to truly process everything in the presence of Love.

Om Shanti

Cheryl

This Gym Rat’s opinion

Its time people. Its time to lay to rest the myths of the “gym rat Yoga teacher”

This is one of my favorite misconceptions about yoga, that a Gym Rat’s yoga isn’t real yoga..

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Let’s look at the myths themselves…..

Myth #1  If you teach yoga in a gym you must not be certified or you’re not qualified to teach yoga……. I have been in the fitness industry for almost 30 years (15 teaching yoga) and I have always worked where certifications were mandatory whether you are teaching jazzercise, Tabata, Zumba or Yoga. If you go to a gym and ask about the qualifications of all its instructors and if they can’t say where their Zumba instructor or Yoga teacher are certified through go somewhere else. And let me also say that there are some teachers in Yoga studio settings that are terrible teachers, some good some bad. Location doesn’t have anything to do with ability.

Myth #2… If you teach yoga in a gym you must not be teaching ‘real’ yoga….What the hell?! Seriously what is ‘real yoga’? What does that even mean? Are we talking about the philosophy of yoga? The full 8 limbs as presented by Pantajoli? Is real yoga an asana class where everyone can stand on their hands? What is real yoga? When you can answer that question I will tell you how it relates to what I teach.

Myth #3… If you teach in a gym you are a ‘gym rat’ and gym rats couldn’t possibly understand the depths of what yoga is or can be and you probably only teach the poses so it’s ‘just’ an exercise class. …And to that I say ‘So what!!? So Fucking what!….Asana (one of the 8 limbs of Yoga) is exercise, physical exercise & is probably the best possible exercise for your body….. As well as your mind and spirit.

OK so why am I making a big deal about this now, well I was watching Super Soul Sunday (I Love that show) and Oprah was interviewing Ali McGraw (Love Story) and Oprah asked her how she started her day and Ms McGraw was talking about her cat (or was it a dog?), getting up early and reading and then she mentioned that she did yoga every day and not the hot powerful yoga but her practice was about meditation, the asana to her was meditation prep. It was a lovely conversation…until……. She said she tries to take classes when she can and that where she lives there are wonderful teachers “who have been studying for years not like the gym rat who just decided to do yoga”.  Yep she said it, on national TV, on the Oprah show, Damn. And that’s where she lost me. Actually she kinda pissed me off.

So what really makes a good yoga teacher?

Is it someone who has been studying at the feet of great yogis for decades? Maybe, it is certainly a good start. But being good at studying doesn’t mean you are good at teaching.

Is it someone who has been practicing yoga for many many years, of course it doesn’t hurt to have a long held practice of your own. But a good teacher doesn’t teach what they ‘do’ they teach what is ‘needed’ by the students in front of them. My personal practice often times looks very different from my classes.

I have known some wonderful yoga teachers over the years and some have only been teaching a short time & some for decades. Some teach in Yoga studios & some in gyms. Some teach in church basements or in community centers.

The location doesn’t matter, but the journey does.

A good yoga teacher takes you on a journey of understanding, of body awareness, of slowing down the mind while strengthening the body. A journey of self-discovery that may begin with the body but also uplifts the spirit.

Om Shanti

Cheryl

So here is the link to the full interview, ’cause it was a good show and I enjoyed watching it until she misspoke about us gym rats.

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http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Ali-MacGraw-Video

What is meditation to you?

A dear friend is just beginning her Yoga journey and she asked a question about meditation. She wondered if listening to music could be meditation. It’s a great question. Don’t we all wondered at the beginning of our journey how the hell we are ever going to be able to ‘sit here’ in meditation. The mind wanders away, off to ‘God knows where’ and you can actually feel your eyes looking around (even with closed eye lids) and you desperately want to tap your fingers or wiggle your toes, it’s all you can think about! OK maybe that was me, but you get my point. Meditation is hard! But I also believe that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Meditation comes in many forms.

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We always picture it as a guru sitting in lotus, fingers in a mudra, being completely still and totally quiet – Well that’s one way.

Dance (asana practice) is meditative, singing (mantra), breathing (pranayama), walking a labyrinth. All can have meditation like results – You have to ask yourself “what is meditation”. Meditation is the practice of ‘stilling’ the mind, allowing the mind a deep, quiet space where nothing distracts us. Meditation is about relaxing, but relaxing so that you can hear what is being said; To you, from within you. Pretty powerful stuff.

Swami Rama says….” In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.”……. I believe that we can be ‘doing’ and still be in a meditative practice. If we are singing, dancing, ect ect and that is our single focus, the only focus of our mind, is it not then an inward focus? Are we not fully engaged and alert to that one thing we are doing, not focused on the outside world? Well then that is a kind of meditation. And in our world we find it very difficult to completely quiet the mind, at least when we are beginning a meditation practice. So these other ways to practice meditation are a good beginning, the beginning of learning to cultivate stillness.

What is meditation to you?

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Om Shanti

 

Cheryl

Breath Centered Meditation

Here is a quick Breath Awareness Meditation that you can do any where any time.

Pardon any glitches (like the sound my chair was making) LOL I am using a different recorder, while also using sound cloud for the first time. Woo Hoo, I am always learning.

I hope you like this I use it quite a lot in my classes. So put your feet up or lay down and get comfortable, press play and reeeelax.

Om Shanti

Cheryl