Tag Archives: teaching

Next weekend: Laughing Lotus staycation

I’m really excited to be attending the Laughing Lotus summit/conference/reunion/staycation next weekend (June 14-16). Do other studios do this? It’s a great idea. Bring your community back together for a yearly reunion, and provide continuing education at the same time. There are 2-3 options for each main time slot, so you can personalize your studies. Topics include safety in inversions, Ayurvedic approaches to sequencing, guidelines for prenatal classes, setting up a teaching website, how to teach basics — and of course lots of fun asana. And chanting.

Classes will be taught by  Dana Trixie Flynn, Alison Cramer, Sheri Celentano, Mary Dana Abbott, Lauren Magarelli, Kate Duyn Cariati, Emily Stone and more.

And this year the Summit sponsors the Lineage Project, which provides yoga and meditation to at?risk and incarcerated youth (age 10 to 21) as an alternative to stress, violence and incarcerations. I’m really happy to see efforts to expand the diversity and accessibility of yoga in the US.

I’ll be there Saturday and Sunday, say hello if you’re going!

More info

10% off Prenatal Teacher Training this weekend

Carrie Parker Gastel
Carrie Parker Gastel

There’s a growing (ha) need for prenatal teachers — if you’ve been thinking about getting the certification, there’s a deal this weekend. YogaWorks (Union Square) is offering a prenatal training for “yoga teachers, doulas, labor and delivery nurses, childbirth educators, midwives, and pregnant women interested in deepening their practice.”

Taught by Lamaze certified Childbirth Educator / yoga instructor Carrie Parker Gastel, the training will cover the physiological process of pregnancy and birth, asanas for “optimal fetal positioning” and easier labor and birth, asana modifications and contraindications, pelvic bodywork, kegels, pain coping techniques, vocalization, mantra, and more.

Yogoer readers get 10% off!

Download the flyer

June 4-5, 2011
Saturday, 12:30-8:30pm
Sunday, 12:30-6:00pm

YogaWorks Union Square
138 5th Avenue, 4th floor

To register call Nicole Montes at 646.442.6203


Yoga Jobs: Instructor at New York Yoga

New York Yoga and New York Yoga Hot, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, are seeking to add to their current teaching staff.

We are looking for talented and knowledgeable teachers with 4+ years teaching experience, teaching in the heat is a plus. Please list any additional certifications such as Restorative & Prenatal.

Please submit resume and headshot/website, along with compensation requirements to class@newyorkyoga.com.

Explore the Body as Energy with Yoga Grand Master Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch is teaching a workshop at Strala Yoga next Saturday. She’s 91, and teaches yoga every day. Inspiring!


Explore the Body as Energy
with Yoga Grand Master Tao Porchon-Lynch

Saturday, July 24th, 2010
1:00pm – 4:00pm

$25 on-line registration
$20 in person at Strala
$30 same day (if space is available)

In this workshop with Westchester’s matriarch of yoga, you will become aware of the energy that invigorates your life. Utilizing the various breathing techniques of Pranayama you will learn how to control vital energy. By using special hand positions know as Mudras, you will be able to channel the flow of energy throughout your being. Engaging the body’s Bhandas (also known as locks), you can focus and store your energy. Through an understanding of the Chakra system you will attain a working knowledge of your body’s vital energy centers. The workshop will end with a deeply absorbing meditation.

Register online at www.stralayoga.com

Jules Henry Says

The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that the way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.

— Jules Henry, quoted in Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen

Little Lesson: Pain Isn’t Progress

From Stephanie Sandleben, at Kula Yoga:

Stephanie: So, in my own practice, I’ve been thinking about the difference between sensation, and tapas. And realizing that they’re not the same thing.

Rough quote, I’m forgetting more of it, but her words hit the spot. It’s taken me years to realize that yoga is not the Marines, pain is not “a sign of weakness leaving the body.” Tapas, the purifying burn that is a big reason we practice asana, is achieved through appropriate challenges for the body. Not masochism and ignorance.

Continue reading

Little Lesson: Chase Rainbows

Bakasana, from Yoga Journal
Bakasana, by Yoga Journal

From Elias Lopez, at Abhaya Yoga:

Elias, demonstrating Bakasana: You can stay here, with the toes on the ground. That’s the pink variation. Or you can lift one foot, that’s the blue variation. Or the other foot, that’s still blue. Or lift both feet, that’s the purple variation. Any color you wish; all colors are light.

Rough quote, but it was a beautiful use of language. To get people to detach from chasing “advanced” variations, just because they’re there, we need to eliminate the hierarchy of Beginner < Intermediate < Advanced. The variations are like colors, distinct but equal; we just want to choose the one that feels right for the moment.

[Strala Yoga does something similar, calling its classes “Strong”, “Relax” and “Recover.”]

Little Lesson: Pull Back!

Visvamitrasana, from Yoga Journal
Visvamitrasana, from Yoga Journal

From Tara Glazier, at Abhaya Yoga:

Student: Why do I feel like I’m pulling my shoulder out if its socket? [in Visvamitrasana]

Tara: You might be!

This wake-up call drew a big round of laughter from the class. It’s easy to forget that the asanas are serious challenges for the body. (She went on to explain that we need to draw the shoulder strongly back into its socket to counteract the force of the leg.)

The Yoga Sutras – Book 1 & 2

Book 1, Sutra 4: At other times [the Self appears to] assume the forms of the mental modifications.

Book 1, Sutra 30: Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the ground gained – these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles.

I’ve been thinking about obstacles. New York is full of them. About a month ago I went to the kirtan at Sonic and one of the song we did was a chant to Ganesha. One of the cantors talked about Ganesha as the remover of obstacles, or the one who carefully places obstacles in our way when we need them. I didn’t understand this later explanation and it’s been nagging at the back of my mind.

In Book 1, Sutra 30, Patanjali talks about the nature of obstacles, and their residence in the mind. Despite that I consider my biggest obstacles to live outside of my own body, Patanjali reminds me that the true obstacles are within, in the mind. Linking this to Book 1, Sutra 4, I realized that the most effective way to remove obstacles, internal or external, is to change my mind about them.

I thought some more about the cantor’s description of Ganesha. The Prana has a sense of humor and a sense of deep compassion. There are obstacles within me that I have been turning away from for too long. I deal with them by avoiding them. So Ganesha, in his wisdom, forces me to deal with my obstacles by placing other obstacles in my way that I must respond to, ones that I cannot turn away from. And in dealing with those obstacles, I am being forced to deal with the bigger obstacles within.

I need to slow down, to learn how to make and stick to boundaries, to find my edge and live there – mentally and physically – so he handed me a yoga practice so intense that I have a sore bum and the need for far more sleep than usual. I have no choice but to slow down and consider what it is that I’m really trying to do with this life. For too long, I’ve been so worried that if I slow down, I’ll miss out. I’ll lose an opportunity or a lucky break.

Since I was a child, I have struggled with insomnia. My mind and my body literally couldn’t calm down and go to sleep. Now almost 2/3 of the way through this yoga teacher training, I am sleeping better than I ever have in my life. For 18 minutes a day, I think about these two Sutras. I think about changing my mind, and I wait. And the opportunities, better than ever, are showing up. I don’t need to keep looking around for a better life. The one I have is amazing; now’s the time to slow down and appreciate every moment.