De-Stressing 102

By Surya San Miguel. Reposted here with the authors’ permission.

In De-Stressing 101, I looked at the signs of a state of chronic agitation, a precursor of a stress breakdown and proposed a change in lifestyle based on the 5 Points of Yoga taught by Swami Vishnudevananda. Now I would like to look at the stress episode itself.

The stress response (SR) is a survival mechanism in a life or death situation. Once it is triggered there is a release of hormones in the adrenal glands that are pumped by the heart into the blood stream reaching specifically the extremities in order to either run away from danger or fight it off. This is accompanied by faster breathing, increased blood pressure, production of glucose to provide energy, sweating to prevent overheating, secretion of acid in the stomach to kill off bacteria in case of infection caused by injury, evacuation of urine and bowels to lighten the body’s load to flee, etc. It’s a wonderful mechanism that keeps us safe. It does not last long, from 2 or 3 minutes, as our organism cannot sustain such a state of “wear and tear” for a long time.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Does an Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Do?

By Dr. Marc Halpern (Siva)
Originally published by Sivananda Yoga Camp. Reposted with permission.

Dr. Marc Halpern

An Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist is a specialist capable of utilizing yoga therapies to alter the physiology of the body in a manner that supports the healing process. As such, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapists are uniquely placed to participate as a health care team member as the work they do compliments the work of all other therapists.

Ayurvedic Yoga Therapists utilize asana, pranayama, pratyahara, and meditation as their main tools. Each practice and the manner in which it is practiced affects the physiology of the patient differently. The language of understanding how the physiology of body is changed is the language of the three doshas. The foundational knowledge of the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist is the knowledge of the 10 pairs of opposite qualities, five vayus, the doshas, the chakras, and the nadi. Understanding how these energies and energy centers function is the key to the restoring balance to the physiological systems of the body and supporting the healing process.

In practice it is really much simpler. An Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist does a consultation to determine the patient’s constitution and the nature of the doshic imbalance that is present. Sometimes this is done by an Ayurvedic practitioner who then refers the patients to the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. Once the nature of the patient and the nature of the imbalance is known, the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist is ready to prescribe and teach the patient the practices to restore balance. This occurs during weekly visits or visits every two weeks. Most sessions last an hour to an hour and a half. Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy is much like a personal yoga session. The difference is the specificity with which the practices are prescribed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mala Cunningham: Addressing heart disease with medical yoga

Mala Cunningham

Mala Cunningham, PhD, is an author and educator of mind-body medicine and healthy psychology. President of Positive Health Solutions and founder of the renowned training program Cardiac Medical Yoga, she has taught and practiced yoga and meditation for over 35 years.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Please share what you do in 10-15 words. I have developed a model of medical yoga called Cardiac Medical Yoga that is used for patients with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Why do you do what you do? Heart disease is the number-one killer is most countries in the world. Diabetic and heart patients need a modified and medical emphasis for their yoga practice. It is deeply rewarding to see the impact that yoga has on the lives of patients who have a medical condition.

What are you currently fascinated by in your work? When I started yoga in 1971, it was considered a “fad”. Now, it has come full circle with hospitals and clinics around the world recognizing the tremendous benefit that yoga has to offer for both prevention and rehabilitation issues. It is a very exciting time to be involved in the area of medical yoga.

How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers? In the early 1980′s, a colleague of mine who was 40-years-old at the time had a heart attack and sadly within cardiac rehab, there was nothing available for him to deal with his stress. Since I was already a yoga teacher and was also studying for my PhD in psychology, I realized that yoga could be used for both mental health and medical issues. It was at that time that I began to format a medical yoga model of care for patients dealing with diabetes and heart disease.

What book(s) are you currently reading? “The Untethered Should” by Michael Singer.

Have you been to the Yoga Retreat before? It is always a great pleasure to teach at the Sivananda Ashram. I deeply respect the depth of dedication to the yoga practices by the students of Swami Vishnu. It is very inspiring and admirable to see the next generation of yogis being so dedicated and committed to the principles and philosophy of the ancient yoga practices.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 Upcoming Programs with Mala

January 26 – February 1, 2014
Cardiac Yoga Teacher Training

January 31 – February 1, 2014
Cardiac Medical Yoga Retreat

Learning Permaculture with Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson, cofounder of Midwest Permaculture with his wife Rebecca, is an internationally recognized permaculture teacher and designer. He was introduced to permaculture while following his own spiritual journey, and teaches, speaks, and writes widely.

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Please share what you do in 10-15 words. Permaculture designer and teacher of the Permaculture Design Certificate Course.

Why do you do what you do? I am inspired by the thinking and ethics behind permaculture design and am passionate about sharing it with others.

What are you currently fascinated by in your work? How so many people are already thinking and living like a permaculturist but are not even aware of the word yet nor do they understand the significance of their thinking or their contributions.

How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers? It began as a spiritual journey to understand how life really works and what is true in this world.  Permaculture, like yoga, is a path in whereby people can peak behind the veil of our cultural illusions and fantasies to find an authentic experience of being human while learning to be an agent of peace and plenty in the world.

What book(s) are you currently reading?Permaculture Handbook” by Peter Bane and “The Soul of the Soil” by Grace Gershuny.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Upcoming Programs with Bill Wilson

February 14-16, 2014
Introduction to Permaculture and Spirituality

February 17-20, 2014
Essential Permaculture for Yogis

 

Pomegranate Power Smoothie — with bok choy!

Grace Van Berkum's Pomegranate Power Smoothie

Grace Van Berkum’s Pomegranate Power Smoothie

Thanks to the always inspiring Grace Van Berkum for this super delicious, health-promoting recipe.

Enjoy this powerful, delicious smoothie that boasts substantial health promoting benefits and is great for digestion.

Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have blood pressure-reducing properties, and both have anti-inflammatory effects that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. Bok choy is a very rich source of many vital phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and health-benefiting anti-oxidants.

seeds from 1 pomegranate
1 cup frozen organic strawberries
1 frozen banana
1 stalk of bok choy
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 serving Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder
2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk

Add ice and blend away.
Power up and drink up!

 

Warriors at Ease Receives Smithsonian Award

Congratulations! On October 29, Warriors at Ease received an award from the Smithsonian Institution as part of the opening gala for the new “Yoga: The Art of Transformation” exhibit.

We are happy for them — and proud to be hosting the Warriors at Ease training in March 2014.

Molly Asebey-Birkholm (Madhavi), co-founder of Warriors at Ease

Here is the email co-founder Molly Asebey-Birkholm (Madhavi) sent to us to share the news:

Dearest friends,

I wanted to share a moment of gratitude with all of you who have been supporters of Warriors at Ease. Last Thursday, Warriors at Ease (represented by co-founder Robin Carnes) received an award from the Smithsonian Institution as part of the opening gala for the new “Yoga: The Art of Transformation Exhibit.” It was a complete surprise when we heard we were receiving the award.

At the awards, Robin told the story of Warriors at Ease and read an excerpt from an email from a service member who came through the yoga and meditation program at DHCC. Once redeployed in Kandahar, he set up a meditation room there and played the iRest Yoga Nidra CD for his fellow soldiers. Even the toughest ones ‘surrendered’ to it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring the Sounds of Life with John Beaulieu

John Beaulieu

John Beaulieu, ND, PhD, is a composer, sound healer, counseling psychologist, board-certified naturopathic physician, and Polarity practitioner. A world leader in the use of integrative energy medicine for healing, he is also an author, researcher, and professor.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Please share what you do in 10-15 words: I teach integrative medicine with an emphasis in sound healing.

Why do you do what you do? I have worked in the healing arts and musical arts for 46 years. I do it because this is my calling in life. It is what I was born to do.

What are you currently fascinated by in your work? I am interested in the neuroscience of sound and how different sounds affect our neural network and enhance neuroplasticity.

How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers? I began playing the piano at 3 years old. When I was 20, I visited a psychiatric hospital as part of a college psychology class. I just knew I wanted to learn more and work with this type of patient. It did not take me long to integrate music with psychology.

What book(s) are you currently reading? I am always reading the Bhagavad Gita. I have four different translations on my Kindle. I have been reading it for many years and always discover something new. I am always reading research papers. For fun I read James Rollin’s novels.

Have you been to the Yoga Retreat before? I have taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat for more than 10 years. I come back to teach because of the open diversity environment in which all spiritual paths are honored.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Upcoming courses—filling quickly! Register soon.

January 17 – 23, 2014
The Yoga of Sound and Voice Training
John Beaulieu & Silvia Nakkach

January 11 – 16, 2014
Polarity Therapy & 5 Element Body Work Certification
John Beaulieu, Andreas Ledermann & Brigitta Raimann

The Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga Teacher Training will be held November 26 – 30, 2013. For details and to register, click here.

Article contributed by Nora Benian (Sundari), Restorative Yoga Teacher.

In this day and age of being constantly on guard due to an overwhelming bombardment of stimuli, when does one have an opportunity to unwind, relax and recharge? It’s no wonder we are all stressed out. For restoration one must relax, but how do we practice relaxing?

Restorative Yoga is a very gentle practice designed to calm the nervous system, deeply relax the body and mind and create overall well-being. It offers simple yet powerful postures and relaxation techniques that can be integrated into existing yoga classes, or used to teach restorative specific classes, but also in healing treatments. Restorative Yoga is a regenerative healing tool that reduces stress and pain by supporting the body’s innate responses towards homeostasis and health.

Through the use of supported yoga postures, breathing and meditative techniques, a profound sense of relaxation infuses one’s entire being which leads to healing. When the body is fully supported, it will naturally relax, releasing deeply held tensions. Relaxation is a state in which there is no movement, no effort, and the brain is quiet.

Read the rest of this entry »

October Promotions

There’s still time to sign up for our “Early Bird” discount on any upcoming 2013-14 Teacher Training Course. This special offer will be ending October 31, so be sure to sign up today for any one of our upcoming Teacher Training courses. Check our website for more information and to register.

Lastly, to celebrate the upcoming opening of our high season, we are offering a 20% discount off accommodation rates for any Yoga Vacation Program or Foundation Course held in October. This is valid on any NEW reservation. Call or register today and mention this special offer.

So take a look at our calendar and make plans to come visit us here at the Yoga Retreat!

 

Swami Swaroopananda Q&A: Dispassion Does Not Mean Indifference

SwamiSQ: If one successfully attains vairagya, or dispassion, why would one do anything beyond one’s immediate responsibilities and duties? For example, why did Swami Vishnudevananda feel such a strong need to promote world peace, if he had attained vairagya?

Answer: In the yogic scriptures, vairagya, or dispassion, is described as acting without desire for the fruits of the action. Let’s say, for example, that you are feeding hungry people, that you are feeding a million hungry people a day. Someone might ask, why do you do this? What do you get out of it? When this question came up during a talk yesterday, one person spoke about a smiling child. She said that seeing a smile on the face of a distressed child is a great reward for helping.

But we have to ask the question, “Did you help the child for the smile?” Is that really the reason you helped? I don’t think the person helping the child thought, “I’m helping the child so I can get a smile.” Let’s assume you helped the child, but you didn’t see the smile, or that you helped the child, but didn’t see any direct results at all. Now let’s suppose someone again asks, why do you do what you do? Your answer will be, I do what I do because I care for the child, because I love the child. Then the person might ask, but what do you want for yourself? The answer is, if you really love, if you really care, ultimately you don’t want anything for yourself. All you want is for the other, not for yourself.

Many of our desires relate to the question, “What can I get for myself?” We want happiness or knowledge or power or name and fame. “I have to get something for myself. If I get something for myself, I’ll be happy.” But there is another way to look at it, like this: “I do a lot of good in this world. I act. But whatever I do, it’s never for myself.” If whatever I do is never for myself, at that very moment I am free. That freedom is called vairagya, or detachment. I am free of desire that has as its motive an egotistic reason. I am free from selfish desires, and that is vairagya. Vairagya means that I act, but not because of selfish desires. I only act out of love, out of care. I don’t want anything for myself. Nothing. Not even a thank you. The joy is in serving, in loving.

Read the rest of this entry »

Older posts «

» Newer posts