How To Be a Healer

I believe that most of us humans are equipped with natural, unique talents and abilities that enable us to help others and can reveal to us how to be a healer. Through embracing the lessons we learn from our life experiences and sharing them with others, we become teachers and guides for each other. Our lived experiences are our most valuable training for helping others heal. Surviving a challenging or even traumatic event gives us compassion and empathy for others who have been through similar experiences.

Are you one of these people? Are you like the young woman who walks into my office with a big, open heart, wanting guidance on how to leave her corporate job and make her career spreading love? Are you like the man who so desperately wants create change in his community but lives in fear of not doing it “right” or what others will think of him? Do you know that you have lots of helpful strategies to share but are uncertain how to get your voice out there?

If so, there are some simple things you can do to start offering positive healing energy to your community and beyond. It’s absolutely possible to release whatever blocks and fears you are having about being in service and start helping others now. Here are three ways you can get started.

1. Focus on Healing Yourself

First, let go of the idea that one day you will be completely healed, your work finished, and rewarded with an eternal, blissful utopia of enlightenment. Whoever sold you that bullshit is a charlatan.

How to Be A Healer, This Human Experience

We fall and scrape a knee, a friend passes away, we crash our car, and so on. Regardless of how much healing work we’ve done on ourselves, we must continue to do the ongoing maintenance of cleansing, balancing, and returning to our wholeness after these normal types of difficulties.

As a full-time coach and healer, I have to continually be clear and present for my clients. If I’m bogged down with a physical or emotional imbalance, it’s challenging to do my work in a sound and effective way. Knowing this, I have an amazing team of healers and coaches I work with to help me stay healed and whole. I exercise, do yoga, and meditate regularly to help myself find equanimity and continue with my healing work.

How to be a Healer, Self-Care

Through engaging in your own healing process, you also become an example for those around you. Your friends, family, and co-workers will notice the changes in you and become inspired to pursue their own transformational work. When I first started practicing kundalini yoga many years ago, I was still working full-time in a corporate setting. I didn’t tell people what I was up to outside of work, but my coworkers noticed and began commenting on the changes they could see me going through. They could see and feel the light I was cultivating in my newfound practice. When you shift to be in balance and feeling well, your energetic state is palpably different. You have more patience and kindness with others, and they will feel different around you. In this way, committing to healing yourself as an ongoing journey automatically helps others heal. It’s like magic!

Your negative ego may tell you that you need to be at a certain place in your healing process to help others. If you listen to this voice within, you may never feel good enough to lend a hand. Be honest with yourself about what you’re excited to share and give. A smile, a hug, or a listening ear can do a lot for someone else. The most important thing is to be honest about who you are and where you are in your process. Authenticity and honesty are refreshing for people and build trust. Being a true ally for someone is immensely healing.

As I prepare for a healer training program I’ll be leading this year at Namaste, I’ve been thinking a lot about why it’s so important to work on healing yourself if you want to help others. The main reason is: integrity. As healers, we need to be in integrity with what we offer others. This means we must always be paying attention to what in ourselves is ready to be healed next, rather than preaching or teaching one thing and doing something else in our personal lives. Taking your own healing work seriously is key to helping others. This is the most fundamental value I hold in my work and encourage in those I mentor as well.

How to Be A Healer, Leading

2. Be Present and Listen Well

Think back to a time when you felt witnessed and acknowledged by another human. I’m guessing that person took the time to listen to everything you had to say without interrupting. They were likely curious, patient, and kind as you shared your experience. They refrained from giving you advice or telling you what to do and instead inquired about the wisdom you gained from the situation. Chances are this experience, whether with an elder, friend, or counselor, helped you remember who you are at your core and reminded you that you are important, wise, and strong.

You don’t have to be a trained professional to offer this to someone else. Being present and listening well should also not be reserved for only our closest friends and family members. Offering this kind of service to someone you barely know or only see casually can be life-changing for them. Why? Because most of us do not get enough of this quality of interaction. There are so many people feeling alone in their struggle; receiving the care of another human reminds someone they are connected to something bigger and aren’t alone.

My first experience of learning what it felt like to be present was through yoga and meditation, and it didn’t happen until I was 23. My energy at that time was untethered and I was self-destructing. While that was many years ago, I see similar patterns in the clients who come to me for 1:1 transformational work today. There are so many addictions that can get in the way of just being, from an obsession with our thoughts, plans, and ego narratives, to a reliance on substances like alcohol or stimulants to manage our internal experience. All of this makes it challenging to pay attention and listen deeply enough to help another person.

You can start helping others heal now by slowing down when you’re interacting with someone. Focus your attention not just outside yourself, but also inside yourself. Take some deep breaths to center yourself in the moment. Feel your feet on the ground and look into the person’s eyes. Consciously open your heart and feel into bringing loving, positive regard to this person. Practice simply being with them. Next, listen to what they have to say. They might say things you don’t agree with. Allow yourself to breathe through the impulse to interrupt and debate. When they finish speaking, ask questions to learn more. If you do have advice for them, ask their permission to give it. You can say something like, “I have an idea about how you can work that out. Are you open to hearing it?” This way of interacting shows the person that you respect their boundaries and what they are and are not open to hearing.

You don’t need to give advice to be helpful to someone. Each person contains so much wisdom within themselves; just being super present with them and giving them the space to slow down and hear themselves can help them to see things differently.

How to be a healer, Be Present

3. Be Radically Generous, to Yourself

A lot of people I talk to who are interested in helping others already have a strong and admirable drive to give, but they end up forgetting about themselves in the process. We need more radical generosity in our world and as healers, we cannot forget ourselves when we consider who to care for.

The truth is that most people are very scared! Fear is a nervous system response meant to let you know that you’re in danger and must do something to protect and survive. It’s very common to be making decisions from a place of fear and survival instinct and not even know it. But we don’t have to move through the world in survival mode.

Look at self-generosity as the practice of taking excellent care of yourself. Freely give yourself what you need to feel at ease in your mind, body, and spirit. Being generous with yourself might look like carving out the time to relax and rest, taking a long walk in nature amidst the beauty there that is so abundant, or getting yourself a treat that feels luxurious. It might mean saying no to socializing, or it might mean giving yourself a night out dancing with friends. It does not need to be expensive in time or money; even ten minutes of deep care for yourself can make a difference in a busy week. It’s up to you to pay attention to what brings you ease, joy, energy, and helps you unlock from the survival mode that is so easy to fall into today.

How to Be A Healer, Being Generous with Yourself

Fundamentally, I believe that everybody has the potential to be a healer, and that part of how we’ll need to survive on this earth is to empower and support each other. The more we can move towards a mode where we notice the interconnectedness between all of us that already exists, and use that to help each other, the better.

If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to connect more. Now is the time to wake up to your ability to heal yourself, and be the guru, mystic, healer, and being of light that you choose to be. As you heal yourself and share your gifts and love with others, you create a space for expansion and connection, and in doing that, you change the world.

This post was originally published by Sariah Sizemore on Ritual Work.

Join me for an Open House

 

 

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20

Journey to Teaching

by Elizabeth Conway

Journey to Teaching | Discover wells of strengthAlmost 6 years ago I graduated from Namaste’s first yoga teacher training.   My journey to teaching started with a group of about 20 of us gathered as students. Together with Ashley Sharp, David Moreno, and Baxter Bell for 200 hours from September to March, we learned together and had lasting, life changing results.

While I joined the training with the intent to dedicate time to my practice, hoping to deepen it and not intending to teach, within a month of graduating, I was in a studio, teaching 3 classes a week, which soon turned to 8 classes a week. I have never looked back, teaching classes and workshops at 4 studios since then and co-leading 11 local and international yoga and meditation retreats.

Journey to Teaching: ConnectNamaste’s teacher training gave me the architecture for taking a class through a safe sequence, holding space for 60 -180 minutes, and working with the many different bodies, minds, abilities and emotions that come to class.  The training taught me how to cultivate my own practice, to continually explore through physical and mental changes to return to the mat and remain deeply curious and open.

Journey to Teaching: Gain Confidence

Journey to Teaching

People ask me how I chose Namaste’s teacher training and I said I had a few criteria – experienced, respected senior teachers, a long span of time for the training so that my body could grow in strength (short 200 hour trainings I feared would tax my body and mind, potentially injuring one or the other) and local so I could integrate the teachings week in and week out into the challenges of my real life.  While I have no prejudice against going to a teacher immersion for a few weeks, I knew that for me, the “how” I learned and who I became as I went through the process, would be just as important as the fact of having “done” the training.

Journey to Teaching CohortThere were other unexpected rewards from my teacher training – specifically, I became friends with a community of people I see often and in a world where it is often a challenge to find friendship as an adult, this was invaluable. Spending 7 months studying the body and spirit and breathing together is a great cultivator of those connections. I also like to point out to people, that before completing the training, despite several yoga immersions, I did not have the faith in my practice that I do now.  The teacher training gave me a foundation of safety to explore teachers and studios and practices all over the world.  Once I knew that I was among my own best teachers for my body and mind, I trusted that I was at home anywhere in the world. I now practice anywhere, knowing that my asana practice is responsible and responsive.

While I am sometimes troubled by the Western yoga industrial complex and the for-profit models of studio operating, I balance this against the many benefits studios offer for sanctuary, especially in today’s world.  I look at the other ways we find to disconnect and fritter away our time, and in listening to some of the questions from people considering joining this year’s cohort, I was inspired (not asked) to write.

Are you interested in deepening your practice and finding your way to a Teacher Training program that suits you? We have two structures for our teacher trainings: a summer intensive format, and an extended weekend format.

Learn more about our teacher training programs here.

 

 

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20

Start Them Young: Learning to Teach Yoga to Kids

We caught up with Jodi Komitor MA, E-RYT 500, RCYT, who is the Founder and CEO of Next Generation Yoga  and The Biz of Kids Yoga. Her upcoming training at Namaste promises to be enlightening and tackle important subjects such as age appropriate poses, child development, behavior management, and more.

Where do you currently live and how does it inform your life or teaching?

I live in Oakland, CA but my work is international. I travel to teach all over the US and overseas, as well as coach/mentor Kids Yoga Teachers online.

How did you find the practice of yoga? What was your first experience of yoga like?

I was first introduced to Yoga by my parents when I was 15 years old – it was on Fire Island while the sun was setting, on the dock of the bay. My parents were practicing with a private instructor and I was curious to join them. In that moment, everything seemed perfect ~ and it was.

What do you most hope students will get out of your teachings?

My prayer for those who take the Next Generation Yoga Teacher Training with me is that they find joy, connection, purpose and healing. That they reconnect to their inner-child and can play again.

How has yoga influenced your life?

Yoga is a lifestyle for me not a physical practice. It is my way of being including mindful, kind, authentic and vulnerable. My Yoga shows up off the mat primarily in how I care for the environment, eat organic foods, immerse truthfully in my relationships and practice radical self-care. I occasionally go to a Yoga class, and ritually do my own physical practice at home, every morning.

What other forms of movement inspire you?

Dance! I love to dance! Ecstatic dance!

What is your morning or evening routine?

I start every morning the same because if I don’t do my ritual, it effects my whole day. It’s simple … I wake with no alarm, typically after 8 hours of sleep because my body knows. I ritualize my space by lighting incense and lifting the blinds. I boil hot water for tea while simultaneously take my supplements. Then – my favorite … I sit in my cozy window seat & meditate for 20 minutes with the timer on. When I hear the chimes, I continue to sit in silence and gaze out the window, watching & listening to the world (and neighbors) wake up. Next I move my body uging a foam roller, doing Physical Therapy exercises and some of my favorite Yoga poses. Finally, a cell-phone free mindfulness walk outside where i notice my senses and all my surroundings. AND then … I begin to check my notifications. It works!

What is something you often hear yourself repeating in your teaching?

Trust yourself.

Do you have any wellness, yoga or “life” books, podcasts or blogs you would recommend?

Davidji on Hay House Radio

Anything else you’d like to add?

In addition to leading Kids Yoga Teacher Trainings, I am also the CEO of Next Generation Yoga and a business mentor to Yoga entrepreneurs. I’ve got 21 years on the industry with lots of experience and wisdom to share!

Join us for Jodi’s upcoming training, developed for yoga teachers, school teachers, and more. This 25-hour intensive will provide a comprehensive, hands-on exploration of unique NGY methods for combining the ancient practice of Yoga with the playful nature of children.

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20

5 Questions to Ask Before a Yoga Teacher Certification

If you’re on the mat regularly you know the power of the practice. But are you ready for a yoga teacher certification and training? Trainings have become increasingly popular – with different focuses on everything from social justice to healthy aging. If you know that you are ready to go deeper but are unsure if you need a yoga teacher training to accomplish this, reflect on some of the following questions:

1) Do you have a regular meditation or home practice?

Having a regular yoga or meditation practice is an important first step towards deepening your practice. Although maintaining a regular home practice can be difficult, it is something that most studios encourage before making a commitment to a teacher training. You don’t need to be practicing yoga every morning at 6 AM  – but you should spend time exploring a home practice and make a concerted effort to practice on your own as much as possible.

A good way to gauge if you have a healthy home practice is if you can say, with confidence,  that whenever you feel the need to tap into your body you know how to get there on your own, in a personal, sacred way. Learning how to make yoga personal and how to practice on your own are crucial building blocks for developing a practice that is meaningful and rich.

yoga teacher certification

2) Have you felt cues from other areas of your life encouraging you to dig deeper?

If your life feels like you are ready for a big shift, a teacher training may just be the spark you need. A teacher training will force you to focus, to dig down deep into your inner desires and values, and to learn how to express yourself in more authentic ways.

Often we may feel ready for a lifestyle change but are lacking the right environment or supportive community to help us achieve our goal. A teacher training can be a perfect opportunity to bond with fellow beings who are interested in curating a life of healthy choices and honest living.

3) Do you feel like you are in a supportive, stable place in your life?

A teacher training carries a lot of commitments. Not only will you be investing your money, but you will be investing a good amount of time, energy, and emotions. It is important to feel confident that your living situation, your personal relationships, and your finances are all in a stable place.

If it is a financial stretch, you are going through a rough breakup, or in the middle of moving – then taking a training right now may not be the wisest choice. Although it may sound like a fun distraction – the likelihood of you being able to tap into the inner wisdom you seek will be highly diminished. You want to be in a clear, stable place in your life where you can dedicate yourself fully to the teacher training journey.

yoga teacher certification

4) Are you feeling the desire to learn and become a student again?

Learning is a lifelong process. If you are feeling the burning desire to become a student again, there is no better way to answer the call than to take a teacher training. A yoga teacher training is an opportunity to not only advance your asana practice, but to dig into the philosophy and history of yoga. You will be in a classroom setting again, with fellow students whom with you can study, brainstorm and debate. You will be able to process all of your new knowledge under the guidance of experienced teachers. This will make the learning experience much more valuable than if you were to read the materials alone.

5) Is your yoga studio a place that feels like home?

This is the most important question. Is your yoga studio a place where you feel safe, accepted, and cared for? You will be spending a large amount of time there and will at moments feel very vulnerable. It is important that you vibe with the teachers, the atmosphere, and even the front desk staff. These people will become like family, and the relationships you have with them will either detract or enhance your teacher training experience.

Namaste’s 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training is right around the corner. If you are interested in expanding your teaching, feel free to email us at tt@ilovenamaste.com or call us to find out more. Applications and more information may be found here.

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20

The Driven Yogi: Wisdom for New Teachers

About 25 prospective teachers go through Namaste’s teacher training every year. These students take their newfound knowledge and promote wellness in their communities by teaching at local studios, opening up their own studio, or even teaching yoga at non-profit organizations. However, one of our recent graduates is using her time, knowledge, and new skills to help other yoga teacher graduates like herself. Keisha Courtney started The Driven Yogi.com, a site that offers free tips and advice to help new yoga teachers land their first jobs after training. We wanted to find out more about Keisha and her company. Read on to learn more!

1. Where did you grow up and at what age did you discover yoga?
​I’m from a small town in Clinton, Utah. Growing up I was a competitive gymnast and power tumbler. The competitiveness I learned at a young age carried into different areas of my life, including my career.

It wasn’t until the age of 26 when I discovered the magic of yoga. I was in a high-visibility, high-stress career as a TV news reporter. I covered a wide range of stories from natural disasters to murders, and my stress and anxiety got to an unmanageable level. Since I use exercise as an outlet, I started experimenting with different classes. I took one yoga class and was hooked! I left the studio feeling grounded, light, and clear-headed. From that moment forward, I knew that yoga would be an integral part of my life.

2. How has yoga changed for you since you began practicing?
​When I first started practicing I was always frustrated when I couldn’t do a pose (the competitive gymnast was still in there). It was 6 months into my practice when I was finally able to dig deeper and really understand that I needed to accept where I was in my practice from day-to-day. Sometimes I wanted to move and move hard, and other times a child’s pose was exactly what my body needed. When I accepted this idea, I was finally able to let things go on my mat and that’s when my practice truly blossomed.

3. What attracted you to take a yoga teacher training?
​As much as I love yoga, it actually wasn’t the yoga at all that compelled me to enroll in a teacher training. I’m a competitive pole dancer and I absolutely love pole. When tackling difficult moves in pole, I use the breath techniques I have learned in yoga to help me get through the moves. Because of the benefits yoga brought me in pole dancing, I wanted to bring it to other dancers and create a class that combined the two forms of exercise. I was halfway through my yoga teacher training when I realized I wanted to teach yoga, as there were soooo many directions I could take it. For now, I’m focused on teaching yoga, improving my teaching skills, and sharing my journey through The Driven Yogi.com. I may still come up with the pole/yoga hybrid class, but for now, I’m just happy teaching yoga and guiding my students in their practice.

4. Do you have any advice for people who are just getting into yoga?
​There are a lot of misconceptions that stop people from practicing yoga and the first one relates to flexibility. Since teaching I have had several people say “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible,” but that’s not what yoga is about. For me, yoga reminds me to breath, not take certain things in life so seriously, and to come to my mat to find that release and stillness that my body (and mind) need. If people decide to try yoga for the first time I would just say don’t have preconceived notions about what yoga is or isn’t. Try it out and see what happens. Allow yourself to have your own experience.

5. You have a great presence and have really put yourself out there. Any tips for teachers who may be shy about marketing themselves?
​First off, thank you for that compliment! As for the question, putting yourself out there is scary – I totally get that. But marketing yourself as a new teacher is necessary.
If people don’t know about your classes, how will they be able to come? The studios I work at are super helpful in promoting teachers’ classes, but teachers can’t solely rely on studios to do that for them.

In regards to digital promotion, it doesn’t have to solely​ be about promoting yourself and your classes.​ I find that students actually enjoy getting to know more about their teache​rs outside of class, and they look for ways to relate to them. The posts I put out that don’t have anything to do with yoga tend to get more interaction than the ​posts that ​do​​.​ And ​sometimes, students ​will mention things they’ve seen on my page when they come to my classes – and it’s always the post that don’t ​have to do with yoga.

6. Who are your favorite Namaste teachers and why?
​Oh my goodness, there are so many! I love how much knowledge and experience each one has and I love getting the chance to practice with them. Obviously, I rea​lly enjoyed my teacher trainers: Domonick for his unique yoga classes that combine sequences with dancing, Baxter for his knowledge around anatomy, Vickie for helping me fall in love with alignment-based yoga, and Ashley for helping make meditation bearable (I couldn’t stand doing it before I had her leading me and teaching me certain techniques). On top of the teacher trainers I had, Whitney Walsh (my mentor) is amazing and has such a unique way of leading classes. She drew me in immediately and I HAD to learn more from her. I practice with her weekly and am blown away every. single. time.

7. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
​In five years I hope The Driven Yogi is the go-to source for new yoga teachers. Many great and experienced teachers have already contributed to the site by providing insightful tips for new teachers. As the site grows I will continue to reach out to teachers, but I definitely have plans for the future of the site​ – stay tuned!​

8. What is one tip or self-care practice that you can’t live without?
​This is cliche, but I couldn’t live without yoga. I have a Type-A personality and my mind is constantly on the go trying to figure out how I can check more things off of my neverending to-do list. Yoga reminds me to breathe, be present and let little things go, and it also keeps me grounded so that I can get back to tackling lists – in a healthier way of course.

9. Anything else you’d love our Namaste community to know about you?
I​f you’re a new teacher and curious about the next steps you should take after your yoga teacher training, or if you are thinking about doing a training, please visit my website and sign up for our email list so that you are always in the loop when new tips come out – TheDrivenYogi.com.

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20

How to Empower Your Students

by Abby Tucker

A lot of my students and peers have been asking:

What IS Progressive Teaching and why does it make you a better teacher, empower your students and build a strong community of committed and consistent students?

The answer is really pretty simple.

Progressive teaching connects one class to another while reinforcing what’s been learned and expanding it into more.   Along the way, students become fully engaged in the process of learning, deepening, growing in their practices while developing bonds with each other.  Progressive teaching is sequencing not just over the course of a class, but over the course of a week, a month, a year, 5 years.

Progressive teaching weaves a thread of connection from class-to-class in a way that students can’t wait to find out what’s happening next.

You may have heard of or even become a devoted listener of the surprise runaway success podcast Serial.  Over the course of 12 weeks, journalist Sarah Koenig methodically and charismatically follows a single story.  Each week is built on the next and there’s really no way to just drop-in.  Listeners filled the social media-sphere with conversations, thought about it, tried to solve the mystery at home, and couldn’t wait until the next episode came out a long week later often gathering together with friends to do so.

Compare that, to say, a sitcom on TV. You can sit down, turn it on having never seen it before, watch it, laughing and thoroughly enjoying it, but an hour later, you’ve forgotten it and only occasionally remember to tune in next week.

Though it’s not exactly the same, by teaching yoga in a methodic and serial story format, your students are more likely to return week to week and to see their practice progress empowering them and exciting them to learn and practice more.

Students who are new to your class immediately sense that something is happening in these classes and your students become a magnet attracting more.

Please join us June 13 – 17 for The Art of Progressive Teaching. This 25-hour continuing education program for yoga teachers is designed to give you the tools to truly embody the role of teacher. Learn about the program here.

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20

Maternal Lineage Meditation

Maternal Lineage Meditation

This body-mind meditation is part restorative yoga posture/part guided meditation, a whole body offering to your lineage of maternal ancestors, and an embodied acknowledgement of the earth beneath you that holds you up.  This meditation was inspired from the wise words of my doula in a moment of birthing my son where I felt I had no reserves left to go on.  She came close to me, placed her hand over mine, looked me in the eyes and said:

“I need you to dig down deep and feel all the women who have done this before you.  I need you to feel their strength rooting you down and holding you up.”

Those words nourished my soul with the last drops of energy I needed to move forward in my labor.  And I often think of all the mothers before me, who have shared in this path of motherhood, when I am holding my son on one hip, tired at the end of the day.

About Lily Dwyer-Begg

Though she has had a committed practice since 2000, Lily’s most profound, direct, earthy, transcendent, and soul-altering experience of yoga in her lifetime was giving birth to her son Blaise in 2013. Lily has taught yoga since 2005 in Berkeley, CA; Berlin, Germany; and Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has brought her to work with hundreds of pregnant and postpartum mothers, in yoga studios internationally, with an NBA basketball team, an NCAA diving team, and to homeless women and children. Lily studied with Shiva Rea, Ana Forrest, Don and Amba Stapleton, David Moreno, yoga for scoliosis with Elise Browning Miller, Ayurveda with Kameko Shibata, Prenatal yoga with Marisa Toriggino, and Yoga for the Female Pelvic Floor with Leslie Howard.

Her approach to Prenatal Yoga is a signature balance of precise alignment based posture, slow flow, uplifting community building, and humble acknowledgement of the sacred inner strength, boundless love, and liberated consciousness within all mothers every step of their own motherhood journey no matter what shape it takes. She currently makes her home in Baltimore with her husband, Aaron and son, Blaise where she is the director of the YogaWorks Baltimore Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training.

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20

Pranayama with Nubia Teixeira plus a Practice Recording

As we each develop and go deeper into our yoga practice we also begin to deepen our understanding of the connection between the breath and the body as well. This connection is absolutely fundamental to our ability to fully practice the yoga poses or Asana to their full potential and experience the most profound benefits. Pranayama may feel like a very advanced concept but fortunately Nubia Teixeira, one of our core teachers and the head of our Teacher Training at Namaste, is able to dissect and break down the meaning and uses for pranayama in our lives in a clear and useful way. Read on for Nubia’s insights on Pranayama and a practice exercise to begin your exploration:

nataraja

*Excerpts adapted from the Namaste Yoga Teacher Training Manual

UNDERSTANDING PRANAYAMA 

The word Pranayama is derived from two Sanskrit terms: prana which means vital energy, the very seed of life within and without; and Ayama, which means to control, to expand, to lead beyond death. The intention of the practice of pranayama is to breathe in a conscious way, to honor the life force in our physical bodies, the grace that breathes us into existence.

Prana is mostly present in the air we breathe (Air – Vayu), the wind and the electrical currents, the light of the Sun (Fire- Agni), the water we drink (Water- Apas), the bodily fluids, the food we eat (Earth-prithvi) and the forces of gravity and magnetism. It is also in the sounds we vocalize (Ether-akasha) and in the sounds we hear.

Developing a relationship with the breath facilitates the withdrawing of the senses (pratyahara) and our communication with the inner world. A pranayama practice supports the awakening of the dormant sensations and memories within ourselves and also teaches us how to heal ourselves by allowing the vital energy to move to the places of joy and sorrow within us. The practice of Pranayama is one of the most effective ways of balancing the energy in the body, mind and emotions.


mudra

FINDING OUR TRUE PURPOSE with PRANAYAMA PRACTICE

Humans often are blinded by the ego and uncertain of their true purpose, which can lead to the separation of the self from others, from life and from Source. As a result, confusion rises, despair creeps in and inner wisdom, intuition and sense of Self is forgotten. In this place of loss and confusion, it becomes only natural to grasp on to the material world.

Human evolution is intrinsically connected to spiritual growth, and it is only through our bodies and actions in this world of things that we evolve. Our approach to living our lives, moment-by-moment, fully present, rests on our ability to surrender to the Divine.

This, in turn, ignites our innate Wisdom. Developing the capacity to follow the in and out breath without interfering in the flow, awakening faith and confidence.

This “Thread of Life” that we call breath, is a thread that connects us, each individual soul to the universal soul’s trajectory, beyond time and space, beyond body, beyond the beyond. It is a continuum, without beginning, middle or ending. Life after life. One Love through infinity.

Join Nubia for her upcoming Pranayama Series, a 4-week exploration focused on learning and implementing simple pranayama practices into your life. Learn More About Nubia Here.

Listen below to an introduction to Bhakti based meditation with an intro “Twameva” – sung by Jai Uttal

 

 

 

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20

4 Reasons the Namaste Ayurveda Training Is For YOU

We are so excited to announce our second Ayurveda Yoga Teacher Training & Immersion at Namaste. Lead by Kameko Shibata and guest teachers: David Moreno, Adam Kurzfeld Baxter Bell and more. But don’t just take it from us, hear first hand from participants of the training why you should join this experience:

1. “I am so excited to take part in Kameko Shibata’s Ayurvedic Yoga Training. She has been one of the most inspiring and activated women in my life. She is deeply devoted to her practices and to the healing path, and sharing it with as many people as possible. She is walking her talk. I have craved a strong practice in my life for years. I feel having a daily practice is like having a foundation for building a home, the home being your body. You wouldn’t want to build your dream house on a marsh. Another reason I am so excited about her Training is go deeper into the world of Ayurveda. I discovered ayurveda in my life a few years ago and it has changed my life. I am ready to dive deeper into my own holistic health so I may hold that space for myself and my family and community. Alyra Rose (Namaste Student)
2. I am so excited to do this Ayurveda Yoga Training with Kameko. I have done two 40 day yoga challenges with her in the past and have seen her for Ayurvedic care and massage. She is positive, fun, and so knowledgable about Ayurveda and yoga. I have learned so much from her about self-care practices, nutrition, meditation, pranayama, and yoga generally. I look forward to deepening my practice and knowledge base in this training.”
Alissa (Namaste Student)

3. “Kameko is truly a gem that radiates knowledge, passion, and grace. My drive to learn more about yogic philosophy and ayurveda runs deep. She continuously offers me an experience that opens veils to hidden truths and clearer understandings in order to be a stronger force in this world. Having this extended opportunity to learn from Kameko is one I would not pass up.”
Suzanne (Namaste Student)

4. “My friend Kameko Shibata is leading an Ayurveda Yoga Teacher Training at Namaste. She is an inspiration to learn from: knowledgeable, fun, genuine, warm, and so passionate about what she does. The lessons she has taught me in ayurveda have truly changed my life, my yoga, and my way of seeing my students. In a sea of teacher trainings, this is the new direction of yoga – personal, attuned, sensitive to the rhythms of the natural world and our bodies. Check it out while you can still nab a spot! (And, did I mention my dear friend and favorite teacher, David Moreno is teaching curriculum for this training too!!!)
Lily Dwyer Begg (Namaste Community Member).”

Training starts June 27 and runs until July 10

Kameko


EARLY BIRD ENDS MAY 6, 2016!

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Kameko 2Kameko’s love affair with yoga has spanned ten years and five continents! And her teaching reflects her love, curiosity and dedication to yoga and the exploration of  breath.  Her delicious vinyasa classes invite you to come deeply into your breath and body through safe and challenging sequences combined with sound, breath, and core work.

She weaves her passion for the traditional yoga & ayurvedic practices of India with sweaty evolutionary movement, chanting and the occasional swear word for a refreshingly honest experience. Kameko strives to see her students– always offering individual attention and safe adjustments.

Her creative sequencing is inspired by studying the “vinyasa krama” system at the Krishnamaycharya Yoga Mandariam in India. As well as her 650 hours of Yoga Alliance training, from the Ashrams of India, to studying with Mary Paffard, Alice Jaunou and Ana Forest.

WELLNESS TREATMENTS WITH KAMEKO: Kameko Shibata combines her passion for ayurvedic medicine, bodywork and yoga into a comprehensive healing modality that empowers people to heal themselves. She received her Ayurvedic Practioner certification from the Dhyana Center of Health Sciences, where she went on to complete over 1,000 hours in a 2-year internship under her teacher, DeAnna Batdorff.

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Let's Bridge The Gap Between Yoga Teacher And Student

by Judy Rukat

[This post originally appears on DoYouYoga.com]

The yoga mat, aka a rectangular microcosm of life at large, provides a springboard into the depths of self study and psychospiritual exploration. It makes sense that as yogis, we can and will experience “triggers” or moments that plunge us deep into positive and negative memories or more intensely, into past traumas.

As teachers, not only do we need to practice mindfulness around our language, but also a willingness to take responsibility for the atmosphere, tone, and emotional ambience we provide for our students. We provide a safe and nurturing space for others to show up with their vulnerabilities, unrecognized expectations, and inevitably…their projections.

The unspoken conversation that is constantly going on can be a complex territory to navigate through while simultaneously flowing through a sequence. As an instructor, one cannot help occasionally placing a “me against them” barrier between teacher and students.

How A Yoga Community Thrives

The sangha or yoga community thrives when the teacher can successfully offer an air of unconditional acceptance and support with the ability to react on the spot—not just with proper alignment and cueing of the physical asana practice, but also in dealing with the frustrations and feelings of inadequacy when the students confront challenges.

A teacher must discern at times between a voice that demonstrates tough love with positive encouragement, and the voice of a concerned parent cautioning one from pushing too far too fast. As much as we remind our students to practice beginner’s mind on their mats, as teachers, we can also benefit from that very same advice.

Practice treating each student as an individual rather than looking over their postures and picking at “this” while pulling at “that”—as I have recently experienced in some alignment-based classes. The goal of unrealistic perfection exists everywhere, and yoga provides a retreat for introspection beyond those external pressures.

Both student and teacher can empathize that showing up on the mat is not always easy, and that each person brings a tremendous amount of emotional energy with them to class. Whatever a particular student needs today will change tomorrow, and the same holds true for the class a teacher offers.

We Are All Students AND Teachers

A teacher can prevent an authentic empathic connection to form by feeling defensive, feigning a cool detachment or react indifferently to their own fear of being judged by students. Similarly, feeling unseen or being given a less than thoughtful physical or verbal adjustment can challenge a student’s ability to trust a teacher. And in some cases, their ability to trust the practice itself.

Perhaps, understanding that both teacher and student have vulnerabilities and fears, and a huge part of the healing process of yoga as it unfolds day after day, teaches us all forgiveness and patience.

We are all students and teachers to each other constantly, and by remembering that our learning never stops, we can bring the present moment into our consciousness and live it on and off our mats.

We can take the guru off the pedestal. Instead, we will bring the teacher/student relationship to the forefront because it is through critical self inquiry – where a student has the space and freedom to question the teacher’s intention – that deep understanding of the self and compassion for others can occur.

Image credit: Rob Martel / Yogi: Judy Rukat


JudyProfileAJudy Rukat – I teach yoga for the rebels, the rogues and the villains, the weak, the broken, the damaged, the lost, the hopeless, the underdog, the ones who only know struggle, the motherless, the addicts, and those who love too much. I am all of these, and I know that a vast ocean of peace lies beneath all this. I will never tell you what yoga is and isn’t, you decide for yourself. Just show up and find what liberates you on your mat!

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