Sunday, December 04, 2016

BodhiYin, Ahh-mazing

BodhiYin! How do I love thee, let me count the ways...

If you caught my recent post about the BodhiFlow, this is another type of yoga we learned at the Bodhi Yoga Yoga Teacher Training. BodhiYin allows the body, mind, and spirit to recharge with supportive restorative postures using stillness, breath, and subtle intrinsic movements. This practices uses bolsters, blankets, and other props to help the body and mind let go and relax. The poses are held for longer periods of time allowing the body to fully relax into the poses.

I love BodhiYin because it helps me to slow down and decompress. This practice is great if you're dealing with anxiety, burnout, stress, chronic pain, and so much more.

I also love BodhiYin because it moves slowly enough to allow you to really feel your body and get comfortable with your range of motion and how things feel in YOUR body. Sometimes yoga can move so fast and you can feel the pressure to keep up with others in a class but with BodhiYin you can make the subtle changes and shifts you need to make to really relax into each posture. I feel it's a lovely beginners practice.

BodhiYin can also allow your yoga teacher to provide hands on adjustments (if they are trained in them) which can help you with alignment, activate acupressure points, or help you go deeper into each pose. This can make your experience almost like a full body massage except you can learn the poses and take them home with you.

Have you ever experienced a restorative yoga practice? If so, what was your favorite part about it? Do you enjoy the slow movement and long holds or does moving that slowly drive your mind crazy? I'd love to hear about what you like and don't like about classes you've taken.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Doshas

If you like taking personality quizzes to find out something about you, then read on! We're going to skim the surface of what Doshas are but I'd love to do a one-on-one or small group session to teach you more about your Dosha and what that can mean for you.

Ayurveda is a Sanskirt word which means "science of life". In Ayurveda, the universal elements of air, fire, and water/earth combine to create the three governing forces known as Doshas: Vata (air/space), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth/water). The intention of Ayurveda is to bring the Dosha compositions into balance.

Dosha means "that which darkens, spoils, or causes things to decay". Don't worry, it's not a bad thing. What that means is when the Doshas are not in equilibrium then disease manifests within the body. This also means if you know more about your Dosha and can recognize when it's going out of balance you can do things to bring your Dosha back into balance.

Everyone has elements of each Dosha but typically one emerges as your primary Dosha. For me I am primarily Pitta but I have seen bits of Vata and Kapha manifest in my life and in my physical body. You can manage your Dosha and help keep balance in your life through yoga, Pranayama (breath) practices, and through eating the right foods.

Below is a quick overview of each dosha but if you want to learn more you can subscribe to the online Bodhi Yoga classes where you can learn more about the Doshas, find great yoga practices, and even learn a few Ayurveda recipes. You can join me in person for a free Dosha workshop during December 2016 to help me complete my Yoga Teacher Training certification hours. The workshop would include completing the Dosha quiz to identify your primary Dosha, learning about your primary Dosha, and looking for areas where your Dosha may be imbalanced and how you can supporting bringing balance back into your life.

Vata Dosha is the first Dosha to go out of balance but it often can rebalance pretty easily. Vatas tend to be really tall or really short and are often very thin with a narrow frame and small bones. Vatas are often fast speaking/thinking/moving. Vatas tend towards being cold regardless of the weather so you tend to see them with things that help ground them such as a blanket, scarf, or hot foods/drinks. Vatas tend to have very active upper chakras often making for a creative personality. The time of year that is ruled by Vata is fall into the dry winter months.

Pitta Dosha tends to be rock steady and often "what you see is what you get". Pitta tends to be equally proportioned with reasonably steady weight and a medium frame. Pitta often has strong musculature and strong stamina. (The workaholics of the world are likely in a Pitta imbalance. Yep, been there, done that.) Pittas tend to be focused, energetic, and intense. Pitta tends to be hot and do best in cooler environments. Pittas tend to have very active solar and sacral chakras. The time of year ruled by Pitta is late spring into summer.

Kapha Dosha is the last to go out of balance but also takes the longest to get back into balance. Kapha tends to be stocky with the potential for excess weight. Kapha is often slow speaking and moving but is consistent, loyal, and dedicated. Kapha needs warmth and dryness to remain in balance. Kaphas tend to have very active lower chakras. The time of year ruled by Kapha is the wet winter into early spring.

We have just scratched the surface of Dosha's are and how they manifest in your life. What Dosha do you think you are? Would you be interested in attending a class to identify which Dosha is yours and how that applies to your life?

Friday, December 02, 2016

Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom

As I've made my Yoga Teacher Training a priority in the last weeks of 2016 I've been able to remember many of the reasons I chose to participate in a teacher training over just continuing to practice on my own. I can't say it any better than this piece I revisited in Session Two.
The more understanding that the yogi has of various modalities of practice the more useful yoga will be as a tool for integrated wholeness. Yoga practice is as varied as individual body types, ages, as well as mental and physical ability. The structures of your practice will change to meet the context of your life. Knowledge is power, if it can be transformed into understanding. If understanding can be given freedom to evolve it will become wisdom. Yoga helps to cultivate this wisdom in a way that can help you realize yourself in the most authentic way possible. In turn, this wisdom can offer you the gift to be present in your specific life situations, regardless of how they may vary.
I seriously love all of this. I completely relate to yoga changing to meet my needs at different points in my life. Learning is so important to me and the reason why I stick with anything in general. Once I master something I'm likely to get bored and want to do something else. I love being challenged and having to learn. I appreciate yoga for it's ability to help me better understand who I am so I can live an authentic life.

I actually went into my YTT assuming that I'd knock out the requirements up front and finish my certification requirements as soon as we finished the in person classes. Boy was I wrong. I did get slowed down when I found out I was pregnant with our second child and since then I've just got back to the point of feeling like I have enough of a handle on life that I can work on things that are outside of work and taking care of the kids.
YTT Certification Requirements - (c) Bodhi Yoga
As I have revisited the things I learned in person I realized that yoga therapy is something that fits the passion I have for understanding the human body and helping others. I have always loved medicine and growing up wanted to be a Physical Therapist. Obviously medical school didn't work out for me but I realized that yoga therapy could be similar enough to working in medicine without having to go back to school for years and incurring massive amounts of debt. I could definitely see a future for myself as a yoga therapist.

The anatomy study is where I know I'll be a lifelong student.
I've got more studying to do and my practice teaching to take on but overall I feel like YTT is the type of experience that I would have loved regardless of the outcomes. It's an amazing opportunity to learn more and to integrate that knowledge into my life and the lives of others.

What do you love most about yoga? Is there another hobby you have that fulfils you on a deeply personal level? What energizes you to stick with something and keep going? For me it's the pursuit of knowledge and new experiences that keeps me going.