Saturday, August 26, 2017

Brahmacharya class plan

Theme: Brahmacharya      

“One who sees divinity in all is a brahmachari.”  –B.K.S Iyengar
translated many ways: “To walk with God,” “To move in truth,” “To merge with the one.” “moderation” “walking in awareness of the highest reality,” “remembering the divine”
Behaving with love and integrity without selfishness or manipulation (previous yamas).
think about where we’re putting our energy – sexual or otherwise. And, if we’re expending it in useless places, to figure out how to redirect it.
brahmacharya is about allocation: using your resources effectively to achieve your aspiration… conserve and not waste energy on things that do not serve our purpose.
we always have a choice to use our energy on not-so-purposeful actions (and thoughts and worries), and directing them towards those that will serve us better and lead to more happiness, purpose, sense of union.
Theme: Brahmacharya continued
We can practice Brahmacharya in yoga by:
*Practicing focus and redirecting distractions
*Not bringing sexuality into the classroom (think about: what you’re wearing, how ego influences how you move into poses, and maintaining professional boundaries)
*Redirecting excessive energy towards something greater (intention, mantra, breath)
We can practice Brahmacharya in life by:
*Redirecting excessive energy towards something greater (intention, mantra, breath, a cause you believe in)
*Direct energy to focus on what’s important (notice how much time you’re spending online, on your mobile device, watching TV—what else could you being doing with your precious energy?)
*Noticing where in your life you could practice moderation (drinking too much? eating too much? spending too much time on social media? not doing enough yoga?)
brahmacharya is a call to use our energies mindfully, wisely, so that we may experience how exquisitely interconnected we are with all of life.
Heart Quality: mindfulness
How are you using your energy?
the practice of brahmacharya is being mindful of the highest reality, remembering the divine, or practicing the presence of God. (1st principle, OTG)
Being mindful of the preceding yamas: practicing non-violence, non-lying/ manipulating and non-stealing we respect this one energy that precedes all form and we build up more inner energy to be used for seeking connection with the divine or a higher purpose.
Personalize the teaching with some connection to your own experience or insight making it relevant to your students
Judging other people.
FEAR! Being in fear about past WORRING and about future (violent, not true, stealing moment from myself, wasting my energy and not connecting to divine)
Being selfish wanting what I want and not anting what I don’t want… now I pray to remember a higher source and I try to be useful to others.
Alignment focus
alignment element tied in through all of the poses
Foundation of feet/ hands
Connecting with the earth through the four corners of the hands and the feet.
How are you connecting with the world? Are you acting from a place of depletion or radiance? Do you have energy to give and offer up to a higher source or a purpose you believe in?
Focal points
There are three possible focal points, which one is active depends on which is most weight-bearing. The focal point in the pelvis, is active when you’re primarily weight-bearing on the legs, as in all standing and seated poses, as well as in supine poses. The heart focal point, is active when you’re more weight-bearing on the arms, as in downward-facing dog, handstand, forearm stand, and most arm balances. And the palate focal point, at the juncture where the soft and hard palate meet, is active when your weight-bearing on the head, as in headstand and shoulder stand.
Muscle Energy to a focal point
 draws together the upper and lower parts of ourselves bringing integration and stability
How do you draw into yourself to regulate your energy? How do you take the world in with moderation and boundaries to not get overwhelmed? What self-care practices do you have that cultivates your life force energy?
Organic Energy from a focal point
Organic Energy first grounds from the active focal point into the earth and then it stretches up and out toward the sky.
How do you extend your life force energy to the world? Do you deplete your outgoing energy with drama, fear, tv… or do you extend your life force energy into a bigger purpose, with deep intention?
Heart quality = Mindfulness. Can you use mindfulness on and off the mat to notice the pulsation of your energy so you can allocate your resources to up level your offering to the world?
Mediation/ Chanting
Warm up 
Standing tad side stretch 
Utt- Ardha utt 3x 
Ardha utt- tad 3x 
Sun A 3x 
Table shalabasana 
Active pigeon side stretch 
Prasarita padottanasana 
Mod. Parsvak 
Trikonasana- half moon - trikonasana 
Bridget's cross 
Upright L 
L pose 
Handstand upright or modify 
Quad stretch at wall
Hanuman at wall 
Cool down  
Bridge 2x
Supta pada A, B, C 
Root femurs 
Shavasana/ meditation
Apex: hanumanasana 
Intelligent therapeutic sequencing building to apex
Hip/ hip flexor openers
Quad openers
Hamstring openers
Calf openers
Ardha hanumanasana
Remember Action over form!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Asteya: Yoga Class Plan

This week in my weekend for InBody Yoga Teacher Training we are continuing our exploration of the yamas, from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. This week we are on the third yama which is non-stealing. I show the students how I link a theme to an anecdote, universal principle of alignment, apex pose, heart quality and a therapeutically designed sequenced. It is my hope that this will open the teacher trainees minds to see how they can come up with a cohesive therapeutic class plan that let their students connect deeper with their heart while aligning their body with health biomechanical actions. I always remind the students that this way a planning a class is not the only way. Take what you want and leave the rest. Here is a video I made to prepare the class for this weekend:

Basic Elements that are in every class of mine:
Heart Quality: What do you want the students to feel?

Alignment Focus: What alignment element will you tie in through all of the poses? That plays a key role in the peak pose? That connects to the theme/ and heart quality?

Theme:  What insight or teaching do you want to weave through the class that is life affirming and can be taken off of the mat? That connects with the heart quality/ apex?

Anecdote: How will you personalize the teaching with connection to your own experience and make it relevant to your students?

Apex: What pose are you building too?

Sequence: How will you intelligently guide students through the postures?
Theme: Asteya 

“To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes.” —Yoga Sutra 2.37

Do not steal from others

Do not steal the moment from yourself (distraction), experiencing life as it is. (avoiding messy)

Do not steal others reputation by gossiping.

Do not steal health from yourself.

Do not steal from future generations/ Use only what you need. (plastic bags 10x out)
Gandhi also saw how important the practice of ‘non-stealing’ was and considered it one of his '11 Vows', in which he expanded beyond the physical act of stealing – importantly – that ‘mankind’s greed and craving for artificial needs are also stealing’.

Asteya on the yoga mat

Do you push yourself beyond healthy boundaries because:

A.You will hurt your body, stealing health from yourself.

B.You think you are not “good enough”. You intrinsically good enough no posture decides that. Remember action over form. Let how you treat yourself and others (ahimsa/ satya) give you the experience of enough.

C.Experience yourself open and accepting of exactly what is unfolding in that moment. Taking actions to keep yourself safe and present.  Do not rob yourself of experiencing life as it is

Having strong desires brings ‘dukkha’…In each moment, we have the opportunity to experience a vast array of emotions and sensations – yet we tend to cling only to those which seem pleasant and enjoyable. This aspect of clinging a little too tightly to pleasurable experiences is known as ‘raga’, and although the experience itself may be one of joy of happiness, the action of trying to hold onto it out of desire ultimately creates more suffering or ‘dukha’.
Heart Quality: Self worth/ non-stealing

‘desire or want is the cause for stealingSwami Sivananda

The root cause of Asteya = “I’m not good enough….”

The need to steal essentially arises because of a lack of faith in ourselves to be able to create what we need by ourselves

Exercise: Practice Abundance

Practicing knowing that we have enough, and we are enough, is the key to wanting and desiring less, and therefore feeling a lot more whole and happy within ourselves.

Missing the experience of life because I am distracted.
For example: being on my phone instead of being present with my kids. Being so in my head biking I miss the beauty of nature.

Missing the experience of life because I want to avoid the messy parts
For example avoiding the feelings of life that are not enjoyable like grief and loss. 
Alignment focus

Foundation of  feet:

Root down through four corners of feat evenly and toe pads while lifting inner/ outer arch of feet.

Related to theme: Getting present. How are we stealing from our self and others?

Muscle Energy

Using the muscles to draw into our self creating stability and setting up for inner and outer spiral.

Related to theme: Getting stable. How can we heal instead of steal?

Inner Spiral

Starting at the big toe mound draws an energetic EXPANDING spiral up the leg moving the inner heels, inner knees, inner thighs and pelvis IN + BACK + WIDE

Related to theme: Turning deeply in. Where and how can we take action? How can  we cultivate self worth?

Outer Spiral

Starting at the top waistline engages the power of the hips drawing an energetic CONTRATING spiral down the leg lengthening the tailbone, narrowing the sit bones, pressing the thighs forward, widening the knee and ending in the outer edge of foot.

Related to theme: Powerfully extend out. How can we act to others to up level healing vs. stealing?
(IS= Inner Spiral OS= Outer Spiral  AMS= Adho Mukha Svanasana EPRK= Eka Pada Rajakapotasana )

Mediation/ Chanting

Inhale- how can I heal myself? Exhale- how can I heal with others/ the world?

Warm up 

Surya Namaskar A 3x


Tadasana extend leg backwards notice natural tendency to outer spiral instead IS

Tadasana ""- Lunge IS- tadasana balance 3x standing pigeon manual IS 

Table IS/OS - cat/cow- neutral

Table shalabasana 

AMS leg lift 

High runners lunge IS- high runners lunge twist [block]

Virabhadrasana 2 


Hero [blanket] 


Parsvottanasana [blocks] manual IS turn foot to pinky edge- plant foot IS 

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana - natarajasana

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana - Garudasana


Active EPRK prep


Straight leg Virabhadrasana 1 prep- bend knee Virabhadrasana 1

Virabhadrasana 1

Cool down 


Janusirsasana twist 

Upavistha Konasana root femurs 

Baddha konasana 

Shavasana/ meditation

Apex: Virabhadrasana 1

Action over form!

Open hips

Asymmetrical standing poses, pigeon, Virasana

Open shoulders

Cobra, eagle, AMS

An understanding of how to use MUSCLE ENERGY to protect the knees and allow the actions of inner/ outer spiral

Standing poses

An understanding of how to use INNER SPIRAL to square up the hips

Standing tadasana leg extensions, asymmetrical standing poses, cobra

An understanding of how to use OUTER SPIRAL to protect low back, root down and drive spine up.

Asymmetrical standing poses, cobra, pigeon

Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...