Kripalu Training Awaits

Kripalu in springToday, I head north to Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires. There’s still snow on the ground and cold winter temps to greet me. The perfect time to be nourished and restored.

I will stay in touch this time around.

 

Cheers!

Kripalu Training Awaits

Kripalu in spring
By the time you read this I will be at Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires.

I am excited to be here for a five day program offered by Dr Timothy McCall (Physician and author of Yoga as Medicine) and Ginny Jurkin ( Physical Therapist and fellow Kripalu Yoga Teacher)

Ginny and I met at a module in our 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training, and we had a lot of fun together. I hope we get to play again in this wonderful learning environment😎

The intention of the program is to refine our ability to observe subtleties of anatomical alignment, breath, and even the elusive flow of prana, or life-force energy, in a wide variety of poses.
We will learn to view the body holistically, looking at the ways bones and muscles work together and how to assess tensegrity, which includes alignment, the smooth flowing of breath, and the balance of effort and ease in a posture.
We will also explore ways to work with imbalances and abnormalities, allowing us, our students, and our clients to go more deeply into poses for improved health, balance, and well-being.

Having a therapeutic approach to teaching yoga is so valuable, especially when working with older populations.
I’m looking forward to bringing back new insights into my classes and to share with my private clients, and fellow yoga teachers.

I will not be active on Find Your Middle Ground this week, but have scheduled some posts that I thought you might enjoy while I am away.

In the meantime, breathe easy my friends 💛

Prana and Dealing with Pain

This is a re-blog of a personal story about dealing with some physical pain while I was at Kripalu. For those of you who live with chronic pain, I hope you will be inspired by this.keep calm breathe and ouch

I have a deformity of my low back, which was exacerbated in a skiing accident in the 1990’s. The bottom line is that I have to be really careful not to jolt it, do quick movements or backbends that could bring about spasms or make the condition worse.

So, going to Kripalu a few years ago, I made sure I had strong antispasmodics if my back went into spasm. I didn’t want to be incapacitated for yoga teacher training!

I was alert and prepared. I was also pretty tense about it.

The first two days I was being so careful; avoiding certain poses and making my own adjustments. I feel good about taking care …  “of this darn back of mine that is preventing me from having as much fun as everyone else!”

Then I experienced a sharp pain in my left knee. With all the sitting I wasn’t surprised, and I needed to give it attention.

pranayamaWe were doing pranayama and meditation practice, and what I was learning was to breathe deeply, adjust my body, and  let the prana or life force flow into the area that  hurt.

The idea is to allow the channels to be open so that the body’s natural healing can work. There are different breathing techniques to activate and move the prana energy.

The next day my knee stopped hurting. But there was a shooting pain in my ankle.

So I adjusted my position and breathed deeply letting the prana flow there.

The next morning, there was no pain.

What about my back? I had forgotten about it. It should have been aching after six days of sitting but it was doing okay.

In fact, I felt wonderful. No pain anywhere.

The lesson I want to share with you is:

Notice it.

Let it relax.

Give it space.

Breathe into it.

Let it be.

What I now understand is that this can work for all pain – whether its physical or emotional.

Our body has a way to deal with hurt and brings its own ability to heal when we recognize it, and are kind towards it.

I’ll still take the meds and apply heat  when needed …. but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about living from my Middle Ground.

I am so grateful.

Namaste.

* Haiku – gratitude

I woke up today with a heart filled with gratitude. I am driving north to Kripalu to assist in a 300 hour yoga teacher training module for teachers wanting to learn about yoga for special population groups.  Let the magic flow 💛

This is my haiku to share with you while I am away. I will be taking a break from blogging, and have set up some re-posts some of my favorite inspirations. See you after May 10th.

Namaste and Jai Bhagwan!

kripalu spring

~

Find your Middle Ground

Greet each day with gratitude

Let the magic flow

~

If you are new to this site – Welcome!

To explore more about finding your middle ground please click here.

*Kripalu Inspiration Haiku

This is a haiku that I wrote and shared at the graduation ceremony of my 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu.

kripalu graduation

~

In life’s pendulum

The highs and lows of being

Seek Self in the waves

~

Find your Middle Ground

The mother ship is calling

Kripalu Center

~

Yoga skills and tools

Challenged body and stretched mind

Space. Peaceful being

~

Prana life force freed

Breathe. Relax. Feel. Watch. Allow

Yoga’s real essence

~

Say yes to the breath

Letting go. Letting it flow

Drop down. Re-align

~

Overflowing love

Connections and friendships

Embracing true Self

~

Heartfelt gratitude

So much learned in just one year

More than most lifetimes

~

Thank you my teachers

Sudhir, Larissa, Coby

Rudy, Sudha .. twice

~

This is how it is

Unexpected freedom fries 😉

Here, Right here … And now

~

Namaste

p.s. Affirmation for today onwards: I am an advanced Level Kripalu Yoga Teacher!

Wow. What a journey.

🙏

* Haiku – being

I am heading back to Kripalu today for the last module in my YTT500 hours yoga teacher certification. Last time I was concerned about letting go of social media and doing the right thing. This time I am looking forward to fully embracing the special time there and will be on a social media retreat. I leave you with this thought for the next 10 days.

~

Find your Middle Ground

As each new moment unfolds

commit to Being

~

* Insights from my Kripalu YTT 500 Teacher Training – Mod 4

When I was at Kripalu last week I met amazing teachers from the world of physical therapy, structural therapy and nursing, as well as wonderful yogis who teach and inspire a diverse range of people.

You don’t have to be fit, flexible and under 40 to do yoga or enjoy all its benefits! But it is important to find a teacher with experience and skill to avoid injury or making your condition worse… That is why I attended this module.

I have acquired more knowledge and skills for safely teaching people of all sizes; those recovering from illness; moms-to-be; kids; seniors and people with disabilities; people impacted by trauma, depression or anxiety and a large population of shoulder and back pain sufferers. For the yogis out there I also learned about how to support people in rebalancing their doshas and bringing mind body and spirit into harmony.

Val's yoga class

This module was called Teaching Special Population Groups, but it seems to me that most people I come across fall into the one or more of the above categories.  The norm is in fact special. I like that 🙂

The main theme was to support whoever comes into a yoga class with compassion and skill.

The supporting theme that became evident early on is that sitting is bad for your health and well being. We are a chair culture and it isn’t doing our bodies any good.

Lee Albert said that sitting is the new smoking! Its bad for everyone’s health. If you want to find out more about his perspective as an Integrated Positional Therapist, then there are lots of tips on his website.

Our bodies were built for walking, squatting and lying down. Sitting on a chair or in the drivers seat for extended periods of time creates misalignments that lead to chronic back pain and shoulder issues, as well as other health problems.  Specific yoga poses can counteract this … and lead to better alignment and healthy backs and shoulders.

Yoga has its roots in spirituality and the journey to oneness, but it has evolved into an amazing tool box full of tools that can support every body in bringing peace of mind and physical well being.

I feel grounded in this knowing, yet am excited to share these new perspectives with my yoga peeps.