Late April Newsletter: Receiving Grace | Ayurveda Discount ends May 5th

​Receiving Grace

I admit it:  Grace can be a very complicated word for me.  It seemed owned by the religious system I grew up in – a conservative Protestant church – that believed that grace came from a big-G God, the only God, and only when you earned it.  The church’s songs and description of grace were quite beautiful, actually, even transportive – but the concept became wrapped in submission, obedience, and patriarchy – the religion’s other leading theories that to me meant a lack of freedom, and an inability to truly connect and love others who were different from me.

Even as a kid, I felt an internal conflict – how could grace – which is by its nature available to all – be denied to people of other beliefs or cultures or gender preferences? I struggled with this – to follow my heart and live a more accepting, open, and honest expression of my spirituality, would I separate myself from grace? Here are some critical answers to my dilemma:

  • Being in nature helped me rediscover grace.

On our yoga retreats in Africa, there is never a guarantee that you will see an animal.  Sure, you can get the best guide and go to the best area of the park, but the animals are wild, and are not on your schedule.  There is always an element of luck.

But when you get your first glimpse of a rhinoceros family, or of a pride of lions sunning their pregnant bellies like housecats, it feels like more than luck – it feels like a miracle.  And such grace is not exclusive to some exotic land – a sunset glimpsed down a street in Midtown can have the same overwhelm.

  • Grace is free. 
We do not “earn” the sunset anymore than we earned the appearance of a lion. We do not have to follow any rules or precepts or make any bargains to receive this beauty.  It just is.
  • Grace is radical – it completely short-circuits the false concept that we must earn everything. 

My yoga practice has given me another lens through which to view spirituality.  Yoga says we just need to practice – there’s no yoga “perfect!” You are already complete and connected, just the way you are.  No need to get into a huge guilt trip about not living up to your exacting standards.  A fall is not a fall from grace – just get up, and practice again.  This is what it truly means to be “Grace-ful.”

  • Grace comes whether we are worthy or not. 

Just as in yoga philosophy, a moment of grace tells us that we are loved, and always have been loved, and worthy of love.

  • When we take without saying thank you, we rob ourselves of grace.

There are plenty that have wrested beauty from the land – stripped her of diamonds, oil, ivory, and everything else. And this, too, is a mistake. It is a surefire way to limit the power and beauty of natural grace.  The more we can live in alignment with the natural world, the more receptive we  become to receiving its blessings.

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When I was first taught Ayurveda, I thought it was a cool way to care for myself. Eventually I realized that it was a way to relate to everything – and I do mean everything – in a more mindful way.  Relationships can become more compassionate.  The body can become more healthy. And your teaching can become more intelligent as well.

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old way to connect.

In our Ayurvedic Yoga Immersion, June 1 -17, you can learn so much more about yourself and how to choose dietary, yoga, and even sleep habits that can contribute to your optimal health.

Not yoga for your friend,
Not yoga that’s on trend,
Not even yoga tailored for your background –
but designed just for you,
just this day,
just this hour.
*****

To get the early bird rate on this training: Reach out to Angela by May 5th.


Refine your yoga practice and teaching for private clients and therapeutic students to specifically improve mind/body imbalances.

Use Ayurveda and yoga to apply the techniques of yoga in a precise and empowering way.

LEARN

  • Personalized lifestyle choices and self care to bolster your effectiveness in the healing arts, including:
  • Your present Ayurvedic constitution, or dosha (vikruti)
  • Ayurvedic essential oils (Abhyanga)
  • Daily cleansing techniques and skin care (Dinacharya)
  • How to make the right dietary choices for your dosha (constitution)
  • Maintaining digestive fire and energy (agni and ojas)

Teaching and Essential Therapy Tools:

  • Introduction to East/West comparative psychology
  • The classic intention behind the asana types, and how to modify asanas for each individual (“Asana Chikitsa”)
  • The classic psychology of chakra theory, kosha theory, and how to use these systems for client assessment
  • How to alter your teaching to balance according to dosha, chakras and vayus
  • The classic esoteric philosophies of health and happiness
  • How to alter your practice and teaching for the era, season, time of day, and time of life
  • How to balance and teach to each constitution, tailoring your teaching to the individual
  • The necessity of down-regulating techniques in Hatha yoga (PNS-inducing yoga)
  • The constitution of different yoga practices and lineages
  • Interpreting “Doctor-speak” to modify practices in recovery periods or chronic pain
  • The Ayurvedic perspective of auto-immune disorders
  • Improve your business skills in private yoga practice
  • Use the paradigm of Ayurveda as an intuitive, effective and efficient tool in your teaching practice.
  • How to appeal to the “higher self” of your client while engaging them (Atman, Sattvic state, etc.)

Prepare case studies and teaching strategies based upon the classical systems of Ayurveda and yoga, addressing current imbalances practically

Training teachers will practice teaching one on one and in small groups, improving your ability to assess learning styles and provide customized, therapeutic teaching.

Review the the parameters yoga therapy, how to refer out, and how to teach to specialized communities, including those recovering from acute pain or managing a chronic disease.

SCHEDULE
June 1st – June 17th 
Tuesdays | 6pm – 9pm
Fridays | 6pm – 9pm
Saturdays | 9am – 6pm
Sundays | 11am – 8pm

PRICING

  • Non Members | $1550
  • Equinox Members | $1400
  • Pure Members | $1350
  • Pure Yoga TT Grads | $1300
  • Prema Yoga Grads | $1250

**Early Bird discount! Register by May 5th to receive $100 off!


YOGA VIDA MEDITATION, YOGA NIDRA, & PRANAYAMA

50 hour Teacher Training towards
the 300 hour Yoga Vida Advanced Certification
May 4-6 and 18-20, 2018

with Dana, Kajuan Douglas, Rebecca Hajek & Will Schneider

Dive deep into the heart of the yoga practice with this two-weekend immersion into Meditation, Pranayama and Yoga Nidra.

Cultivate a personal meditation practice, and learn classic pranayama and meditation techniques to apply in classes and with private clients in a modern way. Lead Yoga Nidra to encourage healing and relaxation. Learn the science of mindfulness, and evidence-based techniques appropriate for teaching in business and other secular settings. Perfect for teachers and those with a consistent yoga practice.


 

with Dana, Rebecca Hajek, Kajuan Douglas, & Will Schneider, & Colleen Herman

THROUGHOUT THIS 50 HOUR MODULE, WE’LL EXPLORE:

>> Yoga Nidra, the art of conscious relaxation – the history, science, benefits, and accessible techniques
>> Kosha theory to address physical, mental, and emotional imbalances
>> The neuroscience of Meditation, Yoga Nidra, and Pranayama
>> Pranayama for anxiety and depression
>> Developing a daily meditation practice
>> Meditation from the Sutras
>> Meditation from the Vedas
>> Loving Kindness Meditation
>> An introduction to Kundalini meditations and kriyas for memory, healing, focus, and more
>> Mindfulness
>> A review of modern scientific evidence in support of mindfulness techniques

>> All students interested in Meditation & Pranayama are invited to join!

Excerpts from my “Need Sleep & Care? Try the Yoga Clinic this February″ Newsletter

Yoga Therapy Clinics Coming to Pure Yoga 

We’re so pleased to announce that some of the finest therapeutic yoga teachers in NYC will be leading Yoga Therapy Clinics in February on both sides of town.   These semi-private series of 4 clinics focus on one of the following:

Joint Care
Back Care
Athletic Recovery
Sleep Techniques

These clinics are perfect anyone looking to modify their practice to empower their healing, and for those who have heard of evidence-based benefits of yoga, but who cannot attend a group excercise class or afford privates.

Space is limited, and a confidential intake form is required, so be sure to sign up soon!

Grateful,
Dana

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Tulum Update:

Single rooms for our Sweat and Surrender escape are filling up fast!  Reach out to me or Halle to hook up with an awesome roomie, or grab a friend and get yours.  Flights are starting to climb, so lock it down today!

Rooms are filling fast.
 Reserve your spot today!

___________________

Medical Yoga Therapy:

with Dr. Chris Walling,

Dr. Loren Fishman and

Karen Nourizadeh

February 5-28, 2016
Friday 6-9p, Saturday 9a-6p, Sunday 11a-8p

Yoga is growing – AND getting more diverse.  Just check out the statistics from the 2016 Yoga in America Study referenced in this YogaU article!  If you’re a teacher, are you ready for it? Our Prema Yoga Therapeutics Programs provide you with immediate skills to use when teaching diverse populations.  Our next training – Medical Yoga Therapy – has only 6 spots left.  Please click here to check out all our offerings at, and to see what’s right for you.

We’re thrilled to announce that our Medical Yoga Therapy Course is approved to provide 74 Continuing Education Units to nurses and psychologists.  Please spread the news to those you know in the medical community who would like to integrate yoga breathing and healing postures, Yoga Nidra, and mindfulness into their practices.

Click here to sign up today.

For CEU’s, Email Dana to find out more.

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of yoga can powerfully compliment Western medical care. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can be incorporated into conventional treatment models for behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Learn the applications of asana – the yoga poses – to alleviate pain and imbalance. Apply proven, peer coaching techniques to overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices.

Dr. Loren Fishman, MD, and team will present evidence and yoga posture techniques to address:

– Neurological and Musculoskeletal Back Pain
– Scoliosis and Bone Health
– Rotator Cuff Syndrome
– Osteoporosis
and more.

Dr. Chris Walling, Somatic Psychologist, will present cutting-edge findings on how yoga addresses mental and emotional imbalances, including:

– Chronic pain
– PTSD and trauma
– Burnout / Stress Management
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Auto-immune disorders
and more.

Learn Yoga Nidra, postures and movement, mindfulness exercises, breathing exercises, and coaching techniques to address a broad array of conditions, including:

– PTSD and trauma
– Anxiety/Depression
– Stress management
– Heart disease and cancer prevention
– Chronic Pain
– Chronic Disease management
and more.

Prema Yoga Therapy trainings cultivate a community of like-minded individuals, sharing healing approaches from ancient traditions within evidence-based perspectives. Medical Yoga Therapy prepares professionals to integrate yoga into medical care, whether they work in yoga, complimentary medicine, or Western medicine. Approaches are practical, experiential, and evidence-based. Perfect for yoga teachers, therapists, mental health and medical providers alike.

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of yoga can powerfully compliment Western medical care. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can be incorporated into conventional treatment models for behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Learn the applications of asana – the yoga poses – to alleviate pain and imbalance. Apply proven, peer coaching techniques to overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices.

Click here to sign up today.

_________________________

For Dana’s Weekly Schedule click here.

ayurveda and pleasure [ayurveda series no. 2]

Recently I was asked to contribute an article to the site the Five Tattvas.  A sampling is below.  Enjoy the whole article here.
______________________________________________________

Dana Slamp

Guess what? There’s a lot of it!

At the beginning of this earth, legend has it that the Devas (the demigods) and the Asuras (the demons) each desired the nectar of immortality.

To possess the nectar, they first had to draw it up from the ocean of consciousness. But how? The Ocean of Milk was vast – even for deities – and held its secrets beneath fathoms of icy green water. They determined to stir it up – to churn the waters until they got what they wanted. To that end, they picked up a mountain and turned it upside down into the ocean to use as a “churning stick.” To turn it, they enlisted Vasuki, the snake. But when they wrapped the snake around the mountain and worked together, with each camp pulling on one side at a time like a cosmic tug of war, the mountain did nothing but drill into the earth.

Luckily Kurma, the tortoise, volunteered to swim to the bottom of the ocean, withdraw his five limbs and head, and become the base for the mountain. After this cosmic engineering, a great many vast and wonderful things emerged from that ocean. There are many ways to tell the stories that grew out of this episode. I will tell you one as it was told to me:

The last deity to emerge was Lord Dhanvantari – medic to the gods and the father of Ayurveda. And what did he hold in his hand but Amrita – the nectar of immortality!

A great fight was soon brewing. Each side wanted the nectar for its own. Any camaraderie that had been built in their endeavor was immediately lost. The Devas readied their weapons as the Asuras’ breath focused into flames. It seemed like what little existed of the world was about to die in a clash of opposites – the hideous magnet that is war.

Lord Dhanvantari, an avatar of Vishnu, prayed for help. And this time Lord Vishnu sent another avatar in the form of Mohini. Mohini was beyond beautiful – she was beauty itself. When she moved her hips, the pleasure of the vision settled the armies immediately. When she spoke her honeyed words, they agreed to come to terms.

Mohini assured them that each one could get a taste of immortality. All they had to do was line up, like boys, in an orderly line. She was so beautiful and persuasive that they complied immediately. Mohini then went down the line, placing a drop of nectar on each of the Devas’ tongues. The Asuras waited patiently, their fiery breath contained. But when Mohini got to their place in the line, she began to disappear!

The largest and closest of the demons reached out to grab her and stop her. But Mohini’s curves were ephemeral, and all he could grasp was the edge of her sari. At that moment, a drop of the nectar fell to the earth.

From that drop came all the vitality of all earthly living. Using this force is called Ayurveda.

To read the whole article click here.

Need an Abundance Tune-up?

Recently I was asked to contribute articles to the new “Embodied Philosophy” site the Five Tattvas.  I chose a personal subject for me – tackling inherited Poverty Mentality from an Ayurvedic perspective.  A sampling is below.  Enjoy the whole article here.

Tips to Tune-up your Abundance Mentality

Abundance is a practice, and takes time to become your new mindset.  If – like me – you’ve discovered that you have a worldview that might not be serving you, give it time!  I see my students and family members evolving every day.  Part of living abundantly is acknowledging your personal progress as well.

Here’s a few truths I’ve learned in my transition from a mindset of scarcity to abundance:

  • We’re already rich.  We are living in a time and place that is absolutely abundant with opportunity.  There are times and places on this earth where people don’t have enough food or a roof over their heads.  We are not in one of them.
  • You need very little of what is being sold to you.  Take a look at your monthly bills and credit card statements.  Are these all necessities?  Are you using some funds for your pleasure (another purpose of life), or are you using a pursuit of pleasure to avoid the present?  Pleasure is passing and variable.
  • Contentment is free, but must be cultivated through proper thought and discipline.  For a quick jolt of contentment, try some time in nature.  For me, a swim or a walk in the trees can bring me back to equilibrium.
  • Care for your earnings, and your earnings will care for you.  Be sure to always save a little income, and invest when you can.  This will give you the security you need to continue giving.
  • Being abundant costs less in the long run.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away from a group dinner wishing that I wasn’t petty about the check, or walked away from a conversation wishing that I had been more generous in listening and with my compliments.  When I am abundant – and still well within my means –  I can reserve this mental energy instead of using it to judge or second-guess myself.
  • If you are too busy to volunteer sometimes, you are probably making yourself too busy.  Is checking social media absorbing too much time? Do you have a tendency to overbook projects, or to overbook your children in programs? The world needs your skill set and your expertise in service, and service can instantly bring you back to a state of abundance.
  • Ask for what you need, including help.  As a woman, I’ve had to learn negotiating skills that protect me from over-giving at work and over-exerting for less income then I may deserve.  As a stubborn woman, I’ve had to learn to ask for help!
  • Give from your “froth” and not from your “depth.”  This advice comes directly from Nevine Michaan, master teacher of Katona Yoga. To give from my froth, I must first “fill up” with satisfying hobbies and down time, not just fulfilling work.
  • Take time out every day, every week, and every season.  “Dharma jobs” often have odd schedules – nurses and doctors can work 14 hour shifts.  Yoga teachers can never take a day off.  A parent’s work is never done.  Be sure to be abundant with time for yourself.

And when in doubt, always practice gratefulness. A quick inventory of all you have may reveal that you are already in abundance.  If your worry is overwhelming, try one of my favorite mantras:

There is plenty of time
There is plenty of money
There is plenty of space
There is plenty of love.