Wait, the Point is Pleasure!? June Ayurveda Essentials

Quick: Can you name a calorie-free, addiction-free, just downright FREE daily pleasure that doesn’t involve another person? If an answer doesn’t come to you quickly, but a whole list of other crap does, then you may need a refresher course in the simpler things in life.

That’s how it was for me.  I was knee deep in my third career, and – even though I loved my job – my career, my friends, a handful of vacation days and whole lot of hustle were all I had.

When I burned out and searched for another way to live, I luckily found myself in an Ayurveda course. The first lesson was that Kama – or pleasure – is one of the primary reasons for life.

Not just something you do one day a week,
Not just something to distract you,
Not in a bottle,
Not in an invite,
And definitely NOT a diversion, but
Pleasure is the POINT of life.

Every day offers us a multitude of opportunities to be fed by beauty, healthy rituals, amazing food, and uplifting study and community.  Real energy lies in “pleasure refueling,” and finding these free sources of mojo can significantly cut down on the Starbucks bills!

As a teacher, the Ayurvedic lens saves me time and effort, and has made my yoga therapy work infinitely more precise, effective, and direct.  Imagine if you could determine what a person needs just by looking at them – isn’t that a skill you’d like to have, especially if you are in the healing arts?  And wouldn’t you love to empower your clients to nourish their health and happiness?

That’s why our June Prema Yoga Ayurvedic Training is both an essential life course and a required course for therapeutic teachers.

We study outside,
We indulge in the senses,
We seek to become better listeners,
Better teachers,
And better caretakers of our bodies and minds,
All through infinite sources of pleasure.

Words of Wisdom: Sonja Rzepski

Master Yoga Teacher and Private Practice Manager at Pure Yoga

Sonja, you came to Pure with a full client roster culled over years of teaching.  Now you further the careers of so many young teachers as Private Practice Manager at Pure.  You must have heard some inspiring stories from our yoga therapy clients!

Absolutely!  One graduate of your training, who I had hired 9 months ago, has a student who had so many life-threatening conditions and surgeries, that when she showed up for her first session it probably took her 15-20 minutes to get to the reception desk, as she moved painfully and slowly with her walker, never lifting her gaze from the floor. The teacher had thought ahead and arranged for a chair and a massage table to be in the room as the student would not be able to get up and down to the floor. The teacher had done her homework and the student felt cared for right away. 8 months later (yesterday) I saw this same student (who practices 2 times a week now) smiling and walking briskly to her appointment casually swinging a cane, not really needing it at all. It brought tears to my eyes.
How do you suggest keeping yoga and training clients committed to their path?
Connection and bravery. In the private work, we as teachers are agreeing to the moment, to what is truly going on with the student. Basically it’s like going hiking, but the teacher has walked the trail before. Granted you may not know what challenges you will encounter, but you are a steward in a sense, clearing the path, so the student finds their own way. When guided correctly in the study of yoga, a student naturally realizes all of life is an opportunity to practice, and then the study becomes a priority.

You’re teaching “The Abundance Model of Yoga Business” in Prema Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy 7/14 – 8/2.  What are you excited to share with the students?
A plan. I have tools to share that have worked for me and for my staff. Working with the mentality of abundance theory we will cover: connecting with potential students, setting up the first session to succeed, defining a healthy teacher/client business relationship, and up to date info on such practicalities as structuring rates and getting referrals. I want to elevate the way in which we as yoga teachers do business, by believe it or not, using our yogic principals.

Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy teaches that asana should be applied specifically to time, place, and individual.  How have you learned to tune in to what the client truly needs? 
By getting out of the our own way and communicating. In other words, I am very careful to set strong clear boundaries and expectations. It is about two people working on a project, the project being the client’s yoga path, not our own. Trust what you do know, use mentors when you need to, and then treat each student like they are the Buddha sent to teach you something.

Thank you, Sonja, for sharing so generously with our yoga therapists-to-be!