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 “Bust Those Meditation Myths in May″ Newsletter

Hello, You.

I’m so thrilled to have begun meditation month in Prema classes and at Yoga Vida. Each week, we start a simple meditation with the option of continuing to sit during savasana. Each week, more and more students are choosing to sit and explore a deeper meditation.

Over the years, I must admit that I have harbored some persistent myths, or misgivings, about my meditation practice.

The first misgiving was that I sucked at it. Guess what: Everybody sucks at meditation! It’s the mental equivalent of running: You know it’s good for you, it takes forever to talk yourself into it, within 8-10 minutes you hate it, and within about 11-15 minutes you’re hooked.

Like anything worth doing, meditation takes a little patience and discipline. But that will develop if you don’t begin!

Second misgiving: Everything has to be perfect for me to meditate. Over the years, I’ve thought I need just the right cushion on which to meditate, just the right teacher, just the right morning time, just the right diet, just the right mantra – Let’s face it: I was “just-the-righting” my practice into nonexistence!

This kind of perfectionism is actually procrastination. It’s making excuses instead of sitting down – like an artist – and getting messy in the process of getting to know yourself. What’s the worst that could happen? You spend 15 minutes not staring at your phone? I don’t know about you, but Instagram hums along just fine without me.

Third misgiving: Meditation is for the spiritually evolved, and not for mere humans. If I make an honest review of the meditation teachers that have radically influenced me, I see that what they all have in common is an honest but loving understanding of their own shortcomings. They are all acutely aware of their humanity, and sometimes admit to moments of existential crisis. That didn’t stop them from sitting down and being with themselves again.

In fact, this kind of “Dark Night of the Soul ” can lead to a deep love and acceptance of oneself. Loving Kindness Meditation teachers even use this realization to expand their compassion for other humans who have acted on their shortcomings. Being human makes you a great meditator, and meditation can help you choose to be a better human.

Fourth misgiving: Meditation is kind of bunk, because you pretend the world is peaceful when it’s not. Um…No. Nice try, ego! You’re not as gritty and punk as all that. All life includes suffering, as the Buddha taught. A meditator doesn’t sit to ignore the truth, but to accept it and to choose a righteous path.

In the yogic and Ayurvedic traditions of meditation, this is called a “satvic” state. Satvic is usually translated as “peaceful” or “calm,” but note that the root of the word means “truth.” Peacefulness is our natural state. As meditators, we can start to find this peace and identify with it. Sometimes it will feel like “faking it until you make it.” But with practice – over time, consistently, and with devotion – that peace can grow.

Whether you can get to class, practice on your own, or join us for the two-weekend meditation intensive starting this Friday, try to identify with your natural state of peace. Everything else – as Pema Chodron taught – is just a simple misunderstanding.

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Yoga Vida Meditation Intensive starts Friday!


May 13 – 22nd, Friday nights 6:30-9p
9a – 6:30p 
Saturday & Sunday
with a 30-day personal meditation challenge

Feature Teachers: Colleen Herman & Nevine Michaan Complete

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.

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
– Sacred Geometry Pranayama with guest teacher Nevine Michaan
– 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
– Kundalini Meditation techniques

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

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