Article: “Yoga Is Really for Imperfect People”

Hey guys,

My darling yoga geek friends at Yoganonymous just published my last article. I suggested the title, “Return of the Yoga Clown,” but they went with the classier title below. What do you think?

Thanks, D

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Yoga Is Really for Imperfect People

Lately, we’ve had another wave in the culture at large to satire and make fun of our yoga clique.

And why not? The yoga culture is absolutely begging for a good roast. Hula hoops, bandhas, scandals, and unicorns—oh my! It’s like the mid-60s overtook a bad ashram.

So it’s not so much that we’re a known punchline, but that some of the stock yoga characters have already become cliché—the lecherous male yoga teacher (on Modern Family), the hypocritical hot yoga chic (on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) — haven’t we seen these clowns already?

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Excerpts from my “Pop into an Amazing Workshop this February″ Newsletter

Hello, Om-mie Hommies!

Can’t commit to a whole training, but wish to deepen your practice, to study with the leaders in therapeutic yoga, and to feel like a college kid again? These amazing workshops are now open to the public. Please reserve your spot ASAP- slots are limited!

Your Fan,
Dana

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The Neuroscience of Yoga:
Yoga As Psychotherapy

with Dr. Chris Walling
Saturday, Feb. 13th 2:30-6 p.m.
Pure East

Since the days of Freud, research into the mind-body relationship has come a long way. Studies show that not only are your mental health and mood dependent in large part on physical factors like exercise, but also unchecked stress, anxiety and depression can affect physical health, increasing blood pressure, heart disease and even risk of death. With the advent of sophisticating imaging technologies, the neurobiological revolution has revolutionized our understanding of the mind body connection, and psychotherapy has changed by abandoning so called “talking cures” and bringing the body into the sense of mental health interventions. Join International Yoga therapist and body psychologist Dr. Chris Walling as he summarizes the latest cutting edge research into the psychological impact of yoga on the brain.

Click here for more information!

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Yoga Therapy for Spine Care & Joint Health

with Dr. Loren Fishman
Friday, Feb. 19 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pure East

Loren Fishman, MD, will share his pioneering, prize-winning research – both published and unpublished – on how yoga heals medical conditions. There will be asana and explanation for the seven major causes of back pain, spinal and bone issues, shoulder pain and more. Dr. Fishman studied with BKS Iyengar for a year in Pune, India, before establishing his 30+ year medical practice in New York.

Click here for more information!
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Tulum Update:

Be impulsive! One king room & two double rooms to share are left!

Rooms are filling fast.
Reserve your spot today!

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Drishti 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training

Costa Rica
April 1-25, 2015

Have you always wanted to do your teacher training, but need a vacation first? Why not do both? I’ll be teaching in this fantastic teacher training in one of the prettiest places in the world: Costa Rica. Be sure to tell them Slampy sent you!

Click here for more information!

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Click Here for Dana’s Weekly Schedule

 

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!

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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.

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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.
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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.

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!