The Yoga of Inner Awareness.
Over my lifetime I have come to understand that somatic embodiment practices support the Yogic path because somatic embodiment practices bring the body and mind into alignment and create an evolved state of body mind union that is very supportive of meditation and a meditative way of life. So I often refer to my approach as Yoga Somatics or The Yoga of Inner Awareness.
I teach with the focus on somatic embodiment, which includes embodied presence, intention, awareness of the principles of the fundamentals of the body in motion, proper alignment and mental state, and attention to quality of energy. I emphasize the meditative state, the process of becoming one with each pose and focus on the mindful somatic consciousness of the body/mind union.
I approach the entire class from the perspective that it is a sacred practice. I include prayers and intentions and teach from the presence of a unified consciousness within myself and extend this to the quality of energy of the room. The atmosphere is not one of ordinary consciousness as you would find in an exercise class but one of mindful consciousness and focus on creating an atmospere conducive to mediation.
My focus is on the student and the quality of their experience and I do everything to insure that my students have my full focused attention in support of a deeply internal, uplifting, mindful, personally meaningful, inspired and meditative experience.
This approach focuses students on the subtle refinement of embodying Asana practice and the Yogic path at whatever level they are.
The Basics of a Yoga Practice
A basic introduction to Asana and Meditation practice. For people who think that they "can't do it", because.... it's too outside of your box, you're too old, too out of shape, too stiff, afraid to get hurt, and all the other reasons you might have that keep you away from approaching Yoga and all that it has to offer. I give you a strong holistic foundation in the basic principles of yoga asana, meditation and the language of the body, so that you can take class from anyone without getting hurt and build a sustainable personal practice for yourself that you can incorporate into your daily life.
Unfolding of Sequence
This is an in depth dive for people who have experience in asana practice. In this class I teach the principles of the body's natural internal sequencing for the most optimum coordination between Asana poses, the internal dynamics of each Asana for maximum energy flow throughout the body, as well as for maximum benefit to alignment, coordination and balance. I focus on Asana practice as meditation and evolution of consciousness. Read more about the principles in my approach to Somatic Embodiment here.
You will refine and deepen your meditative and embodied presence during Asana practice and have a chance to explore how to carry this into your daily life. This class builds a strong foundation for a personal sustainable practice that avoids injury, creates fluidity, meditation presence and integrated awareness.
Sivananda Yoga Asana Practice
Classical Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Asana/Pranayama/Mediation for people who would like to experience classical yoga practice. In this class we practice the classical sequence including prayers, pranayama, savasana and meditation.
Embodiment, Presence and Compassionate Communication is for yoga practitioners who want to embody the principles of unity, kindness, compassion, and peace into their daily lives and relationships. It is an opportunity to integrate Yoga into your everyday self through learning Compassionate Communication. (read more)
It is an honor for me to help other Yoga teachers refine their ability to give clear understandable instruction for Asana practice, so their guidance makes sense to the natural wisdom and alignment of the body, honors individual capacities, cultivates meditative state of awareness, and models the living embodiment of Yoga.
I cherish the opportunity to help other Yoga teachers to become more fully naturally present and authentically embodied in their leadership so that they can fully transmit the spiritual dimensions of the practice and create a heart centered, student centered atmosphere of loving kindness, joy, compassionate understanding, clarity, wholeness and unity.
The spiritual philosophies that birthed Yoga tell us that we are not our bodies or our minds, but a consciousness far vaster. The guidance is to not get identified or attached to the mind or the body as who we think we are so that we can be open to what is beyond the mind and body.
Indeed the body and mind are not all that we are. One only has to close ones eyes, let the earthly thoughts dissipate and the vast consciousness that we are a part of becomes apparent. It is all around us and permeates the very nature of our being.
Yet, the unending paradox of life is that we are both something vaster than these bodies and minds, and, also these bodies and minds. They are important parts of the fabric of our being. In order to experience and understand the vastness of consiousness that is greater than our physicality, it's important to inhabit ourselves in ways that bring about an opening and alignment with that which is the vast conscious intelligence far greater than the sum of our physical body and mental reality.
In the west, Yoga usually is thought of as doing a particular exercise that helps you to feel better in your body and relieve the stress of modern life. Although these are benefits of engaging in the physical aspect of yoga, it is not what Yoga is. Yoga is not a kind of physical exercise.
Yoga is the scared path of opening ones consciousness and a path of spiritual evolution. Yoga is a way of approaching life that has it's roots in the ancient philosophies of India. Yoga is the practice of life designed to bring one closer to ones true nature, spiritual love, compassion, union within and union with all that is.
The same spiritual disciplines that tell us that we are not the body or the mind, also give us guidelines on how to be in the body and the mind so that we can be open to this greater consciousness.
In the practice of Yoga as a life path there are many ways to cultivate this state. The physical Asana practice is only one. Yoga Asana is an embodiment practice designed to bring the body/mind consciousness into alignment and support meditation and the evolution of consiousness.
Yoga means union. Union of what is within with what is without. Yoga is a recognition that we are all part of this great intelligent life and are all intrinsic parts of it. To engage in Yoga Asana practice is to create a union and with the body/mind relationship in service of the evolution of ones consciousness.
Yoga as a path of evolution includes bringing all other aspects of life into alignment with this purpose. How you take care of your body, how you act towards others, how you think and speak, how you engage in your daily life are all a part of your sacred Yogic path.
I incorporate this holistic awareness into my approach to my own Yogic path and my apporach to teaching Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. I locate myself in the lineage of Sivananda and his disciple Vishnudevanada, who founded the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in North America in the 1970's. This lineage is a living lineage with thriving Yoga Centers throughout the world.
Although I have mostly exclusively practiced classical Asana as laid out through this lineage I have a lifetime background in mindfulness, somatic practices, somatic psychology of the west, post modern dance practices of movement consciousness and movement analysis, as well as familiarity with Bhuddist meditation practices and Qi Qong practices. All of my life experience in the fields of movement arts and spiritual psychology inform my perspective and approach to teaching.