The second chakra is Swadhisthana or sacral chakra. This chakra is the center of our sexual and creative energy. It covers all the creative aspects like emotions, art, music, story telling, business and any thing else come under its control.
Sacral chakra keeps on changing its color, though its actual color is assumed as orange. Our emotions, friendship and relationship with others is related to swadhisthana. It is called self or own abode and has got six petals and it is traditionally related to our sexual impulses and energy. The celibacy is more emphasized in swadhisthana in order to raise powerful energy to our brain to enhance consciousness.
Chakra of Creativity: Opening or activating sacral chakra is paying attention on pure knowledge and the creativity in human life. It makes us to link with the inner source of inspiration and experience the beauty around us. The perception of reality is related to its pure knowledge, which is not a mental knowledge for us to relish. It provides us the power of converting the fat cells into the brain cells which further enhances our futuristic thoughts, thinking and creativity.
Swadhisthana created aestheticism in the mind of man which further brings creativity.
Creation is Reflected: It is a chakra of creativity and it is reflected within us like a silent lake. We are supposed to locate the pool of beauty and our collective consciousness is developed without any ego to distort the art. Our spiritual awakening is made possible only through swadhisthana chakra and the process start with the creativity up to the self-realization. Our brain gets boosted up and the creativity start functioning infinitely. Opening sacral chakra makes it possible for us to perceive the beauty in its true and aesthetic sense. Our creation in all fields are purely established in a different way.
Living a balanced or imbalanced life reflects the content of the energy within your chakras. By gaining awareness of the reasons behind the choices you make, you can break down the fears, illusions, and excuses and restore balance to your sacral energy center.
This Saturday July 21 st, we begin Module 2 of the Maha Shakti RYT 200 Yoga Teacher Training and we kick it off with an Ayurvedic cooking lesson and demonstration with Elaine Dodson of Dallas Texas. There is no one better suited to instruct the Maha Shakti Teacher training students than Elaine in the understanding of Ayurvedic principles and the creation of healthy and health enhancing meals. Elaine is the quintessential HEALTH NUT! Her sense of humor and unique approach to life give everyone she touches a lift . Spend some time with our yoga instructors and enjoy the fruits of your labor at this fantastic event on the first day of Module 2- Jala!
Just a fun way to inspire you!
Maha Shakti Co-founder Adri Kyser shares her Truth and Knowledge during this amazing Teacher Training in Dallas, Texas. Here’s a little insight into her journey as a yogini and educator.
Module 2 starts July 21st
Not sure what to do about your yoga practice now that you are preggers????? Well, Adri Kyser, co-founder of the Maha Shakti RYT 200 is a certified Pre-natal Yoga instructor and she shares her expertise in this recent article…
Why Prenatal Yoga? Prenatal yoga can ease the discomforts of pregnancy (moodiness, swollen ankles, shortness of breath, etc). It gives you the opportunity to bond with your baby, other pregnant Goddesses and helps prepare your body for labor. Many of my prenatal clients are new to yoga but I also get some clients that are familiar with yoga but now are interested in a gentler feminine approach.
Prenatal classes are not to shape the body or avoid gaining weight. Prenatal classes are meant to celebrate this special time in your life, your femininity, your beautiful changing body, the bond you are creating with your baby and the connections and support you establish with other women during this period. These classes are very powerful and can help many women reclaim their physical and mental power while becoming receptive and confident during labor. (read more)
Jennifer is one of so many Maha Shakti students who have rave reviews of this unique and well established program for yoga teacher training. Teaching on the 1st day of class makes the all the difference.
“I can’t say enough about the Maha Shakti teacher training program!
Amy and Adri are wonderful. They are fun, caring and extraordinarily
knowledgeable. Everyone loves coming to class and talks about how
much they miss it when we have breaks! I believe the hours we spend
practicing teaching yoga to each other are invaluable: the entire
class has grown by leaps and bounds from the first, nerve-wracking
attempts at teaching each other sun salutations to the (still nerve
wracking) fifteen minute practical exam at the end of Module 1.
Former students have claimed that this is the best yoga teacher
training in the Metroplex, and I would have to agree!!” Jennifer Lovelace, Maha Shakti Student RYT 200
Module 1 is finished, and Module 2 begins July 21st… So many opportunities to shine..
Yoga as a new career path, Continuing education credits (CEU)s and a much deeper understanding of the ancient practice of yoga and it’s origins…
Maha Shakti Teacher Training is simply the BEST in Dallas.
Maha Shakti Flow or “Boundless Energy” is the result of merging multiple styles of yoga. Influenced by premier yogis like Shiva Rea, Sri Dharma Mittra and Ana Forest. This creative, contemporary style of yoga encourages students to explore the physical and emotional sensations of a pose while moving through fluidly-allowing freedom to reside in a pose. During this 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teachers Training Program, you will learn proper structural and energetic alignment of asanas, eastern and western anatomy and physiology, as well as history, philosophy including the Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and more. Unlike other teacher training programs, we offer over 20 classroom practice hours giving you plenty opportunities to lead fellow students through sun salutations, series of poses and fluid sequences.
You will learn how to design multi-level classes, to break poses down from simplest to most challenging, address special cases like prenatal yoga and more. This comprehensive program was created by Dallas based instructors Adri Kyser (500 E-RYT) and Amy Johnson (200 E-RYT). With like styles, they emphasize fluid motion in their Vinyasa instruction.
Saturday, July 21, 2012 – Sunday, September 9, 2012
Hosted by: Twist Power YogaEvent location:
Dallas, TX 75229
$2190* full or 3 payments of $850*
For more information
Sat, 07/21/2012 – Sun, 09/09/2012
The Maha Shakti Flow 200-hour immerison program is divided into three modules lasting 5 weeks each.
Module 1: April 21st – June 1st
Module 2: July 21st -Sept 9th
Module 3: Oct 27th – Dec 9th
“The key to practicing yoga is consistency. It does not matter what type of yoga you practice, if you practice at home, at a studio or gym. It does not matter what type of mat you have or if you wear super cool yoga clothes. What really matters is that you practice consistently.
Here are few easy steps you can take to ensure you establish and live a yoga practice… ”
A few years ago while I was helping a friend with her “resentments”- see 12 step program… I was reminded that the goal of creating this “list of people we feel have harmed us”, is to begin the process of seeing our part and then taking the steps to forgive them. Not for their peace of mind… for our own. This article by Adri Kyser co-founder of Maha Shakti Yoga Teacher training reminded me of that very powerful process of forgiving…
Have you ever felt hurt, betrayed, disappointed or all of the above? In our lifetime, many of us have felt this way one time or another due to the words, actions or lack of action by others. Sometimes people that have hurt us don’t even know what they did. Other times, their actions were intentional and uncalled for. Regardless of the intention, we are the ones that are deeply wounded and carry the pain, hurt and anger within us. Normally, after our initial stage of being hurt (it may be few days, weeks or even months), we try to move on with our lives and let the incident be a thing of the past. It is easier (not easy) to move past the event when we receive a heartfelt apology, but often times we don’t get an apology at all. Unfortunately, we can carry the memory of hurtful events and the feelings associated with them for a long time, taking a toll on our physical, mental and emotional health.
Forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of resentment and even thoughts of revenge. It is a journey to freedom from our past. Learning to forgive can lead to feelings of understanding, compassion and empathy for the one (s) who hurt us. Like Deepak Chopra says “What we don’t recognize is that holding onto resentment is like holding onto your breath. You’ll soon start to suffocate”.
Forgiveness does not change the past nor does it free the person from their responsibility of his /her wrong actions. Forgiving will not erase what happened but it can lessen the intensity on how you remember such events. Forgiveness actually frees you up from the ties that are holding you back. It opens the doors to healing and to new possibilities. Forgiveness is something we do entirely for ourselves.
One of the most common obstacles I find in the process of forgiving is that many people, deep down are expecting an apology. They want the person that hurt them to know the pain his/her actions have caused them. Some even want that person to feel the same pain. This type of thinking does not lead to freedom, inner peace and inner power. As long as you are expecting the other person to apologize or to hurt the same way you have, you are still tied to their hurtful actions. You are giving them your power and peace. You are the only one that can find freedom and strength by forgiving and cutting the ties that bound you to them and their past actions. I know it sounds really simple and easy but I know it is harder that in sounds.
Take a moment here and ask yourself these questions:
– Are you ready to be free?
– Are you ready to be happy?
– Are you ready to let go of the past?
– Are you ready to forgive?
If so, start the process of forgiveness. Here are few things that may help up.
– Be patient with yourself and don’t expect everything to be ok overnight.
– Reflect on the event, the facts, on how you’ve reacted, and how this has affected your life and well-being.
– Actively choose to forgive the person who has offended you.
– Write in a piece of paper the name of the person, the event, and your feelings. Then say a prayer and say you are done with holding on to this and you are finally releasing it and letting it go.
– You can burn the piece of paper as a symbolic act of burning the ties that are preventing you from living a happy, loving and peaceful life.
– If the circumstances allow it, maybe have a polite talk with the person causing you pain. This will close and complete the cycle and hopefully will give you some resolution.
– Pray for their well-being or send them positive energy. They may be going through something in their lives. This one is not as easy but it sure is powerful.
Remember that you are not a victim and you can choose to claim back the control and power you have given consciously or unconsciously to those that have hurt you.
Of course there is also the “Power of Forgiving Ourselves” but I feel that merits a new discussion in itself.
If you have experienced successful tools or actions taken that helped you forgive, I would love to hear about it.
8 Easy Steps to Start and Sustain a Yoga Practice.
Have you noticed how more and more people are turning into yoga every day? Whether they are looking to loose weight or to release stress, yoga is becoming more and more popular across the Globe. You see celebrities, professional sport athletes even doctors endorsing the benefits this practice can bring to your life. No wonder why everyone is giving it a try.
Many people are asking questions like “Why is everyone practicing yoga?” “Why now?” After all, yoga has been around for at least 5000 years. Even though this is true, it is now more than ever that we need yoga the most. These days, we seem to live our lives with more stress, more things to do, more things to accomplish. Yoga is giving us an opportunity to find ways to release stress, relax and live more meaningful lives.
I personally believe that the key to practicing yoga is consistency. It does not matter what type of yoga you practice, if you practice at home, in a studio or gym. It does not matter what type of mat you have and if you wear super cool yoga clothes. What really matters is that you practice consistently.
Here are 8 easy steps you can take to start and establish a yoga practice for years to come:
– Be realistic with your expectations: Start where you are today. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it is for everyone regardless of age, gender, body type, etc. Do your homework and see what classes or videos are best for you. What type of experience and trainings your teachers have, etc. The best informed you are the better your choice will be. But remember that it does not matter if you were an athlete when you were 18 years old, if you never practice yoga before, start with a beginner class. You can always take other classes if you feel you can do more.
– Be kind to yourself and listen to your body. Your body knows what it can do. Yoga is not a competitive sport where you need to push toward the end to win. If you push your body too hard, you probably will stop liking yoga or worse, you may hurt yourself and stop your practice all together.
– Add it to your schedule. See how many times you can honestly commit to yourself and to your practice. Many people want to jump head first and do as many classes in the first few weeks. They think that in this way they can achieve all the benefits people talk about as quickly as possible. The truth is that you will see benefits even if you can only commit to a yoga practice twice per week. This will help you continue a steady practice for months and even years rather that start strong for 2 weeks and then stop completely.
– Create a sacred space for your practice. If you are starting a home Yoga Practice, find a space just for you. It does not matter if is just a small area big enough for your mat or an entire room. Create a place where you feel special, where you can connect with your breath and your practice. Maybe light incense or have some flowers. Create your own sanctuary. If you are planning on going to a studio or gym, then create your sacred space within you…..in your mat… You don’t have to be fancy just willing.
– Practice at the same time everyday to establish a routine. Once you begin to see the difference your yoga practice starts to make in your life, you will be looking for more ways to make this practice a part of your daily routine. Once your practice becomes fully established in your routine you don’t have to think twice about it. You just do it like when you brush your teeth, you do it because it makes you feel good.
– Go for quality rather than quantity. Let go of time. It does not matter if you practice for 2 hours or for 20 minutes. What matters is the quality of your practice along with the consistency of it. You don’t have to practice daily for 2 hours (unless you want to and have the time) to get many of the benefits yoga has to offer. You may find that for you a simple 20-minute practice gives you all you need.
– Have Fun and enjoy your “me” time! During this time nothing else matters but you, your breath and your practice. Make it fun. Play some cool music that inspires you, turn off your phone, play around and don’t get caught up on how you think you should look like. Just move your body and concentrate on what you are feeling.
– Don’t give up. Life happens and sometimes our yoga practice falls between the cracks. If you fall off the wagon, start again. Remember that every step you take towards your well-being is never wasted.
Give it a try. You may be surprised by the results.
If you have any additional suggestions, I would love to hear all about them. Feel free to leave a comment or two.
Love and Peace,
Understanding all of the aspects of the practice of yoga is what Maha Shakti Teacher Training is founded on. Whether it is reading the Sutras by Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita or studying anatomy as it relates to yoga and postures. it is all part of a whole practice.
Eastern Body, Western Mind is a dense text explaining the chakra system. More than this however, it helps demystify the whole concept of what our energy centers are and how they can be aligned for a more centered and healthy life experience. Here in the west, as the book’s title suggests we are frequently”in-our-heads” and disconnected from our body’s intelligence. In reading this book, I have had some moments of “connection” of my own and I would like to share from time to time some of the more profound of these.
The author of Eastern Body, Western Mind Anodea Judith writes, ” The Muladhara chakra corresponds to the element earth, which is the ground for our roots…. Our roots can be seen as the way our system plugs in to the larger system of the planet, which is our source, the origin of the liberating current, from which all things grow up….We push against the earth in order to stand or move and we rest upon the earth (nurtured by gravity) when we choose to be still.”
The author continues…” Grounding brings consciousness into the body, and is essential for forming healthy boundaries. We feel more awake and alive when the downward current of consciousness connects with the body and meets the field of sensation, the edges and boundaries of physical reality.”
I know this is a lot to ponder, but just think on it for a minute… when we feel like we ar un-tethered, as if our life is spinning out of our control, we alone can stop the disconnect. We can practice standing still and feeling the earth beneath our feet. Look deeper into the causes of our chaos and we may find that the root of our problems lies in having poorly established boundaries, for our bodies, our minds or our hearts. Stillness and feeling supported by the earth can do wonders to re- create our sense of trust. Trust in the world and trust in our selves.
Today, as you step out into the world that seems ever-changing , remember that the earth, the ground, your roots are what sustain you… no matter what your head may think!
Teacher trainings are an opportunity for a yogi to “up their game”… not that YOGA should be competitive, it’s just how often do we really dive into new information in our lives voluntarily??? The literature, the sanskrit and of course the TEACHING of yoga to your fellow student is what sets this RYT 200 apart.
On the very first day these yogis were instructing each other and finding their own voices … on many levels.
Namaste Maha Shakti Students, you are creating the lineage that will be taught for years to come!
So you decided to expand your knowledge and sign up for teacher training huh? Well get ready, you are in for a treat!
This day reminds me of my first day of Maha Shakti Teacher Training last year. I was so nervous, I could hardly sleep the night before… no really, I was excited and anxious and very self conscious of my yoga practice. As I looked around the room at these beautiful yogini (we had no boys that round) I thought, “what am I doing here? These ladies obviously know more than I do about , well, EVERYTHING”! I was like a kid in kindergarten… sizing everyone up, figuring out who they were before they even opened their mouths… BOY, WAS I WRONG about everyone of them! I don’t mean I was being necessarily critical, just thinking I could tell who was whom just by observing them. What actually happened was this, this group, or KULA as we were called, transformed me.
Now, I work with people very closely every day, but it had been a long time since I was EXPOSED.
When Adri and Amy told us to find a partner and start teaching her yoga… I froze. I lost my words. I forgot how to do any of the postures. Gone from my brain was everything I knew about my own practice… I was self conscious about everything… My brain said” your’re too old to start this thing, stick with what you know, you don’t have the body for a yoga instructor, what makes you so special that someone would want to learn this from you?” Panic.
I went home and didn’t sleep , I kept playing my day over and over. Then it hit me… “I don’t KNOW this”. That’s it, simply put, it had been a very long time since those words have rang in my ear… like learning a different language, or a new dance step… and then having to teach it to someone else! UGH!
Well, I will spare you the long story although it didn’t take that long actually. I overcame my stagefright, I started feeling alot less self conscious and I am actually starting to teach yoga this month at the City of Dallas Churchill Recreation center as an independant vendor, all thanks to Adri and Amy and their Maha Shakti Teacher Training that made me the teacher on the first day. Yes I survived …and thrived!
…and so will you!
I just came back from an amazing weekend in Canada renewed, empowered and with new found Inspiration. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet and practice with such a lovely group of yogis, who opened their hearts to make me feel welcome and like one of their own.
When I first started teaching yoga, I knew how powerful yoga can be but I did not know how powerful yoga can be when you surrender completely and get out of your own way…. Not just for the students but for us as teachers as well.
I found myself teaching this weekend to a group of yogis I have never met, yet there was a sense of trust and connection from the very beginning. We were ready to breath, move, and dance together. We were ready to flourish and awaken….
The transformation I witnessed within myself and among everyone present was a gift we all welcomed. Tears of joy and gratitude along with laughter, love and hope filled the room through many of our sessions.
Many of us got more clear definitions of what and where we want to be. Many of us got confirmation that we are doing exactly what we need to be doing or that we are on the right path. Some of us stepped out of our comfort zone and reached new highs never thought possible.
Trance dance was one of those moments for me. I have participated in many trance dances led by others. I danced to my fullest without any limitations or concerns, but I have never led a Trance Dance on my own before this weekend. I felt I was not ready yet. I made excuses and tried to justify it by making statements like” I am afraid that people won’t come or I would wonder how I would be judged….”
The day came and I could not hide or run anymore. I would find freedom and the willingness to be vulnerable to dance for my own liberation.
The saying, “when the teacher is ready the students will appear”, is not a joke! I not only got several students but the people that participated were looking for something like this for months. We all danced till exhaustion. We all danced to be moved and transformed. We all danced to find freedom.
The most powerful part about all this was that I completely surrendered and got out of my own way. I did not worry about the DJ having the perfect songs to play in the order I would like, or what to say, what to do and when. I trusted myself, I trusted the flow, I trusted that I would be guided in the right direction. I opened my heart and got out of my head! This was my yoga in action, I let go and let God guide me and take over and the best part was everyone did the same.
This was very transformational for me because I gave myself the space to be open and let things unfold naturally. I am someone that likes to plan, organize and have everything ready so I can do my very best….Don’t get me wrong I prepared and thought about few things, I even asked a friend for advise but at the end I let my heart be the guide.
Many of the participants were so grateful for my teaching and for what I was able to offer to them but I am not sure if they realized how much the gave me as well.
Here is something one of the students wrote about how she felt after the weekend with me…
“I feel my tummy… my own power and strength… I feel the flame burning stronger and higher than ever to continue trusting my hearts passion in holding space for reverencing water, honouring and recognizing our fluid bodies, going with flow, adapting, ever changing, cleansing and nourishing souls, welcoming tears for healing, allowing E (energy) Motion to be felt and move through, for clarity, for vision, for miracles and manifesting and revealing uncensored truths. I am water, strong and powerful yet yielding to that which rises as resistance in my mind and body…. and in the heart of that… I find surrender and peace. Thank you Adri Kyser ” ~ Sheena
When was the last time you found yourself completely free? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to try something new, let go of control and found complete surrender? Maybe today is the day you dance for freedom and liberation!
Love and Peace,
As we get closer to the start of our Maha Shakti Teacher Training , I am reminded of just how enthusiastic I was when I made the decision to further my practice and become a teacher. Just this morning as I opened an e mail from one of our new students I read the words , ” I was sooo excited to get this e mail”, and I was right there with her!
What’s even more rewarding for me is that as I answered her questions and connected her to a mentor/graduate of the Maha Shakti program, I felt the “connection” we talk about in the yoga community. It is such a pleasure to assist others who like me, are ready to branch out and do something different with their lives.
This is more than just a Yoga Teacher Training course… it is a commitment to oneself to reach higher, to open your mind and to learn for the simple sake of knowledge itself what it is like to be part of a new community. In short, being a student of the Maha Shakti 200 RYT is a commitment to GROW.
This is the point…is it not ? I mean of 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings and being certified by the Yoga Alliance. The whole idea of becomming a teacher of anything is to have your influence continue without really knowing where or HOW it will be translated by your student. Afterall, the yogis that began teaching their unique approach to this practice (preparing the body for meditation ) could not have imagined where their instruction and insights would manifest centuries later in 2012. Basically, we as instructors of any kind simply transfer our knowledge based on experience(s) to willing students, who then begin the process of filtering that knowledge through their own experiences – adding some elements here, taking some out there… and so on.
We are never just one teacher’s student… we employ others on a regular basis to guide us as we develop our knowledge. However, as students, we strive to connect with our teachers on a deeper level in order to grow personally….spiritually. It is vital that we understand the responsibility we have when a student comes to us for direction and education. That as mentors we are sharing our knowledge through our own filter, and that our student has his/her own filter with which to examine and translate the information.
So as I read this quote, I was reminded that with our actions, words and deeds we have a responsibility as teachers … to create a relationship that supports and encourages the growth of our student on many levels, even if it means we discover our own room for growth. Either way, student or teacher, it is an invaluable relationship and a worthwhile journey.
who’ve helped us to explore our natural gifts. It is a human experience that all of us share. Maybe it was a school teacher, maybe a coach of some sort or possibly our parents. Our teachers show up when we are capable of learning what it is they are here to share with us. In order for us to grow as people we must connect with them in a unique way. Take a moment to think about this…. who inspired you to grow the most? What was their method? How did you learn… did you learn by watching, listening or doing?
Imagine that the practice of YOGA has been taught to eager students for centuries… one teacher at a time, one student at a time… and yet, the traditions of yoga, which could have easily been lost in translation, have in fact maintained their value and continued to inspire students of this practice…. and teachers!
Today if you have been inspired by a teacher in your life and yet never imagined yourself able to teach anything of value, think again. It could be as simple as a hobby or as complicated as helping someone discover their unique talents. You have gifts to share and there is a student out there who is in need of your instruction and guidance. Yoga, or UNION is what the essence of that teacher-student relationship. If you have been literally inspired by the asanas of yoga, or by the teacher who shared them with you when you were ready to learn, try paying it forward through the traditions of yoga. You may surprise yourself and find an inner teacher who’s been trying to get out.
Maha Shakti Teacher Training Spring 2012 Starts April 21st… register online at www.twistpoweryoga.com
HAPPY HANUMAN WORKSHOP WITH AMY
Saturday, March 24 from 12:30 pm to 2 pm/ Karmany Yoga Studio Dallas
Get a sneak peek of the class Amy will be teaching at the Telluride Yoga Festival. Is your monkey mind getting in the way of your monkey splits? Journey into opening and stretching the entire body paying special attention to the lower limbs.
|If you thought all yoga instructors taught basically the same thing, then think again! From ancient traditions to modern interpretations, there are many different ways to teach yoga. Some yoga teachers emphasize chanting or breathing. Some yoga instructors use a lot of props. Classes can be slow and gentle or fast-paced and aerobic. They often incorporate dietary or spiritual device, as well as yoga poses.|
When you’re considering a yoga teacher career path , it’s important to take some time to explore the many approaches to yoga and think about which one suits your personality and interests—especially because most yoga instructor schools emphasize one particular style of yoga. The following is an overview of the most popular disciplines being taught by yoga teachers today.
- Hatha.Originally introduced by a sage in 15th century India, Hatha yoga is the foundation of all yoga styles. It incorporates postures, breathing techniques and meditation. Hatha yoga instructors typically teach at a gentle pace with a focus on basic poses and time for meditation at the end of each class.
- Vinyasa.This more vigorous form of yoga focuses on coordinating breath and movement. Vinyasa yoga teachers keep students moving constantly, building classes around variations on the traditional “sun salutation” series of poses.
- Iyengar.One of the most popular yoga career paths, Iyengar yoga prioritizes correct body alignment to maximize benefits and avoid injury. With a gentle pace and extensive use of props such as cushions and straps, Iyengar yoga instructors make yoga accessible to virtually anyone, including the elderly, sick and disabled.
- Kundalini.This form of yoga seeks to free energy in the lower body and allow this energy to move upward. Kundalini yoga teachers teach their students to coordinate all postures and movements with the breath. Poses are rapid and repetitive, and classes often include call and response chanting.
- Bikram / Hot Yoga.This modern interpretation of yoga was developed by gold medal Olympic weight lifter Bikram Choudhury to emphasize the development of strength, endurance and cardiovascular health. Bikram yoga instructors teach in rooms heated to 95 to105 degrees to increase flexibility and detoxification benefits, while also preventing injuries.
- Ashtanga and Power Yoga.Ashtanga yoga careers require profound fitness and stamina. This highly athletic style of “flow” yoga involves moving continuously through a set series of progressively more difficult poses with synchronized breathing. Power yoga is a related style that is inspired by Ashtanga but may not follow the specific Ashtanga series of poses.
- Anusara.Developed by John Friend in 1997, this relatively new form of yoga centers on a gentle spiritual philosophy of opening the heart and connecting with the goodness in all beings. Physical alignment is also emphasized. Classes are welcoming and accessible to students of all ages and abilities.
- Jivamukti.Inspired by Ashtanga yoga, this style of yoga was developed by David Life and Shannon Gannon, owners of Jivamukti (appropriately named for their yoga discipline creation)—one of the most popular yoga studios in New York City. Jivamukti yoga teachers combine vigorous flow yoga practice with instruction on chanting, meditation, music, vegetarianism and ancient Sanskrit scriptures.
- Forrest.California yoga teacher Ana Forrest developed this emerging yoga form, which uses vigorous yoga sequences to release painful emotions and promote healing. Forrest yoga integrates deep breathing techniques with strengthening poses that emphasize the abdominal core.
- Kripalu.Known as the “yoga of consciousness,” Kripalu is a gentle yoga style that teaches three stages of increasing concentration and inner awareness. The Kripalu yoga center was founded by yoga teacher Amrit Desai in Massachusetts in the 1960s.
- Integral.Yoga careers based on the Integral style follow the example of Sri Swami Sachidananda, who founded the famous Yogaville Ashram in Virginia, as well as many other Integral Yoga Institutes. Integral yoga incorporates gentle postures, breathing exercises, meditation, chanting and self-inquiry.
- Sivananda. This yoga style is similar to Integral yoga and features five core principles, including proper exercise focused on twelve key yoga postures, proper breathing, proper relaxation, a vegetarian diet and positive thinking combined with meditation.
I was sipping coffee, on a morning full of promise, when I got the phone call. It was a Friday in Dallas. I’d driven in for a Shiva Rea yoga training due to start that evening. Shock ripped through my body and soul. As elevated as we strive to become through our various spiritual traditions and physical practices, we are still human after all.
I used to be a bereavement counselor for parents who’d lost children, so I’m familiar with the 5 stages of grief. It seemed I was having an outer body experience as I watched myself pass through: 1. Denial; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; and finally— 5. Acceptance.
I tenderly looked upon myself for any clue that yoga, the philosophy and practice I hold so dear, had any positive impact on me during these dark days.
In everyday life, I’m certain that my practice has sustained me and given me an amazing quality of life. It generates a mindfulness and presence that fills my days with loving moments. It’s given me a strong foundation in who I am, a stability which keeps me centered when the whole world in swirling around and balance that allows me to safely enjoy a little bit of everything life has to offer.
In yoga, we mimic the life cycle, from child’s pose to corpse pose, but what about the taboo subject that balances out life. What about dealing with death?
I went to yoga that night. Is it appropriate or respectful to stand on my head and flow through a Namaskar while mourning the loss of a loved one? I decided to go because it was a safe place to find solace.
Haven’t we all found ourselves on our mat in the studio, with the comfort of wooden hardwoods beneath us? Knowing you’ll sit in quiet reference, never explaining yourself to the silent person just inches away from you. It seems there was a pact created some time ago where we could just quietly be human together in this tradition of yoga.
And no matter the studio, there is a sublime quality in each one. Namastes have been uttered by thousands in each room. “The Higher Power in me honors the Higher Power in you” has blessed the room so many times, that although we boldly claim yoga is no religion, when you enter the studio, it can feel like holy land.
Tears have been shed in savasana. Intentions have been silently held in hearts and minds. Bodies have pushed themselves to their limits for the sake of a million different personal agendas.
As I entered my practice with a Namaskar or Sun Salutation, as I had a thousand times before, I felt the familiar flow of energy running through me, reminding me that I was still alive. I felt the strong urge to offer my body as a moving prayer.
In my childhood religion, I was taught not to pray for the dead, but my heart told me otherwise; and as a yogi, I’ve learned to listen to that quiet voice in between the heartbeats.
I was also reminded that the Namaskars we traditionally initiate each practice with, are meant as greetings. Surya Namaskars are greeting the sun or the day. Chandra Namaskars are greeting the moon or the night. Namaskar literally means greeting the divinity or cosmic force within. No wonder that all that time spent on the mat seems to delve deeper than the physical. We are spiritual warriors in those cozy, little studios; purposefully or inadvertently bettering ourselves for a better world.
Master Teacher, Adri Kyser’s, theme and mantra for our practice was:
“If not now, when?”
Life if short. Too short, it seems sometimes. A good yoga teacher will bring that element of manifestation to your practice. Set your intention. Put some energy behind it. Then go out there and manifest it. If not now, when?
I cried in savasana, seemingly appropriate being Corpse Pose. She placed one loving hand on my third eye chakra and one on my chest, bringing my aching heart and questioning mind together in balance with a “peace that passes all understanding”.
Even Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died, I’ve read. It took courage to show up that night, being present in my pain and guiltily grateful to have a body still so full of life.
Moments before his casket was closed for the last time, I placed my Indian mala in his hands. Symbolic of my own heart wrenching life journey and of the conversations we’d shared about the great cosmic ride we’re all on; A symbol of hope, faith, love and gratitude.
Graveside, the last to leave, I took comfort in watching his body returning to the Earth. I threw coral colored flowers down six feet as a last act of Earthly love.
“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, but spiritual beings on a human journey.”
This is a re-post from an article in Elephant Journal…
It seems that there is no end to the success stories of our Maha Shakti Graduates! Several of our students have secured teaching jobs in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Ruth “rocked it” in her interview/audition at Lifetime Fitness and got the job over large group of candidates. Ruth says, “all because of the training I received with the Maha Shakti program and it’s directors”!
“Well, I taught my first official class today and had a BLAST! One of my students is a teacher at that studio and said she couldn’t believe it was my first class. She said my cues and sequencing was great and that I must have had great instructors … I most certainly DID! Thank you both for everything”. Kathy
Sherry G. had the confidence to become a vendor for the City of Dallas providing yoga classes for the Parks and Recreation Department. ” I felt I could start right away building my own business and creating a new career with the instruction I received from Amy and Adri. I feel I am well prepared to teach an all-level yoga class safely and use the skills I gained in the Maha Shakti Course to help others develop their practice. I am sooooo excited about my future”! Sherry
Want to be as well-rounded and confident as these instructors? Tha Maha Shakti Teacher Training RYT 200 is starting again this April 2012… you too can be on your new career path with exceptional teaching skills!
Understanding & Letting Go of Resistance ~ Adri Kyser
I am sure we have all heard the word ‘resistance’ used in several yoga classes.
We are often encouraged to let go of the resistance we may feel and just be in the moment, in the pose, in the flow. This is great advise for class and for our daily life but there are times where resistance may not be a bad thing…
I personally think that resistance is not something we need to avoid like the plague, but we need to understand where it comes from and if it is appropriate. If you are a person that never says “no”, taking on more than you can handle, you will be overwhelmed. Another example is our own body’s immune system helping resist illness and germs. Without it, you will be constantly sick and unable to live a healthy life. The trick lies in recognizing when resistance has valid merits as a form of protection (physically, mentally and emotionally) and when it is getting in our way.
The irony comes when we resist the opportunities to embrace what life has to offer and the endless opportunities to explore and fulfill our fullest potential. Often times, many of us not only resist something unpleasant, but we also find ourselves holding back at opportunities to grow for our greatest good.
Resistance on a personal level can be quite complex. When we are not aware of it, resistance can continue to hold us back… “What we resist persist” and unfortunately it will continue to hold us back until we do something about it. Only when we begin to identify our own emotional, physical or mental resistance levels, we can begin to take the necessary steps to let it go when needed.
As human, we are creatures of habit and change can be difficult to accept, especially when certain patterns are deeply rooted in our subconscious. By becoming the observer through meditation, we begin to identify the source of our resistance. A great way to find answers is by asking, “What am I resisting?” daily and allowing ourselves to spend some quiet time to listen and see what comes up.
If we listen carefully, resistance usually has useful information. It can provide us with the insight we need to move forward and be free. Sometimes resistance comes from fear or from the un-willingness to work hard at letting go of something deeply rooted within us. It can come as a form of our body telling us to slow down or that is time do something different. We cannot continue to do the same thing expecting different results.
The more you take the time to investigate and listen to what resistance is telling you, the easier it becomes to work with it.When we understand resistance in our lives, bodies and personal practices, we may find freedom in ways we never thought possible.
Adri Kyser E-RYT 500 is a Prana Flow yoga teacher and Power Pilates instructor. Adri’s classes are fun, dynamic and inspiring. During her classes, she invites you to surrender and let go of inhibitions allowing you to find your natural and innate flow. For more information please visit her website.
Edited by Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor.
It was a cold day in Dallas but it was hot in the TWIST Power Yoga Studio! Aubrey Hackman of the Telluride Yoga Festival was Amy Johnsons’ guest host for an Inversion Immersion. Starting with a vinyasa flow and gradually finishing in head stand… Aubrey feels that the Handstand is the most basic of inversions…
Simpy upside down Tadasana!
Ah, Halloween. That wondrous time of year filled with awestruck children, enough candy to permanently ruin your digestive track, and the world’s tiniest sexy nurse outfits. I’ve never been much of a Halloween person myself. Too much chance for vandalism or getting hit on by a guy dressed like Snooki for my tastes. But there is one thing I love: scary movies.
Let me be clear, gross movies are not my dig. If Saw 1-78 had never been made, the world would probably be a slightly shinier place, but I can’t seem to stay away from a good psychological horror flick. I didn’t sleep well for two weeks after seeing Paranormal Activity and yet I ran back to watch 2-4. Twisted.
I have always wondered where my interest came from. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “But you’re such a nice girl…” and I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly interested in the macabre, but I love the tiny thrill of watching a solid ghost movie. Are gremlins in my house? Sweet, I’ll get over the nightmares! Is there a demon in my attic? Probably no room with the monstrosity of an AC unit I’m rocking, but I’ll let you know.
Which leads me to my question: What is the role that fear plays in our lives?
It obviously exists for a good reason. I mean, besides keeping us from nonstop bungee jumping, which frankly just doesn’t look safe. Fear makes us hesitate, think, question, and assess a situation. It also makes us miss opportunities to learn, stay stagnant, and lose loved ones. Ouch.
So how do we find that healthy balance? How do we recognize the good fear that keeps us from unsafe situations and separate it from the paralyzing kind, the kind where you won’t call your mother because you’re afraid she’ll judge you.
I actually wouldn’t suggest my scary movie method. You’ll never get some of the scenes from The Shining out of your head, trust me. But yoga maybe, now there’s something. I can’t tell you how many times in class I’ve thought “Oh hells to the no” when I was asked to lift one foot or maybe a hand. The simple act of flipping over can be terrifying if done while off-balance, which is the very reason you should at least consider it.
Consistently testing your fear in small, repetitive ways can teach you to recognize when to ignore it and when to listen without too many consequences. I’ve face planted in crow pose and lived to tell the tale, but I’ve also pulled a ligament in my knee from not listening to a small voice in my head telling me to take it easy. Learning where the line is between over-protective and cautious will change your approach to life, it will open up doors and close windows you shouldn’t have been looking out of in the first place.
Maybe yoga isn’t your thing. Perhaps try a new hobby, an acting class, calling someone with an apology… Whatever makes your heart race just a tiny bit faster. After all, the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
And, you know, whatever else is lurking outside in your bushes.
– Meg Weathers, RYT 200 Hr
These amazing ladies lead our yoga community on so many levels. Come experience what the co-founder of Maha Shakti RYT 200 lives and breathes… Namaste