CANADA RECAP, July Events and More
Launching and Loading - there's more to it than you think!
Nearly 3 years ago, I embarked on my first trip to Canada to attend a prerequisite training for the 1000-hour yoga therapy certification I'd set my sights on. I knew I wanted a program that would help me learn more about how the body works. (Mainly because I needed to know in my heart that I could help people without hurting them.) I felt that a program that emphasized functional movement and delved more deeply into body biomechanics was what would allow me to practice yoga therapy in a way that was compassionate and safe.
Last week, I returned from my 6th trip to Calgary. Five of those trips were 2 weeks long as part of that CERT program. And now, those CERT trips are done. Over the next couple months I'll be finishing up some case logs and Ayurvedic studies, but the bulk of the program now is done. At final completion, my tribe and I will have each completed 300 cases, as well as what feels like countless hours of study and discussion on the body, the inner connections of body, mind, and spirit, and how to see and be present with what is arising within ourselves, with each client we come into contact with, and indeed, with anyone we meet. Oh, and an extraordinary year-long dive into the foundations of Ayurvedic practice.
I never could have predicted the that the journey would have unfolded the way it has, or how it would change how I feel as a person fundamentally. But it has.
And each time I've gone to Canada we've had exceptional trainers come in to teach us some new mind-blowing new things. This time was no exception.
This time our guest trainer for 4 days was Kevin Moore, who introduced us to the marvels of side dominance compensatory patterns in the body, how these repetitive patterns are interpreted within the nervous system, how they contribute to pain and tension in the body, and how they relate to forces moving with gravity and gait. Kevin's Reembody Method works to unravel these patterns and help the body renegotiate how it interfaces with gravity and movement in order to grow more ease of movement with less internal stress.
One of the exciting things we learned is how the body's side tendencies influence how the body launches and loads in its process of interfacing with gravitational forces. Basically one side of the body wants to load, and the other wants to launch. Coupled with the dominance compensatory patterns we have, this repetitive behavior in the body means that some parts of us are continuously working (and getting darn tired); and, in some cases, the other parts of us are almost just strapped on and not working so much, or at least not contributing as much to how we move through the world.
AND. IF we can encourage each side to take on a little more of the behavioral tendencies of the other side, ultimately we can set ourselves up to move with more ease and comfort using less effort.
In class we had a lot of fun exploring how to begin unraveling these side dominance patterns and how to change our launching and loading behaviors. And I spent days--back and forth to class from my Airbnb--practicing and trying to integrate new launching and loading behaviors while walking. (Full disclosure - this did require me to walk funny sometimes. I was a sight to be seen.) But, what was cool is that after a number of days of practice, I had a very moving personal experience that shifted how I felt I was interfacing with the ground as I walked. To be plain, for the first time I felt that I was walking with the Earth, rather than against it, and that the Earth was supporting me constantly. The experience was novel and powerful, and honestly, brought me to tears.
And then, when I got home to Vienna, I took myself for a run. And, at the moments where I felt that my launching and loading was shifting towards where I wanted it to go--I felt like my body had tons more power and my run felt easier and lighter, which was phenomenally exciting for me. AND. I need a lot more practice before I'm consistently launching and loading the way I want to. But it's a start and I've every intention of continuing to nurture it.
More broadly though, I've begun to think about how we load ourselves and launch ourselves in life. How if we pay attention, we can begin to recognize patterns here too. We load ourselves repeatedly with the same thoughts and behaviors; launching the same. What if we both explored loading differently and launching differently in our lives? For example, what if we shared and distributed our load in new ways? How could that help us launch our lives in the directions we want to go?
With CERT drawing to a close, my load is going to shift for sure. And I'll be exploring new avenues for launching in life. Through this CERT process I've learned that creating shifts in life (like creating shifts in loading and launching) takes intention, commitment, and a daily dose of compassion towards myself. AND. It's where I'm headed.
SUNDAY JULY 22
Yoga Nidra and the Art of Conscious Relaxation
4:30 - 5:30 pm at Body Grace studio in Vienna
Fee: $20 pre-registered: $25 drop-in
Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that takes people into a state of deep relaxation through a guided meditative process and conscious visualization. Also known as yogic sleep, the practice gives rest to the mind, body and senses by drawing the practitioner into a state of conscious awareness—a brain state between full wakefulness and full sleep. This practice has been linked with reducing stress, tension and pain; improving circulation and immune functioning; lowering blood pressure and inflammation; and stabilizing mood. Yoga Nidra is generally practiced while lying down or in a seated position. For your comfort, please bring a pillow and wear comfortable clothing and arrive 15 minutes before class start. Mats and blankets are available at the studio or feel free to bring your own. Please RSVP to reserve a spot with Jan at email@example.com
"What you do every day is where you are going."
One of my CERT friends made this comment while she and I were sightseeing on a breakaway trip to Banff and Lake Louise right before our final CERT training started. Mind you, this friend came to be nicknamed "the Oracle" during the CERT training--and its easy to see why from her prophetic statement above.
Yes. It's true. Said another way - We head in the direction that we devote ourselves to everyday.
Welcome to why "Yoga" (with a capital Y) is a practice.
My wish for you is that you will head in the direction that that you truly want to go. That is, the direction that is the deep calling and yearning of your life - the calling of your heart and soul. Listen to it. Hear it's calling. Head it. And with a daily dose of self-compassion, devote yourself to it. It's why you are here.
Care for yourself and be well.
Blog Archives including Heart Tree Yoga's Yamas and Niyamas Study from January-December 2016 and seasonal newsletters.