Written By Shivani Wells in collaboration with Dr. Robin Armstrong, DC, RYT
July 12th 2014 was Guru Purnima and a super full moon. Coco & I hosted a magical gathering and ceremony, and we felt honoured to help bring the community together in satsang (likemindedness). Together we honoured the light of the teacher within ourselves and offered reverence to our teachers who light our paths. I honoured my Guru Ma, Manorama, by placing her picture on the altar. We released old ways of being that no longer serve us, and powerfully manifested what we want to create while making offerings to the ceremonial salts. Everyone got to take some salt home for a bath on the new moon, and it smelled absolutely amazing – full of flower petals and essence. It was a time of coming together in oneness and in support of a healthy and loving community. We also raised funds for Unicef, and blessed gemstones that will be strung on mala’s and sent out to acknowledge 3000 YYoga practitioners in the Vancouver area! Thank you to all who joined us! Please subscribe on my homepage if you’d like to find out about the next gathering. Om Shantih!
YYoga Flow Wellness, where I have had my private practice for the past few years, has decided to close for business. While the news came as a surprise to us wellness practitioners, I believe everything happens for a reason and that every ending creates an opening for something bigger and better to manifest. I’ve decided to move my yoga therapy practice to my home in Kits, at least for the interim, and this change will allow me to be available on more days of the weeks to my valued clients. Note that this schedule change will effect my teaching schedule slightly. As of August 1st I will no longer be teacher Tuesday/Thursday 7pm Flow at YYoga Kitsilano. None of my Monday, Wednesday, or Sundays classes will be effected by this change. Click HERE to view my new yoga therapy schedule and for important changes to my service fees and appointment booking procedures. Here is YYoga’s message:
By Michael Lee, founder and dean of the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy school
Embodied Presence – Have you noticed how simply taking a deep breath can often change how you feel? Taking a deep breath is an easy way to re-inhabit your body after your mind and feelings have been racing around and not coming home to you. Among other things, that deep breath, brings focused awareness back to your physical experience in the moment. It brings you home to yourself for a few moments, and when you land, things sometimes don’t seem as bad as they did. This describes a very simple form of what we call embodied presence.
At the recent Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) held in Austin, TX the notion of “embodied presence” was either directly or indirectly referenced in many of the presentations and research findings discussed. In fact, recent scientific medical research confirms that this particular aspect of the yoga therapy experience is of measurable value in quality of life improvement and recovery rate for people in dealing with trauma, healing from disease, or recovering from an unfortunate event. Studies show patients’ progress is noticeably improved by engaging in yoga practices that result in deeper presence and awareness. So what is this “embodied presence” exactly?
Simply defined, embodied presence is “being here now” and “being present to the moment through the body”. This brings a grounded sense of reality to the individual that is often very different to what one might “imagine” from one’s worst case scenario in thoughts and feelings. To achieve this state, requires focus and awareness. There are many levels to which this state of being can be experienced – from the effects of a simple deep breath all the way to “dropping in” to a profound sense of deep self-presence and opening to new awareness. Just as you focus the lens of a camera, you are invited by your yoga therapist to do something similar with yourself. To “drop in”, you need to focus on your physical state of being in the moment – like asking the question “What’s happening now?” which is the beginning step of dialogue in the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy process. This invites an element of “being” rather than “doing” that can progressively deepen.
Of course there are various ways to tap into the wisdom of our bodies. Yet, research indicates that physical exercise or stretching alone, while helpful, is not nearly as effective as yoga. A clinical trial earlier this year conducted by Dr. Lorenzo Cohen and others at the Cancer Treatment Center in Houston, TX looked at the effectiveness of yoga based practices in post breast-cancer surgery treatment….CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING ON THE PRYT BLOG
Look for the YYoga flag in the park! First come first served. Our permit allows up to 50 people.
Please note you will need to sign a waiver.
Many of us were drawn to the yoga mat by the many health benefits of the practice: stress relief, freedom of movement, a calm mind, and a healthy body, to name a few. Western science has begun to study the use of yoga as a therapy and has found it to benefit many conditions ranging from depression and anxiety, to cancer care support, chronic low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, multiple sclerosis support, and more. The popularity of yoga is continuing to grow and its entrance into the world of health care is a natural progression as we look for deeper and more holistic approaches to becoming and being well.
Yoga therapists are practitioners who have specialized training above and beyond a yoga teacher training, and who mostly work individually with clients to support them in working through various mental health or physical issues, such as trauma, disease, disorder, and injury. There is an accrediting body for yoga therapists, the International Association of Yoga Therapists, which defines the standards for professional yoga therapy training programs and supports empirical research in the field of yoga and yoga therapy. Yoga therapy is becoming more recognized as a legitimate therapeutic practice, and with IAYT’s guidelines in place practitioners are held to a higher standard which ensures that not just anyone can call themselves a yoga therapist. There are a number of approaches to yoga therapy – some practitioners focus on our mental-emotional state and others manage and heal physical conditions of the body, but both take a holistic approach that honours the individual and all our parts.
While all yoga therapy approaches could be considered body-mind therapies, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) is unique form of embodied mindfulness that focuses on the connection between our embodied experience and our mental/emotional experience, rather than on physical injury, postural alignment, or musculoskeletal rehab. PRYT combines humanistic psychology, yoga, and mindfulness, and emphasis the importance of becoming present and aware to our whole experience – body, mind, emotions and spirit – as a way to tap into our capacity for self healing and inner knowing….CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING ON THE PRYT BLOG