Category: Yoga

FullSizeRenderTwo important announcements regarding my yoga community were made recently.  The first is that the International Association of Yoga Therapists, after years of work, have defined and developed a curriculum with which  to certify someone as a Yoga Therapist.  This new designation will read as C-IAYT.   This achievement comes on the heels of the Yoga Alliance announcing that they will not recognize the term yoga therapy within their certification requirements.  Their primary interest is in making sure that anyone who calls themselves a yoga teacher/instructor knows how to keep people safe while guiding asana practice.  Using yoga, therapeutically or in any kind of a ‘healing’ way is not what the Yoga Alliance is focused on.  Whereas, the IAYT which was founded in 1989 has been solely focused on using yoga therapeutically and they have dedicated all their resources towards that end.   Just as my yoga ‘career’ got started (1999) the dialogue on what is yoga therapy began.  Over the next few years they discussed just what were the most important aspects of a yoga (therapy) program and should we establish a required curriculum?  Much of this discussion occurred before the current explosion of  yoga ‘teachers’ hit the scene.   My feelings at the time were in line with others who asserted that yoga could not be strictly coded for anything since it’s very foundation was based in energy, spirit, and whatever overriding belief system was operating at any given time.   IMHO Yoga can not be quantified…and my personal practice of yoga therapy emphasizes that, which does not mean that I ignore the body during practice.  Quite the contrary.  But, a holistic practice should cover the whole as understood by the early yogi’s.

Today, all the debating is complete and the organizations have chosen their paths forward and it’s exactly what I feared would happen.  They’ve narrowed down yoga therapy to mostly asana & pranayama, and turned  the subtle & causal energy-bodies over to Ayurveda….which isn’t awful, just disappointing, for me, personally.  But, I have my karma to work thru just like everyone else.

All that said it seems that I do qualify to be grandfathered (or more appropriately) grandmothered in for their official certification of yoga therapy, I guess age does have some rewards. But first I have the daunting task of documenting 15 years of client contact.  Nevertheless, those that are wanting to call themselves yoga therapists are faced with a curriculum that would never have appealed to me, or anyone who understands that healing, well-being, and self-fulfillment is more than the body, more than the sum of the parts, more than anything that can be studied, measured, or quantified.

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Another piece of yoga news was the announcement that Integrative Yoga Therapy will become a part of the Kripalu Yoga curriculum, officially.  This is not a big surprise to me as Joseph LaPage was part of the early Kripalu ashram, but it’s so wonderful to have them together in this form.  All of my teacher-trainings have been within this lineage of teachers and I feel so much gratitude to be a part of the community.

I never expected to be a pioneer of anything, but it seems as though I have been blazing a path for sure.  Just the fact that I’m posting this to all of you is evidence of that.  My studio is 14 years old  and continues to be a safe and sacred space for those who seek healing, inspiration, and enlightenment thru yoga.  Om Shanti.

 

Holistic Health Kripalu Yoga Yoga Therapy

Well, I’m back and it was an over-the-top fabulous week and worth the wait.   As usual, my well gets filled at Kripalu.  I am grateful.

Kripalu is a different place these days and I miss the community feeling that was created by the ashram lifestyle.   Volunteers vs Employees creates a totally different environment.  Thus, to me, today, it feels like any other 5-star holistic center….ie Omega, Esalen, The Open Center, etc. Many of the best senior teachers are gone, a serious failing since that’s when the wisdom of the yoga practice can really express itself.  The emphasis  no longer includes any of the off-the-mat practices of Kripalu Yoga.  Too bad.  It’s so needed as a counterpoint to the body-based exercises that pass for yoga today.

That said, I still love it there.  You just can’t not absorb the incredible magical, metaphysical, and spiritual energy that permeates the entire landscape.  The mountains, the lake, the fertile land, the trees and the prana in the air all conspire to create feng shui perfection.

The program, Sharing Your Life Story with Ann Randolph was over-the-top amazing and I highly recommend you see her performances or take her workshops.  I am so inspired to continue my creative non-fiction projects and hope to post some Kripalu stories here in the near future.

……more later.

 

Blogging Kripalu

YogaNidra Here’s the astrology chart for our yoga nidra this Sunday.  I find it makes for a delicious experience  if I take the time to study the Timescape© for the event.   Timescape is a word I invented in 1989 to describe the particular astrological technique I use to help people manage their time better.  Time, and our management of it, is a major stress factor for our modern day society .  And, then, given the fact that most people look at life from a linear, finite point of view, just adds to the stress of it all.   Birth…then, death.  The End.

Cyclical thinking and cyclical time-keeping really does feel better….at least it does in this aging female’s body.

Anyway, in the chart we find Uranus rising, Mars setting,  with Pluto and Venus culminating.  The sun and moon are drawing closer together for a New Moon at 6:39 am on monday in 20 degrees of Aquarius.  This means that our yoga nidra experience will be happening under the auspices of a balsamic moon.   It’s a wonderful time to go in and light your fire around something close to your heart.  Om shanti.     That said, the Sun square Mars in the middle degrees of fixed Aquarius and Scorpio, will keep flames burning right into the new cycle.

At the beginning of our yoga nidra practice you will be asked to create a sankalpa, or intention for your practice.  The theory says that if you plant a sankalpa into a deeply relaxed body it’s like programming your brain for success.  The details do matter so come on Sunday so that we can all practice together.

There’s a widget over there on the right where you can sign up for my newsletter.  Do that.  Then you can be informed about new events in advance.  Or, send  your contact info directly to me here at ida@ifcullen.com

Til then,     May all your dreams take root and grow.

 

 

Astrology Stress Management yoga nidra Yoga Therapy

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The emphasis is still on yoga at The Sanctuary and more of you are discovering what is possible with a commitment to practice.

Kripalu Yoga & Integrative Yoga Therapy are my chosen yogic methodologies to teach.   The group classes are slow, gentle, challenging and oriented towards healing and removing the obstacles that prevent us from being fully authentic.   If you are interested in simply exercising your body, another class/teacher might be more appropriate.   Please read some of the articles on this website to gain a sense of the teachings that are offered.  I began my yoga studies in 1976, became a full-time teacher in 2000.  I teach  from decades of experience & years of training.

Group Yoga classes are multi-level and suitable for all bodies.  If you are a beginner to yoga call ahead and let me know you’re coming. I’ll be happy to meet with you before/after class. Or, just show up if that’s the best you can do. 732.531.9013 is the number to leave a message if you wish to speak to me. Be patient. It may  a day or two to return your call.

PERSONAL YOGA THERAPY is available by appointment.  To support your commitment to well-being and spiritual development I’m offering a Summer Special for  new clients and returning clients.  Please call to arrange a free interview to see if this is right for you.  Sessions can be at your home or at The Sanctuary.

  For up-to-date- info   Go to Class/Workshop Schedule Page

The Jersey Shore The Sanctuary - Schedule & Stuff Yoga Yoga Therapy

Today, my own words fail me.  Here are some from the Buddah

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Reposted from Aug, 2008

Buddhism Dharma Meditation philosophy Poetry quotes Yoga

Yoga is looking so different today from how it was represented when I first began to define the word.

I’ve heard one of my personal guru’s say many times, “Yoga has become very popular, but what is popular is not yoga.”. That said, this weeks classes will focus on heart-openings, feels really appropriate given all the planets that are in water signs right now.  While in CA, I participated in some workshops that really focused on heart health.  Look at those two words together, heart/health.  Obviously there’s a strong connection.  With yoga, we get to explore the much broader context of the Heart………….perhaps we’ll begin by toning yam, the bij mantra for the 4th chakra?

Summer Session Begins.   Drop-in’s Welcome.  More about my classes   here and here.

 

 

Asbury Park Yoga Yoga Therapy

What fun!  Telling stories.  Together.  For an audience.  I’ve learned so much telling my tales.  It’s a process, like anything else.  The wanting, the picking and choosing, the endless editing, the voice, the gestures, the eye-contact or lack thereof, the embellishments, the applause, it’s all part of a storyteller’s craft.   Yes?

It’s summertime here at the Jersey Shore and it’s time to lighten up a bit and laugh.  I’m working on a story that was inspired by a trip to the Clinique counter at Macy’s.  As usual, you can spin a story in a gazillion ways, and according to writer Deena Metzger, the  “story is not what happened”.

Thus, it begs the question, what is a storyteller to do?  Tell the truth?  Embellish?  Misrepresent for the sake of a laugh?

So far, for me, it’s like doing a yoga pose.  First find the ease amidst the discomfort.  Then, notice thoughts & emotions as the words are put together.  Be aware of body sensations and breath during delivery and presentation.  Make adjustments where necessary.   Yup, The Yoga of Storytelling…..so much to explore here.

Have a nice day.   a-pinkdanceganeesh.gif

July 8, 7pm, Stories in the Park, Bradley Beach, NJ.   Go here for details.

StoryTelling The Jersey Shore Yoga

Schakrachart_thumb.gifo I’m here in Newport Beach, CA for the annual IAYT Conference.  I’ve been wanting to go for years, but circumstances, timing, and other life stuff has gotten in the way.  But, not this year and I’m so excited.

Yoga Therapy is a growing niche within the hugely expanding yoga community and I’m very excited to see how it’s being recognized by the medical community.

Yoga, for me, was always more than just the poses and the practice.  From my very first class in 1976 I recognized it’s potential for reaching deep inside and revealing those places where the samskara’s keep us blocked.  Since 2001, I have offered one-on-one sessions to clients and have seen amazing results.  Classes are a great way to allow students to practice but there’s no substitute for having personal attention and a program laid out just for you.  Not everyone can attend a class, or should.  Yoga Therapy is appropriate for everyone, regardless of your limitations, and doing yoga will absolutely change your life for the better.

Check out some of my articles under the YOGA tab on the top for more information.

Blogging The Sanctuary - Schedule & Stuff Yoga Yoga Therapy

Hi Everyone….  Longevity is the one of the topics of this panel discusssion…and it’s made for some interesting conversations in our yoga classes.  I  highly recommend listening to it if you are of the Boomer generation like me.  The young one you see is the CEO of Facebook.  Very interesting.

 

Robert Sapolsky, who is one of the panelists, wrote the book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and it was required reading for certification in Integrative Yoga Therapy (2000).  I couldn’t put it down.  It explained so much to me and informs my yoga still to this day.

…more later.

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CHARTS

Dear Ones,

It’s a really special day today.  Two wonderful moments happen with hours of each other, the Winter Solstice sun/moon/earth alignment and coincidentally, a New Moon.  Both events herald an auspicious time on their own.  And, then, when you add in the recent 6th of the 7 squares, and say goodbye to saturn in scorpio it  can get a little overwhelming….and, since Jupiter does things big, in a friendly fire sign like Leo he is jovial beyond the point of tolerance some times, you know?…………anyway, I AM rambling here…..mostly because Neptune continues to provide  these  lovely “rose-tinted glasses”.! 

I know that most of you don’t really understand what I just wrote…..but perhaps many of you do?  Astrology, whether or not you “believe” in it or not, is still a wonderful Language to learn.  It is genderless, colorless, lacks a political point of view, and has no bias, opinion, or judgement in it’s dialogue.  It is us, in our own minds/hearts that makes it “good” or “bad”.   Enuf said.   Learn a new language for the New Moon.

Anyway, it’s a busy day for me and now it’s time to prepare for storytelling and sadhana……

I hope to  check back here to further inform you about these charts.

 

 

 

…much love, om shanti…..

Astrology Blogging The Sanctuary - Schedule & Stuff Yoga Yoga Therapy