Advice for new yoga teachers

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I recently was interviewed by Niraj Shah from The Present of Yoga who wanted my “senior” or established teacher’s perspective in helping those who are just finishing their yoga teacher training or who are new to teaching yoga in the community. So, I reached out to some of my students who are in different stages of completing their training from Yogacampus, to hear what they would like answered as they enter this career in yoga teaching.

Niraj picked out his top 5 he wanted answered and I have written about the remaining questions below. To listen to the interview follow this link to www.bit.ly/ZephyrTPOY 

 

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How do you make sure your classes are enjoyable for all the different levels of student who attend?

It is always challenging to work with different levels of understanding and abilities. I try to design my sequences starting from a more simple asana gradually gaining more complexity as the sequence progresses. At the same time I try to have that same sequence energetically direct the student from the external to the internal subtle experiences. In other words as the sequence gets more physically and mentally demanding, the subtle body (energetic body) is less tasked to find a balance within the sequence at all stages. 

I do encourage students to listen to their own ‘inner teacher’ and give them options in preforming stage 1,2,3 in order to give them back the responsibility in deciding to “turn the volume” up or down depending on their needs that day. 

I also plant the preamble or theme of class throughout. For those who are new, sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other as they can be so distracted with the physical feat of a pose they don’t usually hear it. However my more advanced students use the injection of yogic philosophy to inspire them to travel deeper in their practice, even if it is a simple pose. 

What’s the best way to teach your students to listen to and take care of their own bodies during class?  

I always try and make sure students feel comfortable “taking a break” or slowing down by repeating throughout the class options, like take child’s pose, downward dog or vinyasa. I offer different stages and make an emphasis that usually stage 1 might be the most profound. Humour also snaps people out of self punishing, distraction and taking the practice too seriously. 

If I sense that it is a challenging class (physical or energetic) I have them pause in between kramas (linking sequences), either standing or sitting, so which to digest, listen and assimilate the energetic residue of the sequence, instead of pushing through. Reminding them that they are “human beings” not “human doings.” It is kind of like eating at a 3 Star Michelin restaurant and powering through the meal without ever stopping and noticing the subtle flavours. I know people who approach their practices like this and never taste the benefits of the practice.

Do you teach different sequences/ explore different themes in a public class as opposed to a one-to-one or private class?

I always plan my public classes and choose the theme and sequence for each week (which can vary slightly depending on the “weather”). This gives the student an experience of what it feels like to do the same sequence through the week and notice in themselves how they react to it as they change (dosha imbalances) every day. It also teaches them techniques in how to bespoke their practices to meet their immediate needs. 

With my private clients, if I know what they are going through, I might loosely pre-plan to guide them. However, I usually open myself up and trust I receive divine intervention to guide them as I don’t know what I will be working with. I enjoy bespoking the practice to the private client and their needs, not imposing what I want to do. This is where study, practice and trusting your intuition comes into play. I am forever a student but not just a student of yoga. I open myself to psychology, physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupressure, nutrition…the list can go on. I find if you are an amazing student, you will be a great teacher.

Are there any poses you would only teach in a one-to-one session, rather than in a class? 

Yes, there are poses that if I teach them to a class the majority wouldn’t be able to do it safely or effectively. These poses I find are for workshops or small groups which I know the students and trust they have the ability to take responsibility for themselves. It is important for me as a teacher to progress the level of yoga to students that are conscious of the potential of hurting themselves or that they know how to energetically conserve and not “burn out” or “dry up” or “spin out.”

In a multi-level/ability yoga class any of the Sirsasana/Headstands, Urdhva Dhanurasana/Full Wheel or just any of the poses that only two or three people out of 30 can do, I avoid. I have learned from watching other teachers in multi-level classes, that demonstrate extreme yoga poses then ask the students to do them, are really just doing it for their ego, not in service to their students. I try to make my classes powerful, interesting and accessible not to exclude people, but to include.

One-to-one, I will guide them through the stages, making sure that we have time, correct alignment and they have the strength, stamina and self-knowledge in why they are preforming the pose.

How do you take your teaching beyond asana to introduce your students to the more subtle aspects of yoga or the philosophical/ psychological context? 

As most of my students know I am a big fan of preambles. I always start with introducing philosophical and psychological yogic methods. I enjoy weaving them through an asana class, flavouring the experience for people to feast off of what comes up in experience for them.

I also love sharing practical application of certain yogic topics in class like Koshas, Gunas, Kleshas, Kriya, Doshas, Chakras, Granthis, and more. Using my stories, my teachers and my students experience to tell stories. This excites me and through my enthusiasm I hope to attract students to apply them to their practices and beyond the mat too.

How do you make sure your Om’s are in tune if you don’t have a very good singing voice?  And what if no-one joins in the om?

Pray! I have a terrible singing voice and never know what is going to come out. I do know choosing a higher pitch is uplifting, where going low can be dangerous as one never knows how people will follow. Lower OM is grounding. Practice OMing at home. Become comfortable and familiar in your range. Try just one opening or closing OM. There is no rule regards to how many. From my understanding we OM verbally 3x to represent waking, sleeping, dreaming states and the last OM is silent representing Turya, the 4th state.

There are certain religions that don’t like yoga chanting, however a yoga friend of mine who lives in Italy, was able to make OM more accessible for those who struggle with it being sinful. She said, what do you do when you have a lovely meal? Ohummmmmmm. So OM is at the end honouring the wonderful class you just had.

How do you avoid giggling if someone farts very loudly? 

Oh, if you are like me and stuck in your “lower chakra” development, any bodily function will make one laugh OUT LOUD. It takes a lot of self-control and distraction to not laugh and therefore publicly shame a student. I have been known in the past to say it as it is, most yoga is wind releasing poses, it happens. Most of the time, the British, want you to ignore it as if it didn’t happen and carry on. After almost 20 years living in London, I have adopted that attitude, turn away and crack on with the next pose. Oh, and don’t look at anyone who is shaking with laughter, it will start you off!

You have been teaching for over 18 years, how do you always keep things refreshed and avoid getting bored?

I consistently study and practice. My practice has changed over the years and I hope it continues to evolve as I do. I see myself subscribing to the title “seeker” to know myself better, to understand human nature and to remember what I have ultimately forgotten and that I am apart of the whole. I am awake and at any given time, I just have that very human defect of forgetfulness. I teach what I need to learn and in being of service to others as they awaken through yoga, I feed my soul’s purpose (being a teacher). 

What would be your top 3 do’s/don’ts tips for new teachers? sequencing?

Do’s: 

  1. Teach appropriately for your audience’s level, ability, injuries, ailment, etc. Create a class that includes everyone, not excludes. Donʼt overwhelm the students with too much Sanskrit words, concepts or Yogic Philosophy to show them what you know and leave them feeling even more alone, confused or less than.
  1. Teach from the simple asana to the complex asana. Start with a dynamic breath-centric movement to static holding with breath focus. Encourage the students to observe, feel and sense the practice from the outside to the subtle inside. Be prepared to modify. Teach from the modification to the peak asana. Build from the ground up!
  1. Teach and sequence to have a Sattvic effect: balancing, restoring, reconnecting even if the class is Sattva-Rajasic class: stimulating, dynamic class or a  Sattva-Tamasic class: restorative, restful. Leave time to digest, absorb, integrate and reflect on the effects of the asana, krama and practice. This will help with burn up or out.

Don’t:

  1. Don’t stop studying and practicing. Keep up the commitment for yourself. Fill your spiritual, physical and energetic well, so you are best of service to your community. Also, be in contact with your teacher to keep yourself accountable and responsible in how you are passing down these teachings, rather than making stuff up. All great teachers have amazing teachers of teachers. Seek one to carry a living practice to your students.
  1. Don’t impose or exploit others. See teaching as being of service. Students should perform the asana for their body that is most effective and powerful for them and that shape doesn’t need to look like the ideal asana found in magazines. Encourage students (and the teacher) not to force their body to fit the asana. Keep healthy and ethical physical, energetic and sensual boundaries, to protect your students from you and yourself from the students. People of all stages of mental, physical and emotional vulnerability enter a class, we never know what they are going through. Be mindful and compassionate with your motives and how you navigate your interaction, adjustments and conduct in class and outside of class with your students. Don’t exploit sexually, monetarily and/or energetically your position as a guide/teacher/healing facilitator. 
  1. Keep your ego in check.  Apply the Yamas & Niyamas to your practice and life as well as your teachings. Svadhyaya: self-study, self-reflection, self-inquiry, self-knowledge is so important for a healthy ego and compassionate heart. Yoga is about Self-Mastery of Knowledge and the Powers/Siddhis one can attain. Yoga makes one very powerful, however if you are an arsehole – yoga will just make you a powerful arsehole. Power without Knowledge is dangerous. Knowledge without Power is ineffective, so give your energy to both.                                                                                        Finally, you don’t know everything and are (presumably) not a trained as a doctor, psychotherapist etc. Reach out to other professionals when your student needs more than a Yoga Teacher’s help. I also work with other professionals by referring my clients to who them and then I consult with those professionals. Respecting Doctor/Patient confidentiality, but sharing information to treat client more effectively is a real benefit to the client. I have a skilled chiropractor, an osteopath, a physiotherapist, a personal trainer, a podiatrist, a EMDR trauma therapist, a CBT therapist, a drug/alcohol treatment centre, a child psychologist and more that I often refer clients to. All of whom I learn from and deepen my understanding that it takes more than just me to support a student/client. Let go of your ego and remember “I don’t know” can be the most profound statement to learn. 

How do you explain the popularity of an ancient art/philosophy that came from the foot of Himalaya thousand years ago to our hard-core urban current western environment?

In every culture there are forms of dance, movement, physical disciplined practices, etc. There is a way of using the body to have spiritual experiences as well as the basic maintaining good function of the body, process of emotions, trauma, hormones and creating mental clarity. We as human beings have a unique capacity to experience something beyond our common conscious thought. By using the body as a refined tool in which to train the mind we receive an evolutionary upgrade where we have a greater impact to whatever we direct our attention to. I feel there is so much wisdom from the origins of Yoga that directly apply to managing life now in this era of suffering, over-stimulation, elation, fear, over-work…the list goes on.

However, we now view yoga as a commodity and if we can objectify, sexualise and trademark it, yoga becomes big business with regard to customer consumption. Ugh. This is the world we live in today!

The subtle body is not a subject that is really taught in depth in teacher training courses, what advice would you give new teachers who want to learn more about it and weave it in their classes?

Study with a teacher who can introduce and point you in the direction in which to experience it first and then start to teach it. A lot of what is written is not always true: Half-truths. Most of the concepts of deep subtle body teachings you receive from a respected teacher.

However, studying cannot be overemphasised. Topics I would suggest: Gunas, Koshas, Chakras, Granthis, Nadis, Mudras, Kriyas, Prana Vayus…there are many teachings that can help other seekers understand these concepts. These are different maps that take you inwards, however they are not the same map. They interface with each other and a good teacher can weave them into a practice. This takes patience, practice and time.

I have a list of recommended reading on my website that I would point you to.

How do you deal with people with injuries you’ve not heard of before?

I am honest with the student. I am not a trained doctor or therapist. I am honest with them. I would research it, ask my teacher/mentor or a professional doctor to advise me and get back to them.

The most spiritually profound statement one can make is “I don’t know” it’s okay. Ahimsa, keep them safe and ask them to take care of themselves during the class and once you have more information then you can help bespoke the appropriate modifications or suggestions needed.

How do you build a good base of private clients?

Word of mouth mainly. A website and business cards is helpful if you cover classes, meet people in other environments that give you the opportunity to spread the word. Private clients want reliable, responsible and respectful teachers. Make sure you are on time and consistent. Life is very busy for people and that hour for them they are looking for support and space to process life. Be kind, compassionate and have boundaries.

After graduating a 200hr yoga teacher training, how soon after is it a good idea to do advanced 300 hour teacher training?

This is a difficult question as there are many factors that will shape everyone differently. However, I recommend taking some time to put into practice what you have learned and feel confident in what you teach. I myself am still a student and every time my teachers have a week long training in London I am on it. I do online courses about yoga, trauma, neurology, etc. I take other courses not relating to yoga, however compliment my teachings. Be a great student and take time to absorb it in yourself and practice passing it to your students. 

How do you keep up to date with discoveries in anatomy studies?

I take trainings with my teacher Doug Keller who specialises in applied anatomy and physiology. Even if I have done the workshops before, I always absorb more and he always brings new ides and perspectives to the subjects. I also do online courses via www.yogainternational.com and other platforms. Read tons of books and have tons of reference books. Always a student!

What are the biggest obstacles you face as a yoga teacher? 

Balance. We are natural nurturers and guides. We are teachers and students.  We are of service to our community and to our families. Getting the balance of where, how much and why we give our energy is very important to keep in check. There is only so many hours in the day. A lot of teachers stop practicing as they are working so hard travelling and teaching all over to make enough that they are exhausted and slip into bad habits and lose their commitment to themselves. This leaves a teacher resentful as they are not feeding themselves a practice that keeps them balanced and thriving. 

Another obstacle is that everyone wants to be a yoga teacher. In big cities it is saturated and there is a lot of competition. Studios, gyms and events don’t pay very well. A lot of people think that they will be able to leave their jobs and make a good living as a Yoga Teacher, however they quickly become disillusioned with how hard it is to establish oneself. This leaves people supplementing their income and becoming frustrated.

The last thing I can think of at this moment is how you want to come across as a teacher. I started teaching well before websites and social media became a source of attracting students. I didn’t have a website until 2 years ago, which my husband had to strongly suggest that this was the “way of the future” as if I was this primitive beast that only relied on word of mouth. I always knew I wanted to be a “great” yoga teacher in my community and as social media started becoming more of a platform to share the interest of yoga, I embraced it. But I also saw yoga teachers objectifying and sexualising it to get followers and sell it. This confused me.  I love studying the physical shape, skill and technique. However, I found that it (more and more images on social media) started creating separateness aiding in the negative behaviour of comparing one’s insides to someone else’s outsides. This, in my opinion, promotes a feeling of being less than, as the observer can’t do that particular pose or doesn’t have that bendy body. So I have made a conscious decision to try to post pictures of me in hopes that people think, “I would love to feel like that” rather than “look like that.” We attract a crowd, so be very careful in what message you are sending out there as the young, naive and the perverse will be seeking your services. 

To listen to the interview follow this link to www.bit.ly/ZephyrTPOY 

Sweat Life Lululemon Festival Saturday 22nd July 2017!

Lululemon Sweat Life Festival

I will be there offering my Yogic Experience to the festival!

A one-day festival packed from morning to night: sweat. yoga. learn. party.

Picture this: Squat, lift, punch, plié, burpee and dance with the best studios in London; downward and upward facing dogs with our local and global ambassadors; run club like you’ve never experienced before; and development workshops that will blow your mind – and that’s all before lunch. Then take in a gong bath (yep, you heard correctly), join a ping-pong tournament let loose on a bouncy castle and finish off with a kundalini yoga rave. Oh, and did we mention the dance party with Grand Master Flash? Mic drop.

Saturday July 22nd 2017 just got better.

Book tickets: http://tickets.thesweatlife.co.uk/

Got questions? Email info@thesweatlife.co.uk

Lululemon Website

Sweat Life Facebook Page

Lululemon Sweat Life Instagram Page

Yoga Garden Party 29th July 2017

The Yoga Garden Party 2017 will take place on Saturday 29th July at Bore Place, (formerly Commonwork Farm), near Sevenoaks, Kent. 

I will be offering a talk at 1pm

Zephyr Wildman– Yoga and it’s Power for Healing

The definition of Yoga has roots firmly grounded in a focus on self-understanding. The more we understand ourselves, our habits and our suffering the more we have choices to align ourselves with the true path and the state of balanced flow. The equilibrium and harmony of a balanced life takes in to account the spiritual, the mental and the physical. Yoga, at its fundamental core is an exercise in developing and refining a strong and balanced state for all three. Yoga puts the same amount of emphasis on, and gives an equal importance to, the emotional health as it does physical health. Through using Yoga as a therapeutic tool we increase our potential to heal on many levels. I look forward in sharing the key concepts that bring a layer of potential healing to our asana practice

and a full practice at 4:45pm

Zephyr Wildman – The Prana Vayus
Prana: Life-force, Vayu: Winds. The 5 movements of shaping the breath to manage our Life-force for optimum health and vitality.

These Prana Vayus govern different areas of the body as well as their physical and subtle functions. This class will offer the application of the 5 stages of working with Prana to draw our attention to the 5 Prana Vayus in a practice. This practical application of:
* sensitising our awareness in how Prana moves within us,
* experiencing the creation of alchemy in asana, pranayama and bandhas
* and finally awakening and intensifying our Prana culminating  into a concentration of Prana which then directs us to higher states of consciousness in our meditation practices. A class focussing on the 5 Prana Vayus and an applied practice using Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Kriya and Meditation.

For the full schedule and to book tickets go to www.charityyogaday.org.uk

Yoga Garden Party Facebook Page

Yoga Garden Party Instagram Page

Trew Fields: Cancer Awareness & Holistic Health Festival 8th & 9th July!

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I will be teaching on the Saturday 8th July a class for ALL!!!!

A holistic health, cancer awareness, comedy and music gathering launching on July 8th, 2017! Bringing together a community to explore, learn, connect, have fun and feel more empowered around health 🙂

Look forward to supporting this Trew Fields Festival in Thatched House Farm, Dunsfold, Surrey.

To book tickets go to www.ticketsforgood.com

Go to their Facebook Page Trew Fields

Go to their Instagram Page Trew Fields

Azaren & Dunton Hot Springs: Two of my favourite places I have taught Yoga Retreats & Yoga Holidays

Yoga escape to exotic Azaren, Morocco

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The expectations I had of Morocco, when I visited for the first time, did not disappoint. It is exotic culturally, stunningly beautiful and full of friendly smiling faces. The busy souks of Marrakech with the haggling commerce and step-back-in-time sort of feel, contrast magnificently with the breathtaking views and serenity from the heights of Mount Toubkal in the Atlas mountains. Morocco is an ancient and sacred land full of unforgettable sites and smells. In my travels in Morocco I have recently discovered my favourite place in which to soak it all up. It is called Azaren.

Azaren is a private home nestled at the base of the Atlas Mountains, 35 minutes away from the brand new Marrakech Airport. I have been coming here to lead Yoga Retreats for a couple of years now and I genuinely think it is one of my favourite places to take people and practice yoga together. This walled 16 acre estate has 4 main bedrooms and 5 villas spread out around a vibrant and flourishing garden underneath the backdrop of the soaring Atlas mountains.

A typical day would start with a sunrise filled walk around the gardens lined with pomegranates, moroccan rose and orange trees. This peaceful stroll would lead us to the vast pool where we prepare for our morning yoga. Our view is of the mountains reflecting upon the pool. The call to prayer echoes across the valley from the Minaret as birds sing and welcome the morning sun warming the night’s desert chill. After our poolside practice we would find breakfast beautifully laid out with fresh juices, tea, fruits, moroccan pancakes and freshly baked bread. The tranquil magic of the morning fades as the remnants of our practice sink in and mixes with the stimulation of food and conversation. This is the best part of an Azaren morning. Feeling so blissed with the magic of our surrounding and our practice and beginning to vocalise the experience with one another over a morning cup of coffee.  After the varied conversations of our practice, praise for the food and discussions of everyone’s plans for the day we disperse to all corners of Azaren. Some indulging in a double Hammam and Spa, some resting in the beds around the pool, others on their private terraces with a good book or some jumping into the taxi to Marrakech to explore the souks. By the late afternoon we would all gather to enjoy another more restorative yoga practice, basking in the sounds and smells of the lively garden. Just before sunset we gather again for drinks on the terrace, views of the Atlas mountains and dinner served at dusk. It is the epitome of of relaxation and restoration. I hope one day I can share it with you.

Soaking up the bliss at Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado.

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado reminds me of HOME. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains, of Idaho. Natural hot springs were abundant in my state and a proper wilderness campsite was not a perfect 10 unless it had a natural hot spring in the vicinity.  Dunton (as the locals call it) is a little more than your average campsite with a hot spring. It is a privately owned, perfectly restored ghost-town just over the mountain from Telluride Colorado. Oh, and it just happens to be a Relais and Chateaux property so one does not have to worry about finding the right tree to pitch your tent under or whether or not bears will roam through your campsite in the middle of the night. All the luxuries of a 5 star hotel are available at Dunton, but the feel to it is rustic comfort in a serene and majestic setting.

Started as a mining town 1885 along the West Dolores River high up in the in the San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado, at it’s peak in 1905 Dunton claimed about 300+ residents. However, the boom and bust cycle of mining towns did not spare even Dunton and by 1910 it was all but abandoned. The current owners purchased the property in 1994 and have restored it to what it looked like as a mining town complete with a Bar/Saloon rumoured to have been visited by Butch Cassidy and his trusty side-kick Sundance. While the buildings on the exterior look weathered and worn, the interiors are luxurious and comfortable. Nothing extravagant, but all the details are attended to. Small rustic cabins dotted along the river for about a mile with the Lodge/Saloon and hot springs bath house in the centre of town. This restored ghost town keeps its rustic authenticity with the intrinsically woven modern country chic presentation. I immediately felt at ease with my surroundings. What a place to spend two weeks practicing Yoga!

Our day would start with a morning walk down to the Yoga Barn which framed the neighbouring mountain and its fertile mix of Aspen, Blue Spruce, Fir and the occasional Ponderosa Pine tree. Often times after class we would spend time walking to the waterfall to absorb the residue of the practice before heading off to the Saloon for breakfast. Each day was filled with different activities. Horse back riding guided by Dunton’s Horse-Guide, Alison Eddy and her team of well kept four legged mountain climbers who kindly take the intensity of being 10,000-14,000 feet (3,000-4,500m) above sea level off the body to explore the many trails that surround the area. There is mountain biking with wild trails full of ascents and long descents and for those who find it too challenging there are bikes with assistance; electric MOTORS! Great for some of the steeper inclines. While I was invited to Dunton to practice Yoga, the abundant free-time and activities kept me busy and what better way to unwind after a full day than a soak in the hot springs and relive the unique experience from home.

As a child and young woman growing up in Idaho I have fond memories of soaking in natural hot springs gazing up into the nights sky, witnessing it with zero light pollution and a billion stars all around. It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Idaho to reacquaint myself with the sensation but as soon as I dipped my toe into the mineral rich, warm springs and assumed the ancient Hindu hot springs soaking relaxation pose, I was reminded of just how amazing the sensation is (might also have had something to do with the high content of naturally occurring Lithium in the pools). Dunton is a mountain oasis where rugged meets relaxation and the Mountain setting humbles the most confident of Yogis. If you ever get a chance to stay in Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado, ask about the Yoga Barn and make sure to soak up every ounce of blissful experience Dunton has to offer.

 

To rent Azaren privately go to www.azaren.ma

To book a room at Dunton or to rent the whole ghost town go to www.duntonhotsprings.com

Ourmala & Movement For Modern Life, yoga practice with Zephyr Wildman

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FREE YOGA CLASS with Ourmala and Movement for Modern Life Emily Brett, Yoga teacher and Ourmala CEO invites Zephyr Wildman, ambassador for Ourmala, to offer a beautiful yoga sequence in support of our charity. For more Movement for Modern Life videos, subscribe with our exclusive OURMALA30 code and receive 30% off forever and a free 14 day trial. Click here for more information.

A grounding, centring mindfully paced vinyasa flow. Bring an open mind to this beautiful flow which uses pranayama and the mantra SO-HUM is weaved throughout the class. Learn how to unify the body, mind and breath, and use your breath with the mantra to organise the mind, whilst the body is led through a mindfully paced flow class. Perfect for starting your morning in a mindful way whilst energising the body. With thanks to Emily, Founder of OurMala for joining Zephyr in class.

Ourmala sharing socially conscious yoga practices. Our mission is to help refugee and asylum-seeking women find strength, hope and a space to breathe through yoga.

To practice with Zephyr and support Ourmala click here

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Applied Yoga as a Therapeutic Tool to Heal with Zephyr Wildman 31 May – 4 June, 2017 at Yogacampus

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31 May – 4 June, 2017 at Yogacampus

Yoga refines our movement and breath. In its therapeutic applications, asana and pranayama become the tools by which we address patterns of movement, breath and being that are at the root of chronic pain, limitation and even disease. Because of the way we’re built, and the lives we live, we all face challenges individual in our life and practice, often with chronic pain. Our own structure and patterns of movement often lead us directly into these problems, unless we recognize and change them. Even when we exercise regularly or have a regular practice, we allow some muscles to dominate, leaving others weak and unused. This can eventually lead to pain and injury, even for the experienced practitioner.

Each morning will involve an exploration of the structural alignment, anatomy, muscles and function of the area that is the days focus plus time to review the prior days learning. In the afternoon we will apply the morning’s tuition through practice, utilising yoga asana, pranayama, kriyas and basic massage techniques.

Day 1: Foundations and Introduction to the 5 Koshas

A.M.: Students will be introduced to the concept of the “Middle Path” through a lecture on the philosophical and practical approach to working therapeutically with people’s injuries, ailments, mental health, chronic pain and addiction. Using the modality of the Koshas, we will dissect each sheath individually with applied philosophy to treat an individual or class effectively. The emphasis for Day 1 will be on creating the foundations to be referenced throughout the 5 days and include an overview of;

  • common structural problems
  • patterns of movement
  • Ayurvedic imbalances
  • Pranic problems in the body and mind

P.M.: The afternoon will continue with customised sequences inspired by the Koshas to start to gain tools to treat common imbalances and pain.

Day 2: Postural Integrity and the Spine

A.M.: With a thorough comprehension of the Koshas and a holistic approach, we will now begin to look at specific alignment issues and causes of pain with a focus on the spine and postural integrity. Evaluation of posture will be our focus for the morning, however it takes more than just “good” posture to maintain “good” health and balance. We will explore methods of assessing problems with movement, the three diaphragms and we will also discuss the myofacial planes. We will assess techniques for dealing with Flexion and Extension Syndrome, while putting a special focus on understanding the focal points of weakness and stability and how they are affected by our lifestyle and genetic predisposition.

P.M.: After a morning of theory and observation, we will put into practice some application techniques that have been effective in reducing chronic pain and common conditions of the spine and posture.

Day 3: Feet, Knees and Hips.

A.M.: Working from the ground up, we will learn to see the body in action and how the interconnected lines of intelligence inform our patterns of movement and pain. Literally the foundations of our bodies health and balance, we will evaluate the alignment of the feet and legs and discuss how to assess alignment highlighting common problems, misalignments and causes of pain.

P.M.: The metaphor for the Middle Path as our centre of balance is well illustrated in the application of techniques for this afternoon’s session. By looking at the feet, knees and hips as the foundation for the spine and the connections the spine has to the rest of the body, we understand that this foundation is critical to supporting that well being and balance for the entire body.

Day 4: Pelvic Girdle

A.M.: We will discuss and develop techniques for assessing problem areas and imbalance within the uniqueness of every pelvis. A keen attention to detail will aid the student to look at the alignment and observe and identify misalignment. We will discuss common problems and causes of pain, and most importantly how the pelvic girdle influences structural alignment for the rest of the body.

P.M.: Hands on practice of applying the mornings lecture and developing techniques that build alignment, flexibility and stability of the pelvis to alleviate misalignments and pain due to every day lifestyle problems.

Day 5: Shoulder Girdle

A.M.: We will observe how improving range of motion can ease chronic pain in areas around the shoulder, neck and head, especially when the individual has experienced injury in these areas. We will pay close attention to evaluating posture and what it tells us about the state of the shoulder girdle. Observing the alignment and correctly ascertaining the causes of imbalance are crucial to this area as its range of motion and susceptibility to injury make it one of the more complex areas of focus.

P.M.: Applying yoga asana and basic massage techniques that help to extend the range of motion with a specific injury related approach (e.g.,frozen shoulder, rotator cuff injury) will be unique to this afternoon’s application.

Related Video
In this interview with Conscious2, Zephyr shares her story of finding purpose in her life through yoga, and how yoga helped her move through deep grief and into fulfillment and joy. Get to know more about Zephyr here.

_Please note that this workshop counts towards elective hours on the Yoga Therapy Diploma Course

Certification

On completion of the whole five days, you will receive a Yogacampus certificate of completion.

Dates

Wednesday 31st May to Sunday 4th June 2017

9.30 am to 5.00 pm each day with lunch break.

Cost

£500

Cost Includes

Includes course manual.

Other Information

Maximum participants: 30

Number of hours: 30

How to book?

Booking

Yogacampus London

Our Mala Classes at The Life Centre

Mondays 5:30-6:30pm with Zephyr Wildman at The Life Centre Notting Hill

“At The Life Centre we are always looking at ways to better support our local communities. With that in mind, we are proud and excited to announce a new partnership with the charity Ourmala, that will help us better serve the wider yoga community.

Ourmala to help refugees and asylum-seekers recover from the atrocities they have experienced and rebuild their lives. Yoga is at the heart of their approach. For the cost of £10, two refugees or asylum seekers can attend a yoga class, enjoy a hot lunch and attend an English class.

From Monday 3 April two of our regularly scheduled classes will become Yoga for Ourmala classes – this means that every week, your practice will contribute to yoga classes for 50 asylum seekers and refugees so that they can experience the healing power of yoga for themselves. You can read more about some of the people that Ourmala has helped here.

The Yoga for Ourmala classes are:

Yoga All Levels with Lisa Sanfilippo on Wednesdays 18.30 – 19.45 at Islington.

Vinyasa Yoga level 1-2 with Zephyr Wildman on Mondays 17.30 – 18.30 at Notting Hill.

The proceeds of these classes will benefit Ourmala, however the style and format of the classes will remain the same as always.”

www.thelifecentre.com

www.ourmala.com

Unravelling the Knots that Bind Us, 25th June 2-4pm

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With Zephyr Wildman
25 June 2017, 14:00–16:00

The Life Centre, Notting Hill
15 Edge Street, London W8 7PN

020 7221 4602

£25

Granthis are “knots” binding the physical body and the psycho-emotional subtle body together. There are three Granthis covering 6 out of our 7 Chakras. These “knots” inhibit a healthy pranic flow of intelligence and function in these centres. Each of these Granthis are said to be the embodiment of 3 Hindu God-Heads, Brahma: The Creator, Vishnu: The Sustainer, and Rudra: The Roarer/Destroyer.

Using storytelling of these archetypes we will unravel the complexity of why we get knotted up in certain areas and how to use the Yogic technology to assist in our unfolding and creating a free-flowing current towards seeking contentment, serenity and stillness.

Expect a lecture, breath-centric asana, pranayama, kriya, mudra, mantra and meditation.

**** If booking for more than one person, please call 020 7221 4602. Please do not book via the website. ****

Anatomy Centred Approach to Alignment 2 & 3 December 2017, Yogacampus Manchester Manchester

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Yogacampus Manchester invites Zephyr Wildman to teach on the therapeutic wisdom Yoga.

The way we carry ourselves sends a message to the world conveying our state of mind, perspective and our physical health. To the trained eye posture is the tell-all for those suffering from pain and those that live in balance. The foundation of our body is inherently based on our feet, knees and hips and a little bit of TLC in those areas can have remarkable effects for our overall health. Our main objective with this workshop is to re-educate the body for pain-free movement by restoring postural balance, increase self-knowledge in dynamic flow, habits and routine and most importantly re-learn how to carry ourselves off the yoga mat.

We will look at specific alignment issues and causes of pain with a focus on the spine and postural integrity. Evaluation of posture will be our focus, however it takes more than just good posture to maintain good health and balance. We will explore methods of assessing problems with movement issues, the three diaphragms and also discuss the myofacial planes. We will explore techniques for dealing with Flexion and Extension Syndrome, while putting a special focus on understanding the focal points of weakness, stability and how they are affected by our lifestyle and genetic predisposition.

This workshop will introduce the importance and functions of the Pelvic Girdle. We will discuss and develop techniques for assessing problem areas and imbalance within the uniqueness of every pelvis. Hands on practice of applying and developing techniques that build alignment, flexibility and stability of the pelvis to alleviate pain and aid balanced holistic health. Zephyr will instruct students on bespoke yoga asana and basic massage techniques to alleviate misalignments and pain due to every day lifestyle problems.

Throughout the workshop there will be focus on anatomy and function of the feet, knees and hips. Working from the ground up, we will learn to see the body in action and how the interconnected lines of intelligence inform our patterns of movement and sometimes can result in pain. Approaching the feet, knees and hips as, literally, the foundations of our bodies’ health and balance, we will evaluate the alignment of the feet and legs and discuss how to assess alignment highlighting common problems, misalignments and causes of pain. By looking at the feet, knees and hips as the foundation for the spine and the connections the spine has to the rest of the body, we understand that this foundation is critical to supporting that well-being and balance for the entire body. The metaphor for the Middle Path as our centre of balance is well illustrated in the application of techniques for this session. Zephyr will use yoga asana and massage techniques as well as customised sequencing to create paths to long term healing.

To book: Yogacampus