How I “Teach” Ayurveda

candlesAuthor, therapist and yoga teacher Matthew Remski will be teaching a 36 hour Ayurveda Course at Queen Street Yoga starting in January 2015. This blog post illuminates his approach to teaching, and the value he feels Ayurveda can bring to expanding our awareness and creating more balance and richness in our lives.

First of all, I don’t really teach. I used to think I was teaching, back at the dawn of my nine-year span of leading this course. But sitting with clients for all that time has shown me that the best I can and should do is simply facilitate better conversations about personal and social health. This requires my learning as much about a student’s circumstance as I can share with them in terms of Ayurvedic theory. This means creating a learning space that’s conversational, which makes sense for a practice that’s nothing if it’s not about empowerment.

The baroque details of formal Ayurveda can be listed, memorized and regurgitated, but the real art lies in the discussion of principles between people who experience them differently, fueled in part by the Socratic questions of a facilitator, but more robustly by seeing how other people feel and narrate their experience towards an attentive appreciation for the intelligence of their flesh. It’s also good to have people examine each other’s hands and listen to each other’s pulses – not to form opinions (until much later), but to first appreciate the diverse ways in which the flesh speaks. The main tool I try to empower uses the embodied poetry of daily experience: how to take dictation from what is felt.

Here’s an incomplete list of principles that have crystallized in my particular river of Ayurvedic facilitation…
Continue reading “How I “Teach” Ayurveda”

How Yoga Teacher Training Helped me Find My Voice

KayVee INC - Wearing your heart on your sleeve

Has speaking in public ever been a fear of yours? One of our Yoga Teacher Trainees was dead-scared of speaking in front of people – now 8 months through the program that has changed a great deal for her. Read on to hear about Jess’ journey in finding her voice.

Finding my voice

Months ago (I can’t believe it’s already been that long) we started our teacher training program by introducing ourselves and by sharing an item that was particularly special to us. We sat in a circle and shared our names for the very first time. When the spotlight hit me, I shared that public speaking, or speaking in any group setting really, made me extremely uncomfortable. It was something I was consciously working on, but it still proved to be a bit of a hurdle. I’d brought a mala necklace with a smoky quartz stone, that I had recently started wearing, that acted as a constant reminder that I could open my mind to connect with my voice. Even just sharing this with the group made my palms sweat, my heart race and my face hot. Explaining the discomfort made me even more uncomfortable- shocking, right? I knew that this program would challenge me in more ways than one, but I also know that they very best kind of learning and growth comes when you are uncomfortable. So here I was, ready to learn.

Continue reading “How Yoga Teacher Training Helped me Find My Voice”

Confessions of a Lipstick wearing Yogi

A blog post in which Shannon (who is currently in our Yoga Teacher Training Program) reflects on her yoga journey via the curious path of lipstick and birthdays. She recommends reading the book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown.

I turn another year older. Big deal! Right?

I decided in the wee hours of my newest year of living that I was going to make a change.

Ridiculous? Brave? Random? (UN)Necessary? Who knows what you call it…

Chelsea Grimsley - red lips

A little background for you…late 1980’s-90’s. Having always heard what beautiful and luscious lips I had, naturally I wanted to hide them! Not just my lips, but my less than perfect, crooked, teeth that goes with them. I don’t know how you react when someone compliments you, but I feel we all know a little about how uncomfortable it is to receive a compliment about ourselves, we may not accept them with grace, or with ease, and if we do, it’s been work for us to get to that point.

Continue reading “Confessions of a Lipstick wearing Yogi”

Is it Any Surprise that Massage Therapy Really Works?

In case you had any doubts, a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that massage can relieve muscle soreness and improve general blood flow. The researchers noted that until now, no studies had actually validated what this investigation focused on – whether massage therapy is beneficial for aching muscles after exercise, and if the intervention improves circulation. For the study, healthy but inactive adults were asked to exercise on a standard leg-press machine until their legs were sore. Then half of the participants received massage on their lower extremities while the other half did not. After completing 90 minutes of therapy, the participants in the massage group reported no continuing soreness, while those in the the group that did not get massages were still sore 24 hours later. Continue reading “Is it Any Surprise that Massage Therapy Really Works?”

Madison’s Canine Connection

We’re super excited to bring to you this fab article that was written up in last month’s edition of GRAND magazine about the amazing work our CranioSacral Therapist Madison is doing! Madison has been busy in the community helping people with therapy dogs. Check it out below to learn more about her inspiring story!Continue reading “Madison’s Canine Connection”

Yoga and Action – Beginning to Bridge the Gap

This blog was written by Emma as a reflection on the Sacred Justice Workshop from last weekend, and thoughts on where to go next as a community.

Leena and I have long contemplated the intersection of yoga and world issues. We have asked ourselves, how can spiritual practice be an integral part of working towards a more beautiful and inclusive world? How can it support and sustain us in growing our awareness and understanding, and how can it energize us towards action? And how might we view outward action as necessary and integral to spiritual practice? Continue reading “Yoga and Action – Beginning to Bridge the Gap”

Queen Street Conversations: Talking about Climate Change

I didn’t know what to expect when I came for the chat: what we would talk about, the emotions that would arise, how involved people would get. As a home body, I often struggle with getting involved in activities outside of work hours, but at the same time I also have a desire to connect with the community that resides beyond my home and workspace. When presented with the opportunity, I often pass over such events, but this time something deeper drew me to come. For a long time I have struggled to participate in conversations surrounding climate change. When someone mentions the documentary they just watched about floods, extinctions and the like, I am paralyzed by fear: fear of the unknown, and by feelings of hopelessness, and powerlessness. What are we going to do? How will I survive? What’s going to really happen?Continue reading “Queen Street Conversations: Talking about Climate Change”

the habit of love

 

This post was written by past QSY teacher Danette Adams. Danette writes thoughtful and sweet reflections on her own blog, “Overcoming the Overwhelm.” Danette offers life coaching that combines some of the practices she learned and honed in yoga and meditation, with new approaches to language, goals and gratitude.

the habit of love – originally posted on danetteadams.com on January 18, 2013

Without exception, she consistently, unabashedly expressed her joy daily when seeing me. She listened to my rants and rages without judging. Remained impartial and didn’t give unsolicited advice.Continue reading “the habit of love”

bhijavrkshanyaya: the seed contains the tree

This post was written by Emma, and is cross-published on Thinkerpoet, her personal blog.
 
I was at a yoga and philosophy retreat this summer when a teacher introduced this concept. My ears perked up and I carefully wrote it down in my notebook. Bhijavrkshanyaya. The seed contains the tree. There wasn’t a great deal of discussion about it, but it was already growing little roots in my mind. Bhija (seed) vrksha (tree) nyaya (logic).
 
The symbol of the seed is one of our most universally compelling images as a human culture. No one is unaffected by the seed. The seed symbolizes potential, growth and nourishment. It invokes a sense of the Earth and its sacredness. It brings with it echoes of initiation, of reproduction, of the great cycles of creation and dissolution. It promises provision, hope, and abundance. The saving of seeds represents our very survival as a species that no longer forages for food but must rely on organized agriculture to feed us. Continue reading “bhijavrkshanyaya: the seed contains the tree”

Our Vivacious Vision for 2013

To me, the winter solstice and the coming of a New Year are an opportune time to articulate our vision and recommit to practices that help us realize our dreams and intentions. The power of persistent practice can enhance so many areas of our lives. If you want to make 2013 your yoga year, commit to at least one practice each week, or join our Monthly Auto-Renew Unlimited Membership to practice and play more often at QSY. One of my favorite teachers, Darren Rhodes gives this great advice for growing your practice, “Slow and steady = superlative-sadhana in my opinionated opinion. Make your limitations part of your practice instead of problems preventing practice. Lastly, make fun a full-on part of your practice.” 

Here is our steady and vivacious vision at Queen Street Yoga. We hope you’ll join us in bringing it to life! Continue reading “Our Vivacious Vision for 2013”