Soft. Radiant. Strong. Yoga.
Health care through conscious Self-care.
Health care through conscious Self-care.
Jennifer talks about her vision and intention for students to deepen their understanding of how yoga techniques and practice give us a guide for living a healthy life.
Before I discovered yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices, I had an experience that changed my understanding of self-care and whole health. With the stress and complications happening in my life at the time, I didn’t know what to do with myself to heal from frozen, shut down, and anxious place I was living from. It was in a moment of rest, curled up in a ball, closing my eyes, and creating a mental distance from the thoughts, emotions, and demands I was experiencing, that the image of a soft, oval stone surfaced in my visual space. The qualities of the stone were so calming- it’s strength, coolness, radiance as well as it’s smooth seemingly moldable surface, held my attention inward and for a time my worries slipped away. It seemed this connection to these qualities gave me temporary retreat from the stressors, and an opportunity to see them clearly. This short retreat fueled my energy, and gave me the joy of rest. It was a few years later that I discovered yoga and meditation, and knew that this experience of joy through inner connection and non-doing was a resource for life. This is the name of my school, SOFTSTONE YOGA STUDIES. For community to deepen their understanding of the wholeness and well-being available within themselves, to embrace the qualities of STRENGTH, COURAGE, RADIANCE, SOFTNESS, MOBILITY AND FLUIDITY as they travel their own path through life.
Through a wide range of assessment tools and Yoga techniques students learn to facilitate balance at physical, energetic, psycho-emotional, intuitive and spiritual levels. We bring into balance the physical body systems (annamayakosha), the areas we are stuck energetically (pranamayakosha), habits or self talk, and emotional reactions (manomayakosha), the core belief systems behind our actions (vijnanamayakosha), and possibly discover the peace of knowing ourselves better (anandamayakosha.)
We lower the stress response in the body, coming back to a state of rest and digest, up-regulating the parasympathetic nervous system. This ease created within ourselves allows a retreat from the demands of modern life- and creates stress-resiliency; allowing us to ride the waves of life in better health.
Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) continues the tradition of using the tools described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras (threads of wisdom). This includes guidelines for living with peace in relationship with ourselves and others first (yamas/niyamas). We learn where we might unclutter our lives through non-harming, contentment, truthfulness, generosity, and a commitment to health, practicing surrender, and self awareness as a foundation for better health.
With consideration of health conditions, IYT classes may include body positioning for the accessibility of the practitioner (asana). somatic movements for warming and comfort in the body. In addition, subtle body awareness (mudra, chakra), breath awareness (pranayama), interoception (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), (and samadhi for advanced practitioners) are for each to explore on their path to wholeness.
The deep roots of stress can be described by the timeless notions of the kleshas- (dvesha) the ways we try to avoid feeling our discomforts, (ragas) seeking to fill a void by short term pleasures, (avidya) forgetting we can look to the stillness within ourselves for relief from stress, (asmita) grasping for control of the uncontrollable, and (abhinivesa) fighting against the inevitable truth that life is in constant change. We see this stress show up as worry about the future, ruminating about the past, and unable to be present in our body.
An IYT yoga and meditation class creates a bridge to feeling better through acceptance, contentment, compassion, and realization that we can let go of the struggle that binds us to our pain.
Through the ancient science of life called ayurveda, students will be given introductory training on how our health is directly linked to our environment, our natural constitution (personality/temperament), daily routine, and foods that we eat!