My favorite Instagram post of August

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      We can´t do yoga. We can “be” yoga or “be in” yoga.But we can´t do it. No shape in the body will bring us to yoga if the breath and mind are not participating of the experience. 

      Asana or yoga pose requires body, breath and mind to be one. This prepares us for the comprehensive approach of the integrative experience of yoga. When we say we practice yoga just because we do poses we are being imprecise. It has value to perform the poses by itself, as physical exercise. But when directed awareness and breath are missing from the equation, if we are precise and respectful to the teachings of yoga, we are not really assuming the principles of the practice.

     I don´t believe that everybody should commit to the multilayered practice of yoga, but I believe that knowing more about yoga can help us take decisions about how far and how much we want to interact with the discipline. Strict and stiff perspectives make no sense nowadays. I believe in the yoga practice for householders, therefore something down to earth that can be integrated in daily life. I believe in something that educates us in compassion, elegant suffering and mindful living so we can experience joy and wholeness in most of the contexts of life. 

This is how I envision yoga, as a life practice that comes with us in every mood, shape, landscape, company and breath. Something simple but extremely refined, something friendly and at the same time clear and honest. Something that fits you and me, and comes to meet us where we are. Something that makes us human beings and gives us true freedom. Something that makes us feel that we are in a fairy forest with our feet in the earth. 

 

You can follow me at @samyamayogaibiza

 

Storms and Passions: Gestures of Freedom

      During these last days of August I can feel how the island slows down the breath. Or maybe it is only me.

I have had an exceptionally well balanced season up to know. I´m very grateful that without overloading my schedule I still have been fortunate to observe and share my teaching with many people from different places and very diverse backgrounds. During this time of the year I teach international groups and private classes that give me a very heterogeneous landscape of the world beyond my quiet and intimate country life. 


On the other side, the off season period is more homogeneous as I dive into regular classes for local people and I travel for my teaching in the mainland. Though both contexts are interesting spaces for discovery, the big contrasts of the summer season give me some special and extraordinary feedback that I find of great help for myself and the development of my work.

 

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      When I  was young I studied Sociology but never really  knew which was the origin of my interest in social behavior and the human nature. Later, while I was a fashion designer, I had no clue about why I had landed with so much ease and pleasure in the field of creativity while my mood was more inclined towards organization and management.

 

Now I know why all these things happened. I needed the skills of observation as well as the talent of creativity to be a good teacher (my heart profession). They say that you never really know why you are doing certain things in the present moment but when you look to the past you can perfectly understand the hidden reasons.  This is the case for me. I hope that this timeline approach helps me in the future to understand why I embark today in the adventures that I choose!

 

      I think that observation is the most amazing tool for research and inquiry. In this time of observing life through so many students I have been able to validate some of my intuitions. I do not collect data in an orthodox way, but data is registered inside me in a way that makes sense. I give for granted that my personal filters are part of the equation so I want to share this as personal opinions, not as proven science.

 

      I have seen how much our experiences are regulated by the level of opening we bring into them. Openness refers to our ability to keep good distance between our preconceived ideas or personal memories and what life is offering us in a given moment. Openness is even more. It is a type of freshness and innocence;our ability to take the best out of each situation, being available to richness, insight, discovery and learning

 

      The first thing that a teacher of any field can do is help students to be in this mood of openness and curiosity. How to do it? From my experience I believe that it helps very much to offer the knowledge without making it too exclusive or strict, inviting students to always refer to themselves when the time to validate something comes. I believe that openness is related to having an internal sensation of freedom and choice.

 

People who feel victims of the world who tend to see drama everywhere normally have a harder time to experience openness because they don´t feel free. On the other side, people that know that they participate actively from their personal reality tend to be more open. It is not hard to guess which of them enjoy more the challenges of life and learn faster!

 

      The good thing to know is thatour personalitiesare not stagnant programs, they are dynamic experiences of behaviors, thoughts, habits and emotions. And they can be redefined and recreated through our awakening and willingness to make a change, wether big or small.

 

I have confirmed with these observations thatit is much more efficient if we want to improve our movement skills to address first the education of attention and attitude. When we retrain the mind through awareness the body naturally follows into more integrated and healthier landscapes.

 

       As a conclusion, we need to know if we want to we see life as a place full of storms(drama, fear and loss) or we want to see it as an experience in which we want to express our passion and openness. In our decision we´ll define our whole life experience. Which is our choice as students and teachers?

 

Ilustration: www.agathebb.com

Inhale. Exhale.

BREATHE. 

This is the only thing I want to share today, but it would be a very short article! I want to give it a context and share the reasons why I say this.

     A good asana practice should never interrupt the steady flow of the breath, an obvious principle when said but not obvious when the time to apply it comes. The embodiment of this principle in the physical practice of yoga can take a lifetime. 

Many things disturb that steadiness in the flow of breath when we practice poses. In my opinion two of them are the greatest ones: unfocused mind and excessive effort. In fact, the extremes move us out from a balanced breath; a déficit in the quality of the mind (due to chaos or overactivity) or an excess in the capacities of the body.

      An easy way to encourage the steadiness in the flow of breath in this frame would be to make sure we stay present to what we are doing and we move with detail and sensitivity in the challenges offered by asana practice (looking for precision and integrity more that fighting or forcing the poses!).

The observation of these elements (mind and body) plus the willingness to master the flow of breath can bring great joys to our experience of life moment to moment. Imagine what would happen if we managed to control our body and our mind and at the same time breathe in a generous and open way. It would probably happen that control meets openness and the skills we build are not rigid but have a healthy degree of flexibility. And that is health; a balanced state of mind and a sweet feeling tone. If we only controlled the mind and the body but did not add a nice deep smooth breath we would run the risk of being too much into that controlling quality. Who wants that level of stiffness?  

So, up to know, we´ve shared that steady uninterrupted breath, focused mind and sensitive movement would give us a good experience of asana. 

Great, but our life is more than asana, right? If we apply the same principles we could say that good life practice should never interrupt the steady flow of breath. In any activity that we perform (or any moment without an activity) we aim to not interrupt the flow of breath. I would say that everything improves with good breath: thinking, speaking, singing, dancing, making love, taking a massage, visiting the dentist, negotiating a contract, buying clothes, choosing food in a restaurant, telling someone you love them, telling someone you don´t love them, being who you are, etc.

Why is this so? Apart from all the philosophy related to vitality described by the yogis, there is a physiology to the breath. Breath is the doorway to our physiological coherence. Slow rhythmic breath modifies the heartbeat and the heart as a major organizer organ starts sending coherent signals to other organs that will also start changing their rhythm to synchronize it. The heart sends much of its communication to the brain (and the brain also sends information to the heart, but there is more flow of information from the heart to the brain than viceversa). After a few minutes of slow deep breath the nervous system starts receiving the signal that we are safe. Would you breathe slowly if a lion was chasing you? You would breathe fast, accelerate the heart and get into fight, flight or freeze response. You would let your body know that you are in danger!

       When you breathe slowly you are telling your body that you are not in danger, so the alarm systems shut off and the repair systems kick in. The heart beat is a game amongst the two branches of the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic branch tells the heart to beat, and the parasympathetic puts it to rest. When these branches are working in balance and synchrony the heart beat has a nice stable rhythm (like a good conversation in which one talks and the other listens alternatively in a very natural flow). This is why good breath connects us to our truth, because when we are relaxed we are free from trying to impress others; we feel safe and act with ease and honesty.

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Maybe we can now say that good breath encourages a good conversation with life through a balanced experienced in our body.

If you match this with an elevated emotion that you can hold towards yourself, something or someone (love, appreciation, gratitude) your whole system will enter a state of energy, mental clarity and good feeling state. 

I love applying this wisdom to my practice and my teaching, blending what we know today about physiology with what we always knew about yoga.

In case it is not clear.

BREATHE! :-)

 

For your own personal study please check www.heartmath.org and any classical text of yoga on prana, pranayama or asana*. 

*Recommended authors Van Lysebeth, Iyengar, Desikachar, Richard Rosen, Swami Nirajananda.

 

Illustration Joe Anderson

 

Nothing to declare, nothing to confess, nothing to validate.

      Our mats are not a space of validation. No examination is going on when we practice yoga. No competition should be present (though a lot of competent focused action will benefit us).

Our space and time on the mat are a gift to us. A time to know ourselves, feel our breath, create healthy and stimulating shapes for our bodies. Our mats are a blessing; a metaphor where we can practice skills for the challenges and pleasures of being alive. In our yoga practice we will find time to be who we are and breath with the present moment. Our yoga time is an experiential context to feel undivided, linked to everything and everyone. 

Therefore, there is no reason to create struggle, resistance, tension, criticism, denial or attachment to anything we experience. There is already a lot of that out there, in our daily lives. Ideally, the mat is informing of another way of living and feeling life. 

From the most basics. The deep directed attentive breath we apply in our physical practices regulates the nervous system. Paying attention to something, instead of being scattered, brings refined brain organization that allows us to get into creative heightened enlightened states. Just the good vibe you have when you finish your yoga practice can change your whole day for the best.

When we believe  that our yoga is defined by our range of movement or advanced poses, when we think that flexibility or extremes validate and certify us as true yogis, we are missing a big part of the story!

You and I have been given the chance to self regulate our human experience from within. Through mindset and mood we define our relationship with the external world. There are no prerequisites for this. We all have the right.

My focus as a yoga educator is bringing these concepts to my teaching. While exploring movement and shapes I remind students to move their attention to their breath and stay focused. I know that a successful practice is not one that attains the most advanced pose, but one that targets the soul of the human being. If anything within us feels broken or fragmented we don´t want to break it more bringing separation and violence. We want to bring tenderness, love, respect and compassion to our bodies. That doesn´t mean we are weak. It means that we are finding our strength where it is: in our intention and our determination.

We need to nourish our intentions taking time to define our highest values and how we want to bring them into our lives. The yogis consider ethics a very important and primary part of the practice, and I believe that they did for a very obvious reason.

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How could we bring our physical, mental or spiritual practices to success if we are not proud of how we are behaving in the world? 

How can a person that is not doing goodness in daily life concentrate on a meditation or pranayama?

How can we do an asana with the purity of alignment and breath that it requires if we have been stealing or judging or offending people? 

     All our troubles and inner demons appear when we settle ourselves in silence or observation (a good asana practice should have both of these qualities). We would like to have as little of those troubles and demons as we can.

A daily purified way of living will keep shame, guilt, resentment, anger and other strong emotions to their lowest. In this context we can concentrate in our practice with less interruptions and obstacles.

Then, we have nothing to declare because we are travelling light and and we are not exporting our burdens from one place to another.

We have nothing to confess, because our loving actions in the world keep our heart clean and serene.

We have nothing to validate because we already know of our perfection and are happy to support ourselves as we are.

Now, are we willing to be open and  explore the adventure of travelling light, be loving and shine our truth in the world?

 

* Ilustration Daniella Ferreti

March Newsletter - Essential Spring

  I was wondering for this newsletter if I should adopt a spring or a yogi mood, wether I should use for the heading one of today´s pictures of the natural landscape or a few cute pictures doing poses.

To be honest, I spend more time looking at the landscape than I do on the mat. This is life. There is more life in my life than mat. However, they both interweave in such disproportionate perfect proportion that they can´t live one without the other. My life would be dull without the mat, and my mat would be ungrounded without the roots that daily and common life gives me.

So I´m going to put the spring as heading and a couple of discrete yoga pictures in poses that remind me how much I need the center of my body to embellish and stabilize all the other elements. The center is that aspect of my life that brings me back to the origin of things, so I can naturally assume the complexity of life and rest in the simplicity I consciously chose.

I´m wondering how the regular students feel after a couple of exciting months focusing in the core of our body. I have the impression that it has helped us all to center and focus in the essence of the practice. To my way of thinking, an intense posture only makes sense if we are able to perform it with quality, and for that we need precision, time, devotion and intention. This has been the central axis of my teaching these months. The juice of any fruit or vegetable will keep better its vitamins if we squeeze it with slowness and patience. From my perspective the yoga physical practice is the same, it reaches perfection when it is nourishing and simple, when anxiety disappears and inspiration appears.

I don´t want to make it too long, since I would like you to keep some interest for the articles I wrote in the blogs and the talk at the end.

I wish you a beautiful spring!

* For daily or weekly inspirations you can visit me in social media (Facebook & Instagram @samyamayogaibiza).

Read complete Newsletter

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The Art of Relevance

      In our last Global Coherence Teachers Gathering  in Ibiza I invited all the teachers to share a piece of knowledge that had transformed or inspired their practice or their teaching. I called this gathering a Knowledge Sharing Gathering. With this subject I was holding the inner intention to help release any tendency to keep the knowledge that is truly relevant only for ourselves and rather get used to sharing all the gems and treasures of our path, both with students and other teachers. 

Unconsciously, some  teachers will make their students believe that they have many answers and knowledge and create power or dependency based relationships. One has the power of knowledge (the teacher) and the other one needs that knowledge (the student). I completely understand that this slowly unfolding knowledge  model worked in the past when the student lived with the master and devoted his life to the study and practice of yoga. In this traditional context knowledge was delivered layer by layer, as it would go very deep and it was a long term process. 

Of course, I don´t believe that we should give students anything that would overwhelm them (like sophisticated energetic techniques or intractable texts). Nevertheless, the truth is that the majority of teachers nowadays don´t have access to that sophisticated traditional knowledge, but have some very good tools that are easy to understand by most people. And most people are ready for them! I hope this is clear: students are as smart as their teachers, even if they know less about yoga! Let´s be mindful if we are teachers with the subtle vanity, arrogance and self centeredness that comes from having a few beautiful souls feeling great after our classes.

      In this contemporary world, the era of information, we can be transformed by knowledge. I consider myself an educator, so I want all the people around me to be as well informed as possible, and to have all the relevant knowledge to make them self sustainable in their practices and their lives. I wish every student could have enough knowledge to initiate their own svadhyaya (study/inquiry) and could practice more and feel safe and secure while doing it. The classroom is a very safe space to learn, then we need the unknown space of intimacy to discover and move deeper.

I consider especially important that what we share is relevant to the listener. I don´t think we have to share just to share, just because we are teachers we don´t have to keep filling the air with our voice and words!

     Once we have decided that we are open to this idea of delivering our knowledge, we have to make sure that we are not delivering our story so that it can be admired by others. We need to remember when we talk that it is not to listen to ourselves or impress others, it is to be listened by others and have a positive impact in their lives.

These thoughts, intentions and reflections that I brought to the teachers gathering gave me the idea of talking about the Art or Relevance. If we are teachers, educators or communicators we will be talking a lot in our daily life (at the end of a long day I´m not tired of teaching itself, but of listening to myself!), so we want to make sure that we speak with awareness and good content. 

Trying to define the Art of Relevance...

- The art of relevance is the ability to notice which information is valuable in each moment, and making sure we don´t keep it for ourselves. Being relevant includes being courageous. It includes releasing fear so that we are ready to share things that could make others need us less and be more independent.

- The art of relevance means that we don´t use others to listen to our stories, but we are ready to serve them allowing their story to be supported or embellished by our contribution. Includes talking to improve the listeners life, not to grant benefits for ourselves (yes, this includes good communication of your talents but controlling your desire to permanently market yourself!).

- The art of relevance includes staying quiet if what we are going to say is empty and decorative, mainly considering how hard it is to find quiet moments in life! Nevertheless, it is more than relevant to say relevant things with beauty and poetry. Relevant can be beautiful too, it´s not a cold and distant way of sharing.

- To be relevant and enlightening we should restrain from sharing any communication that includes complaining, criticizing or minimizing people or events. Don´t download on others your personal frustrations, be medicinal for the people around you and take care of your own cleansing in the appropriate contexts. When we communicate we should deliver the best of ourselves: bright clean clear light.

- We should not confuse being relevant with satisfying others. Sometimes it is relevant to let know someone that we don´t feel good about something, even if that creates a slight discomfort in the moment. It will help clarify the landscape and  will link us to each other in a truthful way.

      Practicing the art of relevance I´ve collected very beautiful experiences and sensations. I´ve apparently lost a few students to whom I recommended other teachers and then they decided to stay with those teachers. When I say that I lost them it completely confuses the story for you. In my opinion I served especially well those students who could then move deeper into their practices, releasing attachments to my teaching and moving into more meaningful or inspiring practices for them. Does this mean that they don´t love me anymore? (yes, it all comes up to feeling loved or rejected)… Of course not! (Hopefully…) I feel that these students are grateful to me and still come to see me for specific things. But they don´t need me anymore. In my opinion this is an educational success.

A few ideas to master the Art of Relevance…

- First and imperative, we need to create more inner silence! Too many voices inside will want to come outside (there´s not enough space in there!) and will probably reduce our clarity and order. Anything that regulates the nervous system and helps you feel at peace will help your communication to be more relevant.

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- Make sure you have good information before you decide to share it. Don´t speculate, or if you do it let everybody know that you are doing it. Make it clear if you are just giving your opinion and  if your are not offering validated information. 

- Become a better listener. It´s not so easy when we are used to being the one who talks to be a good listener. Practice holding your lips together two out of three times that you want to open your mouth in any conversation. This will help you when you are not in a conversation, there will be a holding on before letting go that helps purify and select what comes out and what stays in.

- Know your true intentions. Get to know yourself and which are your motivations when you communicate. Be honest. Be true. Be you. You don´t have to be perfect, you don´t have to be loved by everyone. If you try to be loved by everyone you will most probably find yourself saying irrelevant things just to impress or grant followers. Being relevant is not equal to being important. Be genuine and set yourself free! 

Do we have to be always relevant? 

     I believe that as educators we should be relevant at least 85 or 90% of the time. People take a lot of time, energy and resources to listen and learn from us. Let´s keep it meaningful and profitable for them. 

Does being relevant mean that we only share objective knowledge and experience and never share personal stories? I don´t believe so. Some personal stories are extremely relevant. The right personal experiences shared in the right moment can inspire others as much as our objective, scientific, technical or philosophical knowledge.

Knowledge and experience together will bring us wisdom, and this wisdom will guide us to be relevant and helpful to others. If this is a goal for you in your life I hope these words have helped or inspired you for the best.

Though I perfectly know that you are as smart as I am and maybe you don´t need them!

* If I wrote this article it is because I daily find myself in the process of developing this art and I believe it is a relevant experience  to be shared :-)

 

Illustration Isabelle Cardinal

Skills and personal truth

       Our yoga practices in our contemporary world can be used as tools for the development of our personal truth and our skillfulness for joyful and mindful living. And this is just a choice we have. We can use them for anything else that matters for us: parenting, learning, working, meditating, traveling,… It´s not so much about what we use them for, but the fact they serve us well in our world and our aspirations. 

This is why each student is so different, why each teacher is so different. Because we each choose different ways of using the tools and applying them to our lives. 

      I can feel a clear upgrading in my knowledge and skillfulness after my first 100 hours advanced training with Jason Crandell. And the most important thing is that it serves me. It serves me for my personal aspirations and truth; to be a better student, to explore my practice with more tools, to express myself better as a teacher and to communicate with more clarity to others how I see yoga and what I want to offer through my education in this field.

I believe that we shouldn´t keep anything is our lives that is not serving us. If a relationship is not serving us, we should let it go or transform it. If our mood is not serving us we should take time to look at life from different perspectives, if we feel lonely and powerless we could decide to cultivate our inner strength and our courage,… 

      If we all did things like this, with responsibility, we wouldn´t be moaning and complaining about the world but shining our bright clear light on it. I really believe that it is a waste of energy not to take care of what matters to us, ignoring what is calling upon us (our dharma in the yogic worldview). All our insecurities become burdens for the soul, all our dependencies become burdens for the people around us. There are more than enough reasons to make space for this development of skills and personal truth.

We really need to upgrade our skillset if we feel we want to continue to develop integrity and maturity. The best of all, is that if we use it well, the upgrading will always bring a loss of personal ego, reminding us that we are all in a path of discovery and removing obstacles here and there… And, really, this is funny…Not as serious as we make it look! 

So, please, make your yoga serve you and your world. Choose the tools and teachers and practices that serve you and your world. And then, let it be, and allow others to do the same.

Never expect others to attach to your principles, but be happy to share them. Never expect everyone to respect you, but make sure you respect everyone. Keep your energy free, don´t get distracted judging others. Get focused in knowing thyself.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

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Manifesto of a Cooperation Based Yoga Teacher

I never aimed to become viral, massive or famous. Not as a person.

Nevertheless,  I´ve been very happy and grateful to receive the natural evolution and fruits in my career as a yoga teacher and educator, through the laws of effort and release, action and no-action, creation and surrender. 

But now it´s different! I would really love to have a deep impact in the community of teachers with this Manifesto. I would like us to reflect individually and as a community.  What are we doing? What are we building? What legacy are we leaving? What culture are we creating?

I started cooking this idea in my heart around one year ago. I finished the Manifesto around 6 months ago. I felt shy to share it in a big scale. But my shyness will not make it more effective.

Please read it and share will the teachers you know that might need or appreciate the content. Let´s stay motivated! We are not alone...

 

Manifesto of a Cooperation Based Yoga Teacher

Written in Ibiza in September 2017

 

One body, many cells.

· As a yoga teacher and educator I recognize myself as a unique, specialized and talented cell that belongs to one only body. That body is made up by all the teachers and educators that are spreading the wisdom of Yoga, creating a culture and a legacy for the next generations. 

· I acknowledge that a body works well thanks to the cohesiveness, coherence, cooperation and truthfulness of each of these cells. 

· I believe that the aim of this body is to serve, modeling and inspiring the world through thought, word and action.

· I recognize my power to transform and affect the world. I believe that we teachers are here to remind each other each day that this collective goal of transformation is a priority and more important than our individual goals of personal success. I know that true success is the success of the community.

Around skills, development and knowledge.

· I take 100% responsibility for my skillfulness and the state of my career and professional development as a teacher.

· Finding my own voice and sharing my truth is the best way in which I can serve this community. Other teachers can be a reference of style or wisdom, but none of them can see and feel my truth as I can do it. Thus, I´m happy to listen to others, and at the same time I´m grounded in my convictions and values.

· I´m happy to revise my teaching and assumptions every day.  Keeping updated my knowledge and skills through inquiry and study is my obligation, not a choice, but a responsibility I have with this community.

· I strive for learning, not perfection. I know that there are many blind spots in my experience and knowledge. Therefore I keep my humility, honoring the diversity of schools and teachings.

· I accept jealousy, fear and envy as part of the human experience. I decide to feel it, not to feed it.

Sharing.

· I wish to make yoga accesible to everyone, honoring each context and each student, always.

· It´s my desire to share the experiences and the learning that have served me, helping the people around me to find their own training, inspiration or learning resources.

· Students have a right for freedom and decision making in their evolution and practice, my commitment is to offer as many intellectual and practical knowledge as it´s necessary and possible in each case. 

· I´m willing to share the deep values and philosophy of yoga, and happy to accept the degree in which each student wants to commit to these values.

Ethics, intentions, awareness.

· Minimizing others  breaks the ethical rules of a true teacher.

· Judging others will not help them and will interfere in my ability to communicate with kindness, compassion and clarity. I decide to stay open to the needs of the students and aware of my own emotions in every moment. 

· I believe that community awareness puts the emphasis on our capacity to support each others in our transitions. As teachers we all have fears, doubts and weak areas. In our vulnerability lies our power for transformation. Being fierce and brave to share these vulnerabilities will get us closer to each others hearts and to the heart of Yoga, and we will be able to serve better.

· I believe that there´s enough for all and that sharing naturally and effortlessly increases our health, wealth and true success, both individually and as a community.

Core values, true yoga, belonging.

· I´m happy to break the patterns in my mind and heart that give me a sense of fragmentation and separation. Yoga is about wholeness, connection, union.

· I wish a long life to Yoga and to myself as a teacher. I work for the longevity of this tradition and my own longevity as a teacher. When I take actions I consider the effects of those actions in the long term more that the immediate rewards of those actions.

· The power of Yoga is much stronger that the power of my yoga. I´m willing to recognize that this power is not coming from me, but through me.

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About the meanings of Cooperation

 in a Community of Yoga Educators

 

· Owning the beliefs of cooperative teaching might be a slow process, I´m willing to honor it´s rhythms and take them into my own language and emotion. Creating a new culture requires time, dedication, intention and patience. New habits and behaviors are necessary for a new teacher to be born. 

· When we cooperate we don´t sum up our parts, we become something new by joining these parts.

· The aim of a community of teachers includes supporting new teachers in developing the skills and overcoming the challenges of this profession.

· Humility and tolerance are absolutely necessary for the health of this movement, there´s no human hierarchy but different states of experience and knowledge.

· A community or body of teachers  is a creative space, not a space of followers. Each cell has intelligence and the capacity to take it´s own decisions, it simply never forgets that its behavior affects the whole body, and thus takes the right responsibility and integrity always.

· Willingness and attitude are the roots of our strength as a community. All the members of a community need some time to reflect on the right balance of freedom and commitment.

· Spiritual maturity will give us the courage to move forward in these roots and grow our branches.

· Empathy is the basic tool for understanding each others, even if we don´t agree.

· A community does not absorb the individuals and their personal path and development, it just reminds us that we can also refine ourselves through interaction with our peers

· Though the comfort of navigating on our own is obvious, we still decide to take some of our time, energy, resources and mental availability to think in a multidimensional way, overcoming the limited consciousness of the self and diving in to the  greater consciousness that bonds us to each other in a timeless way.

· A community aims to create culture, and represent that  culture with its actions. 

What culture do we want to create? 

What do we believe is a our mission as yoga teachers and educators?

 

 

Diana Naya

Ibiza, September 2017  

Please share your ideas and feelings with me!  diana@samyamayogaibiza.com

 

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New cycles, never endings

       I´m sure things never really begin and never really end, they just become expressive in some periods of our life, and unexpressive in others. That´s why detachment happens naturally when I have to transition from one stage to another. I know nothing is really lost, as I know I´m not conquering anything I don´t have within me already.

    For nearly two years I´ve been centered in creating content very intensely for my thematic workshops. Short workshops that I´ve been offering in Madrid, Alicante, Ibiza, Barcelona and London, in the languages of reflection, science, vinyasa, yin yoga, restorative yoga and mindful living. 

They have required a lot of insight and depth from my side, and have manifested as lightness and joyful education for students. I would say it has been a success in my inner worlds. Pleasure, satisfaction and gratitude remain with me. I´ve used my freedom and personal interests to talk about inspiration, motivation, vitality, mental clarity, transparency, awakened life, courage, enthusiasm, stress, honesty, etc... And I´ve been lucky enough to have people willing to listen to me!

I´ve also seen grow my Mindful Vinyasa mini-training, and I´ve seen myself emerge naturally as teacher of teachers, all of us being students.

    Now it´s time to turn the wheel further and put my creative mind to rest so I can move deeply into the next stage of what wants to be expressed. It´s time to simplify and redirect my energy towards less outgoing energies, grounding my wisdom and acknowledging my ignorance. My soil needs some rest and some time to reach out for renewed nutrients. 

    Yoga considers ignorance (avidya) to be one of the most dangerous states we can dwell in and I would not like to ignore what I need to improve in my own praxis and professional responsibility. It´s time for me to get out there empty of knowledge and full of innocence. I´m ready for an upgrading even if that requires me to downgrade temporarily some pleasures, identities and activities.

    I believe I´m a born teacher, but also a born student. That´s why this coming year will be devoted to receiving training rather than offering it. 

    Many things have happened while I´ve been creating this beautiful content for my workshops. I´ve seen my children moving from baby and toddler into lion and princess; family life has been the greatest inspiration source for me, along with my privileged relationship with nature in my ibicencan lifestyle.

I´ve naturally built a very stable private practice in Ibiza in which I receive regularly resident students, local and international, for their one-to-one enquiry, practice and study time. All of them are committed long-term and faithful to their practice. I believe this is a miracle, and these routines have changed their lives and mine.

Great collaborations have flourished too in these years with other schools and companies, representing my ideal business relationships: freedom, respect, correct value and commitment.

I started my Youtube Channel, out of innocence, just to stay in touch with people that were not close to me, and I never expected this warm welcome among practitioners and teachers. I didn´t even know what a subscriber was nor did I perceive it as a marketing strategy of any kind. The truth is that it has served my highest goals as a teacher: connection and service. 

    Resilience and humility have been my main personal goals, and the fruits have been showing up in miraculous ways, with evidence and sweetness. Though I´ve had to deal with the rough experience of being long-term injured for the first time ever, I believe it has been supporting my goals.

    So, what´s next? I´m not really sure but it has an aroma. I´ve clearly placed a big part of my time, family and material resources for 2018 to the service of taking advanced training for myself with my admired teacher Jason Crandell in London. 

My teaching energy will be devoted to collaborations, retreats and summer yoga, and my private practice which goes all year round. This means: study time,  external ideas, external requests, external availability, but  temporarily no educative proaction, no workshops scheduling, no content creation for myself… 

My intuition tells me that 2019 will be giving shape to a body of theory and practice that I can deliver as training to other teachers, which has been a long term request I´ve been receiving.

Anyway, I´m not sure about the future… And it feels really good not to know! 

    To celebrate all this and more I wrote this post, and I want to leave here a few quotes that I´ve been reading to myself or students along these years and that really represent my journey, my believes and my service. It´s my way of saying goodbye to this stage, and expressing my gratitude for those of you around me and inside me. All of you are sitting in my heart.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

 

If I have no appetite—it is because I am already full. If I have no desire to go anywhere—it is because I have already arrived. 

Max Strom

 

Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state, you don’t need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?

Joe Dispenza

 

The world doesn't really need more people who can bend their bodies into amazing positions. What it needs are kinder, more compassionate, generous people.

Donna Farhi

 

Rid your body of its impurities, let your speech be true and sweet, feel friendship for the world, and with humility seek wealth and knowledge.

Krishnamacharya

 

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Ancient spiritual traditions remind us that in each moment of the day, we make the choices that either affirm or deny our lives. Every second we choose to nourish ourselves in a way that supports or depletes our lives; to breathe deep and life-affirming breaths or shallow, life-denying ones; and to think and speak about other people in a manner that is honoring or dishonoring. 

Gregg Braden

 

And my favorite!

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

Rhythms and rhymes

              Life has very kindly and clearly invited me to think about the rhythms and rhymes of my life. Interesting subject... For more success in my decisions I´ve called my truth and purpose to build a plan that fits in my inner values and priorities.

       Rhythm is the beat at which life circulates in our veins and in the avenues of our decisions in time and space.

Nature is by far the best expert in rhythms. The part in us that best represents nature is our body. We can overcome the challenges of our own nature with good listening, sensitivity, humility and curiosity. Cultivating can be an intense task, as well as collecting the fruits can require intense and immense actions. This has been my path for a long time.

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This month I want to honor new rhythms, breathing slowly, walking lightly, feeling the temporary aspects free of drama and celebrate the eternal qualities of life. 


       The rhymes are the ways in which we combine environmental and personal elements to sing clearly our message into the world. We can hone this voice with honesty, and the rhyme is refined through trial and error. When a verse does not rhyme well it might be better to start from zero. 

For my rhymes I´m collecting good words, high aspirations, noble values and ancient virtues.


      In Ibiza we´ve just changed seasons and the arm wrestling match with time has softened. Life is offering me, for the first time in 7 years, two little ones taking his education outside our home, which presents me a quieter landscape for my study and practice time (activities that have survived miraculously in the corner of my sleep time or thanks to my declared stolen time to my family). I want to savour this, but not all on my own! I´m blessed to live in Ibiza were many schools end at 2pm and I can get my children home to enjoy together the flavors of our simple and light homemade food, embracing together the beginning of sunset time. I know this is a temporary pleasure and joy, and I don´t want to miss it!

This is the reason why I feel that we always have to readjust our rhythms and rhymes, because everything is changing around us, wether we want it or not. And all is changing inside, wether we ignore or not.

      This last quarter of the year I´m happily flying to three beautiful destinations to teach: London, Barcelona and Madrid. For the beginning of 2018 I´ve decided to move slowly and concentrate on some new trainings. I will dedicate myself to my work in Ibiza, reducing external projects to the really relevant, necessary and possible. For everything else, I´ll be here… in my simple and quiet life. This, as everything else, is also temporary, I want to make the most out of it!

It´s a real pleasure to keep sharing this journey with you; enjoying the simple things, savoring, choosing,...

 

This text belongs to the October Newsletter, please click here to see the complete newsletter...

Inner stillness from Heart Math Institute

      I´ve been following with passion the research or HeartMath Institute, and it´s right now at the base of my work. How we create an experience of physiological coherence and harmony mastering our heart rate through breath, thought and emotion has revealed itself to be a very accesible and efficient tool for improving my own life and my student´s awareness.

Here´s an excerpt from the last heart wisdom mailing, about inner stillness... We all move in so many directions that we should open our eyes and ears to these concepts! And stop moving for a while every day!

"Many spiritual cultures agree inner stillness creates an energetic environment for supporting our advancing consciousness that can unleash the transformational power of our love.

That’s why, from the beginning of HeartMath, many of the tools and especially the technology has been designed to monitor and facilitate easier access to stillness and its connection to our natural inner wisdom and guidance. Forget the mystical and think of inner stillness as something practical and street-worthy. How many times have we told friends or children to get still inside and listen-up because we have something important to tell them?

This reveals our innate respect for the value of stillness, so why not use it the way it can count the most, to quiet our mental and emotional static so we can hear the counsel from our heart’s intuitive suggestions for better choices and outcomes.

When our mind finally lets go, inner stillness is where we land. From there we can reset and upgrade the experience of our life. The earlier we learn the value of inner stillness, the less we need to experience the more stressful ways life often nudges us into considering higher choices for personal peace and happiness. We often hear ourselves and others say, "If I had more foresight, I would have handled that situation differently." Stillness is a primary source for increasing our foresight and discernment. Inner stillness is a place that our heart can speak without our mind running it off the road. In order to "be still, and know" we first have to be still enough to listen.

It’s a forward-moving choice to schedule times for inner stillness and allow our heart, mind and emotions to experience a time-out from competing with each other and enjoy some casual peace together. Stillness requires a little practice because our mind will try to occupy that space (or any space if the door is left cracked).

If inner stillness didn’t produce high-value results, think of all the centuries of time that meditators and spiritually conscious people would have wasted throughout history. With refinement, inner stillness becomes like a personal elevator to our highest view and eliminates the weariness from climbing endless stairs. We feel that practicing inner stillness to connect with our heart’s intelligent guidance will become a most positive corner-turning step forward for humanity, not as a trend or religious motivation way but as a practical step for creating a less stressful, happier life
."

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I wish we can share this wisdom and tools soon together!

Human connection is at the base of global harmony... 

Alignment, truth & hello

      I started my yoga practice when I was 18, and I immediately fell in love with the sensations that appeared after the classes. Many things happened afterwards and in between these last years that I have devoted to teaching. I worked as a designer for nearly a decade, whilst trying to find a sense of joy in my daily life. 

I was lost enough to find myself in this new expression of my creativity. In this moment of my life I feel that I'm in the right place and I love my work.  

      After these years of teaching, releasing my old lifestyle and diving into the joys of education and connection, I've been to many different schools and teachers. They all address yoga alignment in their own way and mood. So I can say, up to now, that it's nearly impossible that there is a true and correct alignment that works for everybody in all the poses. Considering that every body is unique, I would like to consider that each pose is also different for each person

From this starting point, I'm able to draw only one big conclusion about alignment. We have to be aligned with our truth. And only we can know what's our truth… And then we can check anatomical alignment possibilities...

So a good way to start our yoga practice is to honor our uniqueness. Only look at others to get inspired, because comparison will never lift your mood, and don't blame yourself if you feel faithless or fearful while showing your limitations in a shared space.

There comes a time when you don't care anymore about what others think about you. And it's not because you are disconnected from the world, but because you have understood that what really matters is what you think about yourself and how you connect to yourself. 

      Consider taking actions to honor yourself, in a healthy, supportive and loving way. Encourage yourself to take the necessary risks on the mat and off the mat, and assume the results of your actions. This way you´re most probably getting closer to what feels true in your heart. 

And now … release the self and become one with everything and everyone around you!

This is yoga, a path of self-awareness that ultimately wants to keep the awareness and release the self. And it doesn’t feel like emptiness, but wholeness!

Welcome to my new English website, I'm very excited to share content with you…

* For resources for teachers and practitioners in Spanish please visit my Spanish blog www.samyamayoga.es