Hello Dear Readers,
I seem to be practicing more yoga as of late. And I love the results that I get from it.
I heard a story recently on NPR (Ted radio hour) regarding (over) Work, Play and Rest. And I appreciate how the world is starting to realize that the rat-race, push-push-push, override-override-override patterns that we have in our corporate world, are not sustainable or healthy.
I think I have known that for most of my life. And the way that relates to this topic, is that I have been drawn to Yin Yoga, or more restorative yoga, at least for the past seven or eight years. In fact, I can recall a time in Hawai’i (which is where I was born and spent a number of years), where these well-tanned, well-muscled people were doing Hatha Yoga on the beach, in the sun. And I sat down about 100 feet away in the shade and started doing Svaroopa Yoga (much more restorative and supported than a standing Hatha practice). I got a few strange looks, because at least at that time, not many people had seen Svaroopa yoga. That was at least 12 years ago.
Sure, I had fantasies about being a famous, stretchy yogi when I was in my 20’s. I would see people doing amazing yoga here and there, but were they doing it for them? Or was it a bit of a performance? A status symbol? Look how special I am! Now, I am 42 and almost 43 years old, a bit wiser and more experienced. And certainly more aware of how rare a precious human rebirth is. And I have a much deeper appreciation of how beneficial it is to slow down and feel our organic healing rhythms!
So I am going to discuss some of my supportive practices – in the form of yoga. That would be Yin Yoga, 5 Element Yoga and Svaroopa Yoga.
I took my first Svaroopa Yoga class back in 2006 or so. There was a friend who lived nearby who had a large family room type of space, and she hired a teacher to come and lead classes for about eight weeks. It was awesome – walking a few blocks to a very supported, slower-paced, restful and rejuvenating yoga class! I ended up taking several classes there and benefiting from each one.
Svaroopa means “body bliss” if I am not mistaken. It is oriented to how can we have more support when doing yoga, how can we listen to what the body needs? For a time, I considered going to Pennsylvania for teacher training, but my vocation has taken a slightly different path (see my previous posts for more about my healing facilitation work).
I learned dozens of poses from my original Svaroopa yoga teacher (Joanne Wolf) and I am so very grateful. I am especially glad I learned the quick eight poses – there are four that we can do in bed (lying down) and four more that we can do in a chair. These have stuck with me, considering I use them at least once / week.
You can find out more here: https://svaroopa.org/
Then, in the past five years or so, I have learned more about Yin Yoga, or Restorative Yoga, or 5 Element Yoga. I put these names together, even though there are slight differences between each. But I think that each of them is all about slowing down, holding the poses for longer, getting a deeper stretch as a result, and opening the subtle energy channels a little bit more as a result.
My previous partner has a book by Sarah Powers entitled, “Insight Yoga.” In this marvelous book, the author discusses how to do yoga for each acupuncture meridian or organ system. For instance, there is a Heart / Intestines / Lung protocol or a Kidney / Bladder protocol (list of poses). She recommends holding the poses for 2, 3 or 5 minutes (gradually building up to holding the poses longer). There is a shorter list of poses in case you only have about 20 or 30 minutes, and there is a longer list, where you can spend up to 90 minutes working on a single organ / meridian system.
I love this book. Several times a month, I do the list of Kidney poses, or the Liver poses. And it is so beneficial. I feel more centered, more grounded and have greater clarity. I also find that my boundaries improve – and I become more spontaneous in a wisdom-mind sort of way. Like I just want to do and to be, rather than think about things.
I am calling this Insight Yoga practice 5-Element-Yoga, because of how she focuses so much on the individual organs and meridians. In fact, she even divides them up by element (similar to 5-Element Chinese Medicine). You can find out more here: https://sarahpowersinsightyoga.com/
I hope you discover the practices which lead to greater alignment and clarity! If you are still seeking these out, you might want to investigate one of these yoga practices. Obviously, practice within your limits (don’t push too hard). And I would highly recommend finding a good yoga teacher to work with, especially if you are just beginning.
Thanks for reading!