Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kripalu Chair Yoga Teacher Training - Krishna Das in Concert

Yoga is seeing life the way it is. - Patanjali Yoga Sutras

After looking at the Kripalu catalog* for years, I made it there on Oct. 8, 3 days shy of my birthdayI happily accepted an invitation to assist Lakshmi Voelker and Tracey Eccleston with their Chair Yoga Teacher Training*; I had assisted them twice at the Open Center where I was trained in Chair Yoga.  The program is awesome and complements everything I do beautifully and anyone can really benefit from chair yoga.  Although I absolutely have no problems getting unto a mat, I love Lakshmi's Chair Yoga** and I was astonished how much the legs get worked despite sitting on a chair. 

One of my favorite self care rituals this summer
was doing my holistic practice in the morning in Central Park before breakfast.  I started with chi gong, then used the benches to do chair yoga.  (One morning a 22-year old woman from Saudi Arabia who was on her honeymoon asked if she could join me.  She had lower back challenges, and must have been intrigued by me sitting on the bench doing exercises rather than standing up.  I was almost done and did not have much time, but I did some poses with her.) 
As seen on the Lakshmi Voelker website: "Chair yoga offers you the ability to improve your health through an amazing form of adaptive exercise.  You are supported by a chair so you can receive yoga’s healing and restorative benefits that have been known for thousands of years.  Yoga relaxes your body and mind, improves your musculo-skeletal fitness and flexibility, and elevates your overall health and well-being." 
healthy meals
My 5 days as Kripalu Faculty Assistant: dorm room, sharing bathroom down the hallway; lights off by 10pm, but as assistants we often were not quite ready at that time, so you just tried to be as quiet as you could and used flash lights.  It was lovely to meet other assistants and hear about their workshops.  Yoga classes started at 6:30am followed by workshops, etc..  Healthy eating, seasonal, aryuvedic, home made chai (what a treat), fresh apple cider, porridge ranging from quinoa to brown rice.  I loved the option of silent eating in the small dining room across from the big one; I shared the experience with my colleague, Ann.  We did whisper from time to time and shared giggles.  Alone the experience of having to be quiet, put me into quiet ecstacy.  The first time, I "messed up", I said good morning to Lakshmi, when I ran into her by the hot water - oops - and I covered my mouth - how could I forget?   Giggles.  
Kripalu Sunrise
Self Care:  Dien Cham Basic Session soon after the alarm clock went off at 5:30am; Chi Gong outside at sunrise to prepare for assisting, getting some fresh air and take in the famous New England fall colors.  My digestion was off due to the different routine, but returned to normal during the Krishna Das concert (more about that later) on my birthday eve, so I did belly rubs clockwise 36 times to support the peristaltic movement, which is what you want to do in case of sluggishness.  I made sure to drink plenty of water and tea.  On my birthday my digestion was back on track,  I had also added soaked plums to my breakfast porridge.  There was a bit of overall discomfort as well as headache and my occasionally tense neck.  The head ache must have been caused by going off coffeeknowing that and the fact that it was all going so well helped ease the discomfort.  I should just get it over with and cut out coffee completely, since I go through this every time I am in a major workshop.  Let me tell you, the withdrawal symptoms are terrible!!!!
Krishna Das: During our stay the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Conference took place and I experienced Krishna Das on live stream and later on live for the first time - what a voice the man has!  And he is funny, too!  Check out my youtube video via link at the bottom of the post***
Students have to teach at the end of the workshop and it is such a pleasure to see everyone having made teaching their own and having found their voice in just a few days supported by their peers.   
Gorgeous Kripalu/Berkshires Fall
This is where I did one of my chi-gong morrning practices.

Ruth Apfel as quoted in the Advanced Style Blog: "Ruth believes that as long as you can move, you can do some form of exercise. She is a great inspiration to us all!" 

***Krishna Das: Sita Ram  

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