Karma Yoga

Karma is an interesting word in today’s society, in that it can have two meanings:
1. luck or fate – something outside of our control
2. an action or situation that occurs as a direct result of actions we had previously made – something our actions inspired to occur, and therefore very much in our control

Even though the two common interpretations of karma could seem to be opposites of each other, it is my understanding they are actually two sides of one coin – the side we can see and the side that we can’t see. Karma is essentially the universe’s way of balancing out actions. Sometimes we experience the balance within our lifetime, and we can see the results of the seeds we have sown – good or bad. Sometimes, however, what we experience is partially the result of actions and deeds we did in a previous life, the effects of which simply took longer to come to fruition. Because our conscious minds may not be aware of what our souls did on a previous journey, the type of karma that comes to us from a previous lifetime can seem a bit unfair.

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What’s Happening Now? The Internal Journey of the Artist

hap·pen·ing
ˈhap(ə)niNG/
noun

1.
an event or occurrence.
“altogether it was an eerie happening”
2.
a partly improvised or spontaneous piece of theatrical or other artistic performance, typically involving audience participation.
“a multimedia happening”

I first started Unnata Aerial Yoga as an artistic experiment, with questions like, “What would aerial yoga look like?” And, “Is it possible to create a combination class of aerial acrobatics and Yoga that could remain authentic Yoga?” I used all the curiosity and persistence I developed as a dance, performance and aerial artist to craft and refine the Unnata Aerial Yoga method.
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How Unnata Aerial Yoga Can Provide Relief From Bad Back Syndrome

Often I hear from a student, “I have a bad back!” But what exactly does that mean? The “back” makes up a large percentage of our body, with 33 vertebrae in total. (Although to be fair, some of those vertebrae are fused together.)

With that much substance and so many moving parts, of course a variety of things can go wrong, or wear down over time. So when a student says “I have a bad back,” she usually doesn’t mean the entire back has all possible problems. Instead, she means that only part of the back has troubles, and only with certain movements.

There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for every type of back problem, but if you have “bad back” troubles – it’s likely that you can find relief with the support of the yoga hammock in an Unnata® Aerial Yoga class.

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Unnata Membership Levels Explained

As of January 2018, we have launched a new Membership Area of the Unnata® Aerial Yoga website. All active Unnata members can now login to their personal Membership Area for access to a wealth of resources to support their personal Unnata practice, business, and teaching.

Basic Membership Is Awesome

The Basic Membership Area contains numerous member resources, method updates, course review, educational materials, and 30+ “Unnatips” videos. All Unnata members have access to all of these materials and resources.

Membership Upgrades Make It Better

You may also choose to add one or both of the following upgrades to your Basic membership:

  • Access to premium library of Full Unnata Class videos (recommended)
  • Addition to the new expanded Find-A-Class Maps page

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Master Your Mat Poses Through Unnata® Aerial Yoga

So you want to improve your Warrior 2, your Handstand, your Plank? Try supplementing your yoga flow classes with Unnata® Aerial Yoga. With a little support from the hammock, you’ll find the strength, balance, and stability to rock your traditional mat poses.

But wait, isn’t aerial yoga different from “regular” yoga?

Although some aerial yoga classes diverge greatly from classical yoga, Unnata® Aerial Yoga is rooted in tradition, and developed specifically to improve an understanding and practice of classical yoga. If you already practice yoga, you may be surprised how easy and familiar it is to join an Unnata® Aerial Yoga class, and how quickly you can breeze through the learning curve of a new activity.

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The Evolution of Unnata® Aerial Yoga

I grew up in Colorado where my family and I spent a large part of our time in the Rocky Mountains hiking, camping, and contemplating the silence of nature. I’m sure it came as no surprise to my family, then, when I became a teacher of Hatha Yoga. Like hiking among majestic mountains, Hatha Yoga uses strength, endurance and flexibility to seek an inner calm and peace. My practice of Hatha Yoga is therefore a natural outgrowth from my own personal history.

Many people ask me where aerial yoga comes from, or who invented it. Just like my own study of Hatha Yoga was the natural evolution of my childhood upbringing, Aerial Yoga evolved naturally over time through contributions from many yoga and movement teachers, each using their ingenuity to contribute a puzzle piece to the whole picture of what aerial yoga is today.

As far as I am aware, BKS Iyengar (1918-2014) was the first yoga teacher to hang students off the ground upside-down. He was looking for a way to help his students achieve the king of poses, headstand. Over time, he and his teachers created a whole system of using ropes attached to a smooth wall to suspend a student in a variety of asanas, including a supported headstand. He developed exercises using the rope wall to relieve stress on the joints, and improve postural alignment within asana practice.

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Deepen Your Understanding of Yoga Through a Reflection on the Yamas and Niyamas (Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras 2.30-2.45)

The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali is a guide to the practice of Yoga. Compiled prior to 400 CE, it is still studied in depth today. In the text, Patañjali lists the Yamas and the Niyamas as the first two steps on the path of cultivating Yoga. Asana, or the postures we usually associate with Yoga classes, is the third step.

If we were to place a seed on a plate, water it and place it in the sun for warmth and energy, even with careful tending, the seed still will not develop far. Without soil to take root in, and draw nutrients from, how is a plant to grow?

The Yamas and Niyamas are the soil for the seed of our Yoga practice. If we do not “plant” our daily Asana practice in the rich and fertile soil of the Yamas and the Niyamas, then true health will not grow out of our efforts.

Dale Chihuly at the NY Botanical Gardens

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So You Want to be an Unnata Teacher Trainer?

Unnata Aerial Yoga Teacher Training,
Ciudad Real, Spain

You’ve graduated from an Unnata Teacher Training, and you’ve fallen in love with this unique, and truly “yogic” style of aerial yoga. What’s next? Obviously you want the world to fall in love with Unnata too, and you can’t wait to further your own growth as a teacher. It makes sense that you’d be inspired to take the steps toward becoming an Unnata Teacher Trainer, right?

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What Makes Unnata Aerial Yoga Special?

Unnata founder Michelle Dortignac and students share what’s special about Unnata Aerial Yoga, and the difference it has made in their Yoga practice and lives:

Unnata Aerial Yoga was born of Michelle Dortignac’s 20+ years of yogic teaching, meditation practice, and movement and aerial arts performance. It is a comprehensive discipline, grounded in yogic tradition, that offers challenge and change for your whole being – body, mind and spirit.

Find out more about the Unnata Aerial Yoga difference.

Find a class near you on our Unnata Aerial Yoga Class Finder.

My Favorite Yoga Sutra (1.33) As Seen Through a Mirror

img_6627-1

As Yogis, our wisest leaders tell us that we must embrace unconditional love for each other if we are to find true transformation. And yet, many of us feel fear, sadness and anger more often than we feel peace and serenity. It’s not easy to simply drop an emotion and change our thoughts on a dime, so how can we navigate our way to that place of Yoga in our minds?

When I am confused and my mind only feels and sees chaos, I often look to Yoga Sutra 1.33 to give me guidance in how to find this unconditional love: “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.” (translation Swami Satchidananda)

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