Beginner’s Mind – Where the Possibilities are Endless

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”― Shunryu Suzuki

Can you remember your first yoga class ever? And how maybe it wasn’t at all like you thought it would be? I remember having a preconception that yoga would be easy and peaceful, and I was surprised that my first class was quite challenging both physically and mentally. My beginner’s mind didn’t care that the practice was different than I expected, and a world of possibilities opened up as I realized that there was a whole world I knew nothing about but wanted very much to learn. This was the start of my passion for yoga and even now, years later as my practice continues, it’s always a spark of beginner’s mind that keeps me engaged and wanting to learn more.

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The Real Dharma

This post was written in celebration of Sri Dharma Mittra, who’s 80th birthday is this May, 2019. To find out more about Dharma Yoga and the studio’s celebratory plans, from May 10-14th click here.

Everybody has a unique way of being. A way of talking, a way of walking, a tilt of the head, or a facial expression reveals a thought or emotion. During a conversation, some people are quiet, some constantly interject, some speak at a slow pace, and others barely breathe while talking.

You receive so much additional information about people when you’re live in their presence, observing their idiosyncrasies. And you learn so much more about a teacher – and the teaching – when you experience it in person.

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The Unnata Membership

After graduating from the Unnata Aerial Yoga teacher training course, on an annual basis Unnata teachers have the choice to renew their license to teach Unnata Aerial Yoga. The Unnata license is not just calling oneself an “Unnata” aerial yoga teacher, and it’s not simply so that a teacher can keep using the “Unnata” logo, although those are definitely important parts. Maintaining an Unnata license is linked to a membership with an entire community of teachers and of their vast knowledge and various practices that all the Unnata teachers are devoted to developing. Maintaining an Unnata membership is keeping one’s teaching and personal practice relevant and safe, amongst other things.

What does it mean to be an Unnata Member?

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13 February 2018/Resource Aerial Yoga

We recently came across an article written in February 2018 by Occupational Therapist, Christy Jo Edgerle, MS, OTR/L.

In this article, Edgerle and her young students, take an Unnata® class at our member studio Kula Yoga and Wellness, in Wisconsin. Edgerle dives into the scientifically proven benefits of Unnata® Yoga including ‘upside-down play,’ and ‘vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile input,’ what those are and how they are beneficial for children and also for adults.

Edgerle shares her new-found love for the Unnata® Method and how excited the children were taking it.

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What Rock Paper Scissors Can Teach Us About Ayurveda & Balancing Our Doshas

Rock. Paper. Scissors. Let’s play a simple game that can teach us how to balance the three Ayurvedic doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). But first, what is Ayurveda? And what are the doshas?

Ayurveda is science of Life (Ayur = Life, Veda = Science). It is the sister science of Yoga, and it teaches us how to manage our health at every level – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

According to Ayurveda, the doshas are three primary qualities that we each embody in different amounts, and each dosha is derived from a particular combination of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether (space).

Vata = air & ether (space)
Pitta = fire & water
Kapha = earth & water

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好きこそものの上手なれ

四歳の娘とハンモックを使って遊んでいたのですが、途中から私はヤムナボールでマッサージしながら、のんびり横になっていました。
娘は片太ももにハンモックをかけて、激しく揺れ回って、”見て見て〜”と騒いで一人で遊んでいました。

気づくと、彼女は揺れもせず木のポーズでバランスをとり、呼吸をしています。まだヨガは直接教えてないですが、子供は自由に遊び方を発見しながらも、私のやることを見て真似します。このときは、マットの外で教えていた呼吸と床のヨガをハンモックの上でやっていました。

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A Yogi’s Understanding of New Year’s Resolutions

The story of the Bhagavad Gita begins on the eve of a great battle. The honorable warrior Arjuna flies over the battlefield with the help of his charioteer Krishna, to survey the situation. Arjuna sees his friends and relatives on one side of the field, ready to fight and slay his friends and relatives on the other side of the field.

Arjuna knows his cause is righteous, and his enemies brought these circumstances on themselves. But victory in battle would mean murdering his own friends and relatives, and the thought weighs heavy on his heart. Struck with compassion for his foes, dismayed and unsure what to do, Arjuna asks advice from Krishna. Forge ahead? Or, quit now, before any bloodshed?

Arjuna’s inner battle reflects a struggle that many of us experience at the dawning of
a new year. Do we forge ahead on our same path with renewed enthusiasm? Or do we alter course and begin afresh with a new direction?

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This 2006 Article about Unnata Yoga is still One of the Best!

One of our favorite articles about Unnata Yoga appeared all the way back in 2006, in the healthy lifestyle website Lime.com!

We loved the fun ice cream yoga analogies the author conjured up, but were super happy that he didn’t miss the deeper point; that Unnata Yoga “remains true to yoga principles and focuses on finding inner peace.” And 13 years later that’s still 100% true.

We’ve recreated the article for easy reading — check it out below!

Aerial Yoga: Grounding with Gravity

by Paul Freibott on June 8, 2006

Sometimes it seems that yoga’s the vanilla ice cream of the body/mind/spirit crowd—people can’t help themselves from sprinkling on their favorite toppings and swirling extras into the basic flavor. How else to perceive AcroYoga, Yogilates, and Cy-Yo, if not as the yogic versions of fudge ripple?

Yes, in Mysore, eyes would surely roll at comparing yoga to a frozen dessert, but in the U.S., yoga can be a delicious starting point for creativity. Just ask Aerial Yoga instructor Michelle Dortignac, who merged her background in dance, her training in the aerial circus art of tissu or “silks,” and her study of yoga at none less than the legendary Dharma Yoga Center in New York. The result: a hybrid form that remains true to yoga principles and focuses on finding inner peace.

How does one feel grounded, without actually being on the ground? “Gravity always works, and it always works in one direction,” Dortignac explains on her website. Students “have no choice but to learn proper alignment.” Aerial Yoga classes take place half on the floor, half “very close to the floor,” with the support of a soft cloth trapeze. Gravity’s effects surely make letting go easier—provided that cloth is tightly secured. According to Dortignac, Aerial Yoga not only helps students understand alignment, but also strengthens core muscles, increases spinal flexibility, avoids back strain, strengthens shoulders and increases shoulder flexibility, and “increases the amount of fun in your life!” Unlike the seemingly similar AcroYoga, which requires a comfortable inversion practice before starting, Aerial Yoga welcomes beginners.

My advice to vanilla yoga purists? Consider it an acquired taste, and take heart. At least it’s not the instant raspberry chai latte version of yoga.

Lime.com – June 8, 2006

The Hanged Man

Traveling through India at the moment, the enchanting chaos that strangely touches the deepest stillness within me that I keep on returning to year after year. It is much harder work than a holiday, but my curious and adventurous nature keeps me moving through this land rich in history, culture and myth, and the sacrifice is always worth it. Rickshaws, trains, bumpy roads, and a heavy backpack, all make an impact on my back, and really has me missing my aerial hammock. Headstands help, but are not quite the same.. the feeling of hanging from my ankles or hips, and allowing my whole body to lengthen and decompress is like no other.

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¿Qué haces ahí tirada sin hacer nada, es que no tienes nada que hacer?

Durante mis primeras prácticas de yoga escuchaba decir a mis maestros que Savasana era la postura más difícil y para mis adentros siempre pensaba: ¡venga ya! ¡que os he visto hacer el Escorpión! Pero la realidad era que cada vez que tenía que entrar en esta postura, tanto al principio como al final de la sesión de yoga, mi mente estaba más activa que nunca y era muy difícil encontrar ese estado de Savasana del que los maestros hablaban… o ¡me dormía! En cualquier caso, no conseguía mantener la conciencia de mi cuerpo y mente completamente relajados en esa entrega preciosa al presente.
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