Unnata Teacher Wisdom

Yoga articles and wisdom from Unnata Yoga course leaders and senior teachers.

NAVIGATING CHANGE

…or Humble Lessons From a Previous Humbug (including the secret formula for manifesting what you want from the Universe!)

Holiday Cookie Pose
The holidays are a time when many of us revisit long-held family and personal traditions. We eat the same food, partake in the same activities and music, visit with the same family and friends each year. We look to these familiar traditions for comfort, but soon realize that while the external shell of our traditions may look the same from year to year, our inner experience is always different. We return to the same point on the calendar expecting a circle, but instead experience a spiral – each year drifting a bit from the person and circumstances of the previous year.

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Swinging on Svadhisthana (in English)

Have you ever thought about the influence that dance has on the chakras; the centers that rule our energetic body, and the impact this can have on our life experience? Well, I have! Ever since I started swing dancing a few years ago.

First of all, I must say that I am not an anthropologist and what you are about to read is the result of my reflection and experience. Nor am I an experienced dancer, just an amateur who enjoys dancing a lot. But, I have completed years of study and yoga practice and these experiences have helped me come to the conclusion that it was dance, specifically swing, twist, boogie-woogie, rock & roll … which influenced the great sexual revolution and creative explosion of the late 50s and 60s. This way of moving the body, especially the hips, unlocked stuck energy and released it, allowing both, men and women to enjoy a freedom that had not been allowed until then.

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Swinging on Svadhisthana (en Español)

¿Alguna vez habéis reflexionado sobre la influencia del baile sobre los chakras, centro s que rigen nuestro cuerpo energético, y la repercusión que esto puede tener en la experiencia vital? Pues yo, que desde hace unos años me dio por bailar swing, sí.
Antes de nada, decir que no soy antropóloga y que lo que vais a leer es fruto de mi reflexión y experiencia. Tampoco soy una bailarina experimentada, solo una aficionada que disfruta mucho bailando. Lo que sí llevo son años de estudio y práctica del yoga y eso me ayudó a llegar a esta idea de que fue el baile, concretamente el swing, twist, boogie-woogie, rock&roll … lo que definitivamente influyó en la gran revolución sexual y explosión creativa de finales de los años 50 y 60. Esta forma de mover el cuerpo, especialmente la cadera, pudo desbloquear energía atascada y liberarla, permitiendo que, a un nivel casi global, tanto hombres como mujeres disfrutaran de una libertad que hasta entonces no estaba permitida.

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Brain Weather

Clouds can be fluffy, white, wispy, or condensed. Many times, they are various shades of grey – light and unthreatening, or dark and foreboding. The edges of clouds are bulbous, not sharp, giving them an appearance of being soft and amorphous, even when they are stormy.

We all know the image of a brain: with the overall shape of a kidney bean, it too is squishy, without sharp edges, a bit more solid than how we think of clouds to be; but like clouds, the brain is also full of liquid and electricity. As children, the way we draw the two is really quite similar. The brain is our own personal grey matter. It is our own cloud.

In a clear sky, a sky without any clouds, we experience the full warmth and enlightenment of Earth’s personal celestial being, the sun. No matter what shade or density, clouds obscure the sun’s rays to some extent. Light fluffy clouds only block some of the sun’s intensity, whereas dark stormy clouds can block the sun’s rays entirely, sometimes even replacing the sun’s fire with the cloud’s own attempts at fire – a simultaneously angrier and sadder version, full of dangerous lightning, and big teardrops of rain.

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Why Write? Writing as a tool in a yoga teachers’ journey

Do you know the feeling, when you give a class, and suddenly a unique word pops out of your mouth without you ever planning or intending to use it? It could be a metaphor, an image, or even just a surprising verb that sneaks into the sentence from the back door of your consciousness?

For our students, those words create moments when students are awakened, they pay close attention, and remember what they have experienced even more. A teachers’ language is a powerful tool to make a student open up and learn. As teachers, we should appreciate and nurture this tool with intention; our language matters. The more accurate it is, and the more fresh with presence, the more effective our classes will be.

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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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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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