Tag: Yoga

4-Minute Yoga Stretch for Your Day

Enjoy this short, 4-minute yoga stretch designed to get the stress out of your body. We pay particular attention to long, deep mindful breaths and stretching the neck and back body.

Because working on laptops makes us slouch, we want to not just stretch your hamstrings but elongate your spine. You will feel energized and centered after the program.

Do this program every day and see what happens!

Subscribe to this channel. Like and share this video with those who could use a good vibe tune-up during their workday.

Let’s pour love on all we do.

Kindness = Happiness

 

The Gunas: The Yogic Energy Map

This fresh and insightful interpretation of a concept that comes from Yogic Philosophy and Ayurveda will offer you an incredibly intelligent and intuitive guide to living your life to its fullest capacity.

The word Guna comes from the word “strand.” Just like a rope is made of several strands there are three strands of life’s energy. That is to say, there are three main qualities of life.

Not knowing the Gunas is like going through life not knowing North, South, East and West. Eoin calls it an “energy map” that helps us master our energy in life.

There are so many energies we could feel, but the Gunas let’s us categorize them at the meta level so we can see the overarching patterns to how life interacts. Like you would file receipts in a file folder, the Gunas are like a filing system for energy.

This talk is just the tip of the iceberg and if you’re interested in these types of conversations, look into our self-study or interactive courses on Teachable.

How to choose the right yoga teacher training for YOU

Having just emerged from our annual Bali Blissology Yoga Teacher Training, I was humbled by the trust our students put in us to lead them deep onto a journey than is not just personally transformative, but one that will profoundly shift the course of their life.

Today Yoga is a full-blown movement, with more than 300 million practitioners globally. And if, like me, you were lulled by a teacher’s mellifluous tones during savasana and experienced a little voice inside you crying out, “I want to teach, in fact I know I can,” know that you are not alone.

Yoga teacher training courses are some of the most popular offerings at yoga studios and retreat centers globally (the Yoga Alliance lists over 8000 yoga teacher training schools on its website as of 2020) and hundreds of yoga students line up each year to sign up.

However, before committing to a Yoga Teacher Training, here are our top 6 things to consider. We’ve created this list after 17 years of offering our Blissology Yoga teacher trainings, a training that continues to evolve and has graduated some incredible yoga teachers year after year.

  1. Be clear of your intention Yoga as a practice forces us to unmask our intentions. Be honest with yourself. Do you want to teach? Why do you want to teach? If teaching is simply a way for you to deepen your practice, a yoga teacher training course may not be the best option for you. Many studios as well as independent teachers offer programs for advanced / intermediate practitioners, e.g. Blissology offers an Align your Yoga Align your Life course that we think is ideal for practitioners who want to take their yoga deeper but may not want to teach.  These usually cost way less than a yoga training. If you  are clear however that you want to teach and are passionate about studying further, pursuing a YTT may be the right path for you.
  2. Find your Teacher: the one you want to spend 200 hours with. Whenever students ask me who they should do a training with, I tell them, what do you like to practice? And who do you like to practice with? Is there a teacher you connect with? Do you like how they teach? Do you like how they explain the poses, the alignment, do you connect with their teaching? If the answers are yes, ask them who they studied with? Or go to their training, if that is on offer.
  3. Teaching Yoga can be competitive – create a focus. NAMASTA, an independent health professional alliance in the US recently numbered yoga instructors in the US alone at 70,000 and counting. What differentiates you? Yes, you are and always will be a unique individual, but as yoga business coach Kelly McHugh says, “It is essential to have a focus, and to know who your students are and why they are coming to your classes.”Do you have a special interest in your life that you could bring yoga to? Many successful yoga teachers align their existing interests with yoga and in doing so, can bring yoga to various other populations. For example, professional mountain biker Ryan Leech is a student of Blissology Yoga founder Eoin Finn. After completing Finn’s 200-hour training, he began running yoga and mountain bike retreats and often teaches yoga at bike festivals around the world. If you don’t already have a focus for your teaching goals, or a ready audience, allow one to emerge. At the Blissology Yoga teacher trainings, Finn spends time with his students to help them to uncover what he calls their “life mission.””Your life mission is the deep desire you want to share in the world and it touches all aspects of your life. It will allow you to translate what you want to bring to your community. It will allow you to channel your energies and commit toward a path.”Perhaps you want to teach children, athletes, or practitioners with physical disabilities. Ask yourself what is important to you.

  4. Yoga Teaching is not chai and kombucha drinking all day.  While teaching yoga may seem like it involves drinking many cups of tea, green juice, meditating and enjoying a leisurely yoga practice each day, the reality is quite different. As a yoga teacher starting out, making an impact takes time, passion, persistence and hard work. A genuine love of people and a desire to help others are key. After all, if you are teaching yoga, you are building relationships with people, with a community and with all the enmeshed, inter-twinings of their lives.
  5. Yoga Teaching is a Lifelong Study. The global standard for a qualified yoga teacher is 200 hours, as defined by  Yoga Alliance, an independent accreditation body in the US, whose goal is to continue to make yoga more professional. Yoga Alliance does this by creating strict guidelines by which they attempt to regulate the teaching programs on offer. However, as many a yoga teacher will tell you, a 200-hour course is simply the beginning. As practiced in the original guru/shishya model (that’s teacher/student for the Sanskrit newbies), where the student apprenticed for many years with an experienced teacher, the study of yoga is a life-long journey.Yet, if a student has a good understanding of yoga and has been practicing already for some time (ideally two years), then a 200-hour training can be sufficient to begin to teach. Of course you can only teach what you know, so this is where you start, just teaching what you know. Everyone has to start somewhere.Yoga teachers are impassioned about their art and craft and good teacher training programs offer courses and workshops that continue to fuel your evolving interest as well as the needs of your evolving student body and with many schools you can work your way up to 500 hours of training.
  6. Choose your Yoga Teacher Trainings wisely – they’re an investment
    While most yogis with aspirations to teach are in it for their own personal growth and a desire to share something that makes themhappy, the reality is that yoga teacher have to make a living.Yoga teacher training courses can set you back anywhere from USD$3,000 to USD$10,000 depending on the teacher, school, duration of the program and certification; YTT programs, especially the good ones; are not cheap. Consider your yoga training to be an investment: emotionally, spiritually and in the physical/material world and research your potential investment before diving in.When you’re choosing a training, clarify your accreditation possibilities after the course; as you want a certificate that will be easily recognized. Currently Yoga Alliance, is the most well-known system globally, but countries such as Australia also have their own systems.  Check about the current rates of employment of past graduates, speak to someone who has studied at the school — most yoga schools will refer you to previous students if asked — and also ask about assisting and mentorship possibilities.Another tip: be sure to ask how much emphasis your teacher training places on practicing the craft of teaching so that you emerge after the 200 hours ready to teach and share your learnings with confidence and ease.

Joseph Campbell, the late philosopher best known for his ‘follow your bliss’ mantra, predicted that yoga would be one of the callings of the new millennium.

With its remarkable growth come cautionary stories, such as the NYT Bestseller “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.” Yet, even in this age of Crossfit, multi-hyphenated fitness trends, barre and The Class, yoga continues to be one of the fastest-growing forms of wellness and fitness in the world today, an antidote to our modern troubles of too much technology, constant stress and an ever increasing pace of life.

If you’re on a journey pursuing this powerful, transformative and beautiful path, inhale deeply and Om on. The world is waiting for you.

Ps. The next Blissology 100 hr immersion and 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training runs in May 2020 in beautiful Tofino, BC on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada.

pss. Photo Credits: From Top: Meredith Rose Photography, Monique Pantel and Kate Ediger. Maha Gratitude.

Blog by, Insiya Rasiwala-Finn

The Connection Between Yoga & Environmental Health

Both Yoga and Ecology have one central message: All things are connected. Yoga teaches that the illusion of separation is at the root of our suffering. Conversely, in Blissology, we believe that the more we blur the line between where we end and nature begins, the happier we will be.

Beyond meditating, protesting, and using an eco-friendly yoga mat, in my eyes, there are two main things that yogis can do (either personally or in their practice) that can help the environment or bring their attention to climate justice:

1. Practice Nature Appreciation Moments.

These are small moments everyday where we reset in nature and fall in love again with the planet. To feel the beauty of nature is the healthiest thing we can do for our own selves and the planet benefits too.

You don’t have to look far to see that we are living in radical disconnection from nature in modern urban living. Too many people on the planet get busy and forget our connection to nature so it becomes a commodity that is separate from us.

The idea of a Nature Appreciation moment is to slow your mind down and focus on something beautiful in nature. Even if you live in a city, take time to find a tree, a pant or to look up at the clouds. Let go of the crush of time and see the miracle in front of you. This entire process can take less than ten minutes but yields huge benefits.

Our species needs to have more reverence for nature. Ultimately, we protect what we revere. All changes need to start there. From this deep love of Nature.

2. EcoKarma

Personally, I have chosen a path based on the Karma Yoga school and started a movement called EcoKarma.

We bring yogis to places around the world where we transplant coral, clean up beaches, restore nature plants and plant trees. It is incredible to work with a group of like-minded yogis that care about giving back. This is the best anti-depressant I know.

3. Reducing our plastic impact

Aside from that, anything that lowers our footprint is incredible.

I am a proponent of moving past recycling and just reducing our use of single use plastic. This includes simple, easy things like carrying your own water bottle and refelling it vs. choosing a plastic single use water bottle.

Forbes calculated that we are consuming a million plastic bottles per minute and 91% of those are not recycled. Simply carrying a water bottle avoids this!

I think most yogis are probably in the habit of carrying our own shopping bags but I carry a plate, a cup, a glass straw and a coffee cup in my back pack everyday. It’s so easy to pull this out at restaurants and cafes instead of disposable plates.

I used to buy granola in bulk at Whole Foods and bring it home and put it in a glass mason jar. Now I’ve learned that many stores will weigh the mason jar first, then let you fill it and they will charge you only the difference in weight. No plastic is required but I have to be prepared.

In summary, it’s that simple. Plastic is convenient but we are choking on in as a society. The remedy is preparation. I need to clean my plate and fork at night and put it in my back pack. It takes a little time and pre-planning, but we have to value this as a culture. Preparation over convenience is key!

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One thing you can do? Participate in 3HO’s 40 Day Climate Strike Meditation. The meditation encourages yogis to recite the Prayer for Mother Earth by Guru Amar Das either 11 times each day or for 11 minutes each day over the course of the 40 days. Or join Eoin next Friday September 27 in Vancouver supporting our concerned youth for the climate change strike!

Is Yoga Medicine? Part 1 of 2

As part of our 500-hour training, I co-teach a course that I called Yoga and Mind Body Medicine. It’s a course I spent years dreaming up. My vision for it was to offer a Western science-based perspective on understanding the gross and subtle benefits of yoga on our body-mind physiology. I enlisted a colleague Dr. Lawrence Cheng—a Harvard trained integrative medicine doctor and yogi who teaches Mind-Body Medicine in medical communities—to present with me. I knew this was going to be groundbreaking.

However, when we listed this course under our Blissology Yoga school’s 500-hr training program on the Yoga Alliance website, we immediately received an email, telling us not to use the words “Medicine” or “Healing” in conjunction with Yoga.

Why is this an issue? Yoga Alliance explains that “the risk comes from suggesting that a yoga teacher or school is diagnosing and/or treating a mental or physical health condition. The words ‘heal’ or ‘healing’ imply this. These claims are within the scope of the practice of medicine and/or licensed health care professions.”

As an alternative to the word healing the phrases “improving health” and “increasing well-being” are  suggested.

This meant we had to get creative with what we called the course on Yoga Alliance’s website. Eventually, we settled on “Yoga and Western Science.

I understand that the medical community does not want people who have graduated from a 200-hour yoga training to describe themselves as healers, or treat someone with a sore back or cancer without the proper medical training nor does anyone want to be legally liable for endorsing someone as capable of healing issues for which they are not qualified.

This graph indicates the increasing amount of scientific research of yoga and meditation in the last decade

Yet, the data about the evidence-based healing benefits of yoga and meditation is increasing with each year. The benefits are so real that it is getting harder to dismiss all yoga as a “quack science.” I would love to see a day in the future when well qualified yogis (and doctors) will be able to claim that yoga is both “healing” and “medicine.”

Will this ever happen? Skeptics do not think so and go to long lengths to tell us why yoga is not healing, or medicine. In his article titled “Yoga Woo“, Stephen Novella, a clinical neurologist at the Yale School of medicine writes, “Yoga is simply exercise plus a lot of ‘Woo.'”

“Yoga, if practiced responsibly, seems to be a reasonably effective form of stretching and exercise. There is insufficient evidence, however, to conclude that it is any superior to any other form of exercise of the same duration and intensity. There are concerns about the safety of yoga, as it often involves extreme stretching or poses that the average person might find not only difficult but physically harmful.”

I’ll share more of my thoughts on this topic in Part 2 of this blog. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you, what is your opinion? Is Yoga Medicine or not? Should the word healing be used by some practitioners of yoga?

Presence, Meditation + Love: Three Rivers, One Ocean

I always teach why we need to be in the present before explaining how. I feel this is something that is elusive to people. Simply put, presence opens the door to more intimate engagement in life; life has more meaning and joy in the present.

A simple example is food.

When we are present to the food we eat, we eat slowly, we savor each bite. The conversation in our head is about how the food tastes, we experience slowly the sensations of each morsel in our palette. It is not about what we are going to do next week or typing a message on social media. We taste what is in front of us with intimate engagement. The flavors speak to us and we listen with our body and mind.

Photo: Made Sintya

 

By contrast, when we are not present to our food, we tend to just shovel it in as we watch our television or walk down the street. We are still living in our heads and our food is entering our body without any real awareness. There is no intimacy and no connection to who made our food, where it came from, how it tastes or what it is doing to our body.

The first step is to slow down and hit pause; to shift from doing to feeling. We want to open the door to more reverence to all life.

There is a sense of peace in the body that we seek in yoga + meditation. The lower back is relaxed, the breath is full and deep, the shoulders are relaxed. We need to use this as a barometer for when we are present or not. Often, when we are not present our bodies are tense and our breath is not very deep and only in the upper front chest.

The key to me is to see Presence more as a state of body, than a state of mind.  When our bodies are light, but grounded and relaxed, the door to presence opens easily.

Especially the week of Valentine’s when Love becomes something we focus on more, let’s commit to slowing down and truly being present for the ones who mean something to us. Let’s feel the miracle of each person and the honor to be in this time and this space with another.

Let’s make time for Kindness. Let’s make more time for Love After all, as we say in Blissology: “Love is the Ultimate Renewable Resource.”

Blissology Project 2018 Online Calendar

Welcome to the Blissology Project Online Calendar.

The Blissology Project is about making happiness a habit by committing to 6 Big easy Bliss Commitments for 2 weeks.

Join the fun! Share your thoughts, photos and progress with this epic community and let’s create an upward spiral together! “Happiness is Best when Shared!”

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for our local Blissology Teachers our Global Blissology Project event.

Click on the date below to see the what to expect for yoga, high prana food recipes, the wild card and social media event timings:

Mon Jan 22
Tue Jan 23
Wed Jan 24
Thur Jan 25
Fri Jan 26
Sat Jan 27
Sun Jan 28
Mon Jan 29
Tue Jan 30
Wed Jan 31
Thu Feb 1
Fri Feb 2
Sat Feb 3
Sun Feb 4

We’ll keep updating this calendar as we go so make sure to check in daily for a new dose of 6 Big Easy commitments.

Blissology Project: Day 14 – Sunday, February 4th

This is Day 14 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

The last day of the Blissology Project 2018 is upon us! You’ve put so much time and energy forth to make happiness a habit in your life. Feel grateful for whatever commitment you were able to put forth and carry the good vibes you’ve cultivated into the rest of your life!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Double Pigeon (Agnistambhasana)
  2. Flying Pigeon (Eka Pada Galavasana)
  3. Corpse (Savasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your flexibility and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

*Special Announcement: Eoin will be hosting a Facebook Live Super Soul Sunday yoga class. Tune in on the Blissology Facebook Page at 10am PST on Sunday, February 4th to get the good vibes flowing!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

You’ve learned so many different meditation techniques and practices from an incredible array of Blissologists. Use your Wise Guide Inside to take 5-minutes to meditate on your own with whatever feels good!

Nature Appreciation

  • Go camping. Even if you can’t go today plan a trip in the near future, even if it’s just for one night. Consider it a celebration of your completion of the Blissology Project!
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation

Food Awareness

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie:

Tastes like dessert but healthy enough to drink for breakfast, or as a post yoga rejuvenator.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 tbsp raw almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp greens powder. We like pranin organics, or vitamineral greens

4 – 6 oz water//’

4 – 6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (store bought or homemade)

¼ of a small sized avocado (like a hass avocado)

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

sweeten to taste with raw honey

1 tbsp raw cacao nibs

2 – 4 ice cubes

Method:

  • Add all ingredients except the cacao nibs to a blender.
  • Pulse until smooth and creamy.
  • Then, add the cacao nibs and blend for another 5 – 10 seconds to break up the nibs into little bits.
  • Pour into a glass.
  • Enjoy.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Reflection Meditation. In Savasana position place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Allow space for any feelings and emotions of the last two weeks of the Blissology Project to arise. Offer appreciation and gratitude for your commitment to this program in whatever capacity you were able to contribute. You are more than enough!

Wild Card

  • Have a dance party! Either on your own, with family and friends, or with your Bliss Tribe celebrate your commitment to the Blissology Project. Turn on your favourite music and let loose!

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Blissology Project: Day 13 – Saturday, February 3rd

This is Day 13 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

Don’t let the 13 sway you, this is a day full of all kinds of luck and blessings. You’ve almost made it to the end of the Blissology Project and you’re feeling embodied in the energy of the Upward Spiral. Let’s carry these good vibes forward today!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Side Lunge (Skandasana)
  2. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
  3. Eka Pada Koundinyasana II

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your flexibility and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Deepen into the groove of meditation with this 6-minute Meditation for People Who Don’t Meditate. Enjoy!

Nature Appreciation

  • Eat a meal outside today. Even if it’s cold go for a walk with a warm thermos of soup. If it’s warm where you live savour lying on the grass or beach with the sun beaming down on you while you munch.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Chia Pudding:

This is both breakfast and dessert all in one and it is delicious.

¼ cup chia seeds

½ cup hot water

1 to 1 1/2 cup almond milk (I prefer to use homemade almond milk) but otherwise try to find a creamy unsweetened almond milk

1 – 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup

½ tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

½ tsp cardamom powder or cardamom seeds ground finely into a powder

1 tsp Coconut butter.

Optional: 1 tsp rose water

 

  1. Pour hot water over chia seeds and mix thoroughly.  Soak in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight to make a thick gelatinous chia gel.
  2. In a bowl or in a blender, mix in all ingredients.  Blend lightly and taste.  Adjust for sweetness.
  3. To serve, garnish with some cardamom powder, rose petals and mint leaves, or any seasonal fruit.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • When you find yourself in a bad situation today do your best to take a few deep breaths before reacting. Ask yourself, “What can I learn?” When you look back at the situation without emotion later what will you be grateful for?

Wild Card

  • Cook a meal for a loved one. You could even make your favourite meal and share the experience of mindful eating together.

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!

Blissology Project: Day 12 – Friday, February 2nd

This is Day 12 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

Can you believe it’s the end of the second week of the Blissology Project. We’ve infused ourselves with so much Bliss and Joy let’s carry this forward into the last few days!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
  2. Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
  3. Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your balance and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

Bonus: Explore your body in new ways with this Full Body Opening and Peace Finding Flow with Blissologist Rhyanna Watson!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Take a few minutes to relax and centre yourself with Blissologist Leanne Hembrow in her 6-minute Relaxation Meditation. Enjoy the Bliss Vibes!

Nature Appreciation

  • Browse the internet for pictures of the wonders of the world or current environmental issues. Bonus points if you visit one of these wonders or take action to help the environment.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Pineapple + Basil Cooler:

Full of digestive enzymes, pineapple in the warmer months detoxifies and cools the body off excess heat. The lime and cayenne also help to boost a sluggish liver.

Ingredients:

1 pineapple, peeled, and cut into large chunks, discard the hard center.

8 fresh basil leaves

juice from 1 lime

Small pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt

Small pinch of cayenne

Bit of raw honey if you need it.

 

 

  • Blend pineapple with tiny pinch of salt in a high speed blender.
  • Add basil leaves, lightly blend.
  • Drink at room temperature.  

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Gratitude requires humility, which the dictionary defines as being “modest and respectful.” Take some time to reflect on how you’re already a humble being and maybe aspects of your life where you could improve.

Wild Card

  • Tell a joke to someone. Really take some time to research and find the perfect one. Then deliver it with skill and flare!

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!