Does your yoga practice keep you free from tension between classes or do you go back to yoga because your tension builds up again somehow? Or maybe you are addicted to yoga thinking it can free you from tension and prevent injury? It can, but does it? Is the stress of life creating your daily tension or how you manage stress does? And is the stress of life the only reason why you may experience tension or pain in the first place? Read on to find out!
Did you know that Lady Gaga, the famous singer and Bikram Yoga enthusiast, cancelled a music tour with hip pain so severe she could barely move and was unable to perform for over two years after hip surgery at age 27?
No, I am not claiming that yoga can wreck your body. However, how you use your body while you do yoga (or any other daily activity) can absolutely wreck your body over time. I am not referring to how well you know each poses because if that was the case, yoga teachers would never get hurt and it is not the case, as you will see in the video below. Of course form matters up to a certain point. And anatomy matters up to a certain point as well. Yet, if anatomy knowledge was enough, doctors would be safe from injuries, which is not the case either.
By clicking on the picture below, listen and watch this teacher who is sharing her experience as a seasoned Ashtanga teacher. Listen to what happened to her, how it happened and what she learned from it.
As Diane Bruni learned, even highly skilled teachers don’t always know what is right for your body despite their knowledge of anatomy or their mastery of yoga poses form. The thing is education is key because you can only be mindful of what you are aware of. So who to learn from if the blinds are leading the blinds? How did this even happen? It is partly to explain this that I am writing my book on “The Yoga of the Future”.
In short, yoga teaching has been influenced since the 19th century and even conditioned by the ideals of the Industrial Revolution. That is when modern fitness began and the love for machines gave birth to bodybuilding and a focus on fitness viewing the body as a machine made up of parts to exercise. Bodybuilding and Yoga influenced each other as more people had the financial means to travel.
In the department stores of that time, the customer was always right to promote business. In the yoga world, the teacher was always right because he came from a patriarchal culture. Yet not all yoga masters were equal. Besides, lots got lost in translation or reinvented and additions were made over the years. Your inheritance has been to focus on body parts, and to muscle your way through both strengthening and stretching. Mainly, you have been led to trust your educated mind more than your innate body intelligence.
Lahiri Mahasaya (One of Yogananda’s Gurus) versus Ascetic Yogis
All yogis were not made equal!
The truth is that you need to go inside to activate your inner teacher’s guidance available to you 24/7. It is never wrong.
This is the goal of the Body Intelligence Activation Process or B.I.A. Process; it teaches you how to instantly connect with your whole-body intelligence which is way more than just listening to your stretch edge or your pain edge as Diane was doing which led her slowly but surely towards injury. The B.I.A. Process on the other end empowers you to work with your whole-body intelligence hand in hand every step of the way. Notice the dash between whole and body. It is key to this process.
Without knowing how to activate your inner teacher, it is difficult to unlearn already established patterns that create excess muscle and joint tension. When you do know how to do it, you won’t even need to use a body braid as Diane does and recommends to keep your body properly toned and have great organic good posture.
If you want to learn more about this, join my blog site, attend my online or local events and learn about the B.I.A. Process. You won’t regret it!
Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis enhance their practice bypassing the intellect. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Faculty at Akasha Yoga Teacher Training, she runs a 12 months Mastermind for Yoga Teachers with a Vision, and a 90 Day Virtual Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body better on and off the mat. Her blog read by over 19 000 people and her webinar have an international audience. She is currently writing her book on “The Yoga of the Future and the B.I.A. Process: the Missing Link to Drop the Strain and Keep the Gain.” with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.