Monthly Archives: July 2021

ARE TIPS GIVEN BY TEACHERS & TRAINERS 100% HELPFUL?

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Are all the expressions of Warrior 2 above Integrated Poses?

Clearly, you have received helpful tips to date. Yet, can you think of examples where you were guided to apply tips and beliefs to your practice which did not make it easier? Although suspicious, you did what they recommended. Only to find that your knees or back remained tense in your daily life. Or maybe, as I heard new teachers say, they developed sciatica from training and teaching.

As a yoga teacher or fitness trainer, when you give tips to students, it can be very helpful, or it can create trouble. Why?

  1. They do not necessarily apply what they were told, the way it was meant (mainly due to their personal habits).
  2. Or, it helps them with one aspect of their challenge, but it doesn’t change their overall approach to movement. As a result, they are still creating trouble for themselves in other ways. And still looking for tips to solve these challenges.
By attempting to not let the knees go past her toes, she is sticking her behind way back and arching her back in a way that is not in line with her whole-body intelligence

Teachers have a whole repertoire of tips & beliefs meant to help with yoga poses and fitness trainers do too. And they are always looking for more. Some are helpful, and some are actually dangerous. Here are a couple examples:

  1. Do not let your knees go past your toes. In some poses, it is sound advice to save your knees while in other poses it actually kills your knee joints.
  2. Lengthen your back. When you hear it as “allow your back to lengthen”, it is fine. When you arch your back, thinking you are lengthening it, you are actually stressing your spine and your whole body. And since you do it out of habit, you may not even be aware you are doing it.

So, tips and beliefs around movements can create more trouble than they are worth even though they come from well-meaning teachers who heard it from their own well-meaning teachers.

Child Pose in a Classroom

The truth is that, although fitness is meant to help you be fit, it has evolved into a mixed bag. It helps you in some ways. You see some good results, so you stick with it. Yet, you can also damage your body in the process if you do not have a bigger picture. If you do not have an approach to use your body as the integrated whole that it is. And most of the time, you do not realize this. You do not necessarily connect the dots when an injury happens, especially if it is off the mat.

Listening to your body is definitely a first good step to prevent hurting yourself. However, until you know if you are catering to the preferences of your body habits or listening to the guidance of your whole-body intelligence, you may be reinforcing daily habits that are not serving you. To avoid doing this, it is helpful to discover how to activate your Whole-Body Intelligence. It is your inner teacher and it is always 100% correct. Only there is a difference between listening to your body and listening to your Whole-Body Intelligence Guidance once activated.

Interested in learning this skill? Email me and we can ask each other questions and assess together where you are at right now and if this work is a good fit for you. Remember that it is never what you do that you regret, but what you did not do when you had the chance! 

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their mind/body the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body and mind.

She also works with yogis of all levels interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cécile if you are local to Boston!

WISE YOGA TRIBE LAUNCH

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In May, I launched The Wise Yoga Tribe through a FB group by the same name. If you are interested in discovering the different aspects of Wise Yoga and up-leveling your practice, please join the group by clicking the following link: Wise Yoga Tribe with Cécile. Make sure to answer the 3 membership questions to help me help you as I know who you are and what you are looking for.

What is it and who is it for exactly?

Beyond “Power Yoga” & “Gentle Yoga, there is a new approach which I call “Wise Yoga”! It can be applied to any style of yoga to relieve and prevent chronic tension, pain, or injury as well as deepen a practice.

This community exists for yoga lovers of all levels, and especially those with concerns and questions for themselves or others, as to chronic tension or pain not being resolved by the practice of yoga.

Would you like to explore or be part of the discussion on how to practice and teach yoga the wise way? Would you be interested in exploring the wise way to yoga as directed by your whole-body intelligence once activated?

If so, I invite you to join this purpose-driven community to practice more efficiently as a practitioner, to deeply impact more students as a teacher, and, in the process, to contribute as a tribe to the wise evolution of modern yoga. Ready to Join Wise Yoga Tribe

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their mind/body the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body and mind.

She also works with yogis of all levels interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cécile if you are local to Boston!

Natural Good Posture & Osteoporosis

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Recently, I read “Practicing good posture can reduce the risk of fracture”.

However, many people have an incomplete idea about what “Good Posture” really means.

The facts are:

  • It is not something you really practice.
  • It is not something you have to think about or position yourself into.
  • And it is not something you can stabilize with regular muscle strengthening exercises alone.

So, what is Natural Good Posture?
And how can it help prevent, delay, or reduce the side-effects of Osteoporosis?

Natural good posture is an expression of a body functioning as the integrated whole that it is designed to be – as we can observe in healthy children and tribal people. They do not need to think about good posture, they just embody it most of the time. And if they slouch during a specific activity, they spring right back into natural good posture when they stand up and start moving – partly because they usually do not sit in the same way for hours on end.

Natural Good Posture in Children

The beauty of “Natural Good Posture” is that:
* You do not need to think about it to be upright
* You do not need to use your muscles to position your skeletal structure just so
* It strengthens both your bones and your postural muscles organically

Like most adults, you may have integrated a habit to slouch into your daily movements. As a result, you believe that to reclaim it when you think about it, you must position your shoulders and chest a certain way. The thing is, how long does it stay in place? The minute you forget about it, your posture probably collapses right back down within minutes if not seconds. Does this sound familiar?

The truth is that most people are so self-conscious about their posture, they spend loads of money on posture-related gadgets. Unfortunately, even the best of the gadgets – those who help people become aware when they are slouching – won’t deliver results without undesirable side-effects when they actually deliver results. Why?

The nudge from the posture gadget triggers a “straightening up” reaction that is not helpful to strengthen your postural muscles at all. What it does is build up excess tension in your back movement muscles which are not designed to support your skeletal structure. This is why they get tired very quickly.

So, to come back to people who are concerned about osteoporosis, developing natural good posture is the best remedy to prevent or reduce the effects associated with this challenge. When enjoying natural good posture, the postural muscles work in cooperation with the skeletal structure and the body function as the integrated whole that it is designed to be. Posture supporting muscles along the spine and the bones of your skeletal structure strengthen organically from carrying your own weight in harmony with gravity.

As commonly acknowledged, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. To that effect, you may want to assess where you stand when it comes to “Integrated Functioning”. I actually created a Free Self-Evaluation to do just that in the privacy of your own home. Don’t hesitate to ask for it.

If you prefer me to help you assess in a more personal way, schedule an appointment by clicking the following link: Free Consult with Cécile

YOGA, NATURAL vs FAKE JOINTS

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I read a post from a yoga teacher who was listing all the ways in which yoga teachers can unknowingly hurt their students. And she was wondering what happened to the principle of Ahimsa, a deliberate choice to avoid creating pain (to ourselves or others).

Of course, no yoga teacher chooses 
to hurt themselves or their students on purpose.

Yoga helps lots of people with their aches and pain.
How can people get hurt practicing yoga, even when they are being mindful?
How can mindful teachers promote injuries in students?

Maybe we may start by wondering about why are EXCESS TENSION and POOR POSTURE in daily life such common problems? Even with yoga practitioners and teachers!

The fact is that you can only be mindful of what you are aware of. And how people unknowingly misuse their hinges on and off the mat is not commonly in their range of awareness.

One of the reasons for this is a LACK OF CLARITY as to how to use joints appropriately on and off the mat.

UNKNOWINGLY CREATING FAKE JOINTS causes much tension build-up in your muscles and a common habit to lock your real joints both on and off the mat.

And these habits become a vicious cycle!

When you use your NECK AS A HINGE to initiate a head motion, you unknowingly create tension in your neck because your neck is not a joint.

When you use your BACK AS A HINGE to move your torso, you unknowingly create tension in your back because your back is not the joint to move your torso from.

THE TRICK IS
you may not always be doing 
what you think you are doing!

As a result, you go from unknowingly stressing your muscles and joints to stretching them – till you run the risk of killing their natural tone.

Your “fake joints” (usually muscles) eventually complain that you’re giving them a job that’s not theirs to do. All the while, you wonder why your neck or back hold such a level of tension when you work so hard at stretching your tension?

That’s one vicious cycle that keeps your body uptight in daily life, even when you’re not even stressed out! Being stressed out will naturally enhance this tension cycle.

FLEXIBILITY STARTS WITH AWARENESS OF YOUR REAL JOINTS 
being used appropriately and without excess tension. This promotes you functioning as the integrated whole that you are whatever you are doing. 

FOR NOW, START TO OBSERVE YOURSELF. Next time you go about stretching a muscle, check if your overall body is in a state of expansion, contraction, or compression?

How can you lengthen muscles when your body is in a shortened state?

How can your energy flow through you if your joints are locked while in a pose?

Do you want to change how you use your body and practice yoga more efficiently?
Do you want to promote inner expansion so your muscles and joints can truly release?
Do you want to experience natural good posture (even when you are not thinking about it). 

I am happy to assist you in any way I can. It is my life purpose to inspire and guide you to DANCE THE JOY OF WHOLENESS.

Besides, there is nothing like a fresh perspective to UP-LEVEL YOUR PRACTICE.

You’ve got nothing to lose 
in exploring this approach 
but habits that no longer serve you!

If you are ready to be free of chronic tension or pain lingering despite your yoga practice, or you want to take constructive action to prevent this common challenge, schedule a Free Consult with me and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Namaste!:)

Cécile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for about 30 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist anyone use their body the wise way to prevent or clear, chronic tension or pain, of body or mind.

She also works with yogis interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. A Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner, Cécile is a faculty at the Akasha Yoga Teacher Training Course and the author of THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cecile if you are local to Boston!