Category Archives: Alexander Technique

Attention Yoga Teachers, Committed Yoga Practitioners, Big Picture Thinkers, and Spiritual Seekers!

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Today Is the Amazon Launch Date of The Wise Way to Yoga!

Why do you want to order it? Read on and share with the other yogis in your life!

Yoga has become a widespread activity to help you handle your health and fitness. And you gain your best results when you practice yoga regularly, in a “Wise Way”. So far, you are all familiar with the “Hard Way” and the “Gentle Way” to practice. However, the “Wise Way” to yoga is a new approach that guides you to your best performance with optimal safety. It can be applied to all styles of yoga regardless of body type or fitness level.

The Wise Way to Yoga is the Yoga of the Future!

It is launching the Movement of the Wise Yogi that has been long overdue! Be a part of it!

If you resonate with this, go to the following link for the Manifesto of the Wise Yogi! Namaste!:)

https://offthematyogablog.com/the-wise-way-to-yoga/

To Order the Book, go to:
https://www.amazon.com/Wise-Way-Yoga-Intelligence-Performance

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist yogis in enhancing their practice towards best performance with optimal safety. 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 Live Online Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses.
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“The Wise Way to Yoga” Book Launch

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Do you want to maximize your practice without straining (regardless of your yoga style, body type or fitness level)? Are you ready for the Wise Way to Yoga Book I have been mentioning to you for a while?

Then Mark your Calendar: June 4, 2018, is the launch date. This groundbreaking book has been a long time coming but it is finally here. It is finally being launched next Monday!

So many yogis told me they were looking forward to this date. I am too and hope you are as well. If you want to buy the book for its content or/and to support me to reach its best possible Amazon ranking, please order it on the launch date if you can. The number of orders and the number of reviews for the book is what affects the ranking. Not that it is a big deal but it does help to spread the book and its content which can help more people practice Yoga the Wise Way.

Be part of this Movement of The Wise Yogi!

I am convinced that it will become the Yoga of the Future!

In case anyone wants to buy more than one copy of this groundbreaking book, I was told that Amazon counts an order as one, no matter how many books you order! (Bummer)

All you need to order is the title and my name: The Wise Way To Yoga by Cecile Raynor.
Will post a direct link when I get one.

Such an exciting time after such a long journey!

This book helps you figure out where you stand in your yoga practice and why you do what you do. And to support you if you are or want to be a Wise Yogi, I also decided to create a Movement with a Manifesto of the Wise Yogi to assist you and others find the words to express your yoga experience and your yogic goals. This way you can make choices about your practice with more clarity. To access this Manifesto, you can check:

https://offthematyogablog.com/the-wise-way-to-yoga/

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist yogis in enhancing their practice towards best performance with optimal safety. 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 Live Online Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. 

The Wise Way to Yoga, Shiva Rae & Lama Tsultrim’s Wisdom Rising @ Kripalu!

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The Kripalu Yoga Retreat center has been a Massachusetts mecca for yogis who want to be in an environment where yoga permeates everything. The building is on top of a hill, uniting wide spaces of green grass to the sunny skies. The landscape of mountains, woods, and lake seen from up high is breathtaking and humbling. When hiking through it, it is enfolding and nurturing.

Inside, you are faced everywhere with artwork and posters with quotes from Patanjali or other yoga sages reminding us why we practice yoga as a lifestyle rather than just an exercise form. And programs are offered all year long for yogis to train as teachers or simply enjoy yoga classes and workshops. They are ranging from asanas practice to mind and body health, meditation or special programs supporting an expansion of awareness and promoting a higher level of consciousness in everyday living.

Last week through yesterday, I attended one of these programs led by Lama Tsultrim and Shiva Rae which included a concert with Krishna Das on Saturday night. I had an enriching, inspiring and fun weekend and I want to share some of the highlights with you.

First, for those of you who know I have been on a book writing and publishing journey, you will appreciate that I had to have my first proof mailed at Kripalu and it was waiting for me when I got there which was exciting to hold the first paper copy of it in my hands. Also, I was able to apply for it to be carried by Kripalu bookstore and left a copy there for their review. So, keeping my fingers crossed and maybe it will soon be among these other books, a perfect home for books on yoga!

   
Kripalu Book Store

Second, I had the pleasure of discovering this wonderful Lama and her movement through the Mandala to promote Rising Wisdom (and her book by the same name) where she advocates for feminine and masculine energy to be better balanced in each of us and in the world as the best way to promote world peace and harmony at this point in time of our evolution. And it was fascinating to hear her comments throughout the weekend as the content of my own book is so in line with everything Lama Tsultrim explained although she came from a different angle.

Third, I also had the pleasure of discovering and connecting with Shiva Rae who I only knew from a distance before. She is an amazing woman, full of life and energy, creativity, and a very giving individual with a good sense of humor. Although we may differ in our current practice of yoga asana, I think it is only a matter of time before we align further. Why? In essence, we are totally on the same wavelength. Her interest in movement and deep spirituality along with things she said, as mentioned below, convinced me of this. Time will tell!


On the left, Shiva Rae and I before the Krishna Das Concert
On the Right, Lama Tsultrim signing books after the Concert
In the center, me holding the first paper copy of my book!

She explained to the participants how important it was to remain open-minded to what is new so we can develop new neuropathways as we keep learning and growing. She also was talking about modern yogis and how they often get so attached to practicing Chaturanga for its strength building potential that they forget it is meant as a pathway to prostration. She pointed out that our yoga community can get stuck in the ego perspective to practice yoga when there is a higher perspective which is more complete and beneficial.

Surrender rather than control. Have faith rather than second-guess in the hope to get it “right”. Trust your whole-body intelligence and learn to activate it to benefit from its full guidance 24/7. Allow it to rebalance your whole being, on and off the mat. As a result, approach any style of yoga with wisdom to perform at your best with optimal safety. All this is the core of my teaching. It is The Wise Way to Yoga and the content of my book with the same title to be available on Amazon very soon.

Ready to embrace the Wise Way to Yoga?
Go check this page on my blog for the Manifesto of the Wise Yogi and the lists of Boston events around the book launch:
https://offthematyogablog.com/the-wise-way-to-yoga/

You can also sign up for my FREE EMAIL SEMINAR.

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist yogis in enhancing their practice towards best performance with optimal safety. 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 Live Online Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. 

And her book, THE WISE WAY TO YOGA,  is to be published in May 2018! To be followed!

 

Hyper-mobility, Flexibility, and Yoga!

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Have you ever thought about the implications of the act of stretching?

Stretching, even when it’s gentle, is forcing your muscles to lengthen. Yet, the more you force your muscles to stretch, the more it wants to tense. Think about how you feel when someone forces you to do something you don’t want to do. Don’t you at first recoil from the task? Similarly, you may strengthen and stretch in a way that keeps you feeling stiff and inflexible. It feels good in the moment, yet you are caught in a vicious cycle.

The solution is to always challenge your body as a whole, trusting your whole-body intelligence to step up to the plate as much as needed instead of trying to control its functioning. That is how you develop the art of flexible-strength. Although a natural happening, some unlearning may be needed to reclaim this innate skill.

Hypermobility can be impressive from an athletic viewpoint.
However, frontal expansion with neck compression is not in line with integrated functioning.

Hypermobility, a condition where joints easily move beyond the normal range, is a mixed blessing. It makes it that much easier to overstretch since there is less tension in the ligaments surrounding the joints. It’s easy to mistake hypermobility for flexibility. Because this compensates for the lack of stability in the joints, hypermobile people often have tense muscles. If you’re in this predicament, learning the art of flexible- strength becomes a necessity because it prevents you from overdoing, either while stretching or strengthening. It can help you regain better muscle tone and more stable joints.

The art of flexible-strength starts with allowing your joints to release which brings about lengthening in your muscles. However, it is also important to not sacrifice your skeletal height which keeps everything together yet in an expanded state as well. This combo allows your muscle tone to rebalance which creates stability around the joints. All this is the work of your postural mechanism at work. It is its job to handle your best coordination, posture, and balance when you do not interfere. It is an ambassador for your whole-body intelligence.

Learning to activate your whole-body intelligence via this mechanism you were born with is the most efficient way to function at your best, on or off the mat. And it is one of the golden keys to The Wise Way to Yoga which can be applied to all yoga styles.

Ready to embrace the Wise Way to Yoga?
Go check this page on my blog for the Manifesto of the Wise Yogi and the lists of Boston events around the book launch:
https://offthematyogablog.com/the-wise-way-to-yoga/

You can also sign up for my FREE EMAIL SEMINAR.

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist yogis in enhancing their practice towards best performance with optimal safety. 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 more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. 

And her book, THE WISE WAY TO YOGA,  is to be published in May 2018! To be followed!

 

“THE WISE WAY TO YOGA” Sneak Peek # 4: Bandhas, Bridge Pose, Block & Bones for Increased Flow!

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For those who have not been following me on FB, this was taken from Part Four of my soon to be published book for Yoga Teachers, Trainees, and Committed Practitioners!:)

Yogic bandhas are a form of energy activation via special centers in the body to temporarily contain the body energy (prana) in the torso. The three specific bandhas are Mula Bandha, energy activation at the perineum, Uddiyana Bandha, energy activation of the abdomen into the rib cage, and Jalandhar bandha, to energize the throat.

It is common to practice this energization by squeezing and tightening these centers to close the energy gates as a way to create energy flow when the tightness is released. Similar to a dam. However, when practiced, unnecessary tension can also be created from overusing muscles, either out of habit or because of cultural conditioning around the concept of more being better. But, as I have asked you before, is more always better?

Bandhas are about energy activation above all else. Although performed on the physical level, they are meant to function as an internal energetic process. The key is to not overexert muscle tension so that the energetic process can happen most efficiently and you can avoid building body stiffness in the process.


Lotus Pose

It is my personal experience, and the experience of yogis I have worked with, that when you focus only on the local area around the centers, you lose connection with the whole-body and the full benefits of its innate intelligence. You still can get results from your practice, yet you also develop or reinforce body tension and a habitual pattern to overdo at the same time. How can you avoid overdoing in this context? Stay connected to your bones and skeletal structure with an intention to not tighten all over your body! With a bit of experience in activating your postural mechanism, this is doable even when you do the three bandhas together.


Bridge Pose with Block Hugging

Overdoing with your muscles supersedes your skeletal structure and your bone strength. Try a yoga exploration using a block in your bridge pose. Explore energizing the root chakra with Mula Bandha by squeezing the habitual way. Then try it thinking that you are hugging the block with your bones. You can also explore this in mountain pose, lotus pose, or while standing in a forward bend. Then compare the typical squeezing to hugging with your bones.

Bone hugging instead of muscular squeezing prevents excess tension while connecting you with your complete skeletal structure and the support under it. It is helping you rise up from the roots created when you allow excess tension to be released into the earth. This way, your bandha activation permits your whole body to be engaged in an appropriate way, each part using just the right amount of muscle tension. The big outer muscles can let go, and the core muscles kick in, organically working with the skeleton and its support.

The energy activated by the bandhas is then both localized and generalized so that when released, the gates for the energy to flow through are wide open all over the body.

A yoga teacher in one of my class said that “squeezing the block involved a lot of effort and strain” for him, and it triggered a place in his back where he carries chronic tension. On the other hand, when hugging the block with his bones, he felt “more stable, supported, and at ease,” and it also relieved the tension in his back. What I saw when he switched to bone hugging is his alignment between head and knees improved organically and his butt was no longer collapsing down to the floor.

Ready to embrace the Wise Way to Yoga?
Go check the Manifesto of the Wise Yogi on this page of my blog:
https://offthematyogablog.com/the-wise-way-to-yoga/

You can also sign up for my FREE EMAIL SEMINAR by clicking here: http://eepurl.com/bll8hL

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis in enhancing 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 more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. 

And her book, THE WISE WAY TO YOGA,  is to be published in May 2018! To be followed!

Letter to my followers!

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How are you doing?

I have been so very busy getting my manuscript to my publisher that I have totally neglected you. I hope you can forgive me. And now that the book is out of my hands, I’ve been sneezing, coughing and hibernating. It is like my body received permission to just let it all go, finally. Have you been there?

To ride on the topic of the last blog, feeling under the weather is often a time we wish things were different so we could keep going, as I did when it got started. However, it is also a perfect opportunity to surrender to what is. How do you handle being suddenly under the weather? It is so easy to see it as an inconvenience, and yet it is often the body’s way to take a break, cleanse and reset.

It is also a great time to practice gratefulness for what is right in our lives and what works well in our body. It is my secret to staying optimistic when the going gets tough. What’s yours? Have you tried giving thanks as a remedy? Of course, it is nice to practice this every day and I actually do in my own way. It may sound silly but I say thank you to the warm water when I shower every morning, or to a green light on my way to the office.

In my book, I talk about how we have various ways to experience our mind and our body. From the inside, while it is in process, or from the outside as a witness. Do you know what I am talking about? For instance, sometimes I notice myself getting frustrated because a driver in front of me is slowing down at a green light. On occasion, I still react and beep in discontent. Often, I witness myself wanting to beep but I choose not to. It feels good to respond instead of letting myself react. Other situations are not so easy but I have experienced that the more I live my life from the witness place, even in small ways, the less I indulge into reacting and the more I feel the real me is in the driver’s seat.

Would love to hear how you deal with common things like that in your life. For me, reflecting on these things, choosing how I want to handle them and then taking action is practicing yoga in a deep way. Doing yoga asanas on our mat or studying yoga philosophy is especially helpful if it helps us live our lives with more centeredness, equanimity, and peace. More awareness and compassion for ourselves and others!

How do you practice yoga in your daily life when you are off the mat?

Looking forward to hearing your challenges and success stories!

Cecile:)

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis in enhancing 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 more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. 

And her book, THE WISE WAY TO YOGA,  is to be published in May 2018! To be followed!

 

“THE WISE WAY TO YOGA” Sneak Peek # 3: Why & How Can Surrender Make You Stronger!

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“THE WISE WAY TO YOGA” Sneak Peak # 3!
taken from Part Three of my soon to be published book
for Yoga Teachers, Trainees, and Committed Practitioners!:)

Image may contain: drawingSweet Surrender in Child Pose is Only One Way to Surrender

             It is common to feel constantly pressed for time. You may be rushing to get somewhere or to get something done, focusing on an outcome in the future. Maybe you are on your way to your yoga class. All the while, you are not present to yourself in the now. You are letting habitual patterns of body and mind control you, and in these moments, you are acting as a slave to your habits. In this common scenario, actions create lingering body tension and no matter how much yoga you do, it is never enough to address the effect of your daily behavior when unattended. Besides, it is tension that you do not perceive because the habits and the tension register as normal to you. In fact, you bring it to yoga with you and it affects your practice in ways you may not be aware of.

When creating the space to attend to yourself, combined with learning how to activate the guidance of your whole body intelligence, not only can you discover and acknowledge these habits, you also have the opportunity and the means to unlearn them. Consequently, you can increasingly behave as your true self because you are increasingly more present to what is happening, while it is happening and guided by an infallible source. And, most importantly, you realize that you are always equipped to handle any of the body or mind challenges coming your way.


Surrendering can happen in Tree Pose or Any Pose!

             You have to be ready to do this work. It is always your choice. You are free to keep rushing and creating tension for yourself throughout your life. Or, you can choose to explore how to manage your body and life differently and do your best. It is about taking ownership and being responsible for your experiences. It is an ongoing journey, leading you to find more peace by accepting what is, rather than resisting it. And by trusting your body’s ability to function optimally instead of micro-managing its every movement. It is a journey toward an increased ability to fully embrace the yogic practice of surrender as an act of trust and courage.

Similarly, at the core of yogic yoga practice is the ability to stop functioning according to old hardened habits, and the ability to let them go. As you exercise introspection and discernment, you develop the ability to choose and develop habits that support the health of your body, mind, and soul.

Learning to activate the guidance of your whole-body intelligence is a great tool to reach your yogic goals. It allows you access to a part of yourself that knows better than human-imposed rules and regulations. It develops trust and brings about change, not from a mindset based on these old habits, but a mindset based on what is truly possible in the moment. Your mindset is the key to the flexibility and strength of your body.

Are you READY to work on your challenges NOW? If yes, simply send me a message to schedule a free online time and assess if my ONLINE INTERACTIVE COURSE is good for you and if you are a good fit for it. It can transform your life for the better not only as a yogi but also in your everyday life. Check the content of the course by clicking here:

https://offthematyoga.lpages.co/no-payment-options-for-90-day-body-intelligence-activation-copy/

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her B.I.A. Process to assist yogis in enhancing 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 more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. She is currently writing a book on her personal and professional experience. THE WISE WAY TO YOGA is to be published soon! To be followed!