Category Archives: Computer

Yoga & the Spirit of Discrimination

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The recent study referred to in the article below concludes, based on emergency room reports, that only yogis of age 65 and after are at risk for practicing yoga. Why is this rather misleading?

                  https://www.yogauonline.com/yoga-research/new-study-charts-yoga-injuries-over-13-year-period

I personally do not think the conclusion of this study is accurate. The poster child for pioneer yoga teachers in North America, Diane Bruni, and many other teachers and practitioners have been injured when much younger in their practice. Their injuries and challenges motivated their deep commitment to start a yoga revolution to improve the practice of modern yoga as it is still developing. The current flaws are nobody’s fault. Among other things, they are part of the evolution of an eastern practice in a western world.

Injuries don t always make it to the emergency room and older yogis are more likely to report to the emergency room than younger folks who may feel invincible and trust their injuries will heal quickly. Also, I personally know loads of young teachers and practitioners who would not last without serious injury if they were not going to their chiropractor and massage therapist periodically. Lastly, yoga injuries do not always manifest while on the mat. When the body is not used in line with its whole-body intelligence, it promotes excess tension and injuries can happen anytime, anywhere!

In fact, yoga injuries are often caused by misuse of our body off the mat as seen in the pictures below. As a yogi, you may think that you can fix your “Daily Body” by engaging with your “Yoga Body” on the mat. The truth is that you only have one body and it is crucial to learn how to better handle your body in daily activities if you do not want to promote excess tension and injury down the road. Ignoring slouching in daily life hurts your yoga practice. And tensing your back to sit or stand straight on or off the mat contributes to your irresistible need to slouch. Just know that there is a more organic way to do this as you well did when you were children. And the ability to do so is still in you, available 24/7. You simply need to learn how to activate it!

In the meantime, let’s not close our eyes to the danger still present in the way many practice yoga today. Yoga is not the problem of course, how it has been taught since the 19th century and how we use our body practicing yoga is. How we bring harmful habits from daily life to the mat is. How our physical sensations rule our practice is as well given that yoga warns us to not trust sensations alone. Besides, it is not because we can do something to an extreme that it is good for all our body parts.

We need to develop discrimination! And with it, yoga injuries can decline steadily!

We must face the underlying roots of these injuries so yogis can practice yoga the wise way (regardless of their body type, age, fitness level or yoga style), and keep injuries at bay.

It is a given that younger people bodies are more resilient and can handle more misuse. But is that a reason to assume their practice is flawless and safe?

Studies are helpful up to a certain point. Yet studies proving opposite points can easily be found if we look carefully. So we must use our spirit of discrimination when we read the conclusion of studies. We must learn to connect with our whole-body intelligence in a way so it can be activated on demand and offer guidance for what is right for us, individually, in each moment. And questioning outside information no matter where it comes from is part of 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. She is also the author of a June 2018 publication called THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on Amazon or from Cecile if you are local to Boston!
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“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!

The Secret To Sustainable Good Posture!

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Postural challenges are increasing as we have become a society of people living from our heads more often than not.

Think of it, even when you do yoga, you tend to let your educated mind decide what your body ought to do and how to move. In fact, you trust your yoga teacher more than your own whole-body intelligence.

So you micro-manage your body parts in an effort to reach what you THINK is the perfect pose expression. You micro-manage your shoulders and back to reach what you THINK is your best posture. But is it? Who knows whether it is or not?

Your teacher knows the way the pose is meant to look like, but does she know your body? Can she guess how your body is feeling as you are doing your pose? Only your whole body intelligence can.

There is a mechanism within you that is designed to handle your best balance, coordination, and posture. When you micro-manage your body, you prevent this mechanism to do its job. That is why pulling your shoulders back does not last and you find yourself slouching within minutes if not seconds.

Learning about that mechanism and how to activate it is the secret to clearing posture issues and to gain increased freedom from the consequences of poor posture: namely, neck, shoulders and back tension.

If you are interested in learning more, please join me and others for my FREE WEBINAR this weekend to give you an experience of this mechanism. For more info, click on the following link:

https://offthematyoga.lpages.co/free-live-interactive-webinar-04/

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 to be published this year.

The Yoga Of Vulnerability!

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What is your relationship with feeling vulnerable? Does it make you go into freeze or fight mode? Or do you overcome the feeling most of the time? Do you have memories of childhood that come back to the surface in some situations even though the danger is no longer there? Would you like to learn the yoga of vulnerability so you can be more who you truly are so vulnerability has less of an interfering impact on you? This is what I have been working on with live videos although using my BIA Process to get me through it! I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway and am not there yet when it comes to Live FB videos!:)

This topic around vulnerability came to me since yesterday because of a 21-day challenge I chose to commit to. I had decided last new year’s eve that this year was supposed to be my year to become visually visible. I have become very visible with my writing over the last few years, partly my blog with 25 000 views to date and my weekly FB posts which are viewed by 3000 to 7000 people. And there is my incoming book which I still hope will get published this year if everything goes according to plan. But since my decision for 2017, I had only made baby steps to be more visually visible.

Yes, I do like to challenge myself and I also know I have cutting edge knowledge and experience that I am meant to share to an increasingly wide audience if I am want to bring about the impact my work could have. Only FB Live video were a bit too much I thought and I kept postponing telling myself my book came first.

Day One: https://www.facebook.com/cecile.raynor/videos/10209922694120100/

Now that I am in the final stage of it, I no longer have a choice if I want to be accountable to myself and I just jumped on this opportunity to join others in embracing this challenge even though I knew I would feel quite vulnerable at first. So far, I am two days into it. And although I am pretty confident in general and have been on TV and radio before feeling at ease, as my gut told me, going live did trigger some feeling of vulnerability even though I know intellectually that there is nothing to fear.

Have you done jumps of the sort? How did it work for you? 

Like most people, you probably don’t enjoy the feeling of vulnerability and for a good reason, it was designed as a warning sign to alert you that something is not safe in your environment so you become extra careful. Your stress mode gets turned on and everything shuts down to be in protective mode. Depending on your personality, you may feel like getting ready to fight or flee or you tend to freeze or try to appease the source of trouble when possible.

All this is perfectly normal and appropriate.


Day Two: https://www.facebook.com/CecileRaynorAlexanderTechniqueThaiYoga/videos/1428922337187848/

However, like most of us, you may have integrated this way of feeling not only when you are truly in danger but also when you perceive you are in danger even when you are not. Your body can’t tell the difference. It follows your mind perception. You are not alone if you avoid situations that make you feel vulnerable. Even when you know on some levels that you are not in a life and death situation, it just feels like it and that’s enough to recoil.

The truth is that most often than not, you are perfectly safe and you miss out on life for not choosing to feel the fear and do it anyway. Now, am not suggesting you ignore the feeling exactly. You can acknowledge it and have a talk with the part of you that feels that way. Yet you can also realize that not all of you feels that way and that you can follow the part of you that wants to be free from fear. That is the part you can choose to follow to reach more freedom from imagined fears.

So here it is in a nutshell why I had to take on this challenge. I have felt fear and did it anyway in other situations and it always turned out ok so am taking this to the next level for my benefit and the benefit of my tribe who gets to see me live and ask questions instead of only seeing a picture of me near my writing.

Besides, it is my true purpose to inspire and guide people to dance the joy of wholeness and that happens increasingly when we are freer from unfounded fears.

If you want to learn the process I use to make me do things I did not think I could do both on or off the mat, go to my blog site for my  Free Email Seminar  or other paid programs including private sessions locally or online:  https://offthematyogablog.com/

And if you are a yoga teacher, trainee or committed yoga practitioner, send me a message to see if you qualify for a free session with me.

Also, if you want to see me growing through this 21-day challenge and get inspired, go to my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/CecileRaynorAlexanderTechniqueThaiYoga/

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 to be published this year with Bliss-life Press, San Diego California.

 

To Tuck or Not To Tuck? Why Is This Even A Question?

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This is one of the most common instructions recommended to fix neck and back tension. “Tuck the chin so you can lengthen the back of your neck”. “Tuck your pelvis so you can lengthen your lower back”. ” Tilt is another word for it. “Tilt your head back to open your chest” etc…

Are you familiar with these tucking instructions? Do you find them helpful for every part of your body or just to give you a sense you are giving it your very best?

These instructions may not be as helpful as they may seem or as they may feel in the moment! Why? Because when you rely on this approach, you are going for band-aid solutions prescribed by your educated mind trying to make things better without having the big picture.

The consequence of this approach is that whether you tuck your chin down and your pelvis under, or you suck your belly in and you spread your feet flat on the ground, you are interfering with the natural functioning of your whole-body intelligence blocking your energy with every adjustment you make.

So when your teacher concludes the instructions by saying, “then make sure you are breathing and remain relaxed”, it is not really possible to have a full breath and flexible muscles with all that muscular engaging and holding in a specific posture. So you may release 10% of your perceived tension which makes you think you are relaxed when in reality, you only took the edge of tension away.

Tucking is not serving you as you may think. It only promotes the feeling each body part is separate from the rest of your body when in fact the muscular tension in your tucked pelvis is somewhat spreading through your body from head to toes.

And tucking your pelvis back is part of arching your back and lifting your chest. Tucking your pelvis in is part of rounding your back and shoulders.

Learning to activate your postural mechanism allows you to practice yoga in a way that makes all your body parts work together harmoniously, along with your mind and body cooperating instead of at odds with each other from a lack of deep communication.

Yoga is not about “Separateness” but about “Union”.

Want to learn more about the Body Intelligence Activation Process to promote optimal safety and highest performance on and off the mat? Sign up to my free email seminar, free webinars or online programs. If you are interested in my BIA Process Online Live Program for yoga teachers, trainees and committed Practitioners, send me a message through my contact info to set up a free consultation!:)

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 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 to be published this year with Bliss-life Press, San Diego California.

 

Chest & Heart Opener Poses Revisited

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Anyone practicing yoga has heard of “Heart or Chest Openers”. It sure sounds good which is why people go for it. But what is a chest or heart opener pose? Does the way you go about it really matters as long as it feels good?

As I was pondering about that, I realized that when chest openers and heart openers poses are brought up in class, they are not always done in line with our whole-body intelligence.

Whether you are in a restorative class chilling on pillows, fabric boulders or blocks to “Open” your heart or you are pulling your “Shoulders Out”, do you open the front of the torso at the expense of the back?

For instance you may be encouraged to squeeze your shoulder blades to open your shoulders or you may be in a pose on the floor that tend to exaggerate your mid back spinal arch while your shoulders open back past your collar bone line.

Is it desirable to go that far just because it feels good in the moment? How can you enjoy these poses without sacrificing any part of your body for the benefit of another part?

Look at the Indian who posed on a horse for this statue. His chest and heart are fully open in this stance as he is addressing his Great Spirit! Yet his shoulders and arms are neither rolled forward nor pulled back. His torso is open in front and back equally. As a result, the neck part of his spine is gently arching back but his head is not compressing the back of his neck.

That is what I call a healthy chest and heart opener pose!

1) Any opening that does not include every part of your body into expansion is not helping you as much as you think even though it may feel good in the moment.

2) Forcing the body into expansion, even gently, when it is designed to do so on its own is not the most efficient way to attain and benefit from expansion in a sustainable way.

3) If you don’t know yet how to make your body do its job so you can enjoy strain-free muscles and joints & good effortless posture on and off the mat, find out how to do so instead of correcting the same issue over and over.

Enjoying the Guidance of your Whole-Body Intelligence is easy when you learn how to activate your Postural Mechanism anytime, any place, on or off the mat!

And it has nothing to do with forcing your body into what you think is “Proper Alignment” because there is way more to good posture than proper alignment!

Want to know more? Check my blog site, sign up for my free email seminar, join my next online course in the Fall or contact me for private session in person local or online so I can help you revisit your own expression of your poses!

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar

Call or email for Private Sessions with Cecile local or online!

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 more efficiently on and off the mat. She is currently writing a book on her personal and professional experience to be published this year with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.

Chair Pose Redefined For Integrated Efficiency!

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Do you lead with your butt back or do you feel totally balanced above your feet?

This weekend, I worked with a teacher who had been teaching for a few years. She still experienced muscle and joint discomfort so I had her go into her expression of Chair Pose to assess what was going on in her way of practicing yoga.

She was working so hard muscularly at controlling her body in ways she had been taught that her body was a war zone of conflicts which fed her aches and pain. For instance, she was leading with her butt going back (like most people these days) and got herself off balance which was revealed by her struggling with preventing her toes from lifting off the ground and by a lack of integrated team work in her body as a whole.

Unfortunately, she is not alone in this struggle.

Chair Pose is one of the poses often disliked by yoga teachers and practitioners I have worked with and there is a reason for it. The way it has been taught comes from body builders of the 19th century influenced by the Industrial Revolution. They approached fitness viewing the body as a machine made of parts to be exercised in a controlled way.

In the same live webinar, a yoga teacher in training described the quads strain she felt in her chair pose as “natural strain” because what we get used to comes to feel more “natural” than the natural way itself.

The truth is that when muscles stand out by their hard work, this is a sign that the yogi in this pose is not using her body as the coordinated self that it is. The strain is actually the body communicating to you that you are in stress mode. Holding against your whole-body intelligence warning comes with risks of injury and chronic tension.


Do you search for the seat with your butt and use your hands for help one way or the other when you sit down?
Or do you feel absolutely relaxed and balanced all the way through?
And do you notice a parallel between your Daily Body and your Yoga Body way of moving?

An integrated efficient practice of chair pose keeps you easily balanced on your feet because you are released and the energy can flow up and down as it is designed to do. As a result, you develop the flexible strength of the cat!

In doing so, you are not losing any opportunity to strengthen. All you lose is the excess tension that gives you the illusion that you are creating more strength.

If you want to receive feedback on your chair pose to experience the ease and efficiency of an integrated chair pose like these other webinar teachers did, attend my free webinar too by clicking on this link: https://offthematyoga.lpages.co/free-live-interactive-webi…/

For those interested in a more integrated yoga practice for increased efficiency, at the end of the webinar, I will introduce my online course and make a special offer for participants only.

I will soon be closing the door to this program designed for an intimate group of yoga teachers and committed practitioners who want to journey with me for 10 weeks and learn about this breakthrough approach to yoga called the Body Intelligence Activation Process or B.I.A. Process to transform and revitalize their practice!

Want to learn more about how to activate your whole-body intelligence guidance 24/7?

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar

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 more efficiently on and off the mat. She is currently writing a book on her personal and professional experience to be published this year with BlissLife Press, San Diego California.