Category Archives: Innate Wisdom

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.

 

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TIGHT BACK? THE SECRET TO BACK LENGTHENING!

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Back and neck tension are totally connected!
Help your spine by releasing your hip joint socket and notice your neck releasing in the process as well!

Learn to allow your body to do its job instead of trying to muscularly control it!

When your back is tight, do you go into forward bends as a way to free your lower back from excess tension? Do you do them in the hope to lengthen your spine? And how are you doing with this? Does your back remains lengthened as a result or does it simply feel awfully good in the moment to stretch that tension but you need to keep stretching that same tension over and over?

The secret to back length is two-fold.

First, you need to focus on the lengthening of your whole torso, not just the back or part of the back. Of course, when you do so, your low back or other part of your back will lengthen on their own if need be.

Second, you can’t truly lengthen your torso or back without releasing your hip joint sockets. In fact, only your whole-body intelligence can truly lengthen your torso/back as a result of your letting go of hip joints tension.

Now, don’t you go do hip openers to free your hip joint sockets. That is not the same as using your mind to simply let go of the tension. Your whole-body intelligence responds more efficiently to thought that allow its functioning than to orders that muscularly forces its functioning.


Back and neck tension are totally connected!
Help your spine by releasing your hip joint socket and notice your neck releasing in the process as well!

Letting go is an intention, a decision that your body can carry out for you instantaneously when you know how to step out of your own way. By doing so, your whole-body intelligence can finally take action from the driver seat where it belongs.

If you want to learn how to activate your whole body intelligence, check my blog site offerings free or paid. If you are a yoga teacher, trainee or committed yoga practitioner, private message me to see if you qualify for a complimentary session with Cecile! https://offthematyogablog.com/

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.

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.

 

Beware Of The Drishti & Alignment Connection!

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Yoga teachers may talk about “Drishti” (vision). On the mat, they often refer to it as a form of gazing in the distance to focus your mind in the present moment. Focus is fundamental in yoga practice. Focusing your eyes and your attention is practicing the yogic technique called “Drishti”.

However, even though using your vision to stay in the now or come back to it is always an excellent tool, there is another important dimension to consider in understanding and properly use “Drishti”. Along with this intention to gaze so as to step out of your overactive mind, you need to always make sure the gaze direction does not lead you to sacrifice your spinal length.

When Drishti is used properly, there is no neck or back compression and the kundalini energy can flow through you as it is meant to.

Pay attention to what is happening in the back of your neck when you look up in any given pose. Many poses do not require you to lift your head up as it is commonly cued by some teachers. Often, you are cued to “look up” in a way that is not necessary for the movement at all.

This cue has been passed on over the years from one teacher to the other and yet it was not necessarily an appropriate cue to start with. If you can look up with your eyes without compressing the back of your head, you’re good. Otherwise, don’t feed neck compression, it never is worth it for your body.

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If you are having trouble with this, know that by activating your whole-body intelligence, you can always find the best way to do any pose in alignment with your whole-body intelligence. Even Crow Pose can be done with no neck compression! Yes, it is doable and much better for you!:)

If you want to learn more about this breakthrough way to approach yoga so that your poses are always performed in line with your whole-body intelligence, check my blog site, read my blogs, sign up for my free email seminar or webinars. They all offer great value to help you practice yoga, even power yoga with optimal safety and highest results.

If you are a teacher or a committed yoga practitioner interested in joining my 90 day online live program where I teach the Body Intelligence Activation Process, reach out to me for an online free consult!:) https://offthematyogablog.com/

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar

Call or email for Private Sessions with Cecile locally 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.

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.

To Engage or To Allow Engagement? A Crucial Difference On & Off the Mat!

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Every time I go to a yoga class or attend an online class, I am struck by the lack of distinction between “engaging” and “allowing engagement”. Do you use your mind to control your body muscles as if it knew better than your whole-body intelligence? Maybe you are so used to it that you don’t even know you have another option to stretch and strengthen that is more efficient? Then read on!

When you are spontaneously running, dancing or simply walking, you don’t need to tell your body what muscles to engage and when to release the joints. It has a postural mechanism, an ambassador for your whole-body intelligence, designed to handle it all for you. Its job is to manage your best balance, coordination and posture.

 

This mechanism works at its best when you don’t interfere with it. Children and animals are good examples of this perfectly functioning mechanism.

When you are on the mat, your mind can decide what pose you want to go into. After that it is best to let your postural mechanism handle your muscles and joints activity for you as you go into the skeletal expression of the pose. I know, it requires having trust in your whole-body wisdom to be there for you!

The thing is that when you “allow engagement” by your whole-body intelligence, it knows exactly what needs engaging and how much to engage so that the pose is good for all parts of your body. When you “engage” specific muscles and joints, you create unnecessary body tension that interferes with the best expression of your pose.

Releasing excess tension is neither going limp nor decreasing how much strength you are building. It is preventing building body stiffness while you are building strength!

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

1) Free Email Seminar 2) Free Webinar 3)  90 Day B.I.A. Process Program.

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.