Category Archives: Will Power

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 goingas 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 by the end of this month! To be followed!

 

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THE WISE WAY TO YOGA Sneak Peek # 2: The Body Awareness Journey & Yoga!

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Excerpt from my book soon to be published,
Part Two on How is Your Body Image and Body Awareness Relationship Affecting Your Yoga Practice?

“We are in a mind-driven culture. So, our mind tells our body not only what to do but how to function as if it knew better than our whole-body intelligence. Hence, the increasing need for us to develop our body awareness towards a more unified and balanced functioning of our body and mind.

This journey leads us to realize, beyond our intellect, that our body is not separate from our mind even though we often unknowingly act as if it was. The reality is that the way we think and behave affects our body functioning and how we use our body affects what we think and how we behave, whether we are aware of it or not.

I am still working on this myself, as it is an ongoing process. I have enough experience with it to understand and write about it, yet I have my own journey to keep attending to. And, I have come to realize that it is not from increasing my practice of yoga postures or meditation alone that I can go deeper into the amazing, peaceful experience of being. It is by working on deep self-acceptance, embracing all of who I am, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the pleasurable and the painful. Otherwise, it is so easy to function, even on the yoga mat, from a place of “I am not good enough” which fosters our overdoing energy.

Fully connecting your mind and body is a major achievement on your human journey. It creates more balance and peace in your life. The different stages of awareness are all connected in a personal and complex web. They each prepare you for your next step in the discovery process of your body awareness journey. It is a beautiful journey, with ups and downs, tears, laughter, and moments of blissful awareness and deep understanding of who you truly are. These moments keep you motivated to continue.

And that is true yoga, this union or alignment of who you think you are with who you truly are, alignment of the individual and the universal, the separate and the pervading oneness of all things.”

I have a few more Sneak Peek in store for you before my book is launched. Stay tuned!

Also, coming up is one of my last couple FREE virtual class on the Drishti-Balance-Posture Connection which can help reduce or eliminate your lingering neck tension. If you are READY to work on this NOW. Join other yoga teachers and committed yoga practitioners from around the world by clicking this 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. THE WISE WAY TO YOGA is to be published soon! To be followed!

“THE WISE WAY TO YOGA” Excerpt on Krishnamacharya, Muscle Power & Strength!

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Hope this blog finds you well!

Here is a first sneak peek at my soon to be published book called “THE WISE WAY TO YOGA” which I wrote for Yoga Teachers, Trainees, and Committed Practitioners!

The excerpt today is from Part One and relates to Krishnamacharya, Muscle Power & Strength!

“Krishnamacharya was an Indian yoga master, an ayurvedic healer, a musician, poet, and a renowned scholar with many degrees to his name. He was the father of the nineteenth-century revival of Hatha Yoga, seemingly connected to the new international interest in fitness of that time period. He had been learning yoga philosophy and yoga postures from his father and other teachers since he was a young boy, so he was highly qualified to foster the various dimensions of this complex discipline.

During the 1920s, Krishnamacharya held many demonstrations to stimulate popular interest in hatha yoga. Like the bodybuilders of the time, his focus for his public displays was on physical strength. Probably because that appealed to men from time immemorial and it was a way to trigger their initial interest. These demonstrations included suspending his pulse, stopping cars with his bare hands, performing difficult postures, and lifting heavy objects with his teeth. Viewers watched with admiration and were fascinated by his abilities.

Here again, what is worth observing is that his amazing strength had nothing to do with him being a huge man with bulky muscles, for he was not. It had to do with his mind power focusing on his body as a whole to deliver the needed energy. This is a lesson modern yogis need to consider if they have bought into the “muscle obsession” so common in our current society, whether for strengthening or stretching them. More on this throughout Part Four and Five.”

Hope you enjoy it and that the content triggers some introspection into your own practice!

Cecile Raynor

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!

http://www.facebook.com/CecileRaynorAlexanderTechniqueThaiYoga
https://offthematyogablog.com/
www.alexandertec.com
www.studiocecile.com

617 359 7841(cell)

Yoga Stretches & Chest Openers with More Lasting Power!

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ATTENTION YOGA TEACHERS, COMMITTED YOGA PRACTITIONERS, BIG PICTURE THINKERS, AND SPIRITUAL SEEKERS!

Do you go to yoga to relieve excess tension in the moment or to decrease your tension level off the mat? Do you do chest openers just because they feel good or would you like your posture to improve off the mat as well?

How is this working for you so far?

If your practice keeps you tension-free and poised off the mat, you’re probably happy with it and kudos to you for having a practice.

If you want to seriously decrease your tension level and your slouching habit off the mat, read on!

I remember yoga teachers and practitioners I have worked with feeling they could not skip a class or else! They were addicted to their practice. And yet, they still dealt off the mat with the posture and tension issues that brought them to yoga in the first place. Does this sound familiar?

And I remember them feeling stuck in a predicament. They loved yoga and what it can potentially do for them yet if they were honest with themselves, they still carried excess tension off the mat and their habit to slouch did not disappear. Some of the teachers actually stopped teaching altogether for a short while, to gain perspective. They were listening to their inner voice!

They were also exploring options to figure out a more organic way to teach yoga when they found my Body Intelligence Activation Process (BIA Process™) and signed up for my online course. Here is how a couple of them reviewed it on my FB page:

“Cecile is the real deal. Working with her has transformed my Yoga Practice, a practice I can honestly say feels empowering, grounding and tension-free. It is positively impacting my posture and movement in my daily life too.” Mona Kelly-US

“Cecile is very skilled in what she does & an amazing teacher. I have had so many insights due to her three-month program. Great for yogi’s, dancers and anyone who wants to feel better in their skin. This is sooo needed in the yoga world! Thanks Cecile for your beautiful work!” Relinde Moors – Holland

This course is for you if…

• You are a committed practitioner and you want the very best out of your yoga practice in any yoga style you are attracted to without unknowingly damaging your body over time.
• You are a new or experienced yoga teacher and you want to be the best teacher you can without burning out in the process.
• You are either a committed yoga practitioner or a yoga teacher and you are ready to unlearn ways of using your body that do not serve your body whether you are on or off the mat

My course is designed for motivated people on a quest for truth who want to practice or teach yoga in an integrated way, to be respectful of their Human Design.

I keep the video classes in this online course fairly for participants to receive great feedback, so you must be a good fit to sign up!

If interested in my winter session, private message me for more information and to assess if you are a good fit.

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!

Why Is Muscle Engaging Not What It Is Cracked Up To Be When Practicing Yoga?

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Do you engage your muscles in an effort to control your skeleton when you do a mountain pose or a tree pose? If your answer is yes, what do you think the benefit of engaging your muscles in that way is? Do you think you are more stable? Or that you build up more strength? Is it even true? If you need that much engaging for a simple pose, how much do you use for a more challenging one? In the end, are you sure this common way of practicing yoga offers you optimal safety and best performance?

Have you ever tried to let your whole-body intelligence be more in charge so you no longer need to control your body parts that way? Or are you addicted to that tense feeling without which you believe you are not doing enough? Is that even true? What if you could stretch and strengthen without it?

There is a more holistic way to approach yoga practice, whether you are into gentle yoga or power yoga. It has to do with learning to practice in a way that is in line with your human design. It has to do with letting your whole-body intelligence be in the driver seat while your educated mind stays on the passenger seat by activating your postural mechanism. This is an unexplored dimension in the world of yoga and fitness and yet, it is a groundbreaking tool to promote optimal safety and best performance on and off the mat!

Practicing that way leads to optimal safety and highest performance with any style of yoga you enjoy. It has to do with activating your whole-body intelligence so you can follow its clear guidance anywhere, anytime.

Want to learn more? Come and join others to experience this for yourself on my Webinar this Sunday, November 5, 2017

Click on the link below to sign up!:)

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.

 

Is Shavasana Always Good For You?

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This is another option or a pre-shavasana to nurture your back best!

Even Iyengar said: Science progresses, Art progresses so must Yoga. He changed postures as taught to him by his teacher Krishnamacharya and he suspected his teachers would also help yoga evolve. My work is a tool to do just that!

All yoga practitioners have heard of Shavasana which comes at the end of their yoga practice. Those who do yoga because it is good for them even though they don’t like to move much love it for obvious reasons. Those who love more active yoga welcome it at the end of their practice for equally obvious reasons.

However, is it good for everyone? And is it necessary? Is there another way to get what people get from Shavasana?

How do you feel about it?

If you have any issues with your lower back, you may have not welcomed this last pose as much as others because laying down flat on your back legs and all may tend to trigger your lower back into discomfort.

If you have a tendency to hyperextend your knees, they tend to drop to the ground when in Shavasana reinforcing your habit which is not so good for your whole body. You may notice that your hyperextended knees can create a feeling that you are locked in your pelvis as a result. This depends on your body shape and size as well.

If Shavasana works for you, by any means go for it. If you have back issues, you may try to bend a knee one at a time like in a tree pose while on your back instead, no need to bring your foot way up hi on your other leg though. It is easier to do than adding a boulder under your knees when you are by yourself or your teacher is not attending to your need.

If you want to play it safe, don’t worry about what others may think. Do what works for you. And I recommend you start by lying in a semi-supine pose and then move into Shavasana if you choose to do so. Notice that when up on your feet, you always have some flex in your leg joints, you are not flat like in Shavasana. SO although Shavasana still feels great for many, it is not nurturing your postural balance as semi-supine does.

If you choose the semi-supine option even as a transition, you may need to add a folded towel under your head (not under your neck) to make sure that your head neck and torso are aligned and your head is not dropping back and compressing the back of your neck. You may also want to bring your knees to your chest for a second or two then drop them one foot at a time down onto the ground. Lastly, find a balance place for your legs so they are neither falling in or out.

There is way more to this practice to get the most out of it than how to lay down but just doing so daily even at home will bring great benefits to your postural balance, and back, muscle and joint health. And it can be a great way to end your yoga practice with as it restores your best posture automatically.

If you want to know more about this semi-supine way of practicing that is also called “Active Rest” or “Constructive Rest” in Alexander Technique language, reach out to me and you can receive a free gift focusing on this amazing practice.

https://offthematyogablog.com/