I do love studying with Aadil Palkhivala (alivewithaadil.com - link function not working now) Over five years ago, I did a 40 hour training with him before I started teaching yoga and he blew me away. His pure joy of life, his clear explanations, his confidence....his presence. He's inspiring, wise, and filled with joy. I mean, pure joy.
I've learned things from him that I use in all my classes, like looking at each person in the eyes when greeting them hello or goodbye in every class. Like bringing total enthusiasm to the class and to the students. Like being firm when I need to without apology, but with love.
I'm still processing what I learned with him at http://mokshayoga.comweeblylink_new_window, last weekend. I had the best savasana (resting or corpse pose) EVER - it was 45 minutes long & it completely released the tension in my left arm and shoulder. I learned that so much of our tensions come from not getting enough rest. LET'S GET ENOUGH REST! Few things are more important, truly. And on that note, i'm going to do a yoga nidra (yoga sleep) practice, right now.
Hail hail to the mighty Aadil Palkhivala! He's as wonderful in person as his name is fun to say. Hail, Aadil!
Yoga nidra means yoga sleep and, woah - is this a powerful and effective practice. Pictured is my teacher Rod Stryker's version of this practice of deep relaxation.
Yoga nidra is sleep with a sense of consciousness. I've certainly passed out and snored my way through yoga nidra practices, for sure, but this is best practiced with out falling asleep. 30 minutes of yoga nidra is like getting 2 hours of sleep, and, believe me, I use yoga nidra instead of napping often to not only deeply rest, but to work on my sankalpa, my resolution.
So, how do you practice this magical relaxation practice and what's up with the resolution hub bub, you may wonder? Well, practicing is easy peasy - you lay on your back, hit the play button on your preferred media player and give your self permission to relax. I even bought an acupuncture-style pad to practice yoga nidra on to get some extra mojo going. By mojo, I mean prana - life force, chi, breathe, energy. You know...get your mojo rising! (I don't recommend using the bed of nails pad like I am unless you're used to doing yoga nidra often. You can relax so deeply that your body may feel uncomfortable on the pad, defeating the purpose of yoga nidra.)
The sankalpa, the resolution, is a super important part of this practice. When you're in the process of deeply relaxing, you cultivate the feeling of gratitude and in this fertile soil, plant the seed of your sankalpa or focused intention. This is a positive goal towards your health and well being that you want to achieve in the next 6 months. For example, three years ago, my previous sankalpa was to attract 10 students to every yoga class. I was still anxious about teaching to as many people as I could so I would have better job security, more income, and feel like I was getting the yoga message really out there.
The sankalpa eventually worked to where the classes where I had lower attendance (the 7AM gym classes) started to be populated by the coolest group of yogis around and there are often 10 or more students in these classes. Another great result was that by seeding my sankalpa while deeply relaxing, the anxiety I had around it started to fade. Sure, it's fun to have a full class but this is not as important to me. I'm now more focused on teaching a better quality class to any number of students. The sankalpa and yoga nidra worked for me in many great ways.
Yoga nidra, yoga nidra, yoga nidra. Do this as often as you can, at least twice a week, to deeply relax, set and fulfill your sankulpa, and to replenish your vitality.
So, I'm done done done working with the Three MInute Egg yoga products, for now (duh duh DUH dramatic music heard here). We sold eggs at the NYC Yoga Journal Conference (see the last blog entry) and at the Midwest Yoga Conference in Illinois.
I met some fabulous, fabulous people, like the good folks at Juil Shoes (WONDERFUL product), a guy who already has a yoga website class directory that I'm trying to build now (eek!) and other neat yoga freaks and lovelies.
At the Midwest Yoga Conference, I finally got to study with Dr. Indu Arora. I've been interested in studying with her for years after reading her articles in Yoga Chicago and find her to be an authentic yogini who is the Real Deal. I took a mudra workshop with her and a beauty workshop, where she talked about the 8 types of beauty in the forms of Laksmhi, who is the utmost beauty incarnate. Of course, the emphasis is on the beauty of the inside, the type of confident spiritual beauty that keeps us young, vibrant and elegantly effortless.
Who wouldn't want this kind of effervescent beauty emanating from their pores from the inside? I sure do and need to get puh-lenty of rest right now after weeks of yoga-market-mayhem and after hanging out with the Three Minute Eggman, Jason, who has been painfully sick with a cold.
So, off I go right now (that's right, Mia, get OFF the computer) to make an herbal face mask with Dr. Arora's herbal powder mixed with organic milk, lay on my new Yoga Powermat with 600+ plastic spikes on it and do a yoga nidra deep relaxation with my teacher, Rod Stryker's recording.
The ONLY way I can sustain and thrive with my busy lifestyle is to PRACTICE and take care of myself. Off I go.
Mia Park is a ParaYoga teacher in Chicago, IL, specializing in teaching Basic Yoga for Advanced Misfits, as well as teaching people how to cut through the junk to shine on.