3 Ways to Modify Padmasana (Lotus Pose)


https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/3-ways-to-modify-padmasana

3 Ways to Modify Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Try these tips for adjusting Padmasana (Lotus Pose) to find safe alignment for comfortable hips and knees.

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See also 3 Ways to Modify Paschimottanasana

Find Your Balance in Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

One of the central practices of hatha yoga is to balance prana (upward energy) and apana (downward energy) through the expansive and contractive forces of the breath. When these forces are in balance, so is expansion and contraction in the mind. This balance is crucial to yoga practice. It is the psychological foundation of dharana (concentration), which is a complete and unbroken attention to whatever immediately arises in the field of sensory experience. We can cultivate this foundation through asana practice by balancing the expansive and contractive patterns within each form—and by threading these patterns together with continuous movements of breath.

About Our Pro
Teacher and model Ty Landrum is director of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. He teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the contemplative style of his mentors, Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman. With a PhD in philosophy, Ty has a special touch for explaining the theory of yoga with color and creativity. As a teacher, he’s passionate about sharing the brilliance of yoga with anyone willing to learn (for more information, go to tylandrum.com).

 

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5 Ways You Can Use Your Yoga Practice to Improve Your Body Image


 

5 Ways You Can Use Your Yoga Practice to Improve Your Body Image

All of us struggle to some degree with body image issues. Here are 5 ways yoga can help you feel more confident about the skin you’re in.
meditation

Out of the blue, my 6-year-old daughter recently asked me what I like most about my body. Knowing my answer held tremendous power to influence her relationship with her own body in the future, I purposefully paused before answering.

“My arms,” I told her, “because they allow me to hug and hold you and your little sister.”

I admired her playful spirit and innocence on the topic of appreciating one’s body—a refreshingly stark contrast to the seemingly steady stream of social messages that reinforce all the ways our bodies are not good enough. What a gift to witness my child’s curiosity, and how empowering for me to share a body-affirming sentiment after many years of hard work healing an eating disorder and poor body image. Yoga was the key to transforming my relationship with my body. The poses, connection to breath, and ancient philosophies have fostered personal empowerment and lasting body-affirming experiences.

See also The Truth About Yoga and Eating Disorders

How Yoga Can Help You Improve Your Body Image

Sadly, the torment I once felt about my body is all too common. According to the 2017 Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report, which interviewed 5,165 girls aged 10 to 17 across 14 countries, low body esteem is associated with isolation from social activities and pressure to strive to meet beauty and appearance ideals. This is just one study out of many now being conducted on the effects of negative body image on physical, mental, and emotional health in both boys and girls, men and women.

Based on what I see and hear daily in the yoga classes I teach and as a yoga therapist specializing in eating disorders and body image, all of us struggle to some degree with feeling at ease in our skin. The perceptions of our external appearance often get tangled up with unrealistic social expectations and ideals, causing a range of “heavy” feelings, such as discontent, embarrassment, insecurity, worry, shame, and an obsession with controlling weight, food, and exercise. Over time, as these feelings pick up steam, unhealthy beliefs about self-worth can take root.

Yoga, with its tenets of peace, self-compassion, and acceptance, is a path to softening and even transforming such harsh beliefs. Through the path of yoga, we practice harmony within and strengthen our relationship with our body.

So how can we call on our yoga practice to help us feel more confident in and about our bodies? Based on my own experience and work with my students and clients, here are 5 specific ways yoga can help improve your body image:

About Our Writer

Jennifer Kreatsoulas, PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT-500, is a yoga therapist specializing in eating disorders and body image. She is coauthor of the forthcoming book, Body Mindful Yoga: Create a Powerful and Affirming Relationship With Your Body (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). In addition to her private yoga therapy practice, Jennifer leads yoga therapy groups at the Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Philadelphia and yoga workshops and retreats on eating disorder recovery and body image. Jennifer also trains yoga professionals how to nurture positive body image in students and private clients at the YogaLife Institute. She is the cofounder of 11 Elements: A Body Compassion Project, and a partner with the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. Jennifer writes and speaks about her personal and professional experiences on the topics of yoga, body image, motherhood, and eating disorder recovery. Connect with Jennifer: www.ChimeYogaTherapy.com.

 

3 Ayurvedic Recipes to Boost Energy and Brain Power


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/healthy-recipes-to-beat-sluggishness

3 Ayurvedic Recipes to Boost Energy and Brain Power

Feeling sluggish? Boost your energy and your brain power with these 3 Ayurvedic recipes.

Tamas is the energy that likes to sit still and do nothing. It’s the dense, heavy qualities of your mind. We all need just the right amount of rest and relaxation to feel calm and vital, but too little activity can lead to sluggishness. If you’re feeling lackluster, sad, cloudy, or stuck, turn to these recipes to restart your fire and boost brain power.

See also Quiz: What’s Your Dosha?

 

What You Didn’t Learn in YTT: How to Sequence With Purpose & Power


https://www.yogajournal.com/teach/what-you-didnt-learn-in-ytt-how-to-sequence-with-purpose-power

What You Didn’t Learn in YTT: How to Sequence With Purpose & Power

Did you finish yoga teacher training with more questions than you started with? That’s why we’ve recruited seasoned teacher trainer Gina Caputo to speak frankly to some of the most common post-TT questions submitted by YOU. In each of the four posts in this series, she’ll address a new subject and offer both insight and practical tips on how to work skillfully with the challenges you face as a yoga teacher.
posesyogateachertraining

In yoga teacher trainings, the question I most frequently ask of our students is WHY? And this question is very often in the context of class sequencing.

Because many of you probably teach vinyasa yoga of one form or another, it’s helpful to really dissect the meaning of the word to give focus and purpose to your class sequencing. Vinyasa breaks down into two parts in Sanskrit—vi meaning “in a special way” and nyasa meaning “to place.” Which begs the question, what does “special” really mean here?

A vinyasa is a progressive and evolutionary sequence that unfolds with purpose, intelligence, and harmony, much like the rest of Nature. So, the “special” here refers to your intention behind the sequence you create, the logic of each of your choices and the inherent feeling of Natural balance that results from the experience.

The Essence of Intentional Sequencing: What’s the Purpose?

Before it exploded in popularity, many practitioners in the West began their journey into yoga asana with the more orthodox and structured systems of Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga and BKS Iyengar’s school of yoga. It was the emergence of vinyasa flow from these traditions, though, that really catalyzed yoga’s massive popularity. Vinyasa provided an opportunity for more diversity in the practice compared with traditional systems and for teachers to express more creativity in their class creation. But as this style exploded onto the scene, some of the nuance of its original meaning may have been lost. Many “vinyasa” classes became more of a free-for-all with little rhyme or reason to the sequence of postures. Perhaps this was an overcorrection from the set sequences of Ashtanga or the static nature of Iyengar? Regardless, you have the opportunity to dial it back and create skillful sequences with purpose and power. Here’s how step by step.

See also What You Didn’t Learn in YTT: How to Actually Teach People

4 Steps to Plan an Intentional Yoga Sequence

Step 1: Determine the purpose of your sequence.

To return to the essence of vinyasa, prioritize intention and purpose in your sequencing. Before we lay down a single asana, we want to be clear about the intention of the journey so that all of our choices can support that intention. Try beginning with an inspiration that may have roots in one or more of the following four areas:

1. Anatomical or biomechanical
For example, you might plan a class around:

  • The five movements of the spine
  • Stretching hip flexors
  • Shoulder mobility

2. Energetic or feeling state
For example, you might plan a class to have one of the following effects on your students:

  • grounding
  • enlivening
  • centering
  • activating

3. Enhancing or balancing the energy of a macrocosmic event
For example, you might plan a class with the purpose of balancing:

  • weather
  • world events
  • holidays or celebrations

4. Supporting a specific demographic or the needs of a community
For example, you might plan a class to support:

  • high-stress populations like first responders
  • athletes, or recreationally active populations
  • seniors
  • bigger-bodied practitioners
  • pre- or post-natal mothers
  • trauma survivors, practitioners with PTSD, or at-risk populations
  • children
  • medical conditions

Step 2: Consider the nature of each pose.

A pose is not a pose is not a pose. Once you’ve determined the purpose of your sequence, you can begin to make skillful pose choices to support your intention. While all poses may have value, when it comes to their effects, they are not all created equally. Some postures are inherently more focused, require great physical effort, and have an enlivening and activating effect, like Warrior III. Others are more relaxing, require less muscular effort, offer an opportunity to soften your focus, and have a grounding, centering effect, like Reclined Butterfly. When you are able to see all asanas on the spectrum of their energetic effect, you can make more skillful choices in your class sequences to support your intention for the class.

See also 8 Keys to Take Your Yoga Teaching Beyond Standardized Alignment Cues

Step 3: Explore the relationships between poses.

Once you develop the skills to understand the nature of each individual asana, look at how asanas are related to each other in sequence. For example, ask yourself:

  • Do these poses share the same base or foot pattern?
  • What are the key physical actions of these poses? Where do they overlap?
  • What are the key energetic actions of these poses? Where do they overlap?
  • Does this sequence of postures unfold harmoniously and smoothly?
  • How does each pose affect the posture that came before it AND the one that follows it?
  • Am I being creative for creativity’s sake or can I back up every posture in this sequence with logic and purpose?

Step 4: Take a step back and balance your sequence.

Once you are clear on your intention and have crafted a sequence that supports it, your next look at your class should be through the lens of balance. Keep in mind that hatha refers to a union of polarities. In other words, balance. For example, if you desire is to activate your students, can you find the right balance of strong postures to ignite that in them but then also know when to give pause so that they can find sustainable effort? One perspective that may help is to see your class sequences as pranic (energetic) recipes. Is there so much of one “flavor” that it gets overwhelming? Or, is there not enough of another to enhance and balance the primary “taste”?

A practical way to learn to do this is to begin with pose choices that clearly and fully support your intention for the class. Then take a second pass and look for obvious places to insert something that would be balancing to the energy of that sequence. Visualize a sequence of poses building one to the next and then when you reach a crescendo of that particular energy, insert something that balances it. I call these “digestif” moments. They aren’t always about taking rest, sometimes they are just a pause or a shift in the action to allow the students to digest the experience you’ve just co-created with them.

Embracing the definition of vinyasa in sequencing your classes may, in the short term, result in your classes taking twice, three times, or four times as long to create! But as you adjust to this way of crafting your classes, you will find yourself imbued with a feeling of confidence and clarity that comes from being so thoroughly in alignment with intention. And while your students may never know all the purpose behind your offerings on an intellectual level, they will certainly feel the holistic effect of your efforts!

See also The A-to-Z Guide to Yoga Cues

Teachers, want more wisdom from Gina Caputo? Join her free webinar, Simple Is The New Advanced: Vinyasa Sequencing For Mindfulness, on Tuesday, July 25 at 2 pm EDT. Sign up today!

About Our Expert
Gina Caputo is the Founder and Director of the Colorado School of Yoga. Learn more about her and where you can practice with her at ginacaputo.com.

 

The Healing Power of Yoga After a Stroke


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/feet

The Healing Power of Yoga After a Stroke

Decades after a paralyzing stroke, yoga restores Gale-Ann Maier’s strength and stability.
yoga after a stroke, teacher, teach, teachers plus

Gale-Ann Maier began practicing yoga after a stroke and found restoration in her strength and stability.

I could never have guessed the wonderful impact yoga would have as I nervously entered my first Kripalu yoga class in September of 2011. As a middle age, overweight woman with limited left arm function as the result of a stroke 26 years prior, I was hoping to just complete the class. Who knew the next 90 minutes of the basic Kripalu class would be the beginning of an incredible, inspirational journey that continues to unfold each day.

From the first Mountain Pose when our teacher Nancy said, “Can you feel the prana?" until the final Savasana, it was as though energy had been awakened in me. I could feel the prana, and it was amazing.

My journey to this moment has been 35 years in the making, filled with some of the happiest and saddest moment of my life.

In 1978, at the age of 18, my life had played out how I’d always expected: happily married with my 8-month old son, Nathan, to love and cherish. My plans were interrupted suddenly when a cerebral hemorrhage in my right brain left me partially paralyzed in my left body. I was diagnosed with a large inoperable arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in my brain. It was akin to having a time bomb in my brain that could go off at any time, and I was given a life expectancy of 35 years. Fear and anxiety took over my life.

See alsoDoes Yoga Cause Stroke?

I was afraid to be alone with my son, worried I wouldn’t be able to respond to his needs in time. I got easily exhausted and had to rely on my husband and family members to make it through each day. Doctors told me that having more children was not in my best interest, which was just one more blow to my dreams.

Through the next ten years I made remarkable strides toward recovering my left side, even being able to use my left hand for writing, eating, and driving (yes, I’m left-handed). I was considered by doctors to be neurologically intact but still living the very real threat of another hemorrhage.

When I learned of a new radiation treatment for AVMs I jumped at the opportunity. It was risky, but I was willing to do almost anything to see my son reach adulthood. The treatment was ultimately successful and the AVM in my brain was closed off. I felt I could now have my life back.

My excitement waned quickly when I again started losing function in my left body. I soon learned that while having the AVM closed off, I had suffered a stroke. I no longer ran the risk of a brain hemorrhage, but I was left again feeling only half-functional.

Without the AVM in my brain, doctors gave me the great news that I could have another child. In 1993, after years of trying, my second son, Mackenzie, was born. The years that followed were busy, filled with hundreds of one-handed diaper changes. While life was hectic, I was simply happy to be alive and seeing my children grow. I did what I had to do to get by: rely on my right side.

My catalyst to yoga came when in 2007 I tripped and broke my one good, right ankle. Unable to use crutches or bare weight, it was a long six weeks of bed rest and awkward transfers to a wheelchair.

It was another upset, another letdown, another setback. I had relied on my right side for all these years, expecting it to hold me. With the ankle injury, I soon realized just how much I was asking of my right side. I needed to take a serious look at my mobility and ways to improve it. Two surgeries on my ankle later I started deep-water aerobics and began practicing restorative yoga. A beautiful sense of calm settled in my heart.

See alsoYoga for Stroke Survivors

For two years, I practiced restorative once a week. While I was aware of other types of yoga, I thought that restorative was the only kind someone with my limitations could do. With encouragement from my yogi sister-in-law, I finally stepped into my first Kripalu class.

Nancy had a lovely way of guiding the class through poses, offering modifications in a way that did not make me feel excluded or singled out. I have since been able to physically achieve poses I would have never thought possible. Working with balancing and weight-bearing postures, I’ve gained stability and strength where before there was little, and I continue to gain more function on my left side.

Yoga has brought me here, and I truly believe without it, I would not be making the progress I am. Will I ever have full function of my left side? Probably no. But I’ll never say “never," and I choose to continue to grow, stretch, and see what the universe has in store.

I now set intentions not only during my practice but at the beginning of each day. I am present and aware like never before. I feel blessed after each class and look forward to continuing this beautiful journey. I still practice a restorative class once a week (it was the spark that ignited the flame) and have added two Kripalu classes a week.

Since beginning yoga, I am changing my relationship with food and facing fears. I bought a kayak, have gone snowshoeing for the first time, and, yes, even wear yoga pants in public. I am now more mindful in all aspects of my life, I am stronger physically, my shape is changing, and where I once saw limits, I now see possibilities. Yoga has inspired me to look at my body and left side with fresh eyes. The body, mind, spirit connection has been for me, remarkable. There is a new light that is burning within, and I love it.

See alsoYoga Helps Stroke Patients

About our writer
Gale-Ann Maier lives in British Columbia, Canada. She is thankful to her husband and two children who always encouraged her to keep going.

 

Yoga for Moms: Healing Your Pelvic Floor


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/yoga-moms-healing-pelvic-floor

Yoga for Moms: Healing Your Pelvic Floor

Janet Stone, who will lead our upcoming Yoga for Moms online course, explains how to heal your pelvic floor with mula bandha.
Janet Stone performs a low lunge with mula bandha engagement.

Internationally recognized yoga teacher and mother of two Janet Stone, who will lead our upcoming Yoga for Moms online course (enroll now and be the first to know when this mom-inspired course launches), is offering YJ readers a series of weekly “mom-asanas" for serenity, strength, and grounding. This week’s practice: healing your pelvic floor.

In a standard pregnancy and vaginal birth, the amount of loosening that happens in the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor catches many women off guard, especially if you’ve had more than one child. I think of strengthening the pelvic floor as returning to being grounded, or re-building the connection from the waist down through the legs back into the earth again.

Practice: Heal Yourself With Mula Bandha

Re-engaging your pelvic floor by engaging the mula bandha (root lock) can help you heal after childbirth. On an anatomical level, it requires an engagement of the pelvic floor muscles as well as the transverse abdominis, the deep abdominal muscle layer that wraps around your torso from back to front. Mula bandha can also initiate a deeper sense of stability in both the body and the mind.

See more Yoga for Moms: Re-establishing Your Connection to Your Core

Doctors and midwives will tell you to do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, or to hold your urine to reestablish the connection with that area, but after my second child — and this is what I do for a living — if you would have told me to engage those muscles, I would have said, “I can’t even feel a thing." However, doing Kegels, or creating a pulsating movement with the mula bandha, while you’re doing other poses makes you more likely to carry through with the doctor’s orders.

Mom-asana of the Week: Low Lunge with mula bandha engagement

From any lunge (Low Lunge is shown) or Goddess Pose or Warrior II, try creating a pulsating movement with the mula bandha. Squeeze the pelvic muscles and inner thighs to create isometric movement. Feel the whole body lifting up from the ground and sinking back in. You can emphasize this with a micro lift in the body on the exhale (when mula bandha is engaged) and then softening downward on the inhale (when mula bandha softens). Not only will this help you strengthen the pelvic area, it will also help you come to re-own this space and understand that it is a safe place, which may also help you regain desire to connect with your spouse or partner.

ABOUT JANET STONE
San Francisco-based yoga teacher Janet Stone started her practice at age 17. A student of Max Strom and meditation teacher Prem Rawat, Stone teaches vinyasa flow at events around the world. Her new kirtan album with DJ Drez, Echoes of Devotion, hit number 1 on iTunes’s World Music chart this year. Stone has two daughters and offers this advice to moms: “Motherhood offers infinite lessons in the realms of surrender, empowerment, grace, mistakes, and patience, and then some more patience—as well as the endless unfurling of transitions and change. Practicing yoga amidst this adventure can support us in myriad ways to find our center.” Learn more about her upcoming course, Yoga for Moms.

 

Challenge Pose: Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Rooster Pose)


https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/challenge-pose-urdhva-kukkutasana

Challenge Pose: Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Rooster Pose)

Set the foundation for a receptive state of mind with Urdhva Kukkatasana. Plus, learn how to find stability, balance, and focus in this pose.
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Rick Cummings

PREVIOUS STEP IN YOGAPEDIA 3 Ways to Prep for Urdhva Kukkutasana
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Urdhva Kukkutasana
Urdhva = Upward · Kukkuta = Rooster · Asana = Pose

Benefits
Strongly activates the forces of both prana and apana to balance creativity and dissolution in the mind—setting the foundation for an open and receptive state of consciousness; strengthens your shoulders, arms, abdominals, and hips flexors; develops the coiling action of the spine, which is crucial for stability in countless other postures; increases balance, focus, and agility.

See also Challenge Poses: Liz Arch’s Secret to Success in Any Arm Balance

See also Challenge Pose: 4 Steps to Lift into Firefly

Stay Safe
One of the risks posed by this posture is falling and injuring yourself. In order to prevent this, keep pressing your hands firmly into the floor with equal pressure at all times. Improve your balance by keeping your gaze fixed firmly at a single point on the floor, just a few feet in front of you; and always be present and focused on your breath.

About Our Pro
Teacher and model Ty Landrum is director of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. He teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the contemplative style of his mentors, Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman. With a PhD in philosophy, Ty has a special touch for explaining the theory of yoga with color and creativity. As a teacher, he’s passionate about sharing the brilliance of yoga with anyone willing to learn (for more information, go to tylandrum.com).

 

How to Use Ayurveda to Get Healthier Every Time You Eat


 

How to Use Ayurveda to Get Healthier Every Time You Eat

Ayurvedic experts offer five simple tips that you can start using now to improve your digestion—and your health.
eating-different-salad-and-appetizer-on-wooden-table-top-view-picture-id650607142 (1)

Last year, I spent a week at an Ayurvedic spa in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and learned immediately that in Ayurveda, the quality of your digestion is the biggest key to your overall health. If your digestive system is running smoothly, you’ve got the best shot at staving off disease and feeling great. It’s that simple.

See also Stoke the Digestive Fire: A Detoxifying Sequence

But let’s get real: If you’re not cocooned in the lovely confines of an Ayurvedic retreat center or don’t have a degree in nutrition, there’s a good chance you take your digestive system for granted. You expect it to do its job of turning food into energy and neatly disposing of waste effortlessly—yet your eating habits (read: skipping meals, eating take-out too often, snacking constantly, and eating too much food overall) make it tough for it to get the job done. The result? Minor digestive woes—think things like bloating, gas, and constipation—that cumulatively impact our health in big ways.

The good news is that you can fix the imbalances that cause these issues with Ayurveda, says Kate O’ Donnell, author of The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook and a yoga teacher based in Boston. Here, she and other Ayurvedic experts offer five simple tips that you can start doing now to improve your digestion—and your health.

5 Ways to Improve Your Digestion With Ayurveda

 

Not Strictly Ballroom: A Playlist to Spice Up Your Flow


https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/not-strictly-ballroom-a-playlist-to-spice-up-your-flow

Not Strictly Ballroom: A Playlist to Spice Up Your Flow

This smooth collection of ballroom plus yoga beats will make you want to add a little tango to your yoga practice.
young-beautiful-woman-doing-yoga-asana-half-camel-pose-on-plaid-in-picture-id643469230

Breathe in, breathe out, and add some flavor to your flow with these 11 smooth, spicy tracks.

See also The Future of Yoga Is in Spanish

Not Strictly Ballroom

1. “Breathing In," Craig Kohland & Shaman’s Dream
2. “China Flowers," Afterlife
3. “Ungodly Fruit," Wax Tailor
4. “Mundo Bizarro," Electro Dub Tango
5. “Diamond Sutra," MC YOGI
6. “Bittersweet Faith – Thievery Corporation Remix," Bitter:Sweet
7. “Miserlou" Arthur Lyman
8 . “Krishna’s Dub," DJ Drez, Marti Nikko, Domonic Dean Breaux
9. “Saudade," Thievery Corporation
10. “Milano Calibro 9," Christian Prommer
11. “Breathing Out," Craig Kohland & Shaman’s Dream

See also Slow It Down: A Relaxing Savasana Playlist

 

【日本想想】618大阪地震之觀察筆記


6月18日早晨7時58分,大阪地震發生的當下,我人正好就在大阪。身為台灣人民,在日本發生的大小地震,幾乎都能處變不驚地冷靜對待,但這次的大阪地震,就算是位處「地面」也著實令人有感。
#大阪 #東京 #難波 #地震 #防災
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/7014

【日本想想】618大阪地震之觀察筆記

友善列印版本

地震發生的瞬間,像是被誰狠狠推了一把一樣,得要死命緊抓住手邊的握把才不至於跌倒,周遭響起不協調的警報聲,令人一聽就起雞皮疙瘩,加上周遭人的驚恐驚呼,被所有的恐懼所包裹住,車門旁的司機趕緊護住第一位要下車的女孩,一邊大喊著:「請抓緊!」直到搖晃漸歇,回歸平靜,和不認識的陌生人們面面相覷,用眼神交換著緊張情緒,求取著對方眼中「應該沒事了吧?」的無聲安撫,才繼續走下車,司機則一一向每位離開的乘客說:「請務必小心。」。

大阪市內的難波神社,在南門底下擺上路障與告示,指出因為地震的關係,鳥居有部分脫落,在確保安全之前封鎖該門,請民眾繞道利用。(攝影:陳怡秀)

6月18日早晨7時58分,大阪地震發生的當下,我人正好就在大阪,當時正從17日晚間從東京出發、18日早晨抵達大阪的深夜巴士下車,經過一夜車程才剛要踏回地面,就遇上了這次的地震。身為台灣人民,在日本發生的大小地震,幾乎都能處變不驚地冷靜對待,但這次的大阪地震,就算是位處「地面」也著實令人有感,所幸當時視線所及之處,都未有任何災情,只有周遭人們驚魂未定的神情,與人們「好可怕啊」、「嚇死人了」的低語交談,還提醒著剛才到底發生什麼事。

不過在沒看見的地方,仍有許多被影響、待檢查的工作要進行,第一個要面對的課題就是「交通」。新幹線、JR、大阪地下鐵全面停駛,時逢上班通勤時間,大批的上班族都被困住了,路上也擠著許多提著行李箱的外國旅客,有一部分人選擇默默等待,另一部分人則是相信雙腳萬能,持續向各自的目的地前進。

大阪地下鐵張貼出的電車開通狀況。(攝影:陳怡秀)

用Google Map一查,我下車的地方位於難波,目的地則在北區中之島附近的演奏廳,路程3.4公里,步行約45分鐘左右,而身邊不認識但並肩而行的西裝上班族,也是一邊走一邊講手機,向電話那頭回報著:「電車動不了了,總之先往公司的方向前進。」我和他都保持著「且戰且走」的心態,一步步跨出去。有人可能會想著,這個時候何不搭計程車呢?不只因為日本的計程車計費貴,在安全考量上,是否還有餘震仍有待觀察,東京都製作的防災手冊《東京防災》中也提到,地震後盡量不要開車,以免妨礙緊急車輛通行,影響到真正需要被救助的對象。

大阪道頓崛。(攝影:陳怡秀)

持續往目的地前進,我走到了大阪的購物勝地心齋橋、道頓崛一帶。為了方便外國旅客購物,總是開得特別早的藥妝美妝店,這天都為了整理店舖而反常地拉上鐵門,延後開店時間,或是直接當機立斷貼上了「由於受到地震影響,本日暫停營業」的告示。轉了一圈進到速食店休息,想喝杯可樂為自己打打氣,結果換來了店員歉疚的苦笑:「客人不好意思,因為地震的影響,碳酸現在打不出來……。」沒車坐和沒飲料可喝,這些是僅僅發生在我身上,再微小不過的小插曲,直到有餘裕刷訊息時,才發現災情比想像中要嚴重許多,甚至傳出了遺憾的死傷消息。收起輕率的心情,但不驚慌與保持冷靜,仍是最必須抱持的態度。

蔦屋書店戎橋店張貼出的停止營業告示。(攝影:陳怡秀)

為了要讓更多人能夠接到訊息,au、softbank、docomo等日本電信公司在當天紛紛開放了大阪境內免費的Wi-Fi服務,讓更多人能使用網路獲取訊息,日本人常用的SNS管道Twitter上,亦分享著各種災情狀況與避難資訊,福島、熊本縣民也紛紛提供過去的經驗談,比如說地震可能造成了水道管線破裂的可能性,位處震央的民眾要先做好蓄水工作,以防停水,還有許多人發現了因地震受驚而逃走的「迷子猫」、「迷子犬」(「迷子」為走丟、迷路之意),便活用 hashtag「#」把情報擴散出來,幫助走失的毛孩子們能順利返家,而稍早提到的防災手冊《東京防災》,也再度被提出轉推,全文可直接點選連結(link is external)線上閱讀。

6月18日時在大阪的手機Wi-Fi連接畫面。(圖片來源:作者提供)

《東京防災》並非只是一本官方拿來喊口號的宣導手冊,裡頭可以發掘許多看似平實卻相當實用的觀念,手冊在「大地震演練」的章節中,將內容分成「發生地震」、「災害發生後」、「避難」、「避難生活」、「生活重建」等部分,以「發生地震」篇為例,又細分了地震當下身處於哪個地方,又該如何保護自己的建議。

假設發生地震的當下,人位處於電車內,防災手冊指出,電車感應到強烈搖晃時會緊急煞車,人體可能會因為慣性而傾倒,和他人衝撞,產生危險,若是坐在座位上的人可運用皮包保護頭部,若是站立的乘客就試圖放低身姿保護自己,若是搭上了滿員電車,則應該要抓緊把手或吊環,雙腳岔開站穩以防摔倒,待搖晃停止再按照乘務員指示行動;若是身處於百貨公司、超市或便利商店時,要小心可能四散的商品或易倒塌的陳列櫃,可以運用購物籃罩在頭上,保護頭部。

地震有可能發生在深夜睡眠時,防災手冊裡提醒有戴眼鏡的人,應該養成把眼鏡裝進眼鏡盒裡的習慣,以防止眼鏡破損的可能性。若不幸被困住,身體無法動彈時,最好不要大吼大叫消耗過多體力,而是運用硬物敲打門或牆壁,發出聲響來提示救難隊自己的所在地。地震的當下,可能因為緊張或害怕,無法及時反應,但只要多吸收一些相關資訊,就有可能在必要時刻靈光一現,派上用場,對防災手冊的內容有興趣的人,也可以參考東京都提供的《東京防災》線上中文版(link is external)

大阪的電車路線延遲了一整天,直至夜間22時仍是一片混亂。(攝影/陳怡秀)

這次的大阪地震是在早晨發生的,也許許多人未直接感受到地震的衝擊,但防範未然仍是最正確的作法,當天原要在大阪舉行的Live表演、舞台劇等活動,大多都在擔心場地安全與觀眾交通問題的情況下,陸續取消,我原本要參與的活動也不例外,多數的商店、電影院、餐廳亦選擇暫停營業或提早歇業,當天人在環球影城的友人只能看著娛樂設施一個個被貼上「維修中」的公告興嘆,夜間遊行表演自然也無奈中止。雖然難得出遊不免覺得失落,但以安全第一為考量,平平安安還是最重要的。

 

8 Keys to Take Your Yoga Teaching Beyond Standardized Alignment Cues


https://www.yogajournal.com/teach/8-keys-to-take-your-yoga-teaching-beyond-standardized-alignment-cues

8 Keys to Take Your Yoga Teaching Beyond Standardized Alignment Cues

Standards are nice—they make it much easier to learn how to guide students into the large number of poses taught in yoga classes, but unfortunately students are not standardized.
tension vs. compression

Modern yoga teacher training programs offer many standardized cues for each posture learned. Standards are nice—they make it much easier to learn how to guide students into the large number of poses taught in yoga classes, but unfortunately students are not standardized. There is no average student. The alignment cues absorbed by teacher trainees are approximations: at best they can serve as guidelines but they should never be used as dogmatic requirements. If the student’s intention in taking a yoga class is to regain or maintain optimal health, then postures should serve a functional role, making the aesthetics of the pose secondary, at best. The following 8 tips may help the new yoga teacher become aware of this important distinction.

See also The A-to-Z Guide to Yoga Cues

1. Not every pose is for every student

No two individuals have the same biology and biography. Due to genetics, anatomical structure, lifestyle, nutrition, level of activity as a child, injuries and accidents, and a wide host of other biographic and biological factors, we are all truly unique. This applies to every yoga teacher as well as to each student. Just because the teacher has learned to master a particular asana does not mean that every student, following the same directions and path, will also be able to master that posture. The reality of human variation guarantees that no one can do every posture in yoga; and every posture will be a struggle for some people.

2. Is your goal function or aesthetics?

It is important to understand the intention of the yoga practice. If a student’s intention is to optimize health, a functional approach to her yoga practice is required. If the intention is to look good in a pose, an aesthetic approach is sufficient. From a functional perspective, how a student looks in a posture is irrelevant; what is important are the sensations being created. Alignment cues based on how a student looks in a posture is aesthetic yoga; cues based on generating sensation are functional.

See also Patanjali Never Said Yoga Is Fancy Poses

Bernie Clark tension and compression

3. Stress is different from stretch

Yoga postures create a variety of stresses in the tissues. These stresses may create a stretch or they may not. A tensile stress is likely to create a stretch (but not always). For example, a backbend may create tensile stress in the front of the body stretching the abdominal muscles. A compressive stress does not create a stretch. For example, in that same backbend you may feel the spine’s vertebrae hitting each other before a stretch can occur. The intention in a functional practice is to generate a stress, regardless of whether a stretch occurs or not. The stress stimulates reactions and communication at a cellular level within the body and within the fascia. Embodied sensors monitor, measure, and react to stresses, creating a cascade of signals that stimulate growth and healing. We know we are stressing our tissues if we can feel the stress of the pose. This leads to a mantra we can recite often, “If you are feeling it, you are doing it!”

4. Each pose needs a purpose

If we are taking a functional approach and want to create a stress in the body, then each posture becomes a tool to help us generate an appropriate stress: either tension or compression. As a teacher, ask yourself, “what type of stress do I want the student to experience, where and how much?” That will lead to a choice of which posture to use. For example, if your intention is to stress the spine, you can do so via both compression and tension. To compress the spine, you might choose postures like Bridge Pose and Cobra. A desire to stretch the spine will lead to postures like seated and standing forward folds. Rather than starting with a playlist of postures that simply seem cool, start with an intention, which then leads to carefully selected poses which you can combine in an elegant choreography.

See also Principles of Sequencing: Plan a Yoga Class to Energize or Relax

5. “What are you feeling?”

Let students know the intention of the pose and the targeted areas. This allows them to monitor whether the practice is working for them or not. Asking a student, “What are you feeling?” helps them develop an inner awareness. This is both a meditation and guidance toward a more effective and deeper practice. The greatest gift any teacher can offer to her students is the one that allows the student to become her own teacher. Answering “What are you feeling?” guides the student to determine for herself if the pose is having the desired effect, and if not—the student is allowed to modify the alignment of the pose to get sensations in the targeted area. In this way, she finds her own alignment for that posture.

6. Never ignore pain

If the answer to “What are you feeling?” is pain, something needs to change. Not everyone has the same subjective experience of pain, or the same tolerance levels. One student’s pain is another student’s discomfort, but pain is a signal the body is sending that it is on the verge of being damaged. Listen! With a deepening inner awareness, the student will become wise enough to know whether the sensations experienced are healthy or harmful. If a pose has become painful, change the alignment or do another pose that obtains the desired stress in the targeted area without the pain. (Also, be aware that the pain may not be felt while in a pose, but while coming out, or even the next day. Whenever pain arises, it is worthwhile to review what you have been doing over the last day or two to see if you can find a cause, and then resolve not to do it like that again.)

See also 19 Yoga Teaching Tips Senior Teachers Want to Give Newbies

illustrationanatomy

7. Explore options—avoid dogma

Paul Grilley, developer of Yin Yoga, has noticed that two students can look identical in a posture and yet be having two very different experiences: one may be marinating in the juiciness of the stress in the targeted areas while the other may be feeling nothing, or may be struggling to stay in the pose due to pain or discomfort. This second student needs some options: let her play with the pose until she can find the stress in the right places. Aesthetic dogma that demands she look a particular way is not helpful. Let her find her own way to the appropriate sensation.

8. There are no universal alignment cues

While important, alignment cues are not universal. Since everybody is different, there are no alignment cues that will work for every body. Alignment’s purpose is to create a solid, stable, and safe position in a posture, but which position is the best alignment will vary drastically from person to person. The intention of a functional practice is to create appropriate stresses in targeted areas, without pain. The alignment that does this is the correct alignment, even if it does not fit with the aesthetic principles found in standard alignment cues. For example, not everyone is aligned properly when their feet or hands are pointing straight ahead in Down Dog. You are unique and so is every student. Find the yoga that works for each body.

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your body your yoga

About the Author
Bernie Clark has been teaching yoga and meditation since 1998 and is the creator of the website www.YinYoga.com. He has written several books on yoga including his latest Your Body, Your Yoga: Learn Alignment Cues That Are Skillful, Safe, and Best Suited To You.

 

Goddess Yoga Project: Bring-On-the-Breakthrough Sunrise Practice


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/goddess-yoga-project-practice-yoga-breakthroughs-beyond

Goddess Yoga Project: Bring-On-the-Breakthrough Sunrise Practice

Master teacher Sianna Sherman created this short sunrise sequence integrating the physical and spiritual to take your practice to another level.

Master teacher Sianna Sherman created this short sequence integrating the physical and spiritual to take your practice to another level.

Sianna Sherman Uttara Budhi Mudra

Sianna Sherman is on a quest to help every woman discover her inner deity. Deepen your physical, mental, and spiritual practice with knowledge of mythic feminine power through this blog series and Sianna’s four-session Goddess Yoga Project online course. Sign up now and join @yogajournal and @siannasherman using #YJGoddessProject to create an inspiring female collective, sharing experiences in real time.

Yoga’s fame is now widespread worldwide—and still growing by leaps and bounds. As a global traveler, I see the rise and fall of various trends and the ways yogis are seeking change and transformation in all areas of life. I often hear the comment that westerners only love the physical practice of yoga but not the spiritual. Yet in my experience, yogis everywhere are asking for an integration of practices. They are asking for the entirety of the tradition.

Why Did You Begin Practicing Yoga?

Last month, I was teaching in a northern European country with a predominantly asana-based yoga culture. In an open discussion with 40 yogis, I asked them why they started the practice of yoga. The breadth of their answers represented the wide landscape of the human soul:

There were many outpourings of the heart in these answers. This was a group of outstanding asana practitioners seeking the entire garland of practices.

What IS Yoga?

Yoga is an alchemical path, one that metaphorically transforms us from lead into gold, churning forth the elixir from within. The alchemy lies within the integration of the practices: asanapranayamamantramudrameditation, and more. When life feels stuck or stagnant, yoga can help us break through resistance, heal unresolved wounds, and open up pathways for creative energy to flow.

Use this short sunrise practice to help you shift to a new level, clear your mind, and anchor your intention in your heart for a vibrant and healthy day.

Beyond-the-Breakthrough Sunrise Practice

 

10-Minute Kundalini Practice to Rev Up Your Metabolism


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/10-minute-sequence-rev-metabolism

10-Minute Kundalini Practice to Rev Up Your Metabolism

This sequence efficiently activates the endocrine system, boosting your metabolism and creating new levels of youthfulness to balance your body and mind.

Prep work
Say or chant Ong namo guru dev (rhymes with “save”) namo three times. This means “I bow to the Creative Wisdom” or “I bow to the Divine Teacher within,” and is used at the beginning of every Kundalini practice to tune into the divinity and knowledge in each of us.

See also Yoga Style Profile: Kundalini Yoga

 

10 Creative Ways to Use Props in Your Practice


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice-section/10-creative-ways-use-yoga-props-practice

10 Creative Ways to Use Props in Your Practice

Not only do props help you find more space, freedom and stability in your poses, they’re also great teaching tools with endless uses if you get creative. Dedicate some time to playing with props.

I’m a huge advocate of props. Not only do they help you find more space and stability in your poses, they’re also great teaching tools with endless uses if you get creative. I love taking workshops and discovering new ways to use blocks, blankets, walls and straps, and incorporating them into my classes. I find the more time we dedicate to playing with props, the more likely my students are to continue using them.

10 New Ways to Use Yoga Props

 

Elena Brower’s Yoga Flow to Transform Tension into Forgiveness


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/elena-brower-yoga-sequence-transform-tension-forgiveness

Elena Brower’s Yoga Flow to Transform Tension into Forgiveness

In this excerpt from The Art of Attention, Elena Brower embodies MC Yogi’s wise words on the practice of forgiveness in a tender asana sequence.
Illus7_Triangle

In this excerpt from the newly released edition of The Art of AttentionElena Brower and her coauthor Erica Jagoembody MC Yogi‘s wise words on the practice of forgiveness in a tender asana sequence.

Forgiveness doesn’t always happen right away, but the process can begin immediately. Actively engaging in the forgiveness process begins our journey toward deeper understanding, and the remembrance that everything happens for a reason. When we’re able to extract wisdom from our past dramas and traumas, we’re able to gain direct knowledge. Looking back, we can become grateful for the things that happened to us in the past, for helping us to grow and become more aware.

The art of attention and the cultivation of compassion can often take a great deal of work, but it’s important to remember that this work is extremely rewarding. When we forgive, we feel ten times lighter. We’re able to think and see more clearly, and we can gain greater access to the storehouse of energy that’s inside us (and all around us). Energy that was once being consumed by the past can now become an open resource (re-Source) for living more fully in the present.

When we forgive ourselves and others, the entire orchestrated universe conspires to help support our healing process. The forgiveness process can also be very humbling; we know that there’s most likely someone out there who needs to forgive us as well.

When we start to gather wisdom from our experiences, the yogis suggest that this process is similar to a bee that gathers pollen to make nectar. The bee is said to take a little poison along with the pollen, and when it’s brought to the hive, it’s carefully transformed into nectar. Learning to turn a negative situation into pure wisdom is an indication that we are progressing in our yoga and meditation practices. As we become more skillful agents of love and compassion, the heavy load that we’ve lugged around in the back of our mind begins to soften and gradually dissolves. When we’re able to reach the place of gratitude in our forgiveness process, we’ll know we’ve made it through to the other side.

See also 10-Step Practice to Move from Anger to Forgiveness

Watch Elena Brower’s Introduction to the Sequence

13 Yoga Poses for Forgiveness

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Elena Brower is the author of Art of Attention, a renowned yoga workbook, now translated into five languages. Studying and teaching since 1998, she’s respected globally for her distinct blend of alignment and attention in her teaching of yoga and meditation. Her audio meditation coursework, Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence,is beloved for its accessibility and relevance, and her yoga teaching is influenced by several traditions including Katonah Yoga, Kundalini and ParaYoga. Elena is also the founder of Teach.yoga, a global website for teachers, and her second book, Practice You, will be published in 2018 by Sounds True. Practices with Elena can be found on YogaGlo.com.

 

The Art of Teaching Yoga: 6 Tips for Teaching Alignment


https://www.yogajournal.com/teach/the-art-of-teaching-yoga-6-tips-for-teaching-alignment

The Art of Teaching Yoga: 6 Tips for Teaching Alignment

We asked our Art of Teaching yoga teachers for their best tips for teaching alignment (hint: it’s all about personalization).
Coral Brown teaching yoga, scorpion dog, coral brown, adjustment

Teachers, protect yourself with liability insurance and access benefits to build your skills and business. As a TeachersPlus member, you receive low-cost coverage, a free online course, exclusive webinars and content packed with advice from master teachers, discounts on education and gear, and more. Join today!

We asked The Art of Teaching Yoga mentors—Alexandria Crow, a YogaWorks national teacher trainer; Coral Brown, a teacher trainer, holistic psychotherapist, and longtime student of Shiva Rea; and Giselle Mari, a worldwide master Jivamukti teacher and teacher-trainer—for their best tips for teaching alignment (hint: it’s all about personalization).

Alex Crow

1. Understand that alignment is not one-size-fits-all.

The biggest key to teaching proper alignment is to completely accept and understand that there is absolutely no proper alignment that works for every student, period. To further that, skeletal differences, musculature, connective tissue, and injuries create a unique story for each student that will make certain postures work for them, while others will absolutely never work in a wise way. It’s also incredibly important to develop an intuitive eye that moves students into shapes that work best for their physicality and moves them away from trying to mimic the people next to them or what they’ve seen in photos or textbooks. It takes years to develop an eye that sees the individuality in students, and it’s something that becomes more and more refined over a lifetime.

2. Know your anatomy.

Understanding mechanically how the body works and how the joints interact with one another in a coordinated way is the first step to general understanding of alignment. From there, we must teach students how to get in and out of postures with wisdom, how to explore a pose further if it’s available to their structure, and when to stop so they don’t race past the finish line unnecessarily.

See also The Art of Teaching Yoga: 3 Ways I Stay True to My Teaching Style

Coral Brown

3. But don’t speak solely in anatomical terms.

Asking students to make subtle adjustments in the pose will help to inform them of where their body is in space. But don’t speak solely in anatomical terms; most students don’t have an extensive background in anatomy. When students hear a cue that they don’t understand, they often get stuck trying to process it. Instead of accessing the feeling body, they get stuck in the thinking mind. I often ask students to move into an asana with their eyes closed so that they can access the feeling state vs. relying on their external senses only.

4. Let the breath be your guide.

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to facilitate alignment is to connect the movements of the breath to the movements within a pose. For example, the movement of the inhale causes the body to rise and expand. When in a heavy-feeling pose like Chair Pose, cue students to focus on the buoyancy and expansiveness of the inhale. Suggesting they rise slightly through the hips and radiate a little more profoundly through their fingertips helps them connect to a feeling of lightness, sustainability, and proper alignment in the pose.

See also The Art of Teaching Yoga: 3 Top Teachers Reveal Their Biggest Mistakes

Giselle Mari

5. Provide hands-on assistance when appropriate.

One of my favorite ways to teach alignment is through touch. Providing hands-on assists can be very insightful for a student who may not have strong proprioceptive awareness. For students who don’t prefer the hands-on experience, clear, concise, and simple verbal cueing is key.

6. Get creative with props

I’m also a huge advocate of props — not just the standard strap, block, and blanket, but also furniture, couches, and walls. For example, you can take variations of Triangle Pose to the wall or floor, or place a block under the front foot to activate front hip flexion.

See also Why Yoga Teachers Need Liability Insurance

Learn more The Art of Teaching at Yoga Journal LIVE!

 

Live Your Yoga: Discover the Yamas + Niyamas


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/live-your-yoga-discover-yamas-niyamas

Live Your Yoga: Discover the Yamas + Niyamas

Yoga’s ethical and moral codes, often outshined by asana, may be the missing keys to true yogic strength, power, and transformation, on and off the mat.
coral brown, warrior 1 pose, virabhadrasana 1, Yamas and Niyamas 101

Yoga’s ethical and moral codes—called the yamas and the niyamas—can get lost amidst the popularity of asana. But they may be the missing keys to finding true yogic strength, power, and transformation, on and off the mat.

Long before the West embraced sweaty asana classes and tight-fitting yoga pants, yoga infiltrated culture in a much bigger, deeper way, providing practitioners with a fundamental philosophy for how to make their way through the world.

“Yoga is much broader than just asana,” says Nicolai Bachman, a Sanskrit scholar based in Denver and author of The Path of the Yoga Sutras: A Practical Guide to the Core of Yoga. “It’s really a way of life.” In the Yoga Sutra, a seminal collection of texts written between the second century BCE and fifth century CE, philosophers outline an eight-limbed, step-by-step path for purifying the body and mind. The ultimate goal: to help practitioners cultivate a steady mind, leading to calm bliss. The first two stops on the path, even before the physical postures called asana, are ethical principles that are supposed to guide how we relate to other people and how we take care of ourselves. They’re called the yamas (social restraints) and the niyamas (self-disciplines).

See also 
Get to Know the Eight Limbs of Yoga

Meet the First and Second Limbs of Yoga

The five yamas ask practitioners to avoid violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy, and possessiveness, while the five niyamas ask us to embrace cleanliness and contentment, to purify ourselves through heat, to continually study and observe our habits, and to surrender to something greater than ourselves. Many of these principles have multifaceted nuances. For example, Bachman says, the meaning of the niyama tapas—purifying through heat—isn’t so much about sweating out toxins in a hot yoga class as it is about tolerating the heat of friction, or mental discomfort, when one habitual pattern rubs up against a new, more beneficial one.

See also Path to Happiness: 9 Interpretations of the Yamas + Niyamas

Because these principles were written thousands of years ago and once considered mandatory vows for any yoga practitioner, the yamas and the niyamas can be difficult ideas to market or embrace in a secular, contemporary society. But Deborah Adele, author of The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, describes them less as rigid directives and more as reflective tools that allow us to deepen our self-awareness in yoga class and beyond. “I understand the meanings of these concepts in different ways every time I study them,” says Adele. “When I first ran across the yamas and niyamas, my reaction was, ‘Well, I’m not violent and I tell the truth.’” But with more reflection, she realized that ills like violence, dishonesty, and stealing have subtler manifestations, too. For example, violence isn’t just firing a weapon; it may also arise in the harsh ways we treat ourselves, such as pushing into a potentially injurious pose to keep up or compete with classmates. And practicing the yama of non-possessiveness (aparigraha) could be interpreted as letting go of old grudges.

See also Teaching the Yamas in Asana Class

Bringing the Yamas and Niyamas Into Your Practice

The benefits of paying attention to the yamas and niyamas may not be as instantly gratifying as a good asana class, but they can be deep and long lasting. Contemplating them can shine the light of awareness on parts of ourselves that we don’t always notice, and help us live in a way that doesn’t cause harm, which in turn allows for less regret and a more peaceful mind, explains Adele.

So how can you incorporate these time-tested moral and ethical codes into your own life and practice? Start with the poses, mudras (hand-and-finger gestures), and mantras (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below, designed to help you embody and explore all 1o yamas and niyamas. “Practicing the ethical codes from every perspective helps fortify the concepts within the body and the mind,” says Coral Brown, an internationally recognized vinyasa yoga teacher and psychotherapist based in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, who developed these practices. “And what you practice, you become.”

10 Yoga Practices To Foster the Yamas + Niyamas

Each of the practices below embodies a yama or niyama, helping you to reflect on the unique lessons it provides. The asana is also accompanied by a mudra, meditation, and mantra that focus you on the subtle and not-so-subtle ways each yama or niyama plays out in your life. Hold each pose, with its mudra, for three to five breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra. Do each practice on its own or link them together as a sequence.

See also Teaching the Niyamas in Asana Class

Yoga Practices for the Yamas

Ahimsa (non-harming)
Satya (truthfulness)
Asteya (non-stealing)
Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)
Brahmacharya (maintenance of vitality)

Yoga Practices for the Niyamas

Tapas (purification through discipline)
Santosha (contentment)
Saucha (purity)
Svadhyaya (self-study)
Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to a higher power)

ABOUT OUR PRO
Teacher and model Coral Brown (pictured above) is a Prana Flow Yoga teacher and holistic psychotherapist who has taught teacher trainings for 10 years. Her integrative approach invites students to unite mind, body, and spirit. Rhode Island–based, Brown leads workshops and retreats globally.

 

【南洋想想】東南亞的水下戰力:回顧與展望


近年來東南亞海軍建軍最可觀的成果,無非是諸國新增或更新潛艦戰隊。儘管可觀且多面向的投資,其實質的戰力仍未臻完備。
#潛艇 #軍火 #魚雷
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/7013

【南洋想想】東南亞的水下戰力:回顧與展望

友善列印版本

近年來東南亞海軍建軍最可觀的成果,無非是諸國新增或更新潛艦戰隊。儘管可觀且多面向的投資,其實質的戰力仍未臻完備。

潛艇示意圖。來源:Pixabay

歷史回顧

東南亞水下戰力的發端為1936年泰國皇家海軍向日本三菱重工訂購的馬恰弩級(Matchanu-class)潛艇。泰半基於曼谷靈活的外交政策,這四艘排水量430噸的潛艇並未在太平洋戰爭中有任何實戰的紀錄。戰後三菱重工在盟軍佔領期間無力提供後勤支援,加上國內政變政局不穩,使得這四艘潛艇在1951年即告退役。此外,英國為了保衛其馬來亞殖民地,也曾經在1930年代於新加坡部署十餘艘潛艇,並在部分南海區域進行水文調查,以便採取不對稱的水下作戰,來平衡日本帝國海軍的優勢。然而二戰初期地中海與大西洋戰區戰況吃緊,使得這批潛艇於1941年3月調離,沒有機會防禦日軍對馬來亞的征略。

東南亞現代潛艦的引進始自印尼。1950年代後期,印尼總統蘇卡諾的親共政策取得蘇聯可觀的軍援,包括14艘613型(Project 613,北約代號Whiskey,中國仿製稱03型)潛艦引進於1959至1962年。不同於其他蘇聯船艦在蘇哈托時代因為外交轉向後的後勤斷絕而除役,至少兩艘613型在換裝英國電池後服役至1985年,由當時新引進的德國209型潛艦取代。1978年,雅加達鑑於613型潛艦的老化,向德國訂購兩艘209型(Type 209)潛艦,並且取得授權在印尼裝配德國SUT水面水下兩用魚雷(Surface and Underwater Torpedo),部分SUT魚雷之後透過交換的方式來到台灣。除了印尼之外,沒有其他東南亞國家於冷戰期間採購潛艦。越南一度傳聞向蘇聯爭取潛艦,但是並未成案。當時普遍有限的財力、未臻充足的人力與基礎建設使得多數區域海軍無法取得潛艦。

近期發展

冷戰結束後,國際軍火市場急需新的市場以填補西方與前共產國家驟降的需求,同時部分東南亞國家開始享受經濟成長帶來的財務餘裕,使得潛艦的採購成為軍事現代化的重點之一。區域內國防投資最多的新加坡成為第一位新增的「潛艦俱樂部會員」。1997至2001年其間,新加坡引進四艘瑞典於1960年代下水服役的Sjöormen級潛艦。這些相對高齡的潛艦反應星國的建軍模式:先買中古貨熟練能力,再採購較新的裝備。2011至2012間,新加坡再度向瑞典引進兩艘較新的A17型潛艦。雖然這兩艘潛艦也是1980年代下水的中古貨,其水下絕氣推進系統(Air Independent Propulsion, AIP)使得上浮充電的次數減少,增加戰時的存活率,而且這兩艘潛艦是東南亞首先具備AIP的潛艦。星國於2013與2017年分別向德國訂購共四艘全新的218型(Type-218)潛艦,預計2021年起交艦。

同樣在1997年,越南從北朝鮮引進兩艘排水量僅100噸的南斯拉夫級(Yugo class)潛艇。儘管只有一孔魚雷管,這兩艘潛艇成為越南人民海軍水下戰力的濫觴。16年後,河內採購六艘俄國636型(Project 636,北約代號Kilo,故國內媒體譯作基洛級)潛艦,成為東南亞有史以來最大規模的潛艦採購案。越南的潛艦並未引進AIP系統,惟同時引進的3M-54E反艦巡弋飛彈具有可觀的220公里射程。雖然潛艦不易偵獲200公里以外的目標,而次音速的飛彈也有被攔截的可能,但是此射程仍有可觀的嚇阻效果。俄國有提供越南基本訓練與模擬設施,不過後者另將組員送往與同樣操作636型潛艦的印度接受訓練。此舉除了外交的考量外,學習非俄式的戰術也是重要的因素,因為中國也向俄國採購過十艘636型潛艦,對於俄式戰術自然熟稔。

當新加坡逐漸發展其潛艦的能力,其鄰國馬來西亞與印尼也跟上。吉隆坡於2009年取得兩艘分別由法國與西班牙建造的天蠍級(Scorpenes class),雖然沒有AIP系統,但是配備水下發射的SM39飛魚(Exocet)飛彈可攻擊水平線以外的目標。由於兩艘潛艦數目過少以致輪調維修困難,馬國海軍有計畫另外採購兩艘,惟時程為十年以後,變數甚大。雅加達則是雙管齊下:一方面從2004年開始外包給韓國大宇集團翻修升級原本的兩艘潛艦,另一方面於2011年向韓國採購另外三艘209型潛艦,已在去年開始交艦。原本還有傳聞印尼欲追加三艘潛艦,最終於2020年代中期建立十二艘規模的水下艦隊。但是目前佐科威總統經濟優先的政策,完整潛艦艦隊的建立時間恐怕難免延遲。

當主要東南亞國家都建立水下戰力的氛圍下,泰國輸人不輸陣,也提出潛艦的專案。惟預算吃緊加上2014年政變後不易取得西方國家軍售,最後於2015年定案採購以中國041型(北約代號元級)為基發展的S26T型潛艦。目前確定採購一艘,後續可能追加兩艘。既然是中國潛艦,中國的C708潛射反艦飛彈成為將搭載的重要武器系統。

挑戰

目前東南亞國家發展水下戰力最大的挑戰為安全與持續。由於水下的特殊環境,使得操作錯誤的後果遠高於水面艦艇,近年印度等國的潛艦意外正凸顯此嚴重性。除了強化訓練外,水下救難艦亦為重要的設備。新加坡首開先河於2008年建造水下救難艦Swift Rescue,馬來西亞於2012年也引進新加坡建造的救難艦Mega Bakti。而擁有區域內最大水下戰隊的越南也在今年成軍其自建的救難艦MSSARS 9316 (multipurpose submarine search-and-rescue ship 9316)。儘管印尼尚未採購救難艦,在原本兩艘潛艦完成翻修升級後,該國與新加坡於2012年簽訂協議,由後者的船艦協助水下救難。隨著潛艦數目的增加,造船業已有規模的印尼有可能建造救難艦。首爾身為雅加達最大的潛艦承包商,推銷其新型的水下救難艦亦不無可能。當台灣目前也在戮力發展潛艦的同時,救難能量的建立亦需謹慎的規劃。

東南亞各國數目有限的潛艦也是另一項嚴重的挑戰。海軍艦艇一般的服役狀況是三分之一備戰,三分之一訓練加上剩下的三分之一維修。因此各國可用的潛艦往往只有一至兩艘,外加緊急動員一至兩艘,這樣單薄的數目將局限作戰的持續性,更遑論戰損的承受度。各國單一的潛艦基地更惡化持續作戰的能力,蓋因外敵可以空襲或是特種作戰來癱瘓或摧毀潛艦的後勤設施。基於柴電潛艦有限的燃料,尤其是AIP的特用燃料,失去後勤基地等於作戰終止。換言之,東南亞國家的水下戰力仍處在發軔的階段,而戰略效果主要在於平時的嚇阻遠多於實戰的考量。惟此發展迄今的成果將有助於區域國家發展更為堅實的國防。

關鍵字: 潛艇軍火魚雷

 

This 12-Minute Yoga Sequence Is Backed by Science to Strengthen Your Bones


https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/12-minute-yoga-sequence-for-strong-bones

This 12-Minute Yoga Sequence Is Backed by Science to Strengthen Your Bones

Want to ensure a healthy, pain-free yoga practice for years (and years) to come? This fun and simple three-part plan is for you.
strong-for-life-cover

Ask several yogis what motivates their practice, and you’re sure to get a range of responses, from “stress relief” to “spiritual growth.” What you probably won’t hear: “a strong skeleton.”

But new research shows that yoga is surprisingly protective when it comes to staving off fractures and helping to prevent osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that will cause approximately half of women age 50 and older to break a bone. (Men get osteoporosis too, but 80 percent of sufferers are female, likely because women typically have smaller, thinner bones and because production of estrogen—a female hormone that protects against bone loss—drops off sharply at menopause.) The hard truth is that by the time you hit the age when your skeleton becomes more brittle, it’s much more challenging (though not impossible) to build protective bone mass. Which is why the best time to focus on increasing your bone mass reservoir is now, says Loren Fishman, MD, a Columbia University physiatrist specializing in rehabilitative medicine who studied under B.K.S. Iyengar.

Ready to be more proactive about protecting your bones? Our three-part plan reveals which yoga poses may be particularly beneficial, regardless of your age, as well as new thinking behind the role of nutrition and high-impact, weight-bearing exercises on bone health. Read on for the latest research-backed ways to strengthen your lovely bones.

Part 1: Yoga

Great News: As a yogi, you’re already protecting your frame in a few major ways. For starters, each time you practice a pose, you’re potentially building new bone. “When you hold a pose like Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) or a twist, you’re opposing one group of muscles against another, like the quadriceps against the hamstrings or the gluteal muscles against the shoulder muscles, respectively,” says Fishman. That opposition creates a force that physically stimulates osteoblasts, bone-making cells that initially live on the outside of the bone and turn into osteocytes, which are cells that become embedded within your bone. “You’re actually laying down new bone,” he says.

Yoga may also help reverse or stall the bone-weakening effects that come with age—which is relatively new thinking in the medical world. Doctors used to believe that women’s ability to accrue new bone basically ended once they entered menopause and their levels of bone-protective estrogen and progesterone plummeted. “The new research shows that yoga can outweigh the hormonal effects of age,” Fishman says. His 2015 study, published in Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, found that 80 percent of older participants, most of whom had osteoporosis or its precursor, osteopenia, who practiced 12 yoga poses (often modified) a day showed improved bone density in their spine and femurs (see “Poses to boost bone health” below). These findings apply to younger women with healthy skeletons, too. “There is strong evidence that young osteoblasts do respond pretty vigorously to the forces generated by muscles, which is likely to put off osteopenia and osteoporosis until later in life—if it were to appear at all,” Fishman says.

Finally, there’s the vital role yoga plays in preventing fractures by building stability and agility. “Yoga improves your physical balance and flexibility, which means you’re less likely to fall and break something—and if you do start to fall, your agility may help you catch yourself,” says Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, DPT, C-IAYT, clinical director of the Yoga Therapy Rx Practicum at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and part-time faculty in LMU’s Master of Arts in Yoga Studies. Equally important, yoga enhances your mental balance, too. “It makes you more present and focused,” Rubenstein Fazzio says, and alert people are less likely to slip on an ice patch or trip on a staircase. More surprisingly, yoga’s calming qualities help lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that breaks down bone when it’s chronically elevated, says Lani Simpson, DC, a certified clinical (bone) densitometrist and host of the PBS show Stronger Bones, Longer Life. In this way, even passive poses like Savasana and Sukhasana can play a role in preventing bone loss.

Whatever your physical practice, slow and steady win the race for strength. “Strength builds as you hold each pose, which you should do for as long as you comfortably can,” says Rubenstein Fazzio. Aim to hold each pose between 12 and 72 seconds, when possible, because that’s the range needed to stimulate osteocytes, says Fishman. But don’t do it at the risk of form—good alignment is key. In Vrksasana (Tree Pose), for instance, make sure your pelvis is level and your standing leg’s knee is facing forward. “If your hip is jutting out or your standing knee is collapsing inward, you’re probably just hanging on your ligaments and joints and not using your muscles,” Rubenstein Fazzio notes, and if your muscles aren’t pulling on that hip bone, no meaningful bone-strengthening will occur. “You want to feel your muscles tensing; that’s how you know you’re engaging—and building—them. And when you build muscle, you build bone.”

See also Stand Strong: Yoga for Bone Health

12-Minute Yoga Sequence to Boost Bone Health

Practice poses from Loren Fishman’s bone-health research using the instructions at right from Terry Roth Schaff, C-IAYT, who collaborated with Fishman on the study. The sequence takes at least 12 minutes to complete and can be incorporated into your regular home practice or practiced on its own. Breathe slowly as you hold each pose for about 30 seconds per side.

Bonus Poses for Bone Health

Twists like Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)Marichyasana III, and —the three remaining poses from Fishman’s study—help stimulate bone growth by gently tugging on your spine and hip bones. But if you have osteoporosis or are new to yoga, start by practicing seated twists in a chair to avoid overdoing it, advises Schaff. Sit in a chair with your heels under your knees and maintain length in your torso as you gently twist to the right, starting from your low back and moving up your spine. Keep both sides of your chest open and twist only to the point where you can maintain length in your spine (don’t round your back). Repeat on other side. Then, practice the same twist with your legs crossed.

Part 2: Why You Need Yoga, Cardio, AND Strength Training for Ultimate Bone Health
Part 3: The Nutrients You Need for Strong Bones & a Sesame-Cabbage Salad with Salmon That Has Them All

 

【聽那些女孩唱歌】跨性別時代引領風潮的「舞韻」合唱團Eurythmics 與安妮.藍妮克絲Annie Lennox


被視為1980年代流行樂壇上「第二次英倫入侵」代表人物之一的「舞韻」合唱團(Eurythmics),女主唱安妮.藍妮克絲(Annie Lennox)低沈有力嗓音、雌雄莫辨的撲朔跨性別形象,都對後世有著極為強大的影響。
#中性 #性別藩籬 #舞韻 #第二次英倫入侵 #安妮藍妮克絲
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/7012

【聽那些女孩唱歌】跨性別時代引領風潮的「舞韻」合唱團Eurythmics 與安妮.藍妮克絲Annie Lennox

友善列印版本

被視為1980年代流行樂壇上「第二次英倫入侵」代表人物之一的「舞韻」合唱團(Eurythmics),不僅以1983年第二張專輯中的單曲 ”Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” 橫掃大西洋兩岸排行榜冠軍,後來更創下了10首Top 40單曲、5座葛萊美音樂獎提名殊榮,堪稱是80年代初期流行樂壇最為成功的新浪潮首席樂團之一,融合電子舞曲與流行樂的編曲方式、以及女主唱安妮.藍妮克絲(Annie Lennox)低沈有力嗓音、雌雄莫辨的撲朔跨性別形象,都對後世有著極為強大的影響。

安妮.藍妮克絲(Annie Lennox)。來源:官方臉書粉絲專頁

藍妮克絲於1954年的耶誕節誕生於蘇格蘭的亞伯丁,從小展現音樂才華,長大後進入倫敦的皇家音樂學院(Royal Academy of Music)主修長笛。但由於家庭因素,她未能完成學業,因此過著白天做各式各樣的工作、晚上則演唱賺外快的日子。1975年,她在打工的餐廳透過朋友介紹,邂逅了玩搖滾樂的吉他手大衛.史都華(David A. Stewart),1976年開始加入一個叫做The Catch的叛客搖滾樂團,隔年還發行了一支單曲。後來樂團改名The Tourists,以實驗性的前衛電子音樂獲得一些樂界注目,安妮和大衛也成為情侶。不過兩人和樂團其它成員理念開始有了差異,想朝向更為大眾化、流行的方向前進,因此兩人在前往澳洲Wagga Wagga時,決定以「舞韻Eurythmics」為名,展開二重唱生涯。

1981 年,「舞韻」的首張專輯《In The Garden》發行,以搖滾、流行樂風為基礎,加入許多電子合成器音效的Synth-Pop,引起樂界相當廣泛的矚目;但真正讓她們大紅大紫的,則是1983年的第二張專輯《Sweet Dreams(Are Made Of This)》,首支單曲”Love Is A Stranger” 推出後創下超過百萬的驚人銷售,並迅速打入英國榜,同名單曲”Sweet Dreams(Are Made Of This)”攻下英國榜亞軍,更進一步跨擴大西洋,攻下美國榜冠軍。

1983年第三張專輯《Touch》同樣也大受歡迎;單曲”Who’s That Girl”榮登英國榜第三名、”Right By Your Side”獲英國榜第十名、”Here Comes The Rain Again”更打入英、美兩國榜TOP10,傳唱一時,成為舞會必備曲目。1985年的第四張專輯《Be Yourself Tonight》也不遑多讓,首支單曲”Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves”在英美兩地均打入前十名,另外兩首單曲”Would I Lie To You” (英國榜17名,美國榜第5名)和 ”There Are Must Be An Angel(Playing With My Heart)” (英國榜冠軍,美國榜第22名)同樣大受樂迷喜愛。1986年的《Revenge》,在美國攻入Top10,而首支單曲 “Missionary Man”更稱霸英國榜,另一單曲 ”Thorn In My Side”同樣躋身排行榜TOP10。樂隊在整個80年代紅遍歐美樂壇,並在1986年獲得第29屆葛萊美最佳搖滾樂隊獎。1989年時他們推出專輯《We Too Are One》後,由於安妮即將生產,樂團宣布解散,英國樂迷在不捨的狀況下大加支援,使這張作品成為冠軍專輯。雖然樂團解散,但大衛.史都華和安妮.藍妮克絲兩人均持續創作,各自均有作品發行,1999年底也曾宣佈重組、發行專輯《Peace》,其中的”17 Again”充滿時光荏苒的感傷,曲終更融入”Sweet Dreams(Are Made Of This)”的元素,讓所有樂迷和他們一起懷念自己的青春。

「舞韻」合唱團之所以為人記憶愛戴,不僅在於它融合了搖滾氛圍與創意性的電子合成器,流行感十足又不落俗套、巧妙地在前衛樂音和通俗節拍中找到一份完美平衡的華麗奇幻樂音,對於當下歌壇如女神卡卡等主流電子流行樂風的影響,可謂至為深遠;而女主唱安妮.藍妮克絲自從在”Sweet Dreams(Are Made Of This)” MV中橘金色極短髮、帥氣妝容、西裝造型展現雌雄莫辨的獨特氣質,更為女性歌手可能擁有的形象,開啟了另一扇窗。

須知1980年代,女權運動從以往爭取參政權、教育權等基本權力,已演進到部分女性希望也能在職場上和男性平起平坐、一爭長短,因此也有女性開始仿效男性的裝扮,以擺脫傳統女裝帶來的束縛以及性別象徵意義;當時義大利時尚設計師Giorgio Armani便設計出了充滿濃厚中性色彩的「權力套裝Power Suit」,打破過往世俗既定的陽剛與陰柔界定標準,將傳統男性夾克與西裝的特點融入於女裝設計中,以寬大的墊肩、翻領、沉穩的單一色系、鬆寬長褲線條,為女性勾勒出瀟灑又帶點強勢的權威形象,強化女性的權力地位感。Armani表示,他之所以顛覆了傳統女裝的設計,靈感完全是出自於實用主義,希望能打造出一套舒適、同時又展示尊嚴與態度的職業裝扮。在那個國際經濟繁榮的年代,剪裁精巧並強調肩部線條的「權力套裝」,對許多職業婦女來說,的確是用來象徵領導權勢的最佳武器,也成為許多女性領導人的最愛。

當時,也是代表青年流行文化在性別意識上最為百花齊放、勇於顛覆和挑戰的時代。例如喬治男孩(Boy George)和大衛.鮑伊(David Bowie)的雌雄同體、中性時尚早已廣為人知,但男扮女裝不稀奇,女扮男裝更具有顛覆意味;安妮.藍妮克絲本身就擁有略帶中性氣質、充滿磁性、低沈而迷人的嗓音,演唱方式氣魄攝人,被稱為是「半歌劇式」,但又展現深邃如天籟的療癒氣息;她身穿男式西裝展現帥氣又瀟灑的中性魅惑時尚,卻又保有著女性的溫柔韻味,這一切都使得安妮.藍妮克絲成為一位獨一無二的巨星。

從「舞韻」單飛後,她於1992年推出首張個人專輯《Diva》(女伶),1995年推出第二張專輯《Medusa》(瑪杜莎),至今在全球銷售達1200萬張之多,後續還發行四張作品,最新作為2004年的《Nostalgia》(鄉愁);她也被VH1音樂頻道評為「樂壇一百位最偉大女性」之一,並在2002年獲選為美國告示牌音樂雜誌「2002年度世紀音樂獎」得主,

相對於許多以性感外型走紅的女歌手,安妮.藍妮克絲纖細嬌小的身材,展現出知性且具有魅惑感的中性氣質,混合了一般加諸於男性的堅毅、勇敢、理性、和常被冠於女性的溫柔、脆弱、感性等魅力,可謂是打破性別藩籬中重要的一股力量;而她那深邃的歌聲,近年來更常出現在許多電影配樂主題曲中,包括1992年著名吸血鬼電影《Dracular》演唱的 ”Love song for Vampire” ,充滿盪氣迴腸的亙古孤寂美感。

無論是音樂形式或視覺效果、乃至個人形象,「舞韻」與安妮.藍妮克絲都在滾滾歷史洪流中,創立了一塊屬於自己的立足之地,也影響無數後人,至今聽來,仍是充滿走在時代尖端的新鮮媚惑感,這,或許才是真正歷久不衰的時尚潮流吧!

 

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