Chakra course Berlin – the Details

Please note: In the original Tantric yoga tradition there are many forms of chakra systems that have been mentioned: five-chakra system, seven, nine, ten, fifteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight. We will focus on the seven-chakra system that became dominant around the 16th century and that has been influenced by the psychologist Carl Jung who presented the idea that human behaviours get felt energetically.

Saturday October 13th, 2018

The first class of our chakra course will have a different format to the rest of the classes to explain the basic concepts of the yogic philosophy of prana, nadis, koshas, and chakras. These concepts will be needed to understand the rest of the chakras course.

Through this talk we will understand in which plane the chakras are found and the energy flow pathways. We will explore what is meant when referring to phrases such as:

  • energy leaks
  • biography becomes biology
  • healthy/blocked chakra

The yoga session will be brief and basic followed by a guided relaxation on the location of each chakra.

Format of first class:

  • 45 minute talk
  • 30 minute yoga session
  • 10 minute visualization
  • each student will get a handout with the information covered in this talk.

Format of the other eight classes:

  • 10-15 minute talk explaining the thought patterns, behaviours and emotions of the specific chakra we are exploring and its physical repercussions.
  • 55 -60 minute asanas (yogic postures that activate the specific chakra)
  • 20 minutes guided relaxation in which the students self explore these concepts in regards to their own lives.
  • At the end of each class students will be given ideas of small tasks they can do daily till the next class to better embed the learnings of the chakra explored.
  • Students will also receive an email with the basic teachings of the class and optional self-exploration questions to journal about.

October 20th, 2018

Photo by Craig Starhorn on Unsplash
Photo by Craig Starhorn on Unsplash

In the chakra MULADHARA we will explore our roots as an archetype. This refers to how the psyche views the group of people, subculture, culture, nation (s), that grew you up as a child. The ones that passed all those messages that “we do things this way and not that way.” In this class, we will explore who is the “we” in that phrase and what messages one has received at that level.

The guided meditation will invite the students to find and release a personal belief passed down from their roots that no longer serves them.

October 27th, 2018

In the chakra SVADHISHTHANA we will explore the role and power of choice and how that affects creativity and one to one relationships. A healthy second chakra allows for creativity to reshape our lives and for the world to become a playful place.

The guided meditation will invite students to visualize the creative space within.

 

Exploring our personal power in the Chakra Course Berlin

November 3rd, 2018

In the chakra MANIPURA we will explore the four stages of personal power and the ability to separate ourselves from group thought.

The guided meditation will take the students through the four stages of personal power as they choose a personal subject that they wish to work on.

November 10th, 2018

Exploring Anahata at the Chakra Course BerlinIn part one of the chakra ANAHATA we will explore the definition of forgiveness and why we would wish to let go of past wounds.

We can not will forgiveness, we can only be willing. -Tara Brach

The guided meditation will focus on forgiving someone the student is ready to let go of.

November 17th, 2018

In part two of the chakra ANAHATA we will explore the “armoured heart”, ways to soften it, and learn to trust it.

The guided meditation will be a practice of loving kindness.

There will be no class on November 24th, 2018

Finding your own voice through the chakra courseDecember 1st, 2018

In the chakra VISHUDDHA we will explore communicating your “inner truth” and then surrendering to what you can not control.

The guided meditation will be a practice of accessing your inner truth.

 

karen-zhao-643916-unsplash

December 8th, 2018

In the chakra AJNA we will explore intuition, healthy detachment, and symbolic sight.

The guided meditation will be a visualization exploring the movie that is your life.

Chakra course Berlin

December 15th, 2018

In the chakra SAHASRARA we will explore our own private spirituality.

The guided meditation will be a visualization of exploring your own spirit connection.

 

For further information about the course such as location, prices, how to book or to know more about the teacher please click here.

2.5hrs Workshop Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Yoga is 4000 years old. No, no it’s not! It’s from British colonial gymnastics! What? No, Hatha Yoga is 400,000 years old -from when the first group of people gathered consciously around fire. What yoga are you talking about? Yeah, there are so many – I even heard that there is the yoga of singing! Is that even a thing? Sure! But what does that have to do with anything? But yoga belongs to the Hindu religion, right? No, it’s also Buddhist and Jainist. No!… everyone says yoga has nothing to do with religion! But what about the Bhagavad Gita? It constantly uses the word yoga. That’s about a war! How un-spiritual! Is Yoga spiritual? Isn’t Tantra Yoga all about sex? And where does Hot Yoga fit into all of this anyway? I don’t think Patanjali would even consider that yoga. PataWHO??

Feeling confused about the history, meaning, goal and ethics of yoga?

workshop patanjali's yoga sutras Berlin

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

There are many types of yoga available out there. Depending on your definition and aim of  modern day yoga, its origins and meaning will vary. Many consider Patanjali and his ancient text The Yoga Sutras to be the “father of yoga”. In this 2.5 hour workshop,  we will explore the eight fold paths of classical yoga, giving special importance to the ethics and moral observances, as well as the practice of detachment.

When:  Saturday 3rd of November, 2018 14:30- 17.00

 

Where: At our English Yoga Berlin studio, Görlitzerstr. 39 – Kreuzberg Berlin

Who is this workshop for:

Anyone who would like to be introduced to the ancient text “Yoga Sutras”, Patanjali’s role in modern day yoga, and the eight fold path of yoga. This workshop is also good (but not only) for yoga teachers wishing to refresh or deepen their knowledge.

Format of workshop:

This workshop is given in the form of a talk with ten mini self-explorative guided meditations to make the material relevant to you and your every day life.

Please note:

  • Most of the talk will focus on:
    • Patanjali and the goal of yoga
    • the Yamas and Niyamas (ethics and moral observances)
    • Pratyahara (the practice of dettachment).
  • The talk will focus very briefly on:
    • Asanas (yogic postures)
    • Pranayama (breathing techniques)
      • As these are explained in the regular Hatha Yoga classes
  • The talk will briefly introduce the goals of:
    • Dharana (concentration)
    • Dhyana (meditation)
    • Samadhi (liberation)
      • as these subjects are too big for a 2.5 hr workshop.

About the teacher:

Pinelopi teaches Berlin Yoga workshopsBackground info: Beginning her yoga journey in 1999, Pinelopi completed a 600 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher and Vedantic Philosophy Training course over a period of two years in Valencia, Spain. This training is recognized by the Berufverband de Yogalehrenden in Deutschland (BDY), World Movement of Yoga and Ayurveda and the European Yoga Federation. For the last decade, she has worked as a full-time yoga teacher in Spain and in 2010 she founded English Yoga Berlin. Currently she is deepening her knowledge through Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy Course and David Moore’s “Injury-free yoga” applying the Alexander Technique postural alignment to all yoga poses.

Price: 30 Euro

 Early registration discount: 5 € discount if you register before October 2nd , 2018. The workshop is refundable unless cancellation occurs later than October 20th, after which 50% refund.  Space is limited so register early before the spots fill up!

To book a place please contact:

pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

 

Students that register in this workshop get a 20% discount on the Yamas and Niyama Module 1 course coming up in January 2019.

 

Pinelopi specializes in Hatha Yoga. Her yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. She offers Berlin business yogaprivate yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain, yoga courses and workshops.

CHAKRA COURSE – kreuzberg Berlin

Self exploration through the language of Chakras

photo by Biel Morro

photo by Biel Morro

When:

Saturdays 10.30-12.00,  October 13th- December 15th, 2018

Where:

At our English Yoga Berlin studio, Görlitzerstr. 39 – Kreuzberg, Berlin.

What does this Chakra course offer?

The Chakras are energetic centers  positioned in our pranic bodies that ensure the flow of energy connecting our bodies, minds, and soul. Each chakra influences and is influenced by an area of the body, a way of thinking, and an emotion. In this course we will explore which emotions, way of thinking and body postures ensure an unobstructed flow of energy and vice versa.

In this nine week course we will learn the symbolic language of the chakras and how human behaviors affect its vibrations. We use the chakras as a map to help us self explore certain concepts like our tribes (as an archetype), creativity, self esteem, forgiveness, surrender, love, detachment and connection to our spirits.

The classes will be given in the format of an introduction, followed by self exploration through yoga poses and visualizations.

For a more detailed view of each class please click here.

Who:

Students with at least three months of  yoga experience. Maximum participants: 13

Price: 

180 Euro for nine classes

               Early registration discount:

 30 € discount if you register before September 15th , 2018. The course is refundable unless cancellation occurs later than October 1st, after which 50% refund.  Space is limited so register early before the spots fill up!

Please note:

  1. This course is  no substitute for therapy. The concepts explored are ones that most humans tend to struggle with on some level and can awaken some new views into your own psyche.  The purpose of the course is self-exploration and not psychological therapy.
  2. During this course we are not going to learn traditional methods of activating the chakras through Kundalini yoga. There will be no attempt to rise the Kundalini energy as this requires a lot of purification of the student beforehand and an experienced guru that deems the student to be ready.
  3. This class is recommended to students with previous yoga experience.

To book a place please contact:  pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

 

Pinelopi specializes in Hatha Yoga. Her yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. She offers Berlin business yogaprivate yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain, yoga courses and workshops.

Interview with Pinelopi – Hatha Yoga Teacher

This interview was taken by Clelia, an Erasmus entrepreneur working as an intern in learning how to set up a small yoga business such as English Yoga Berlin.  During her stay here, she decided to interview the English Yoga Berlin teachers to find out more about their past and their pathway that lead them to yoga.

1. When was the moment that yoga became something else for you than just another experience?

interview with PinelopiThe first class I took. I was 19 years old, and mostly aware of my body through pain created by the imbalances brought about from a club foot at birth. Up to then, I would look at all physical activities more as a challenge and a “must” rather than a source of pleasure and opening. When my friend, Eve, took me to my first yoga class in Chichester, England, I experienced a form of opening of over-contracted muscles and untying knots and habits of my body that was incredible. I experienced the first “physical exercise” that brought me pleasure and made me feel capable – whilst at the same time built muscles and made me strong. When the teacher arrived to the guided relaxation, I had an incredible experience of “being” which was in stark contrast to my overwhelming “doing” mode. At that moment I knew that this was not just another experience, like a zumba class would have been for me, but a path for me to take.

2. Can you pinpoint a time when you could say, this is life before yoga, and this is life after yoga?

A year later, I moved to other parts of the world and left my wonderful Chichester teacher. Unfortunately, the chronic pain in my leg got worse and was spreading. I ended up needing to take six months off to solely focus on physical therapy and finding a way to deal with the pain in my body. I had to do at least two hours of physical therapy exercises every day for my body to function. That’s a LOT of time to dedicate to your body daily!  And they were the same five exercises repeated over and over, again and again and again.  That is when I started remembering my yoga and slowly turning the exercises into yoga.  Soon,  I had a two hour daily yoga practice, with a relaxation to calm the nervous system down from the chronic pain… and to access that “being” state again and again.

That would be the moment where there was a life before and after yoga.  The life before was predominantly painful. When I started doing my daily yoga practice, I felt like I had a tool box. I would wake up in pain, and than I would take the toolbox out to loosen some screws and tighten some others and oil the rest… and then I could function for the rest of the day.

My teacher used to say that “people approach yoga for a specific reason, but they stay for other reasons”. This is definitely what happened to me. I approached yoga out of being in a lot of pain, and I stayed because it opened the doors to another way of relating to life. To the “being” state that brought lightness, depth and connection with every thing that mattered to me.

 

3. Why are you teaching yoga, rather than just practising it for yourself?

I love teaching. Before I was a yoga teacher I would teach kids extra curricular theatre, languages, and all kinds of stuff.  I taught young women self defence workshops in Spain. I learned lots of incredible and alternative teaching techniques at a popular education seminar we organised in ESCANDA. Teaching is something that I have always been attracted to, that always felt natural to me, and that was a way of learning.  When I was a kid, I would learn or do my home work  by putting my dolls in a line and pretending to be their teacher! Teaching, for me, is the best way of learning.

And so it is with the yoga classes too. It is through teaching that I learn. It is through saying things to students while I teach, that I notice the gaps in my knowledge and am able to dig deeper…. or that I comprehend better the understanding of the yoga teachings.

Of course, one of the biggest sources of happiness for me, is when a student who suffers from chronic pain is able to untangle the different parts that contribute to that pain through yoga and gets to breathe more freely. Being able to teach pathways that bring people to such self exploration, body awareness and understanding of their own knots is one of the most precious parts of my work, and a reason in and of itself to teach.

4. How did you find your way through the ancient tradition of Yoga?  Why Hatha Yoga and not another yoga?

I have been drawn to hatha yoga because it is a slower kind of yoga, giving me enough time to check in with my body as I put myself into an asana. For me, the time factor, is very important. I use this kind of yoga to increase body awareness, have a communication with my body about what is happening right now and how it is affecting the rest of me, and to induce an embodied presence.  Lots of students say that the way I teach is meditative. I would have never described it that way, as for me, meditation is something very different. But I am starting to understand where they are coming from when describing the classes in this way.  They are referring to being guided in keeping the mind present to what is happening right here in the body and the energetic field at this very moment. I would describe that more as mindfulness.

Pinelopi specializes in Hatha Yoga. Her yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. She offers Berlin business yoga, pregnancy yoga, and private yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain.

Yoga Alexander Technique workshop-3 hrs-July 2018

As our six-day Yoga Alexander Technique workshop is booked up, we are now offering a smaller version of the workshop for those of you who didn’t get to take part.

Berlin Yoga and the Alexander TechniqueWHEN:            Wednesday 18th July 6pm – 9pm

WHERE:          English Yoga Berlin, Görlitzer Str 39, Kreuzberg

FOR WHO:      For any one with an interest in yoga or the Alexander technique.

TAUGHT BY:  Rossella Buono and David Moore from the School of F.M. Alexander Studies

PRICE:              €30

The Yoga Alexander Technique workshop consists of one afternoon in which we will develop an individualized practice and an understanding of the uniqueness of the use of yourself in movement and at rest.

The workshop will offer an active and practical investigation of:

· Coordination and posture from an Alexander Technique perspective
· Modifying yoga poses
· Kinaesthesia
· Doing and non-doing
· Directing energy through the body
· Identifying and overcoming habits

– All abilities and levels of experience.

– Absolute beginners are welcome!

– Please wear comfortable clothes.

Booking is strongly recommended to insure a place. To book your place click here or contact:

Rossella: rossella (at) rossellabuono  (dot) com

David: info (at) alexanderschool (dot) edu (dot) au

Pinelopi: pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

David Moore will also be offering private lessons in Berlin on Wednesday 24th July, if you are interested contact us.

ABOUT THE TEACHERS:

Rossella Buono relocated to Canterbury, UK in January 2013 from Melbourne where she had an established Alexander Technique practice. Working with a great range of people, Rossella has applied the Technique to improving the lives of people with issues such as back, neck or shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, sciatica, asthma, stuttering, anxiety and stress. She has also enjoyed attaining tangible posture and movement improvements for musicians, sportspeople, office workers, and the elderly. In her capacity as a care worker, she has developed strategies to improve the quality of life for people with physical and mental disabilities. She is the co-author of “For the Love of Games”, that offers a collection of more than 100 Alexander Technique games and activities to use when working with groups and individuals.

Rossella was first introduced to the Technique as a means of her own rehabilitation, after breaking her leg in an accident – and found herself benefitting greatly from the approach. After eliminating residual pain and regaining sustainable, coordinated mechanical function, Rossella decided to train as an Alexander Technique teacher. Since then she has worked to offer others the same opportunity for the elimination of pain and improvement of overall quality of life.

 

David Moore teaching Yoga and the Alexander Technique in Berlin

Photo credit: Rossella Buono

David Moore, Director at the School for F.M. Alexander Studies graduated from Australia’s first Alexander technique training course in Sydney in 1985. After graduating he spent some weeks each year for several years studying with senior American teacher, the late Marjorie Barstow.  Since then he has established private practices in New Zealand and Melbourne, run many  residential courses in Australia, Italy and New Zealand, and taught classes and intensive workshops in the UK, Germany, Japan Italy, Taiwan, and the USA. In 1999 he set up an Alexander Technique Teacher Training course which is approved by the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. This 1600 hour training course runs over three years.

Prior to studying the Alexander technique David did many years of yoga practice. He spent over seven years in India and Thailand, including over two years in Thai meditation monasteries, and two years in Madras studying with TKV Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandaram. In Sydney he studied Iyengar yoga for four years with Martin Jackson from 1991 – 1994, including undertaking a teacher training course with Martin in 1994. He now teaches classes applying the Alexander technique to yoga and is the author of “Smart Yoga: Apply the Alexander Technique to Enhance Your Practice, Prevent Injury, and Increase Body Awareness”. He also has a strong interest in voice and performance, and has run numerous classes and workshops for singers, storytellers and public speakers.

English Yoga Berlin is the host of this event.  We offer Hatha Yoga classes with Pinelopi and Vinyasa yoga with Juli.  Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. We also offer Berlin business yoga, pregnancy yoga, and private yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain.

Yoga Kreuzberg here I come!

Yoga Kreuzberg here I am!
Yoga Kreuzberg here I am!

Hello Yoga Kreuzberg, pleased to meet you!!

My name is Clelia and I am here to learn from EYB what it takes to run a yoga enterprise committed to people and their needs – I hope to meet as many of you as possible.  But let me tell you a little about how I got here, it’s a story about how to live through limitations and transform pain into a great opportunity.

My path to English Yoga Berlin begun one day about one year ago: I had an office job, a radio show in the student radio at Glasgow university and an arthritic hip.  This meant I was spending most of my time sitting down inputting data or listening to music; anyone of you who has experience directly or indirectly in arthritic pain will know that lack of movement is going to make things chronically worse.  My only lifeline was my daily yoga practice, as yoga is the only movement based activity with no impact and enough awareness to care for my condition.  I had tried the gym, but it only left me in pain at night: I also used to swim, but not being able to move the leg meant that I was only using my upper body.  Yoga was able to tackle posture, injury-conscious movement and offered breathing techniques that relaxed all the tense muscles doing their best to cope but becoming chronically tight.

I could not afford to pay for the amount of classes I needed every week (at least five), so I practiced at home.  I confess that practicing yoga on my own felt lonely at times, and the available online yoga classes would not help me learn how to address my individual needs; as my hip became tighter and tighter, it was harder and harder to motivate myself on the mat.  Nevermind full splits, I could not even sit crossed legged!  I craved a teacher, a guide, another human to help me, and maybe other faces with me in the room to let me know I was not alone in caring for our bodies and minds.  I decided I needed to take action in far deeper ways that what I had been doing, I needed a true commitment to my health: my job came to an end, I had to find another way to make a living.  I thought “can I put these two things together? make a living and commit to my health in a supportive community?”.

The answers came: where I live in Scotland, there is a commitment from local government to invest funding for both entrepreneurs and initiatives to help tackle physical and mental health.  I looked into setting up a social enterprise, and the answers kept coming: I found out from a dear friend about Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, a programme to support new entrepreneurs to go abroad and learn in a paid internship from more experienced entrepreneurs.  I searched and spoke to many yoga teachers, studios and organisation across Europe, until I found Kreuzberg Yoga with Pinelopi and Juli: they offer a yoga practice that nurtures and potentially empowers individuals as interconnected to each other through mutual respect, and that is proactive in making the benefits of yoga available to those traditionally marginalised from it – whether it is for physical ability, economic background, transgressive identity, ideals of body shape, perceptions of yoga as exclusively spiritual, esoteric, for experts.  It was, and is, the loudest answer to my needs I could ever hope for.

Clelia is an Erasmus entrepreneur working as an intern in learning how to set up a small yoga business such as English Yoga Berlin. We offer Hatha Yoga classes with Pinelopi and Vinyasa yoga with Juli.  Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. We also offer Berlin business yoga, pregnancy yoga, and private yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain.

 

6 day intensive Yoga and the Alexander technique workshop

yoga and the alexander technique david mooreWe here proudly present the next level in our Yoga and the Alexander Technique adventures: a six day intensive workshop!

In the past year we have hosted two workshops at our yoga studio with David Moore and Rossella Buono. The workshops were a great success. Everyone left feeling they learned something valuable to bring to their practice and are now asking for more. So here it is!

WHEN: July 18th to 23rd 2018

WHAT: A six day Yoga and the Alexander Technique workshop that will give us the opportunity to explore the basics of posture movement and breathing and give participants the skills to develop a personalised approach to their yoga practice based on their own unique characteristics and needs. The practice does not end on the yoga mat, but involves the development of our awareness to how we are living and moving in all aspects of our lives. Besides examining and refining yoga poses we will be looking at everyday activities as simple as walking, standing and sitting.

In this workshop we will explore:

  • Coordination and posture from an Alexander Technique perspective
  • Modifying yoga poses

  • Breathing and pranayama

  • Deepening observation skills

  • Meditation

  • Freeing the energy flow through the body

  • Identifying and overcoming habits

  • Doing and non-doing

  • Developing an individualised practice

WHO ARE THE TEACHERS:   David Moore (author of Smart Yoga: Apply the Alexander Technique to Enhance Your Practice, Prevent Injury, and Increase Body Awareness ) and Rossella Buono

FOR WHO IS THIS WORKSHOP:  It will be of particular interest to yoga teachers, Alexander Technique teachers and experienced practitioners in those disciplines. However, if you are not any of these things, but still wish to participate… you will be very welcomed!

WHERE: our English Kreuzberg Yoga studio

PRICE: €450 (€400 early-bird if paid before 19 May)

For more details please click here.

Is there such a thing as Accessible Yoga?

What is NOT accessible yoga?

accessible yoga

Do we all have to look the same?

You know the story. You’ve hurt your back and a friend says “you should do yoga!” And then you go with your friend to their favourite weekly yoga flow class. You put down 20€ and hope for the best. It’s fast, sweaty, the music’s hip, everyone’s dressed in the latest yoga fashion trend and almost everyone looks like a ‘yoga journal’ or ‘sein’ cover model. You find yourself struggling to keep up. You try your best, but somehow your body just won’t let you contort itself into those poses. The next day, your back hurts more than it did before, along with your wrists. And you swear you’re never trying yoga again.

Okay, it’s perhaps an exaggerated stereotype of what an accessible yoga class is NOT. But it does represent a rather broad view of what contemporary westernized capitalized yoga is all about. One of the problems is that most western people (both lovers and haters of yoga) believe that yoga is only that which is written above. I am not the first to say #notallyoga. But like all #notall hashtags, it tries to absolve the writer of responsibility that we should all be taking. Yoga is a 5000 year old practice stemming from South Asia. By believing that yoga is only that one thing that has been exploited by sporty opportunistic Californians erases its history and invisibilizes the decolonial work done by contemporary yogis such as nisha ahuja and Be Scofield. As yoga practitioners in a western world, we should all be working towards decolonizing our practice, promoting the diversity of yoga styles (eg; restorative) and practices (yoga nidra, pranayama, bhakti, etc.), and making yoga more accessible to everyone. Cultural appropriation does not make yoga classes at all comfortable or accessible to people who experience racism. Nor do expensive fees to lower-income folks, body-image and ‘healthy-living’ marketing campaigns to people who look different than what the mainstream expects healthy yogis to look like, nor to those with dis/abilities (physical or mental). Yes, I say “we,” but it means “I” and perhaps you too. What can I do as a non-South Asian yoga practitioner who teaches classes?

What IS accessible yoga?

I don’t have all the answers to this. But I have some ideas and would be happy to hear from you about what you feel that means. At English Yoga Berlin, we strive to offer accessible yoga classes. But we recognize that there are many things we cannot offer as well, and our studio is not accessible to just ‘everyone.’ Our Kreuzberg yoga studio is up one flight of stairs – this does not allow those who cannot take the stairs to even attend our classes. We also do not provide sign-language interpretation or any other language that we ourselves do not know (Greek, Spanish, German and English). We run our small back house yoga studio in a city with people from all over the world, with many different languages, and with a lower-income average than most bigger European cities. Our regular rates are significantly lower than bigger studios in Berlin, and we offer our classes in simple English, making it more economically and linguistically-accessible to newcomers. Pinelopi‘s injury conscious and gentle Hatha Yoga classes are especially suitable for participants who suffer from chronic pain. Juli‘s community yoga classes have at their focus the creation of an intentional space for people who feel marginalized or excluded in mainstream yoga classes, eg. queer and trans* folks, abundant bodied, bpoc. As well as an additional sliding-scale reduction for lower- / no-income folks who make Berlin their home (this reduction is not for tourists). Both of us include a 15-20 minute guided relaxation, based on yoga nidra techniques, at the end of all of our classes. Yoga Nidra is a proven method to help reduce stress, insomnia and anxiety. These are just some of the ways that I try to counter the dominant culture’s exploitation of yoga. But it’s a continual learning process and there are many more strategies that I continue to learn about and adopt through reading articles and discussing with others. There are other yoga practitioners who I’ve met in my Berlin community and in other places, who are also exploring various strategies. This movement is growing. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on it, and appreciate links to articles and other yoga spaces! Thank you.

 

Sound Healing – Nada Yoga workshop

Did you know the Sound of your Voice is a profound healing modality?
Connect with the Power that resides in YOU!

Nada Yoga

Sound Healing through Nada Yoga

Travelling Yogi, Yes Hernandez, will offer a Nada Yoga Sound Healing workshop to help participants connect to the power of their own Voice to find balance and peace within and without.

When: August 6th, 2017, 12-3pm
How much?: suggested donation 10 – 25€

(all proceeds will go to Frauenprojekte BORA – a local org that helps people out of domestic violence)

What?: A 3 hour workshop on Nada Yoga, its history, the different techniques, and how they help. We’ll prepare ourselves with a little Yogasana and self massage for sound based practice and then move into the specific Nada Yoga practice of Vocal Toning. Once our vocal practice is complete we sit for a 10 min silent meditation before moving into Savasana for the Tibetan Bowl Healing practice.

There is no pre-registration process. The spots are available on a first-come drop-in basis. Just show up!

What is Nada Yoga?

Nada means ‘flow of sound’ and has a long history as a yoga practice. The methods use breath and vocal toning to listen to one’s own inner sound, move through obstructions and onto personal transformation. “On the path of Nada Yoga, the body is healed, the mind recovers its balance and the person becomes a fully functional individual, living with a sense of well-being. In this sense Nada Yoga works as medicine and therapy, helping a person to lead a healthy, happy and balanced life in the world.”

About the teacher

Yes is an American Yoga instructor currently based in Sri Lanka. She has trained with Anandra George in Rishikesh, India on the techniques of Nada Yoga. She works with the method of Vocal Toning- a way of creating sound using syllables- no words, no harmony- to move energy through the body and chakras, bringing balance to all systems while becoming familiar with and connecting to Voice. This practice has a purifying effect on the body and mind, cleansing us from the inside out, helping release what no longer serves us and empowering us on many levels. This practice is then followed by a Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation, while in Savasana, to relax the body and release any tensions that may have been brought out by the toning exercises.

“As a survivor of physical and sexual child abuse, I myself had issues with my Voice, with speaking out. It took years before I was able to tell anyone of my suffering. This influenced me and my relationships in detrimental ways. Through a lot of work and practice, I broke through it and found connection to myself in Yoga. I find this disconnect to the power in our own Voice not only affects those who have been sexually or physically abused but also those bullied by classmates, and those of the LGBT community, afraid to speak out and be heard.”

On the reason for holding this workshop to raise donations for the Frauenprojekte BORA, Yes writes: “It is often so hard for women to leave these situations, and it takes a lot of courage to finally speak up and ask for help. As the workshop involves finding our Voice, the power and vibration behind, I thought it appropriate to honor those who have found some strength and have spoken up.”

**This workshop is open to FLTI* – Women, Lesbian, Trans*, Inter*, and Genderqueer folks only. 


English Yoga Berlin is a Kreuzberg yoga space that offers Community Yoga classes, with an emphasis on creating a space for those who feel marginalized by mainstream yoga classes: sliding scale prices for no- / low-income earners, queer & transfolk, sex-workers, b&pocs, differently abled, abundant bodied, etc. Our emphasis is on teaching about yoga and its healing potential. Read more about our Hatha yoga, Vinyasa flow and Restorative Yoga classes here.

Deep Yoga for Deep Tension: Yoga Nidra Explained

Yoga in English, Kreuzberg BerlinDepending on where you are from or how far you are in your own personal yoga practice, you may not yet be familiar with Yoga Nidra. But with all the stress going on in the world, and more specifically, in our everyday lives, finding ways to relieve deep tension in our bodies and minds is becoming increasingly important. At our English Yoga studio in Kreuzberg, what unites us as a collective is that we end every class no matter which style of yoga (Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Tantric Yoga) with a guided relaxation using techniques inspired by Yoga Nidra. We also have an audio collection of recorded relaxations here on our website!

Yoga Nidra is the practice of conscious deep sleep.  It is a specific yoga in and of itself where we learn how to relax deeply by practicing pratyahara, or detachment, with the eventual goal of attaining a state of inner peace. When we practice Yoga Nidra we enter a state of very deep relaxation in which we travel through the layers of our conscious, subconscious and unconscious minds.

3 Types of Tensions
When you think about your life, you may think that there are a million kinds of tensions around every corner, just waiting to cause you stress. But the tensions that people experience could be divided into three basic categories:

  • Muscular
  • Emotional
  • Physical

Muscular tensions arise from the body itself, the nervous system and through endocrine imbalance. Emotional tensions arise from the duality of emotions such as love/hate, joy/sadness, success/failure, which we are not able to express freely. This inability to express our emotions means that they become repressed and get deeply rooted in our unconscious. Mental tension arises from excessive mental activity. The monkey mind can be a whirlpool of fantasies, confusions, and oscillations of thoughts which when uncontrolled can become a source of real discomfort and pain.

Techniques
Some of the techniques used in order to cleanse these tensions include the rotation of consciousness, concentration on different sounds, opposite sensations, rapid imagery and visualization. Through the practice of yoga Nidra the practitioner undergoes a cleansing of mental, emotional, and physical tensions.

focus is a technique used in yoga nidra

Rotation of Consciousness
The rotation of consciousness involves taking the practitioner’s awareness to different parts of the body. It is said that wherever we center our attention it becomes the place where we also center our energy. Bringing ones awareness to each part of the body increases the energy in that part and allows the participant to identify and relax tensions there.

Auditory Focus
Often in our Yoga Nidra class we concentrate on different sounds. This technique helps the students to withdraw from the other senses (vision, taste, feeling, smells) and only leave one channel, the auditory one, open. The idea is that the participant stays aware of the directions coming from the instructor, but practices detachment from all other stimuli. This focus can increase a feeling of inner peace because when the mind is not getting overwhelmed with input, it is less likely to create intense mental fluctuations and more likely to be calm.

Opposite Sensations
Students are asked to focus on experiencing opposite sensations in Yoga Nidra. For example heaviness/lightness, sadness/elation, cold/warm. As previously said, emotional tension arises from the duality of emotions. By asking the student to temporarily experience emotions that they are not presently feeling, and then to experience the opposite emotion, this technique is used to neutralize emotions. This often allows the practitioner to go into a deeper state of relaxation, one that lies beyond the limitations of their emotional world.

lucid dreaming often occurs with yoga nidra practiceRapid Imagery
Rapid imagery involves a number of different things being named in quick succession and the student being asked to visualize each of them, then let them go so that they can move on to the next one. Because the mind tends to wander on its own and create its own fluctuations, this practice can help regulate this activity. For example when the image “waves breaking on a deserted beach” is given, then one could start thinking of the last time they were on the beach. They then think of who they were with, the emotions this caused and then start analyzing that past situation. But before this can happen in Yoga Nidra practice, the next image is given, considered and then asked to be released. It is a method of learning how to guide the mind so that we can learn to visualize and to release images that produce subconscious reactions. This, taken into our everyday life, can decrease our levels of stress and help us to achieve a more consistent sense of wellbeing.