Computer Work and Posture Part II – The semi Supine

Computer Work and Posture Part II

In part I of Computer Work and Posture, I discussed the importance of learning how to take care of ourselves while working in front of computers. Since computers are our new way of life, learning skills of body care and presence while using computers is vital. In order for us to have an upright posture, we need to first know how we define upright and what we mean by it. I suggested that we start thinking of upright less as a fixed straight position, and more as a balanced relationship between your neck, head and back.

A good way of becoming familiar with the relationship between your head, neck and back is to lay down in the semi supine pose with some books underneath your head for ten to fifteen minutes daily. The height of the books you will need underneath your head varies depending on both the shape and the present use of your body. It is best to let a trained Alexander Technique teacher help you determine the height of the books needed, but if you are not yet in contact with one you could use this video as a starting point.

The following instructions and mindful exercise are also available on audio here:

Instructions for the Semi Supine

Lay down on your back with your head placed on top of some books for support (5 to 8cm as a starting point). Put the soles of your feet on the floor with your knees facing upwards towards the ceiling. Place your hands on the belly with the elbows pointing outwards

Mindful exercise while you are in the semi supine.

First let yourself notice how your body feels in this position. For the moment, let your intention be to notice without wanting to change anything. Simply to become familiar with what is.

Some questions to help you in your process:

  • Is my back in contact with the floor? If not, which parts of my back are not touching the floor?

  • Are the parts not touching the floor similar on both the right and left side? Or is one side more lifted than the other?

  • Is it easy for me to have my knees pointing upwards? Or would my preference be to let them drop inwards towards each other or outwards?

  • Are the soles of my feet carrying equal weight? Or is the weight traveling more towards the inside or the outside of my soles of my feet?

  • Do my shoulder blades feel comfortable on the floor? Or are there places where they feel crammed.

At the end of this reflection mentally tell yourself, “this is the relationship that my neck, head and back have throughout the day”.

Now allow for some subtle changes to happen in your posture. Let your intention be to explore an easier relationship between your neck, head and back rather than to “fix” your relationship. As the word “fix” implies, the mentality associated to that is too static and creates a one fit all mentality. We wish for a subtle fluid relationship rather than a “fix” solution.

Some subtle changes you could invite:

  • You could gently lift your pelvis, place your hands on your upper back and caress the back downwards in the direction of the pelvis, while coming back down to the floor. Did that increase your back’s contact to the floor?Creating more back contact to the floor through the semi supine

 

  • You could gently lift your shoulder blades to allow for more space in the upper back, and then place them on the floor again. What change did this movement bring with regards to how much of your back is in contact with the floor?

 

  • If you feel that you wanted to bring the knees inwards, you could try placing your feet closer to each other.  If you feel that you wanted to let your knees go outwards, you could place the feet a bit further apart from each other. Do these changes to your feet make it easier for your knees to be pointing upwards without tension? Did this also bring a subtle change to the pathway of weight distribution in the soles of your feet?

 

  • If your shoulder blades feel cramped, you could gently lift your elbows and place them again on the floor. Did that bring a subtle change or do the shoulder blades still feel the same way?

Once you found the most comfortable place in this position, then do nothing. Allow for 10-15 minutes to pass where you simply enjoy doing nothing. Let gravity do the work for you.

Before you come out of the semi supine position, mentally tell yourself, “This now is the relationship that I invite my neck, head and back to have during my computer work”.

When to do this practice

It is good to do this practice before you begin with your computer work, once in the middle of your computer work and/or at the end of the work. It will help to find  your center during computer work. Do remember, however, that this is a starting point, a step one, if you will, for how to take care of yourself while using a computer.

Tune in for the next blog where we will investigate positions of mechanical advantage while working on the computer.

About the author

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.  She is currently deepening her knowledge through Leslie  Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy course and training to become an Alexander Technique teacher.  Due to the corona virus, we are currently giving all yoga classes live online.

Live Online yoga Classes Continue

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.”

— Helen Keller

 

Greetings Yogis,

            Here we are a few months into the Corona virus pandemic, with some time spent in lockdown and getting used to a new way of life. Whether we like it or not, we are going through changes that affect us each individually as well as societally. What this means for our future, we cannot yet say. However,  if distancing truly makes our hearts grow fonder, let’s hope for a kinder, gentler and more just world when we finally come out of this. In the meantime, online yoga is here for a little while longer. Both Juli and Pinelopi continue their regular schedule online through June. With Pinelopi dropping to one class a week through July for summer holidays. Near the end of July we hope to know more about the regulations and peak statuses of Berlin to make a decision whether we return to the studio in August.

 

Hatha Yoga Classes Live Online

Pinelopi’s regular Hatha Yoga classes continue online through June, and will reduce to once a week in July for summer holidays. Here is how to join.

 

yoga online

yoga online

Sunday Yoga Live Online

Juli‘s regular Sunday Yoga classes from 4-5:30pm continue live online through June and July. Here’s how to join.

We continue to be thankful for your practice and your support of our work. Stay healthy, stay safe, protect those at risk by keeping a distance.

 

At English Yoga Berlin, we offer Hatha Yoga classes with Pinelopi and Vinyasa yoga with Juli. Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcome to beginners, as well as people struggling with chronic pain. We also offer Berlin business yoga, and private yoga classes, as well as queer and trans prioritized community classes. We are currently offering all of our yoga classes live online. See our schedule for more info.

Computer Work and Posture – Part I

The virtual world is here. It has been here for some decades now. It has waltzed into our lives with dizzying speed….with all its charms, promises and dangers. Some promises of connection and closeness were kept. Others were delivered in unexpected ways. Many ended up creating the icy feeling of loneliness in an over-connected world. One thing is clear. The speed in which this digital world has entered our lives has not given us enough biological time to adapt.

We spend incredible amounts of time working in front of computers, absorbed in our social media feeds, or receiving various forms of entertainment. Few times do we stop and become aware of our bodies. We forget about the living body. We increasingly get lost in a cloud of thoughts. Until eventually, the body starts to complain, desperately trying to catch our attention, asking for us to return to the biological vessel that makes our existence possible.

Since computers are here to stay and our use of them is not bound to diminish, is there a way that we could coexist in peace all together: computers, bodies, and presence? We must find one for the sake of our bodies, our mental health, and the quality of presence that we wish to live with.

In the next series of blogs I will suggest a combination of different aspects to become more aware of our bodies and our ability to stay mindful while working on computers. This will include looking at positions of mechanical advantage; bringing variation to the working positions we chose; ways to remember body awareness; eye care and mindfulness practices while doing computer work.

But for today, let‘s start with the preparatory work.

Good posture in front of the computer

We often are told to “sit up straight”, but do we actually know what that means? Many people use excessive amounts of energy to keep their version of “straight” in front of their computers. It is not possible to use such amounts of physical energy for a long time without cramping or becoming very uncomfortable. As a result, they then have to swing to the other extreme of slouching or collapsing while on their computer work. Many continue to swing between excessive tension and collapsing for the rest of their computer time. Both yoga and the Alexander technique are ways that people can use to help them find a middle place where sitting up straight becomes possible without using excessive muscle tension.

What does sitting up straight or upright actually mean?

I believe that the direction of “sitting up straight” or “upright” is confusing to begin with.  Does being straight mean to not have curves in your spine? To flatten out the curves? No. This would be setting us up to failure and to more problems. Rather, I suggest that we look at sitting upright as a balanced relationship between the head, neck and back.

Alternatively, some people may find it easier to think of “upright” as balancing out the three curves in their back. This would mean that not one curve is extreme and out of proportion from the other two. The challenge, though, is to balance out the curves without using excessive muscle tension.

A good way of becoming familiar with the relationship between your head, neck and back is to lay down in the semi supine pose with some books underneath your head for ten to fifteen minutes daily. In  Part II of this blog I will explain the semi-supine pose, a mindful exercise that you can practice to help increase your familiarity with this pose, and the relationship between head, neck and back.

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.  She is currently deepening her knowledge through Leslie  Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy course and training to become an Alexander Technique teacher.  Due to the corona virus, we are currently giving all yoga classes live online.

Mantra Singing Workshops with Inga

This workshop has been cancelled for precautionary reasons. We will reschedule it when our collective health allows!

 

 

We are hosting two beautiful Berlin mantra singing workshops with Inga Thórsdóttir!

“Through the voice and into the heart”

 

We warmly invite you to come to guided mantra singing workshops at English Yoga Berlin. Singing mantras is a tool for connection, healing, and lightening of our hearts. A way of freeing our thoughts and coming back to ourselves.

Inga Thórsdóttir gives mantra workshops in Berlin When:

Friday March 27th, 2020 19.00-21.00

Saturday March 28th, 2020 19.00 -21.00

Where:

our English Kreuzberg Yoga studio.

Mats, blankets, tea, cookies, blocks and chairs (for those who need them) are provided for at the studio.

Who is this workshop for:

This workshop is open to all people who like to sing (or listen), to meditate, practice yoga, or simply want to experience something new. Everyone is welcomed.

What does the workshop consist of:

Inga will guide us into an interactive mantra singing session with her harmonium. She will explain to us the meanings and intentions behind each mantra as we sing “through the voice and into the heart”.

About the teacher:

Inga Thórsdóttir gives mantra workshops in Berlin Inga Thórsdóttir is an Icelandic musician, born and raised in Reykjavik. In 2007 she moved to Freiburg im Breisgau to study piano. Since then she has lived in Germany, teaching piano, doing yoga and training in Alexander Technique and organizing events related to yoga and music. She got to know mantra singing during a yoga teacher training in Bali and since then she has offered regular mantra concerts. She also travels with Yoga Böttcher to yoga festivals and other events.  Soon she will also sing mantras on stage with Deva Premal and Miet. Inga loves to sing from the heart and take people on a heart-opening mantra trip!

Price:

25 Euro for one two hour workshop

Early registration discount: 5 € discount if you register before February 1st, 2020. The workshop is refundable unless cancellation occurs later than March 7th, 2020 after which 50% refund.  Space is limited so register early before the spots fill up!

If you are interested in participating, please contact Sibylle at:

Sibyllegfellner (at) yahoo (dot) de

At English Yoga Berlin, we offer Hatha Yoga classes with Pinelopi and Vinyasa yoga with Juli. Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcome to beginners. We also offer Berlin business yoga, and private yoga classes, as well as queer and trans prioritized community classes.

Terminology Tuesday: are mindfulness and meditation the same thing?

I often hear people use the terms mindfulness and meditation interchangeably. Are they, though, the same thing?

So let’s look at these two terms.

Mindfulness

photo by Fern

I define mindfulness as the practice of having one’s mind fully present in any activity or inactivity that they are performing. The English term was originally created by the Buddhist scholar T.W. Rhys Davids at the beginning of the 20th century. Later on, this term was used by Jon Kabat-Zinn in his popular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. He defines mindfulness as ‘the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.’

Many mindfulness practices increase the ability to attain this state of mind. One example is the practice of mindfulness walks whilst using a modified version of  the 54321 technique.  This is one of my favorite mindfulness practices that I always include in our English Yoga Berlin retreats.

Meditation

Meditation, on the other hand, is the practice of letting the mind quiet down from thoughts and worries. It is experiencing ones’ own presence beyond the mind. It requires sitting (or if necessary laying down) and purposefully creating a space to practice. In the Vedantic tradition, there are two types of yogic meditations: saguna and nirguna.

In the saguna meditation, the meditator focuses on one thing only (be it a mandala, the breath, a candle flame). The meditator keeps the mind anchored on this focal point. Think of the mind as a bird that flies from one thought to the next.  Eventually the bird gets tired and needs to rest on a branch. The one focal point of saguna meditation is the branch for the bird-mind to rest on. In nirguna meditation, the meditator focuses on abstract concepts that are indescribable, such as Existence, Cosmic Love, Consciousness and fuses themselves into the object of meditation.  In both ways of meditating the focus is to sharpen the mind into being able to focus on and experience only one thing,  be it something concrete or something abstract.

So what is the difference?

The main difference between mindfulness and meditation is that mindfulness can be applied to any activity and although the mind is fully present in what it is doing, there is still motion in the action of doing. Whilst in meditation one creates a space  where one sits and practices bringing the mind to an inactivity so that it remains settled only on one thing. Of course, a meditation practice will increase your mindfulness awareness in your everyday activities, and a mindfulness practice, on the other hand, will  also help you settle in quickly into meditation. These two go hand in hand strengthening each other, which I believe, is why people often confuse them.

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.  She is currently deepening her knowledge through Leslie  Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy course and training to become an Alexander Technique teacher.

Yoga & Alexander Technique in Berlin – Intensive 3 Day Workshop

David Moore's workshop

Alexander Technique Intensive 3 Day Workshop


 

In 2018 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:  Friday August 30th – Sunday September 1st, 2019

WHAT: A three day Yoga and the Alexander Technique workshop that will give us the opportunity to explore the basics of posture, movement and breathing.  The workshop gives 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

  • Freeing the energy flow through the body

  • Identifying and overcoming habits

  • Doing and non-doing

  • Developing an individualised practice

WHO THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR:  Yoga teachers, Alexander Technique teachers, and other body work practitioners who are interested in connecting these different disciplines might find this workshop particularly beneficial. However, anyone who’s curious to learn more about overcoming ingrained habits in their everyday posture or yoga practice are very welcome to join!

WHERE: our English Kreuzberg Yoga studio

ABOUT THE TEACHERS:

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 Martyn Jackson from 1991 – 1994, including undertaking a teacher training course with Martyn 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.

Rossella Buono will be teaching in Berlin

Photo: Ralf Hiemisch

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 benefiting 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.

PRICE: €260 (€230 for the first 8 bookings) – max 16 participants

For more details and to book a place, please click here.

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.