Mindfulness-Based Chair Vinyasa Yoga and Mudras for Mindfulness Teacher Training ~
So Why the Combination?
Find support so you can offer support.
Remember everyone opens up in different ways. Find support to be able to give support. There are many ways to practice opening up in Yoga. The key to remember is when you practice Yoga & Teach Yoga you are doing it for everybody, finding support to give support is essential.
For me Chair Yoga is not about making Yoga ‘easier’, it’s about finding ways to go deeper, to drop into a state of meditation. An integrated state where healing can begin and a state where we can be completely present with life as it is happening. There is always something profound that comes from “sitting” and noticing subtleties in meditation, especially with the use of Mudras.
So why the combination of Mindfulness-Based Chair ‘Vinyasa’ Yoga?
The word ‘Vinyasa’ means to place in a particular way, or flow or lack of restraint. My intention for combining Mindfulness Philosophy with Chair Yoga is to thread the teachings of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness along with its associated stages in order for there to be a doorway into calming our reactivity to the fluctuations of the mind. That is the ‘placing of the mind in a particular way’ – that is the vinyasa. The word vinyasa is also associated with flow styles of yoga which leaves the student having experienced a fluid experience of joining one pose to the next using the breath. So in this training, we will use Vinyasa as both a technique and the intention to find out ‘seat’ literally as we practice ‘chair’ yoga.
Mindfulness-Based Chair Yoga has a depth that will open up a new form of self-inquiry as we journey deeper into the different components of our being.
Mindfulness is the ‘backbone’ of the entire Yoga NRG philosophy and is the foundation of our Teacher Training and Personal Development Programs. This unique program is a brief intensive to introduce you to the Integration of Mindfulness Practice, Mindful Dialogue along with the use of Mudras that relate to the Pillars of Mindfulness. It is a fulfilling way both as a student and teacher of Yoga to diversify your practice, take it deeper on both physical and subtle levels and literally ‘find your seat’ in noticing the Power of the Subtle Body.
Mindfulness-Based Chair Yoga Teacher Training will give teachers the tools to enhance Mindfulness for their students through the use of learning specific dialogue and Mudras. This program starts to dive a little deeper into the layers called the Kosha, initially in our Level 1 Teacher Training we learn about the five more common layers. Our Level 2/ 500-hour Teacher Training begins to explore more Koshas and how Mindfulness Practice, integrated with different sequencing, pranayama and styles of Yoga can us develop insight and wisdom.
The program dissolves the barriers and misunderstandings about what it means to practice Yoga using the support of a Chair. It also looks at how “Yoga in your Hands” (commonly known as Mudras) can be a path toward feeling and healing. There are many benefits of Mindfulness-Based Chair Vinyasa combined with Mudras for Mindfulness Training is
- Helping to minimise Vata related imbalances via more supportive variations and specific Mudras that stabilise feelings of urgency
- Strengthening neural pathways to combat the negativity bias helping us to transform friction into freedom
- Minimise stress by calming the reactivity to the things we don’t like
- Learn to take care of fragility of body and mind in more ways than one
- Understand the Subtle Body and beyond the five Koshas – looking deeper
- Self Exploration and learning from your own experiences of self-inquiry
- Satsang – having the opportunity to process experience that is facilitated through a combination of integrative methods and supported via the roots of various lineages.
- Learn a sequence that is adaptable, inclusive with equal amounts of creativity and room for challenge
“Personally when I first started experimenting in my own practice with Chair Yoga I was surprised at how it was possible to work more effectively with the stability, especially with postures such as twists and inversions. I also began sharing this practice with students who were coming for private one on one sessions who were either compromised with not being able to weight bear in parts of their body in some way or who wanted to try postures with more stability. The training I have done with Iyengar teachers in the late 90’s was great for these foundations. I also enjoy being able to offer versatility through fluid movement and different forms of vinyasa within stable foundations to help free up stuck energy. (We talk a little more about Granthis, knots or blockages in our personality that can manifest in different ways, in the full 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training)
I also found in the mental health area I was working in that those who had barriers to the physical practice of Yoga, however, were open to learning about Mindfulness and other methods of concentration, Chair Yoga and Mudras was a way to access the same benefits of calming the reactivity of the mind, just in a different way. The great thing I noticed is there was less distraction with trying to get the poses right and more curiosity than judgement when practising yoga in this way.
I formally started delivering introductory courses in Mindfulness as an individual practitioner in 2007/8 after using these techniques along with other styles of personal development in previous years in my Nursing, Health Promotion & Counselling Roles which also involved running group training involving Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. To be able to integrate Mindfulness into all asana not only as a technique but a way to live life fully is something that has changed my life and something I am forever grateful for. Continuous study, numerous hours in training in Mindfulness, Neuroplasticity and teaching Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training programs has inspired me to always find new ways of integrating the body and mind, ultimately so we can find freedom.
What has inspired me even more is my own experience of managing back pain and my own diagnosis and family history of movement disorders such as dystonia and Parkinsons related disease where parts of the brain do not work properly which can affect the way we move. Finding ways to be at ease in our own skin (even when things are a little shaky) has been a big investment of time, study, practice of Yoga + Mindfulness on and off the mat. Trusting this process we call life enough to dive into it rather than reject it is something Mindfulness Training helps with every day in more ways than one. Not only can it open you up to accepting we are not the ones in control it can help us move beyond perceived genetic constraints and live the life we have to our full potential, free of ‘mind’ made suffering.
“The one who see’s is already free”
Below is a photo of Michele Doherty who has done many of our Yoga NRG Teacher Trainings and Retreats demonstrating a great way to relieve stress from things like computer posture.
Our spine houses all of our nerve endings and it’s more common than ever these days to have a stiff thoracic region from sitting and hunching. Adding specific Mindfulness Practices and Mudras to any form of yoga especially Chair Yoga is a great way to look after all aspects of ourselves.
Join us for Mindfulness-Based Chair Vinyasa + Mudras for Mindfulness Teacher Training
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