Posts Tagged with: yoga
RESTORE Teacher Training with Sam Akers
If you haven’t heard, ODD has some absolutely amazing teacher trainings happening throughout the next few months.
One of them happens to be a restorative yoga workshop with the wonderful Sam Akers. It’s taking place at our Echo Park studio from March 7 – March 10 (find more details here). Whether you’re a certified yoga teacher or a student looking to deepen their practice through restorative asana, this training is for you!
Are you intrigued by this concept but not really clear about what restorative yoga actually is? Keep reading. Check out the photos.
Learn about this beautiful practice, how Sam came to love it, why she continues to do what she does, and what you can expect to get from the training.
Why is Restorative Yoga near and dear to my heart?
Restorative Yoga allowed me to heal from 11 years of Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and Lyme Disease. I had been diagnosed with all of these ailments, in a 3 month period, in 1997. Completely debilitating and confusing. Western medicine attempted to help, but really was making me worse with all kinds of medications. I found myself at a holistic chiropractor, one day in 1998, who suggested that I try yoga. I didn’t find restorative in my first class, but instead, I went to whatever class fit my schedule, as there was not really any guidance. It was a Vinyasa class that nearly killed me. Luckily, the owner of the studio was the teacher, and she sweetly suggested Restorative Yoga. What is this, I asked? Well, she responded, you lay on the floor, completely supported and rest. I was not excited by this, in fact, it sounded ridiculous. I was already laying around all day, why would I spend MORE time doing this?
What I didn’t know, in that moment, was that Restorative Yoga was and could be, so much more than just laying on the floor. I did get myself back to the studio, about a month later. I walked into class and there was the lovely teacher, David. His voice was kind and understanding. He proceeded to guide us through 4-5 asana and he would come over and offer me extra support, for my arms and legs. It was in Reclining Butterfly, Supta Baddha Konasana, that I had my first true healing experience. It was pretty wild. I saw soft golden light, I experienced a sweet voice in my mind, letting me know all would be ok, and I cried and cried. He let me remain in that asana, while others moved on. His support was the reason that I was able to let go, begin to heal and come closer to the pain within my self. I felt completely safe.
I had no idea that I was in any emotional pain at all. I was not aware that the trauma I experienced growing up, was now living in my tissues. I had never given myself permission to slow down, in part, because I knew it could be painful. But with David there, supporting me with his kind heart, voice and his seeing my discomfort and supporting that too, I could stay. And stay I did. That afternoon, I got all the props, bolster, blocks, blankets, and began my daily practice of reclining butterfly, which I still practice to this day. I am sure, that this practice saved my life.
Why is Restorative Yoga of value to me?
Not only because of my own healing experience, but now because of reports from thousands of students and clients I have supported in practice. I find that most of us push ourselves plenty. We push into experience, we push away from experience. We cling, we avert. But how often are we given permission to dive in, to sink in, to our own hearts and our own needs. How often are we supported in the arising and passing of ALL feelings and thoughts? One of the reasons that I lead trainings in Restorative Yoga is because we do not receive enough training in this modality, in our 200 hour training programs. Throw a bolster down and you are good to go, right? My experience 21 years ago was particularly healing because David fully supported my body. I felt safe, cocooned, seen. My nervous system could relax, my endocrine and immune systems could follow suit. My psoas could soften and years of held pain could release, sweetly and fully. My work with Judith Lasater and Leeann Carey just solidified my belief. They both teach in a way that encourages the complete support of the student, but we must train our eyes to see where support might be needed. This means more blankets under the joints of the body, adjustments of height of props and use of sandbags and blankets on the body. The student should be a comfortable as possibly, with little to no stretch sensation. This is why Yin and Restorative are completely different practices.
I have now been guiding students in Restorative healing for over 18 years. My restorative classes, workshops and trainings are my best attended classes and I believe it because of the level of care that I offer, along with the use of loving kindness meditations and breath work. I have had the honor and pleasure of watching hundreds of students heal themselves, through restorative practices, no pushing, just being. Please join me for another wonderful, fun and eye opening weekend of Restorative Yoga!
In this March training at One Down Dog, all students are welcome. You do not need to be a yoga teacher. In fact, I encourage anyone in the health fields to join us as it is fabulous to integrate Restorative into therapy, nursing, PT and OT, just to name a few. If you are a teacher, learn to support the body/mind/hearts of your students even more fully and successfully. You will receive 2 manuals for this training as it is level 1/2 and we will review the basics and foundational asana as well as delve into some of the more interesting and fun asana that can be used in therapeutics. We will discuss trauma, resourcing, Metta meditations, Yoga Nidra and more. I love discussions and often you, the students, inform the training greatly with what your particular interests are. You may also earn CEU’s through YA, if you need them, in taking this course.
Thank you for being a part of the Relaxation Revolution! With Metta and Restorative Yoga, we CAN heal the world. Let’s begin…..”
Samantha Akers, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, CMT, MFRT
Adventures in Sanskrit
How did your sanskrit journey begin?
My Sanskrit journey began last spring in my 200 hour teacher training at ODD. Reading the Yoga Sutras I referred over and over to the pronunciation guide at the back of Heart of Yoga. For my final project I decided to teach a short lesson on phonetics (which letters produce which sounds) and diacritics (the accents, dots and lines above and below letters). The lesson was a big success, and Jessica Rosen suggested I study Sanskrit at LMU.
What do you love most about the language?
Sanskrit is fascinating. It can encapsulate lots of meaning within a few words, making it super poetic and also super potent. In English we use all these filler words (like, as, this, that, in, on, beyond, etc.), to make meaning. In Sanskrit these filler words are folded into the main words of every sentence, so the language flows beautifully. Translation is really challenging, but it’s also really fun.
Why is it important for teachers to use the language?
I am not of the opinion that every teacher must use the Sanskrit names of poses. However, I do think a basic familiarity with the language is important. Cultural appropriation and decolonization are big buzzwords these days. Learning more about where yoga came from is a way for practitioners to honor its culture. Awareness of Sanskrit pronunciation and spelling will better enable teachers and students to engage in meaningful dialogue, both with texts such as the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, and also with practitioners from India.
Any advice for new teachers/yogis who are intimidated by Sanskrit?
Bring your beginner’s mind! Learning any language is a little bit awkward, but a willingness to try despite that awkwardness will go a long way. Making unfamiliar sounds is challenging at first, but eventually with practice the sounds of Sanskrit will feel normal. Remember how foreign yoga felt the first few times you tried, but eventually the poses feel like home.
What are you hoping people leave with after taking this workshop?I want people to leave feeling more comfortable using Sanskrit terms. The main focus will be on pronunciation of transliterated Sanskrit, with emphasis on words and phrases common in the yoga studio.
And just for fun: What is your favorite Sanskrit word or phrase?
Sukham bandhāt pramucyate –Bhagavad Gītā verse 5.3
“Sweetly from bondage one is liberated”.
#ODDlight Feature Breathwork Teacher: Michelle D’Avella
Each month we feature and shine the #ODDlight on the bright lights that keep this place going.
Meet Micelle, she’s your monthly breathwork teacher, the first Wednesday of every month in Silverlake. Catch an additional chance to breathe and heal this August 16th for a collaborative Breathwork + Soundlab with Michelle and sound healer Lauren Waggoner.
Name: Michelle D’Avella
Nick Name: Mishi, Chells, You should probably just call me Michelle if you don’t know me. 🙂
Hometown: Lebanon Township in good ‘ol New Jersey
Favorite Place: Joshua Tree
Favorite color: No favs. I tend to like pops of color. Bright pink. Burnt orange. Teal.
What’s your sign? Libra
Most embarrassing moment? The first memory that came up for me was when I peed my pants in kindergarten, but then I thought, “Come on, how embarrassed can you really be when you’re 5?” So then I thought of this time when I was around 25 and living in Philadelphia. It was around Christmas, and I was out shopping for gifts with my then boyfriend. I was broke, and he was broker. We were on our way home, and I got stopped in the street by a dude who proceeded to hustle me out of $20.
Unbeknownst to me, he and this woman had an act where he played some magic trick, and she pretended to keep winning double her money from him. They showed me several times, and my greed for some easy money won out. The moment I lost my heart sunk as I realized I’d been scammed. I didn’t care about the money, but my pride was bruised. I felt incredibly stupid and naive.
So how did I handle it at the time? Oh yeah, I yelled at my boyfriend for letting me do that, of course, and then proceeded to walk in front of him the whole way home. Oh man, who was that girl back then?!
Most empowering moment? The moment I realized that I don’t need anything from anyone else to heal. I don’t need my ex to apologize for how he hurt me. I don’t need to talk things through with the old flame who ghosted me. I don’t need Mom or Dad to understand x, y, or z about me. I don’t need anyone else to change in order for me to own who I am, heal myself, and create the life I want.
I credit Breathwork for opening me up to realize that I can move out of the place of being a victim and into the empowered position of creating everything I really want for my life.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I’m the oldest of 7 kids.
Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something thats ready to tell. I have always felt there was something more—more for my life and more that was underneath this all. I didn’t know what that meant except for the fact that the way I felt inside didn’t match the world I was living in. I spent most of my life frustrated and confused. When I was 27 my life was not going the way I wanted it to. I had broken up with my boyfriend and moved into a place in Philly with my brother. Three months into our lease my brother tells me he wants to move home to save money.
So at 27 I find myself in my parents’s basement, hanging up sheets from the ceiling to create a bedroom, and I’m miserable. I’m crying and feeling sorry for myself that I’m not in a happy relationship, that I don’t know what I want to do with my life, and that I’m back in bumble-fuck New Jersey relying on my parents for support.
Once I decide to get over myself and take advantage of the moment I start enjoying being with my family. I read a lot of books. Finally I decide to name this feeling inside me and just start sharing my writing. So Pushing Beauty is born, and I start letting my soul speak.
Not long after I move to Hawaii—on a whim. I start meditating more. I take time to get to know myself. I start to trust the signs that are coming to me, and I’m lead to move to LA. It’s there that I discover Breathwork and my entire life transforms. My soul work turns into my business, and I become the happiest I have ever been in my life.
This story is missing a lot of detail, but the point is that my lowest points have always turned into great opportunities. The more I learn to surrender and pay attention to what the Universe is showing me, the more fulfilling my life becomes. Wayne Dyer wrote a book called, “I Can See Clearly Now.” It’s about how as he looks back at his life he can see all of the dots connected. I feel the same way. I have been guided to exactly where I need to be. So anytime I judge where I’m at, make it a problem, or try to force something to be what it isn’t I remember this.
When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)? At Cafecito sipping a coffee, walking around Echo Park Lake having the best conversation with a friend, lounging in SIlverlake Meadow reading a good book.
How do you define yoga? An opportunity to get to know yourself more.
Why do you teach? I teach Breathwork, and I teach it because it’s the single practice that transformed my life in a way no other has. I teach because part of my calling is to help other people truly change their lives. I only teach things that have worked for me. Breathwork is the fastest catalyst for creating sustainable change. If you show up to do the work with a willingness to see the truth about yourself, you will transform.
What inspired you to become an instructor? It was part of the journey. I never had any grand plan to be a teacher. In fact, it was probably the opposite. I ended up doing a Breathwork training because I was following my intuition. I had no plans to teach, but something felt like it was calling me to do this training. So I did it. Then my roommate asked me, “Hey what was that thing you were doing the other weekend?”I guided him through a session, and it blew his mind. He was like, “Everyone needs to experience this work!” Pretty quickly, after doing sessions with everyone in my family from my 13 year old sister to my 58 year old father, I realized this was universal work. Everyone needs their heart to open more. Everyone needs to get out of their head. Everyone needs to heal in some way. So I started teaching.
What is your favorite song to play in class? I don’t have a favorite song. I make different playlists for each class. Probably one of my favorite songs to use in Breathwork right now in my own practice is The Promise by Tracy Chaplin. I have been known to throw in a Landslide rendition from time to time in class that almost always gets the tears flowing.
What is your favorite breathe, pose, or flow? Why? Breathing! Of course I’m speaking about the particular kind of Breathwork I teach, but for real it is my ultimate healing tool. I breathe every single day to open my energy, release stuck emotions, open my heart, and connect me to my truth. If there was only one practice I could do it would be this, and it’s the one thing above all else I recommend people begin to work with. Game changer.
Memorable yoga/breath moment? So many! I’ve been practicing Breathwork for about four years now so that has included many, many sessions. Each session is powerful in and of itself, and I’ve had too many incredible experiences to even remember. I recently had a session where I cleared out some abuse energy that was passed down in my family’s lineage, and that was a really incredible experience. My favorite moment in any private healing session is when the heart opens. It’s such a beautiful experience to witness someone let go of an old story and connect with who they truly are.
How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Ha! Actually my ex boyfriend was practicing at the studio so I started to check it out through his recommendation.
What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala, oil, etc) I use my teacher’s blend of essential oils for the chakras. They really help to open things up, and I use them every day. If you’ve taken a class with me you’ve probably experienced me applying Open Heart or Expression.
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? My handle is @pushingbeauty and you can use #pushingbeauty
Yoga Teacher Training – Continuing Education in East LA
July is a month of yoga teacher training continuing education at One Down Dog. Open to any yoga teachers or teachers in training we have a range of opportunities for you to remain a student. Learn and work alongside fellow teachers to grow your practice and what you have to offer your students.
Hands On Assisting and Seeing w/ Janine Glass
July 13th 1:45 – 3:15
This workshop is for yoga teachers and teachers in training.
Awaken your intuitive “seeing” skills in order to strengthen your ability in giving hands-on assists while teaching and working with private clients.
This workshop will cover theory, demonstration, and training of safe and effective hands-on yoga assists
What you get:
- “Seeing” skills training: “seeing” blockages and brightness in bodies.
- Hands-on assisting theory and injury Q&A
- Guidance and coaching in assisting with partners
- Working with injuries and clearing pain
only 20 spaces available onedowndog.com/workshops
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training – Level 1
This is Sam’s second visit with this training. Take level 1 now, she will be back for level 2 again within the next year! Check out the first group of ODDfam that attended.
She will also be offering a 2 hour Restorative class open to the public and the students who attended the workshop. It will be delicious!
Join the relaxation revolution!
Restorative Yoga is a healing practice that brings the body, mind, and nervous system into balance. Learn to teach Restorative Yoga, guided by Samantha Akers (formerly Joseph) (E-RYT 500) (C-IAYT), creator of the TheraYoga Method. Sam is passionate about the immensely powerful practice of Restorative Yoga, since it has been a major part of her own journey to health. These trainings are for teachers & students who are looking to deepen their knowledge of Restorative Yoga!Teachers receive a certificate of completion once all homework and assisting is completed.Level 1 of this training covers the main poses of Restorative Yoga, how to adapt them for a variety of students, how to use props, how to design a satisfying class, and more. Special attention is given to therapeutic applications of Restorative Yoga, and how the practice can benefit people with special needs, or simply relieve stress. The training also includes discussion of the three Ayurvedic Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and how to build a Restorative and breath practice to best suit the needs of all three. You will also learn the basics of a mindful awareness practice to aid those with anxiety and trauma disorders, helping to keep students feeling more grounded, clear and balanced during their experience of Restorative Yoga and beyond. Students will receive a manual and a reading list.
These trainings are designed to prepare current yoga teachers to teach Restorative classes in studios and other environments. These weekends are also open to students simply wanting to deepen their knowledge, and for those in allied professions (massage therapists, those in the mental health care field, etc.) as a vital part of their practice with clients.
The goal is ‘happy kitty face’ here.
$400 prior to July 1st
DATES & TIME:
Friday July 14th 5-8pm
Saturday July 15th 9-5pm
Sunday July 16th 10-5:30pm
Samantha is currently under the private direction of her teacher George Haas as well as being a student in his 11 month program, A Meaningful Life. She completed Community Trauma Resiliency training, through the Trauma Resource Institute, in August of 2014. Her Restorative practice has been influenced by her teachers Judith Lasater and Leeann Carey. – Learn more about Sam in her bio under the workshop.
Hands-On Savasana Adjustments
7/25 + 2-3:30pm
Did you know we had a massage therapist at One Down Dog? Did you know she’s a yoga teacher!?
Want to give your students that little extra love in Savasana? Need a refresher course or brand new on feeling comfortable palpating and moving areas of the body? Then this workshop is for you! We will…+ Review basic structural anatomy
Where to apply pressure, where not to…+ Simple massage therapy techniques
Help ease muscle tension after an intense practice
+ Carefree joint mobilizations
Traction and movement to areas of the body without
assistance from student
+ Savasana Sequence
Learn a quick sequence outline that allows you to add your own flavor throughout
Kids Yoga – One Down Dog – Yoga for Your Little Ohm-ie
Starting an early yoga practice with your kid benefits them holistically and gives them the tools they need, within themselves, to thrive in a busy world. Grown-ups have all sorts of priorities and concerns on their plate, and kids do too! Kids live in a world where technology is at their fingertips, knowledge and information are accessible, and all sorts of messages are easily exposed to them. This overstimulation can be very distracting and can make it difficult for them to focus on a single task at hand, let alone all the things that are expected of them on the academic and social levels. With just a few moments of yoga and consistent practice, your little ones will develop healthy bodies, fuller breaths, brains geared up for learning, and the values that contribute to a happy life with their buddies!
Kids yoga integrates their whole, entire body…from the crown of their head all the way down to their tippy toes!
- In asana, the physical practice of yoga, the use of simple yoga poses with kids helps with their balance, coordination, core strength, and flexibility.
- Kids develop better body awareness when they learn postures or play yoga games by identifying what body parts to stretch, bend, twist, lower, or lift.
- When practicing poses on both sides of their body, the right and the left side, yoga contributes to their overall motor development.
- By practicing how to sit and stand “tall” in yoga, kids can develop good posture.
- Yoga relaxes the body and prepares it for a good night’s sleep.
- In kids meditation, sitting in quiet for a few moments enables them to pay mindful attention to the workings of their other senses.
- When they feel good moving in their body, they can do more with their body! More sports, more dancing, more fun outdoor activities! A healthy body image and body appreciation can stem from a healthy yoga practice with your little one!
Practicing some breathwork or pranayama with your kids sets the tone for the class and helps them settle into the present, into the NOW.
- Depending on your kids’ moods, the right kind of breath will either calm and relax, or energize them!
- Simple breathing exercises prepare them for meditation.
- Taking a few moments to pay attention to their breath is a great way to stimulate their concentration, especially when they are doing challenging poses like balances or holding postures for a longer amount of time.
- A healthy breath means better circulation and more oxygen for the body!
Kids are constantly learning new things, and yoga helps with learning!
- Through mindful movements and focus, yoga can de-clutter your kids’ very busy brains, therefore increasing their attention span and improving comprehension.
- Yoga helps them retain information and improves their memory by learning postures through songs, yoga stories and yoga activities.
- By developing their motor skills on both sides of the body, yoga utilizes both sides of your kids’ brains as well!
- Kids yoga is all about using the imagination to create movement and shapes with the body. By practicing yoga, kids will widen the scope of their creativity and might even come up with creative ideas of their own!
Yoga is also about relationships and how we connect with others. The values learned while practicing yoga teaches our little Ohm-ies beautiful things about themselves, other living beings, and how to live in this world together.
- Yoga games in class instill a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among your little one and his fellow students.
- The process of learning and practicing a yoga pose helps kids become more compassionate and helpful towards other kids who are also trying their best. There is never any competition in yoga…just a safe space where kids can practice, do their best, laugh it off, and try again!
- Being in a room with other kids of all sorts of personalities can improve their social and communication skills.
- Kids are allowed to feel what they feel, and mindful practice helps them acknowledge their emotions and puts them in a healthy place to deal with certain things in their own peaceful way.
- Yoga helps kids to embrace their uniqueness and unique skills, therefore instilling a sense of respect in our kids; respect for themselves, respect for other people, and respect for their surroundings.
Yoga fills you up with life, light, peace, and joy…and all of that spreads quickly as you share your yoga gifts with your little ones! Kids yoga benefits the grown-ups, too! Take some moments to simply have fun, be silly, color outside of the lines, play make-believe, be spontaneous, and let your inner kid shine! Wouldn’t the world be an even more beautiful place if we all learned how to play nice? 🙂