Hello everyone! I really didn’t write a single post on this blog in 2013. Hm. Well I did make a new website! YogaLifeandGeorge.com Thank you for finding me/following me here and as it suits you please have a look over at my new hub for finding out about my Yoga classes, handmade musical instruments, and Blog.
Category Archives: Teaching
Hello! For the next four weeks I’m teaching Yoga lessons once again in Benjasiri Park at Phrom Phong BTS next to the Emporium. The classes are open to anyone and will take place at 9:00-10:30am, coming Fridays the 17th, 24th, 31st, and 8th. The cost is 300฿.
Develop your techniques in yogic breathing which are the foundation of good practice and health. These techniques are essential and make spiritual awareness flourish and more challenging asana possible. Did you know you can breath your way into every pose, even handstand! Learn to take deep dynamic breaths, your body will teach you how to be in the Asana. I will also teach you the key movements that are the most natural way to enter each Asana and help to understand where to be engaged and relaxed so the focus is more on exploring your inner space rather than trying to just stay in a pose. This has been the motivation of my approach and the results are a very integrating and enjoyable practice!
If you would like to attend please send me a message on fb, call, or email. Come to the left side of the park from Sukhumvit road and you will see me under the trees. Please bring your own mat and small towel for shavasana.
Peace ॐ Shanti
These tips could be applied to many aspects of life I think.
1. Teach with candor. Be frank and honest about yourself and share your experiences, even if that experience is nervousness. Most people can already tell how you are feeling by observing you. If the nervous teacher comes right out and says “Well, ok, I’m feeling nervous but…” they’ll make a connection with people who can identify with that feeling (which is most people) and they’ll dispay confidence for being able to admit it.
2. When you’re sure all of your students are adept(and keep checking anyway!) with a certain flow of practice, a warm up if you will, teach with unrelenting focus and energy. Don’t let them, or you, slip off into some tangent. This is to get everyone established in the streaming focus that is the paradigm of many yoga practices. Speak rhythmically, directly, and concisely with a encouraging power in your voice. Keep coming back to the same points. In my case it’s usually, bandha, ujjayi breathing, and describing the sensations of deep, empowering breath.
3. Lighten up! Let the play begin. Teach more casually and be open to make humorous comments or observations. Begin to teach more rather than conduct like in #2. This means be aware of the skills of the people in the room and work on what you can help them achieve or create. Break things down, give more time for detailed demonstrations, even using the students as models for one another while you do an adjustment to show how to align one’s body in a particular Asana.
4. Keep a good pace until the end and then let everything drop into relaxation. Slow down your voice and lower it’s pitch. Give enough time for relaxation. Savasana should be proportionate to the amount of work and time you spent working. In a light or short class 5-7 minutes is adequate. After a long or challenging class, up to 10 minutes. Savasana should not be too long, otherwise the nerves will become dulled. It should not be too short or the body will not be refreshed or adapt to the structural changes from the practice.
Hey there คน Samui!
Here is my schedule of classes for this last week on the island. Hope you’ll join for a graceful and inspired practice and to meet again before I’m off!
Tuesday – 8:30-10:00 @ Amari Resort lawn Chaweng
Wednesday – 9:00-10:15 @ Vikasa Yoga
Thursday – 8:00-10:00 AcroYoga @ Melati Beach – free play
Friday – 8:30-10:00 @ Amari Resort lawn Chaweng
Contact me for details or to arrange another class for Samui-ans!
Heads up for an event I’ve organized. If you’re on Koh Samui come by for the class, check out the Vikasa Yoga Studio and the Art Cafe, and enjoy life!
Also, Vikasa Cafe is also back to normal hours of operation, 9:00-14:00 and 16:00-20:00, until the next teacher training, so come try the delicious healthy treats! After that it will be back to buffet for breakfast and dinner, 10:15 and 19:15 respectively.
Congratulations to our first Vikasa Yoga Teacher Graduates!
What an amazing month! The course ended spectacularly with deep practices and insightful discussions. Kosta covered the business of yoga; how to market yourself, build networks, set attractive deals and membership packages, and gave advice for free-lancing and managing a studio.
Ram lead a very deep final lecture on all the implications of being a yoga teacher and how to flourish as well as be genuine to your spiritual practice. We also re-kindled the lantern of the most sincere aspects of the nature of Yoga and human evolution to which I added many of my own thoughts. We breached controversial subjects such as the future of Yoga Alliance, national governments interaction and view of the yoga community, and how once you’ve blossomed into a more expanded consciousness, there is no going back. It’s about seeing what is possible and it’s always more than you can know at this moment. Ram concluded with chanting an entire chapter from the Vedas, which has been the duty and honor of his family’s lineage to memorize for a long, long time. He recited more syllables in 10 minutes than anyone I know does in a day. It was beautiful. I had profound experiences listening to Ram. I could see subtle yantras opening in my mind as if I was being pulled through a portal. I also felt old emotional events being dredged up and resolved into peacefulness. Straight up, it was cosmic. Thanks brother Ram.
I was also able to join Tingting’s last sessions which were very opening as well, to one another as humans. With everyone arranged in two lines, holding hands, so close you touched your partner toes, she had us stare deep into each others eyes while instructing us to look sincerely into that person and be completely open ourselves. To allow our entire soul to be visible through our eyes. Yes, there was laughter. Yes, there were shifty eyes. But a few of you…my, did we ever look deeper and deeper until a mirror like sense of vertigo occurred and you couldn’t be sure who was who! I also felt energetic sensations and used vibrant auric visualizations of peace and spiritual power with my “strong” partners who I thought could handle it…
Classic… On Consciousness
The very last day we kept practice bright and light in the morning. 6:00 We started our pranayama session in a big circle on the fine, soft sand at the beach. Once everyone was done I got the group to stand up, hold hands, and then make it’s way into the ocean for aqua yoga! What ensued was a fun yoga poses in the water, laughter, and picking each other out of the ocean to be tossed back in again. We gave the students some free time before meeting back at the studio later.
9:00 Back at the studio we commenced with some partner practice and basic acro yoga led by Tingting and I. We did some very relaxing back to back seated poses with breathing, twists, and forward folds. It felt great to be the acro base for some of our students and give them a little massage love. One student got over her fear and felt liberated while hanging on my feet allowing her spine to relax and elongate towards the ground. Acroyoga is a great practice I’m glad it’s part of what I can offer people.
The last day for the teacher’s we did a photo and video shoot at sunrise on the beach. Jon, the camera man Kosta hired, has done some amazing work for us already. He’s also a very friendly guy and I like hanging out with him. His history is rather inspiring too. He’s currently rehabilitating from an accident and only one month out of his wheel chair. Yoga has helped him immensely and he’s already climbing all over rocks and anything else to get the good angles for his shots. Here are some of my own behind the scenes shots by myself and my brother Michael.
Many of our students kept blogs about their experiences for the course and some will continue to use them for their own yoga careers I believe. Here are a few if you are interested in the Vikasa Yoga Teacher Training program and the student’s experiences.
Nicole fitness instructor
from North Carolina, USA
super star make-up artist
from Reno, Nevada
from Montreal, Quebec
from British Columbia
musician and DJ
I had decided sometime during the course that once everything was finished up it would be a great opportunity to do another fast. It’s been over a year since the last one where I tried the “Master Cleanse” drinking only a lemonade of water, lemons, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. This was pretty easy with the maple syrup. I felt pretty great the whole time, lots of energy. The lemon alkalize your body and the cayenne pepper has many benefits such as stimulating circulation and anti-inflammatory properties. This time I am doing a 7 day water fast. The tissue detoxification will be deeper. After approximately 24 hours of zero calories to ingest the body changes gears. It will begin purging toxins from the intestinal walls and other tissues. It also puts most of the glands into a state of rest. Most importantly, for yogis, fasting can elicit more subtle understanding of the mind as it becomes rather quiet, which can cultivate spiritual awareness. Finally, it gives one a much greater appreciation for food, healthy, delicious, fresh foooood.
What you eat before fasting is important, especially if you have never fasted or have lots of toxins. You should prepare up to a week in advance, or really all the time, with a mostly raw, and mostly vegetarian diet at the least. You should also consider supplements like spirulina, intenstinal cleansing herbs, and liquid minerals. My last day before starting I ate the following.
7:00 1 Wheat grass shot, then a slice of orange
8:00 20-ish mangosteens
13:00 more Durian than I’ve ever eaten…a lot, so much it made me feel high
13:30 – 16:30 random bananas think I had 4 in total?
20:00 1 salad loaded with celery, garlic, carrot, avocado,coco oil, lime, and apple cider vinegar
20:45 3 more huge sticks of celery
The first night I joined friends and students at a Japanese restaurant. It was amazing how sharp my sense of smell was. I could smell each individual item of food all together at the same time. I didn’t feel the least bit impulsed to eat however about 30 minutes into everyones meal, about 23 hours after my salad the night before..I started to get headache and nausea. I excused myself and went to lay down in another room of the restaurant which had some comfy cushions. The Yoga Vacation director, Vadim, gave me a lift back to my room after they finished dinner. Whenever I lay down I felt fine. I rode in the back of the pickup truck on the bench, clutching the side railing and looking up at the stars. When I got home I promptly fell asleep.
This morning I went for pranayama on the beach, as I do everyday I’ve been here, and had a great practice. Everything felt open and easy. My physical energy is very low however today. I don’t have the nausea of last night but my legs feel achy. My muscles just don’t want to do a thing, which is fine. People are being very nice to me. While on the cushion last night I talked with my girlfriend on the phone. She called this afternoon to check on me during her short break. Thank you Si! Other people have been giving me rides, and I also got a massage today from a co-worker. Thank you Alisa!
I’m practicing a shut down, to assimilate the experience of the last month, to rest my organs, cleanse my skin, go into some deep meditation, and come back with more life and motivation than ever to be a giving person and renowned and wise yoga teacher. Tonight I’ll teach my last class at Vikasa Yoga for the week and then move up into the mountains to basically be a recluse where Kosta will join me for the last three days of my fast. It will be comforting to have someone around.
I’ll be updating again near the end of the fast with how it’s going and to also breakdown how to come out of a fast, which is even more important than how you go in.
Peace and Good Food(or water)!
Our first Vikasa Yoga Teacher Training at Koh Samui, Thailand is already to it’s midpoint! We couldn’t be more pleased as everything came together with perfect timing for us to welcome 26 amazing people from all over the world as our students. Like the relaxing pace of the island life style, it’s going by smooth with teachers and students getting closer with one another. There is a great deal of respect between all of us. I’ve seen many nice relationships developing, and also amusing, or provocative interactions amongst us all. We have a crew of characters, comedians, and instigators that make things interesting. pushing the boundaries a little to help us all see more clearly what is important to each of us.
It also racing by. Two weeks already? Where did the time go? Maybe the techniques are working and just like a perfect stillness the concept of time seems vague. We are covering a lot of material however and having two practices a day. I lead morning practice and Kosta leads evening practice. In each class we give 10-15 minutes at the end for free style self practice. We also gave last Friday evening’s practice for total self practice. The teachers practiced with the students and as we did I certainly kept a pranic antennae out and felt pleased with the energy of the room. Everyone is getting more confident and better at focusing through it all. I think it is to our benefit to be able to practice regardless of the situations that arise around us. The yogi/yogini is forever peaceful within the heart of the soul.
For two weeks we’ve been working vigorously on practice, anatomy, and philosophy. Now the gear is starting to shift towards teaching as we go through our studio’s signature book of Asana and have students assisting each other during practices. Soon they will be leading portions of classes and I can’t wait to hear the “teacher’s” voices that will speak out clear and confident from the knowledge being ingrained in their bodies and minds. It might also help after we run through my manual on the principles of teaching and using the voice powers! 😀
Amongst our students we have a rather amazing photographer(actually many), R2. She is really documenting and producing an amazing album of group sessions and everyone’s Asana. I’ve been going to the beach at Chaweng noi every morning for sunrise and many of the students are keen on coming along. After my morning pranayama and swim I join in on the Asana playground we make for R2 to shoot and of course play along. Here’s some photos and you can check out more on fb.
Time for some rambutans and evening class soon!