Monday, November 21, 2005

Bridging the Gap

This weekend we had the honor of giving a one hour presentation at Yokohama International School's yearly education conference, Bridging the Gap. The idea of this program is to bring fresh ideas and creative thinking into the school environment. 30 teachers, parents, and community members attended our event, which was held in the school's spacious dance studio.

Our discussion was based around the idea that as humans we have a tendency (especially in the modern world) to separate our minds from our bodies, and in that duality, something important is lost. The brain is just another component of the total system, it is effected by the body just as the body is controlled by the brain. So, for example, studies have shown that if you smile (even without any real emotion behind it, a fake smile) the smiling muscles send messages to the brain that trigger a happiness response, and you cheer up a bit. There is a constant flow of communication between the brain and the body, which, if managed correctly, can lead to a better standard of life.

After a short discussion we moved to the experiential part of the session. We took the 5 main parts of the Sun Salutation and broke them down, explaining scientifically what is happening to the brain and body during each segment. Then we brought them all together for two complete Salutations. As usual, people were surprised by the amount of sweat and energy it takes to do yoga. Following that, we did a standing pose (triangle) a balance pose (tree) and a "power" pose (chair). Everyone really seemed to enjoy this small sample of yoga!

The final portion of our event dealt with meditation. Exercise and yoga are great a reducing stress levels, but meditation has the quality of eliminating the causes of stress before they enter the mind-body system. The idea is that yoga (or your favorite form of exercise) coupled with meditation can really increase your standard of contentment.

We were having so much fun during this event, no one thought to take a picture! If anyone has a photo of this, please forward it to me and I'll post it here!

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to YIS for inviting us to speak. We really enjoyed it.

Yoga Garden

Monday, November 14, 2005

Vision Map Workshop

Last weekend, the studio became a huge workspace for 10 participants of our first Vision Map Workshop.

If you haven't heard of Vision Mapping, the idea is simple. You go through a stack of magazines and cut out any pictures or words that appeal to you, without overanalyzing why you have chosen the things you did. The next step is to use those pictures to make a "map" of your future, or to answer a specific question. So, you could make a map thinking about "Where do I want to be in 2 years?", or "how can I make my job more rewarding?"

The most interesting part of Vision Mapping is that once you have committed your ideas to paper they have a knack of coming to fruition. Perhaps it's magic, or perhaps you subconsciously make these things happen after visualizing them.

Everyone had a great time, and the maps were both beautiful and intriguing. I'll keep you updated on whether our visions come to be! Thanks to our vision map coach, Kim Brasington, for an insightful and inspiring workshop.


Yoga Garden

Monday, November 07, 2005

Circuit Training, Step Aerobics & Yoga

This week the YC&AC held it's Sports Fair. I was asked to give a short yoga lesson at the conclusion of the 90-minute cardio workout (circuit training & step aerobics). If you're interested in going to the next fair, please contact Justin Tenbeth at the YC&AC. The next one's in January and promises to be as much fun as the last.


Yoga Garden