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Inspiration for Yogacara Teachers: Q & A

Inspiration for Yogacara Teachers: Q & A

“What is your practice like?” “What got you into yoga?” “Do you practice the same thing everyday?” These are just a few of the questions yoga teachers are asked by their students. To offer you some insight into the everyday life, practice, and routines of your favourite yogis we’ve asked a few of our Yogacara teachers to share their inspiration for 2019.   Emily Kane What does your yoga practice consist of? (i.e. what style, influence, or essential parts of your practice) My practice changes everyday. It depends on what is going on in my life which determines what I need more focus on. Some days it’s a lot of movement and breathwork (like vinyasa or kundalini) while other times being still and going inwards with a yin or restorative practice is what nourishes me. I also regularly integrate mantra and meditation. When I’m travelling I like to meditate on planes, trains, or buses–I even do a short hatha sequence at the back of the plane when I’m flying! Lately I’ve been practicing more vinyasa with one exception: when I’ve had a long day of snowboarding I like to do a yin/restorative practice afterwards. Contemplating the philosophical values of yoga–on and off of my mat–is also a big part of my practice.   What podcasts/videos/speakers etc. do you love and why? I just finished watching “Heal” on Netflix which I absolutely loved for many different reasons. It’s a documentary discussing the mechanisms of healing including the mental and spiritual elements contributing to health. It featured cameos from a few of my favourite speakers/authors including Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra...
7 Signs You’re a Yogacara Yogi

7 Signs You’re a Yogacara Yogi

If you’ve practiced at Yogacara Whistler before, you know we like to do things a bit differently. It’s the little things that make your practice so special. So how is being a Yogacara yogi any different? We’ve come up with best list of “You know you’re a Yogacara Yogi when” moments we think you’ll appreciate. 1.) You love small class sizes and a “no late” policy Sure, every once in a while there’s a full class but you appreciate knowing that there will never be more than 14 other students. You enjoy having your own space, connecting with your teacher, and being part of a small community. You love knowing you’re more than just a number and feel that intention right when you walk in. Speaking of walking in, you know that an uninterrupted practice feels fantastic which is why you appreciate the “no late” policy. You also realize the importance of boundaries and commitment so you understand its value. And those times you’ve showed up late, you’ve accepted that it was meant to be — practicing yoga has helped you take these moments with grace. 2.) You’ve experienced 150% Andrea, Emily’s adjustments, Kristen’s kindness, and Maeve’s contagious smile. You know that having a great teacher is important so you’re grateful for the unique style each brings to practice everyday. Luckily, there are a few common threads; a passion for yoga and the ambition to help others. As a yogi, having a compassionate and understanding teacher feels awesome which is why you adore Yogacara staff. 3.) As much as you appreciate a strong vinyasa, or hatha practice, you also enjoy yin...
The Magic of Hip Openers

The Magic of Hip Openers

You may have heard the term “hip openers” in a yoga class, but what does this really mean? The idea of practicing hip openers can actually mean a lot of different things in a lot of different places. The literal hip joint is located where the femur meets the hip socket, or acetabulum, in the pelvis so naturally many of the hip openers refer to the areas near or around this joint. First we’ll breakdown where this is actually happening and what shapes to focus on so hip openers can benefit your practice. 1.) The Psoas The psoas is a deep muscles within the hip that tends to hold chronic tightness. This is often the case if you sit in a desk for most of your day but it can also become short and tight with repetitive movements like sit-ups or bicycling. A tight psoas can create an anterior (forward) tilt of the pelvis which results in a postural imbalance that will likely cause pain and limit mobility. Poses to try: Low lunge pose (Anjaneyasana) 2.) The Adductors Hip openers would not be complete without the adductors. This group of muscles acts to draw the femur (leg bone) closer to the midline. These can easily be activated if you were to actively squeeze your legs together. Stretching the adductors regularly, especially for active people, may help prevent groin strain and injury. Poses to try: Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana) Seated wide legged forward fold (Upavistha Konasana) 3.) The TFL/IT Band The TFL, or tensor fascae latae, is known as a hip abductor muscle (the opposite action of the adductors) and it...
Yin Yoga 101

Yin Yoga 101

Yin Yoga 101: learn the basics about this beautiful practice from Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training   Yin Yoga has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga. Most practices of yoga are utilized to work the muscular portion of our body (Yang), where as Yin yoga lets us dive deeper into the yin tissues of our bodies, ligaments, bones and joints. Yin yoga can have the same objectives as another school of yoga and some students can find this style of class boring and passive but quickly discover that this can be the most challenging style of practice due to the long duration of poses. With less postures in Yin Yoga and postures that are more passive, on the floor, it is different in that you are “relaxed” into the posture, allowing your muscles to soften, allowing you to delve deeper into your body. Postures are held significantly longer than in a Yang style class and can range from 3-10 minutes or even longer, and becomes more of a meditation. As we age flexibility in our joints decreases and Yin yoga allows us to maintain our flexibility, but requires that the student get to know their whole body, the physical, emotional and all the sensations that come with it. Benefits of Yin Yoga: Regulates energy in the body Increases mobility & flexibility in the body, especially the joints and hips Stress & Anxiety Management Deeper Relaxation Better ability to sit for meditation To read more, visit the original article...
Anatomy in Yoga

Anatomy in Yoga

An excerpt from the Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training Manual by Emily Kane – studio owner and staff member   An understanding of anatomy is key for the safety and development of your students. Integrating this knowledge can encourage injury prevention and facilitate the healing process. It can connect a deeper understanding of the philosophies in creating yoga sequences for public and private classes. For private classes, if there is a specific area of focus, then you can design a practice that addresses those concerns.  An anatomical awareness also prepares you to take on students with injuries in a safe and effective manner. Using variations, props, and mindful sequencing to compliment this information can create an inclusive yoga class. An understanding of anatomy also gives you the tools to analyze your practice and teachings to create effective movement patterns. This encourages proper sequencing techniques that include adequate warm-ups and poses with appropriate counterposes. It also reinforces the importance of alignment for the purpose of safety for our joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments rather than for an esthetic appeal. The patterns we create on our mat have the ability to affect how we progress outside of yoga, meaning that our muscle memory creates healthy habits to impact other activities in our daily lives. The evolution of yoga suggests that one day it can be utilized for rehabilitation in a clinical setting – perhaps a connection can be made between medical providers and the application of yoga as therapy. This is one of the many reasons anatomy should be part of the curriculum in any yoga teacher training. In teaching yoga, it...
The Journey of Yoga Teacher Training

The Journey of Yoga Teacher Training

Written by Emily Kane – owner of Yogacara Whistler and staff member of the Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training program   I used to think Yoga Teacher Training was out of my grasp. Seeing the respect that yoga teachers had for leading classes with confidence, awareness and grace is what drew me towards yoga teacher training, but life seemed to get in the way. Becoming a yoga teacher was always put on the back burner. When I finally took the leap, it was like I found the place I was always meant to be. I was making a commitment to myself – the start of a lifelong journey. Even if I had decided not to teach public classes, it would still be one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made. So why did it take me so long? There are some common misconceptions about yoga teacher training that could hold someone back from doing what they love. Here’s why anytime’s a great time to start your next journey.   1.) You think you’re not good enough I started practicing yoga just before I turned 15 years old, but it took me years to complete my yoga teacher training. Why? I didn’t think I was good enough. I couldn’t really do anything “crazy,” my warrior II felt like it needed some work, and from time-to-time, I fell out of balancing poses. If you think you need to do EVERY pose, think again. Yoga’s much more than asana (or poses) and just like the lessons we’re taught in class, we’re encouraged to work wherever we’re at in that moment. Honoring your body and...
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