My Approach to Yoga

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yoga = moving meditation, breathing, science, engagement, action, being alive

side effects = increases in strength, flexibility, tone, stability, balance, emotional calm, body + emotional + mind awareness, focus, clarity, breathing capacity, synchronicity in neural patterns; lowers levels of stress + anxiety + depression; soothes PMS issues; heals body injuries (especially the spine); can also induce many moments that run along the lines of “Whoa, I have fingers?” “I can pretend to have eyes on the back of my head?”

NOTE: I am not a certified medical practitioner. I definitely cannot diagnose or claim that yoga will “fix” an injury. 

As humans, we communicate through metaphors and symbols. The body is a metaphor for the mind. The body also speaks to the mind. However, the body no habla ingles, or any spoken language for that matter. It’s somatic/symbolic.

I remember the first thing I said to someone when I found out about a teacher training opportunity and they said it would be perfect for me.

“I don’t think I’m good enough at yoga to be a teacher, even though I’m dying to teach.” Images of people demonstrating advanced forearm balances and beautiful splits flashed through my mind’s eye.

A couple weeks later, my neuro researcher said some wise words to me: “You just need to be willing to teach. That’s all they’re looking for.”

It wasn’t until Day 3 of my teacher training when it finally hit me.

I can share yoga whenever I want to.

I was very, very happy. It finally truly sunk in that yoga isn’t something anyone is ever good at. You can be more dedicated to your practice; you can be more real in your approach to yoga and yourself; you can be more aware of your body, mind, and the world. My own personal practice and mind-chatter (“citta vrtti”) became a lot more compassionate. When I do forward folds now, I have my knees bent 60% of the time. If my lower back isn’t cooperating, I stop doing the pose and gently retreat to child’s pose. No big deal. And I can still teach.

Yoga is really just learning to listen.

It’s to be conscious of the internal and external outside of class.

It’s to be aware, to respect, to love, to accept, to surrender, to extend, to make some freaking awesome vegan sushi rolls filled with quinoa and garbanzo bean cookie dough. I could go on forever.

My vision with yoga is to extend the basic practice to those who normally would never have the opportunity to do so. The physical, emotional, and mental benefits are enormous. The best way I’ve heard it put is that “It’s the most accessible, cheapest version of physical, mental, and ‘spiritual’ healthcare. You teach people to take care of themselves.”

Science is very, very important to me. (well hey, I’m majoring in neuroscience. Totally guilty of being a neuro nerd) And I’m into all – Western, Eastern, modern, traditional. There’s a reason why the medical world in the West has flourished, but also why these practices were established in the East for so long. I strongly believe in integration, yet also see physical therapy and our current understanding of the spine and other parts of the body crucial for developing a safe practice.

And the esoteric, energetic “shtufuff”? (by that I mean bioenergetics, chakras, subtle body, auras, different dimensions, etc.)

Yes, I do dig that stuff. I won’t lecture about it forever, but I will definitely throw it in there and you can take it or leave it. It’s just for fun. For me, I have come to appreciate the energetic ideas through my own experiences, organization, and being a neuroscience major (i.e. nerve ganglion bundles + gland connections at each chakra location), and to pretend that I don’t acknowledge these ideas would equal me not being true to myself.

I love providing all sorts of classes and am available for private instruction too. Let me know by email at kshimrob@gmail.com if you have any requests/questions (even just a question about yoga is totally legit!)

On Day One of my yoga teacher training we were asked to write our vision with being a yoga teacher. Ultimately, it came down to this:

I want people to do what they love and are passionate about. By connecting fully with the body, the emotions, the breathing, the mind, I hope students will learn more about themselves and have insights on what they really want out of life by escaping the imaginary limitations society, family, even themselves have set.

Just learning to be authentic with yourself? Casual.

I thank everyone I have met in my life and you, too. 谢谢

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