Tokyo in June!

Lydia here to let you know about some upcoming travel we’re really excited about. We’re returning to Asia this June and hoping to meet a bunch of you this time! Leslie loves to meet his online students in person and overseas travel is a great opportunity for that.

He regularly gets asked questions about the 2013 visit, so we put together a little interview about his adventures and some fave articles and videos of his. We hope you’ll share them with anyone you know who might be able to join us in Tokyo this June.  We’re really grateful for your support and hope to see you soon.

japan-snaps

During your 2013 visit to Asia:

  1. Did you have a favorite experience?
    We fell in love with Hakone while staying at the Tenseien ryokan. We’ll be returning there between the Hong Kong Asia Yoga Conference and my workshop in Tokyo.
  2. How about favorite food?
    The absolutely freshest sushi of my life at Tsukiji fish market early one morning.
  3. Did you experience any notable cultural differences?
    Yes! the absolute horror exrpressed whenever we tried to tip anybody. To us it demonstrated that good service is considered obligatory, not something surprising or deserving of reward. Definitely different from the United States.
  4. Anything else to share?
    You can take a look at this set of photos on Flickr. It gives a pretty good sense of some of the things we saw, found beautiful, different from home and memorable.

Some of our favorite You Tube videos:

How to help spread the word!

  • Post on your blog or Facebook (you’re welcome to use the interview questions and image above)
  • Tell a friend – here’s a link to a poster you can share
  • Join us – here’s the link to register
  • Bring some friends – contact us if you’re interested in coming with a group.

You were here*

I’m often asked whether my workshops or trainings qualify for continuing education credit with Yoga Alliance, International Association of Yoga Therapists or other registries and/or accrediting bodies. I always tell event attendees that they can put whatever they like in front of me and I’ll happily sign it, notwithstanding the fact that my less-than-favorable views on certification and licensing are well-documented.

To simplify this process in the future, I’ve decided to provide free to the public as a downloadable PDF an official-looking certificate of attendance. Please feel free to print one and bring it with you to your next event with me, and I’ll autograph it.

Please note the fine print referenced by the prominent asterisk:

“This certifies that the person named above showed up for [some/most/all] of the indicated session and appeared to be awake, though there’s no way for me to know whether they were listening or whether they [absorbed/understood] what I said – let alone how effectively they will choose to communicate it. Additionally, there is no way for me determine the teaching ability or qualities of the person named above, regardless of how much I may have [liked/tolerated] [him/her].

The recipient of this document bears full responsibility for demonstrating to the public the quality and efficacy of their skills, and communicating honestly the true extent of their training.”Sample of Leslie's version of a certificate of attendance.

I love Austin. Y’all.

Leslie loves teaching Yoga Yoga students!

This is the fourth year I’ve taught for Yoga Yoga in Austin as part of the great teacher training program run by Lori Johnson. She and director of special events, Laura Forsyth, have made sure I’ve been getting socialized around town each year and now I realize I just love this place. It helps that it’s 70 degrees when it’s below freezing in NYC, and it helps that there is great barbeque all over town, every meal has been delicious and reasonably priced and tequila is a beverage of choice.

I also love the studio. Yoga Yoga has a bunch of locations and I get to teach in this big, beautiful room at their Westgate venue (high ceilings mean I can throw my teaching toys all the way to the back of the room) and light from two walls of windows reminds me of my home studio, The Breathing Project. The room is full of experienced teachers and those in training asking pointed questions.

Teaching teachers is so satisfying. Here’s a taste of what we’re covering today: Bandhas and ujjayi is over-taught. From the first moment you ask someone to coordinate their breath with a long, slow movement, they’ve already started to use ujjayi. Bandha is just not that complicated.

Next…

I hope to meet more of you on the road. Next up, Sadie Nardini and me at Maya Tulum.

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Tom Myers, Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews teach NYC Symposium, Nov. 22-23

Spacious Feet is sold out

Tom Myers’ Anatomy Trains®,
Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy &
Amy Matthews’ Embodied Asana present

Spacious Feet:

The FOUNDATIONS of UNDER-STANDING
A weekend symposium in New York City
Sat-Sun, November 22-23, 2014, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Helen Mills Event Space, 137-139 West 26th Street NYC
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Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from anatomy and movement pioneers Tom Myers, Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews co-presenting a transformative weekend symposium.

Using lavishly illustrated lectures and movement explorations, this workshop is for anyone with feet, especially movement teachers and manual therapists of all kinds.

28 bones wrapped in a fascial bag, our uniquely human foot is a marvel of engineering – and it needs to be: such a tiny base of support under a tall and gangly skeleton with a high center of gravity.

Tiny changes in the position of our foot bones can make huge differences in functional ability and pain.  Learn to see proper positioning and response to guide your clients or students into dynamic, responsive feet that hold the body up easily and tread lightly on the planet.

WORKSHOP TOPICS INCLUDE:
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  • The essential arches of our feet
  • The ankle joints and body balance
  • The improbable heel and support for the back body
  • Slings and arch support: the calf muscles to the rescue
  • Responsive walking and the myofascial meridians — how we handle forces as we walk
  • Maintaining a pliable foot in an urban environment
Pricing:

$550 SOLD OUT!

Questions? Contact Leah for more information

Now available: an alternate time for my live online chats

I am thrilled to offer a second opportunity for online students to participate in my biweekly live online chats. I now offer a Tuesday 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) chat, in addition to the 7:00 p.m. ET chat that’s been going on for years.

Here’s a little taste of this afternoon’s exchange:

Student A: I have a question about the Foundation class (editors’s note: “Foundations and Origins” is the first Practices class). When you asked us to place the attention on the chest in the inhale and on the belly on the exhale, my breath turned automatically to ujayyi. Is that what you wanted us to do? I don’t think I have a “ujayyi-always pattern” but with this exercise even if I tried to come to a neutral breathing it will go again to ujayyi.

Student B: Anytime I slow my breath it seems to be ujayyi!

Leslie: Ujayyi is really helpful when it’s needed to slow down and stabilize the breath.…It’s also something that many people tend to over-do, even when it’s not needed.…We like to be in control, and we use the breathing to accomplish that.
When we get away from the idea that there’s a “right” way to do these practices, and simply use them as a way to experiment, it really frees us up.
If you simply ask a student to slow down their breathing so that it matches a slow movement of the body, they will discover ujayyi naturally.

Student C: Why is it that we can breathe longer when we go from top to bottom?

Leslie: To make the belly move first, you need to restrain the ribcage, which means you have to figure out how to release it for the rest of the bottom-to-top breath.
When you start at the top, you are only releasing the ribcage – not restraining, and then releasing.…

I usually don’t teach ujayyi. I let people find it on their own, then get them to notice what they are doing.

If you’re already an online student, please join us for the next live chat, Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. ET. If you’re not and would like to join us, you can sign up at YogaAnatomy.net.

Fall tour recap, part 4: Vancouver, BC

Leslie in the fogFoggy. That’s what it was for most of the five days of my stay in Vancouver! Fortunately the students at Y Yoga were far from it and the week-long training was challenging and engaging in equal parts.

And the FOOD! We have never had such impeccable meals, not a dud among them. Still craving a repeat of the sushi at Samurai and cocktails at Lolita.

Students learning hands-on techniques
Teachers working with each other, to practice techniques for better grounding.

HEY! my Tulum retreat early registration deadline has been extended

Early registration extended! Register by Dec. 7 for $200 off.

April 5-12, 2014 I’ll be teaching along with Sadie Nardini during a weeklong all-inclusive (lodging, meals, yoga and staff tips) retreat at the beautiful Maya Tulum.

Join us for daily yoga, world class spa treatments, excursions (explore the Mayan Ruins, the Bio Reserve or snorkel in the cenotes) and Temezcal (traditional Mayan Sweat Lodge).

The early registration deadline has been extended (it had been December 1 but because it fell on a holiday weekend, we’re honoring the early registration prices for another week) so get in by December 7th and you’ll still get $200 off.

Fall tour recap, part 3: North Carolina

I can now say with assurance North Carolina and I are a great fit! For my fourth visit I taught a 25 hour teacher training at my friend Stephanie Keach’s Asheville’s Yoga Center. For my new friend, Hollace Stephenson, we sold out a Monday afternoon/evening in Charlotte hosted by her Yoga Shala. Aside from excellent barbeque in both cities, it was a beautiful time of year to be in that part of the country.

There was plenty of hands-on training and fascinating exchanges with experienced teachers. We’re already discussing plans for a return visit to both studios, and I’m looking forward to returning next year!

Leslie working on a student's breathing
Members of Charlotte’s Yoga teaching community observing Leslie’s vocalization technique while assisting one of their own shift her breathing pattern.
Students observing Leslie with a skeleton's spine
Leslie leading Asheville students in an exploration of sthira and sukha in their spines.

Fall tour recap, part 2: why I love interaction with students

I traveled a lot this fall: Utah; South Dakota; Boston; Asheville and Charlotte, NC; Vancouver, BC, Toronto, ONT; as well as teaching some local workshops. It’s been great, but I can’t say I’m sorry for a little downtime.

Boston's Back Bay Yoga teacher trainees
Boston’s Back Bay Yoga teacher trainees, October 2013

Right now I’m in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving holiday celebrations and recalling the great group I worked with during a 25 hour teacher training at Back Bay Yoga in Boston.

At this workshop someone asked me how long I thought Yoga has been in the world – which gave me the opportunity to consolidate some thoughts I’ve had about Yoga and its place in human society. I don’t think anyone could know exactly when Yoga started, but I am pretty sure when it couldn’t have been happening: before our forebears had the use of fire, around 400,000 years ago.

Yogic pursuits probably started with people sitting around a fire. Which meant they weren’t spending all their waking hours and energy chasing food, or being chased as food. Fire permitted our ancestors to fend off predators and put down roots. It helped allowed us to have homes, as opposed to being hunter-gatherers.

Considering the enormous power that fire imparted to mankind, it’s understandable that it was worshiped as a divine force – both externally and internally. It’s no coincidence that the Rg Veda begins with an invocation to Agni.

This is why I love the interaction with students in workshops – you never know what someone will ask, and I never know how I’ll answer until the moment arises.

Fall tour recap, part 1: Toronto, ON

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I just finished a weekend workshop at the Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto, sponsored by new friends, Ashley and Bryon, who run Body Evolutions

One of the highlights was the opportunity to work with a young woman with a 75° thoracic c-curve scoliosis stabilized by Harrington rod surgery. We played with combining warrior stance with asymmetrical arm movements to identify the most unstable combination. By  varying the vector of her arm movements, she was able to activate long dormant muscles, helping to relieve some chronic pain under her right scapula.

It was very rewarding to help her discover how much rib cage movement she still had and experience freer breathing as a result. Lydia was able to snap some photos documenting her curve flattening out during this exploration.

All in all it was a fabulous weekend with a roomful of experienced teachers and studio owners. I look forward to returning to Toronto soon.

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More photos available on Flickr (photo credit: Lydia Mann) .