Entries by brooke

Bringing Spirituality to Class

People find their way to Yoga through many avenues. Some through meditation. Some through breath work. Some through spiritual study. And many, like the student in this account, through a physical asana practice. The posts below describe an experiment to deepen a physical Yoga practice to include more of Pantajali’s eight limbs of Yoga.

Bringing Spirituality to Class: Background and Hypothesis

In the West, most people equate “doing yoga” with asana practice.  However, yoga as a system encompasses much beyond this.   As Patanjali outlines in the Yoga Sutras, the Ashtanga-based system of yoga is comprised of eight limbs, with asana being one.   When combined together, these eight limbs are primarily designed not to enhance physical strength, […]

Bringing Spirituality to Class: Methods

At the beginning of the experiment I brainstormed a list of different activities (see Table below) that I could try in order to enhance the spiritual connectedness I felt during a typical studio-based yoga class. My usual asana class schedule is three times a week (outside of Axis training times), split between Core Power Yoga […]

Bringing Spirituality to Class: Results

The Table below lists the different activities that were tried during the experiment period and their results.  NE = not effective, SE = somewhat effective, VE = very effective.   Table.  Spiritual Activities Tried During the Experiment, and Their Impact Activity Where   Tried Results Bringing   “prayer hands” to third eye instead of heart […]

Bringing Spirituality to Class: Discussion

Overall I found this to be a very useful experiment as I was able to identify some simple maneuvers that I can take with me into any studio-based class to enhance my spiritual experience.  This experiment also prompted me to think in depth about how I might, as a yoga teacher, incorporate some spiritual practices […]

Pancha Karma Experience

Axis Yoga Teacher Training students have the opportunity to apply their Ayurvedic lessons to their own lives. Many students, like this one, decide to complete the Pancha Karma cleanse to experience its effects on the body, mind and consciousness. While it is not a simple cleanse, students generally have a positive report on their overall […]

Pancha Karma Experience: Catalyst

My Ayurveda experiment was to go through a Pancha Karma.  I had decided that I needed to do some sort of cleanse to clear out the results of a stressful move and transition, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into with the Pancha Karma.  A very difficult cleanse for me, I […]

Pancha Karma Experience: Challenges

The Pancha Karma is a very regimented cleanse.  The first several days were spent eating to my dosha, which in my case meant eating a pitta pacifying diet.  Just coming off the heat of the summer, I felt like this was probably a good thing to tone down a bit.  Along with this, the following […]

Pancha Karma Experience: Adherence

How strict was I in this cleanse?  I always followed the restriction rules and avoided anything processed, and I had a vegan diet free of coffee and sugar.  There were a few meals that I branched out and had just vegetables or quinoa and vegetables, as there were a number of times I didn’t have […]

Pancha Karma Experience: Reflections

Looking back on this experiment, I’m not sure that I would do it again though I’m glad that I went through it.  I noticed a lot of things while going through this process.  I felt like the ghee really got gunked up in my arteries.  I noticed that when I flossed and some blood came […]