Blissology Yoga: 6 Essential Steps for amazing adjustments

By Katarina Tavcar

How to give amazing adjustments. The six essential steps

There are few things in life as blissful as a well executed yoga adjustment. Yet when it goes wrong, it is very, very bad.  We are offering a mind-blowing module in Santa Cruz this August called Advanced Alignment and Adjustments.

Just in case you can’t make it and in my interest of bringing more love and connection out into the world, here is our six steps to adjustments in our Blissology Yoga School.  Remember, not everyone wants to be touched and you can always cue people with your words. As you will see in the article, if you can’t get passed Phase three, don’t worry.

I hope to see you on the mat soon.

Share your light!

The Six Steps:

Step 1: Intention
Step 2: Assessment Phase
Step 3: Attunement Phase
Step 4:Integration Phase
Step 5: Bracing Phase
Step 6: Adjustment Phase

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Step 1: Intention: What is your intention for adjusting? Be clear.

It is important to start the process of adjusting at the foundational level: our intention. Most times, before we adjust someone, our intentions are unconscious. We go straight into the how the adjustment should be done and the question of why we are adjusting someone happens in the background of our minds. Even though I believe we need more touch in the world, I believe it needs to come from our highest consciousness.

I have trained myself to take a few extra seconds in my internal dialogue to clarify what my intention is before I think about putting my hands on someone. I know my intention will come through in my touch. Often it is the same simple Mantra I repeat to myself: “I want this person to feel total joy!”

It is essential to have an honest conversation in my mind. If it is not my “highest vibrational self” coming through, I have to catch those non-beneficial seeds. For example, if I ever think to myself, “I have to show this person how much I know,” or proclaiming judgmentally to myself, “God, what is this person doing? Don’t they know anything?” I know I am not coming from the right frame of mind as these are low vibrational qualities. These are about me wanting to be liked and needing to prove my worth. If these stories are operating somewhere in the background, the first adjustment I need to give is my own state of mind and not to another person.

I need to make sure that the place I am coming from is one of sharing the miracle of health and the gift of life with another. I need to feel in my body, mind and heart that I truly have nothing to prove and everything to share.

Step 2: Assessment Phase

Start your assessment process with the Pranayama Kosha—the breath. Is the breath relaxed and full or is it short, choppy, strained or being held? Are they embodying peace and listening to bodily feedback.

ManaMaya Kosha—the Mind: The mindset and the breath are ultimately intimately connected. Is the mindset one of dominating the body? Is there a sense of willfully trying to submit the body even if it means sacrificing the breath? Is the shape the body is taking more important than the feeling of peace and connection?

If the answer is yes, then we need to find strategies to soften and encourage the student to back up to a point where they can enjoy their breath. Often they will need a touch that soothes the side of them that is driven and turns their awareness to the internal experience.

On the level of the Anamaya Kosha—the muscles and bones—we need to scan for joints at risk. This is the biggie. But in general, watch for 1) Sharp angles or joint 2) stress that is concentrated on one joint vs dispersed over several. Know the 12 indispensible joint issues section of the Blissology manual cold. If there is a joint at risk, don’t move to the next phase of the adjustment process, back them out of the pose and start again.

Next, have an eye for whether the student has “yin” (loose) or “yang” (tight) tissues. Are they stable or instable? What is stuck and immobile and what is too loose? Have they lost their lines of DUO*? Their arches?

Yoga student offering an energetic touch adjustment in downward do at the Blissology Yoga Teacher training in Bali Step 3: Attunement Phase

Attunement is huge—it means that there is a harmony between your actions and the recipient. It means the doorway of trust and connection are open; you are both “in sync.” You are a “horse-whisperer.” Your energy matters.

Awareness of Energy and Feelings will come over time but the easiest place to start when you are in the attunement phase is by observing the breath of the recipient. When you touch them, do they clam up, tighten and lose the natural rhythm of their breath?

Don’t forget to check in with your own breath. Is it still deep and relaxed? Stay in your body as well and generate a vibration of kindness and confidence.

Find a soft touch on your partner and don’t adjust too quickly. Are you being “let in” or “shut out?” If you are not being let in, do not adjust your partner.

You need to know that you may not make it past this attunement phase. If you are not energetically in sync, do not proceed to the next steps.

You may not have to walk away, either. There is a little more exploration that needs to happen here.

Explorations:

1) Injury: Is there an injury? This is my go to for noticing why someone may be guarded and not willing to receive an adjustment. When I notice the breath is being held and the body tightening, I simply whisper to my partner, “are you injured?” or, “is this ok?”

2) Ego: Sometimes people are in their egos or from a different school of yoga and they feel that you are not qualified to adjust them. In this case, my response is to observe something in the pose that they are doing well and offer it up to the student. The words, “Nice Pose,” can go a long way to break down a barrier and they will be more likely to receive what you are offering.

Especially in the case of our Blissology Alignment system where the principles and methodology are new to many yogis, you will need a strategy to help them work with you. The compliment and redirect strategy can work well here. I often say “Nice Pose” and then complete the sentence with “… but let’s try it this way today.”

3) Trauma: A person may want you in their space: If you just aren’t welcome because a person is not ready to receive touch, that is okay.

If you can not attune with your partner for any of these reasons, as mentioned, do not proceed. But also, do not fret and don’t simply walk away and unplug.

In our course, one thing that will become clear to you is that we all have energy fields that come into contact. And these fields communicate. I believe that 95 percent of teaching yoga is not the adjustment anyway. In a subtle but deep way, offer them the gift of your presence and an energetic blessing before moving on.

If you have attuned with someone, which will be the case the majority of times, then move on to steps 4 and 5.

Step 4: Integration Phase

This concept is easiest understood with a little background in Blissology Alignment principles. To make a long story short, we want to balance out the Yin (down and out force in relation to gravity) and the Yang (in and up force in relation to gravity) force to find a pose that is both stable and integrated yet light and effortless. To do this, we rely on the foundation of the arches and the lines of DUO through the body. A line of DUO is a line of tension that works with other lines to provide support and effortless ease in a pose the way tent pegs hold up a tent.

Integration means the body is functioning as one complete unit. The soft tissues connect the body parts to work synergistically to resist a load placed on the body. When a student is not integrated, the soft tissues do not connect the body parts efficiently and any load placed on the body will create excessive compressive stress on the joints and tissues of the body.

It’s really not as complicated as it sounds. Here is the simple version: In the children’s song, “Dem Dry Bones,” the words are:

“The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone”

Let’s say you are sitting on the floor and your neck muscles are limp, not connecting or integrating the head bone to the neck bone to the hip bone. When I press on your head, instead of resistance the head simply flops to the side. If I keep pressing I will have a high risk of hurting your neck. The head does not offer a counterforce into the pressure of my hand as I press but instead moves to the side. This is a non-integrated line from the head to sit bones.

By contrast, if I press on the crown of your head and you utilize muscles like the neck muscles, the abdominals, the diaphragm to integrate the head, neck and spine so it stays elongated as I press into the crown of the head, I know you are integrated.

Step 5: Bracing Phase

Bracing refers to stability. When you give an adjustment to a person, pressure is applied to the body and if someone is not braced, they will be knocked over, especially in poses that require resisting gravity. Therefore when we select the point that we should brace our students from, we need to find the point the will stabilize them against both gravity and our applied force.

warrior2_blissology_yoga_adjustmentThere is another aspect to bracing. It helps to accentuate the adjustment by stabilizing the joint where the stretch occurs, which allows us to move the bone that creates the stretch.

To understand the principle behind how to choose what joint to stabilize or brace, we need to get clear on what muscle we are stretching. For example, in Warrior 2, we are trying to stretch the adductors (figure 1) of the front leg (figure 2). One end of the muscles attach on the pelvis and the other attaches on the thighbone. We know this muscle crosses the front hip joint, therefore the joint where need to brace is the hip joint of the leg that is bent.

There is a sophisticated movement of the braced joint for each of our six families of yoga poses that we will unpack more during our course. I can’t wait to share more.

Step 6: Adjustment Phase

Once a student is integrated and you have found your bracing points and feel attuned with your student we are ready for the grand finale—the adjustment.

The key is to fix one point of the stretch which anatomically is called the origin and move the insertion. In simple English that means that one bone at one end of the muscle we are stretching remains fixed or “braced,” while the bone that attaches to the other end moves.

Back to our Warrior two example: The primary objective is the stretch the adductor muscles. One end of this muscle starts at the pelvis (ischiopubic ramus) and the other end is on the femur bone (linea aspera). The stretch will come from the “tug of war” between these two points, let’s call them teadvanced alignment and adjustments - blissology yoga shcoolam pelvis (figure 2) and team femur (figure 3). A good adjustment will be one that braces the hip joint and moves the femur (hip abduction) to isolate the stretch.

It is important to be receptive, attuned and confident being aware of the sensations of the student.

There are more subtleties and incredible techniques I want to share.  I am so jazzed on them.  Hopefully we get to work together soon. 
Love and Aloha

 

Posted On: July 21, 2017 | No Comments »

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Community Classes in Canggu, Bali – April/May 2017

By Katarina Tavcar

Public classes Bali, WP

Join Eoin and our Yoga Teacher Training students for our community yoga classes!

When? Every Tuesday and Thursday during our 200-hour YTT from 8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

April: Thursday April 13th, Tuesday April 18th, Thursday April 20th
May: Thursday May 4th, Tuesday May 9th, Thursday May 11th

Where? Samadi Too, Canggu, Bali

How much? 120,000 IDR, all proceedings go to LINI for their coral restoration program in Bali

Spaces are limited so be sure to arrive early to get your spot! See you on the mat!

~

Posted On: March 29, 2017 | 2 Comments »

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Teacher Feature: Luke Graeber.

By Katarina Tavcar

TeacherFeatureLukeGraeber

Fire only burns as bright as there are flames to continue keeping it alive. Our Blissology Yoga Teacher’s Collective is burning bright and we are so excited to share the first of our Bliss Blogs on some of the amazing spirits and shining lights who are continuing to speak, connect and inspire their Bliss.
Thank you Luke Graeber for sharing your light here.

Name: Luke Graeber

Luke-Graeber-1-webWhere in the world you can find me: Shanghai, China at Pure Yoga.

What originally drew me to yoga: I worked as an accountant at that time and Yoga was a way for me to get out of my head and more into my heart. I was instantly drawn to the physical practice and it is what I use still today to keep my body, mind are heart feeling alive.

Blissology to me is… a supportive community of people that not only share the benefits of Yoga with the world but protect the world they live in.

My life mission is… to inspire with my practice and empower with my teaching.

The most important thing yoga has taught me is… the only person that can transform you, is yourself.

When I’m not on the yoga mat, I’m… taking photos, drinking coffee, reading Iyengar books or playing Acro Yoga.

The cause/project I am most passionate about is… spreading the benefits of Yoga that has been passed to me through my teachers.

Luke-Graeber-4-web

I am learning to… take Yoga photos. I love capturing people in their full state of awareness.

What I want to teach others (through yoga) is to… live more in alignment with our true self. Many distractions pull us away from living from this place; Yoga is a way to not only fully understand our true self but to reconnect with our true self through practice.

Most inspiring yoga related experience: 2015 Vancouver Blissology Teacher Training, at that time I just left the corporate world and was looking for my calling. The training was inspiring on many levels but the most inspiring part for me was seeing how Eoin created an environment where people felt safe to deal with any issues they had.

Favorite yoga pose: Scorpion, I love inverted backbends because they show balance in a practice. The combination of strength, flexibility and balance.

Best way to fuel up after yoga: Meditate.

Yoga and music are… a way to realise our true self and also a way to express our true self.

I create community with Blissology by… creating a connection between people. Each class I do partner work to create this connection. Also share a little bit of my Blissology experience before I teach each class.

I am most grateful for… the chance to share the benefits that I have received through Yoga with others.

My advice for aspiring yoga teachers: Don’t wait, when you finish your training teach straight away. You will feel you will not be ready but that feeling gets stronger the longer you wait, go and share the love!!!

Luke-Graeber-5-web

~

Connect with Luke:

Instagram: @lukegraeber

Facebook: Luke Graeber

Posted On: March 2, 2017 | No Comments »

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Light soon, but first Tears.

By blissologist

I start my day at 6:40 AM. I’ve barely slept. It’s probably the most upsetting day of my life.  I remember being this upset when my dad died but this situation is different; people are supposed to die.  Trump was elected willingly.

My body feels heavy and my heart has sunk. I just can’t find the light easily. People keep telling me, “dude, you are all about love and people need your light more than ever.” This is true. The world is calling on all of us to step up our connection to light

Miami finding light Here in Miami I went to a great class with a member of our Blissology family. I felt stiff and it was hard to move, even though the class was awesome.

What I realized is that I just can’t rush back to “happy, happy” and “all is positive” thinking without going through my process.

Someone tells me after class that they were going to post: “good mourning” as their  Facebook status. But she didn’t because she didn’t feel like they should be in mourning as a light-worker.

“No,” I said, “ We have got to grieve. Painting on a happy face is not the solution.”

I told her about an expression my Body Mind Psychotherapy teacher has called “emotional constipation.” The last thing we need to do is to stuff our emotions down.  The analogy of trying to force a beach ball under the water is apt here.  This will only result in it popping up again with greater velocity. I can’t just flip a switch.  There is a lot to mourn at the moment.

What specifically? Well, I am currently in Florida (a state that Trump won by 1% of the vote) setting up next year’s EcoKarma event that will help transplant coral on the rapidly dying reefs here.

It feels so futile to do this work when we know that we have anything but a proactive climate-change supporter in the White House.

Long before Trump was ever President-elect, when he was a reality TV icon, I cited him as representing the opposite of the yogic values of love, kindness and compassion.

The purpose of yoga to me is best expressed in a quote attributed to Albert Einstein:

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and whole of nature in its beauty.”

This election is a movement away from a widening circle and back to the smaller circle… one that comes with a wall.

After class on my way home, my little son, Ananda grabs my hand and he walks me through the warm Florida morning sun to a bridge overlooking an inlet.

“Let’s find some fish, Dada!” He urges enthusiastically as he tugs on my hand towards the rocks under the bridge.

lion_by_miami_water_for_blogIt’s full of fish when we take the time to look.  There are mussels, parrotfish, urchins and he even points out a flounder fish to me that perfectly blends in to the rocks.

His joy is heartening.  We shift our focus to the plastic bags and beer cans under the bridge. We spend ten minutes collecting them and I vow to make cleaning the plastic up from Miami waterways part of next year’s EcoKarma event.

I walk back to our friend’s apartment holding his hand. I realize the value in the sphere of influence we do have; our friends and family.

I am giving a class called “Chakra and Cello Chill” tonight in Miami.  Even though my stores of positivity seem low, it’s ok. This is where I am at now.  I am not rushing my way out of it or pushing things away.

All I can do is share my healing process.  I am clear about the three things I need most right now.

One, is that I need to shed tears. This is essential to unblock the knots that I feel.  Tears are what I need. They just haven’t come out yet and I know I need this.

Secondly, we all need to create a space of retreat. To pull in.  We need to be ok in our small circle as the first step.  We need spaces to release.  We need to feel we are not alone and take solace in being parts of a tribe that understands us.

Lastly, we need to realize that being a light worker is ideally a feeling of lightness. Right now it’s a feeling of heavy. We need to trust in the heaviness and know that it is the journey down that brings us back up eventually. We will rebound

Good luck, Everyone. We will heal. Just don’t rush the process.

We will build a kinder world. Light soon, but first tears.

Posted On: November 9, 2016 | 8 Comments »

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Teacher Feature – Linda Cruse

By Michelle Naklowycz

LINDACRUSE

Fire only burns as bright as there are flames to continue keeping it alive. Our Blissology Yoga Teacher’s Collective is burning bright and we are so excited to share the first of our Bliss Blogs on some of the amazing spirits and shining lights who are continuing to speak, connect and inspire their Bliss. Thank you Linda Cruse for sharing your light here.

 

Name: Linda Cruse

Headshot

Where in the world can we find you? Hobart, Tasmania, Australia with a boot full of yoga mats I have been heading out to teach at community halls since my YTT in 2014, it has been a great way to grow as a teacher.  This Spring I will be starting practices at Fit Hot Yoga and Yoga North Hobart to join a collaboration of teachers for different backgrounds, with different styles. I feel very passionate about sharing the Blissology philosophy, what I have learnt from Eoin and my journey, in a space where I have the freedom to share in my own way.

 

What originally drew me to yoga? This Canadian guy….and Power Yoga for Happiness

Blissology to me is…Everything that keeps my energy centres balanced… Love, Yoga, Meditation, Nature, High Prana foods and my Blissology family

My life mission is…To share the gift of yoga

The most important thing yoga has taught me is…Yoga has taught me many things… the most important thing is love, being open to give, receive and the freedom to be 100% Linda without fear of judgement.

When I’m not on the yoga mat, I’m…In the water or my garden and thinking about where my practice will take me next, physically and spiritually

The cause / project I am most passionate about is…Changing someone’s life through yoga.  The transformation it brings has a ripple effect that I believe is changing the world.

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I am learning to….Accept, forgive, love and live in the present moment.

What I want to teach others (through yoga) is to…Be patient, accept who you are, your limitations, honor the feedback you receive from your body and love yourself, the rest will come.

Most inspiring yoga related experience? A student in my practice sharing that yoga has changed her life…

Favorite yoga pose? At the moment Upha Vishta Konasana.  Because it has been one of my best teachers, there have been times when I pushed to find the pose and I hurt myself. There is no rush, we should slow down and listen to our bodies when moving into a pose and be patient, everything comes in time.  When you let go of the fight and be in the pose regardless of the depth, it brings freedom and the acceptance that this is me and that’s ok.

Best way to fuel up after yoga? Can I say beer?? But seriously, just water and uncomplicated food, anything green.

Yoga and music are….An opportunity to let go, find freedom and yourself…

I create community with Blissology by….Sharing a practice that opens the door to yoga on and off your mat, encouraging a connection with nature, kindness to yourself and others and keeping things simple.

I am most grateful for…Every single breath and recognising how important it is to stay open to love and spiritual growth.

What advice do you have for aspiring yoga teachers? Be you! Lighten up and have fun…Get out of your head, come into your heart and it’s always ok to fart :-)

 

You can contact Linda at veayoga@gmail.com. You can also find Linda at:

facebook.com/lindacruse

facebook.com/veayoga

 

 

Posted On: August 24, 2016 | No Comments »

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