Seattle Pastor Says Yoga Is Demonic, Sinful & Warns Christians To Reject It

Pastor Mark Driscoll from the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, says in his blog, that “yoga is a religious philosophy that is in direct opposition to Christianity”. Because of this, he believes that “yoga cannot be simply received by any Christian in good conscious”.

[source: christianyogamagazine]

He goes on to say that yoga is downright demonic and he compares it to being as bad as adultery:

There is nothing wrong with stretching, exercising, or regulating one’s stress through breathing. But when the tenets of yoga are included, it’s by definition a worship act to spirit beings other than the God of the Bible. By way of analogy, there is nothing inherently wrong with intimacy, sex, and pleasure. But when the tenets of adultery are included, it’s a sinfully idolatrous worship act. A faithful Christian can no more say they are practicing yoga for Jesus than they can say they are committing adultery for Jesus.

What do you think about the Pastor’s beliefs? Let us know in the comments below! Also check out this WholyFit video demonstrating “no-nonsense mind-boy exercises without ‘chanting’ or other ‘non-biblical’ practices”:

Restorative Yoga and Therapy Teacher Training Starting January!

Dan Clement, source: http://www.indigo yoga.ca/yoga-instructors.html

Love yoga? Want to share your practice with others? Have a special interest in restorative yoga and therapeutic techniques?

A specialized training program with Open Source Yoga (Registered Yoga School with the Yoga Alliance) will begin in January. This part-time weekdays evening course will focus on
empowering teachers to work with private clients and small groups in a home yoga studio setting.

Teachers in training will employ holistic biomechanics to work structurally to heal common injuries to the shoulders, hips, knees, wrists and neck. The balance of the course will cover all areas of yoga alliance certification standards at the 200 hour level, with components of restorative yoga for stress and illness, Ayurvedic diet, as well as Thai Massage and development of a home business plan.

Dan Clement and Carol Wray will be leading the training from a working home yoga studio. They are both very experienced teachers with extensive training in structural therapy, restorative and yin yoga, as well as micro-business development.

200 hour Therapy and Restorative Training
Dates: Jan 10- April 19 2012
Weekday evenings (Tues, Wed,  Thurs 6pm – 10pm) part-time @ Panorama Ridge, Surrey B.C.
Course cost: $2700, includes texts.

To Register: Please contact Dan Clement at [email protected] or http://www.opensourceyoga.ca/ and an application will be sent to you.

Chopra Yoga Center Vancouver Construction Is Complete!

Chopra Yoga Center Vancouver Construction Is Complete!

Yoga and wellness in the heart of Vancouver’s business district, the Chopra Yoga Center includes 8,000 square feet of everything you would expect from a yoga studio in Vancouver and more.

The Chopra Yoga Center is an upscale, full-service yoga, health, and wellness studio conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, just steps from numerous public transportation stops including Waterfront Station for the Canada Line. In the custom designed studio, our team of highly trained instructors will offer a wide variety of yoga classes in its two spacious yoga studios.

The center features luxurious washrooms and showers, a large infrared sauna, private massage and yoga rooms, and a tranquil meditation room. The soothing atmosphere and inspiring setting will help you cultivate a deep inner state of body- centered restful awareness that will benefit you in every aspect of your life. The Center will be open seven days a week and will offer a flexible schedule with around 75 classes each week for you to choose from.
The Chopra Yoga Center construction is complete, and their vision has almost come to fruition! They are still working on the finishing touches, but anticipate the doors of 451 Granville to be open within 2 to 4 weeks. Take a look at the beautiful Chopra Yoga Center in the following pre-opening slide show video:

There’s still time to take advantage of their pre-opening special pricing – 20% discount on all their membership plans if they are committed to prior to the doors opening. The great thing is that the special pricing will be yours for as long as you are a member (provided that you never stop your subscription)!

If you haven’t done so already, “Like” Chopra Yoga Center Vancouver on Facebook, and receive a free yoga class! And for more information, visit their website www.choprayoga.com.

Semperviva Yoga Teacher Training

Have you been thinking about becoming a certified yoga instructor? Now might be your time to take action — Semperviva’s next 200 hour course starts January 18th!

With Semperviva’s Internationally Recognized Yoga Certification, you will be qualified to teach both here in Vancouver or anywhere around the world. What makes Semperviva stand our from the crowd? Semperviva Yoga is the longest running multi-disciplinary Yoga Teacher Training College in Vancouver, BC. It is the only training that includes Master teachers as guest lecturers. This truly sets Semperviva apart as a leader in Yoga Education. Guest teachers may include Seane Corn, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Max Strom, Nicki Doane, Michael Stone, Mark Whitwell, Janet Stone, Shiva Rea, Bernie Clark, and Paul Grilley. For more information, visit www.sempervivayogacollege.com.

A “HIP” Guide to Happier Movement: The SI Joint

Tying in the last 2 articles towards happier hip movement, we dive further down the proverbial yoga rabbit hole to look at pelvic rim imbalances and possible sacroiliac pain and how to progress experientially towards a sequence of adaptive yoga moves that have the potential to reset our SI joints to their natural pain free position. One of the most common structural breakdowns I work with is often a “misaligned’ pelvis and lower back pain.

Over the years more and more SI joint dysfunctions or “issues” seems to be “recurring,” especially in women. Whether this is due to the shape of our pelvis, the draw and trend of Western Yoga or the tendency toward long loose ligaments we don’t know, or perhaps even some other stress patterning effects- including an unbalanced or improper yoga practice, women seem more susceptible to hyper-mobility along with SI joint dysfunction. Even though there is a joy in flexibility, there needs to be a balance of tone, flexibility and stability if we are to be “pain free and live a life of symmetry.

There are a number of theories about the details of the pathology related to the SI Joint disorders , however in yoga over stretching is often a key indicator. Strong ligaments hold together the SI joint, the only way to move it out of place with yoga is to overstretch those ligaments and if we stretch more on one side then the other, or more anterior (hip flexors) the posterior (hamstrings) this can throw off pelvic stability. Our bodies move through recruited sequencing of muscles, and therefore, when one set or group of muscles is “too flexible” it throws off the sequencing of the entire mechanical chain.

The cardinal symptom of SI pain is an ache on or around the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS). The PSIS is the rear-most point of bone on the pelvis. However, it’s very important not to confuse what we are calling SI pain with other types of back pain, because, in most cases the “pain” referral point, is only where the energy gets blocked, but the structural breakdown that is causing the mis alignment is usually located some where else  in our mechanics and this takes time to determine.

Sacroiliac Joint Anatomy 101

The sacroiliac joint is where the sacrum bone and the ilium bone join one another, Your sacrum is located at the base of your spine and  is comprised of five vertebrae that have fused together during development to form a single bone roughly the size of your hand. Each half of the pelvis is composed of three bones, the ilium, the ischium and the pubic bone, that are fused together during development. The sacrum sits between the left and right ilium bones and bears the weight of the spine, kind of like a wedge.

The SI joints main function is to distribute this weight with equal balance to each hip and to each leg, and the energy  then makes it’s way down out through the feet to the earth via our muscles (to put it into simple terms).

There are many working parts to the hip and SI Joint, some of the ligaments that stabilize the SI joints cross directly over the line where the sacrum and ilium meet. Those on the front are called the ventral sacroiliac ligaments, and those on the back are the dorsal sacroiliac ligaments. Other strong ligaments (the interosseous ligaments) fill the space just above the SI joints, holding the ilium bones firmly against the sides of the upper sacrum.

Corrective Strategies & Tips:

First, identify the balance of flexibility in the hip joints by extending in all the anatomical movements of that joint. This should be done by a health professional who can assess bio mechanical breakdowns and asymmetries via a selective assessment.

Secondly, work towards establishing stability and tone in the pelvic floor and trunk, learn the ins and outs of balance and breath work for proper intra abdominal pressure, then establish if you require mobility or stability in the hip flexors,  the hamstrings, gluteal and lateral muscles of the hip.

Thirdly, modify your asana practice. As  a general framework for understanding which poses contribute to helping you relieve pain, these poses traditionally fall into 4 categories:

  • Careful with backbends: (Reclining Hero Pose) can help by directly pushing the top of the sacrum backward into place, as well stretching the anterior chain.
  • Modify your Twists and Rotational Poses: wrong twist can easily make matters worse. Gentle movement and transitioning from pose to pose by rotating one side of the sacrum backward and the other forward.
  • Try One Sided Poses: Reclined postures that focus on one side at a time, can create more symmetry by focusing the adjustment specifically on the joint that may be out of alignment, so that the ilium shifts in the right direction relative to the sacrum.
  • Practice Postures that Spread the Sacrum: By applying lateral pressure to the hips, may help by opening the top part of the SI joint space, as well as postures that spread the sacrum wide and relieve pressure to the lower lumbar spine.

Next week we Continue our series to Happier Hips with the pelvic rim and stability!

Broga For Downward Facing Dudes

What is Broga (bro+yoga)? Broga is a yoga class geared for men. Strong, energetic,and challenging, it uses traditional yoga postures and fitness movements for an amazing workout. Broga’s mission is to offer men real tools for coping with daily stresses and demands through an accessible yoga-based fitness program taught from a man’s point of view. Broga is for every “body,” from the beginner yogi to the professional athlete.

Cofounders Adam O’Neill and Robert Sidoti created the Broga yoga program devised to attract hesitant men to the world of yoga by “getting into the bro-zone’’. “This is not a dumbed down version of yoga. There’s a lot of movement linking the postures, but adding push-ups and variations of squats. People see the name ‘Broga’ and they think it’s just a bunch of idiots. But there’s integrity,’’ says “Brogi” Sidoti. Sidoti even sends out dude-friendly tweets like: “Get with the Bro-gram’’ and “Stop bro-crastinating.’’ Visit www.brogayoga.com for more information, and watch the following video:

Yoga Vs. Regular Exercise

What’s better for your body, yoga or regular exercise? Often a highly debated subject, but Naturopath SR Jindal believes yogic exercise is the better option. He feels that the benefits of yogasanas far outweigh regular forms of exercise and that they score over strenuous physical exertion.

Asanas are “sthiram sukam asanam”, meaning a body position that is “steady, calm and comfortable”. Physical exercise, on the other hand is an activity that works muscles and requires energy. It is different from yoga asana. Here’s an except discussing the top 10 differences:

  1. Physical exercise consumes more oxygen than yogasanas
  2. The heart has to work harder during physical exercise, but BP and heart rate decrease when you practise asanas
  3. Physical exercise can overwork joints and even cause rheumatism and stiffness later in life. But asanas encourage flexibility and build stamina
  4. Physical exercise builds up toxins in the body while asanas eliminate them []

To read the rest of this list, visit timeswellness.com.

Anusara Shakes Up as Three Top Teachers Resign

Last week, three senior Anusara Yoga teachers, Darren Rhodes, Christina Sell and Elena Brower, all announced their separation from the trademarked style and its founder, John Friend.

Christina Sell, on her personal blog writes:

I think the most accurate way to explain my choice to resign my certification has less to do with dharmic differences between the two communities of which I have been a part and more to do with my own personal dharma; of how best to aim my teaching in the years to come. […] So we are clear: I love John Friend. I love Anusara Yoga. I love my friends in the system. My students continually inspire me beyond belief. I hope I have been super clear about that. I keep repeating it. It’s the truth. I have benefited form my involvement with the organization and the method in so many ways.

And:

So, having said that, a bit more of my personal process that might fill out the story goes like this: Over the last few years a very subtle yet strong and consistent interest has been rising within me. I started to realize that I was interested in yoga in general more than I was interested in Anusara Yoga in specific. I have never been an Anusara purist, as anyone who reads this blog knows. I like it all. I practice it all. (Okay, well, not all of it, but A LOT of it.) In fact, over the last 5 years since I moved to Austin, I have probably been practicing asana more outside of the Anusara yoga system than in it. Not by design or by intention but simply in an organic way of following my curiosities and inclinations and finding good teachers who
could and would help me with my practice, regardless of method.

In an interview with Waylon Lewis from Elephant Journal, John Friend comments on the trio’s departures:

Yes, 3 top level certified Anusara yoga teachers resigned within the last week. Without any context or insight into this matter it might seem like there may be negative turmoil in the Anusara kula.

However, I have been in regular communication with these 3 teachers, who are also my long-time friends, and this was a move to maintain their own personal integrity and the integrity of Anusara yoga. All three of these teachers have evolved their own styles over time, and now are wishing to be artistically independent.

We all openly talked about it, and so we are supporting each other in our own unique yoga styles.

 

Vancouver Meditation Group

Vancouver Mediation Group is a Self-Realization Fellowship composed of members and friends of SRF, a worldwide, nonprofit religious movement founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda for the purpose of disseminating Kriya Yoga, a definite scientific technique for attaining direct personal experience of the higher power.

These techniques are available in a series of weekly lessons sent to your home in Vancouver from their international headquarters. The lessons contain techniques of energization, concentration, meditation, and the higher technique of Kriya Yoga, as well as instructions on how to live a balanced material and spiritual life.

Through its worldwide service and teachings, Self-Realization Fellowship seeks to awaken a greater understanding of the harmony underlying all true religions, and a fuller expression in this world of the love that unites all people when they realize their oneness in Being/ The Universe/ Higher Power/ God.

More information about the Vancouver Mediation Group, visit their website here, or the SRF headquarters: Self-Realization Fellowship.

A “Hip” Guide to Happier Movement: The Hamstrings

A “Hip” guide to happier movement continues, and this week we take a look at the hamstrings. As we know, the hip flexors and hamstrings are two groups of muscles that need to work in symmetry, in order to maintain proper balance, distribute load and stability through the pelvis. Many believe, or look at yoga, as merely a means of increasing flexibility, and that the more flexible you are, the less susceptible to injury you will be.

Way too often I find students moving into a posture while trying to achieve a version of a certain posture exerting too much force than their muscles can bear, thus “cranking” into it and moving beyond their normal range of mechanical alignment. When it comes to postures involving the hamstrings, this is all too common.
The truth is, sometimes being too flexible can increase your chances of sustaining an injury, as the muscle and associated joints are now in a constant state of  slack and with this comes instability of the joint, thus stability needs to be ascertained. This is the dynamic duality of our systems. Where there is an increase in mobility – there needs to be an equal force of stability to create symmetry.  Yoga is about achieving a balance between flexibility and strength, and mobility and stability.

The Anatomy:

The hamstrings groups is comprised of four muscle parts ; the first two are the Biceps Femoris (long and short head). The biceps femoris’s function is to flex and laterally rotate the leg and extend and laterally the thigh. The short head has it’s same origin at the lateral hip joint, then only crosses the knee joint and functions to flex and laterally rotate the leg.

The Semimembranosus originates in the ischial tuberosity and inserts into the medial tibial condyle. The Semitendinosus muscle also originates at the ischial tuberosity and inserts into the upper part of the medial surface of the tibia and medial tibial condyle. Both these muscles, extend the thigh and flex and medially rotate the leg.

The ideal length of the hamstrings is achieved at 80 – 90 degrees of hip flexion, which most often is questioned because students get wrapped up in “what the pose should look like,” rather then what their bio mechanics will and should allow. Where the emphasis is then placed on becoming too flexible in order to achieve the pose; however, when we push too hard into a pose, the tension has to be re distributed somewhere and this energy is most likely going to pull at the musculotendinous junction or strain at the hip and knee joint.

This can then not only lead to injury, but to faulty movement patterns that will persist off the mat. Remmber the fascia systems? When we change one meridian line, we uniquely impact them all. As I mentioned in the previous article pelvic alignment plays a crucial role in balance, load distribution and locomotion; therefore, when we think about how many  muscles stem from the ischial tuberosity, you can see how critical it is to focus on balance and symmetry of mobility vs stability and flexibility vs strength.  Two of the main joints at the pelvis are referred to as the sacroiliac joints. When the hamstrings are stressed some students can exprience hip, as well as knee injuries. Tightness in the low back can also contribute to excessive stresses on the hamstring attachment as well, or lack of hamstring mobility.

When working with hamstrings in any health modality, always remember the hamstrings are never alone they are part of the posterior muscular chain, the back line of the fascial system and are a huge primary mover of many movement patterns; therefore, respect the hammies and your mechanics within postures.

Some tips to avoid over stretching and creating better balance mechanics in your postures:

  • Always Aim to Keep Your Pelvis Level
  • Practice your postures only within your natural alignment (no cranking ~ leave this for hitting trails on your mtn bike)
  • Keep the thighs active and engaged
  • Distract at the hip joint
  • Bend the knees if needed, especially if you are a beginner
  • Work within your genetic limitations
  • Use props; such as blocks and straps if needed
  • Stretch your hip flexors
  • Listen to your body, never work through pain

Now hit the mat and enjoy!

Vancouver Yoga Conference & Show 2011

The annual Vancouver Yoga Conference & Show starts tomorrow! The three day show runs from November 4 – 6, 2011 at The Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre. Tickets for the Show cost $15, and you’ll experience:

* 24 hours of Garden Yoga Classes (39 classes)

* 120 exhibitors

* 3 Day Show Admission

 

Vancouver Show Hours:

Friday  NOVEMBER 4,  2011  ~ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday NOV 5, 2011  ~  10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Sunday NOV 6, 2011  ~  10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location:

Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre – Hall A (Under the Sails)

The Yoga Conference includes:

* Individual Class Prices range from $46 – $198

* 36 Internationally Renowned Faculty

* 130 Workshops

For more information, visit theyogaconference.com. Who’s attending this year? See you there!

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