Yoga Classes at UUFD
Ongoing Yoga Classes Offered
$50 for a 5-week session, or drop-in $12 per session.
Back to Bliss: Yoga with Ed Miguel
Sundays, classes at 5 p.m. (arrive 15 minutes early)
Wednesdays, classes at 6:30 p.m. (arrive 15 minutes early)
Please contact Ed Miguel to check dates and register in advance.
Contemplative Practice Yoga® and How It Can Make You Healthy. Ed Miguel June 26, 2016
Contemplative Practice Yoga® is a physical practice for your body that also has a wonderful soothing effect for your mind. When your body is chronically contracted you shut down and lose your ability to feel your accumulated tension.
Contemplative Practice Yoga® uses gentle alignments in selected poses, along with placement of props, to open and release the deepest core tensions in your body. This opening also creates deep states of restorative relaxation. This is called “Core Release,” the exact opposite of Core Strengthening which actually creates muscle tensions throughout your body, in turn affecting your ability to be at ease mentally and emotionally.
Rather than a form of exercise, Contemplative Practice Yoga® alleviates pain and provides a gentle, restorative practice that creates a healthy body and a tranquil mind.
Classes in CPY Always follow a certain template but the poses will change within that template from week to week. We always begin with a guided visualization and breathing in Shavasana on the floor. Then we work from our tailbone, sacrum, waist and ribcage in that order. Then we go through the 3 realms upper, middle and lower so we are standing and progressively work our way back to the floor. Then we end with shavasana and a guided visualization.
We are tight all day in our jobs and tasks raising kids or just cleaning house and gardening. This yoga style teaches you how to relax. Sometimes you fall asleep in shavasana but that is okay. It may seem slow and simple but the effects are deep. There are some muscles deep within our bodies that we release that cannot be reached through any other manipulative technique.
Who can attend?
Almost anyone can do this form of Yoga from the young to the elderly. There are two requirements. You must be able to get up and down off the floor and you should be able to stand without an external support. If you fall into one of those two categories you can still get private yoga sessions or benefit from Yoga Therapy. Other minor conditions can be accommodated with alternate poses and propping with blankets. You might think that this is not for athletes because it is not power training but athletes love this form of yoga. For once they can relax but it is not just taking it easy. It releases the muscles so that the bones can align themselves more naturally and it increases blood flow to the muscles by opening them up. This not only nourishes the muscles but also drains them of calcium and other toxins. It takes a little time to get out of the “no pain-no gain” mantra that has been pounded into us from our culture. You should always inform your doctor about any health related exercise regimen which is the category that yoga falls into and follow his or her advice but chances are they will encourage you with some restrictions based on your issues. You are never forced to do any pose nor are you allowed to be in any pain. There are always alternative poses that have the same benefits.
What are the benefits?
The benefits are many from this form of practice. It is deeply relaxing and very mindful and meditative. It builds awareness, the first stage before any change can take place. It lowers blood pressure and drains toxins from our bodies (you have to drink a lot of water after class.) It releases the muscles and opens the core. It might take some time but you will stand straighter and shrink less because it decompresses the vertebrae. It builds balance. It opens up the body channels, the nadis, beginning with the spine, the main nadi, and working outward. It balances all the chakras. All these things combine to raise your general health and health consciousness. Everyone who comes to this yoga wants to be healthier and more mindful and they are great people to be around.
A home practice is a set of poses that you do on a regular basis (i.e. daily or a few days a week) at home to get the most out of your yoga practice. Our bodies are years in the making and out tensions are layered deep within our bodies. To unravel these layers and get to our core release, we must practice more for our muscles to unlearn the years of tension and counter-tension which distort our bones. The more we practice the sooner we will get the results. We need to teach our muscles some new things. See me if you are interested in starting a home practice – you’ll like the results.
The testimonial I know best is my own. I came to this type of yoga at age 50 in such pain in my hip and lower back that I could not walk more than around the corner of my block. I knew it was from stress from work. I could tell it was worse when I was at work. I also knew that I had a congenital scoliosis with varying degrees of back pain all my life which was fortunately treatable by a skilled chiropractor since I was 28. There were no years between those ages that I did not see a chiropractor at least 4 times. As good as they were however, at the height of my pain, I was going every other day for relief and that was not sustainable. Something else had to be done. I heard about this yoga and hobbled to my first class. I could not believe how I was just lying around in these poses that reminded me of how I used to sleep as a child. I also could not believe how difficult it was for me to be in these simple poses. There was no overnight success. It took a month of classes and home practice before I started noticing improvement. At least I did not have to cancel our hiking vacation to California. During those hikes if I felt the pain coming on, I would stop and do yoga in the grass while the rest of the family had a snack. Later that fall, I was running up and down the soccer field as a referee! It was amazing. The other amazing thing was that I have not had to see a chiropractor since! If ever I did something that made my back hurt, I would do some yoga poses, and later realize that my pain is gone. It was like taking a pill.
Why does yoga make you healthier?
Yoga is one of those activities that your body likes. When you are doing something good for your body it reacts favorably. No surprise here. It raises your awareness and raises your sensitivity. You cannot change anything unless you are aware of it first and if you are sensitive to something early, you can change it easier than if it is full blown. I started noticing changes in my hip and sacrum. Gradually I could feel the bones of my sacrum move. I did not even know there was more than one bone there. I could just start to feel things opening up and honestly sometimes this was not so pleasant. I also learned how to walk better and to walk up stairs with more support. I had to learn how to walk up stairs all over again. Eventually I was not only healed but I got stronger and healthier with an added side effect-calmer.
There is a lot going on with Yoga than I have room here to tell. The anecdotal evidence is all over the place and now the scientific and medical texts are full of reports. I consider myself an experiment with an N=1 and I like the results – a life without pain, most of the time, with the tools to handle my stress and my issues that pop up by myself, most of the time.