De-stressing with stillness came to me from several years’ worth of practice with the Kundalini yoga and Hatha Yoga programs. At that time, I had been living primarily in Western society. I was a bit bored and sad, and the more I fed my mind with television and video games, the more depressed I became. I needed a way to de-stress and get my mind off of whatever it was I was focusing on. I turned to Eastern medicine for answers and I am happy and grateful that I did!
After I had de-stressed for a few days, the site supervisor and I decided that it was time to set up an emergency healing meeting. Since I was already fairly aware of how to do breathing exercises, pranayama, meditation, aura, and the like, I thought that it would be easier to get the word out about my new program. So I wrote a short article about stillness for the Kundalini Yoga website, which explained what it is and how it could benefit those who were in need of a little help to de-stress.
That was when I learned about Hatha Yoga’s focus on nutrition and healthy choices. I learned that we should be eating as healthy of foods as possible, which means that all of our meals should be organic, whole foods. We also had to make sure that we were drinking as much pure water as possible. These things are crucial for our well-being and that is why the stillness came from knowing and using the power of the stillness in conjunction with the other methods of yoga.
The following day I met with Diego, the site supervisor, and he immediately recognized the importance of the topic for the Kundalini Yoga teachers. He told me that he was very excited because he had been wanting to get some good news out to the class and he couldn’t wait to share it with them. He told me that he had looked into the O’sha foundation and he found that one of the areas that they were most concerned about was nutrition. He told me that he had gotten in touch with the nutrition department at the local university and was amazed at what he discovered. He was able to provide me with a great example of how to integrate stillness with yoga in order to provide better nutrition to the students.
I have a couple of children who started out doing yoga at my own high school. Diego was actually the teacher at my high school who introduced the discipline to our students. There were a couple of issues initially, but they cleared that up really quick. I am also very happy that I have Diego on staff. He is an incredible teacher and an amazing person!
One of the things that Diego brought to my attention was the new dawn high school yoga group. The entire group got together for a week and during that time they focused on one major goal. The goal was to find and bring together a group of people who could learn from each other, to grow in harmony, to set goals, to feel empowered, and to create lasting memories. This was truly a beautiful class and it allowed me to reconnect to what it means to be connected to the inner wisdom of the body, to be flexible, to live without labels, and to know and love myself. It was such a wonderful experience.
The next major goal of the new dawn yoga program was to provide a physical exercise that was fun, interesting, powerful, and would change lives. They wanted to ensure that the energy in the room was constantly changing, flowing, and moving. The result was the creation of a flexible body that is healthy, light, limber, and constantly changing. We were able to meet and exceed expectations. I will never forget the awesome power that movement has had on my life!
The other goal of the new dawn yoga instructors was to teach safety. Throughout my twenty-three years of training yoga instructors, I have noticed that there are many different ways that we can go about teaching safety. We can go through a long list of poses, breathing, postures, and other instruction one at a time, in an attempt to introduce and then correct bad habits. Or we can use the same series of poses, breathing instructions, and postures, but make it clear that this is a dangerous activity and that we should all take safety breaks when we reach a difficult pose or a difficult part of the class. I learned that sometimes, the instructor was right and sometimes I was wrong. We learn by doing, and one must take responsibility for their own safety whenever they participate in any type of yoga or any physical exercise.