Yoga is for Everyone

When people hear that I am a Yoga instructor, often their response is “oh, I could never do that, I’m not flexible enough”, to which I respond, “Well, how do you think you get that way?!”  Yoga really is something that almost everyone can do regardless of age, body type, fitness level, and in many cases…physical limitations.  A well-trained, experienced Yoga instructor can show the student alternates to postures based on that person’s individual needs including the use of props.  In both my Vinyasa and Yin classes here at Shaolin Kempo Academy, we use props A LOT.  Blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, pillows, and anything else hanging around that will support the Yogi in his/her posture—we use it!  Props allow even the most inflexible Yogi to get into a posture comfortably and get maximum benefit, and allows the seasoned Yogi to explore the full extension of a posture without worrying about falling over or straining a muscle.

So you think you aren’t flexible enough for yoga? I invite you to come to a Yoga class at Shaolin Kempo Academy and let me introduce you to the Yogi inside of you who is just waiting to come out. 

Shanti!

 

Shell

Summer Time Training

Summer is here and our schedules tend to fill up with fun in the sun activities, day trips, summer camps, and vacations, how do we fit or keep our training in our schedule? Should we take a break? While the answer to this isn’t a one size fits all my simple answer is you don’t want to stop training over the summer, it is too easy to break the good habits you have developed during your martial arts training. Another big problem with time off is we tend to forget our newer stuff which makes restarting training even harder as you are no longer in a training mindset and you have apprehension about what you forgot over your break, now I don’t mean missing a week of class its more like if you miss a month or longer. Another problem is while the martial arts is a solo journey and you aren’t in direct competition with anyone but yourself we can’t help but measure our progress against some of our peers, this can also lead to the negative mindset about resuming your training. Each week you miss of classes takes the average student 2 weeks of consistent training to catch up. 

Ok enough with the problems with missing training over the summer what can we do about it? There are quite a few ways to stay consistent and do all the summer fun stuff.

  1. Take a look at the schedule and see how many class options you really have each week.
  2. Come to camp, great way to brush up and get a ton of training in in a short time frame.
  3. Double up on some classes one day. 
  4. Schedule an ATP class.
  5. Plan in advance and if you are going to miss a week or two take some extra classes before you go and then when you get back.
  6. Talk to me about other scheduling options if none of those work.

Spend some more time training outside of the dojo, practicing your kicks and forms in the pool can be a lot of fun and a great training tool, Its even better in the ocean as you have to work to not get knocked over. Also practicing getting your kicks above the water is a great strengthening tool. Most important is have fun with it remember its the Journey that matters not the destination.

Master Ross

 

 

Team SKA New Season

Team SKA will be starting a new season.

Tournament season is getting started and if you want to find out more information about representing our school at the Tournaments Contact Master Ross or Sensei Joe.

 

Demo team will also be starting again the first week of February. If you want to be a part of it talk to Master Ross at the school. To get the information on it.

Congratulations Stan

Congratulations Stan on earning your stripes On Saturday January 14th 2017.
After a student tests for their Black Belt at SKA they are on a probationary period where they have to carry themselves as a Black Belt, this is to ensure that not only are they physically able to demonstrate the curriculum taught at SKA but that they understand and utilize the values that go along with the training.

Mindfulness Events at SKA

mind-your-chakras

At Shaolin Kempo Academy, we believe in providing our students with a holistic approach to well-being.  That’s why we provide classes not only in the martial arts and fitness such as kickboxing and yoga for good physical health, but we also host a number of events throughout the month for physical and spiritual well-being.    This month, SKA is offering three special events to nourish the mind and body.  We welcome you to come and experience something new in a friendly and compassionate setting.  If you have any questions about these events, or just want to chat about them, please see Shell or email her at clearlightyoga@gmail.com.

FEBRUARY MINDFULNESS EVENTS

Sunday, February 7, 4-6pm. 

Yin Yoga/Guided Meditation

Shell will be holding a Yin Yoga/Guided meditation class.  Yin Yoga is a low-key practice designed to gently stretch skeletal muscles and deeply calm the nervous system using postures that are mostly seated or lying down. The postures are usually held for a period of 3-5 giving the body a chance to open up and inviting you to go deeper to the ligaments, joints, and deep fascial tissue.  The Yin practice will be followed by a guided meditation to the entrancing sounds and vibrations of crystal bowls played live by Tracey Sullivan, bringing us into a deep state of relaxation.

Cost: $15 in advance/$20 at the door.

To register, email Shell at clearlightyoga@gmail.com and a payment link will be sent to you.

 

Sunday, February 21, 7pm

Kirtan with Stephanie and Mark

Get out of your head and into your heart! Join us for a grounded and soulful evening of Kirtan.  Kirtan is a “call and response” type of yogic chanting with many of the mind-calming benefits of a yoga class or sitting meditation.  Kirtans are usually sung in Sanskrit and sheets with the words will be provided.  We invite you to dive into the bliss of mantra and the freedom of opening the heart through the expression of live music and song.  Never been to a Kirtan before? No worries…Newbies  most welcome!

Cost: $10 Donations appreciated

 

Sunday February 28, 4-6pm

Reiki Share

A Reiki share is a gathering of like-minded Reiki practitioners who participate in group healing treatments on each other. The main purpose for the Reiki share is to give and receive Reiki in a casual atmosphere of friendship, honor, positive energy and devotion. Reiki share are usually held once a month at SKA and led by Reiki Master Tracey Sullivan.  All lineages welcome as are those who are interested in Reiki and want to see what it’s all about.

 

 

Becoming Stress-less

biofeedback_relaxation

Becoming Stress-less

 We all have stresses in our lives—work, home, families, health, money—the list goes on and one.  Stress can manifest itself physically and emotionally and can affect every layer of our being, or our  5 Koshas (Annamay Kosh or Food Sheath (Outermost of the Pancha koshas), Pranmay Kosh or Vital Air Sheath or the Life force, Manomay Kosh or Mind as distinctly different from intelligence Sheath, Vigyanmay Kosh or Intellect Sheath, Aanandmay Kosh or Bliss Sheath (ceaseless joy not connected with body or mind and the innermost of the Pancha koshas, Chitta Kosh or spiritual wisdom, and Sat Kosh or the Final state of merging with the Infinite).  When we are stressed, our muscles tense up getting ready for a “fight or flight” mode and if this tension is not released, it will cause dis-ease in our bodies. 

Relaxation is nature’s antidote to stress. When we learn to relax, our bodies begin to let go of tension caused by the fight or flight condition and begins a process to heal, energize, allow blood and air flow freely, calm the mind. But learning to relax is not always an easy thing to do in today’s fast paced, hectic world.

So what can you do to learn to relax?  Take part in either passive or active relaxation activities depending on what your body calls for you to do.  The type of relaxation you do can change from one time to the next, but its all good.  Types of passive relaxation are listening to music, lying on a beach, sitting outside in nature just listening to the sounds around you, having a massage or Reiki session, using passive progressive relaxation techniques and guided imagery, just to name a few.  Active forms of relaxation can be exercise, fixing something, yard work, taking a yoga class—the possibilities are endless!

Finding the right style of relaxation that fits you may take some trial and error. But once you find the style that works for you, practice on a regular basis to receive the greatest benefit.  And it is a practice, but one that with time and patience you can master.

At Shaolin Kempo Academy we believe in a holistic approach to mental and physical well-being.  Along with our traditional martial arts and kickboxing classes, we also offer yoga and special workshops in guided relaxation/imagery and Reiki services.  Sign up to receive our e-newsletters so you receive notification of when these special events take place.

For more information see the following:

The Five Koshas

What is Reiki?

Guided Imagery Scripts

Yoga at SKA

yoga-class2

Often people want to try yoga but are hesitant for many reasons. Often it is because they do not think they can do it, or think they are not flexible enough, or even in some cases, think it is too passive for them.   I always tell people that yoga can be taught many different ways and if they are interested in practicing yoga, they should do some research first in the different styles, then go try a class. Some  yoga classes are for people are looking more for the fitness aspect of yoga only, while others accommodate those who are looking for a more “yogic” experience.  Some of the different styles include:

  • Bikram. …
  • Hatha. …
  • Hot Yoga. …
  • Iyengar. …
  • Restorative
  • Vinyasa
  • Yin
  • Tao

The style yoga  taught at Shaolin Kempo Academy is Vinyasa flow, which means we work on connecting the breath to the movement and the movements flow from one to the next almost like a dance. We also incorporate elements of Yin Yoga,  a slow-paced style of yoga with poses, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—five minutes or longer per pose is typical.

The interesting aspect of Vinyasa is the variety of ways in which it can be taught.  When I first started taking Vinyasa I took it as a power yoga class.  Power yoga incorporates Pilate-type exercises into the flow and the combination makes for a great workout.  However, after teaching my own power class for several years, I found that the students my classes preferred a more traditional style Vinyasa that uses traditional asanas (postures) and almost no Pilate-type exercises as part of the practice.  Many in my classes also wanted a class that was more relaxing so I began leading a gentle flow Vinyasa class in additional to the traditional class and this is also when I began incorporating Yin yoga postures in the practice.

Regardless of the style you would like to try or that you decide you like, you can pretty much guarantee that you will reap the benefits of a regular practice. Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include strengthening and lengthening your muscles, more energy, less pain, better sleep, better posture, and better circulation to just name a few.

 

 
Scroll Up