Teaching Yoga at Wesley Mission | God’s calling

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~ Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

Since the day I embarked on my Holy Yoga journey, it was my dream to be able to teach at my home church, Wesley Mission.  Wesley Mission, as a Christian organisation part of the Uniting Church , is huge.  I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘mega church’ per se.  But it is a very large Christian organisation with various operations to help the wellbeing of community.

I’ve been hesitant to introduce this to my own congregation because I’ve been wanting to build up some traction to demonstrate to myself and my church that is a discerned calling and blessing from God.  So, I’ve been running this ministry for a little while now.

Throughout this ministry’s foundational building, I’ve learnt to be patient, obedient and faithful in everything I do.  Yes, extending to other areas in my life.  It has been THE most fulfilling part of building this ministry for me.  My personal spiritual growth.

As of my new year’s resolution, I was still uncertain as to whether this year is the year I focus and dedicated my 100% (of what’s left after being a full time mum) to this ministry.  For that to be remotely feasible, I would have to also quit my digital marketing business responsibilities.

After much prayer and consultation with family, I hear God calling to charge ahead with my 100% dedication.

I was challenged as to whether I should go and find a yoga teacher job as part of this journey.  But I decided to look around anyways.

***

One Saturday night, as I was about to google ‘Yoga Instructor jobs’, I decided I would pray and ask God to give me the wisdom and His intervention in this. Then, I proceeded.

On the top of Google’s results, it showed ‘Yoga Teacher Tutor/Volunteer Job – Advertiser: Wesley School’.  At that point, I didn’t think much of the school but when I clicked into the ad and it revealed its email address to be ‘schoolforseniors@wesleymission.org.au’, you can imagine how my jaw dropped.  Like, just dropped…..

Do you believe in God?  Do you believe He speaks to you?

***

Within 2 days, I scored an interview.  2 days later, I taught my first class of 45+ students of lovely seniors.

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I’m now going to prepare my 2nd class.

God, thank you for your blessings and guidance.  Continue to grow me in the way You plan to.

 

Yoga for Kyphosis | Yoga Therapy

 I now teach a seniors class with a room full of aged care students, often suffering from bone and spinal issues.  Kyphosis is not the most common but prevalent enough that prevents the students from being able to sit up tall in class, even if this is a chair yoga class I teach.   It’s interesting to understand and study whether emotional issues that are deep-seated is the larger cause of this misalignment or whether genuine poor posture is the larger cause.  With my current observations, those who suffer from kyphosis often have a deeper story hidden within their hearts.  Your body naturally protects your heart (emotions) even on a physical level by hunching or collapsing inwards to protect it.
SPECIFIC ISSUE
Kyphosis

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)

Kyphosis is an excessive outward curvature in the thoracic spine (upper back) that creates a ‘hunchback’ appearance.  This condition often brings on back pain, ranging from mild pain to more severe pain and difficulty in breathing and digestion.
There are several causes of kyphosis and this program here only attempts to address symptoms of kyphosis NOT resulting from congenital disorders, arthritis, osteoporosis or any bone degeneration dysfunctions in the body.   This program is designed for kyphosis often caused by chronically holding poor posture over time.
The benefits of Holy Yoga for kyphosis are:
  1. to stretch and strengthen the muscles causing the issue
  2. to bring awareness of correct spinal alignment
  3. to draw attention and bring awareness of any emotional issues that may be causing kyphosis
  4. to bring healing of any emotional issues attached to the cause of kyphosis
  5. re-train the body and implement lifestyle changes to minimise spinal alignment issues


CONTRAINDICATIONS
1. If your symptoms are severe, do not start or engage in any physical or yoga therapy without first getting clearance from your medical practitioner.
2. If your kyphosis is caused by osteoporosis, severe scoliosis, spondylitis and any other bone degeneration dysfunctions, take caution or completely avoid reclining, back bending poses and spinal twists.
3. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.

15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Mountain pose with eyes closed (5 breaths and notice alignment of the body)
2. Son Salutation B
3. Easy seated (SSRS)
4. Cow face arms (with strap.  Left & Right)
5. Extended Childs pose
6. Cobra pose
7. Extended Childs pose
8. Bow pose (with strap)
9. Locust pose
10. Extended Childs pose
11. Bridge pose

12.  Reclining Supported Bound Angle (rolled up mat underneath the back at the bottom of the ribs but above the lumbar)

REFERENCES:

  1. http://www.lexiyoga.com/yoga-for-kyphosis
  2. http://www.yogabasics.com/learn/yoga-poses-for-kyphosis/
  3. http://www.medicinenet.com/kyphosis/page2.htm#what_are_the_symptoms_of_kyphosis
  4. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/break-out-of-your-slump/
  5. http://www.bodiempowerment.com/advanced-posture-exercises/
  6. https://www.yogauonline.com/yogau-wellness-blog/yoga-exercises-for-hunched-back-hyperkyphosis
  7. http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spinal-deformities/kyphosis-causes-and-treatment
  8. http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/types-of-spine-curvature-disorders
*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. The suggestions and educational resource offered by Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.
 

 

Holy Yoga North Sydney Studio | Yoga Pavilion

Yay!! We’ve got a new place for Holy Yoga’s Sydney North Shore classes now.

AT YOGA PAVILION!! A beautiful sunlit studio, next to Artarmon Station with plenty of street parking. Do come and join us on Thursday mornings and Sunday afternoons!  Check out my class timetable.

I am sooooo thankful that I’ve found a new venue. So, this is how HoYo helps me…. To just trust in Him.

If it is God’s will, He will provide and so He did. HoYo constantly grows me, allowing me to leave it in His hands and learn not to stress over things…

Such was how I handled the situation when I was told I could no longer use the Public School hall venue on Sundays and my weekday classes were outgrowing the community room. I just kept praying… And praying…

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”‭‭ ~Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV

I did my part with calling around studios, churches and community centres. God did His part.

Just in time for February start, as I had committed to my students, the kind owner at Yoga Pavilion and I came to an arrangement for HoYo classes. Now, in hindsight, isn’t God’s plan so good. HoYo now has a yoga studio!!! God is good. God is faithful. Just that. TRUST IN HIM.

Next time you are at crossroads, try praying and surrendering.  If God blesses the journey, He will open doors.  If doors continue to close, stay obedient.  Whatever it is, don’t stress!

Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis | Yoga Therapy

img_1868My husband is an IRONMAN and his ‘racing comrads’ often suffer from all sorts of muscular-skeletal issues.  A common one is plantar fasciitis.  When he first told me that one of his comrads was affected by this, and asked for me a remedy, I frankly had no idea how to approach it.  With much research, practise on students and personally using this to relief my ‘shopping feet’ (ok, I’m a bit dramatic now.. my shopping feet are just tired feet, not plantar fasciitis but you get what I mean..), I’ve found the below flow to be quite soothing.  Feel free to leave me your comments!
SPECIFIC ISSUEPlantar Fasciitis

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the ligament (plantar fascia) on the sole of the foot that connects the heel to the toes.
The inflammation is a result of over-stressing the plantar fascia, commonly caused by a factors such as:
  1. take up of a new (usually weigh-bearing) exercise or increase intensity of an exercise, e.g. running
  2. obesity causing the foot to carry more weight than it can handle
  3. poorly fitting shoes, creating chronic holding patterns in the feet
  4. flat feet or unusually high arch
  5. uneven leg length or any chronic holding pattern that puts strain on one side of the foot abnormally
  6. switching from a long wear of heels suddenly to flat shoes
  7. tight hamstrings, calves and/or Archilles tendon
Ligaments have lower vascularity than muscles so yoga poses stimulates movement to the affected area, hence increasing the blood flow and speeding up recovery.
Aside from stretching out the culprits muscles causing the dysfunction, yoga draws awareness to any chronic holding patterns, allowing the sufferer to be conscious of his/her posture and alignment in their every day lives; not just when they are ‘in treatment’.

The breath work in yoga is particularly helpful for sufferers of plantar fasciitis to deal with the pain in the mornings, learning to breathe through the pain and allow the body to relax.

CONTRAINDICATION

1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga
2. When the inflammation is very painful, do not engage in any yoga or weight-bearing activity to allow the affected area to rest and heal.
3. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.


15-30 MINUTE FLOW

1. Staff pose (while in pose, repeat 10 sets of the following: 1. point toes forward  2. flex the foot)
2. Seated forward fold, using strap or hands to wrap around the ball of feet to flex the feet
3. Hero pose
4. From Hero pose (with both hands on the ground behind you for support, lean back and lift knees off 3-5 inches off the ground)
5. Garland pose (palms together, using elbows to push open from the inside of thighs)
6. Toe Squat (Kneeling with toes tucked under and let body weight sink into the heels, walk knees forward a few steps)
7. Hero pose (hold both hands into fists, press the fist onto the sole of the foot, using the weight of the body to massage the sole of the foot with the knuckles)
8. Childs Pose * Seek God and His power of healing

9. Legs up the wall *Final resting pose (10 breaths)

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.evolationyoga.com/can-practice-yoga-plantar-fasciitis/
  2. http://www.webmd.boots.com/foot-care/plantar-fasciitis-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment
  3. http://www.dailybandha.com/2013/09/plantar-fasciitis-myofascial.html
  4. http://myfiveminuteyoga.com/633/five-minute-yoga-challenge-reverse-the-curve/
  5. http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/yoga-and-plantar-fasciitis/
  6. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/plantar-fasciitis-cause
  7. http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/what-is-plantar-fasciitis
  8. http://www.runnersworld.com/training-video/toes-pose
  9. http://www.artofliving.org/yoga/health-and-wellness/Heal-heel-pain-with-yoga
*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. The suggestions and educational resource offered by Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment. 

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.