Calling All Bedazzled Ducklings!!

HOW TO SHINE IN A SATURATED MARKET…

In my nearly eight years of teaching Yoga & Meditation in NYC, I’ve been blessed with wonderful students and even more extraordinary assistants. How do I choose my assistants from the crowd of freshly minted Yoga Alliance-card-carrying eager faces? I look for Bedazzled Ducklings!!

A few years ago, I was teaching a lot of donation-based meditation classes around the city to help a very special and underserved population: trauma survivors, both with and without a Post Traumatic Stress diagnosis. A studio owner commented on the endless stream of assistants following me with dogged determination like ducklings from location to location all over the city. “Assistants…or stalkers?” she wanted to know.

She had no idea just how miraculous my Bedazzled Ducklings are: each one an extraordinary, creative, intuitive yoga & meditation teacher in their own right. I’ve never had to formally schedule my assistants. They just keep showing up…literally everywhere I teach! What do they have in common? Humility, creativity, a willingness to learn, punctuality, devotion, dependability, a sense of humor, deep spirituality, and a willingness to truly, fully be their own Bedazzled selves within the warm embrace of Yoga structure. In fact, I’m the lucky one!

I remember volunteering as an assistant at Sonic Yoga under original owner Jonathan Fields, whose ethics and business practices dovetailed nicely with my own. On purpose, I chose a teacher whose circus-like acrobatic asana and courageous spirit were the polar opposite of my own natural tendencies towards restorative yoga and meditation. While assisting Kate Greer, I also had the chance to sit at the feet of Krissy Shields and Jen Whinnen during their first pregnancies. Eyes wide and slack-jawed in amazement, I soaked up their collective knowledge and learned how to truly support women during their first trimester.

Fast forward a few years, and this process has been formalized in Yoga teacher trainings as a Mentorship. March to the beat of your own drum?  Then you just might be one of my Bedazzled Ducklings!! Join me this Fall for two very different and extraordinary Mentorship Programs:

**Meditation Mentorship with Three Sisters Yoga begins October 1, 2016. There are flexible options: class module only, mentorship only, and full 300-hour Yoga Alliance Certification. For more info on my Meditation Mentorship with Three Sisters Yoga: http://www.threesistersyoga.com

**Yoga for Trauma Professional Practicum & Mentorship with Prema Yoga Therapeutics runs October 1-December 31, 2016 with a flexible schedule. Although designed for medical professionals, any students interested in trauma-sensitive yoga training may attend. Medical professionals are eligible for CEUs. For more info on the Yoga for Trauma Practicum with Prema  Yoga Therapeutics:

http://prema-yoga.org/trainings.htm

Yoga and Meditation videos coming soon to my YouTube channel! To subscribe:

https://www.youtube.com/c/amberpaulnyc

Dare to be different - rubber ducks on black

Bedazzled Duckling!!

 

 

 

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The Great Meditation Mystery

My students LOVE meditation! Whether in the boardroom, college classroom, dance studio, or veteran’s center, they enjoy meditation’s gifts: the sense of serenity, connection to higher consciousness, and the ability to solve challenges from a spiritual viewpoint. But the most common comment I hear from my blissed-out students at the end of class is, “I love meditation! But what IS it?”

So let me Nancy Drew this situation for you! When hearing about meditation, some folks may conjure an image of half-naked men walking unscathed on hot coals or people hiding in a mountain cave and signing strange chants. Although these experiences are part of some meditation traditions abroad, this ancient practice is just as accessible to the modern Westerner living in the most expensive, fast-paced, and fabulous metropolis in the U.S.-New York City!

Meditation includes everything from simple concentration exercises to achieving enlightenment. People of all spiritual backgrounds can practice meditation, and most forms of worship already contain meditation, although called by other names. The practice of meditation results in common human experiences across gender, culture, age, language, religion, and educational background.

The actual practice of meditation can be done seated, lying in savasana, walking around, with the eyes open or closed, and for the lucky few, lived as a state of existence 24/7. Like learning any new skill, meditation is designed to be practiced (not perfected!) each time you feel the desire to go within and calm the mind.

Meditation trains the mind to concentrate steadily on a point of focus (breath, mantra, even thought itself) so that the mind relaxes and higher consciousness has a chance to expand. With practice, even this focus falls away and you’re just in a state of meditation. Our minds are designed to think rapidly, so gratitude and compassion for your thoughts is often the first step in relaxing the mind. There are as many methods for achieving this goal as there are global cultures, and all that matters is that you find the right one for you!

To that end, I teach a guided meditation class every Friday in Midtown Manhattan from 1:30-2PM at Reflections Yoga. This class is donation-based, so it’s FREE for all who need it to be. Donations are welcome but certainly not required. Each week, I teach a different style of meditation focusing on universal themes. Beginners and students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome. So if you’d like to solve the Great Meditation Mystery for yourself, come join me!

FRIDAY, 1:30-2PM

Refections Yoga, 250 West 49th Street, 2nd Floor (Just off 8th Avenue), NYC 10019

http://www.reflectionsyoga.com

I also teach weekly Yoga & Meditation classes at Broadway Dance Center in Midtown Manhattan. This class follows the format of 1 hour of gentle vinyasa yoga followed by a 30-minute guided meditation. For class rates and schedule, see below:

Broadway Dance Center, 322 West 45th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue), NYC 10036

http://www.broadwaydancecenter.com

Both locations provide free mats and meditation props. See you in Blisstown!