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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FREE Yoga in NYC!!

Please join me for a FREE Yoga class for Veterans & U.S. Military this Sunday, April 24th from 9-10AM at Broadway Dance Center. Beginners are welcome, and all you need is your military I.D. to register. Mats & blocks will be provided by the studio. Please help spread the word about this FREE class! For directions and details, please visit http://www.broadwaydancecenter.com

In other news, I’ve created a YouTube channel that highlights both my worlds: Acting and Yoga & Meditation. Meditation videos are coming soon, and please enjoy my acting clips in the meantime. All you need is a gmail account to subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUN1bXMRPsdhSPgxJeRbrBg

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Wanna Sleep On the Job? Try Savasana!

Alvin

I know it’s a shocker, but many people misinterpret savasana as sleeping! Despite all the wrap-your-leg-around-your head-and-balance-on-one-hand poses I might teach, savasana is the yoga pose that is most challenging for people to understand. Why? Because it’s so simple. And so important. In fact, it’s the most important pose of the entire yoga class.

In Myths of the Asanas, authors Alanna Kaivalya and Arjuna van der Kooij assert that savasana “represents the surrender of all things that are foreign to our soul. When we have completed our yoga practice and given it our best, it is time to let go.”  Maybe it is this mystery of letting go that leads people to crowd at the door or window of the studios, boardrooms, and classrooms where I teach and whisper: Why are they lying on the floor with their eyes closed? WHY ARE THEY SLEEPING ON THE JOB?!?

Adult mid-day nap jealousy aside, savasana really is the most important pose of the entire yoga practice. Yoga asana is designed to prepare the body to sit for meditation, and savasana is the pose at the end of class that allows the body, mind, and spirit to integrate all the benefits of the physical practice. It can also be a transition pose between asana and meditation, easing your concentration from external to internal practices.

How do you do it? Lie down on the floor on your back, let your feet and hands relax open, and close your eyes. Think of savasana as a re-set button for your mind, body, and spirit. If you fall asleep during those precious 5 minutes, all it means is that you are relaxed. And that you need more sleep! Savasana is the one pose that most leads to wide-eyed wonder for my first-time yoga students. As one of my freshly minted yogis excitedly asked me after class on Sunday, “How do I return to this ecstasy?”

Simple: Take a yoga class. And at the end, rather than rushing off to your next pressing engagement, be sure to take 5 minutes to close your eyes and relax on your back. It is healing, transformative, and the very best gift you can give yourself. And after recharging your batteries, integrating the benefits of your physical efforts in asana, and just plain relaxing for FIVE MINUTES, you’ll no longer need that nap at your desk!

NEW Yoga and Meditation Classes

Spring has sprung, and with the new season come a lot of great additions and changes to my teaching schedule!

YOGA @ BROADWAY DANCE

My beloved Broadway Dance Center has expanded, adding two more floors of spacious new studios. I have new class times and larger studios, so no more getting waitlisted for yoga when you really need it! My new permanent schedule as of 4/23/12:

MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY

3:30-4:30PM

TUESDAY, THURSDAY

1-2PM

FRIDAY

9:30-10:30AM

Check out all the great new classes, and I look forward to seeing you on the mat!

http://www.bwydance.com

 

MEDITATION @ REFLECTIONS YOGA

I’ve started a new guided meditation class with my meditation partner, Jeff Cannon, author of the amazing meditation book “The Simple Truth.” Starting April 27th, I’ll be  teaching guided meditation every Friday from 1:30-2PM at Reflections Yoga, a gorgeous oasis conveniently located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.  Students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome. Donations are greatly appreciated but not required.

http://www.reflectionsyoga.com

 

MEDITATION @ THE YOGA COLLECTIVE NYC

After a great response to my inaugural meditation workshop at the Yoga Collective, I’ll be presenting Diving Into Bliss: Meditation for the Modern Practitioner on Saturday, May 5th, from 6:30-8PM. The workshop focuses on practical, easy meditation techniques you can begin using immediately in your home practice. Beginners and students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome. To register, please visit the Yoga Collective website and click on their “Workshops” tab:

http://www.yogacollectivenyc.com