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Showing posts with label alignment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alignment. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Planting seeds

So, I love gardening. I'm actually currently in the middle of packing up my current home to move to a place with an actual garden (an actual garden as opposed to the garden of pot plants that I have foresting on my balconies).

And I recently planted a bunch of bulbs in little pots, along with lots of help from my dad who had the idea to sell little plants that are, in one way or another, related to yoga - combining two of my passions!

So, with all this green stuff happening around me (that's not to mention the new promo from Checkers where you get a little plant kit for every R150 that you spend there), I was tickled by the analogy coming up in one of the teacher training courses. A student referred to one of her favourite teachers 'planting seeds' in terms of where an easier yoga pose may be leading to. And I have fallen in love with said analogy (thank you, Sean, whose classes I am yet to go try out). The idea that your yoga practice is a young sapling, and little bud, or a very fresh new flower, or even just the sprouting roots of a newly planted clove of garlic! It has so much potential, as long as it is cared for, nurtured, and nourished. The plant doesn't rush ahead of itself to become a tree, or a gorgeous blooming flower. It takes its time. It feeds off of the nutrients around it. It struggles when it doesn't get enough light, or soil, or water. But it also thrives again when it does receive what it needs. But it takes time. Like any good and long-lasting yoga practice. It takes time, and care, and attention.
My cabbage seedlings from Checkers!! No idea
where I'm going to plant them when they get bigger....
A plant from my gran's garden that's FINALLY
started growing it's own little leaves!!


Lots of little seedlings making their way into
the big world!
Awwww, little heart-shaped leaves budding
from little bulbs under the soil :)
alignment blog mindfulness outdoor special offer teacher training teaching yoga

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Teaching and fear

Last week I was teaching a class, and there were only two students. So I asked them if there was anything in particular that they wanted to do. The one requested shoulder stand (Salamba sarvangasana), and the other wanted to deepen her backbends... not the best combination of poses to sequence for 😁 We decided to focus on the shoulder stand for that session.

...I was scared! For me, personally, Salamba sarvangasana is a horrid pose. I think it's because of my prominent C7 vertebra, but I get dizzy and see stars and feel nauseated very quickly in that pose. Similarly, but to a lesser extent in Halasana. Anyway. Besides not enjoying shoulder stand in my own personal practice, I also learned on my teacher training course that several prominent teachers and higher-ups had decided that teaching it unpropped, should not be done. Which makes perfect anatomical sense.

The cervical vertebrae are way smaller than your lumbar vertebrae, which are made to bear weight. Now you want to put close to your full body weight on your comparatively tiny cervical vertebrae, at a severe angle... with poor little C7 getting smooshed into the floor... So I was happy to not teach Salamba sarvangasana. Because I didn't like it, and because the propping takes a long time. More on that at a later stage.

Comparison between the three different types of vertebrae, showing the size of cervical vs. lumbar vertebrae.

BUT. I had asked the students what they wanted to do, and teaching Salamba sarvangasana became unavoidable. Which was fantastic for my growth as a yoga instructor. Because I forced myself to step way out of my comfort zone to sequence that class into a safe, properly activated and executed shoulder stand. Yes, I gave very many warnings about not feeling any pressure on the neck and properly engaging the shoulders, abdominals, back, and legs. Even more cautions than I would normally give 😁

And it worked!! I faced my fear, and I got both my students into beautiful, and completely safe propped Salamba sarvangasanas! I was admittedly relieved by the end of that session, but I felt like I had accomplished something. Like I'd gotten over a long-standing fear of mine. And you know what, I actually feel less scared now of including it in my own practice. Which I think is a fantastic thing. Of course, I would never do it unpropped, but I'm much less nervous about doing and teaching that pose now. And it feels good.
alignment anatomy blog classes teaching yoga

Friday, 27 October 2017

New words

Some of my clients, and all of my friends, are aware of my ongoing struggle with pain. Again something that I'll probably go into in more detail as time goes by, but, for now, I thought I'd share a little bit of my current frustration with you.

Fibromyalgia: widespread pain that is present for at least three months; must occur on both sides of the body, above and below the waist, and along the length of the spine. There must be pain in at least eleven of eighteen specific points in the body.


I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It's still largely a mystery to  health professionals, and used to be used as a I-don't-know-what-is-wrong-with-you-so-let's-diagnose-you-with-this thing. There have been some advances in the understanding of fibromyalgia, like, they can now prove the brain involvement with special MRI scans which would show that the brain perceives pain differently in someone with, as opposed to without the condition. Essentially your body becomes hypersensitive to pain.

The average person takes five years to be diagnosed. This is seriously painful... in more ways than one; going for that long without knowing what is causing your often constant discomfort, having no treatment for it, and usually being told to just 'get over it', is awful.

Because fibromyalgia is still a relatively new diagnosis, and because it's such a vast disorder (symptoms vary from pain in specific tender points of the body, to IBS, to insomnia, to depression), it is often misdiagnosed (for approximately five years). Similar symptoms appear in Rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia Rheumatica, Lyme disease, restless leg syndrome (aka Willis-Ekbom disease 😳), ankylosing spondylitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, major depression, thyroid disorders, myofascial pain syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity... If you understood all or most of those names, then you're either a well-trained physician, or you've been through the diagnoses wars.

If you're the latter, then my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain. And I wish you a speedy diagnosis, and a very wonderful and friendly doctor that understands your pain, too.

So far, smiling, laughing, and playing around as much as possible has been my best medicine. Doing (and sometimes teaching) yoga helps me to deal with the constant bugging annoyance of pain. Testing my limits every day, to see where my body is at, and, MOST importantly, listening when my body really just needs to rest, even if I feel like I'm just being a lazy poop, or like I'm over-reacting to the pain.









K, I've had enough of talking and typing about pain for now. So, my leaving message: just be kind to your body, dammit. And smile.



alignment blog mindfulness pain posture rehabilitation

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

About Celeste


My approach to yoga is one of playfulness and lightness, and of letting go of any seriousness, strain, or competitiveness that hinders the development and evolution of your yoga practise. The balance, peace, and harmony that comes with a regular yoga practise has been invaluable in my own life, and I wish to pass that on to all of those whom I have the pleasure of teaching. I enjoy combining elements of various yoga styles, but emphasise correct placement and posture in each asana, specifically to prevent injury, but also to help each yogi to achieve poses to the very best of their abilities. My interest in alignment emphasis stems from my own injuries, which have, retrospectively, been my greatest teachers.

My yoga journey started in 2010 when I moved to Cape Town. My true passion is incorporating mindfulness into movement and lifestyle. While completing my Masters degree in Dietetics, I also completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Catherine Wilkinson in Hout Bay in 2014, and qualified as an advanced registered yoga teacher in 2017 when I completed my 500-hour teacher training course. The strong focus on anatomy and alignment from both of these courses blends perfectly with my Pilates teacher training qualification, which I use to help clients with rehabilitation from injuries, as well as building up appropriate strength to avoid injury in more advanced yoga asana.

If you'd like to hear more of my ramblings about my life with yoga, check out some of my recent blog posts!
alignment blog massage mindfulness pilates posture rehabilitation stabilise body weight teaching yoga
 

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