Monday, March 17, 2014

Yoga in Harmony with Horses
day one afternoon
As part of the week long retreat we include an afternoon of snorkelling in the clear warm waters of the Caribbean.  We had the most amazing experience yesterday snorkelling just off the point of Cahuita.  We were literally in the middle of hundreds of fish as we and they drifted above a large coral shelf.  We saw little fish, big fish, striped fish, polka dotted fish, sea cucumbers, and even a manta ray!!  It was like being in a National Geographic show. 
Our wonderfully friendly and skilled guide then took us to a secluded beach where we had fresh pineapple to take the salt taste from our mouth. 
All in all a wonderful experience.
For more information and pictures see Kindredspiritscr. com or my web page,

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Yoga in Harmony with Horses, daily journal
First day of our retreat Yoga in harmony with horses; we are blessed to have Linda with us on our yoga journey with horses. We had a wonderful opening ceremony in the yoga shala followed by a magical session with the horses in their pasture. We sat quietly in different corners of the pasture, sharing the horses's space and energy. The horses shared their love with us by coming close to us as th...ey grazed.
On a personal note I have had 2 days of RA pain in my arm and Anya, the mare, came to me, shared her healing energy with me, and I feel much better. What a beautiful gift I was given today.

Now we are off to do some snorkelling and then a nice PM yoga session to help us reflect on all our blessings,
Namaste, Corinne
Thank you to Terry of Magellan Inn, Cahuita and for their wonderful horses.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Preparing for Padangusthasana with Half-Pint.
Half-Pint making me laugh with his throaty half neighing to our mare, Centella, in the field next door.  He wants to play with her.

Ok, Half-Pint has accepted he will stay with me a little longer before going to the paddock to play.

Hmmmm, why is she leaning on me with one leg?

Humans are strange, but, okay.

She's happy so I'm happy and relaxed.
The pose, Padangusthasana,  translated as Big Toe Pose, is a fun pose to share with your horse.  First, make sure you have established a connection with your horse and that he is relaxed and receptive to your voice and movements. 
 Calmly and slowly lift your leg and foot into position.  It is at this point that your horse may decide to move away  from you so it is important that you  listen carefully to your horse's moods and signals.  When your horse is at ease he will hold his whole body loosely, face and ears will appear relaxed, sometimes the eyes are closed, and he  may lick his lips or lower his neck and head.
 Horses are trained to move away from pressure so when your body weight is pressing on his side and back his first tendency will be to move away  leaving you in an increasingly wider and wider straddle!  To counteract this reaction use your voice and your facial expressions to signal your calmness and peaceful intentions towards your horse.  Once you are in position stay very still and give your horse time to get used to the pressure on this back and to your position.  As he becomes more relaxed and learns through experience that you are not asking any more from him except to stand still and accept your weight,  he will remain still and calm for longer periods.
The benefits of this pose for humans are many.
  1. helps to reduce diabetes
  2. improves head to toe flexibility
  3. improves powers of concentration
  4. helps relieve anxiety
  5. improves respiration
  6. calms the nervous system
The benefits of this pose to your horse are many.
  1. learns to stand still and relaxed
  2. learns to accept your weight
  3. when you place your foot near the shoulders and withers you are connecting with his heart chakra
  4.  when you place your foot nearer his hips you are connecting with the lower chakras that govern his identity and self-confidence.
Poses to help prepare you and your horse for Padangusthasana are Warrior I and II while standing to the side of your horse and placing one hand on his withers, back or hip.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

photo by Corinne Rosita Aulakh:  Faro Escondiida, courtesy of B.N.

Beyond Limits
by Shemu'ab Tovah

The human body is always finite;
It is the spirit that is boundless.
Before he begins to pray,
A person should cast aside that which limits him
And enter the endless world of Nothing.
In prayer he should turn to God alone
And have no thoughts of himself at all.
Nothing but Go exists for him;
He himself has ceased to be.
The true redemption of man's soul can only happen
As he steps outside the body's limits.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do you want to offer bi-lingual, Spanish-English, Yoga classes? 

     I live in Costa Rica.  My mother tongue is English.  Since moving to Costa Rica I have learned Spanish and although it is not perfect I love the everyday challenges of communicating in a second language.  Drawing from personal experience I  want to share with you some of my strategies for teaching a class in more than one language.

First, find a yoga text in Spanish so you have a good reference book to help you with names of poses and cues to give while demonstrating those poses.   Use search engines and Youtube to hear and learn Spanish phrases and cues used in a yoga class.

     For this blog I relied heavily on the Spanish text found in  Los Secretos del Yoga by Jennnie Bittleston and my own personal experience teaching yoga in Spanish and English.
Teaching strategies for a dual language yoga class
  1. If possible try to arrange to have similar levels of yoga experience  among your students.  This greatly facilitates communication in both languages.  Be prepared to physically demonstrate poses and or ask students to demonstrate poses for the class.
  2.   Be consistent  in the timing and the language used when transitioning  to each pose.  For example, if you use English first to cue a transition, and then repeat the cue in Spanish, continue to use English first.  Most people will appreciate having this predictability.
  3. If you are still learning Spanish, or any other second language, practice on your own, before class, and out loud, so you feel more comfortable saying and hearing the sounds.  Practice enunciating your words and yoga cues.  Speak slowly to insure that your students understand you.  
Helpful yoga cues and phrases in Spanish
Names of postures
  1. adhho mukha svanasana:  Perro boca abajo
  2. ardha chandrasana:  Media luna
  3. baddha konasana:  El zapater
  4.  chaturanga:  El baston con apoyo
  5. dandasana:  El baston
  6. dhanurasana:  El arco
  7.  garudasana:  Entrelazar los brazos
  8. gomukhasana:  Agarre de manos
  9. halasana:  El arado
  10. janu sirasana:  Cabeza contra rodilla
  11. Marishyasana:  El sabio
  12. parivritta trikonasana:  Triangulo invertido
  13. parsvottanasana:  Estiramiento lateral
  14. prasarita padottanasana:  El gran angulo
  15. salabhasana:  La langosta
  16. sarvangasana:  La vela
  17. savasana:  El cadaver
  18. sukhasana:  Postura facil
  19. supta baddha konasana:  El arado con piernas abiertas
  20. supta padangusthasana: Estiramiento de piernas en suelo
  21. supta tadasana:  La Montana tumbada
  22. supta virasana:  El heroe en el suelo
  23. tadasana:  La Montana de pie
  24. ustrasana:  El camello
  25. utkatasana:  La silla
  26. uttanasana:  Flexion hacia delante sentada
  27. utthita hasta padangusthasana:  Estiramientos de piernas
  28. utthita parsvakonasana:  Angulo lateral extendido
  29. utthita trikonasana:  El triangulo
  30. virabhadrasana:  El guerrero
  31. virasana:  El heroe
  32. vrksana:  El arbol
Here is a list of some useful verbs when giving cues to enter, hold and leave poses.
  1. to extend:  extendirse
  2. to get up:  levantarse
  3.  to lower:  bajarse
  4. to lie down:  acostarse, tumbarse
  5. to lie down, face up:  boca arriba
  6. to lie down, face down:  boca abajo
  7. to align:  alinearse
  8. to stretch:  flexionarse,estirarse
  9. to breath:  respirarse
  10. to adjust:  ajustarse
  11. to transfer:  transferir
  12. to maintain:  mantener
  13. to hold:  sostener
  14. to place:  colocarse
  15. to stabilize:  establarse
  16. to sit:  sentarse
  17. to hold onto or grab:  agarrar
  18. to bend:  doblarse
  19. to hold ( a pose):  aguantarse
  20. to focus:  concentrarse
  21. to turn:  girar
  22. to separate:  separarse
  23. to support:  apoyarse
Some adjectives and adverbs  you may find useful:
  1. straight:  recta,
  2. bent:  doblado
  3. deeply ( breath):  profundo
Some phrases you may find useful:
  1. forward:  adelante:  hacia delante:  hacia el frente
  2. backwards:  detras:  hacia detras
  3. towards:  hacia
  4. inside:  adentro:  hacia dentro
  5. outside:  afuera:  hacia afuera
This is just a sample of words and phrases you will need to teach a class in Spanish.  It is also very helpful to learn the parts of the body in Spanish.  Counting in Spanish is very useful too.
There is a lot of learning and practicing to do if you want to lead a successful yoga class in Spanish.   With preparation and practice it can be done.  Teaching a yoga class in a second language allows you to share your practice with more people and it helps you to refine your teaching skills as well. 
It also give you a wonderfully interesting opportunity to learn more about a second culture.  So, go for it.  You will find that your students will be very patient with you and appreciative of your efforts.  Yoga is for everyone;  don't let language stand in your way of sharing your passion with others.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Life is Good

It doesn't get much better than this.
Yoga means union.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

When I identify myself with the body, O Lord, I am Thy creature, eternally separate from Thee.  When I identify myself with the soul I  am a spark of that Divine Fire which Thou art.  But when I identify myself with the Atman, I and Thou art one.
by Hanuman to Shri Rama