Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

2015 saw me teaching in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. It also saw my worldly goods put into storage in Harlem. With all that travel, I've given up a schedule of regular classes, but I continue to teach trainings and workshops all over the place. Keep an eye on the calendar here and on Facebook (JennieCohenYoga) for events.

Upcoming Workshops

Get Hip to Your Hips
Therapy Ball Self-Massage to Release the Hips

February 20, 12:30-2:30
Bhava Yoga, Brattleboro, VT

May 13, 6:00-8:00
The Yoga Place, Bennington, VT

Hips. We’ve all got ‘em. We use them to sit, to locomote, and to play ice hockey. (Well, I don’t do the latter, but some of you probably do.) And hip openers factor high on yoga students’ requests lists.

But how in tune are you with the bony and muscular structures that make up your hip region? Why does pigeon pose continue to challenge you after all these years? Why does lotus posture seem an absolute impossibility? (Because, as you’ll learn, maybe for your hip structure it is!)

Yoga Tune Up therapy balls give a whole new meaning to the concept of rolling hips! In this workshop you’ll learn ways to open up your hips beyond just stretching. Self-massage can create more effective release than simply tugging on connective tissue with classic stretches.

Muscular restriction is not the sole explanation for “tight hips”! You’ll gain a new understanding of your unique hip structure and how to modify your yoga practice accordingly.

Many knee and back conditions stem from hip issues, so students with knee and back pain will glean information they can apply to regions uptown and downtown of our target zone.

Continuing ed for yoga teachers: We’ll delve a bit into the anatomy of the hips, so yoga teachers will learn tricks to prep students for hip openers and will learn when and how to modify yoga poses to meet their students’ needs.

Shrug Off the Burden!
Therapy Ball Self-Massage to Relieve Shoulder Tension: Unburden yourself physically, emotionally, mentally

February 26, 6:00-8:00
The Yoga Place, Bennington, VT

Feel like you're carrying the weight of an enormous sphere on your shoulders? These little spheres can alleviate the physical and emotional stress.

Postural habits, occupational hazards (jutting your head forward to stare at a computer screen for eight hours a day), and the worries that accompany everyday living all contribute to shoulder tension. As a result, shoulder and neck pain have become epidemic.

In this workshop we'll use Yoga Tune Up therapy balls to soothe tense tissues and to repattern postural bearing. We'll open up restricted areas and awaken blind spots. Yoga practitioners will learn new ways to prep the body for shoulder openers, yoga teachers will glean techniques to use with private clients, and everybody will discover ways to strip away stress and fatigue. You'll receive a set of balls to take home with you, so you can use the techniques you'll learn as often as you wish.

Upcoming Trainings

YogaWorks 200-hour Teacher Training

Inner Heat Yoga
May-July, 2016
**FREE** Class and Info Session February 27, 2:00-4:00

August 2016

YogaWorks 300-hour Teacher Training

Fall 2016

Watch this video for more insight on YW Teacher Training: http://www.yogaworks.com/teacher_training/video/

Teacher Training Video--Beijing Intensive

Here's a video compilation of footage shot during the May 2013 200-hour teacher training in Beijing: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTYyMzMxODI0.html

Teacher Training Slideshow


Video: How To Recruit the Legs in Plank Pose

Check out this video filmed at Dance New Amsterdam. Many of my students there have an abundance of mobility, but they struggle to support poses that require upper body strength. This video shows how flexible bodies can recruit the power of the legs to make plank pose more accessible.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Listen to Your Sole

Even the sacred requires the levity of a profane pun. And, no, I can’t claim credit for this one.

I found this statue in a park across from the studio where I taught in Beijing. I don’t know the statue’s story—the Chinese likely wouldn’t identify the subject’s posture as a yoga pose—but the shape was, to me, instantly recognizable as akarna dhanurasana.

Akarna dhanurasana means “bow to the ear”; it’s a shape where one foot is pulled back by the ear as one would draw a bow. Since the physical objective involves connecting the sole of the foot with the aural orifice, the listen to your sole/soul pun becomes just irresistible.

And the play on words raises a question: How do we shift from contorting the body into odd physical shapes to yoga’s deeper project, the examination of the self or soul? Edwin Bryant, in his commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, allows that asana can be a suitable channel to self-awareness, provided it is performed with the objective of using it to fix the mind on a single point and thereby quiet the incessant mental chatter that obscures one’s ability to see the self or soul. In other words, it’s the intention behind the action that makes yoga more than mere physical pursuit. If we’re concerned only to make sole meet ear, the undertaking remains an exercise in corporeal flexibility. If, on the other hand, we actively observe our reactions to the attempt—Are our efforts driven or lackadaisical? Do we respond to the results with smug satisfaction or with frustration?—building the shape becomes a vehicle for acutely tuning into the machinations of the deeper self. It becomes, in essence, an exercise in listening to the soul.

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