Coming attraction: yoga for the jaw

I’m announcing now that I intend to create a “yoga for the jaw” class by the end of this year. There’s a sweet overlap of demographics: women of child-bearing age are nine times more likely than men to have severe or chronic TMJ issues, and this group also tends to take yoga (and Pilates) classes.

My plan is in the seedling stage right now. I have so much to learn and discern.

It feels good to get back into teaching yoga. I completed teacher training 10 years ago and taught restorative classes for a while. I’ve been practicing since 1982 and have been especially devoted since 1996 after a car wreck. I’m drawn to alignment-oriented classes and teachers, both for my own issues and as a bodyworker.

To this end, I will be taking a workshop from a highly-regarded yoga teacher in Dallas in late September. Embodied Dharma: Yoga, Connective Tissue, and Inter-Being is being offered at the Dallas Yoga Center by Tias Little, who created and teaches Prajna yoga.

Learning from Tias has been on my bucket list for a decade, and I’m finally doing it! Prajna means wisdom in Sanskrit, and Prajna yoga is more comprehensive than most yoga, including more of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s yoga into practice, as well as anatomy and somatic awareness. Tias includes aspects of Buddhism and craniosacral therapy — interests we share — into his teachings.

I am especially looking forward to learning more about yoga for the cranium, jaw, and ear from him.

Thank you, Anna Gieselman, a Prajna teacher at Castle Hill Fitness in Austin, for letting me know about this workshop!

If you’re interested, Anna is teaching a free Prajna yoga class on Labor Day, Free Day of Yoga, at Castle Hill’s downtown location. You can reserve your spot here.

The earth is a solar-powered jukebox

Silence is not the absence of something. Silence is the presence of everything. ~ Gordon Hempton

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The title of this post is a quote from Gordon Hempton, who has dedicated his life to silence. He’s an acoustic ecologist who has circled the planet multiple times recording rare sounds in nature. To him, real quiet is presence, and silence is not the absence of sound — it’s the absence of noise.

Like clean water and seeing the stars at night, Gordon says silence is not a luxury, it’s essential for well-being.

Enjoy his website here. It includes several soundscapes. (Listen with earbuds or a room speaker — laptop speakers don’t capture the full range.)

I’m purchasing some of his soundscapes to play during bodywork sessions. I have a sound machine that plays sounds of rain, a stream, ocean waves — but how much more awesome to play the sound of ocean surf recorded inside a hollow spruce log, the resonant wood violins are made from.

I can’t get enough of Gordon, and if you are a silence lover, a nature lover, sensitive to sound, you may want to know Gordon better.

I found all this during my research for my presentation Investigating the Power of Silence, to be given at Free Day of NLP on April 7 at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Go here to RSVP.

Raffle results

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Today I drew from all the entries in my raffle for a 5-hour package of bodywork, which would cost $400 to purchase. Everyone who bought a session or a package or who referred a new client to me during September, October, and November was entered into the drawing.

The winner’s name is being kept private, but I can share that she bought a very generous package of sessions. (You can buy as many as you want and aren’t limited to the 3- or 5-session packages I give as examples.)

Although each entry had the possibility of being chosen, in this case the odds were in her favor because she simply had more entries than anyone else. Good strategy!

This is the first time I’ve offered a raffle. What do you think? Should I do it again next fall?

 

What people say after a Zero Balancing session

I just finished my fourth class in Zero Balancing, and so I am eligible to apply for certification.

The part I love most about giving my clients a Zero Balancing session comes after the fully-clothed bodywork has concluded, when the receiver slowly moves from supine on my massage table to sidelying to seated to standing, taking a pause after each movement, and finally takes a few steps around my office.

I ask, “What are you noticing?”

People pay exquisite attention to their own sensations, and I collect their descriptions, eagerly anticipating what they will say. Often they tell me with a sense of revelation that they feel:

Taller.

Lighter.

In less pain.

Less stress.

Having better posture.

Having better movement.

Expanded.

More aligned.

Looser in the tight places.

Stretched.

Their depression has gone to neutral.

More solid on the ground.

Less timid.

Not stuck.

More in their body.

More grounded.

Breathing in their back too.

In touch with their heaviness.

Zero Balancing works on both structure and energy, and you can definitely see that in these descriptions. Of course, structure and energy affect each other.

Zero Balancing is the most transformative type of bodywork I’ve received or given for the amount of time spent on the table, which is usually 30-45 minutes. The changes are simply not on the same level as, “Oh, my shoulders don’t feel so tight” or “My low back pain is gone.”

Those things happen, and ZB recipients experience themselves differently, more as whole-body energetic free beings. Many people rarely experience themselves as such. Working with the deepest layer, the bones, frees up so much.

It’s the modality that helps people experience complete embodiment in a positive way, as if they are healthy and well, and the universe is a kind and friendly place to be. No wonder it’s becoming a sought-after experience!

Maybe it’s more spiritual for one person and more grounding for another. It seems to be a little bit different for everyone, and different each time. And that makes sense because our needs and awareness all vary.

Who would not want to live deeply in and from their body when it feels like this?