Integrating Dharma in Your Classes with Yael Sunshine

2:12 Introduction to Yael Sunshine and integrating dharma into class for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

2:58 Definition of Dharma: Following your inner guidance and connecting with universal principles.

3:51 Designing a class with dharma – start with 5 koshas (physical, mental, energy, thoughts, universal consciousness

4:35 What’s happening in their life because of the diagnosis – dealing with fear, choices are difficult because may be pressure from medical community and/or family.

5:55 Work on deep connection to self, in spite of fear, find authentic choices for themselves, surrender so they can navigate the illness

Give them more tools. Build a relationship between the concepts, ideas, to being felt in the body.

7:05 Difficult to go against medical advice, some can follow their own body’s cues, others may trust their doctor for the treatment.

8:55 Weave some specifics into the class: Ahimsa – violent self-talk, notice the quality of their thoughts, are they judging themselves, not listening to the body, violence against the body. Class pause reminded to come back to their thoughts and observe. Feeling betrayal of the body, anger at the cancer, do I do what the body needs. Observing Pratyhara, not being swayed by the sensory inputs, but listening closely to self and body without distractions. It is often a roller coaster ride and difficult to find and maintain equanimity. May just need to accept the emotions generated by the cancer journey. Using other somatic movements are helpful. Did a runway show where they were to walk down a “pretend” runway and say to themselves I am beautiful. In another instance, Yael gave them permission to say “Get your hands off me” This journey has a lot of people touching you without permission – medical personnel etc. and the cancer patients have little choice. Was a deeply felt emotion to take back control of the body. Can I inhabit and experience what I am feeling. Need space to express negative feelings; feelings that are socially unacceptable.

16:15 In each class, the students’ health is varied from just diagnosed, to being in treatment, to being in remission, etc. Class must be modified to match the energy of the students in the room. Although dharma and the goals of the class may not change, the asanas, breathing and meditation may be modified to reflect where the students are and what they need.

18:15 Teaching is dependent on intuition Cultivate being able to sense the energy in the room. Question the students on how they are feeling and what they want from the class and always have some ideas of what you can do given the situation of the class on that day. What is the final pose? How do we work up to it? What’s the emotion of that pose that people can feel? Need preplanning, experience, intuition. This is a learning experience for a new teacher and can only be obtained by teaching. Experienced teachers may rely too much on their experience, but planning what they want to achieve this month and what is the precept they want to offer and how to do that is also important?

24:21 Yael is an educator, so uses curriculum mapping and uses this tool to address planning for her yoga classes. What is the nature of the students, each class especially one that has a stable membership, has its own character. Different issues arise for different ages, conditions. Sometimes resistance is warranted, sometimes not. Using the 5 koshas to figure out a way to practice and organise the class. What is the most pressing issue?

Contact:

Websites: www.yaelsunshine.com

www.embodiedresiliencetechnique.com

FB: SundariWellness

Instagram: yaelsundari

Your Shift Matters: Breakdown to Breakthrough – book by Dana Zarcone. Yael has contributed a chapter.