Posted by: Trudy Prevost | November 14, 2016

The Science of Yoga

“It is not arrogant or egotistical to feel good inside. You had nothing to do with it. It’s simply the honest response to clearly perceived Reality.”  ~ Erich Schiffman

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In my 20 years as a teacher I have had the opportunity to ask 100’s and hundreds of people from a wide variety of cultures and walks of life – ‘Why are you practicing yoga?”

My own personal observations have found: people first practice yoga for many different reasons – science; flexibility; stress management; pregnancy; balance; disease prevention; therapy; brain function; core strength; scholastic achievement ……

But I have also observed that with long time regular practice people start to practice for a different reason. Long time practitioners tend to simply say “It makes me feel good.” “I like how I feel good after.”

I love the science of yoga; I love sharing the studies and I generally find it is one of the reasons people tell me they love my yoga.

I have seen with my own eyes over and over again – since the first yoga study from Penn State University in 1998 – the way people’s faces light up and smiles beam out upon hearing a scientific study in relationship to their practice of the moment.   

It was this inspiration I observed – this mindfulness that was encouraged when people heard about a scientific study – that made me take the time to study the Allopathic Science of Yoga and the Ayurvedic Science of Yoga.

For a simple example: a 2012 study from Brazil published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.

According to the press release  this study has shown that if you can descend and rise from the floor easily you will live longer.

Just last Monday at my class at Fort Young we were all seriously and mindfully practicing our yoga. As we rose from the floor I invited everyone to rise without their hands; quoting the scientific study from Brazil that said you may live longer if you have this ability. It was like turning on a light bulb – smiles emerged; faces shone and comments flowed!

 

The science of yoga with Rainbow Yoga – to enhance mindfulness and brighten your practice.

 

 

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | September 16, 2016

The History of Yoga Mats

18894_1119158214766051_3937253603860798807_nRainbow Yoga in Calibishi

Anywhere you travel in the world it is hard to picture practicing yoga without a mat.

We can now find yoga mats on the remotest of beaches; amongst the trees of forests and in remote valleys.

exhaulted lungeRainbow Yoga in the Forest

As practitioners yoga mats prevent us from slipping; cushion our bodies and help us find positions and movements. As we walk onto our mat we enter a safe space where we can escape from the busy often hectic pace of our lives.

As yoga teachers we use yoga mats to help our students fine tune positioning; transition to the next move; and keep their practice within a designated space in group classes.

To some teachers a folded or rolled mat is a valuable piece of equipment that can be utilized to assist our student to find the optimum positioning or release more restoratively into their poses.

You may find it shocking to learn yoga mats were only invented in the 1970’s!

Yes yoga does predate yoga mats!!!! Yoga was actually practiced for 1000s of years without mats!

When I started practicing yoga we used a very thin cotton ‘yoga mat’ futon or rug.

Most of the yoga studios I saw in Canada  in those days were covered in wall to wall carpeting and we just put a towel or cloth down.

When I travelled through the Caribbean in 1980/81/82 most of the Caribbean Yoga Studios had wooden floors. We used the distribution of weight into our feet; the muscles in our legs and our core to prevent slippage.

Then in the 1970’s it was Angela Farmer a Yoga Teacher who had a medical condition caused by surgery in her youth that prevented the soles of her feet and the palms of her hands from sweating who first thought of using carpet backing as a yoga mat to prevent slippage.

There was such an immediate demand her father began selling these type of yoga mats but the carpet backing did not last long under vigorous yoga practice.

Gradually longer lasting sticky mats were designed specifically for yoga. These mats were made from PVC’s – they smelled strongly of chemicals and had to be aired for days when new but they provided a grip that had never been experienced by yoga practitioners before.

Over the years much less toxic yoga mats were designed and now even a ‘budget’ mat does not contain PVCs.

To add to their popularity they became much more affordable – in Dominica a yoga mat cost $160 EC in the 1990’s but now they are easily available at a range of places at $30 and $40 dollars EC – in North America a budget yoga mat can be purchased for $10/$20 US.

In the last 20 years many styles of eco mats made totally of natural products have been designed – a natural evolution for a mindful lifestyle if you can afford it as they range in price from $50 US to $100 US.

Personally I believe the evolution of yoga mats has dramatically changed the practice of yoga and I write further on this in my blog post Practicing with Yoga Mats.

Oh by the way – if your mat does wear out there are many innovative ways to Recycle Your Mat.

Do you practice at a gym or studio where mats are used by many? Be aware! Many teachers do not Wash the Mats after every use and this is an invitation for trouble!

childrens-yoga-e2A Rainbow Yoga Session in Dominica in the 1990’s – we used thin foam mats (totally uneco) covered with a cloth or slippery gym mats to lie, sit and kneel on but we used the grip of our feet on the floor and the strength in our legs to practice standing poses.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | August 5, 2016

Styles of Yoga – Afrikan Yoga

Continuing our series of articles on The Styles of Yoga and Egyptian Kemetic Yoga.

We dedicate this blog post to Afrikan Yoga founded by Pablo Imani.

What is Afrikan Yoga?

This is a sample of a class and an interview with him.

I like his fun flowing style and the explanations to the movements in everyday African life.

The following video is by

According to Pablo Imani of Afrikan Yoga “is form of Egyptian Yoga, focuses on energy development and emotional cleansing of the physical and emotional body through the development of movement and postures.

Through the practice of a system of Sayunaats/Postures commonly called Asanas, its use of Hanu movements Raagus African Dance and Hudu African Tai chi aims to unite the body, mind and spirit for health and well-being. This discipline is considered a powerful tool to relieve the stresses of modern-day life which in turn can help promote total physical and spiritual well-being.

Afrikan Yoga is characterized by its attention to rhythmic movements and precise focus on breath. Menfesawe-Imani pioneered the use of affirmations, drums, stretch-bands, sticks, crystals and stones held in the hands and the elements Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether, which function as aids for combining body and psycho-spiritual awareness allowing beginners to experience movement and postures more easily and  fully than might otherwise be possible without several years of practice.

An emphasis of co-ordinating movement, dance and awareness of muscles, internal organs and emotional effects of movements are emphasized in Afrikan Yoga.  They are said to release emotional blockages, increase vitality, improve circulation, libido coordination and balance, ensuring a strong foundation for meditational poses.

Unlike the Western and Indian approaches where students are fixated to static movements of the body and suppressed emotions an Afrikan Yoga class is verbal and lively with precise instructions and corrections to movements and postures. A typical class encourages freedom of movement in the hips, torso, arms and legs.”

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | July 23, 2016

Recycle Your Mat

Is your yoga mat worn out?

Don’t throw it away – recycle it!

People have thought up a multitude of ways to recycle an old yoga mat even though The History of Yoga Mats is short ….

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The Home

Jar Opening Pads – cut old yoga mat into squares slightly larger than jar lids and use to grip when opening jars.

Floor Protectors – cut the yoga mat into small pads that fit under the foot of furniture legs. Glue on and put an end to scratching floors.

Rug Gripper — place your old mat under an area rug for no-slip gripping. The floors are protected from the dirt and dust that falls through the rug.

Drawer/Shelf Liners – cut the mat to fit and line drawers or shelves to prevent slippage and breakage.

Step Treads – cut the mat into rectangles slightly smaller than the size of the step — glue on for a permanent solution or let the mat’s inherent stickiness hold it in place for easy removal. You can use these on outside or inside stairs.

Baby Bath Mat – cut an old yoga mat to appropriate size and use on the bottom of the sink or tub to prevent slippage or use for water resistant padding when drying and dressing the baby.

Packing Mats – use old yoga mats to protect glassware and furniture while moving or shipping.  Cut into the appropriate sizes, or use whole.

Coasters – cut rounds or squares for coasters. You can also glue laminated pictures on top for prettier coasters.

Hot Pads –  cut pieces of old yoga mat and glue to the bottom of beautiful ceramic tiles to make hot pads that protect tables and prevent sliding.

Entrance Mats – Cut to fit closet floors or place in foyers as a place for muddy shoes.

Dried Flowers Support – cut into pieces for holding artificial or dried flowers in place in vases.

Flower Pot Drainage – Cut into strips and use for drainage in flower pots.

Flower Pot Mats – cut into a slightly larger shape then the saucer of the flower pot. Place under the saucer to protect surface from rust or stains and rugs from compression.

Draft Protectors – cut and roll old yoga mats to plug up drafty places and save energy — windows, doors, under window air conditioners.

Home Equipment Mats – cut the old yoga mat and place under the washing machine, freezer; refrigerator or other equipment to protect floors.

Bedside Mat – lay an old yoga mat next to beds so the weak and infirm don’t slip while getting in and out of bed.

The Pets

Pet Carrier Pad – cut the old yoga mat to line the carrying crate to prevent sliding, provide non slip footing, improve padding and make clean up easier.

Food Dish Pad –  – cut the old yoga mat to fit under the pet’s food and water dishes to make cleanup easier and prevent the dishes from sliding around.

Kitty Litter Box Mat – place the kitty litter box on top of a yoga mat cut to be wider and longer then the box to capture any misses and clean their paws as they exit.

Travel Mat – use an old yoga mat on the car seat when travelling with a pet to protect the seats and give them more traction.

Sleeping Mat – a folded yoga mat is a great sleeping mat for dogs or cats. Easy to travel with.

The Campsite

Sleeping Mat – place an old yoga mat under the sleeping bag or sheets for extra padding when sleeping on the ground. It can double as your practice mat.

Door Mat – lay yoga mat/s just outside the entrance of the tent. It provides a clean padded surface to kneel down on when entering and exiting the tent as well as preventing dirt from entering the tent.

The Playground

Floppy Frisbee – cut circles out and make Floppy Frisbees.

Jungle Gym Padding – shred old yoga mats and use for  jungle gym under the equipment or at the end of the slide for softer landings!

Sports Bases – cut old yoga mats to make bases for baseball or rounders. Easy to carry. put away and clean!

The School/ Home School

Masks – cut into appropriate shape then cut eye holes; decorate; punch holes on each side and attach elastic to create masks.

Costumes – cut old yoga mats for a unique cloth to make into hats and costumes.

Water Toys –  cut into shapes and letters for tub and pool toys.

Shapes Decorations/Mobile – use cookie cutters or scissors to cut old yoga mats into shapes – punch a hole in the top and hang or attach to mobile.

Snowflake Decorations/Mobile – cut old yoga mat into a square then fold and cut it into snowflake ornaments – punch a hole in the top and hang or attach to mobile.

Arts and Craft Pad – make crafting mats for painting; pay dough or science experiments to assist with cleanup and prevent slippage and spills!

Stamps – cut old yoga mats into shapes and use as stamps with non-toxic paint. Glue a couple of layers together to make the stamp thicker and easier to handle.

Decorations – trace and cut out patterns from the unworn areas and make decorations

Educational Equipment – use an exacto-knife to cut out shapes, letters, numbers, etc. Perfect for little fingers.

Sitting Mats – cut old mats to sun; moon; star; square shapes just the right size for your students to sit on.

Circle Time/Assembly Mats – Cut old Yoga mats into appropriate size to provide a personal space for the student to remain in yet take up as little space as possible. These are much easier for students to carry and put away then chairs.

The Car/Truck

Dashboard Protector – Use an old yoga mat to protect your car from sun by laying it over the window or the dashboard and steering wheel.

Picnic Mat – keeping an old yoga mat inn the car is great for those spur of the moment picnics,

Truck Back Mat – use an old mat on the floor of the truck back to protect paint. prevent scratches and slippage.

Trunk Mat – cover the floor of the trunk with yoga mats to keep groceries from sliding around in the trunk.

Beach Mat – keep an old yoga mat in the car to use on the beach instead of a towel.

Roof Protector – before putting a rack on the car, cut an old yoga mat down, so that it ends up being under the rack to protect the car roof

Moving Pad – put an old yoga mat between what you carry and the roof of the car  to protect both from abrasion.

Event/Bleecher Mat – use an old yoga mat to protect clothes and provide padding when sitting on the ground or on benches. Provides better protection from wet surfaces than a blanket.

Mechanics Mat – lay an old yoga mat down over the wet, muddy, snowy, dusty, yucky, cold ground or concrete to make work more comfortable. Hose it off afterward to keep it clean.

Sit Upons – cut the mat into equal pieces to make one top and bottom (the size of a newspaper laid flat). Next, punch holes about every 2 inches all the way around (both top and bottom). Then, take a couple of days worth of newspapers and lay them between the top and bottom. Use yarn, ribbon, rawhide, etc. to lace the holes and tie off. To re-stuff, untie and add new newspaper.

The Garden

Knee Pad – use a folded yoga mat as a knee pad.

Weed Killer -lay an old mat over a section of garden and let the mat and the sun’s heat smother the growth of weeds and their seeds. Just remove the mat to another spot in the garden when you are ready to plant.

The Yoga Studio

Yoga Pads – cut the old mats into “baby yoga mats” and use under hands and knees to protect from  hard floor.

Knee Savers – cut an old mat into rectangles, roll tightly, and tape to stay closed. I call them knee-savers, for those in yoga class whose knees are tight – put it behind the knee, then bend the knee to hold in place. It helps the knee open gently.

The Office

Mouse Pads – cut old yoga mats to make mouse pads.

The Workshop/Garage

Workbench Pad – cut the old yoga mat to fit the workbench to prevent slippage and protect surfaces.

Corner/ Sharp Edge Padding – use old yoga mats to cover sharp corners like in a parking garage or school.

Wall Protectors – grommet the corners and suspend the old yoga mat from the ceiling of a garage or workshop to lower noise levels and protect walls.

Sound Proofing – tack old yoga mats against walls for an interesting aesthetic effect while also providing sound-proofing. It can also be tacked to the back of an upright piano for the same purposes.

Donate

homeless shelters

animal  rescue shelter

preschools

nursing homes

primary schools

Wash the Mat Mats recycled in this way are easy to clean. They can be wiped; thrown in with a load of wash on cold temperatures; hosed down; moped with a clean mop or when really dirty scrubbed with a brush.

Most things made from recycled yoga mats are easy  to store, lightweight, washable, reusable, and provide padding.

 I am sure there is a myriad of other uses limited only by our imaginations! I will add your tip if you send it in!🙂

 

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | July 23, 2016

Practice with a Mat

Kneeling Twist

If you have been practicing yoga for over 40 years like me you remember yoga before yoga mats!

I believe it is important for us to keep in mind our practice was different without mats.

I propose practicing frequently without your mat especially for standing poses to build functional fitness

 

Asanas that previously would have required more strength now require more flexibility.

 

If you have practiced yoga on the grass, in the sand, or even on a blanket, you know that standing postures require more strength than flexibility. The effort to prevent your hands and feet from sliding away from one another is an example of isometric contraction.

Without some degree of instability in our practice surface, the tendency is to wedge oneself into postures. The result is “hanging out” in knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders. This “hanging out” in joints is the main culprit in a problem that William Broad recently misdiagnosed in a New York Times article suggesting that flexibility is a liability in yoga. Maybe it is not flexibility, but our mats, that are causing the wear and tear on hips and knees. The increasing stickiness of our mats is causing an imbalance in the strength and flexibility required in yoga practice.

 

 

The front leg in utthita trikonasana (triangle) is a great example. If your mat is sticky enough, your front foot will not budge. This enables you to “lean” more weight straight down into that front leg rather than pulling upward with muscles of the leg. Practice triangle with your front foot on a blanket and notice how different is your experience with the front leg. It must engage. It quivers from the effort required not to slip forward into an awkward and regrettable front split.

Yoga mats have stretch-ified yoga. Asanas that previously would have required more strength now require more flexibility.

Privatization of Yoga Space

Imagine yourself expanding outward into infinite space . . . and stay off my mat!

Imagine a scene with me: It’s a big class at a bustling yoga studio. As one class ends and blissed-out yogis spill from the doors, the next wave of eager students moves in with mats in hand. It’s a gold rush populated by spiritual prospectors looking to stake their claim in the Wild West of their favorite yoga studio.

The yoga mat does more than just provide a sticky surface. The mat defines your space. We personalize our mats to more accurately reflect who we are as practitioners.

The yoga mat does more than just provide a sticky surface. The mat defines your space. We personalize our mats to more accurately reflect who we are as practitioners. It is not just about picking the right color. We need to decide if we are going with PVC or an “eco” mat. We also need to decide on size, thickness, portability, and designs on the mat. We might have the latest super-eco, mega-grip, John Friend Manduka mat, or a mysore rug, or a $10 PVC mat from Walmart with a picture of a lotus flower on it.

The yoga mat serves as a fence. It separates my space from yours. People cannot put their feet on my mat. They cannot stretch their limbs into “my” yoga space. Crowded yoga workshops and classes offer a hilarious glimpse into the world of private yoga space. Watch people tip-toeing through rows of mats, bobbing and weaving through bolsters and water bottles on their way to the washroom. It is absurd.

The bare floor is public space. Everyone can walk wherever they like. The yoga mat is private space. It is a modern day version of the original tea party motto “Don’t tread on me.”

The irony is striking, isn’t it? We are practicing loosening the boundaries of the self and learning to experience expansiveness rather than being caught up in a restrictive and skin-limited understanding of the self. And we are doing this from the confines of our personalized, brightly colored, private rectangular yoga spaces.

Choices and Freedom

If yoga is a technology of human freedom, it would be silly for me to end by saying yoga mats are bad and you should stop using them. That would not be in the service of freedom. Freedom means awareness of options and the power to make your own decisions. Sometimes we decide to defer to the authority of another—but that is a choice.

Angela Farmer using that piece of carpet underlay did not impress BKS Iyengar, but she chose not to let Iyengar’s insistence on doing yoga only with the body interfere with the unfolding journey of her own yoga practice. (A funny note here—a couple of decades later, in 1989, Farmer saw Iyengar doing a demonstration using one of her yoga mats!)

So this is not about using mats or not using mats. It’s about evaluating the decisions we are making, and sometimes that means looking for the assumptions we bring to the practice. Are we assuming that we need a mat to practice yoga? What are the benefits and drawbacks of that assumption? The more conscious we make our assumptions, the more our yoga practice can become a mindful practice of freedom.

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | July 22, 2016

Summer Specials Island Wide

Weekly Classes

Fort Young Hotel Roseau; Harlem Plaza New Town/Roseau; Papillote Rainforest Retreat Trafalgar; Rainbow Restaurant Calibishi

International Pricing $10 US – one class; $15 US – two classes

Local and CARICOM $10 XCD; each location has a rate for the month of August

We provide mats and straps.

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | July 21, 2016

Yoga for Rounded Bodies

” If you are in a larger body and you want to start practicing yoga the first thing you need to do is stop thinking about your body size – immediately. Just disregard it; it doesn’t matter. There may be points in your life where it matters what size you are; you know; if you are trying to buy pants at the gap or you’re to like trying to jump out of an airplane there is a weight limit – this is not one of those times. So be comfortable with the fact that as you are showing up on your mat you are perfect already.” ~ Jessamyn Stanley; Yoga Teacher; Writer; Body Positive Activist

@mynameisjessamyn

“Yoga helped me accept the way my body is” ~ Jessamyn Stanley; Yoga Teacher; Writer; Body Positive Activist This woman teaches advanced format vinyasa flow yoga!

 

I am so happy to see people of all body shapes and ages embracing yoga in the media. I have had the privilege of working with people of all body sizes in my teaching practice.

So many people tell me yoga is for thin people or yoga is for small people. Like this teacher says in another video if you study the leading Yoga Media sites and magazines all you see is white slim women in extremely strong poses.

I never used to see articles about African Yoga; photos of people of all ages; cultures and body types practicing yoga – but that is changing. Oh joy!

This woman is extremely wise in her approach. How can a larger bodied person start yoga?

 

She has a good Beginner’s Yoga class on youtube.

 

 

Here is her Beginner Intermediate Class

 

You can support her by purchasing her online classes

 

Raspect  Jessamyn Stanley!

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | July 13, 2016

YouTube Yoga for Children

A lot of my followers and students have been asking about Yoga for Children links. Every week this summer I will be posting links to my favorite yoga videos for primary school children.

If your child does not like the first one you show them try another one because like adults – children relate to different styles of yoga differently.

This week we feature:

Norris the Baby Seahorse

A Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure

I have been following these videos for years; she was one of the first yoga teachers telling stories with yoga online.

All the stories I have watched are positive uplifting themes; no hidden marketing; no violence. I love the Social Skills in line with the Yoga Lifestyle she blends into the stories.

 

 

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | June 23, 2016

Summer 2016

18894_1119158214766051_3937253603860798807_nYes there will still be yoga sessions all summer long!

Summer Special

July and August only

$10 EC per class – ECCE CARICOM price

$10 US a class – international price

Stay tuned for a few special events.

ROSEAU
HARLEM PLAZA

Tuesdays 8:30 am – Eclectic Yoga

ROSEAU
FORT YOUNG

Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Eclectic Yoga

TRAFALGHAR
PAPILLOTE

Fridays 5:00 pm – Eclectic Yoga

CALIBISHI
RAINBOW RESTAURANT

Wednesdays 9:00 am to 10:30 pm – Eclectic Yoga

You can also always book your own private yoga session – special Staycation prices! This is an experience everyone should have at least once – A Private Yoga Session designed with your history and needs in mind!

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Have a happy and healthy summer!

 

Posted by: Trudy Prevost | June 14, 2016

Body and Soul – an Introduction to Ayurveda

“Thank-you Trudy Scott Prevost for being the yoga consultant for “Body & Soul”..for sharing your wisdom, knowledge and insights!” Jessica Canham; Link International

Body_Soul_Ayurvedic

It was a privilege to be a small part of the effort that went into Body and Soul – an Introduction to Ayurveda as a Consultant on the Science of Yoga

I love the science of yoga. I love working as a Writer and Yoga Consultant especially with regards to The Science of Yoga   ….. studies have shown yoga may prevent; alleviate or reverse some diseases.

I love promoting The Lifestyle of Yoga   …..  all the aspects: the food; the breathing; the mindfulness; the movements; the postures

I love promoting Caribbean Health and Wellness as I am lucky and blessed to live in Dominica.

I love the fact that I have been around long enough that I can observe that what I learned in my yoga teacher training is now being scientifically proven.

I love working with Jessica and Tim at  Link International  I love the work this company does; their efforts to capture the energy of the moment and the joy of living.

Their promotion of Dominica as an Active Health and Wellness Destination and the culture of the Caribbean.

Their video for Dominica Spa and Wellness Association was exactly what we needed.

In their new TV Series which I had the privilege of acting as a Consultant on the Science of Yoga they introduce viewers to the basic aspects of Ayurveda, with a focus on six styles of yoga, “dosha” body types, and therapeutic massage, all set in the lush, tropic oasis of the Bodyholiday Wellness Centre and Spa in St. Lucia.

I learned of Body Holiday through their work – someday I will visit there.

Check out the TV Series here

Body and Soul – an Introduction to Ayurveda

 

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