Not everyone can do yoga poses,
but everyone can do yoga actions.
Our Creating Space: Yoga Actions books are the foundation of both our 200-hour Teacher Training and 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training programs. We offer these training packages through yoga studios to individuals interested in deepening their own personal practice as well as their diagnostic and teaching skills. For us, yoga has been our primary vehicle for navigating the current stresses and demands during these times of radical transformation. Because most life challenges faced in today’s complex world are unsolvable alone, radical transformation is a co-creative journey—whether your tools are yoga, meditation, painting, writing, gardening, etc. More and more, humanity must come together in collaboration in order to contribute in meaningful ways.
a creative collaboration
between two friends and yoginis
Fortunately, as humans, we have wise reserves to draw upon, both within and around us, for our times of need. YOGA ACTIONS began as a creative collaboration between two friends and yoginis, Candace Propp and myself, Helen Maupin. Our original intent was to write one book in an attempt to capture even a small portion of the knowledge and wisdom we gained from practising yoga. That modest intention mushroomed into —
- six yoga actions books focusing on specific areas of the body,
- two teacher training programs (200- and 500-hour) complete with facilitator manuals and student handbooks,
- a bi-monthly yoga column in the Winnipeg Free Press, and most importantly,
- a deeply-rewarding sisterhood filled with peace, love and joy.
As always, journeys of creation and discovery, whether on or off the yoga mat, take us beyond the scope of our imagination into the Universe’s intentions and gifts. As plant and stone archetypes, Candace and I opened up whole new worlds of learning and possibility; more than we could imagine or accomplish alone.
Our bodies always tell us the truth
about what we are experiencing.
Yoga postures emerged in response to an understanding that tension, tightness and painful suffering can be alleviated and eliminated by tapping into the body’s cellular healing capacity. Our bodies always tell us the truth about what we are experiencing. Unfortunately, we are often too busy or too blind to pay attention. To better utilize our body’s innate ability to heal, we must awaken to how it speaks to us. Yoga poses (asanas) help us to discover where our pain and tension lie. Yoga actions, such as release the thigh bone back and the shin bone forward, take us deeper into our inner experience thereby bringing us ever closer to the source of our suffering. Yoga actions also help us to concentrate our awareness in the present moment. Through this intimate mindfulness of our direct experience, we learn what truth is.
The body must tell one what to do, not the brain. BKS Iyengar
Bless you, for joining us on our co-creative journey into the joy of yoga. Whether in your home, office or wherever you and your computer travel, may our yoga action practices seed collaboration and co-creation in your beautiful life. And, may this connection between us seed even greater compassion and spread peace, love and joy around the world.
2017/18 Schedule (60 Hours Total)
All workshops will be led by Helen Maupin at Serene Yoga Studio, 485 St. Anne’s Road, Winnipeg.
To register for individual workshops, click here.
September 23: TAKING FLIGHT—All About Inversions (Saturday 1 to 5 pm)
In this workshop, you will learn to work safely with a partner while you experiment with a cellular mulha bandha breath during an inversion practice. Inversions, allow us to face our fears and open our physical and energy pathways while pranayama increases the amount of energy that can then flow through these opened passages. Thus, our ability to remain detached, trusting and courageous is strengthened, no matter what confronts us.
In yoga, our aim is to move from Dukha (suffering; unease) to Sukha (well-being, ease, happiness, lightness of being). Deviations from Sukha are registered in the S-curves of the spine. This workshop practices yoga actions that bring your spine back into Tadasana alignment (Sukha), no matter what pose you take.
Much of our unresolved emotional suffering (Dukha), is held in our larger joints—knees, hips, shoulders, ankles, wrists. The focus of this workshop is on opening and strengthening our joint cavities, in particular, the knee joints. To undo old holding patterns and prevent further strain on this naturally unstable joint, yoga actions for asana and pranayama are practised.
December 16: MINDFUL MEDITATION I—Meditating, Writing & Moving with Present Moment Awareness (Saturday 1 to 5 pm)
Since yoga’s birth, unexpected energy releases, sensations, imagery, convulsions or even forms of levitation are reported by yoga practitioners. These more mysterious or mystical aspects of yoga are often revealed to us when we quiet our mind during asana movement, Savasana and meditation. The focus of this workshop is to experience meditative movement in asana and to explore your “mysterious energetic” experience(s) through insight meditation, sharing and journaling. Bring your mystery and your journal.
January 27: INTRODUCTION TO YIN YOGA—Fascia Release (Saturday 1 to 5 pm)
Asana opens up the communication pathways between all aspects and systems of our being, in particular, the nervous system (spine) and the tissues (muscle, bone, fascia, etc.). This is significant because in our 20s our bodies begin aging and our muscles get weaker and looser while our fascia shrink wraps around these tissues. Of course, emotional reactions, such as applying our will, add to these aging effects, which is why it is important to address the fascia in beginner students even before addressing the muscular body. Additionally, when we impose our will on what is emerging in our body, we block our subconscious intelligence from maintaining and nurturing our involuntary systems. The focus of this workshop is to experience longer holds in postures while facilitating the spontaneous healing capacity of our cellular body through the use of a cellular mulha bandha breath technique.
February 17 & 18: 5 KOSHAS—A Practice For Each Sheath (8-hr Saturday & Sunday Workshop)
For millennia, human beings have sought certainty, wellness and immortality outside themselves in the physical world. In actuality, such forms of permanence abide within one’s soul or eternal unchanging self. As yogis, we access our soul by removing the layers of accumulated conditioning and reactive habits currently blocking its true expression. In this workshop, we free our soul by tapping into our koshas—five increasingly deeper layers (sheaths) of being housed within our bodies. You will experience a practice for each sheath—physical, breath and life force, mental, intuition, and soul. A regular, thoughtful eight-limb practice integrates these five koshas providing us with mind-body-spirit wellness.
March 24 : THE BANDHAS I—Hasta & Pada (Saturday 1 to 5 pm)
In yoga, the five bandhas are often described as “energy locks.” They give us the ability to tone and lift various parts of our body despite gravity’s ever-present downward magnetic pull. From a purely physical perspective, an activated bandha engages specific muscle fibres to accomplish this anti-gravity lift. A primary purpose of engaging the bandhas is to prevent injury by lightening our load, in particular, taking weight off our joints. In this workshop, you will use your Hasta (hands) and Pada (feet) Bandhas to reduce the weight bearing on your joints as experienced in both inversions and backbends.
April 28: SENSATION-AL YOGA—Shifting From Doing To Being (Saturday 1 to 5 pm)
Layer by layer, the eight limbs of yoga release us from our unhealthy patterns so we can live in the present with discernment. As a result, we move from doing yoga as a sometimes practice to being yoga (authentic) in each moment of our lives. Our yoga practice provides us with many opportunities to experience the mystery of being—accessing our direct/felt experience—which is the focus of this workshop.
May 26: BUILDING A YOGA CORE I — Balancing the Pelvis (Saturday 1 to 5 pm)
Stabilizing, lengthening and broadening are the primary intentions of all yoga actions. In order to build our container so we can adequately respond to everything encountered in our daily lives, we need to strengthen where we are weak, lengthen where we are contracted and broaden where we are restricted. In this workshop, you will practice muscular, skeletal and breath/organic actions to balance the pelvis and optimize your core capacity.
August 20 to 24: DIAGNOSING BODIES I—Space & Stability (20-hr Monday to Friday intensive)
WANT 6 DOWNLOADABLE TRANSFORMATION TOOLS TO USE HOWEVER YOU LIKE?
Changing a bad habit? Trying to lose weight? Quit smoking?
Not feeling Joy in your life? Tired of your job?
Whatever you're working on, good tools can make the difference between a constant struggle or finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
Change is simple, but not easy. However, it's easier with the right tools.
To help get you started down your path to Joy! I've brought together six of my favourite transformation tools for you to download and use for absolutely free.
– Helen Maupin