As yoga instructors or yoga therapists, we often use Yoga Nidra or meditation “scripts”. And just like you, I too find some of the wording cumbersome and I stumble quite often over the language. There are certain scripts that resonant with me like those created by iRest experts but even those don’t roll off my tongue naturally.
I like language that is clear and concise. Language that is easy to understand and that anyone participating in my classes can relate to and gain benefit. I steer away from loaded language and use more Western terminology in my group meditation and Yoga Nidra classes since some students are not coming to class for spiritual or philosophical reasons-they just might be trying to sleep better at night.
A good way to find out how you sound reading one of these pre-written scripts is to record yourself. It will help you develop an authentic voice as a yoga instructor and/or therapist. You’ll instantly pick up on those parts of the language that sound “fake”. You know those parts..."like there is no way in the world I would normally talk like that."
So what do I do? I change it up!
Some Common Script Language and How I Change It
What are some ways you, as a yoga instructor, change language to be more authentic?
As a student, what language have you heard an instructor use that sounded odd?
Relaxation is one of the single most important activities you can partake in to optimize pelvic floor health. Relaxation allows you to tap into interoception-that ability to sense and feel what is happening in your body.
So, what is happening in your body when you breath? The anatomy and function of your pelvic diaphragm is directly linked to the anatomy and function of your respiratory diaphragm. When you inhale, as your lungs fill with air, your respiratory diaphragm descends and presses down onto your abdominal cavity which, in turn, presses onto your pelvic diaphragm. When you exhale, the two diaphragms return to their neutral upward position.
Diaphragmatic breathing not only activates the parasympathetic nervous system and the relaxation response, but it creates this movement naturally.
Diaphragmatic Breathing=A Healthy Pelvic Floor
Let’s Try It!
• Lying in on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, place one hand on your belly (just below your ribcage) and one hand on your chest. Begin to take long, slow, breaths which cause your belly to rise. However, your chest should remain still.
• You can start with equal breaths-for example, a count of 4 on the inhale and a count of 4 on the exhale. When you are comfortable, you can begin to lengthen the inhales and exhales.
• As you exhale, gently tighten your abdominal muscles and let them fall inward. The hand on your belly should move down to its original position. You’ll notice the subtle sensation as the pelvic floor contracts (not as intense as contracting to holding in urine).
Keep your pelvic floor healthy! Try to incorporate a little Diaphragmatic Breathing into your daily yoga practice.
"May your jeans, pelvic floor, thoughts, and days off be relaxed."-Pelvic Guru
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
According to Donna Farhi, “Countertransference refers to the way a student, client or patient may evoke repressed feelings on the part of the teacher, therapist or doctor”. By being aware of the countertransference, it enables the yoga therapist to create and maintain better boundaries as well as develop tools to contain feelings so not to destabilize the client-therapist relationship. Trust me-this is easier said than done. I am always working on this aspect of the client/therapist relationship.
I openly admit, I struggle with perfectionism making the most prominent feeling a client can evoke in me--accountability. In my professional and personal life, I am always prepared and hold myself to a high standard especially if I commit to do something for another person. I equate this trait to respect for and towards others. So, when a client lacks what I would call accountability or respect, it makes me soooo angry. I’m also greatly disappointed in and saddened by someone I thought was reliable and trustworthy as if I really know that client on a personal level.
I have to remind myself-I’m the yoga therapist and I don’t know anything more about the client than what he/she/they tell me. The client/therapist relationship is not personal. So, I endeavor to remain professional at all times and try diligently not put my moral/value/ethical system on others or cling to expectations of others that I have no control over. Like I said…easier said than done!! You don’t have to be a yoga therapist to know how hard this is—we experience this same clinging to expectations in everyday life.
Do you hold on a little too tightly to certain aspects of yourself, your life or others? Is it possible to let go of expectations?
How Do I Work on Letting Go Expectations?
I go back to the Yoga Sutras and, in particular, the last Yama …Aparigraha (non-attachment). This enables me to let go of my expectations of others since it only creates suffering for me. Here’s are some ways to cultivate Aparigraha:
What tools can you put in place to steady yourself when attachment and clinging raise their ugly head?
Farhi, D. (2006). Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship. Rodmell Press.
I AM Boundless Bliss Yoga. Just me. I'm a one-lady band. I'm a yoga therapist. I didn't start out to be a yoga therapist, I just wanted to learn more and SHAAAZZAMM...here I am.