Sarah Scharf on Holding Space in the “New Normal”: Yes, And

Sarah Scharf, MFA is a yoga teacher, author of the upcoming book, Holding Space: The Creative Performance and Voice Workbook for Yoga Teachers and theatre artist. She holds an MFA in Physical Theatre and has completed multiple training courses in Yoga of various styles. In London she taught at Triyoga – the largest studio in Europe – and worked as a mentor for the Yogacampus Teacher Training. She runs popular workshops and training on voice work and performance skills for yoga teachers, and works as a movement director and teaching artist for theatre. She is an American currently living in Vienna.

Improvisational theatre has a rule that is not to be broken under any circumstances: Yes, And. The principle is simple: whatever is happening must be accepted before we add to it. The pandemic has made this principle my greatest ally. It helps me acknowledge the challenge of uncertain work income, the inability to plan or make decisions with a full picture and the intensity of grief that has rocked me as our world has changed so quickly. At a recent workshop I gave, a longtime yoga and meditation teacher commented that improvisation is very much like mindfulness. I totally agree. Mindfulness as a practice of being aware of what is present, what is actually happening versus being stuck in our thoughts and expectations, is the basis of improvisation.

The “new normal”

Teachers of all types have suddenly been asked to teach through new mediums. People with different types of jobs are zooming and working remotely. Those of us who have work that can be moved online are lucky, yet the transition has been rocky for a lot of us. My background in theatre and many years of teaching experience have really helped me to adapt. Most of this blog is adapted from my upcoming book Holding Space:The Creative Performance and Voice Workbook for Yoga Teachers. We don’t need to be trained actors to communicate clearly and effectively through screens. We do need to embrace improvisation, allow for the learning curves and be extra kind to ourselves. Continue reading

Experiencing Acupuncture: An Introduction by John Hamwee

John Hamwee is an experienced practitioner and teacher of acupuncture and zero balancing, with over twenty-five years’ experience in practice.

He is the author of Experiencing Acupuncture: Journeys of Body, Mind and Spirit for Patients and Practitioners, which was published in April 2020, as well as Acupuncture for New PractitionersIntuitive AcupunctureThe Spirit of the Organs and Zero Balancing.

In this article, he briefly explains why he decided to write his latest book, and how he hopes it will help both acupuncturists and their patients.

I am often puzzled and regularly find myself faced with difficult choices in my acupuncture practice. How many times in the treatment room have I thought – I wish I could talk to one of my teachers right now. I know they wouldn’t tell me what to do but they would make suggestions based on their deep knowledge and long experience. They’d say how they managed when they struggled with diagnoses which were convincing but didn’t work, when they found the  messages of pulse, tongue and symptoms contradictory, and when they too had patients who somehow seemed to resist treatment. Continue reading

Rebecca Avern: Supporting Children and Teens in Lockdown

Rebecca Avern is a traditional acupuncturist and founder of The Panda Clinic, a children’s acupuncture centre in Oxford. She is also author of Acupuncture for Babies, Children and Teenagers, writes a blog at Nurturing the Young, and is senior lecturer and clinical supervisor at the College of Integrated Medicine, Reading, UK.

In this vlog, Rebecca discusses the effects and impacts of the current lockdown on children, and what parents can do to help them through this difficult period – whether they’re primary school-aged or teenagers – from both a Chinese medicine and a parenting perspective.

 

To read more about Rebecca’s background and motivation to write her book, read our #MeetTheSDAuthor interview with her by clicking here. 

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A Soothing Yoga Practice from Sian O’Neill

In these unprecedented and extraordinary times, we are all experiencing lots of different emotions. Yoga offers a set of tools to help us understand and soothe our minds when feeling overwhelmed, and to help both mind, body and soul.

Follow this soothing, relaxing practice with Sian O’Neill, for you to feel refreshed and reset. Take time out to nourish yourself.

 

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Breath, Qigong and Yoga Techniques for Children

During this challenging time, many children can experience anxiety, stress or anger due to staying at home. To help manage these feelings and equip them with tools they can use anywhere and anytime, Singing Dragon has collated some book recommendations below. These books teach breathing, Qigong and yoga techniques for children to help focus their attention and calm their thoughts, as well as enabling parents to learn with them.

Click the titles of the books – or the cover images – to learn more or purchase a copy.

 

Ladybird’s Remarkable Relaxation
How children (and frogs, dogs, flamingos and dragons) can use yoga relaxation to help deal with stress, grief, bullying and lack of confidence
Michael Chissick, illustrated by Sarah Peacock

This engaging picture book teaches an effective yoga relaxation technique that children can use anywhere and anytime to cope with anxiety, stress, grief, or bullying. Whether they feel stressed like Frog, or lack confidence like Dog, children will relate to the cast of delightful characters and learn that they too can use relaxation to cope with anxiety, bullying, or grief, and face their worries. Continue reading

Developing a home yoga practice with Alison Leighton

Alison Leighton wrote a chapter on home practice in the Yoga Student Handbook: Develop Your Knowledge of Yoga Principles and Practice. She has been teaching yoga since 2010 and is registered with both the British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance. She teaches classes and workshops in studios and also on a one-to-one basis with private clients.

During this Coronavirus crisis, remaining healthy and motivated have become more important than ever. Fortunately, technology is on our side and there are many excellent live stream options for home yoga practice with your regular teachers.

To complement this, I highly recommend having a home yoga practice where you practice on your own. You effectively take charge of when you practice, what you practice and the duration of your practice. This gives you total flexibility, especially if you are short on time or you want to focus on something specific as opposed to doing a full spectrum class practice.

Where do you start?

OK, so you want to practice at home but you don’t know where to start or how to find the motivation. Continue reading

Breath Hygiene: Keeping the Mind and Body Healthy Through COVID-19

Robin Rothenberg, author of Restoring Prana and forthcoming Svadhyaya Breath Journal: A Companion Workbook to Restoring Prana (June 2020), served for six years on the IAYT Accreditation Committee in addition to running a busy yoga therapy practice. Her yoga therapist training program was one of the first to be accredited by IAYT in 2014 and she has been a yoga therapist for over 20 years. You can find out more about Robin at Essential Yoga TherapyBelow she shares tips for keeping the mind and body healthy through COVID-19.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen numerous social media posts counseling people to stay calm and stay clean. In my experience, employing good breath hygiene is the most effective way to both remain grounded and support immune and respiratory health. The breath is our greatest inner resource and with a little breath education, you too can develop the capacity to settle yourself, even when fear is gnawing at your gut!  Initially, breath hygiene may feel unfamiliar or awkward (much like learning to wipe down everything you touch with disinfectant) but the more you work with it, the easier it gets.

Here are five valuable tips for how you can use the breath as a powerful BFF to enhance emotional regulation, while simultaneously giving your immune system a boost.

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Tongue Diagnosis during the SARS and the Covid-19 outbreaks

Gold Mirrors and Tongue Reflections by Ioannis Solos

Please note: This blog entry presents some very gruesome tongue pictures related to the corona virus. Although in China it is now legal for traditional doctors to assist in the management of epidemics in well-regulated hospital setting and fever clinics, in other countries most traditional clinics are not equipped to deal with such events. Please refrain from trying to provide treatment unless your clinic is fully equipped to do so, and also always act in accordance to the laws of the country you’re licensed to provide healthcare.

In 80% of the cases, the Covid-19 will most likely resemble a seasonal flu condition. It is highly unlikely that someone with a severe infection will first try to consult a traditional doctor. However, in case they do, please make sure that they call a hospital or an appropriate hotline for further assistance. Continue reading

Chinese Medicine Psychology: Applying classical ideas to contemporary clinical settings

By Dr Mary Garvey

Our new book, Chinese Medicine Psychology: A Clinical Guide to Mental and Emotional Wellness, is the culmination of many years of clinical work, teaching, research and collaboration. It includes and expands upon some of our previous conference and published papers. It also contains a lot of new material to provide a more complete guide to Chinese medicine’s practice response, management and cultivation of mental and emotional well-being.

What does the book cover?

The book applies classical ideas to the contemporary clinical setting, modern disease categories and individual patient presentations, and is in two parts. Continue reading

A Free Book from Richy K. Chandler and Singing Dragon

During these troubling times, our mental health remains just as key as our physical well-being. Therefore, Singing Dragon is pleased to share the full contents of the latest book by Richy K. Chandler: What the Hell Just Happened?! Comfort and Wisdom for When Your World Falls Apart.

This inspirational book helps readers overcome troubling times in their lives through vivid illustrations and positive affirmations. The book shows how you can face your past and embrace your future, and provides thoughtful tips to remind you of what you can be at your emotionally strongest and smartest. Continue reading