I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend Hannah and invite you to join us both in June for a very special learning experience.
Yoga Nidra Teacher RYT500
“I like the practice of yoga for many reasons. Yoga saved my life when I was a puddle on the floor. It has helped my spine remain flexible through 70 years of rugged living. It has trained my mind to remain in a relaxed state while the world is chaotically spinning around me. It has given me the tools to receive life’s challenges as a welcomed guest at my door.
For me, yoga is not just about learning to be FLEXIBLE … yoga is teaching me how to be FREE. I am a world traveler, and enjoy spending time in third world cultures where daily living is beautifully simplistic, nature loving, and unfettered by our intense technological schisms.”
– Hannah Johansen
Hannah began offering her gifts of wisdom as a faculty member of YogaMotion Academy three years ago. However, our friendship and professional collaboration spans over thirty years. We first connected through the art of massage when I began working for Hannah as a therapist at Alpenglow Spa services in the Huntley Lodge, Big Sky back in 1987. Both of us were intrinsically involved in alternative healing modalities and the practices of Yoga, as well as immersed in the joys of living the Montana lifestyle. Being a native of the state, Hannah exuded a down-to-earth essence in conjunction with her wild gypsy spirit. Our souls connected and we have shared the evolution of our lives and friendship ever since.
On staff with YogaMotion RYS200 Teacher Training, Hannah has been introducing our students to the insightful practices of Yoga Nidra and the Power of Intention. It is my deepest honor to be combining our skills through the collaboration of Mind over Matter, an advanced training on the psychology of Yoga addressing the deeper work on the soul’s journey toward healing and awakening. This course is a core module of YogaMotion’s RYS300 Teacher Training and is also open to any practitioner of yoga seeking to reclaim their true aliveness.
The Yoga of Freedom
By Hannah Johansen
As a yoga practitioner since the mid 70’s, certified to teach since 1992, and a disciple of one of the last remaining Gurus that brought yoga to the West in the 60’s, I have had the opportunity to witness the circular developmental evolution of yoga as practiced in the West.
From the purity of the Guru’s radiant presence and simple words of truth, most western yoga morphed into focusing primarily on the postures, viewing yoga as healthy exercise, fitness training, and sexy body sculpting. Specialization of categories of yoga evolved with particular gurus, many of whom trademarked their teachings. From there developed the vast commercialization of yoga … the latest fashion of yoga attire, the perfect mat, an array of fancy props, yoga contests, and fancy yoga studios with juice bars, date nights, and who is studying with who mentality.
It doesn’t really matter how many entrapments became attached to the practice of yoga in the west. Regardless of the frills, the essence and power developed from a continual yoga practice will always emerge. Now, 45 years later, I am witnessing the yoga culture in the west slowly returning full circle to its traditional roots and esoteric teachings.
Yoga is not just about learning to be flexible. THE SCIENCE OF YOGA IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING TO BE FREE. How do we learn to be free and what does freedom really mean?
From a layman perspective, I like to remind myself that my body is not the real me. I like to think of my body as my mobile home, providing a place for the real me to live and experience life in physical form.
What is the “real me” and how do I get to experience the “real me” that I am?
According to yoga cosmology, all of creation has two aspects. Formless space and the matter that fills that space. The formless is like a container. It is the ever-present backdrop behind all of existence. The contents, or forms, that are contained in the space are all composed of varying degrees of density from the subtlest to the densest.
The real me is the energy (prana) in the container that has condensed itself into physical manifestation.
The denser the energy is, the harder it is to change. Subtler energies affect grosser ones. So, one could say that our bodies are the visible and grosser manifestations of what is happening on a subtler level. Thus, thought creates form.
Freedom is the ability to go to the subtler levels of energy to change the form. (Imagine steam melting ice.)
Pranayama and meditation, two of the eight limbs of yoga, are powerful tools to carry us on our journey to that place where subtler energy can change grosser form. This is the world where we learn to see that which cannot be seen.
Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy both use the tools of meditation and pranayama to access these subtle energies to reform the grosser matter.
Yoga Nidra is a deprogramming process that dissolves our past (karma) and frees our energies from old emotional patterns. It also provides us the opportunities to recreate our personal history.
Yoga therapy provides opportunity to identify, experience and dissolve blocks in the body formed from these patterns. Dissolving the blocks gives us the opportunity to dissolve the memories and “stuck” emotions that created the blocks in the first place.
The cosmology of yoga is melding itself more and more into our western yoga culture. Hatha yoga (physical forms) combined with meditation and pranayama is where the practice of true yoga begins.
Yoga – yoking together the practices that bring balance to body, mind, emotions, and spirit so that we may awaken the consciousness of the heart.
Join us at Mind Over Matter – dive into the Psychology of Yoga. Explore and experience the tools that allow your steam to melt your ice. Set Yourself Free.