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4 Tips for vitality through cleansing and detox - Axis Yoga Teacher Trainings - Denver, CO

4 Tips for Vitality



The Yoga of Cleansing & Four Tips for Increased Vitality


Cleansing has become almost a household word these days. There are many reported and researched health benefits that come from cleansing such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation, dislodging environmental toxins and losing weight.


However, I believe there  are even more benefits to be gained from doing a cleanse.


Cleansing gives us access to expanded mental clarity and a renewed sense of inner freedom.  We all have the tendency to eat more from our emotions and habits than our bellies.  When we set aside our ingrained eating patterns, we become more conscious of our unconscious habits.


Expanding awareness is a cornerstone of yoga practice, and there are many other yogic principles that we can exercise when doing a cleanse.


The Sanskrit word “tapas ” means “to burn” and refers to austerities or discipline. By restraining our  lower desires and urges, we build a  kind of creative friction that gives insight, inspiration, builds character and supports spiritual growth.  Tapas has less to do with deprivation and more to do with creating boundaries that bring forth inner radiance.


Another major theme in yoga is “soucha” or “purity”.  Given adequate support your body naturally wants to return to an optional state of cleanliness and efficiency.


By releasing the accumulated toxic load of ongoing unconscious eating habits we open the gateway for a deeper state of health and long forgotten purity.  It’s like letting go of a “heavy load” we had no idea we were carrying for so long.


Doing a cleanse is less of an exercise in deprivation as it is an opportunity to revitalize your mind, strengthen your will and do a deep internal “cleanse”.  We can access the bodies deep healing capacities by simple removing the obstacles to cure, by eliminating less than wholesome foods and introducing foods that are more conducive to vitality.



Here are four tips to get you started with a fall time cleanse:


1. Drink hot lemon water in the morning
Get your day started with a refreshing and vitalizing glass of hot lemon water.  It is amazing how this simple beverage will pick you up. It helps alkalize your system, and cleanse your liver.


What’s more, hot lemon water will stimulate your bowels and get things moving.  Many people do not drink enough water in general and making a ritual of drinking this beverage early in the morning is a great reminder of how amazing water is for your health!


2. Eat at least 2 cups of vegetables a day plus salads
In my naturopathic doctoring practice, many people tell me that they have an aversion to eating vegetables.  They also come to see me with significant health issues, many of which can be greatly offset with dietary changes -such as eating more vegetables.


While your tongue may disagree, your body loves vegetables and rings with satisfaction once fed what it needs.  Eating a sufficient amount of vegetables will also off-set cravings for foods that are far less nutritious or even detrimental to one’s health.


3. Include a little protein with each meal
Often times sugar-cravings are rooted in not eating a sufficient amount of protein.  If you find yourself feeling hostage to sugary foods there is a good chance you are in need of more protein.  Eating enough protein will help you balance your blood sugar and give you a more even-quality of energy throughout the day.  Getting enough protein also helps you eat less refined carbohydrates.


4. Try fasting one day a week
Many cultures and spiritual traditions throughout the world recognize the value of fasting as a way to cleanse the body, revitalize the spirit and develop humility and gratitude.  Fasting is also a great way to give your digestive system a much needed rest.  Your body will naturally go to work cleaning house with the energy it would otherwise expend digesting food.


Generating the necessary discipline to fast also rubs off in other areas of your life.  It gives you the inner strength to address other issues that you may have been avoiding, freeing up energy that could be spent more productively.


Note: You can still have juices, broths, teas and water while performing a weekly fast.


Finally…..
Try on these simple tips and see what they do for your health and your yoga practice. If you are ready to take it to the next level, consider getting some outside support and supplementation by participating in a 10-day cleanse group I will be facilitating. Cleansers of all levels are welcome!


In Health,
Dr. Brenna

 

 

Join Us! October Fall Cleanse

Dates: Sundays, Oct. 8th and 15th, 11-12:30
Location: Sixth Ave. UCC – 3250 E. Sixth Ave. 80206
Click here to learn more!
Finding Center & Spring Yoga Retreat 2017 - Grant, CO

Yoga, the Path of Shadow and Light


 

I like to tell people that yoga is born out of adversity and a deep desire to know the truth.   Yoga is just as much about understanding our darkness as it is about understanding our  light.  It teaches how to navigate the valleys and climb to the peaks; without one you could not have the other.

No matter how much we may try to avoid misfortune or feelings of distress they find a way to creep into our life.  Distress comes in many forms:  a broken relationship, a parking ticket, political change, losing your job, ill health, even death.  It is natural to want to avoid these kinds of experiences.

Conversely,  life can be full of positive and enriching experiences.  This can look like material success or healthy relationships for example.  It is natural to want to covet these types of experiences despite their fleeting nature.

Ultimately yoga encourages us to move past identification with negative or positive experiences and find a source of lasting peace within, unconditioned by outer events.

Most of us are probably not there yet.  Most of us still react unfavorably when the world does not conform to our expectations or get carried away when good fortune comes, secretly clinging to the hope that it will never go away.

How do we navigate the ups and downs of life and find lasting fulfillment?

Here are three suggestions:

1. Personal Responsibility  

Yoga teachings embrace the notion of karma.  Briefly, the word karma refers to the act of doing something (either negative or positive) and the subsequent negative or positive result, all within the same word or notion.

Just as there is an ecology to the orbit of the earth around the sun, weather patterns, and growing a healthy garden, so to there an ecology to our actions.

Nothing in the creation happens in isolation, it is all interconnected.  The fabric of life responds to and influences our conditioning, choices, actions and circumstances.

It is easy to condemn outside forces and neglect asking what our role might be in the situation.

  • “My coworker Fred is the source of all my suffering!”
  • “I loaned all of my money to my mob-syndicate uncle who never paid me back -what a jerk! ”
  • “It’s the president of the United States fault that the world is so messed up!”  (okay, maybe this one is true).

Jokes aside, we are literally at the center of our life experience.  How we feel and think about a situation happens inside of our skin and mind.  The onus is on us to face our circumstances and choose the healthiest actions and perspectives, even if it is difficult at times.  Ultimately, this will set us free.

If we relegate the responsibility of our life to the outside world we are destined to be disappointed.

2. Be Kind to Others

Yoga is no different than any other form of personal enrichment in that it can become a form of spiritual narcissism and we forget about the plight of others.  Everyone else has experienced or is experiencing some form of hardship, it is one of the uniting features of humanity.

This becomes particularly important when working with people who may rub us the wrong way.  How can we clearly see our own shadow in response to their actions, without getting triggered and resentful in the process, thereby perpetuating the cycle of negativity?

I’m not suggesting that you become a doormat or that you should become the next Mother Teresa.  I’m asking how we can create space around an ingrained “Me” orientation, and become more capable agents of good in the world in the process.

3. Regular Yoga Practice

If you have gotten this far in the article, you understand the value of dedicated yoga practice.  As my teacher once said “If you work on yoga, yoga will work on you.”  

Cultivating ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘being kind to others’ does not have to be another hard fought battle. Regular yoga practice helps to foster these qualities so that they come more naturally.

Developing our capacity for great dedication and compassion is a gradual but inevitable process that stems from regular practice.  In order for the practices to work, you have to do them.  There does not seem to be anyway around that.  Developing a home practice will benefit you in many, many ways.  In the quiet of your candle lit basement you will cultivate wisdom and insight.

Practicing with others can also be beneficial.  Particularly when done in a concentrated setting like a ytt or retreat.  Practicing in these environments builds a collective power that is greater than the sum of its parts and can take your practice to the next level.

Conclusion

Learning how to navigate the inner forces of dark and light is a lifelong process of investigation and discovery and requires ongoing effort. Yoga can greatly accelerate that journey and empower us to face what is in front of us and extend positive regard to others along the way. Yoga is a way of life that draws out the very best within us, the fruit of which is lasting peace.

What Does Yoga Say About Life Off the Mat?


 

The Yoga of Not-You

Traditionally, yoga was offered freely in service of the welfare of the whole creation. As students and teachers of yoga, how do we live in alignment with this noble ideal and still pay the bills? How do we live in attunement with yogic principles and fulfill our responsibilities?

Classic yoga offers a method -Karma Yoga.

Most of us are familiar with the word “karma”, it literally means “action”. The word “yoga” refers to a means of spiritual development. Karma yoga is the “yoga of selfless action”.

Typically we perform actions with some degree of self centeredness:

  • If “I” purchase this new car, I will gain great social prestige.
  • If “I” buy this person roses, they will love Me”.
  • If “I” do handstand in the middle of the room, everyone will think “I AM” Awesome!

It is difficult to not get emotionally invested in our efforts, to expect a certain result and become identified with that result. This will result in one of two outcomes; either disappointment or a temporary sense of self-satisfaction.

Karma yoga asks us take a different approach, to set aside our agenda and act impartially, without attachment to the final outcome.

Acting impartially is not to be confused with apathy. As a yogi, it is necessary to perform actions wholeheartedly, just without getting “stuck” or “attached” to the outcome. Perform all actions for the actions sake alone.

Karma yoga has more to do with the spirit in which we perform actions and has less to do with the outer circumstances surrounding our activity.

One could be working in Mother Teresa’s ashram in Calcutta, tending to the needs of destitute people, all the while thinking about how awesomely selfless they are, and miss out on karma yoga. Or, perhaps someone acts as a farmer who tills the earth in service of the people who will eat the food, accepting a “good” or “bad” crop with equanimity.

The main idea is to recognize any ingrained selfish motive when performing actions and dedicate all actions in service of the highest good.

Application

Just like asana practice, karma yoga is a practice. Karma yoga gives a point of reference in which we can bring the spirit of yoga to all of our actions (including practicing and teaching yoga). It will shine the bright light of self awareness into our activity and can be practiced at every moment.

It does not have to be perfect from the get go – it rarely is.

Learning how to recognize our own motive and choose to live in a universal way is an ongoing process one that will bring greater peace to the world and, in the great cosmic equation, benefits all (including you 🙂

 

200 Hr. YTT Open House – Aug. 13

Come find out more about Axis Yoga’s ongoing yoga teacher trainings. This will be a great opportunity to experience a class, meet graduates, get your questions answered and get a taste of what Axis is all about!

Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017    9:30-11am
Sixth Ave. UCC – Upstairs
3250 E. 6th Ave, Denver – 80206

10 Tips on Choosing a Denver Yoga Teacher Training


The Top Must-Ask Questions Before Choosing a YTT

 

Some have called Colorado the mecca of yoga. And as the popularity of both yoga and Colorado as THE place to live have grown, the number of certified yoga teacher training programs have skyrocketed. A quick internet search will turn up dozens of training programs throughout the Denver-Metro area. But it can be challenging to determine which yoga teacher training program is right for you.

Below is a list of 10 must-ask questions you can use to evaluate the programs you are considering. The answers will not only narrow down your search, but will also help guide you to the training program that meets your specific needs as a yoga practitioner and future yoga teacher if you choose to go that route. A representative from the Denver program that you are considering should be available via email, phone or even face-to-face through open house events. If you are having difficulty getting your questions answered, this could be a sign that the program may not be a good fit.

Download and print the comparison worksheet here to help make narrowing down your selection easier.

With the answers to these questions, you can find the Denver yoga teacher training program that best aligns with your values. Remember that the benefits of your training will feed you well for the rest of your life, far beyond the length of the program. I’m excited for you and the amazing journey you are about to embark upon.

Namaste,

Derik Eselius
Founder, Axis Yoga Training
Denver, CO

10 MUST-ASK Questions Before You Pick A Program in Denver

  1. What is the size of the training class? Ask what the capacity is for their typical training class and if they fill that class to capacity. Take a moment to consider how you would feel being in a class of 20 versus a class of 60+. Ask to talk with the primary teacher about the level of individual or personalized feedback they will provide on your practice, teaching, sequencing, and other assignments. Smaller classes allow for more customized instruction. The way you are received as a prospective student will reveal how you will be treated once in the class. If the teacher makes time to address your questions, that’s a good indication they will value you as an individual rather than simply someone on their class roster.
  1. Is the program certified? Ask if the program is certified specifically with Yoga Alliance. Yoga Alliance has become the authority in the yoga world and most all legitimate yoga teacher training programs are registered with them. In all honesty, it may be tricky to find teaching job after graduation if you haven’t attended a Registered Yoga School (RYS) and obtain the Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) designation, all affiliated with Yoga Alliance. As a member of Yoga Alliance, you have the opportunity to receive valuable member benefits and resources such as health insurance, liability insurance, educational webinars, and more. Even if you are not sure you want to teach, it’s better to enroll in a program that will allow you to so if you choose. To ensure you can get your RYT designation upon graduation, verify that a prospective program is listed as an RYS on Yoga Alliance’s website.
  1. Does the program offer on-going support after graduation? This is important (though all of these questions are important)! Attending an intense 3-month yoga teacher training really can and will change your outlook on life in addition to giving you the skills to go on , if you desire, to teach your own classes. If after training, you’re kicked out of the nest without on-going support available, or access to the teachers you could end up stuck or wondering what to do next. Before you sign up for the training, make sure you ask, after the training, can I email my teacher questions that arise about my own personal practice and about how to go about starting to teach. Are there additional “booster” or “refresher” classes or even retreats for graduates that I have the opportunity to attend? Is there an online “alumni” community that I can be part of?
  1. What is the style of the training? Knowing what style(s) of yoga will be taught will help you narrow down your search. While demonstrating respect for the broad tradition of yoga, the program should focus on one or two particular approaches that resonates with you rather than providing a sampling of every possible yoga style. Keep in mind the notion that being a jack of all trades means becoming a master of none. On the other hand, consider whether the program’s teaching certificate will make you a well-rounded instructor who can teach in a variety of settings, or whether you will only be qualified to teach a branded, scripted class in a particular location or for a particular company. Yoga is diverse in how you approach it. Some programs may focus on the Asana more exclusively than others. Determine what is best for you.
  1. How long has the program been established? With so many yoga teacher training programs popping up in every city (Denver is flooded with them), it’s important to know how long the program has been in existence and even approximately how many graduates the program has produced since it’s inception. The longer the program has been around, the more likely it is that they have grown, learned and matured over the years to produce the highest quality curriculum. Like with any course or curriculum, it takes some trial and error to work out the kinks. It also takes time to respond to the needs and feedback of the students they are serving. In addition to asking how many graduates have completed the program, a follow up question would be if they survey their graduates and take action steps to apply that feedback to make the program better.
  1. What is the culture of the program like? Understanding the culture of the yoga studio will help you get an understanding if you and the program are a good fit. Just like finding a new job or attending a university, cultural fit plays a role in your decision. Is the yoga teacher training program a large part of the focus of the studio offering it, or is it something they do on the side as an added stream of income? Is the program offered by a large national chain or a smaller company local to Colorado? Is their culture more community-based or corporate focused? More importantly, ask yourself will you feel more comfortable in a close-knit group or in a large, sprawling network.
  1. What does the curriculum consist of? We already asked about the styles of yoga taught, but it’s also good to know the various elements that make up the program’s curriculum. Are a variety of benefits of yoga discussed (physical, mental and spiritual)? Is the program holistic and comprehensive? Will you be learning a combination of traditional theory, meditation, Pranayama (breathing) and Asana (postures)? Is there a list of required reading? Will there be guest speakers? Is there just one teacher or multiple? Having a well-rounded program that uses a multi-faceted approach to teaching brings depth to your training and practice as both a yogi and teacher.
  1. What prior experience is required before the training? As a person interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor, you may come from a variety of levels in your own yoga practice. From being hooked after only taking a handful of classes, but wanting to learn all there is to know about yoga and its benefits. To having practiced for many years and wanting to deepen that practice and take it to the next level. A big part of knowing if a specific program is right for you is understanding if they have any requirements or prerequisites. If a program requires no previous yoga experience for applicants, this may raise a red flag. It could mean that you will receive a less-thorough education because your teacher trainers will need to spend more time instructing newer students in the basics of alignment and technique. Getting a clear idea on the program’s expectations of you before signing up can either set you up for great success or failure.
  1. Is the school fair and upfront with their pricing? Price is often one of the biggest variables when searching for the right yoga teacher training program. However, if the answers to the previous questions aren’t right for you then price really doesn’t matter. Choose quality over affordability. Most 200-hour teacher training programs range anywhere from around $2,000 – $5,000. Some schools have additional costs for workshops, makeup classes, manuals or even guest speakers. Find out all fees that are associated with completing the program so you know what your true cost will be, and be sure the program has their attendance, pricing, and refund policies in writing.
  2. What do graduates say? Word of mouth and referrals are a very powerful thing. What better way to know what a program is all about than hearing it from those that have experienced it themselves? Read the testimonials on the program’s website, research reviews on Yelp and even go as far to see if you can reach out to a recent graduate to hear their experience first hand and point-of-view. If you have the opportunity, ask a former trainee what their personal transformation was like and what they decided to go on and do after graduation.
CLICK HERE to download a full PDF version of this guide along with a comparison worksheet to help you as you research local training programs.


200 Hr. YTT Open House – Aug. 13

Come find out more about Axis Yoga’s ongoing yoga teacher trainings. This will be a great opportunity to experience a class, meet graduates, get your questions answered and get a taste of what Axis is all about!

Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017    9:30-11am
Sixth Ave. UCC – Upstairs
3250 E. 6th Ave, Denver – 80206

Yoga retreat Colorado - Axis Yoga Trainings

Spring Yoga Retreat Recap

 

3 Incredible Days to “Return to Center”

Last month, close to 30 people ventured to Grant, CO to spend a weekend in nature. Some were already close friends, some were strangers, but they all had a common goal… to pause, breathe and go deeper in practice.

Lead by both Axis Yoga Training’s Derik Eselius and Beth Sanchez (bethsanchezyoga.net), the 3-day adventure at the Santa Maria YMCA began with yoga and ended with more yoga. Enriched with Dharma talks, meditation, pranayama, nature hike, signing and a bonfire, it made for the perfect getaway to kick off the summer.

The theme “Return to Center” focused not only on going in, achieving balance and returning to Ayurvedic roots, but it also placed emphasis on connection and community.

It was an experience like no other and one that attendees carried with them, down from the mountain and back to their daily lives. Words can’t quite express the magic that took place at Santa Maria, but this video does a pretty good job!

 

Retreat in Crestone, CO 9/1 – 9/4

Join Axis Yoga Trainings, Derik Eselius and Beth Sanchez for an encore retreat as they gather in Crestone, CO this Fall. Spend 4 days at the Crestone Healing Arts Center Friday, September 1 – 4, 2017. Our theme for this retreat is “Going Within”. Immerse yourself in asana practice, pranayama, meditation, dharma talks, sharing and singing. Portions of the retreat will be in Noble Silence with built in times of laughter, being in nature, and having fun.

Click here to learn more and to register!

 

Become A Student of Yoga in 3 Steps


Being a student of yoga.

Here’s how…

Assuming I am still alive, I will be studying yoga until I am dead 🙂

Yoga, as most of us come to realize, is a lifelong study.  We may begin with the practice to loose weight or because a friend dragged us into class; but sooner or later the practice becomes more expansive.

Almost as if by magic, our mood improves, we become more available for other people and our values shift. We can start to see the interconnected nature between our thoughts and our circumstances.

As a natural extension of these discoveries, it is quite natural for one to want to share the gift of yoga with others, to teach.  Imparting the teachings of yoga is a wondrous opportunity that can reveal deeper dimensions of your own life as well as in the lives of your students.

There is just one caveat…

You must forever remain a student.

If you are not diligent in your own personal practice, or mistake teaching time for practice time, your teaching will likely become rote and uninspired -you lose the magic.  Personal practice is the foundation of teaching.

Here are a few time tested and simple tips for strengthening your personal practice and sewing the seeds of the inner teacher.


3 Ways to Truly Become A Student of Yoga

 

1. Have a Dedicated Space

Having a dedicated space in which to stretch, breath and or meditate is essential.  It does not have to be fancy. My first meditation enclave was wedged between a wall and a desk.  It felt like home.  Establishing home base for your practice will build up a vital charge of energy and association that will strengthen your practice.  Find some way to designate a formal practice space.

 

2. Regular Practice

In order for the practices to work, you have to do them.

I often tell students to make it easy on themselves by just committing to practicing on a daily basis, no matter how small.  This will circumvent the tendency to fall into “tomorrow” syndrome, in which it becomes more and more easy to dismiss the value of yoga practice with each passing day; until it becomes a nice idea rather than a living breathing reality.

If you want to get good at anything, whether it is playing the piano, mastering card tricks, learning to paint or pursuing your unique and noble life’s purpose, you have to practice.

 

3. Find Positive Association

The more we practice yoga, the more sensitive we become to what is wholesome and supportive to our well being and what is not.  Turning the tide of negative behavior takes ongoing dedicated practice as well as a healthy dose of love and acceptance.

What can we do outside of our formal practice time that will support our formal practice?  What foods do we eat?  Who do we hang out with?  What time do we go to bed at night?  Was that third slice of chocolate cake really worth it?

Find behaviors and associations that will feed your time on the mat or meditation cushion -it will generate a positive self reinforcing cycle.

 

Conclusion…

Being a dedicated student of yoga requires ongoing practice, it does not happen all at once. We may fail many times before overcoming our inner obstacles.  Teaching yoga gives us a chance to share the techniques with others and in the process, reinforce our  commitment and dedication to personal practice.  Be a yogi first, a teacher second.

Derik

 


Free Student-Lead Yoga Classes (Practicums)

Come experience these one of a kind classes and support these students and they show off the skills they have learned and blossom into full-fledged teachers!

Sunday, June 4, 2017
Class 1: Our Eternal Thread
1-2:30PM
Brian, Donna & Nikole

Class 2: The Space Within
3-4:30PM
Lindsay, Paul, Malina & Ashley

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Class 3: Sun, Earth, Moon
1-2:30PM
Lynda, Rebecca, Kristine

Class 4: The Yoga Breath & Mind
3-4:30PM
Haley, Lisa & Monica

Free to the public
3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC ~ Upstairs

 

Finding Center & Spring Yoga Retreat 2017 - Grant, CO

How to Go Inward & Find Your Center

Axis Yoga Trainings of Denver, Colorado - Yoga Teacher Training 200-Hour Program

Finding your center means more
balance, focus and awareness.

 

Center everywhere, circumference nowhere.” -Kaivalya Upanishad

 

What does it mean to be at the center of your life?  Do you find yourself chasing an endless “to do” list that only expands the more items you scratch off?  Both Greek and Yogic myths tell the story of a wrathful creature, who when slain, only multiplies.

It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of outer and inner expectations and lose center in the process.  When our inner expectations do not correspond to the immediate reality it creates stress.

Sometimes we need to take action and address our situation head on.  Other times the situation requires that we change our perception of what is happening, to lessen our demands on life and return to that centered place within.

Yoga gives us physical and philosophical tools to be fully resourced when confronting outer and inner challenges.  On the physical level, one of the simplest things we can do is to check in with our breath.

We have all been told to be mindful of our breath in asana class.  Why? Yogic scriptures describe an immutable relationship between the breath and the mind.  The quality of our thoughts are reflected in our breath.

Asana helps to expand our breathing capacity.  Breathing practice expands our awareness.  With repetition and practice, we can shift from panic to placid by simply modifying our breath.

Try this the next time the creation does not correspond within your criteria:

Slowly, breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 6 out through the mouth, pausing briefly at the bottom of the exhale.  When you find your rhythm with this pace, stay there awhile and then up the go up to a 1:2 ratio (in for 4 and out for 8) with a brief pause and the bottom of the exhale.***

Do this until the tension the dissipates.

Creating Wholeness & Peace

Philosophically, yoga teaches that we are always whole.  Our essence is forever at peace, no matter what is going on outside.  This is the ultimate goal of yoga, to align ourselves with the infinite source of the creation, to return to that centered place within, beyond any “to do” list.

From this centered, peaceful place we are far more resourced to affect positive change in the outside world, to serve life more fully.

Yoga retreats, such as our upcoming Spring “Return to Center” Retreat in Grant, CO, are a great way to return to center because they take you out of your element, remove you for the busyness of day-to-day life and force you to pause.

When you find yourself on the stressful outer orbit of who you truly are, remember to breath deliberately and marvel that your finite problems occupy a very small part of a limitless universe; the nature of which is infinite peace, and whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

Yours in Spirit, Tradition and Service of Yoga,
Derik

 

 

“RETURN TO CENTER”
A DONATION-BASED RETREAT!
GRANT, CO – MAY 12-14, 2017

This unique retreat is co-lead by Derik Eselius and Beth Sanchez. With 34 years of yoga teaching experience between them, they have made a significant impact on the Denver yoga community, leading Yoga Teacher Training programs, and offering classes, workshops retreats that are affordable and accessible to people of all backgrounds.

Step out of your familiar routine and open the gateway to inner renewal and freedom. This retreat will be a remarkable opportunity to cultivate fresh insights and revitalize your core with the timeless practice of yoga. Join us as as we go beyond the ‘pose’ and dive into a multidimensional yoga practice; while surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Learn more here.

Where: YMCA – Santa Maria Camp Center: 51321 US-285, Grant, CO 80448 | One hour from Denver!
When: May 12th, 10:30am to May 14th, 12pm (home in time for Mother’s Day!)
Cost: Only $199 to cover the costs of food and lodging, making this retreat accessible to everyone, plus a donation at the conclusion of the retreat.
Register: Click here to learn more and to register!

Denver cleanse with Dr. Hatami and Axis Yoga

6 Reasons A Cleanse Should Be In Your Near Future

Axis Yoga Trainings of Denver, Colorado - Yoga Teacher Training 200-Hour Program

Spring is the ideal time of year to give your body a powerful reset.

In addition to ridding yourself of toxins and finding new vitality, there are many researched health benefits of cleansing. And we are doing a cleanse in Denver this month if you’re so inclined!

Here are just a few:

  1. Increased energy
  2. Improved digestive
  3. Reduced inflammation, thereby reducing pain
  4. Reduced cholesterol and improved liver function
  5. Purging environmental toxins
  6. Lose weight

There are even more valuable benefit to doing a cleanse…  letting go of foods, and old ways of eating that don’t serve you. We all have the tendency to eat more from our emotions and habits than from the wisdom of our bellies. By taking away what we are use to, we are left to become more conscious of our unconscious habits.  Peal back stagnant assumptions and immerse yourself in mental clarity and freedom!

As a Naturopathic Dr. of 20 years and a dedicated yogini, I would like to look further at the relationship between cleansing and yoga practice.

The ancient yogis found that they could accelerate their growth and strengthen their character through the practice of “tapas” or austerity.  Tapas, is the creative friction that arises from the restraint of desire.  Tapas empowers us to shine more brightly!  By practicing restraint we can find new reserves of strength inside of ourselves and build the fire of spiritual growth.

Another yoga practice that relates directly to cleansing is “soucha” or purity.  Soucha is a principle that not only extends to our personal hygiene, but it also relates to the purity  of our speech, thoughts and diet.

When we do a cleanse we support the body in ‘cleaning house’, thereby increasing our sensitivity to what is best for our body, mind and spirit.  We grow more wise through cleansing and are more empowered to choose foods that will not compromise our system in the first place.

So next time you do a cleanse, or if you decide to join my upcoming cleanse at the end of March, know that you are not just cleansing your physical body, you are also strengthening your character and purifying your awareness.  Become more conscious of what you put into your body and experience more peace and freedom!

 

Yours in Health,

Dr. Brenna Hatami, ND
(Axis Yoga Teacher Trainer)
www.doctorbrenna.com
doctorbrenna@gmail.com

 

Spring Cleanse!

Join Axis’ very own Dr. Brenna Hatami, who draws on nearly 20 year of experience as a naturopathic Doctor, as she leads you step-by-step into three distinct phases of the cleanse that will nurture your body’s innate healing wisdom.

Date: 
Wednesdays, March 29, April 5 and April 12 | 6-7:30pm
Location: 3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC ~ Upstairs
Cost: $199 -Includes Supplements!
Register: Call or email Dr. Hatami | 303-320-1174 | Email

The Power of Prana in Yoga Practice

Axis Yoga Trainings of Denver, Colorado - Yoga Teacher Training 200-Hour Program

Yoga beyond poses consists of your breath

Most of us know yoga through the postures.  Perhaps we have even heard the Sanskrit word “prana” mentioned in class, though this is the exception to the rule.  Traditionally speaking, the pranic-force is fundamental to yoga practice (including the postures) and is as essential as sunlight is to a plant.

The word itself is commonly translated as “vital-force” or even “the breath”.  Prana is a much larger idea than that. A more literal translation of the word means “the first breath”.  It is the first, primal, all pervading, energizing force of the creation. The sun is imbued with prana, the plants and animals possess prana, the air is rich in prana.

The ancient yogis readily perceived this pranic energy and found ways to maximize its influence on our physical health, mental clarity and spiritual development.  Many of the techniques that are commonly used today, such as asana, pranayama and even meditation are build around pranic principles (whether we actively recognize it or not).

The very name sake of hatha yoga, the system of yoga that is the genesis of many modern poses, is in reference to the prana and its relationship to the mind. Through specific breathing techniques or prana-yama, we can affect specific states of mind; states of mind that are more conducive to deeper states of peace, joy and fulfillment.  Yoga practice uses the pranic force to affect powerful changes in our physical health and psyche.

We can also apply the principles of prana to our asana practice by simple becoming more deliberate about our breathing. Take time in your poses to recognize the quality of your breath, to make it smooth and purposeful.  The quality of your breath will powerfully shape the quality of your practice.

The more attentive you are to the quality of your breathing during asana practice the more powerful the effect will be.  By listening to the quality of our breathing we will know if we are applying ourself too much or not enough.    Classically speaking, the postures are thought to be an instrument to access the formulation of the breath, rather than being an end unto themselves.  Aim to have minimal hitches or rough spots in the breath.

I invite you to integrate these principles into your next asana, pranayama or meditation session.  Become more and more aware of the subtle power and influence of the pranic force within all of these practices.  Or better yet, learn about how to more skillfully apply pranic power to your poses this weekend at Axis’ monthly workshop!

Yours in the Spirit, Tradition and Service of Yoga,
Derik

 

Yoga & Prana Class March 19th

Perhaps we have heard the word “prana” mentioned in a yoga class in reference to the breath, but it is much more than that. What does it mean? How does it relate to yoga and how can it add exponential depth to one’s practice? Come find out the answer to these questions and more as we learn about this essential and often overlooked dimension of yoga practice.

Sunday, March 19th. 9:30-11:30
3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC ~ Upstairs
Suggested Donation ($15-20)

 

 

3 Reasons You Should Be Meditating

Axis Yoga Trainings of Denver, Colorado - Yoga Teacher Training 200-Hour Program

A look at the benefits of regular mediation

Why Meditate?

It was only a couple of decades ago that meditation was regarded as something reserved for mystical spiritual seekers; it had something to do with eating brown rice with tofu.

Now, it is practiced everywhere from pre-schools to prisons, from hospitals to monasteries. It can even be found on the cover of Newsweek and Time magazines.

Why this dramatic shift from kumbaya to mainstream media?

The answer is very simple.

Meditation implicitly makes life more enjoyable.  Meditation teaches how to deliberately move from mental, even physical tension into a place of peace and clarity.  Meditation is like a best friend that will never abandon you, a friend that is always there for you in any and all circumstances.

How is this possible?

Our mind is at the cornerstone of all of our life experience. You are what you think. Two people can experience the exact same event and experience it in two totally different ways, based on their unique mental constitutions.  The mind is the ruling force of our perception and interpretation of all life experiences.

Through meditation it is possible to reprogram our thought process, to let go of needless distractions, to give you the mental stamina to overcome adversity, attract favorable circumstances and expand your capacity to experience peace.

Here are three basic tips to get you started on the path of inner freedom:

  1. Have a teacher.  There are many automated resources out there to help you get started on the path of meditation, however I would encourage you to find a teacher with can give you some outside eyes, answer your questions, and provide a living example of what a committed meditation practice looks like.
  2. Regular practice.  Just like learning any discipline, meditation takes practice.  If you want to learn to play the violin, you need to practice.  If you want to learn how to run of four minute mile, you need to practice.  If you want to learn to master your own thought waves…. you need to practice. Consistency is the key.  It is hard to make any meaningful progress if your practice is sporadic.  Aim for meditation daily, ideally at the same time and place.  This will build a powerful groove of association that will radically deepen your practice.
  3. Life off the cushion.  At first we do yoga/meditation to enrich our lives.Then we do our life to enrich our yoga/meditation.  Meditation helps to shine the light of awareness on our habits and tendencies.  With this insight we are better able to make choices that support our life and in so doing support our meditation practice. 

The beauty of meditation is that nothing outside of ourselves is required.  If we can think and breath, we can learn to meditate. How conscious are we of our thoughts?  How intentional are we about our decisions?  Are we in-touch with our creative capacities?  Meditation can help us to answer these questions and many more, provided we are willing to practice.  A world of awakening awaits you.

 

Going Deeper with Meditation

 

Got Peace?  Have you ever felt anxious, or lay at wake at night thinking your way in endless circles?  Learning how to direct and live in harmony with one’s own mind is an essential life skill.  Meditation teaches us how to gain mastery over one’s (discursive) mind and experience deeper levels of peace and fulfillment.  Mainline into the source of all happiness with practice of meditation.

Join us on Sunday, Feb. 26th.  9:30-11:30  |  3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC ~ Upstairs

Suggested Donation ($15-20)