justinwolferyoga justinwolferyoga

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Justin Wolfer  Yoga | FRC Director of @riseyogamovement Join us for retreat on the Greek Island Amorgos April 22-29. Link below ⤵️

We are returning to the extraordinary untouched beauty of the Greek Island Amorgos April 22-29. You are invited😉. Enjoy the unmatched hospitality, food and accommodations of the @aegialis_hotel_spa The only 5 star resort on Amorgos.
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Each day you’ll have your choice of 4 hours of practice programming including Rise Vinyasa Yoga, led meditation, mobility and locomotion training, sunrise Chi kung and philosophical discussion. The practice facilities are spectacular!
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The cost is 4 easy payments of 312.50 USD for a double occupancy room or 375 USD for a private room. Each room has a balcony over looking the Aegean Sea.
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The package includes:
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- 7-night accommodation in Superior room with private balcony and sea view.
- Breakfast served on buffet daily, with organic. ingredients from our own garden, and fresh orange juice. *dinner daily, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
- A tour of the island and its ancient monasteries.
- Daily hikes to secluded beaches for swimming and relaxation
- Arrival and departure transfers on Amorgos (port-hotel-port)
Free use of Spa facilities (sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, - indoor seawater swimming pool, fitness center)
- Free use of Yoga shalas and yoga equipment (mats, blocks, stripes, bolsters, blankets)
- One 30-minute Swedish massage
10% discount on Spa Body Treatments.

I recently saw a debate about a post stating the importance of surrender within a yoga/spiritual practice. While I understand the sentiment behind the instruction I find this language is often misconstrued, misused and stops short of teaching students to develop their own tools to take accountability and introspect. If surrendering is all that happens then is the student just placing their hopes in someone else to fix what they think needs fixing? Here’s an example:
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Over the past few days my daughter has had pink eye. She screams bloody murder when I administer the eye drops. What might only take me 10 seconds becomes a 10 minute project. Each time we finish her discomfort immediately subsides and the medicine appears to be clearing up her eyes. As her parent I could just tell her this is the way it is, “surrender and take your medicine.” And she may grow to think that she’s not capable of administering her own medicine. If I truly want to see a shift in her this presents a real opportunity to draw her awareness to reflect upon her fear of this experience. It’s my job to remove my own expectations of her and encourage self-examination.
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One path is likely motivated by my impatience for her and one path is motivated by empathy. In the case of empathy it doesn’t matter how she reacts my job is only to remove my own narratives about the experience and encourage her to reflect back to the experience before, during and after the medicine. I can tell you that choosing this method might feel slower in the beginning but I already see shifts in how she’s handling the experience moving forward that go beyond her taking eye drops. She’s exploring her own reactions (not bad for a 3 year old).
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How does this relate to teaching adults? In this way seasoned teachers may have some foresight into what may help you progress quicker. I may know some short cuts for you to force the medicine down. But isn’t it more useful for students to learn how to administering their own medicine through introspection? And then of course there is the fact that I’m not your dad 🤷‍♂️

Remy Rees Wolfer

Her baby brother is due at any moment now (actually he’s late) and while we’re all dying to meet him these last few moments just the three of us have been so special.

Our first topic of The Next Gen Yoga Teacher Webinar Training is Prioritization.
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With any online education course no one’s checking in on your attendance; No one's reminding you to pay attention or to use the material in purposeful ways. In the past I’ve purchased online programs and never really used them. And if I don’t notice this pattern I am inclined to repeat it and make certain assumptions about my character.
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But if I have an introspective practice, noticing this pattern can be a valuable insight into how I operate and encourage me to reevaluate whether I want to continuing operating in this way or if I value something different.
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There is often a distinct difference between what I think I value and what I am valuing when I make choices to continue behavioral patterns. How I act and react to my environment on a moment to moment basis is a better indication of what I value then what I verbalize to others. I may say I value my time and still choose to engage in activities that upon introspection I would deem invaluable. Without a practice of regularly checking in with what I am prioritizing I miss seeing how my choices stand in the way of what I want.
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This is the practice.
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If you are sincere about changing what you’re capable of, start by observing the value structure that influences the behaviours you want to change.
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A teachers growth depends on objectively identifying and prioritising values and developing frameworks for their students to explore these principles skillfully. This is the art of teaching and the foundation we will begin with over this 6 month webinar course. I’m excited to spend 6 months with this group going deep into the topic of developing an authentic methodology.
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Justin

Our first topic of The Next Gen Yoga Teacher Webinar Training is Prioritization.
.
With any online education course no one’s checking in on your attendance; No one's reminding you to pay attention or to use the material in purposeful ways. In the past I’ve purchased online programs and never really used them. And if I don’t notice this pattern I am inclined to repeat it and make certain assumptions about my character.
.
But if I have an introspective practice, noticing this pattern can be a valuable insight into how I operate and encourage me to reevaluate whether I want to continuing operating in this way or if I value something different.
.
There is often a distinct difference between what I think I value and what I am valuing when I make choices to continue behavioral patterns. How I act and react to my environment on a moment to moment basis is a better indication of what I value then what I verbalize to others. I may say I value my time and still choose to engage in activities that upon introspection I would deem invaluable. Without a practice of regularly checking in with what I am prioritizing I miss seeing how my choices stand in the way of what I want.
.
This is the practice.
.
If you are sincere about changing what you’re capable of, start by observing the value structure that influences the behaviours you want to change.
.
A teachers growth depends on objectively identifying and prioritising values and developing frameworks for their students to explore these principles skillfully. This is the art of teaching and the foundation we will begin with over this 6 month webinar course. Today is the last day I will accept new students.
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I’m very excited to spend 6 months with this group going deep into the topic of developing an authentic methodology.
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Justin

Surya Namaskar
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Sun salutations are probably one of the most recognizable parts of a yoga practice. Speaking just from a physical perspective they are generally placed in the beginning of practice to warm the body and focus the mind through prescribed movements w breathing. It works! Nearly every practice my first couple Sun Salutations feel like a struggle, after 3 my body feels invincible. Open and full of energy, my mind set to the task.
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At the time it felt like magic. These things can cure cancer. That might be a stretch but there is something that works about them. Repetition. Rhythm. Breath awareness. Purposeful Movement. Effort.
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A question Worth posing as a teacher is can we get these qualities with something that’s accessible to more students and easier on their students joints?
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I started yoga practice already having enough upper body strength to do 10 chatarunga push ups. I would estimate that most students do not already have that capacity and will not gain it from doing one push up every couple of minutes (progressive overload principle). So this sequence can be repetitively exceeding the capacity of some your students which will lead to injury.
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The jump back to push up is a more complex skill that is often under taught. It requires strong/flexible wrists, triceps, rotator cuff, chest, scap control and body awareness. This isn’t something you learn through doing a few times sporadically through practice and again can lead to careless repetitive stress injuries.
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If Surya Namaskar is intended to be a warm up that focuses the mind then should we start with work that exceeds our students capacity? Here’s a variation of Surya that I use in mixed level classes. It’s worth noting that even before we do this we do a 10 minute joint mobilization routine. Video is speed up 2x’s
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Last day to join The Next Gen Yoga Teacher Webinar Series. Learn to map out the body using different planes of movement. All webinars and instructional videos (30+ hours) are yours to keep and access anytime. The link to join is in my bio. Comment or direct message me your questions.

Cueing | Sequencing according to Planes of motion
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Yoga cueing generally aims at describing the end destination. Foot here. Knee here. Hip there. Engage your core or bandhas. Do something with your arms. Everything’s straight like your smooshed between two planes of glass. Now look here. Now breathe. Try to relax.
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Doesn’t sound relaxing. It sounds like charm school where everyone is forced to conform to an arbitrary aesthetic. And if you’re not aligned like the Ken Doll next to you then you’re not doing the pose correctly.
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My biggest problem with the situation is no one’s learning anything because the only aim is trying to look like Ken. And no one quite knows why that’s important (especially the teacher). If instead the teacher asks you to move just one thing in your pose while keeping the rest of the body stable then we are going learn something about how the body works.
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What’s beautiful about moving intentionally through different planes of movement is the muscles fire automatically. You don’t have to tell your core to tighten. If it’s needed it will fire because that’s what muscles do. When you’re running you’ve never had to tell your quads to engage to straighten the knee, they just fire because you’re running.
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By intelligently designing a practice that understands how to use planes of motion students can then observe their body doing what’s natural for the body to do. We can notice and develop things beyond accomplishing poses like coordination, balance, stability, physical literacy, movement vocabulary. Students can assess their active range of motion, their ability to create force at different points within the movement framework. Teaching this way there isn’t a need for extravagant cuing. Students don’t need wait for you to tell them what to every breath. The teacher sets the framework and the students are allowed to explore the framework and learn.
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there are still 2 days to join The Next Gen Yoga Teacher Webinar Series. Learn to map out the body using different planes of movement. All webinars and instructional videos (30+ hours) are yours to keep and access anytime. The link to join is in my bio. Comment or direct message me your questions.

The most important component of my practice has become observing my own narrative structure and how it alters my experience and influences my point of view. As my teacher @dk_movement so eloquently put this: “the sooner we admit this the sooner we can get to work on introspective practices which durably shift behavioral traits from the source, by learning to read the very codes and programs in the form of narratives that form them.” He’s on to big things! Stay tuned...

Undoubtedly the floor is the best tool for physical training with the exception of upper body pulling patterns. In the case of a typical yoga class we just don’t do enough work with our shoulders to account for all of the ranges that are shoulders can express. And this creates problems for students that do a million chatarunga, up dog, down dogs per month.
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Here’s a creative way you can get some pulling work without access to a bar or rings. The movement map is from 180*s shoulder flexion to 0 and the scapula moving from elevation to depression. It’s a great exercise for learning to depress the scapula while bending the arms (chatarunga).
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Missing this awesome crew from @riseyogamovement
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Join The Next Gen Yoga Teacher Webinar Series. We will map out the body using movements that take the joints through full ranges of motion. Learn how to vary stress making healthy joint movement accessible for you students.
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We have students from all over the world participating. A common concern that’s come up is about being available for all of the webinars. My solution is that we will air each webinar three times during the week and offer a live question and answer each time. All of the content and live conversations are yours to keep. All the content within the program will be recorded. You have the ability to learn and integrate the course material at your own pace and return to the content over and over. What I like about this training is that it’s self driven and will be focused entirely on you the teacher. You can click the link in my bio to register. We also have some payment programs available. Send me a direct message if you’re interested.

I no longer care about the gimmicky things that have come from the popularity of yoga. What concerns me are the platitudes we continue to repeat as earnest yoga practitioners. Remember all the head scratching things that were accepted in the name of Christianity? Belief without examination leads to delusion.
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My initial draw to yoga was the emphasis on self inquiry. Even the physical practice initially was centered around figuring out how to do all the poses and how to relax and breathe while doing so. But many years of practice and I could do most of them and I felt the ware and tear of it all and the insatiable quench that it left. I hadn’t become more enlightened. I had learned to do a few impressive things with my body. After 10 years of intense study I understand now more then ever that the real work within my practice is understanding my motive and drive behind my belief structure.
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I look forward to posing these questions in our upcoming Webinar Series because I believe this is the essence of the yoga practice. Self study, contemplation, introspection.
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We have students from all over the world participating. A common concern that’s come up is about being available for all of the webinars. My solution is that we will air each webinar three times during the week and offer a live question and answer each time. All of the content and live conversations are yours to keep. All the content within the program will be recorded. You have the ability to learn and integrate the course material at your own pace and return to the content over and over. What I like about this training is that it’s self driven and will be focused entirely on you the teacher. You can click the link in my bio to register. We also have some payment programs available. Send me a direct message if you’re interested.

Getting off the ground is a great way to asses your strength in the ranges of motion you are using and to condition the joints through their full range of motion.
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First video I’m using headstand as an example... I don’t teach it that much anymore because there are grand promises as the king of all poses and most students have already been taught poorly how to do it. As a set of joint positions it’s just a matter of assessing whether or not you have the strength to do it and then to slowly building neurological control. I see so many yogis doing this on instagram with all of the weight in their head. They would do their cervical spine some good by doing some down dog push ups so that the shoulder girdle learns to stabilize the position and not the neck.
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The next 2 videos are moving from a standing position to the floor in common hip positions. My wife is a great example of a student with incredible hip range but started to develop pain from not having strength in her ranges. In yoga we sit on the floor and stretch these hip positions because hip opening makes you a better person (bullshit). Science has shown that stretching can temporarily weaken the tissue.
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Injuries are caused when the load bearing capacity of the tissue injured is exceeded so if you find you cannot get up with proficiency from the floor positions you are doing then it’s time to rethink what you are doing. There are simple ways to resolve these issues. And as a yoga community we can do better. Who’s with me?
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Just one week until we get started with The Next Generation Yoga Teacher Webinar Training. It’s a 6 month course that delves into the art of teaching. All the content is recorded and is yours to keep. Let me know if you have any questions. The link to register is in my bio.

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