An article on Fear for Human Shift Magazine: Kate Shela
With love,

My name is Kate Shela, a Londoner living in LA. I come from an Eastern European immigrant working class lineage, straight from hip and hilarious survivors. I am a movement architect and shamanic practitioner. I guide people through workshops designed to pass on the knowledge I’ve gathered, to help people become more comfortable in their human suits.

Every class I teach, I’m scared in anticipation. Over 20 years of this shit and it’s still the same! That fear is lightning, not something you wield, but something you receive. The more terrified I am, the more powerful the bolt I conduct. Once the first song starts, the first step of the first dance, the fear is gone. I become present. All my attention is on the dancers. I enter my passion, my purpose. There’s no room for fear.

Fear is my signpost, my signal – we are heading towards depth.

Fear is the Great Awakener. Fear is a companion. It keeps knocking at our door to keep us on our toes, to remind us to pay attention, to take action, to breathe deeper, to get the fuck out of a shady situation, to sniff out what needs to be revealed.

For much of my life I didn’t pay attention to the fear. I judged it, without even noticing. I held my breath waiting for the axe to fall. I tried to ignore it, because it felt like my native territory. I was too close to see it. I was numb to it. I thought it was part of my identity. I could only move through it when I realized the fear was separate from me – what I feel is not who I am. My fearful self was the person I judged the most. Now it’s become an ally. It flags up a disowned part of myself. If I can integrate it, the blindfold slips off. Yes, fear is a part of my identity, but I get to choose how big a part.

Scary lives inches from exciting, frightening a hair’s breadth from delicious, their edges lined with healthy boundaries. Fear is a chance to leap into a new perspective. We get to update ourselves. With the right support systems, fear can be a catalyst into sustainable change. Most of our self-talk is negative and it’s rooted in fear. Owning that fear can transform it.

I try to treat myself how I would treat my best friends. And I adore my best friends. It’s obvious stuff, which has taken a while to learn. The way I love others is really the way I love myself and that has been a gorgeous realization. This concept that we cannot love others if we don’t love ourselves can be looked at the other way round: the way we love others is the deep underlying way we can love ourselves. Depending on my day, fear can both hinder and motivate me. I might luxuriate in the terror space to honor my vulnerable victim, then feel the upswing of moving through it, knowing this is just one aspect of me, not the orchestra of my story.

What I fear the most is having too much meat on the bone. I have fears of being too bright, too big. I am a wild stallion with a deer heart. It’s the dance of polarities and the fear of not being accepted for my unique ingredients of power and vulnerability.

My fear wants to be brave. It wants to grow and be challenged so strength can emerge. It wants to have a good time! Fear is a journey of comforting discomfort. It’s the sand that works its way under our shell to create the lustrous pearl.

Taking LA as an example: it took me a long time to take root in this place. I’d lived here in the 1990’s – my twenties – but that was a different time. I was a wardrobe stylist, younger, single. Moving here again in 2007 with my family was way out of my comfort zone, even though it was my choice. I had no friends, no work or extended family. LA felt like a new secret city. Unlike London or Paris or New York, I needed a personal introduction to all its wonders.

The people were the keys. The city’s architecture won’t allow you to just stumble into its magic. You can’t push here. This city is an elusive creature. Being a stranger within it is a strange feeling. It uproots the transplants, shakes us up and shapes us in new ways. It’s not a comfortable experience. It takes time to forge meaningful relationships. Eleven years later, I have a basket of friendship and a container of work that supports me. Now, I can feel my place within the whole.

Malta Yogi’s

Hope you can join me on Monday December 10th for a class focused on enlivening our energy for the season ahead and releasing what we’d like to leave behind in 2018, entering 2019 with more clarity, peace & strength.

Date: Monday December 10th
Time: 19.00 – 20.30
Location: 54 Cathedral Street/Sliema @ Lily Agius Gallery
Investment: 15 euros.

Please bring your own mat if you have one
No need to book, drop in class
All levels welcome

Yogi Bhajan refers to GOD as a way of principles which we all have

The G is the guiding principle
The O is the organising principle
The D is the destroying principle

See God in All, the Universe in all, whatever language you use we tune into realising that all we need is within us.

SatNamNamaste x

Mawk Phoenix is a Swiss-born, LA-based music creator and avid world-traveler. He creates a unique blend of acoustic guitars and lush, tribal electronic beats and textures he calls Acoustica.
The former producer of hits for artists like Celine Dion, Enya, Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado and many more has left the commercial realm to create a very introspective and authentic collection of songs about transformation.

We would like to invite you all to join us on this special evening sharing Mawk’s journey through life, love and transition.

The event is DONATION based and Mawk will also have his most recently released CD for sale. The concert is also BYOB.

Date: Saturday December 8th
Time: 8pm (music starts at 9pm)
Location: 43 Triq ir Rahhala / Manikata @ Lexi Samut Tagliaferro’s                                                                                                 Farmhouse (private residence)

Here are some links to Mawk’s music:

Here is Marc Dolds producer site:
http://marcdold.com/

Here is Mawk Phoenix, Singer/Songwriters site:
http://mawkphoenix.com/

Listen on YouTube & Soundcloud:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vj2cvW7Euko

https://m.soundcloud.com/mawk-phoenix

Mawk Phoenix on FB & Instagram

This is the Sound…..

The fear is real, right?

As it should be as we are human and it’s a natural way of feeling.

Here’s a practice I’d like to share with y’all to bring you in your power with fear, instead of it powering you.

Sit with your eyes closed and take a few deep long breaths

Then think of your biggest fear. Notice how your body feels as soon as you take your mind towards it. Notice where in your body you feel it the most.

Keep them breaths deep, long & equal.

Sit and listen to it, just observe what it creates within you.

Then, think of how you plan to work with the fear. Placing yourself back in the drivers seat where fear no longer controls you, but you control it.

Now notice how that starts to feel in your body.

Breaths are still long deep & equal directed to where you felt the fear the most.

Next, visualise yourself living your life with that fear no longer immobilising you. You are back in power. Visualise your life without the fear and notice how that feels.

Stay there a good while creating a very detailed landscape of your life in control of your fear and give this practice a go everyday until the voice of your fear has less and less impact on your inner world.

Just Listen.

Kriya for Fear:

Sit with both arms outstretched in front of you at shoulder height.

Make a fist with your thumbs on the inside. Your thumb should press on the base of your pinky finger.

Turn your right wrist to the left & your left wrist to the right.

Both fists will be turning in towards one another.

Take your gaze to the tip of your nose and keep breathing

Do this for 1-3min

40 days straight will give you the best results

 

Send that fear flying 🙂

SatNamNamaste

I’ve a story to share of these two ladies who met on an MBY Inside/Out Retreat in Gozo 3 years ago.

They were strangers to one another arriving from very different backgrounds and countries. One came from Canada and the other from Germany.

They quickly became travel buddies on our week together always choosing a different excursion to explore.

Over the course of 3 years these ladies kept in touch and through some turbulent times in their lives planned to meet once again on an MBY Retreat in Gozo just this month.

Witnessing the bond they’ve formed and how familiar they seem to one another is special.

One of them shared that she’s not listened to much in her everyday life and really appreciated the fact that she could speak and be listened to. It’s how our relationships grow closer as it’s the highest act of LOVE. So many people have mentioned how they are not listened to, we must all listen MORE.

On the last day of our retreat with one another they both committed to meeting one another once / year on retreat as they both adore Gozo.

I admire their courage, their openness and the sense of adventure they share and I’m looking forward to sharing all I’ve got to give with them on future retreats as these are the stories I live for.

LISTEN cause life moves in magical ways

SatNamNamasteShantiShanti

Our breath. Our best friend and greatest tool. We wouldn’t be here without it.

Have you befriended your breath?

Give this a go as you Inhale & Exhale from the nose. Allowing each breath to be long, deep & equal in length for a few rounds, then dropping into allowing your breath to be natural.

Have you noticed that incredibly subtle yet sensuous sensation the Inhale creates as it gracefully travels up the nasal cavity, hitting all them fine hairs & fills you up with energy & stimulation? Creating space for all things NEW

Then there’s it’s partner, the Exhale.

Can you pay that much attention to the subtle sensation the exhale creates as it hits the skin under your nostrils and above your lip?

Notice how it relaxes you, frees you & teaches you to let go of the OLD. The exhale is your teacher of relaxation & surrender. Letting go of the old to make room for the new to move in.

Congratulations! You’ve just calmed your nervous system.

Pull your awareness into your breath all day. The breath will be your greatest healer, especially when you feel you are being challenged. Breathe before you respond. Have your experience with your breath and utilise it’s incredible medicine. Clears your mind, opens your heart, grounds you & energises you…

It really does deserve a lot more attention than we give it!

A great practice to implement is to just sit and listen to your breath throughout your day. Be a witness to what happens and how it makes you feel.

‘Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. Buddha advocated breath-meditation as a way to reach enlightenment.’ Leslie Alderman NYTIMES

 

INHALE STRENGTH, EXHALE FREEDOM

Thanks for reading! MBY

 

The best advice I was given by the great teacher Simon Borg Olivier was to always have 3 or 4 teachers that you practice with regularly.

This gives you a toolbox of different styles and theories allowing you to connect to a wider scope of the yogic lifestyle while diversifying your very essence within the practice.

Yoga is not meant to limit you in any way. It represents freedom. Be aware of any practice that is being given that is saying this is the only yoga you have to do, this is the best yoga, this yoga is better than that yoga etc. etc…

Competition is not the way forward – collaboration is.

Weave your web. Observe the teachers who inspire you and whom you admire, we can either listen to the defeatist voice which says ‘I could never do anything like that’; or we can say ‘I’ll have what they’re having’, and learn from them as elders and all the teachers who have taught them.

Dip your stretchy toes into as many styles as you can and you will notice along your journey that you will be attracted to a few different teachers styles depending on what your needs are. Bind them together, yoga is UNION after all.

Allow your practice to be as multi yogi’d as the world is multi cultural.

Don’t listen to the Defeatist Monkeys who may tell you that one style is the way to go.  This stunts your growth. Those who want you to grow will tell you to try different styles, different teachers –  to be an explorer and to have your own experience as opposed to following – the best teachers will not want to keep you small and scared as in truth you are a vast and expansive force of nature with infinite potential.

Embody Yoga as Union on all levels, mind, body & connection to the different styles in all languages and from all sorts of teachers. Mash it up. Be eclectic & notice how you grow.

Collaboration, not Competition

 

SatNamNamasteShantiShanti

 

MBY has been guiding classes and spreading her practice for over 13 years now. She began practicing the art of yoga 19 years ago. Her dedication to her self practice has made her teaching life rich with encounters from students & teachers that ride on the same wave, whether they’re just beginning or are further along on their journey.

MichelleBartoloYoga’s semi private (maximum 8 students) 200hr Teacher Training course provides you with an in depth training to connect to the teacher in you.

Through our union we dive into self discovery with soul, heart & play where you’ll find your inner mystic and then share that with others that come for your message.

MBY will lead you into your own self practice through her teacher training which is where you’re authentic voice will shine through to bring you all the students who need what you are practicing.

MBY’s teacher training will teach you more than how to teach yoga. With a strong intention on personal improvement, psychological flexibility, opening up to allow energy to move through you this course is designed not only to provide students with tools to share the wisdom of yoga with others, yet also to look at their own lives from a spiritual perspective. Each training holds a unique energy, created from like minded souls who join from all over the world.

As we train & embody this approach, we open up to the wisdom and the teacher that is already within us all. We dance, we chant, we sing. We find community with like-minded people and we embrace the stillness within ourselves. We call on our intuition for the answers and we speak from spirit to spirit. We dive deep into the experience, free from unnecessary distractions and allow our authentic connection to emerge.

Each day carries an intention, a spiritual lesson of the day, that we each set for ourselves along with the efforts that need to be made to achieve it.  We begin each morning with a meditation, followed by a 90 minute kriyaasana practice followed by a nourishing yogic breakfast. The days are spent learning yogic theory, yogic practice & healing  through workshops, classes and group discussions. During this time we cover the fundamentals of yogic living, including yogic diet, anatomy, meditation, cleansing practices, pranayama, Ayurveda and the ancient wisdom of the Yoga Sutras. Our trainings also open up to include other methods of healing, calling on not just the physical and mental elements but also the more subtle forms such as energy healing.

We share the Art of Teaching and the Art of Touch, during which students learn to teach a segment of a class in every class we share. We will include Kundalini Kriyas to unravel any blockages in our roots so our serpent energy can rise; a Slow Flow which is a slow, meditative, practice followed by Vinyasa Flow, a more intense, breath-synchronized flow. We also share the fundamentals of intelligent sequencing and explore alignment and adjustment of poses in depth. Each class will end with meditation, kirtan chanting or sacred ceremony.

What you will receive:

Spiritual Immersion
Daily Yoga Practice
In-Depth Meditation Techniques and Practice
Yoga Philosophy
Art of Teaching
Art of Touch
Ayurvedic Diet
Yoga Anatomy & Physiology
Kriya Yogic Cleansing
Kirtan Chanting
Energetic Healing Practices
Cacao & Fire Ceremonies
Chakras & Energy Work
Communal & Sustainable Living
Ethics for Yoga Teachers
Life-long Friendships

MBY Training Includes:

  • MBY’s Teacher Training Manual
  • Work through a process of self-inquiry and personal transformation
  • Learn to teach, guide & create your own unique sequences
  • Live the yogic lifestyle, improve your personal practice and develop your Sadhana, your own spiritual practice
  • Incorporate daily Meditation, Kriyas, Pranayama and Asana
  • Explore the Art of Teaching through interactive daily workshops and learn through regular peer-teaching starting day one & everyday of the training
  • Participate and learn traditional Kirtan chants that are all heart based
  • Participate in traditional ceremony, including Full- and New-Moon Ceremonies
  • Study Yoga Anatomy & Physiology and incorporate these principles into your own teaching and practice
  • Study select Yoga Sutras
  • Learn the foundation and historical background of yoga philosophy
  • Explore Chakras, Bandhas & energetic anatomy in your personal practice and your teaching
  • Study Ayurvedic Philosophy and live the Yogic Diet
  • Practice Advanced Pranayama
  • Experience Kriyas on a deep level which are yogic cleansing techniques
  • Focus on integrating Yoga into your life
  • Discuss ways to bring your Yoga to the marketplace
  • Learn and integrate holistic health modalities such as massage, energy healing, nutrition and other forms

Itinerary:

August 6 – September 14th

Monday – Friday

10am – 3pm

(includes 15 min break)

Pre Requisites

This course is open to people of all yoga abilities. We simply ask that participants set an intention to devote their time and energy to the process of being present and open to becoming. We also suggest, that you work to establish your own personal yoga practice, through attending classes or workshops, or on your own. Set intention, with an open heart and mind, to fully embrace and experience the yogic lifestyle during your training and beyond.

Prior to the training, MBY recommends that students do a regular practice whether that is on their own or attend classes and choose a flow to practice regularly before our training begins. We will cover these flows in detail during the course, and it is great to be familiar with them.

MBY’s intention is to guide students through their own healing journey in order to better prepare them for healing others, letting go of anything that holds them back from what their hearts are truly called to. Together we unveil the essence, learning to taste the sweet nectar of life while flowing in the world with strength and grace.

Open yourself to what is there, leave all expectations behind and enter the enlightened perspective and sacred landscape of your training with an open heart – whatever comes will be exactly what you need.

Required Books:

Yoga Anatomy: https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Anatomy-2nd-Leslie-Kaminoff/dp/1450400248/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525983516&sr=8-1&keywords=leslie+kaminoff+yoga+anatomy

Yoga Sutras: https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Sutras-Liberation-Dennis-                        Hill/dp/142514764X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525983559&sr=1-       1&keywords=dennis+hill+yoga+sutras

Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=yama+and+niyamas+by+deborah+adele&sprefix=yama+and+%2Cstripbooks%2C339&crid=GXQG30M8LIM9

Location:

Ayampe, Ecuador @ Wild Child Village Eco Retreat Center

Wild Child Village is Ayampe’s first and only boutique eco-retreat center grounded in sustainability + community.
We are a conscious collective rooted deeply in traditional and modern spiritual practice, permaculture, artistic expression, movement, and a commitment to co-create new understandings of self and tribe. Through transformational wellness retreats, educational programs, and adventure, we seek to empower people to explore their passions, find their purpose and help create bold actions to bring forth a sustainable future that works for all.
Wild / adjective: Living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated. Untamed by society, corporations, or religion. Child / noun: A son or daughter of the universe. One who looks upon the world with wonder, amazement, and an open heart.
We’re so excited to welcome you to Wild Child Village! Welcome to the Tribe.
See more on Wild Child Village here:
https://www.wildchildvillage.com/
Getting there:
Fly to Quito then to Guayaquil
From Guayaquil you take a coach bus for approx 3 hours to Montanita and then grab a taxi from there (15 min drive approx $15 USD)

Tuition:

MBY 200hr KriyaAsana Teacher Training Tuition = $2000 USD

Accommodation & Food Offers @ Wild Child Village:

$1200 USD, shared dorm (3 people) single beds and
$1400 USD private double suite for 1 person
$1200 USD additional for a second person in private double suite

Wild Child’s Package Includes:

41 nights accommodation in Ayampes first and only eco boutique retreat village
3 Plant Based Meals / day with locally sourced, organic produce
Free flowing coffee, tea & treats
Shuttle rides to and from the local town & beach

Feel free to write MBY with any further inquiries: info@michellebartoloyoga.com

SatNamNamasteShantiShant

 

Navel-gazing: Understanding Bodies Through Yoga

 Aside from being a meditative practice good for the mind and soul, yoga is an equally highly physical activity. Asanas are carried out as a means of improving the body’s capability of sitting in long poses of concentration. The strength and flexibility that are gradually built overtime make the body more enduring and open to higher levels of meditation. Through each movement, a yogi also develops a heightened sense of awareness of their body and a deeper understanding of themselves.

In Patanjali’s yoga sutra 3.30 he says, “By samyama on the navel centre, knowledge of the arrangement of the systems of the body can be known.” Quite literally, many take the wise sage’s words to mean focusing on the navel region and strengthening it. By doing so, Shape Magazine explains that building core strength is just like laying the foundations of a house. It’s intricately connected to the major muscular regions of the body and acts as a baseline fitness for most of the movements that you do. You can’t fly into a crow pose or flip into a handstand without having stability in your midsection.

The core also plays an important role in the different planes of movement which are sagittal (forward and backward), coronal (left and right), and transverse (rotational). Yoga Journal states that these three anatomical planes teach a person the ways the body can move, as well as signal the imbalances in the body which is really important for creating body awareness. When you mirror Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), which moves along the coronal plane, you might find that one side is more stable or more flexible than the other. This information tells you to make a more conscious effort of building up the weaker side of your body so you can ultimately introduce more balance. People tend to favour practicing on their dominant side. Knowing where you move in space also keeps you centred and prevents running the risk of injuries.

That being said, body awareness doesn’t just apply to your own. Michelle Bartolo Yoga previously mentioned that teachers must practice what they preach. They need to develop their own personal practice in order to effectively teach their understanding to the class. Part of an instructor’s training is to adjust their students which will not be possible if one does not have a proper understanding of the body’s capabilities. It is not good custom for a teacher to force your arm into a twist if your face is already showing signs of extreme discomfort.


The same concept can be applied to the increasingly popular practice of partner yoga which has different styles of its own such as acroyoga. San Diego-based instructor Abby Vernon says that it really helps couples connect physically and on a deeper level. In this style, two people can embody the primary goal of yoga which is union. Both bodies need to touch and communicate in order to be in sync. Foxy Bingo recommends massaging each other as well, which you can do after each class as a way to strengthen the bond even more. Think of it as a trust-building exercise where you surrender yourself to your partner and let them attend to your needs. In partner yoga, you have to employ the same trust especially in weight-bearing poses.

Lastly, remember that navel-gazing has other connotations, too. One of those is about the subtle body or the nadis where the energy flows. Patanjali was also speaking of navel-gazing as a mode of introspection in which you try to quiet the mind, rid it of unnecessary thoughts, and reach a place of calmness.

 

Post written by: Ismael Boaz

 

 

Hi Everyone!

Hope you’re all finding time for being amidst our world of doing.

I’ve been struggling with putting a yoga video out for some time now. I was never quite happy with the outcome for oh so many reasons up until now. I’ve dropped my idealistic way of what it should look like and have accepted what has become a great collaboration with a tribe of generous & talented folks supporting what I’m here to give.

This is the very first MBY KriyaAsana video of its kind and I do hope you find it easy to follow, challenging enough to work to your edge & calm enough to help you find more peace. I’d love to hear your feedback or special requests.

These online classes will be available to you mid June when you can subscribe monthly for an exchange of $20 USD which will give you unlimited classes. Each month I will be adding more classes to my library for you to follow & each class will have a different theme.

This first full class is 52 min with meditation at the beginning & at the end, along with kriyas & vinyasa to hit every corner of your mind & body for a full tune in.

I’m looking so forward to sharing my practices with you all 🙂

Please email MBY: info@michellebartoloyoga.com to find out how to subscribe

SatNamNamasteShantiShanti