Integral Bodywork (Free Podcast and Upcoming Workshop)

Learn More: Podcast with Alex & Everett:
Click Here to Listen to the Integral Bodywork Podcast (20 min)

In this podcast:

  • What you’ll get in the workshop.  (Direct Experience of bodymind)
  • History of Integral Bodywork.  (and Everett’s Path)
  • How Integral Bodywork brought Alex his first Spiritual Realization.
  • A look at the orientation that “your body is your unconscious mind” as shown by Carl Jung and Eastern Philosophies.
The changes in you over the course of the weekend will be the best proof of the profound opening possible through Integral Bodywork®.

While this event is not formally related to the yoga teacher training program, in fact, I am not the organizer of it, it is something that anyone interested in yoga can have life changing benefit from. 

 

Learn and Experience from the Master – FEB 25 & 26 in Madison

 

 One of my Most Important Teachers:  After an over 4 year hiatus from Madison, my bodywork teacher Everett Ogawa — the founder of Integral Bodywork – is coming to town.

 

This is a very rare opportunity to step into a whole different level of experience. If you think yoga has been an aberration from your typical experience, this will prove to be yoga times fifty!    (or as Ken said, “Only Yoga time Ten”)
no bodywork experience necessary to take this workshop
Just come with an open mind for the experience.  My first experience of Oneness with the Universe came after my first Integral Bodywork encounter.  It has since helped me to heal bulging discs in my back as well as let go of past grudges and other traumas I’d been holding onto.  It has changed my life… and my New Year’s wish is that it have the opportunity to take your life to fascinating realms as well.  This is the real deal!
Introduction to Integral Bodywork


This introduction is available to anyone who wants to increase their mind-body awareness, know themselves more deeply, or live more fully – free from tension, stress, and anxiety.  Novices will find this weekend a tremendous step toward engaging their lives and work with new vigor and openness, as well as a gateway to deeper practice and life.  Those already practicing in some form of bodywork, meditation, martial arts, yoga or other mindfulness training will find a unique opportunity to deepen, open and accelerate their body’s response to these practices.  Because this work is built on the Eastern understanding of the mind and body as one, the effects can be far reaching. 

Plenty more (perhaps way more than you would care to know) information on this workshop and Integral Bodywork available at www.integralnest.com.

 

An Introduction to Integral Bodywork®
Taught by Everett Ogawa
Everett Ogawa | 773.318.7877 | www.integralbodywork.com
Saturday, February 25, 2012 1:00-5:00pm Structural Stretch Sequence
Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:00am-4:30pm Introduction to the 10 Sessions
Tai Chi Center, 301 S. Bedford St., Madison, WI 53703
Cost: Structural Stretch Sequence $55 (Saturday afternoon class)
Introduction to the 10 Sessions $95 (Sunday all-day class)
Register for both classes for a discounted cost of $125
Integral Bodywork® is a transformational method of hands-on bodywork. It seeks to restore an individual’s structural integrity through release of the body’s matrix of connective tissue.

 

Registration Information Below.
If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to e-mail me or contact the organizers:  Elizabeth (eliz_fadell@earthlink.net 608-288-1050) or Alex G (alex@redbeardwoodworks.com 608-354-2585) with questions and to register.

7 Anatomy & Physiology Myths (Some Of Which, Even Your Yoga Teacher Likely Believes)

co-written by  Alex Pfeiffer & Katy Wallace

Since the day before you took your first yoga class, you have probably learned a lot more anatomy that you ever thought you would.  Whether it was the first time you realized that you knew what the yoga teacher was talking about when she mentioned your sacrum, or suddenly found that you felt better breathing a certain way from “oxygenating your blood” , you may have come to realize that Anatomy doesn’t have to be the boring subject it was in school.  It is, in fact, connected to our very vitality and happiness when its taught right.  And yoga has been that for all of us.  Learning about our bodies in ways that deeply affect our lives.  Although this writing is partially a promotional piece (at the end we’ll mention a workshop weekend), we think you’ll find the education you get from it extremely helpful in of itself.

Have you ever wondered about some of the things you hear around the yoga studio?  There are certainly things you hear that your bookworm friends would scoff at (of course they’ll never try yoga), and it is absolutely true that yoga revolutionizes how we can see the human body.  The mechanistic, partitioned view of the body we were given as “science” growing up was severely limited and yoga’s (as well as bodywork’s and natural medicine’s) more whole view actually helps us see much of the mythology we’ve been under here in the mainstream West.

But the culture of Yoga (starting from India), while remarkable and eye opening, is not without its myths either.  And some of the things from your yoga classes don’t hold up.  Alex argues that Yoga’s growing edge is not romanticizing by replacing one mixed paradigm for another (or what is often the case, taking the worst of each).  Its edge is integral – favoring truth over paradigm.  Katy argues that understanding your body is the first step to empowering your health because when you know how to use it, what you learn is yours forever.  Myths get in the way of your raw aliveness and vitality.

 

Myth 1  :  Stiffness, Aches, Pains, and getting shorter are a result of Aging.

If you’ve been practicing yoga very long, you’re not falling for this one.  How many times have you heard yoga being a “fountain of youth”?  … and then experienced it?  But Wait.  Older folks do get more stiff, aches, etc.  than younger folks.  Isn’t there some truth in this?

Yes.

But it is not aging itself.  Aging just slows down your body’s ability to rejuvenate itself.  You can still rejuvenate when you’re older, but it will take a little longer.  The stiffness, aches, and pains typically associated with aging are usually the result of poor patterns in your structural tissues.  We all have patterns and the longer you’re alive, the stronger those patterns get.  The poor ones show up as aches and pains.  The really bad ones show up as bulging or ruptured vertebral discs.  While pill and surgery pushers of mainstream western medicine scoff at the idea that something like yoga can heal these problems, these problems are, in fact, a symptom of patterning.  (As is getting shorter the effect of gravity on a poorly patterned body over time)  Address the patterning and the symptom goes away.

 

Myth 2  :  Yoga Poses, Done Enough, Will Reverse Stiffness, Aches, and Pains.

Yoga poses are like the invitation.  They are not the party.  They are simply positions you put your body in.  Without connected, integrated, and expansive action that protects the joints, your yoga poses may only give you some new bad patterns (which given enough time, pop up as pain) to distract your current bad patterns for a while.  To truly reverse your body’s patterning and restore yourself to your vibrant blueprint, you must align.

 

Myth 3  :  Yoga Alignment is About Body Position


Your body, despite what it looks like in a textbook, is not a static entity.  True Alignment, that which drastically affects your core vitality, is not static either.  It is about balanced action.  If the action of every muscle fiber creates a myofascial network that fully integrates and expands, (active – tensegrity) then you are aligning.

Yup, like that weird thing in the video.

 

 

Myth 4  :  Yogic breathing increases oxygen in your bloodstream.

There are many health benefits from pranayam such as breath of fire and kapalbhati but if it increased oxygen in your bloodstream, you would die! Your body automatically, through homeostatic mechanisms, keeps the oxygen level in the bloodstream balanced. What yogic breathing offers is the increased availability of oxygen for uptake into the lungs and tissues which improves functioning in a number of body systems.

Your body is holistic like that.  Just how it likes to roll.

 

Myth 5  :  A raw vegan diet is the healthiest in the yogic tradition.

Many health issues improve from raw and vegan approaches to eating.  However,  without any animal products long term, an individual may become severely deficient in multiple areas including B12, iron, minerals and protein that can lead to reproductive, cognitive and digestive disorders.

 

Myth 6  :  One daily bowel movement is an indicator of a balanced elimination

in case you were eating at your keyboard

system.

One typically needs to have 2-3 thorough bowel movements daily to avoid the build-up of toxins and residues in the digestive tract.  The Right Yoga offers many tools for regulating this self-cleansing mechanism.

 

 

Myth 7  :  Your Skeleton Mainly Holding You Up.  The rest of your Structural Anatomy is basically like a series of levers and pulleys.  

This is a primary Western Myth.  That our body is built like a building or a car, with interchangeable, separate parts working like a machine in mechanistic order.  In fact, your skeleton is not like the steel frame of a building that holds the rest of the pieces “up.”   It is more like the center pole of a tent or pillar on a suspension bridge.  It gives your soft tissues something to “push into” so that the soft tissues hold you up.   Yes.  The crazy yoga teacher (in the case of this part, Alex) is telling you that the idea you were given in grade school that your skeleton holds up your soft tissues is exactly backwards.                   Jon Burras Article

 

 

And this can drastically affect how you do your yoga.  As do all of these because when you are orienting to your own body based on a myth, it shows in your patterns, actions, and decisions.  So the next time you’re in a yoga pose, imagine, not that your bones stacking are holding you up, but that you are suspended up like a tent.  Seek out teachers who understand Anatomy because that is the source of quality yoga action.

It is the difference between having a yoga practice that is good for you and having one that is twice as good for you as the one you’re doing now.

Hopefully this article was helpful.  If you’re interested not only in diving deeper into these myths (and many more), but in finding out what it means to your yoga practice (and diet) and how some simple tweaks can help you create even more vitality, Katy and Alex will be co-hosting a yoga teacher training caliber Anatomy Weekend on Feb 17 – 19 at Kaivalya.  The workshop is open to everyone! (not just yoga teachers) and will feature years of experience and expertise packed into one weekend.  Alex with his multiple yoga and bodywork certifications will bring his expertise on structural anatomy, and team up with Katy Wallace’s remarkable expertise as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Doctor of Naturopathy.  Alex will cover structure and Katy everything else.

Information Here.  If you are interested, please join us.  The soonest this workshop will run again will be June of 2014.  Imagine the kind of impact could this knowledge have on your yoga practice (or teaching) in the course of 2.5 years?

See you on the mat…

Yoga Anatomy & Physiology Weekend with Katy Wallace & Alex Pfeiffer

This Weekend is for:

  • Those currently enrolled in Kaivalya’s Yoga Teacher Training Program.
  • Current Yoga Teachers who are looking to fulfill their Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Training Requirement (covers 16 of the 30 required hours) or ‘step up’ their Anatomy skills.
  • Anyone who wants a cutting edge understanding of human anatomy and physiology and (most importantly), how to apply it in on the yoga mat  (although it is not the primary focus of the weekend, application via diet will also be included in the instruction).
You Will
  • Have a deep understanding that will unravel the 7 Anatomy & Physiology Myths (Some Of Which, Even Your Yoga Teacher Likely Believes).  Read This Now, If you have not.  
  • Be able to execute the right breathing techniques to get yourself going or conversely, to help yourself relax and calm down.
  • Learn proper bone placement and how common yoga instructions such as “get your hips in one line” (triangle, warrior) or “push your shoulders down” actually create instability, strain, and tension.
  • Understand how both yoga and diet have the potential to promote or alleviate anxiety when the right combination of techniques are used.
  • Gain an understanding of how the human body is interconnected.  Not just that it is, but that some parts are more interconnected than others.
  • Practice meditation techniques that boost memory and reduce stress.
  • Learn to engage your muscles in harmony in poses with the right timing and the right way that hits the “reset button” on the negative patterns your body is holding.
  • Know the foods and yogic techniques that stimulate your body’s natural capacity for self-cleansing and detoxification.
  • Understand why the thyroid and adrenal glands are so important to stress recovery and how yoga and diet influence them.
  • Get a Practical Experience of All Learning.  A total of 6 hours of physical practice through the weekend!
  • A Yogic and Basic Human Understanding of the Following Body Systems:
      • Digestive System
      • Skeletal System
      • Endocrine System
      • Muscular System
      • Circulatory and Respiratory Systems
      • Myofascial System
      • Nervous System
      • Lymphatic and Skin Systems

Weekend Schedule

Friday, Feb 17,  7:30pm to 9:45pm :    Consciousness for Human Bodies, an Owner’s Manual  —   w/ Alex Pfeiffer

Saturday, Feb 18, 9am to 12:15pm:    Structural Anatomy in Practice w/ Alex Pfeiffer

Saturday, Feb 18, 1:50pm to 5pm:   Physiology for Yoga and Diet w/ Katy Wallace 

Saturday, Feb 19, 10am to 2:15pm:    Structural Anatomy in Practice & Teaching  w/ Alex Pfeiffer

Sunday, Feb 19, 4pm to 6:45pm:   Physiology for Yoga and Diet w/ Katy Wallace 

 

 

 

Faculty

Katy Wallace is a traditional Naturopath and Registered Yoga Teacher. She teaches people to take control of their own health by eating better and utilizing natural remedies to support the healing process.

“I believe the body has the ability to heal and stay healthy if given the proper nutrition and care.   You’ll notice that all of the training I’ve chosen and the services I offer are rooted in that fundamental belief in our innate ability to be well.

I hold a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) degree from Trinity College of Natural Health and have since completed over 200 hours of continuing education in the area of holistic nutrition. I also hold a Master’s degree from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the UW–Madison and a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Environmental Sciences from Carleton College in Minnesota.

Because meditation and yoga practices contribute to keeping body systems balanced, I became certified in Kundalini yoga, completed over 200 hours in Yoga Alliance-approved teacher training, and am now recognized as a registered yoga teacher.

In 2006 I founded Human Nature, LLC, offering nutrition, naturopathy, and yoga services in Madison, Wisconsin.

 

 

Alex Pfeiffer is Teacher Training director at the Kaivalya Yoga Teacher Training.  Since yoga & bodywork certification in 2004, Alex has gained a reputation as one of Madison’s most reliable experts in bio-mechanics and usage of yoga for therapeutic healing.  With a total of 5 yoga & bodywork certifications, his teaching focuses heavily on understandable alignment, breath, action, & attitude for full human detoxification: physically, mentally, & emotionally. The result is a class to push your spiritual edge from struggle to ease; from intensity to peace; and from madness to clarity. “Life is a wild ride” he says, “you never know what’s just around the corner. All we can do is discover the parts of ourselves we never knew were there – and then: Blossom.”

Alex designs training weekends that synthesize cutting edge understanding of the human body with its correlate of action and meaning in the world. He brings together a team of some of the best teachers in Wisconsin to distill yoga’s creative core for teachers to be. “Whether we study yoga as a science or an art,” he says, “it all flows from a creative core. And when our energy flows from that core to all domains… we are unstoppable, happy, and free.”

 

 

Prices
Kaivalya Yoga Teacher Training Credit:   $279  /  weekend
Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credit:  $179 / weekend
General Public:  $179 / weekend

Ala Carte available but full weekend recommended.  To sign up, contact Alex at asanageek@yahoo.com.  

Sign up ahead of time and get free yoga anatomy & alignment videos! 

 

FAQ 1: What Style is this Yoga Teacher Training?

This training does not teach a particular style.  It will show examples of various styles and bring in teachers of various styles, but it does not center on one style. It centers on the ingredients that make up all styles.


This training will certify you and qualify you to teach a solid public yoga class that is grounded in the Foundations of all styles of yoga.


The training is Foundational and Integral.  The training drills down to the foundations of yoga and allows you to use your own creative potential to adapt it to your style (perhaps even one that’s uniquely you).  Here is the analogy I’d use:


A Yoga Class is a finished product.  As a student, you see the end result of many other pieces that are behind the scenes.  Its like going to a restaurant.  You get the final plate of food, but have not seen what has gone into creating that wonderful plate of food in front of you.  More accurately, if you’ve never done extended yoga training before, its more like you’ve never prepared or cooked food and have never been to a supermarket — as if you’ve only ever been in a restaurant and seen the final product.  Regardless of your background, your job as a yoga teacher to put that plate together behind the scenes so your students have something delicious and healthy to absorb.


Most yoga trainings will teach you to make a single type of food or plate.  These are called “styles”.  Some styles are like mashed potatoes and gravy, others are like a good curry, others are even a whole cuisine… like Mexican.  You will be trained to make a single dish.  You will be trained to make it quite well.  You will learn a recipe.


This is nice. And it is the right path for some, but in my opinion the growing edge of yoga is like that in food and everything else.  Creative.


It honors the lineage, but does not get stuck in it.


I want to teach you how to cook.  Creatively. Not to remake the same dish that’s been made 100000 times exactly the same by 1000 other people.  Rather than repeating something in lock step, I’d like you to be able to understand fundamental ‘flavors’ and ‘textures’ of the ‘food’, so that you know how ‘taste’ works and from there prepare your own food.  I want you to understand cooking and then rely on your own creative potential.  There are a few reasons for this:


1)  It gives you the potential to do your yoga and teach your yoga in a way that really works for you.


2)  Even if you really like and enjoy a particular style or two of yoga (flow, yin, hot, alignment, etc.), in my opinion, you will understand it better and teach it better by understanding how it fits together with everything else.  For example, by understanding flavors, even if your favorite food is mashed potatoes, you can probably give your mashed potatoes a very slight, unique little spice that still works as mashed potatoes.  This training is about fostering that sort of creativity whether you decide to train your teaching towards a particular style or not.


3)  Once you’ve been teaching for a year or few, if you trained in one style, you have no where to go, but start over — just as if you trained to learn to make only mashed potatoes, you might have to start over to learn to make Mexican food.  Where as, if you learn how texture, taste, and presentation fit together with food, you may not know exactly what to do right away, BUT you will have the ability to taste something new and say “Hmmm, I taste some cilantro…..   heirloom tomato sauce….”  you will have the tools to use your own creative potential to go after it.


In the training itself, I teach (1) the fundamentals and (2) how to apply the fundamentals.  (1) I teach the same every time.  (2)  I teach based on who is in the training weekend.  So (2) will be different for every single training class and is part of why there will be an interview before you enroll — the interview helps me understand your style experience is so that I can show the fundamentals in a way that will immediately fit and be understandable.


In other words, the training is tailor fit to you and others in the training.  The goal is to integrate fundamentals that will give you the ability to fully use every bit of your creative potential instead of a “paint-by-numbers” approach.


In the end this is what consciousness is about…. creative potential… not dogma or paint by numbers.   By bet is on your inteligence and creative capacity.


Lets Cook.

Holidays in America – Deep Materialism and the Miracle of We

To me, the holiday season is deeply spiritual. It is also deeply commercial and materialist. It is deeply spiritual precisely because it is so commercial and materialist.

My intent here is to put a newer, deeper spin on the ideas of materialism and commercialism.  It is true that Holidays can be void of commerce.  Either because gifts are not given (which I often prefer), or because gifts are made and created.

I think both options are great!  But for many who would prefer these options, it is difficult to get the rest of a family to follow suit and one is left in a dilemma of having to be the weirdo (hence not jiving with family) or going along with a hollow, meaningless, commercial ritual.  The purpose of this article is to consider another way out by reminding us all of something that we already know.

With the holiday season comes the joy of celebration. The season affords you an opportunity to seriously reflect on what various loved ones and friends mean to you. As you search stores, websites, and catalogs for the right gift for each individual – you must consider what each physical item for sale potentially offers in meaning to the target giftee. How does it affect their soul? While cable news pundits and sales analysts look at the dry numbers and paths of dollars in an attempt to steer our cash , many of us partake in an activity more deeply spiritual.

In this particular story, by “spiritual”, I am referring to the internal vibe that we can share with another human being. This is a deep vibration of togetherness you might call admiration or love. Scientific equipment, measuring devices, even the five senses cannot detect it, yet this vibration is obvious and real to everybody, certainly as real as the experience of physical material all around us.

Consider what it is like when you get together with someone you really enjoy being around. You experience a shared feeling, you believe you understand each other, or see eye to eye, or share an emotion. Beyond words or concepts, the actual texture of those experiences, thoughts, shared insights, emotions – the felt texture of that shared space – is an example of the two of you joining together into a sense of “we”.

“We” is mutual understanding  - many times even beyond words (mutual resonance). While many of us think it is weird when others don’t or can’t understand us – in pure physical reality – as separate and unique individuals who bump around each other like fleshy billiard balls in chain reaction – - consider how weird it is that anyone understands you (or me) at all!

This activity of mutual resonance – which converts two “I’s” each of which is a “you” to the other, into a “we” – births a world perceived by neither “I” alone. It is a world that is neither totally subjective (merely relative) nor objective (merely universal). Given this slippery slope of fluid amorphism, it is hard to understand how this can actually happen at all . Yet it does – constantly. *

It is a true miracle. Yes?

To understand (& it is often better done without words) what another person means to you, simply bring them to mind and feel into what you mean by “we”. Open right into the pure essence of what this “we” is, and you might even find something like God.

It is that powerful.

During the holidays we find ourselves looking for the perfect gift. This gift will likely be the physical object (or activity in the case of a gift like tickets to a show) that most accurately “contains” the unique vibration you and I call “we”. This is no easy task. It is so difficult, in fact, that most Americans have completely given up on it. We have reduced ourselves to giving each other Christmas lists and other such practical nonsense. What seems entirely logical creates a void of meaning in our lives. The season loses a specialness in the name of being pragmatic.

All of us have received or given a gift that really hit the mark at some point in our lives. It was an experience that that cut into our heart with the precision of the best surgeon’s scalpel and opened a love, appreciation, or togetherness thick enough to swim through. This gift often is not an expensive gift, but one that creates a moment so lucid eternity floods it. The holiday season is ripe with this potential.

I am by no means “preaching from the pulpit” here.  Most Holidays, my family is asking me for a list (I do not hold this against them as I realize that my odd choice of lifestyle creates a nearly impossible situation for them to vibe with my current incarnation as a yoga and healing devotee).  Meanwhile because of the distance between us, I am finding my resonance with them difficult to access when I shop.  Yet, I refuse to take a list from them because I’d rather not make my shopping some hollow chore to check off.  At least half the time I end up needing to fish for a hint at the last minute to make the gift a relevant one.  This is just a sneakier version of the Christmas list I attempt to avoid.

…. and I will add that this year, I’ve finally gotten my wish to do Christmas without gifts… just the gift of time together.  I hope to do this for a few Christmas’s as I really only like to give gifts that I feel will create immense joy or totally change another person’s life.   It otherwise seems like baggage – but ….

There is still nothing better than the surprise of hitting the mark with a gift.  This is what I live for when I am gift giving.  I love the quest to find the physical object which will most express the way my receiver and I resonate with each other.  Shopping, Hunting, or creating this way is deeply spiritual.  I love this side of commercialism, of the 2nd Industrial Revolution that has created such a variety of useful goods (and many more un-useful), but it is a side of the beast which is always overshadowed by the thought of $$ = value, instead of Resonance = Value.

By attempting to instill the resonance of “we” into a material object, am I being a materialist? Absolutely. Is this a negative? I don’t believe so. We live in a material world and sharing the material has within it an essence of love and admiration that are hard to express by other means. I do not believe that we suffer as a society because we are ‘too materialistic’, in fact, I believe we suffer because we are not materialistic enough.

To be a good materialist means to have a love and respect of material things. Chocolate lovers seek chocolate of the highest quality.  Yoga lovers seek high quality yoga (which is what I and the other teachers hope to offer).  If we as Americans truly cherished material, we would seek material of the highest quality.  Yet Americans do not seek out the highest quality as a general rule.  I am shocked at the number of singing fish and other piles of junk that are sold each year.  For every single gorgeous architectural site, there are thousands of ugly strip malls.  One instills resonance, the other instills nothing but hollow efficiency.

We have lost uncountable amounts of cultural richness from our misguided over-pragmatism….  over the confusion that $$ = value instead of resonance = value.  The hollowness of strip mall ticky-tack is not merely symbolic.  Real Material resonates with Real Meaning, maybe not in physical space, but in “we space”.

There is something profoundly human about enjoying high quality. There is an unheard resonance in consuming an object that took lots of love and effort for someone else to produce. Whether it is high quality chocolate, an artistically crafted automobile, an artisan ice cream, or an amazingly streamlined bicycle (pick your so-called vice), we know deep down that our enjoyment of the material is more insanely spiritual than most of us want to admit. It is this deep enjoyment that we hope to uncage during the holiday season. We celebrate the miracle of togetherness through quality.

Through Resonance.

It is why I hope many of us don’t waste the opportunity for quality and resonance this season.  Even if we try and fail miserably, the quest of resonance in material form is one of the great spiritual endeavors in our lives.  At our best, we can make peace with our material nature, enjoy our commercial quest to find deep resonance, and bask in the miracle of “we”.  May your holidays be deeply materialistic and…..

Resonate.

Together.

Love,

Alex

 

 

 

 

 

· * These two paragraphs paraphrased from Ken Wilber’s Integral Spirituality Chapter 7 “A Miracle Called We”

Cold / Flu / Sinus Infection Protocol

Everyone is getting sick. I can name at least a dozen people right off the top of my head who I know have fallen ill in the past two weeks. I am around these sick people, and hopefully I don’t get sick too.

Thankfully I have a secret weapon. It was given to my 2004 Bikram Training class by our nutritional expert teacher Dr. Frank. Here is the protocol:

1 Lemon
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen is fine)
1000mg Vitamin C
1/4 to 1.5 cup water (depending on desired thickness)
1-14 drops of Stevia Extract – OPTIONAL – to taste

Take a vegetable peeler and peel the yellow rind off the lemon. Leave the white rind on. Cut the lemon to de-seed it and put the lemon and other ingredients into a blender to liquefy.

Drink It.

Every two hours if you are currently sick. Three times a day if you are prone to being sick (because of stress or others around you being sick).

You will recover quicker if you are sick. You will be better at avoiding infection if you are using it preventatively.

The stevia is a natural zero sugar, zero calorie sweetener and is optional for those who like their drink a little sweeter. You can find stevia extract at Whole Foods or the Willy St. Co-op. DO NOT ADD SUGAR of any kind, and as a matter of fact – you should avoid sugar anytime that you or people around you are sick. It supresses your immune system.

This drink is an immune system booster particularly good for cold and flu. Dr. Frank used this protocol to rescue his wife from a fever/infection the hospital had no idea what to do with. He was giving it to her every half hour, but assuming you are not hospitalized, you shouldn’t need it that often.

I have had success with this drink myself. I have gotten sick in the past 5 years, but it seems to be much less than usual for me. I don’t have a particularly strong immune system normally, but I have avoided getting sick this year. PLUS three winters ago when EVERY teacher at Inner Fire Yoga came down with a crazy mutant sinus infection (I did too) – While my fellow teachers required antibiotics – I beat it by drinking this every two hours for a few days in a row. Non-stop smoothie bombardment and neti-pot… I needed no antibiotics.

Vitimin C is a known immune system booster; however, as with everything in nature it is not just about the chemical we can isolate in a lab. The white rind of the lemon is chalk full of enzymes and other co-factors that aid Vitimin C to do its job. (don’t keep the yellow rind, its bad for your stomach) This is why natural is better. Science is amazing, but nature, even at this micro-level is such a complex system, you cannot simply reduce it to 30 or so Vitamins, Minerals, and known nutrients. The white rind of the lemon is vital to this protocol.

Blueberries are beginning to be recognized as a super food. Perhaps I will write about those too… but later.   Add all this to regular Neti Pot use and you’ll be unstoppable.

Now, I gotta run.

Hope this helps. Stay Healthy!

Dealing with Energetic Overwhelm (Detox Bath Recipe)

This post is for my teacher trainees, but can be valuable to anyone who is currently undergoing a process of intense spiritual or emotional transformation, as you shed off layers of the past, the detox bath can be a huge help.

You may very likely never experience energetic overwhelm during the training, and its not better per se if you do or don’t.  However, during the course of this training, we are doing some powerful exercises, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Some will be easy and others difficult.  It is possible during the training session and also in between training sessions to feel energetic overwhelm.

Energetic Overwhelm is when your body’s subtle energy systems are pushed further than they have been before.  It is not a bad thing.  It is like having a sore muscle.  (We will get into what “subtle energy” and what exactly it is later in the training.  Note:  It is not foremost some mystical thing to ‘believe’, but foremost, more about a psycho-emotional-somatic process).  Signs of Energetic Overwhelm are:

  • Your body feels as if its “circuits are fried”
  • Feeling of General Numbness for no apparent or diagnosable reason
  • Feeling Spacey for no apparent reason
  • Frequent Urination
  • Cold Sweats
  • Headache
  • Intense Body Heat (as if having a fever)
  • Feeling Dehydrated despite drinking plenty of water
  • Negative Feelings that seem to come out of nowhere despite reflective time and time spent feeling them without trying to interpret them.   (This is not always do to energetic overwhelm.  Sometimes we are experiencing a block or unattended situation in life that wants to be dealt with. )
  • Dramatic increase in “crazy dreams”
  • Feeling of abnormal disconnect from physical world

Usually its only one of these symptoms, but sometimes there are multiple.  The training and your personal yoga practice (which includes alignment) will help you condition your body’s subtle energy systems.  Here is how to recover more quickly from energetic overwhelm when your energy system is “sore”:

Draw a bath as hot as you can make it and still stand to be in it.  Add the following:

  • 1/2 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda

Mix it up good and get all of your body covered by the bath.  If you tub doesn’t allow your whole body in, trade off between different spots.  My tub is small and I often alternate between being on my back and child’s pose in the tub (to get my chest, head and face).

Stay in for 10 minutes, but absolutely no more than 15 (this is important!  the effect of the bath can start to reverse).  If you feel you need another bath, completely empty the tub and do another bath fresh.

The bath is salt, so it will dehydrate you.  Make sure to drink an extra glass of water before and after your bath.  (water you wouldn’t drink otherwise is what I mean by extra, if your thirsty when going into the bath, you better drink big time).

When in doubt, do the bath!  The bath cannot hurt you (as long as you hydrate when you do it), so I usually do the bath anyway.  You also cannot overdo the bath.  When doing intense spiritual work before my mom died, I was taking this bath 4 times a day for about 3 weeks in a row.  Unlikely you’ll need to go as far as I did (I was doing spiritual work about 22 hours per week, and that did not include my yoga practice).   I don’t think you’ll ever need anything close to that, but the bath is a good idea.  Its very good at dissipating the extra charge.

The bath is one of the best things I’ve found, but some other good ways to dissipate overwhelm are:

  • massage / bodywork
  • barefoot walking on wet grass
  • walking in mist  (mother nature’s or man made, I use a sprayer to mist the air, and keep spraying)

This is not to scare anyone.  Just to give you tools and resources on your path.

If you’re not sure that you’re having overwhelm, or you’re just curious, take the bath for the hell of it.  Think of it as an experiment or injunction to see what happens.  Most people are shocked at how well it works!  Go for it.

If you have not taken the detox bath yet….ever.   Take It!  Seriously.  You want to be energetically clean for your students and for yourself while you are undergoing great change.

Namaste.