Is yoga a religion? Yoga is not a religion. In fact, when Paramahansa Yogananda introduced yoga to the West in 1920, he explained it as a 'technology for living well'. He was the first to describe the brain-nervous system aspects of yoga. Yoga recognizes and honors all religious viewpoints. A byproduct of the practice is that it does enhance your spiritual connection.
What are the 'expressive arts'? I define the expressive arts as any creative process used to express, explore or experience an emotion, feeling, sensation, spiritual belief, or other aspect of one's inner world. In addition to 'traditional' visual art forms, this can include writing, poetry, music, movement/dance, sewing, woodworking, even gardening or landscaping. I've had clients speak their emotional world through musical instruments, even through cooking.
What if I'm not flexible? There is always a starting point. I teach yoga to all levels and body types. My oldest student was 92 years old; I've had students do yoga from a wheelchair; and I've worked with people recovering from joint replacements and strokes.
I don't have a creative bone in my body. Can I do this if I'm not an artist? Absolutely. The creativity techniques are based on process, not a polished final product. We work with shapes, lines, color, metaphor. In fact, I have found that this process is very rewarding to people who declare themselves to be non-artistic.
What type of yoga do you teach and practice? I teach Hatha Yoga, which I like because it allows the space to connect with your body as you explore various poses. I incorporate pranayama (yogic breathing), guided imagery, and/or meditation.
I listen to my body and attend classes that fit my needs. I have four favorite studios that I attend. They all offer something different: I regularly practice vinyasa (flow) yoga, hatha, restorative, yin and yoga nidra. I also practice at home, but I like to take classes for the challenge and connection with others.
There are so many types of yoga out there. Which one is right for me? The yoga that's right for you is any style that leaves you feeling more grounded, connected, and at ease. You should feel safe within the yoga studio setting, and your teacher should provide cues that support proper alignment and safety. Your teacher should also encourage you to grow within your practice, but never encourage you to push past your limit.
The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga. 1992, by Goswami Kriyananda.
Art is a Spiritual Path. 2005, by Pat Allen.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. 1976-2016, by Sri Swami Sathcidananda
Eastern Body, Western Mind. 2004 by Anodea Judith.
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. 1993, by BKS Iyengar
Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. 2000, by Stephen Cope
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. 1994, by Christianne Northrup, MD.
Salus Institute, International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, American Art Therapy Association, Arizona Arts Therapy Association. Be sure to check online for your state chapter of the American Art Therapy Association!
Art therapy for people with cancer. This page provides a great overview.
Research Studies & Great Articles