Levels of "Knowing"

In popular learning theories, there appears to be 4 levels of knowing:

  1. I do not know that I do not know      (Unconscious Incompetence)
  2. I know that I do not know                 (Conscious Incompetence)
  3. I know that I know                             (Conscious Competence)
  4. I do not know that I know                 (Unconscious Competence)

An example of level 1: A child who has never seen a bicycle before and so does not even know that he/she does not even know how to ride a bicycle.
Example of level 2: The child sees another child riding a bicycle, is having fun and realizes that he/she wants to learn to ride a bicycle.
Example of level 3: The early stages where the child is learning how to ride a bicycle, where every execution of the experiential learning is a conscious effort; step the peddle down with the right feet, lift up the left feet, look forward, breath calmly … when stopping, stop peddling while squeezing the brakes etc
Example of level 4: After having a go at the bicycle for a few days or weeks, the child rides the bicycles with noticeably less effort. Maneuvering seems to happen unconsciously and in a very coordinated manner, all required actions occur in sync with one another without any apparent thinking going on. This level of knowing occurs much deeper within the child, uses the whole brain learning theory and has a longer retention span – what is learnt is not lost as quickly.
All of us go through these 4 levels of knowing/learning whenever we try to master something. We may take a little longer at 1 level over another depending on many factors such as our predisposition to certain skills, the topic to be learned , our interest in that topic/subject etc
The most obvious example for me during the program was trying to master the headstand. Although it seems that I got the hang of it early in the course, it took a lot of effort just to stay up – a frustrating example of a level 3 type of knowing. Finding that ‘sweet spot’ in the headstand where effort becomes effortless seem so elusive until the day before the test. Everything fell into place.
Everything seems to start off as a science: we test, we prod, we experiment, we reflect to see if it is worth continuing …
Eventually, it seems that with some discipline all of science eventually becomes an art form. Execution done gracefully, fluidly and I had hope, effortlessly.
In the end, I think achieving a level 4 type of knowing really depends on how deeply we can internalized our learning without being distracted by other cursory stuff lurking in the back of our heads.

Anatomy: Uddiyana Bandha

Uddiyhana Bhandha
Uddiyhana Bhandha Source: zenfriend.org
The idea of performing Uddiyana Bandha or even watching someone else perform it may be fairly repulsive for many people.

Even for yoga beginners like myself, my first encounter with a live demonstration was nothing short of digust. I thought it’d be more befitting for a contortionist in training, rather than a yogini in training.
Nonethless, I gradually realized the beauty and wonders of Uddiyana Bandha and have since started to perform this “contortic” act every single morning.
As a frequent sufferer of constipation and ill digestion, I was never one of those lucky ones who always strutted out of the bathroom with a great sense of relief, looking like they’ve had a great burden lifted off their shoulders. Which is why I am so happy to share my testimonial of how performing Uddiyana Bandha have made all these ailments, a thing of the past. And of course, how it strengthened other areas of my physical body.
Uddiyana bandha tones, massages and cleans the abdominal and digestive organs. Imagine the internal action of sucking up all your internal organs into your ribcage and releasing it back down. Imagine your intestines compressing up and rearranging itself back to its natural state on the release. These movements subsequently lead to healthy movements along the digestive tract and will also help provide emotional and mental benefits. Long gone are the days where all you think about is when your body will let you take your next dump.
In addition, Uddiyana bandha stimulates blood circulation in the abdomen and blood flow to the heart and brain, returning freshly oxygenated blood to each organ and breathing new life into it. Very often understated, the brain needs blood flow in order to get an excellent supply of oxygen.. Your brain’s energy, as well as the energy in the rest of your body, is made by energy powerhouses called mitochondria that are found in each cell. Oxygen enables mitochondria in your brain cells to pump out an energy chemical, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Without adequate levels of ATP, your brain has an energy drain and its function decreases.
Whilst perfoming this, the pancreas is also being massaged and toned. A better working pancreas will result in healthy regulations of pancreatic juice being secreted. Enzymes in this juice mixes with bile from the liver to make the digestive process possible. If the pancreas is not functioning properly, the pancreatic enzymes’ benefits cannot be realized.
This video further elaborates the overall function of the pancreas.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l2GTGEwZOY] Other than massaging the pancreas, the solar plexus will also be massaged.  The solar plexus is a complex network of nerves (a plexus) located in the abdomen, where the celiac trunksuperior mesenteric artery, and renal arteries branch from the abdominal aorta. It is also referred to as the pit of the stomach. A blow to that area such as a kick or jab from a baton will not only cause great pain, but could also potentially damage internal organs or rupture the abdominal aorta, which would be fatal. Through it extensive reach, it controls many vital functions such as adrenal secretion and intestinal contractions.
Take a look at this video and witness the effect of when a Karate guy takes a great shot at someone else’s solar plexus.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MciLrVWcP8w&w=420&h=315] Uddiyana bandha also helps to tone the diaphragm. Having a strong diaphragm is not only important for opera singers, but also crucial to everyone because it plays a major role in our breathing. It is a vital component of a strong and efficient core, which will help protect your spine and prevent backaches.
The video below provides a 3D view of the diaphragm during respiration. From there, it is easy to see how Uddiyana Bandha will help tone this muscle of the body.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp-gCvW8PRY&w=420&h=315] Yes I know. You’re excited to try the Uddiyana Bandha right? But before that, please take note of the many precautions.

  1. For females, do not perform this during your moon cycle. (You don’t want blood flowing the wrong way, eh?)
  2. For females again, do not perform this if you are pregnant.
  3. Only perform this on an empty stomach. If not, perform it at your own risk.
  4. This is an extremely intense breathing exercise. Therefore, do not perform if you have diseases such as high blood pressure, pancreatic problems, hernia or any other medical conditions. Please consult medical professional if you are unsure.

For guided instructions on how to perfrom Uddiyhana Bandha, take a good look at this video.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2R0dkzkbzE&w=420&h=315] Learn, try, practice and be on your way to bowel-free intestines and a powerful digestive system! Good luck!
Liz

by JO Lesson P…

by JO
 
Lesson Plan – Beginner (75mins)
Introduction – 5 mins to introduce myself and take note on the health condition of students.
 
1) Warm up
 
2) Breathing – Introduce Ujjayi Breathing
 
3)Surya Namaskara B – Breakdown 
 
3) Virabhadrasana A
 
4) Baby Combra, Combra and Child pose
 
5) Dandasana
 
6) Paschimottanasana A & B
 
7) Baddha Konasana
 
8) Camel and Child pose 
 
9) Padmasana
 
10) Sarvasana
 
* This is the 1st class for beginner. Basically focus on the breathing and introduce some basic standing and sitting poses. The No. 4) & 8) is a preparation exercises for upward dog and back bend.

Sirsasana – Headstand

by JO
 
Get into headstand safely and comfortably. Some important awareness you must know before start the headstand practice.
 
Look for a safe place
Need a space that you can place your mat and no deris around your practice area. Stay closer to the wall, place your hands around 5 to 6 inches aways from the wall. The wall is to give support you and preventing you falling backward on to the floor.
 
Hand position
1st of all, you have to always check the width between your elbows which is flexes your arms horizontally (rotate medialy 90degrees) Keep your fingers touches the other side of your elbow, this is an ideal width between your elbows. Then externally rotate you arms untill right & left hand can hold together. Keep your pinky (last finger) behind the other and place firmly on the floor. (you can refer to the picture below) 
 
Head position 

The crown of the head should be axactly on the floor, without tilting forward or back. The hands are supporting behind the back of your head.  
 

Neck position

Neck have to always keep it straight and lengthening, do not extend or flexe your cervical when you are doing headstand.
 
How to support your body weight (Important)
When your legs is off the floor, your whole body weight will go to your head, hand and elbows. To prevent neck injury, you have to use your arms (hands & elbows) to push against the floor then depress your shoulders away from the floor, so you are actually lengthening your neck instead of shorten it. Once you feel your neck are shortening you should come down, go into child pose and rest, then try agan later.
 
Step 1 – Place your arms, hands and head into headstand position with knees together and kneeling on the floor.
 
Step 2 – Stretch your legs and walk toward your head as much as possible until your body and the floor is in 90 degrees. For those who can’t reach 90 degrees you can stay at your max and hold it for 5 or 10 breath. Repeat a few times before go to step 3.
 
Step 3 – Flex right knee & hip, bring your leg closer to your chest and stay there for 5 or 10 breath. Repeat to Left leg. ( Repeat a few times before go to step 4)
 
Step 4 – Repeat Step 3 balance on 1 leg, then transfer your weight off your leg toes and bring both legs close to your chest for 5 or 10 breath. (repeat a few times for those who few wobally)
 
Step 5 – Slowly extend your legs towards the ceiling and stay for 15 / 25 breath. (breathing can be adjust accordingly to your own practice)
 
Beginner
Always remember to practice accordingly to your ability. Do not over forcing your self to go through all this 5 steps in one go. You may start of with step 1 to step 3 for a few times before move on to step 4. And again practice step 4 until is really stable before go to step 5.

Yoga Diet

by JO
 
What is the appropriate food for yoga?
 
Simple, natural and healthy food is an idea for yoga, as fruits, grains, pulses, vegetables and dairy products.  Many yogis are vegetarian, not because they have to be a vegetarian just because most of them belive that human digestive system are more suited to be vegetarian, live in harmony with all animals and eat healthy.
 
Yoga diet avoids to take stimulating food as spicy, sour, onion, garlic, coffee, tea and etc, is because they bring a restless state to mind and body. Also avoid meat, all intoxicants, stale food and overeating, because they make a person lazy and decrease the motivative power of a human. For example, carnivores amimal after food they act lazy and take a nap, the opposite for the vegetarian animal they look for food and do activitives during the day and sleep in the night. In anatomical veiwpoint human digestive systerm are similar to vegetarian animal, so yogi belive human are meant to be vegetarian.
 
Fasting are encourage in yoga, there is a different between fasting and starving.  Fasting is do not eat when there is no real hunger and the purpose of fasting is to regain bodily health and and quick curing agent for many ailments, cleanes the body and makes it more energetic

Types Of Teacher And Student

by JO
 
There are a few types yoga teacher in the world, Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. They have thier on path for teaching yoga, normally sattvic student will go to sattvic teacher, rajasic student will go for rajasic teacher and tamasic students will go for tamasic teacher.
 
1. Sattvic Teacher has 2 types, (A) Gunpowder & (B) Dry wood.
(A) Gunpowder- This type of teacher has no hypocrisy, high spisritual level and unable to come down to the level of normal people are. Only the highest gunpowder student can be taught by them and be able to understand them. Gunpowder student need very little work to reach perfection, and this is very rare. 
 
(B) Dry wood-  This teacher has studied all the scriptures and exprrience the inner silence. For those highly evolved person they are going in order to experience the teaching with dry wood teacher (Sattvic), they called dry wood student. Dry wood student is not a blind follower, not merely imiate but questioning, practicing, experiment and evolve experience.
 
2. Rajasic Teacher does not practice with what he preaches, he has followers but no disciples and they can be very fanatic. This teacher are bossy, like to control people and theatrically. They often involved in ceremonial regalia and formal religious leaders. Rajasic student attracted by rajasic teacher, because this type of student belives his teacher has a magic formula and not seeing the truth behind the teaching. Rajasic student is always reading nor practicing, without having personal experience and being a follower. 
 
3. Tamasic Teacher is such a teacher who offer live sacrifices, delving into black magic and voodoo. Only student who has no discrimination and interested in balck magic and voodoo will attach to this type of teacher, this student called Tamasic student.
 
By choosing a right teacher is very important, it affect your thinking and life. Get your training started with a right teacher and do the right training, you choose your own path.

Why Yoga

by JO
 
There are so many sports and exercises good for our body so why did I choose yoga? I do not like going to the gym, jogging or fitness because I think this sport are not complete and I like to do something to challenge my body. This is why I am a dance teacher love dancing so much,  every dance move is done according to the music and every choreography is different. I once saw some interesting yoga pictures hanging in a mall and i was very impressed. When I looked at the pictures I thought  “wow, challenging poses, impressive balance and amazing flexibility….. Im going for it!”
 
I wanted to start yoga since i was 20 years old but i could’nt find a yoga class that teach systematically. In 2010, I meet a salsa dancer randomly and he told me he does ashtanga yoga. I was very lucky to be invited to his practice and he taught me the primary series started with the correct breath, posture and alignments, he shown me videos and some pictures, it’s inspired me. Since then i do my own practice once aweek, few months later i realised how amazing ashtanga yoga changes my body and healing my injury. My humstring mucles was over stretched while praticing ballet when i was early 20, could’nt do forward bend more then 90 degrees. As in yoga have a lot of forward bending positions, so was not easy for me at the beginning, but i never give up. When i feel the pain in forward bending position i stopped forcing myself going further just hold there for 5 breath and do that through out the whole practice. Always some strange pain appeared in my gluteus and hamstring after practice, fortunately it goes away after 2 to 3 days. I realized i can stretch even further after the strange pain relieved.
 
18 months later i deciced to take the ashtanga yoga teacher traning course to improve my skill, strength, breathing technique and knowledge about ashtanga yoga. There are so many different breathing techqiques and poses that help improve on the functions of organs, joints mobility and reduces stress. I again realized the benefit of ashtanga yoga, not only healing my injury and also mades me stronger and healthier especially my sensitive nose and i can easily fall asleep at night. I am not sure will i end up teaching yoga in my life but for sure this course is worth to do it. Now i understood my body better then before and appreciated what i have learnd during the yoga teacher training course and I am glad to meet a group of  friendly, caring and supportive classmates.

Philosophy 2 – Karma {Actions & Laws}

Karma is a translation for “Discipline Of Action”. Karma means both action and the effects of such action. It is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself toward realization by acting in accordance with one’s duty without consideration of personal self-centered desires, likes or dislikes. One acts without being attached to the fruits of one’s deeds.
Karma does not accept that our life is totally predestined, our free will and the choices that we make at critical junctures in our life also play an equally important part.
How Karma is fashioned in human being is threefold in nature, consisting desire or feeling, knowing and willing. These fashions the individual’s karma. The person knows objects like chairs, trees etc. He feels joy and sorrow. He wills to do this or not to do that.
Behind every action, there are desires and thoughts. A desire for an object arises in the mind. Then you think how to get it; then you exert to possess it. Desire, thought and action always go together.
Desire produces karma. You work and exert to acquire the objects of your desire. Karma produces its fruits as pain or pleasure. You will have to take birth after birth to reap the fruits. This is the Law of Karma.
There are 3 main laws in Karma. The Law Of Action & Reaction (Sanchitta), The Law Of Compensation (Prarabdha) and The Law Of Retribution (Agami).
All these laws of karma all come under one general conclusion. The Doctrine Of Karma.
Sarina.

Philosophy 1 – The Sattvic Yogic Diet

Sattva means quality of purity & goodness. A Sattvic diet is food that gives life, strength, energy, courage & self-determination.
Sattvic food gives us more than just the gross physical requirements of the proper mix of proteins, carbs, fat etc. The Sattvic food should be fresh and as natural as possible.
Sattvic food type is also recommended for Yoga practioners and in Ayurvedic cooking.
Yoga, in case you don’t know, actually means ‘Yoke’ or ‘Unity’ and therefore the balance between body-mind & spirit is tantamount.
Examples of some Sattvic food: –
Grains – Corn, barley, wheat, unpolished rice, oats, millet & quinoa.
Proteins – Pulses, nuts & seeds.
Fruits & Vegetables – Fresh fruit juices & green leafy vegetables.
Herbs – Mild spices such as basil, cardamom, cinnamon & coriander.
Natural sweeteners – Raw honey & unrefined raw sugar.
Dairy products – Milk, butter, cheese & yogurt.
Quote; – “Food is not just fuel for our bodies, its as much alive as we are”.
“You are what you eat”.
Sarina.

Chakras

Chakras are not points and matters. They related to behaviour, not physical body. They are vital energy and control the emotion.

Chakras include seven majors (Muladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajan and Sahasrara).

Muladhara is located at the lower end of the spinal column, corresponds to the sacral plexus. It is pattern and potential energy. Emotion appears when feeling comes with ego and ego comes because of greed and fear, meaning that emotion also appears when feeling comes with greed and fear.

Swadhisthana is located at the genital organs, corresponds to the prostate plexus. It controls the lower abdomen in the physical body.

Manipura, at the navel, corresponds to the solar plexus, includes eyes, sight, planning, fire, money and lampine 4. When energy is converted it will become creativity. Concentration on Manipura removes fear of fire and gives freedom from disease.

Anahata, at the heart, corresponds to the cardiac plexus, means you are affected from outside and inside. For example, when you care for somebody, means that your expectation of what the person is doing something for you or not doing something for you without expectation and thinking but always awearing around. So, do not indulge, repress or suppress. Meditation on Anahata chakra bestows pure qualities, cosmic love and various psychic powers.

Vishuddha, at the throat, corresponds to the laryngeal plexus. It is a sound, needs to speak slowly, emphasize on the tone. Meditation on Vishuddha attains high success, complete knowledge of the four Vedas and knows the past, present and future.

Ajan, between the eyebrows, corresponds to the cavernous plexus. Meditation on Ajan destroys the karma of past lives, and gives liberation and intuitional knowledge.

Sahasrara, at the crown of the head, corresponds to the pineal gland of the physical body. Meditation on Sahasrara attains the superconscious state, the highest knowledge, and become a fully developed jnani.