“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it…Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. ~Brené Brown
A popular bumper sticker notes, “Don’t believe everything you think.” As many wise visionaries have pointed out, the stories we tell ourselves are really just our interpretation of the events and people in our lives. And yet, those stories often keep us trapped in false beliefs, and shape our lives in profound ways.
The stories you tell yourself about who you are, what you should do, how you should think, feel, and believe, emerge from deep within your psyche and your body. These stories are the result of many different factors including your early childhood experiences, your relationships, your culture, and, according to the yoga tradition, residual karmas. They percolate up into consciousness from the physical and the subtle body.
When you learn to change the stories you tell yourself, you can – literally – change your life.
Join yoga therapist Kristine Kaoverii Weber for a fascinating journey into understanding why our personal narratives often keep us trapped in a limited perspective, and why we keep repeating the same patterns over and over again. What are the biologic and psychological myths that underlie our stories and how can we build new ones?
Learn about the neuroscience behind stories, how your brain and body are affected by personal narrative and how yoga can help you rewrite your stories and activate your true potential. Kristine will present a chakra model of personal narrative based on the work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell – and introduce you to techniques which can help you use stories to transform your life.
While you may be conscious of some of your stories and thought patterns, many other stories live in the body. They were adopted early in life and can dictate thoughts, feelings, beliefs, decisions and actions. You can use cognitive strategies like affirmation to change your stories, but until you actually embody those changes, real transformation can be elusive.
In this online course, Kristine will present several yoga practices which can be targeted to undo conscious and unconscious patterning, help you free yourself from the effects of unhealthy stories, and embody new stories of self-understanding, hope, and thriving.
What You Will Learn
- How the structure and the function of your brain is affected by stories
- The science behind how can yoga help you rewrite your stories by undoing movement and breathing patterning which affects thoughts and beliefs
- Research-informed approaches to yoga postures to help you rewire your brain and improve attention, body awareness, positive outlook, self-compassion, and sense of purpose and meaning
- Yoga techniques which can enable you to cognitively reframe and somatically embody new narratives.
- Positive psychology techniques to embody hopeful, life-affirming stories.
Session 1 – Understanding the Neurobiology of Narrative, Structures of Personal Narrative, and How Yoga Can Help you Rewrite Your Story
In this first workshop, Kristine unpacks the mind’s organization of experience. She looks at how early childhood attachment, as well as karmas, samskaras, and vrittis, affect thoughts, feelings and procedural memory, as well as internal maps and stories about yourself and your worldview. Kristine overviews the neurobiology of stories and looks at how your brain is affected by your personal narrative. We also look at the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin, and how kindness and self-compassion can be an important catalyst for change.
Stories captivate and transform, but when you internalize dysfunctional or maladaptive stories, you pay a price. You limit your potential by buying into a narrative that doesn’t necessarily facilitate your personal growth. While you may be conscious of some of your stories and thought patterns, many stories live in the body. They were adopted early in life and have dictated thoughts, feelings, schemas and narratives as well as decisions and actions. You can tell yourself to change your stories, but until you actually embody those changes, real transformation can be elusive.
In this workshop, Kristine presents three key yoga techniques which can be targeted to undo conscious and unconscious patterning, help you free yourself from the effects of unhealthy stories, and embody new stories of self-understanding, compassion, healing and grace.
- Understand the internal structures of thoughts/feelings, schemas, and narratives.
- Describe the neurobiology of personal narratives using three key tools which you can use for yourself and share with your students
- Outline the role of brain regions and neurochemicals in your personal stories
- Demonstrate three yoga techniques you can use for yourself and teach to your students which can enable you to cognitively reframe and somatically embody new stories
Session 2 – Neuroplasticity: Using Yoga to Change Your Stories and Change Your Brain
For years scientists believed your brain stopped growing and changing in early adulthood. This was a demoralizing narrative that limited options for people with mental health challenges or traumatic brain injuries. But that story has been replaced by a new one – your brain can and does change. And it can continue to generate new growth well into adulthood and even in later years. Neuroplasticity is a relatively recently understood phenomenon, it is the capacity of the brain to change and these changes may be associated with corresponding changes in thought, feelings, and behavior.
Yoga offers a powerful holistic methodology for affecting neuroplasticity. Research suggests that through an integrated system of ethical engagement, asanas, pranayamas, and meditation practices, yoga can stimulate neuroplasticity and bias the brain toward greater personal happiness and improved relationships.
In this workshop, Kristine outlines several key ways in which yoga facilitates neuroplasticity and discusses ways in which you can optimize your yoga practice to enhance these benefits. She also explains how neuroscientific findings have caught up with understandings from the yoga tradition. She presents the theory of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) an evidence based treatment for PTSD, and discusses how yoga practices can enhance the effects of this treatment, reduce symptoms, and bring about greater mental health.
- Outline key ways in which yoga practice facilitates neuroplasticity.
- Identify tools of yoga practice that are essential for promoting hemispheric integration and improved top-down/bottom-up self-regulation.
- Describe three yoga techniques you can weave into your practice and teaching which complement EMDR therapy.
Session 3 – Your Subtle Body is Your Story: Harnessing the Transformational Power of Myth
”One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung
Often stories, schemas and thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg, there is a much deeper narrative submersed beneath the surface. Elements of deeper beliefs may percolate into consciousness through images, myths and archetypes. The oral tradition of yoga overflows with these fractal patterns which are outlined in the teachings of the tantric chakra system. Understanding this system can be useful in using the subtle body as a vehicle for understanding and navigating our personal narratives.
In this workshop, Kristine explains the subtle body’s narrative as an expression of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey,” and describes how this understanding of the chakras can help us begin to unravel our and redefine our stories. Yoga practices can stir up stories and bring the unconscious to the surface so that you can examine them and make decisions about their veracity. This process can be facilitated by the yogic-inspired theory of Causal Layered Analysis. Kristine will explain how to use this tool in assessing the origin and utility of your stories.
Additionally, stories are woven through an intricate biopsychosocial-spiritual web of relationships and experiences. Understanding the origins of our stories, as well as their karmic or epigenetic manifestations, can assist in the process of rewriting them to better serve our purpose in life, and find deeper meaning and contentment. In this workshop, Kristine suggests key yoga practices to help rewrite the narrative of the subtle body.
- Describe the embodiment of the Hero’s Journey through the chakra system
- Utilize Causal Layered Analysis to understand the deeper meaning of your personal narrative and their karmic or epigenetic origins, and understand how to use these tools to help your students.
- Practice 3 subtle body oriented yoga techniques to help you rewrite your stories
Session 4 – The Art of Conscious Transformation – Yoga, Positive Psychology, Human Potential and Thriving
Yoga offers a practical system for unraveling oppressive, dysfunctional narratives and creating the potential for transformation through physical, mental and spiritual processes including the application of ethical principles. This transformation is represented systematically through the eight limbs and is reflected in the process of refining the subtle body or chakra system.
In this workshop, Kristine will dive deep into how yoga practices can progressively refine your stories. She will discuss how yoga can help you develop a more subtle, meaningful narrative by committing to the sometimes arduous task of overcoming obstacles. The yoga process can help you align your personal narrative with a grander, cosmic story and draw strength and fortitude from that deeper connection.
This bigger narrative is about self-actualization or maximizing your skills, capacities, and gifts in the service of the greater good. In this workshop Kristine will talk about how yoga facilitates self-actualization and thriving.
- Look at how the yamas and niyamas can transform the capacity for self-regulation and co-regulation and on various levels, contribute to family and cultural transformation, resulting in new memes of health and well-being.
- Discuss how asanas facilitate a grounding and integration of internal processes through bilateral and contralateral stimulation and the development of a rich capacity for interoception.
- Look at how pranayama fosters and refines skillful capacity to engage in the present and disentangle yourself from dysfunctional stories.
- Understand how meditation leverages the healing power of personal, spiritual and transpersonal awareness.
This Course Also Includes:
- Yoga Practice Videos: Enjoy two yoga videos with Kristine that accompany this course.
- eBook: 5 Way to Help Your Students Feel Good About Slowing Down
- Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions (downloadable MP3 and streaming online MP4), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
- Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.
This course qualifies for 6 non-contact hour CEs with Yoga Alliance.