At Integrity Yoga, our services are informed by scientific principles, not traditional techniques. This allows for growth and adaptation, inviting an embrace of new scientific data about the clinical relevance of scientific research in relation to the human body and when introduced to your specific needs as a client.
We provide you with a modern biopsychosocial approach to bodywork therapy – an interdisciplinary approach that considers the relationships between biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors in the human being. It is the deep interrelation of all three factors that manifest any given condition – each component on its own is insufficient to lead definitively to health or disease.
In private sessions, Jackson’s method of bodywork therapy honors the sensitive, affective, and cognitive aspects of your nervous system. He will engage you in an interactive practice of sensorimotor rehabilitation via hand-holds that are gentle, intentional, slow, intelligent, responsive, and effective. In this way, we allow your body to self-regulate and resolve habituated patterns of tension that cause pain, inhibit posture and impede performance. At the same time, Jackson will coach you to exercise critical thinking and critical feeling to promote your sense of self-efficacy in your relationship with your body.
Overall, this work is an invitation to the body, never an imposition of the mind. There is no ‘perfect’ posture or movement, so there will be no therapist forcing your body into some ideal state of being. Instead, we invite you to invite your Self to commune with your Body via your Mind, noticing what you feel and what you think, what positions and movements your body prefers in order to be at peace within gravity – and we witness your being move toward a greater sense of integrity all in good time.
NEUROSCIENCE & YOGA
Essentially, our work is guided by convergent neuroscience research. This includes principles of neurophysiology, with particular regard for haptics (touch), pain physiology, and clinical neurodynamics, as well as principles of human behavioral biology, such as those within the theory of constructed emotion, embodied cognition, and polyvagal theory. It is within this foundation of knowledge that we integrate the practice of Yoga.
Yoga is the practice of mindful embodiment. It is an ancient model of universal principles systematized thousands of years ago, and it bears almost no resemblance to its now common reference to modern calisthenics. (Of course, ‘yoga’ serves as a wonderful exercise, if and only if you remember to practice ‘Yoga’). One way to think about it is that Yoga (capital ‘Y’) is the original biopsychosocial model for health and well-being, because it’s a tradition that illuminated basic principles of neurobiology way before science figured them out.
Actually, you may consider both ‘Yoga’ and ‘Science’ as two methods toward the same end: Truth. Each is a systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and investigation. These terms only differ in that “Yoga” is a method of inquiry based upon subjective, first-person experience, while “Science” is a method of inquiry based upon objective, third-person experimentation. Very cool, right?!
Ultimately, Jackson Penfield-Cyr integrates his knowledge of Science and Yoga to teach you the basic principles of human health and well-being.
We are all about giving life to your choices and your changes. When you practice yoga with integrity, you empower yourself to know [who, what, when, where, how, why] you are, in order to realize all you are.
OUR TRUTH WITHIN OUR WORDS
Definition – “a statement expressing the essential nature of something.”
Words are influential. They offer us means of self-expression, and their definitions enable us to have a common understanding of a word or subject, allowing us to consider things meaningfully, in privacy or with others.
Therefore, it’s incumbent upon us to define the words at central importance to our work.
Here are the words at the heart of Integrity Yoga, followed by my own definitions and brief explanations:
REMINDER: Reality transcends language and expression. There are infinite ways to define these words and to illuminate their true variance and distinction, their true equivalence and uniformity. You may express these words differently, and in truth, I hope you do. That’s what makes us all special – and still, the same.
YOGA & INTEGRITY
Yoga is defined by many people in many ways. These are my two primary definitions:
the practice of mindful embodiment.
Notice here that the first definition represents a state (the particular condition that a body is in at a specific time) and the second definition represents a process (a series of actions performed in order to achieve change).
The first definition is a literal translation. Yoga originates from the Sanskrit word yuj, meaning: “to yoke, to join, to concentrate”. Union is what you achieve through the practice of Yoga.
The second definition is adapted from the classical definition established within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It is our principal definition.
Now, let’s clarify the meaning by defining the words within it:
Practice – consistent repetition of an activity to become proficient in it.
Mindful – awareness of your mind in its entirety.
Embodiment – a choice way of being within your body.
These three words are integral. Each one on its own complete, with reference to elements within the human body.
Together, they form a greater whole: Yoga.
Integrity can also be defined in many ways, but these are my two primary definitions:
the state of being whole.
the consistency of one’s actions through adherence to honesty and truth.
Again, notice here that the first definition represents a state (the particular condition that a body is in at a specific time) and the second definition represents a process (a series of actions performed in order to achieve change).
The second definition is perhaps the more common reference. In this way, ‘integrity’ serves to guide our ethics, and serves as your personal invitation to adopt moral standards that reflect your commitment to yourself.
The first definition is our principal definition. Integrity originates from the Latin word integer, meaning: “whole” and “complete”.
So, let’s consider the key words within this definition:
State – the particular condition that a body is in at a specific time.
Being – existence; the nature or essence of a person, especially in the present.
Whole – all of; a thing that is complete in itself.
As with our definition of Yoga, these three words are integral. Each word stands alone, a complete unit.
Together, they create a greater unity: Integrity.
The relationship between Yoga and Integrity is reciprocal and cyclical – each is a state and a process, just like you.
The truth is a circle, without a beginning and without an end:
Yoga is Integrity & Integrity is Yoga.
“Truth is One – the wise know it by many names.”
This is Integrity Yoga.
Integrity – originates from the Latin word integer, meaning: “whole” and “complete”.
Yoga – originates from the Sanskrit word yuj, meaning: “union”.
BODY & MIND & SELF
The human body is a structure of existence. It is a form and a system, and a system of systems.
Your body is the home of your being – a temple of existence all your own.
At Integrity Yoga, we define the Body, in reference to a human being, as:
Body – the autonomic, non-neural structures of life.
The term ‘autonomic, non-neural’ refers to physiology that is involuntary and unconscious. This physiology includes mesodermal derivatives (e.g. muscles, cartilage, and bone) and endodermal derivatives (e.g. digestive tract and organs).
It is important to understand the biological origins of these bodily tissues, because you cannot control the operations of these tissues directly.
Therefore, bodywork techniques that claim to target mesodermal derivatives, such as fascia via “myofascial release” and the lymphatic system via “lymphatic drainage”, and endodermal derivatives, such as organs via “visceral manipulation” should be considered with skepticism.
That said, the body is a divine biological entity, with a powerful innate tendency toward health – when it is given proper input, space, and time.
The human mind is a function for existence. Like the body, the mind is a form and a system, and a system of systems.
Your mind is the director of your body – an instrument of existence that belongs to you.
At Integrity Yoga, we define the Mind, in reference to a human being, as:
Mind – the sensory and perceptual system of governance within a living body.
The term ‘sensory and perceptual’ refers to physiology that is voluntary or conscious – or in possession of this potential – within a body; and the term ‘governance’ refers more directly to the responsibility of control, influence, or regulation. When you examine a living body, this physiology and mechanism is derived from ectodermal derivatives, namely the nervous system.
Again, it is important to understand the biological origins of this bodily tissue, because wonderfully you can control the operations of your nervous system, which coordinates all activities of your body, enabling you to predict, respond, and adapt to changes both internal and external.
Think about it, and additionally, consider how I’ve defined Body in the plural (‘structures’) and Mind in the singular (‘system’). This is because your body requires a primary mechanism to determine its complex needs for survival (i.e. your nervous system).
For a moment, imagine if you had multiple systems of governance within a body, and how basically that might cause conflict. (Well, actually, it turns out this conflict does occur, but it occurs within the subsystems of the nervous system.)
Therefore, bodywork therapy works via the nervous system. Regardless of what a therapist believes or intends upon the delivery of a treatment, any therapeutic intervention must primarily influence the nervous system, and then the nervous system determines what matters within the body take precedence.
The mind is a true marvel of biology, with a commanding instinct for survival and health – when it is given proper input, space, and time.
The human Self is an awareness within existence. Unlike the body and the mind, the Self is not a form nor a system. Instead, it appears to be an emergent product of both form and systems.
Your self is the steward of your mind – an expression of existence that is truly you.
At Integrity Yoga, we define the Self, in reference to a human being, as:
Self – the essential being of the mind within a body in relationship to the world.
At present, the physiological mechanisms of this biological phenomenon are unknown.
What we do know, however, is that your sense of Self is neurobiological phenomenon that offers the mind within the body to engage itself as the object of its own reflective consciousness.
Since your Self is a reference by a subject (i.e. your mind) to the same subject (i.e. your mind), this reference is necessarily subjective; however, your sense of Self should not be confused with subjectivity.
Ostensibly, your sense of Self requires presence (‘…the essential being…’) that is directed (‘…of the mind…’) to refer upon its own internal condition (‘…within a body…’) and its external condition (‘…in relationship to the world.’).
Ultimately, you may consider Self basically as an occurrence that validates the phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. It is perhaps the greatest scientific curiosity.
At Integrity Yoga, we acknowledge your sense of Self to empower your sense of mindful embodiment.
In the tradition of Yoga, we ask ourselves simple questions and listen to our own answers.
Who am I? What am I? When am I? Where am I? How am I? Why am I?
These are the simplest questions, with infinite answers.
Yoga teaches you that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, even as a complex biological being – and that, ultimately, you already know the answers to these questions:
I am a human being, alive, here and now, always changing, because it’s my choice.
This is the truth of your Self.
One way or another, to know your Self, you must do the work of yoga with integrity.
In bodywork therapy, you work to serve your Self in that vital work we call “Self-definition”.
As the ancient Greek aphorism states: Temet Nosce, “Know Thy-Self”.
You’ve already begun.
Body – originates from the Old English word bodig; meaning: unknown.
Mind – originates from Old English gemynd ‘memory, thought’, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root; meaning: ‘revolve in the mind, think’, shared by Sanskrit manas and Latin mens ‘mind’.
Self – originates from the Old English, of Germanic origin; meaning: used to express an emphatic sense of identity [i.e. (I) myself, (her) herself, etc.].
“Truth is One – the wise know it by many names.”