LifeStream

"The worst body symptom may be an experience of your greatest dream trying to arise."
Arnold Mindell

LifeStream Laboratory is a co-creative therapeutic modality for an in-depth exploration of the human body. It is dedicated to becoming intimately aware of the body, studying, purifying, refining and mastering its material and subtle dimensions. LifeStream was created by Dr. Michael Yoshpa as a harmonious synthesis of many traditional and innovative approaches, which were developed in the course of his extensive study, practice and research.

Since its inception in 2005, LifeStream Laboratory has been offering a variety of classes and retreats for all age groups in many countries, including the USA, Ukraine, Israel, Slovenia and Russian Federation.

 

LifeStream is a progressive curriculum designed for beginners as well as advanced practitioners.

      Beginners will find many avenues for exploring their body and coming into contact with it, learning simple and effective techniques to relieve stress, tension, pain and holding patterns. They will also learn breathing exercises to help harmonize emotional states, engage in group dialogue and individual practices to discover new dimensions of being embodied and alive.

    Advanced practitioners, as well as teaches of yoga, qigong, massage therapists, psychologists, dancers, actors, etc., will explore new tools to enhance and deepen their practice, learn a variety of techniques to enhance energy awareness and circulation, methods of Being Present and working in the here-and-now, practice conscious eating, intuitive movement, and explore many other helpful approaches.

 

LifeStream curriculum includes:

  • In-depth self-massage course, comprising traditional and innovative techniques.

  • Breathing exercises.

  • Concentration and attention enhancing practices.

  • Mindfulness practices. Being present in the here-and-now.

  • Practice of meditation.

  • Process-oriented approaches to working with dreams, emotions and everyday situations.

  • Techniques to relieve pain and tension, liberate spine, joints and muscles.

  • Study of voice and vocal expression.

  • Analyzing one’s behavior and patterns.

  • Theories of personality, character and neuroses.

  • Communication and listening skills. Deep dialogue skills.

  • Psychosomatics.

  • Qigong. Becoming aware of, developing and refining Qi energy.

  • Basic acupressure. Bioactive points to relieve pain and improve energy circulation.

  • Hatha yoga.

  • Conscious eating.

  • Use and design of massage instruments.

  • Intuitive movement and spontaneous dance.

  • LifeStream walking.

  • Visualizations and ideomotoric exercises.

  • Energy attunements to plant and animal kingdoms.

  • Basic interspecies communication.

  • Basic community building skills.

  • Strategy of small steps and continuous progress.

  • Experience-based approaches to learning.

  • Individual and group homework assignments.

  • Studying relevant literature and films.

  • Writing essays and monthly reports.

  • Designing and writing your own online LifeStream Encyclopedia textbook.

  • etc.

To schedule your free 20-minutes consultation, contact Dr. Michael Yoshpa
myoshpa@gmail.com
(720) 400-6988

 

LifeStream Testimonials

"I've been practicing LifeStream for 12 years.

The most important results of my work are:

  • A huge improvement in my level of awareness of feelings, thoughts, of myself and Myself, of the stream of Life.

  • Interaction with others became easier and clearer.

  • Through awareness and increased sensitivity I was able to grow professionally as a musician.

  • I began to understand my energy, emotions, feelings, body, mind and consciousness.

  • I developed my will power, now I’m much more able to control my life, achieve goals that I set.

  • I obtained a giant amount of tools that allow me to work with body, energy, emotions, and psyche. Now I can work with requests in these fields on my own.

The most important overall result of the LifeStream laboratory for me is my further evolution as a human and a living being. I am growing up in a much easier and quicker way, or maybe in the only possible way. I become alive. And here I think it is important to mention not only the very concrete tools that Michael gave me, but also a fair amount of magic and presence of mystery, without which such growth, in my mind, is impossible. The laboratory always had a place for magic, that’s why the most unexpected requests and questions were answered, even though I had no idea I was asking them. But those questions very often turned out to be the most important ones."

Sergio, musician, interpreter, Italian teacher

 

***

"My experience with Michael Yoshpa’s LifeStream practice was one of tapping into the inherent intelligence of my body. There are many beautiful traditions and systems for connecting us to our body and its wisdom, but often I’ve found my ego can become easily involved and “proud” when “mastering” a yoga sequence or some other body practice that has pre-decided steps to it. In LifeStream, the point was not to complete a sequence day after day, but rather to allow the body to make the movements it needs in that moment, which is different for each person at every moment. Misha combines a great deal of wisdom and experience in various body practice traditions and modalities to establish a container for each individual to live more fully from the energy stream which courses through the body’s various systems — the stream of life itself. It has been valuable to take the lessons learned in LifeStream into my other practices where I can remind myself that I'm there for the connection with my body and not for the accomplishment of doing a practice or self-identifying as one, who does a certain practice. I have also been more aware of what my body is communicating to me as I go about my days, trying to harmonize with the many different relationships in my life."

Avraham, operations manager of a spiritual community and retreat center

***

"LifeStream was a very new and exciting experience for me, and yet i felt very free and safe during the process. i found a great ability to pay attention to the sensations of my body and mind, and explore them in a very intimate and comforting way. I discovered the power of breathing, and how it can open a path in which i can meet my smallest corners and ask them a few questions about myself. After experiencing LifeStream, i know that i can listen and connect more with my body without shame and embarrassment. I feel that i got to know myself a little bit more, and feel more calm and natural in my own skin."

Inbal, organic farmer

 

***

"Writing about my LifeStream experience, although it is something I have done before and something I have benefited from, has always reminded me of the saying: “The finger that points to the moon is not the moon.”

    What might be the most powerful aspect of LifeStream, to my subjective experience, is revealed in the fact that describing it seems ineffective. There has always been a certain difficulty and dissatisfaction in my ability explain this thing that entered my life three years ago. Anyway, here we go…

     In acting school one of the main courses of study tends to be what is called “movement”. There are different approaches to giving a young actor awareness and command of his/her body, and one of those approaches is a rigorous cycle of exercises developed by physicist, Andrei Droznin, that is rooted in yoga, pilates and acrobatics. I was exposed to this training in my third year of college, and in this way I began understanding the relationship between my thoughts and my physical body. This path continued for four years, and there were astonishing changes in the way I worked onstage with my psychophysical system and the way in which I observed its functioning in life. To me it was a kind of physical sculpting of muscle strength and flexibility, and it had a noticeable effect on my way of taking in the world mentally. Everything was opened up through deep breathing, smiling and employing willpower when an exercise or pose seemed impossible. There was a lot of the impossible becoming possible during that time.

    I can remember the first "Internal Snapshot" practice in LifeStream lab being accompanied by Michael's words, “So here we are… imperfect, standing in this room, as we are…” which granted me the very first freedom to break away from what was then four years of technique in sculpting my body. With the theatrical process of training, there was attention given to process, however the trajectory was always aimed at achievement, at attaining specific results. Here I was confronted with something new, something that didn’t seem to have that same trajectory. If before there was an image of development in the technique as a straight line, albeit containing certain check points along the way, then the suggestion in LifeStream was that we are going to begin from where we are today, understand that place, and only then chose a direction to move in. As a result, the possibilities and subsequent directions of moment were multiplied.

    Following this first LifeStream impression, I can remember feeling the second wave of freedom being in a moment when letting go of my so-called willpower to expand and straighten a physical pose resulted in an instantaneous, actual expansion and straightening of the pose. I was standing there thinking about how good I looked, how straight everything was and how it could be even better. I was thinking about how to control the body, searching for a specific result. This effort that had be cultivated in my mind through the years of movement training became absurd to me. In a moment I let go of it, the body straighten by itself; it loosened without any effort whatsoever. So it turned out that a refusal to employ this version of self, aiming at a certain result, actually resulted in an instantaneous achievement of that very aim. Paradox!

    And, basically, this is how the entire LifeStream experience has been. Paradox after paradox of how my efforts to become something, to change an aspect of my own self (body, mind, or otherwise) were, are, and will continue to be the roadblocks to any kind of actual progress as long as they exist. Which brings me to the most important part of what has been opened for me since beginning LifeStream: attention.

    Attention is not the same as concentration. J. Krishnamurti—a teacher who I began reading transcripts of thanks to a LifeStream assignment—describes concentration as an effort to fix one’s mind on one thing and block out all the other things. Attention, however, is described as the taking in of a thing wholly:

    “What do we mean by attention? Is there attention when I am forcing my mind to attend? When I say to myself, ‘I must pay attention, I must control my mind and push aside all other thoughts,’ would you call that attention? Surely that is not attention. What happens when the mind forces itself to pay attention? It creates a resistance to prevent other thoughts from seeping in; it is concerned with resistance, with pushing away; therefore it is incapable of attention. That is true, is it not?

    “To understand something totally you must give your complete attention to it. But you will soon find out how extraordinarily difficult that is, because your mind is used to being distracted, so you say, ‘By Jove, it is good to pay attention, but how am I to do it?’ That is, you are back again with the desire to get something, so you will never pay complete attention. When you see a tree or a bird, for example, to pay complete attention is not to say, ‘That is an oak,’ or, ‘That is a parrot,’ and walk by. In giving it a name you have already ceased to pay attention. Whereas, if you are wholly aware, totally attentive when you look at something, then you will find that a complete transformation takes place.”

—  J. Krishnamurti

The most noticeable change in my life since beginning LifeStream has to do with this distinction. If before I was looking for a way to eliminate all possibilities other than a perfect form in a certain physical pose, now there is an attention paid to the pose that actually exists. If before I was concerned with how great of a person I will become in five years, today I am concerned with the thing I seem to be today. If before there was an attempt to achieve something through the people I know, now it is imperative for me to see these people as they are.

Some specific and actual results that I have seen since beginning LifeStream:

  1. During those four years before LifeStream, I was teaching my American college peers the techniques I had begun learning in Russia, and the one thing that was true of us all was that we could not stop our training. If we didn’t meet to do the stretching, jumping and running for even one week, all of us experienced noticeable muscle pain. Since beginning LifeStream work, I and my current students didn’t experience this pain. I have integrated some of the more basic LifeStream exercises into my lessons in theatrical body work, but I don’t think this is the reason for the change. My way of leading has shifted. I think I am more interested in my students loving their bodies and their “selves” in the process now. Perhaps before I was interested in fast and dynamic results.

  2. In theatre it is very important to turn the actor’s nervous system on for the work. This is needed for the actor to react organically, spontaneously and lightly in theatrical circumstances. There is an importance given to the fact that one’s body and mind onstage ought to be noticeably different from the body and mind of everyday life. After all, it is not in everyday life that an actor is going to suffocate his wife like Othello, or meet his father’s ghost like Hamlet. There is no one, however, who is guiding actors in the way of making the transition back to life after a rehearsal or performance. I am now making this transition with LifeStream principles and exercises. This not only makes my psychophysical system more bearable in my everyday life, but also makes returning to rehearsal/performance much more effective… Like I finally know how to exhale after years of only inhaling.

  3. I can remember opening something that was incredible for me during the first time we were learning the LifeStream foot self-massage protocol. There was this principle… If I pushed into the flesh on my foot with force, there was a certain point at which it was as if my foot refused access. The exchange between my fingers trying to go deeper and the muscles trying to protect themselves came to a standstill. However, if the pressure was released bit by bit and the intention to gain deeper access was kept, there was a certain level of force which felt almost like the finger was no longer pushing inward while in actually it was moving deeper. So I took this to be a principle as well. Oftentimes when I want to do something in life—anything in life—there is a kind of effort to do the thing. If the effort is met with conflict, oftentimes the conflict is met with an even more strident effort. In the end, whatever it is that creates the conflict is stronger than the effort, and I give up. But I have found that if I react in the opposite way, that is if I use less effort and keep the intention to do the thing I’d like to do, then there is a kind of loosening in which the conflict has an opportunity to disappear. This can be applied to my physical body. For example, I have learned to release layers of tension in my shoulder area this way. I have also learned to hold a handstand this way. But it can be applied to other things too: relationships to family members, relationships to strangers, situations with money, and looking at the situation our world is in.

All of this has been opened for me in reflection (or in parallel) to Michael’s diverse and practical cycle of exercises which he supports by just as practical reminders to give total attention to the thing under consideration, whether that thing be a muscle, tendon, breath, or thought."

Stephen, actor, instructor of movement and awareness for the stage

To schedule your free 20-minutes consultation, contact Dr. Michael Yoshpa
myoshpa@gmail.com
(720) 400-6988