THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN RESCHEDULE TO OCTOBER 26 - 28. REGISTRATION IS OPEN.
Getting ‘Unstuck’~ How to Work With (and Through) Blocks in Your Practice $45
Friday Evening Asana Practice: 7:00-9:00pm
This asana practice will focus on typical blocks we encounter in practice — ‘stuckness’ from hamstring and hip tightness, as well as shoulder tightness and limitations — and alternative approaches to ‘getting into the pose.’ This is not simply a ‘cheat,’ but rather each approach will have a clear purpose for better range of motion and health in the joints, increasing both strength and flexibility and maximizing the benefit of the pose.
A key insight into getting ‘unstuck’ in the lower body has to do with properly mobilizing — and stabilizing — the sacrum. These actions will be treated simply in the practice, and will be carried as a theme through the weekend. Likewise, the key to getting ‘unstuck’ in the upper body will have to do with mobilizing the shoulder blades and collar bones.
And of course much of our stickiness has to do with our relationship with — or disconnect from — the body. Asana is a tool for being in the body and befriending it — rather than being an end in itself.
This session will be a practice of that understanding, with lots of news you can use!
Sacral Rhythm and Low Back Health $60
Saturday Morning Practice: 11:00-1:30pm
At the center of all movement lies the sacrum, the keystone of the pelvis, which regulates the curve of the spine as well as the ‘openness’ and flexibility of the hips. Much of yoga has focused on the suggested actions of the tailbone — even in describing ‘Mula Bandha’ — but has given little attention to the natural actions of the sacrum. This leaves the ‘tail’ wagging the ‘dog.’
In this session we’ll focus on some simple actions to be incorporated into asana practice that will strengthen the muscles supporting the actions of the sacrum, increasing the stability of the sacroiliac joint as well as the health of the low back and flexibility of the hamstrings and hips.
Attention will be given to the causes of sacroiliac and low back pain in a way that will be useful to teachers and enlightening to students, with special attention given to SI joint stability in twisting.
Some illustrated information about the sacrum will be provided at the beginning of the session, with the illustrated notes available to participants for download afterward. This will help us visualize and practice the central actions.
Better Breathing in Asana, Pranayama and Relaxation $60
Saturday Afternoon Deeper Breath Work: 2:30-5:00pm
The two most fundamental patterns in our lives for maintaining our health are our breathing patterns and our sleep patterns. And these are the two patterns that are the most disordered and dysfunctional in our lives, and with enormous impact on our health.
This session will explore ‘openers’ for cultivating space for the breath, as well as toning exercises related to the bandhas for sustaining better breathing patterns. This will include awareness of patterns and tendencies that work against the natural cycle of the breath, such as habits of being ‘stuck’ on the inbreath, or ‘stuck’ on the out breath — and the consequences of these patterns.
Some fundamental pranayamas will be practiced with this awareness of cultivating the space for receiving the breath, and comfort with ‘letting go’ of the outbreath.
The practice will be carried further into yoga nidra, with some discussion of the significance of the practice of yoga nidra in relationship to our sleep patterns. Starting from an exploration of the benefits and function of sleep and the relationship of healthy breathing patterns to sleep, we will explore the approach to yoga nidra as essential to the deeper aspects of yoga practice. Our approach will link the processes associated with Kundalini and the essential processes that take place in deep relaxation, especially when facilitated by focused practice.
The Upper Body: Neck, Shoulders and the Breath in Asana $75
Sunday Morning Asana Practice: 10:00am-1:00pm
Neck and shoulder health are intimately tied to our breathing patterns — and often we use the neck and shoulders to facilitate the breath in ways that cause tension and limitation.
Asana practice is an opportunity to use the arm and neck actions in the poses to deepen our experience of the breath while bringing greater ease to breathing. Shoulder actions help us to explore the relationship between the neck and sacrum, especially in terms of how their rhythms facilitate the rhythm of the breath.
This will be a very experiential asana practice, exploring key points where we get ‘stuck’ in the neck and sacrum in relation to the breath. The ‘Ujjayi’ breath is at the center of healthy diaphragmatic breathing in the poses, but the actions of the neck and shoulders — as well as the sacrum — are crucial to doing it well.
Asana is an opportunity for the whole body to breath, and we’ll treat it as such — especially as a key to removing pain and stiffness from obstacles to the flow of the breath.