Charlottetown, Friday and Saturday, April 15-16
Early bird $210 by February 29 Full price $245
In teaching — or taking — yoga classes, it’s not always easy to see why some asanas are difficult or even painful for students to do, or don’t deliver the benefits they promise, or even lead to injury for some and yet pose no problem to others.
Because of the way we’re built, and the lives we live (even as yoga practitioners with favored styles), we all face challenges individual in our life and practice, often with chronic pain. Our own structure and patterns of movement often lead us directly into these problems, unless we recognize and change them. Even those of us who exercise regularly or have a regular practice do allow some muscles to dominate, leaving others weak and unused. This can eventually lead to pain and injury, even for the experienced practitioner.
In asana practice, we will become aware of our own individual styles of movement, and look to create greater balance to maintain the health of our joints, and avoid and heal injury to our muscles, tendons and ligaments. Within an active and engaging practice, we’ll understand for ourselves why we experience certain difficulties, tightness or weakness, and then expand those very ‘contractions’ or ‘malas’ into assets in our practice, for a deeper and more fulfilling experience of asana.
Friday 1-4 pm: Health in ‘Bending’: The Low Back and Sacrum — and their Relationship to knees and feet
We will explore our own patterns of movement in forward bending — and backbending — and look for solutions that will give greater pain-free stability and movement. The session will be very enlightening, even for those who don’t experience pain or trouble!
Friday evening 6-8:30 freedom in forward bending
This session will put to practice what was covered in the afternoon therapy section. It will be a well-rounded practice with special attention to the habits of our lumbar spine in forward bending and twists — with a bit of backbending thrown in too!
Saturday 9-12 Movement Patterns in the Upper Body: Greater Freedom in the Neck, Shoulder Blades and Shoulders
Principles for understanding Shoulder Movement — basic postures and exercises for working with misalignments and limitations in movement — and Asana Solutions for working with the neck, shoulders and upper back in a variety of poses.
Saturday 1:30-4:30 Swatantrya: The Blossoming of Freedom
Hatha Yoga is rooted in a tantric philosophy that recognizes and honors the characteristics that make us individual and unique, and does not seek to erase or ‘transcend’ them, but rather to explore and expand the energy behind them. ‘Freedom’ lies in this expansion, in which we are most fully ourselves, instead of trying to be something other than our own selves. At the heart of this inspiration is what the tantric philosophers called ‘Spanda.’
We will explore the evolution in philosophy behind this idea, especially as expressed in the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, and put it into practice:
In pranayama and guided meditation, we’ll explore the divine spark of inspiration and awareness behind both breath and emotion, learning to bring that energy forth and expand it in the refined practices of breath awareness. And it is in deep relaxation — yoga nidra — and meditation that this experience blossoms and transforms our experience of ourselves.