"Yoga is the Crucible for Change"
Whatever the meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Yoga’ (variously transcribed as union, integration, to engage) much of what we generally practice in the present day West is a combination of Asana (physical poses), with possible Pranayama (breathing exercises) and some form of meditation. While there are still traditional Yoga practices that are strongly grounded in the history of Yoga (such as Ashtanga Yoga) even here there can be limited instruction beyond the physical.
A Yoga class is most often taught as a self contained unit of Yoga that rarely reaches beyond the mat. For a lot of people that can be what they want – a 60 minute exercise class with a bit calmer than pilates, a little less tiring than ‘bodypump’. But there is potential for Yoga to be much more.
A Yoga student meets a teacher where they can: if they don’t have the tools to connect with a Yoga teacher (if the teacher has not provided them) that disconnect can lead to a disappointment. Particularly when we come to mixed level classes, as so many public Yoga classes tend to be, it can be tricky to lead all students along the same path when the starting places can be so varied (one of the great benefits of introduction courses).
As intermediate and advanced practitioners of Yoga we look to continually grow and develop: even when we achieve poses far beyond the scope of what we have previously achieved we strive for more, to continue the process of change. But if we lack the grounding support developed over thousands of years through the evolution of Yoga (that has changed to be unrecognisable from what was originally thought of as ‘Yoga’) we end up with a stretch-and-flex class that misses the opportunity for mental, spiritual and emotional growth.
And some classes or workshops can be truly transformational – they can change the way we see ourselves, our practice, our thoughts and behaviours, the world around us. They can help us heal both physically and mentally, they can open us to new experiences within our own bodies and fundamentally change who we are.
So how do we get from a 60 minute exercise class to a crucible for change? How can you make even a basic class a transformational event?
In this weekend’s workshop pairing (laying the foundation on Saturday and putting practice into action on Sunday) we will be looking at how you can step up and take responsibility for your practice, so that you can get so much more from every self practice and every class you attend. We will explore tools to connect to various aspects of Yoga and how the conscious application of these in your practice can accelerate your abilities and make your practice a catalyst for transformation.
Transformational Yoga Workshop I: Choose Power
Saturday 5th Feb 9.15 – 11.15am
Transformational Yoga Workshop II: Yoga in Action
Sunday 6th Feb Workshop 9.15 – 11.15am
Please bring a Yoga mat, block, strap, blanket and water bottle. Arrive shortly after 9.00am for a prompt 9.15am start.