Yoga as Transformation Permanent Access Pass – Here Are Your Saturday PM Sessions
Click on the Title Link or Cover Picture of Each Session
Asana is more than postures. It is a forum that offers the opportunity to focus and refine our attention so that we are more attuned to the truth of who we really are. Once we have a consistent asana practice, we become better observers of our thoughts and feelings, and we begin to learn that we can choose where to put our attention (and equally important, where not to), says Natasha Rizopoulos in this interview. This is one of the most transformative effects of our time on the mat.
Increasingly, many yoga classes are becoming about outside stimulation and sensation. However, if we lose sight of the merits of quieting the mind and of being still in our practice, notes Natasha, we easily lose out on the most important dimension of practice. Natasha also describes her Align Your Flow™ approach to yoga practice, which seeks to cultivate what the ancient yogis referred to as eka grata, or one-pointed focus. By linking breath and movement in an effortless way, we can become completely absorbed in the present moment and add a whole new dimension to our practice.
As a former ballet dancer, Natasha Rizopoulos knew she had come home when she discovered yoga in her 20s. Now a Senior Teacher with YogaWorks and Down Under Yoga, and a writer, teacher, and DVD instructor for Yoga Journal, Natasha is known world-wide for her ability to communicate the essence of sophisticated postures and ideas in ways that have a transformative effect upon one’s understanding of yoga. Her yoga training includes extensive studies in both the Ashtanga yoga and the Iyengar yoga systems; these two traditions continue to inform her teaching, creating a dynamic and rigorous blend of intelligently sequenced and aligned Vinyasa Flow.
In our practice, it is easy to get focused on the physical form of asana. However important that is, says Devarshi Steven Hartman in this interview, it is important to not overlook the importance of internal alignment in our daily practice. When we practice in inner alignment, our yoga becomes a meditation in motion. The body’s Prana knows what it wants and what it needs, and when you tune into that, you learn to allow yoga to do you, rather than you doing yoga. Herein lies the key to a lifelong rewarding practice, says Devarshi. He also discusses the 5 stages of yoga and how each stage enables us to increase awareness and clear Samskaras, old patterning that no longer serve us, on the level of the physical body, the breath body, the mental body and even the causal body.
Devarshi Steven Hartman, E-RYT has studied yoga and meditation since 1974 and was a longtime Kripalu Ashram resident. He served for several years as the Dean of the Kripalu School of Yoga and currently functions as the Dean of the Pranotthan School of Yoga. He is founder of LifeQuest Intensive and co-Founder of the Acharya Intensive program. Devarshi also serves as a faculty member of the Nosara Yoga Institute’s Advanced Yoga Teacher Training and he has been training yoga teachers since 1984. Devarshi is the creator of the best-selling audio series The Essence of the Bhagavad-Gita, and he leads workshops and retreats throughout the country.
Rama Jyoti Vernon has been practicing and teaching yoga for almost five decades. In this interview, she discusses the early days of yoga in the U.S. and how teaching in those days often tended to emphasize greater inner-directedness in practice. She also talks about how yoga and yoga philosophy was an integral part of the peacekeeping and the karma yoga activities that became her life’s work. From creating a dialogue between citizens of the U.S. and Russia during the Cold War to teaching yoga to Muslim women in Afghanistan or mediating in the Middle East, Rama’s life is a beautiful example of how one woman can make a difference.
Rama Jyoti Vernon was one of the first yoga teachers in the U.S. She co-founded Yoga Journal in the early 1970s, as a newsletter that she typed at her kitchen table as a means to create greater communication between the many diverse styles of yoga in the early days. Her vision led to the creation of the California Yoga Teachers’ Association. Rama is also the founding President of the Center for International Dialogue, which worked during the height of the Cold War era to increase dialogue between citizens of the US and USSR, and which paved the way for the introduction of yoga in the USSR. Rama has continued her peacekeeping and yoga teaching mission over the years, expanding her work to the Middle East, Ethiopia, Central America, Africa, and the US inner cities.
There’s a major divide in health care between alternative and conventional approaches, but Dr. Timothy McCall believes it’s a false distinction. What really matters is the difference between holistic approaches, which unite body, mind and spirit, and reductionist ones, that approach problems one symptom, disease or lab test at a time. Yoga, especially when combined with insights from Ayurveda, is a wonderful therapeutic system in its own right, and a perfect complement to any medical care, whether alternative or mainstream. Join Dr. McCall to learn how to ignite your innate healing powers.
Dr. Timothy McCall is board-certified internist, an award-winning writer, and the medical editor of Yoga Journal. Dr. McCall has studied yoga for over 20 years and Ayurveda for a decade. He is the author of the acclaimed, Yoga as Medicine (Bantam) and co-editor of the forthcoming Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care (Handspring). Timothy and his wife Eliana teach Yoga As Medicine seminars and teacher trainings worldwide and from their home studio, The Simply Yoga Institute in Summit, NJ.
Flexibility is one of the four key life skills for healthy aging. Dr. Baxter Bell has designed this practice to increase the range of motion you have in your shoulders, upper back, and neck area. Each one of us is dealing with our own flexibility issues, which have likely been stable for some time. Learn new ways to influence flexibility, and loosen joints that may have become stiff.
Baxter Bell, MD, eRYT500 fell in love with yoga in 1993 while he was working full-time as a family physician. His appreciation for the potential of yoga for fostering health, healing, and equanimity was so great, he soon stepped down from his medical practice and trained to become a yoga teacher. Now he focuses on teaching yoga full time, both to ordinary students of all ages and physical conditions, and to the next generation of yoga teachers, to whom he teaches anatomy and yoga therapy along with his accessible, skillful style of yoga.