May 4 ~ Aug 4
Meridian Based Asana Practice
It is not simply increased flexibility or even increased circulation that really makes us feel so good after an asana practice. Sure these things lend to that great feeling and healing effects, but it is the opening of the meridians that truly works the magic of asana.
These lines are most popularly known as Meridians from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, or as the Nadis in India. However many places throughout the world have discovered something about them. In TCM and Ayurveda these lines were found to correspond to the health of every organ and energy system in our body; and these energies correspond to certain elements or combinations of elements (i.e. kidneys correspond to the water element).Therefore, in this training we learn to do asana in a way that precisely targets and opens these lines to activate the elements needed to get us through any variety of life's challenges. So, rather than doing asana in a vague way (that usually happens when we are unaware of the meridian locations and energies), we learn to apply asana in a very prescriptive way. Often we do this by also adding resistance (aka resistance stretching) which is more safe and effective than traditional stretching. This also brings greater stimulation to the meridian while strengthening the muscle and shredding damaged/excessive fascia; that is usually the cause of blocked meridian energy. The body expels this fascial waste and leaves the meridians open, thus improving the function and efficiency of the organs while simultaneously bringing out the elemental qualities (virtues) with which they correspond; which is another huge psychological, emotional and spiritual aspect of this work that we cannot even begin to elaborate upon in this paragraph. However, every topic you see in the curriculum below is in some way elaborating upon this theme. Just as the teaching of asana will take on great new depths in these contexts, but in many other contexts as well, such as...
Meridian Body Work
One major way we will address the meridians is thru various techniques of Acupressure, such as Thai and Shiatsu Massage, Tapping (EFT) and Reflexology. But we will spend a more significant amount of time learning Thai Yoga Massage which, in the process, helps us to memorize the meridian channels. This will be a great asset to every yoga teacher whether they care anything about having a massage or acupressure practice or not; experiential and elemental meridian knowledge is essential to adept yogic teaching and healing!
Listen To The Elements ~ Hear The Whole Person
Inspired by Person Centered Therapy that was created by guru-psychologist Carl Rogers; and later fostered by a therapeutic listening process called Spiritual Companioning, created by Linda Popov, this skill transforms an average or even "bad listener" into a great listener: and a great friend into a great companion. It not only teaches you to listen to others on a therapeutic level, it also enables you to hear the deeper messages of the elements [literally, earth, water, fire, air, space] that are at play within one's language (including body language - which we also study; see Delsarte) as they express a challenge they are going through.
Knowledge Speaks ~ Wisdom Listens
Advanced Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Many people today are already familiar with EFT (aka "tapping") but few really understand the linguistic reprogramming aspects that are ridiculously powerful. As you free yourself from old, long running, defective behavioral programs while simultaneously designing new growth filled paradigms you might feel like you are cheating karma. You may ask yourself "Isn't this supposed to be more difficult?" Well, yes, usually it is; but because we have not had the right tools; like hammering a nail with a screwdriver. EFT is actually based upon the meridians, and the meridians are based upon the energies of the Elements. Thus, Advanced EFT, along with Meridian and Elemental knowledge, give you the right elemental tool for anything you want to work on.
Yoga scriptures are endless, but throughout them all we find that Equanimity is the mark of a true yogi; and perhaps there is no greater practice than Vipassana to help us ever increasingly achieve that state.
Five Element Meditations
Five other great tools to help us achieve equanimity are found within the Panch Maha Bhuta (Five Great Elements). With a Vipassana approach to observing each element within we can add a depth to our equanimity that fosters as much wisdom as it does harmony.
The Deeper Side of Deities
The Higher Ideals of Idols.
The Image of God is said to be found in the Virtues. For example, when you see courage or compassion, you are seeing the Image of God. Thus we will be exploring various yogic themes in relation to the virtue concepts behind the Hindu Idols; and the stories behind these Idols / Ideals that can show us how to replace our negative or idle-ambitions, with the positive attributes-virtues that are represented by the Idols that represent the Divine Ideals. We will also learn some classic Hindu mantras associated to them.
Mantra & Japa
In light of the ideals above, we will also learn many mantras; receiving their gifts thru both understanding & vibration via mantra meditation.
Take a nap ~ Accomplish your goals!
What could be better!
Yes, you heard right! Yoga Nidra, aka "yogic sleep;" is an ancient yogic technique that helps you manifest those hard to reach Sankalpas (Intentions). It's also a great way to make the most of any bouts with insomnia.
Mind is the master of the emotions
Breath is the master of the mind.
~Hatha Yoga Pradipika
We couldn't find any cool pic of anyone doing breathing exercises (pranayama) to put here. Nevertheless, what yoga training would be worth its salt without training and practice in pranayama! By advanced pranayama we mean to say that this will probably go further than what you may have previously ever experienced in a typical yoga class. However, and ultimately, this still only means what you (and any students you may someday teach) are ready for. Pranayama can be an extremely powerful practice. Thus, the greater skills gained here are for knowing how to discern what is right for yourself and others.
The Delsarte System of Expression
"Delsarte" is very difficult to describe.
It really has to be experienced. Nevertheless, here is a try:
Delsarte reveals the actual nature of creativity and the divinity within communication and expression. It makes one conscious of the kaleidoscope of magnificent gifts residing within the "Vital", "Mental", and the "Emotive" (Mind Body Spirit).
Yogis often talk about the trinity of Mind, Body and Spirit as an esoteric concept. But here you will learn to clearly define, claim and harmonize all 3.
Delsarte was a phenomenon that once influenced a whole era of history - particularly in drama and dance, but also yoga.
Delsarte helps artists find the yoga in their art.
And yogis find the art in their yoga.
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