Ashtanga Vinyasa comes alive through loving attention to the moving, breathing body. As we breath our way sweetly through the forms, we express primitive patterns of expansion and contraction, creation and dissolution, emanation and enclosure. Beyond feeling into these patterns, we can invite them to take fuller expression through our bodies. That is, we can organize our movements around the flowing currents of the breath, until they unfold spontaneously from the midline, reaching out through the limbs, cresting into silence, before coiling back into the darkness from which they arose. As we continue to work with these patterns, they draw our consciousness into their undulating flow. Our awareness of ourselves begins to seep with an excess of sensation that spills over the projected confines of our bodies, dramatically expanding our visceral sense of who we are.
The potency of the practice depends on the use of certain foundational techniques, the continual refinement of which is the secret to advancement. As we face the rigors of the Ashtanga sequencing, however, we often leave these techniques behind. Our ambitions interfere, and our distorting ideas distract us from a fuller and more intimate experience. To recover the potency of the practice, we have to return to the foundations, and renew our sense of how to practice more attentively. There is always infinitely more to see here, and infinitely more to understand. And if we allow ourselves to keep going back, our practice can deepen in sudden and unexpected ways.
This is the purpose of the Foundations Intensive—to provide experienced practitioners with an opportunity to go back to the beginning, and to look again at the foundational techniques of breath, movement, attention and alignment that imbue the practice with astonishing depth and potency, not simply to relearn these foundations, but to look more closely at how they support the internal forms of bandha, mudra and subtle body activation that open up the experience of the body to an exquisite and extraordinary richness.
As we refine our understanding of the foundations, we avail ourselves of the rich transformative potential of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, without having to possess supernatural suppleness or physical prowess. Instead, we use the movements and postures that are readily available to us to do something more remarkable—to draw awareness into the empty center of our being, into the silence beyond thought, where we can feel the primitive pulse of life itself, moving gently through the open expanse of consciousness.
This intensive is designed for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. There are no requirements of technical proficiency, and people with physical limitations are welcome. The only intelligent approach to yoga is the one that begins now, in the present moment, with things being precisely as they are. This approach will guide us throughout this intensive. So if the thought of learning (or relearning) the Ashtanga method calls to you, please don’t hesitate. You are absolutely welcome to join.
February 18-22, 2019
The Yoga Workshop in Boulder, CO
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Asana
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Philosophy
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Alignment
Tuition for this intensive is $600. Registration requires a deposit of $100, with the remaining balance of $500 due by January 21. Refunds will be issued upon request, minus $50 for administrative costs, until January 21. No refunds will be issued after that time.