Ashtanga Vinyasa is one of the pinnacles of modern yoga, a potent synthesis of breath, posture and gaze into a single, symphonic form. The practice is designed to open the experience of the body and to expose us to the presence of the sublime, not in external forces, but in the excess of our own experience. As we open ourselves to the limitless profusion of sensation that is coursing through us, just beneath the surface of our skin, we can feel the creative currents that shape our experiences, pouring through the channels of our minds, and spilling over the boundaries of our conditioning. With assiduous practice, we can follow these currents into the innermost recesses of our bodies, into places beyond thought and memory, beyond even the stillness of consciousness itself, into the luminous center of our being, where we can feel the primitive pulse of life, thrumming and throbbing within us. The practice is not to remain there, idle and still, but to follow the movement of the creative impulse back up, reeling in silent wonder as it shapes the inner spaces of our minds, congeals into our bones and tissues, and spreads itself out as the phenomenal world.
This process of moving inward, and touching the primitive sources of our being, only to follow them back up through the conduits of our experience, this is the natural merging of consciousness and the creative principle. This merging or yug is what is classically known as yoga. The experience of yoga is elusive. But the practice is to open ourselves continually to that experience, drawing it up from the depths of our consciousness until it saturates our minds, so we can return to the visceral reality of the living, breathing body while sustaining intimacy with the subtle forces that make us who we are. This is the yoga of embodied consciousness, which is said to bring liberation in this life. And it depends upon the continual realignment of our vital forces, for it is precisely through alignment that we invite and sustain the yogic experience.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is designed to align our vital forces, so that breath can move openly through the center of our being, and draw awareness smoothly through the concentric spheres of our consciousness, emphasizing their perfect continuity, and opening the channels of our experience to a higher form of intimacy. More than an element of postural form, alignment is the very essence of the yogic process. It is precisely through internal alignment that the experience of yoga unfolds.
In this intensive, we explore the secrets of alignment along four dimensions—the postural alignment of our bones and tissues, the dynamic alignment of the internal breath, the psychological alignment of our thoughts and feelings, and the subtle alignment of our attention to what is. These explorations give us an enlightened understanding of how to practice alignment to support and sustain the experience of yoga. As we integrate them more fully into our practice, we begin to rediscover the wild intelligence of Ashtanga Vinyasa. That is, we begin to rediscover the potency of the practice in opening our minds, exposing the sublime depth of our experience, and reconnecting us to the blissful and spontaneous play of the creative principle at the center of our being.
Asana classes, alignment workshops and philosophy sessions will be held each day of the Intensive. Expect to be fully immersed in the experience of the practice, and steeped in the pleasure of learning.
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Asana Practice, Led or Mysore
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Breathing, Chanting and Visualization
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Alignment Workshop
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Philosophy
Saturday, June 15 – Friday, June 28
We will have two full weeks together of practice and study, starting on the morning of Sunday the 16th, and ending on the morning of Friday, June 28th. No practice or workshop on Saturday the 22nd, which we will use as a day of rest.
This intensive will be held in a beautiful antique finca in Campo, in an atmosphere of exceptional quiet and seclusion. The finca is easy to reach, only 25 minutes by car from the International Airport of Palma (PMI) which receives direct flights from all over Europe throughout the summer months. The finca has spacious and fully appointed rooms, with a variety of different sleeping arrangements to insure your complete comfort.
The intensive will be orchestrated by Pilar de Miguel, founder and director of Balearic Retreats. As a native of Mallorca and devoted Ashtangini, Pilar has developed a reputation for organizing magical Ashtanga retreats in the Balearic Islands and elsewhere. She will ensure that our intensive runs smoothly. You can email her with questions about logistics, accommodations, registrations, or anything else.
Register: Balearic Retreats.