Ashtanga Vinyasa is often said to be a contemplative practice, but what exactly does this mean? What form of consciousness can the practice of Ashtanga induce? And how can that consciousness impact our mental lives?

In this special summer intensive, we explore these questions on the medium of our own bodies. We study the internal dynamics of Ashtanga Vinyasa, and we uncover the simple but potent techniques that bring the practice alive—tracing internal currents of breath, balancing subtle patterns of sensation, moving our bodies from the inside, and settling ever more deeply into our skin. As we absorb these techniques, we begin to understand their role in supporting an unusually vibrant but also grounded state of consciousness, in which we can relate to ourselves more openly and authentically.

The techniques in question allow us to make space within ourselves for the full spectrum of our psychical forces to flow, without catching us up in their drama. And when we hold ourselves in that space, suspending our reactions while the forces of our minds unfold, we can have the exhilarating experience of coming undone. This experience, into which we shall inquire deeply during the intensive, is the common thread of asana, pranayama and meditation.


Our mornings will be full with asana, pranayama and guided visualizations of the subtle body.  In the afternoons, we will explore various dimensions of anatomy, alignment, psychology, mythology, philosophy and technique.  These sessions are designed to enhance our experience of the contemplative dimension of the practice, by enriching our understanding of how the practice can induce contemplative states of mind, and connecting us to the elements of the practice that have the most potency.  Through these explorations, we can begin to understand how Ashtanga unravels the psyche, and this understanding can further clarify our intention for practicing.  We begin to realize that the purpose is not to expand ourselves, but to break ourselves up, and make room within ourselves for consciousness to breathe.

This intensive is designed for people who want to follow the contemplative thread of Ashtanga Vinyasa wherever it leads.  Some previous exposure to the method is highly advised, but there are no requirements of postural or technical proficiency.  Such things are not essential to our purpose.  To explore the contemplative dimension of the practice, we have to surrender our performative ambitions, and engage ourselves precisely as we are, with openness, compassion and humor.  People with injuries and special conditions are absolutely welcome, and everyone with a genuine interest in the subject is encouraged to join.


The Summer Intensive will be held at the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado.  Our city sits on a high plateau, about 1,600 meters above sea level, tucked up against the Rocky Mountains.  In the summertime, the daytime temperature can rise into the 80’s or 90’s but the air is always quite dry, and it becomes cool at night.  Boulder is know for its gorgeous mountain scenery and ethereal atmosphere, and has long been an inspired center for contemplative practice.  It is progressive and serene, and you can walk or bike almost anywhere.  In short, Boulder is lovely.

The best way to access Boulder is to fly into the Denver International Airport (DIA), and then take a bus ($13) Uber ($70) or Lyft ($70).  The distance is about 40 miles.  The busses are comfortable and will take you all the way into the center of the city.  They run from the airport every hour, except in the middle of the night.  Check the schedule in advance.

Since Boulder is a popular destination for visitors in the summertime, you are encouraged to seek accommodation as early as possible.  The best resources are Airbnb and Boulder Craigslist.


The cost of the Summer Intensive is $1200.  Registration is secure upon $400 deposit, with the remaining balance due by July 15. Refunds will be issued upon request, minus $100. No refunds will be issued after July 15. You might also wish to take the 5-day Assisting Intensive with Ty and Mary in the week prior, which is $600. Register here.