ASANA TEACHING INTENSIVES & MASTER CLASSES

By Mark Stephens on Fri, 07/08/2022 - 12:38
OCTOBER 20-23, 2022 in São João Madeira
Porto, Portugal
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Warrior 1

Asana is the primary practice across the global yoga landscape. It can nourish, strengthen, and open; it can challenge, frustrate and challenge; it can hurt, heal, and transform you in every aspect of your life. 
This series of workshops and master classes focuses on practicing and teaching asanas in ways that makes them more accessible and sustainable to all. Honoring that every bodymind in unique, with differences in intentions and conditions, we will refine our approach to a wide selection of asanas. 


 

The Intricacies Workshops

These sessions are designed primarily for teachers and teacher trainers, and are open to anyone interested in seriously deepening and refining their personal practices. We start with the idea that some teachers say just let it feel good, while many others tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. Looking very closely at a wide variety of asanas, we will explore the conversation between student experience, expression, and a teacher’s informed guidance. We will peer through the prisms functional anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology; inquire about habits and samskaras; discuss different theories regarding human tissues (such as bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia), alignment, energetic actions, and stress; and consider alternatives ways of offering verbal cues, visual demonstration, and hands-on cues designed to more greatly empower students in their personal practices – as practices of kriya (“action” – in which the student, not the teacher, takes primary action.

 

Master Classes

These classes are designed and taught for all levels of students, offering options for beginners to seriously advanced students and teachers. They model how to teach, including how to teach multi-level classes while guiding the practice in accessible, sustainable, and meaningful ways for all. 


 

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE HOST'S WEBSITE FOR LOCAL DETAILS & REGISTRATION

 

Thursday, October 20

18:00 – 20:00

  • Master Class – Focus on Hip Opening
    • This mixed-level class will take you deeply into your hips with slow, patient, methodical, sustained and potentially revelatory techniques. First, we will sit, breathe, visualize, and set clear personal intention. Second, we will explore a gradually deepening array of very specific actions in the hips, mostly while supine. Third, we’ll explore with great specificity a variety of standing hip opening asanas in a flow-style with many options for different conditions and intentions, offering a deeper exploration of the hips. Lastly, we will rest, then sit.
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Clasping

 

Friday, October 21

9:00-11:30

  • Essential Elements of Asana Practice and Pedagogy
    • A presentation and conversation on the essential elements of asana, including how we breathe, move, stabilize, gaze, persist, detach, align, energize, modify, support, touch, listen, and love. Related topics include fear, amusement, courage, compassion, wonder, and calmness.

 

13:00-17:30

  • The Intricacies of Standing Asanas
    • Focus on the fundamentals of standing starting with detailed elements of pada bandha, pelvic neutrality, mula bandha, natural spine shape, the shoulder girdle the head and how specific breathing can support these; close consideration of standing asanas with externally, internally, and neutrally rotated hips; standing balancing asanas; modifications, use of props, and creative variations; hands-on adjustments; and matters of sequencing. 
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Mark near Joshua Tree

19:00-21:00

  • The Intricacies of Surya Namaskara – Remix and Refinement
    • There a few simple remixes and several principles rooted in biomechanics and neuroscience that can make these precious gems of yoga better for all – safer, more accessible, more sustainable, and more beneficial. While bowing deeply to ancient wisdom and the creativity of Krishnamacharya, Sivananda, and others, we will explore new methods and techniques for practicing and guiding Surya Namaskara A/B and Classical Surya Namaskara, considering how best to practice them as students and guide them as teachers. Begins with a lecture on the philosophies, mythologies, and histories of human being ritually bowing to the sun, especially in doing yoga.

 

Saturday, October 22

9:00 to 12:00

  • Waking Up with Pranayama and Meditation
    • First, we will simply sit and tune in. Second, we will go very slowly in gradually expanding, balancing, and refining how we breathe, exploring a variety of pranayama techniques, with just a little bit of movement. Third, will sit and play with a few ways of cultivating simpler yet more expansive consciousness and joyful awareness.
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Sitting

 

10:30 to 12:30

  • Master Class – Focus on Grounding and Levitating
    • This classes explores the relationship between grounding and expanding, roots and extension, applying awakened core and open hips to a variety of playful arm balances before transitioning into the deeper realm of the heart with slow progression into a series of backbends. There will be options for all levels of experience and ability.

 

14:00 to 18:00

  • The Intricacies of the Core and Arm Support Asanas
    • Focus on the fundamentals of a wide variety of practices for cultivating the abdominal core and connecting the core to hand and arm support postures, starting with a brief discussion of the core, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck. We will again peer through the prisms functional anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology; inquire about habits and samskaras; discuss different theories regarding alignment, energetic actions, and stress; and consider alternatives ways of offering verbal cues, visual demonstration, and hands-on cues.
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Mark in Urdhva Kukkatasana

 

Sunday, October 23

9:00 to 11:30

  • Master Class: Asana, Pranayama, Meditation: An Integrated Yoga-Tantra Practice
    • In the whole yoga, our practices integrate the eight limbs of yoga, yet there is far more in the many strands of practice deep in the roots of yoga and tantra. Here we will start with a brief discussion of that idea, then explore an integrated practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation. We will visit every asana family (standing, core, arm support, backbends, twists, seated & supine hip openers and forward bends, and inversions), with options for all levels of ability. We will explore several pranayama techniques (including vritti, viloma, kumbhaka, and nadi shodhana). We will sit and explore both “classical” and tantric approaches to meditation. If there’s time and interest, we can sing.

 

10:30-12:30

  • Master Class: Asana, Pranayama, Meditation: An Integrated Yoga-Tantra Practice
    • This is a shorter version of the Master Class given on Thursday. We will start with a very brief talk about yoga and tantra in practice. We will then visit every asana family (standing, core, arm support, backbends, twists, seated & supine hip openers and forward bends, and inversions), with options for all levels of ability. We will explore several pranayama techniques (including vritti, viloma, kumbhaka, and nadi shodhana). We will sit and explore both “classical” and tantric approaches to meditation.
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Viparita Karani at Borrego Badlands, California

13:00-17:30

  • The Intricacies of Backbends & Twists
    • Focus on the fundamentals of a wide variety of backbends, starting with a discussion of the spine and its relationship to the pelvic and shoulder girdles as they pertain to spinal extension. We will again peer through the prisms functional anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology; inquire about habits and samskaras; discuss different theories regarding alignment, energetic actions, and stress; and consider alternatives ways of offering verbal cues, visual demonstration, and hands-on cues. Postures will range from very basic to advanced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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