The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga: Asana, Alignment & Pranayama
May 21 - 28, 2011
with Stephen Thomas
About the Retreat
A one-week Intensive course (35 hours of on-mat). This workshop, which focuses on Asana and Pranayama, is aimed specifically at the dedicated yoga practitioner. As part of an ongoing series, this module will deepen your knowledge of asana, by looking at detailed physical and energetic alignment, how to make effective modifications, how to use props to make adjustments, so that the practice grows towards independent freedom.
Students will have the opportunity to make significant progress on seated Meditation and Pranayama practices. Each day will also include chanting, silent inner work and discussion forums.
Most Asanas have gates or pathways that lead into the deeper experiences. These dimensions create a new understanding of the body and prepare the practitioner for the more subtle work in Yoga.
We will explore these physical and symbolic gates, refining our alignment (on and off the mat). Learn how to move more effectively and make modifications to poses which suit the individual and move towards the freedom in the pose.
The more you understand the details of this practice, the more you will appreciate its subtle beauty and find its real joy and potential. This ultimately serves to deepen your devotion and the tradition from which it stems.
In the course:
* Explore fundamental alignment principals and see how they relate to an individual's unique conditions. Work with yourself and others to move the Asana to another level through an alignment theory which creates freedom and joy.
Better use of blocks, the wall, and props to move us towards the full pose or to re-align the pelvis and/or spine. This is done in conjunction with the daily workshop (theory and practice).
Study the subtle realms of Uddiyana and Moolabandha. Looking at the pelvis and the awareness of the sacrum as a way to unlock power in the Asana practice and create steadiness.
Students will be working on all aspects of the asana practice. The week will include, backbend workshops, greater steadiness and foundation in the inversions, hand balancing, twists and forward folds, and deeper into the pelvis.
Deepen and further your understanding and personal experience of Pranayama and Chanting (taught by Stephen Thomas in the spirit and lineage of Sri O.P. Tiwari).
In addition to this, you will be immersed in yogic living for a week and in the company of like-minded individuals, looking at using these practice to create an exceptional integrated Life!
This course is open to all levels of students but previous practice and study is recommended. Not ideal for raw beginners.
About the Teacher
Stephen Thomas is a senior international yoga teacher. He leads Teacher Trainings, Workshops and Immersions across Asia and Europe. His teaching is deeply rooted in the traditional Yoga practices of asana, pranayama, and meditation. His philosophical background is influenced by studies in the Classical systems of Yoga Philosophy as well as Tibetan Buddhism and Tantra, enriching and informing his personal approach.
He presents Yoga in its' classical form, directly from lineage. In his teaching, he encourages a synthesis of physical effort (asana, cleansing kriyas, pranayama, etc.), with the study of sanskrit, chanting, meditation and devotion. Integrating these deep practices into the daily spectrum of one's life is a central theme of his work.
Stephen studies directly with O.P. Tiwari of Kaivalyadham, India and continues to evolve his knowledge in the fields of pranayama, therapy, healing, and Ayurveda. This lineage is one of the few living sources of authentic pranayama available. He has completed advanced studies with Tiwari and continues to dedicate his personal practice and work to promoting health and transformation through this method of yoga.
The asana component of his teaching is used as a way to purify and stabilize the system, and to re-integrate the mind/body/spirit complex. Through the asana, the joy of the body and breath are re-discovered and a gateway into the deeper realms of the practice is revealed. His asana studies form a major part of his teaching and have been influenced by the alignment principals of Iyengar, and the transformational elements of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system.
He embodies the spirit of joy, respect and deep gratitude for those who have influenced him over the years, including, Sri.K. Patthabi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar, Richard Freeman, Aadil Palkhivala, Paul Dallaghan and Patrick Creelman.
Stephen currently divides his time between his base in Asia and Zurich, Switzerland. For more information or, to see his teaching schedule please visit, www.stephenthomasyoga.com, www.kdham.com, www.withinspace.com, www.airyoga.ch
The Daily Schedule
The program begins at 5pm on the first day of the retreat with a group welcome and departure is at 12pm on the last day.
The schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the teacher.
|7:00 am||Pranayama and Chanting and morning Tea|
|8:15 am||Asana Practice: (2.5 hrs.)
Led Hatha Flow Level 2 practice / integrated assisting and alignment workshop
|10 am - 1 pm||Brunch buffet|
|12:00 - 3:30 pm||Ocean, Pool, Library,.. chill out.|
|3:30 pm||Lecture and Q&A on the mat (60-75 mins)|
|4:45 pm||Workshop & "Yoga Lab" with Pranayama|
|6 pm||Dinner buffet|
|6 - 8 pm||Steam room available|
|8:30 pm||Meditation, chanting or satsang, etc.|