About the Workshop from David
In my workshop, I want to show each of you how you can do the Ashtanga Yoga series in a lifelong practice that is a completely pleasant experience. I suspect that when you first saw the practice, you said to yourself, “If I did this, it would be great for me!” So, here you are–you have observed the practice, and you want to continue it. The key is being able to continue practicing Yoga for the rest of your life. From over 40 years of observing thousands of people practicing Yoga, I realize that those who continue are the ones who are able to figure out how to make it enjoyable. They look forward to their daily practice and nothing can keep them from finding the time to do it. It becomes one of the most pleasant parts of their day. The others, consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously, quit practicing. It is my goal to do everything I can to inspire you to establish your Yoga practice, not just for the few days we are together, but for the rest of your life.
Secondly, I hope to share with you my belief that the ultimate goal of Yoga is not to increase flexibility and strength. Increased flexibility and strength are simply the natural results and benefits of daily practice. While additional flexibility and strength are important and apparent benefits of Yoga, I believe the goals of Yoga practice are self-realization and keeping oneself balanced and healthy on a daily basis. Health is your greatest wealth. The body’s DNA knows how to heal itself; all it needs is the energy. The energizing, rejuvenating Yoga practices can be the source of this energy.
Lastly, I hope you will find that my workshop is for everyone at all levels. Occasionally I asked if someone is “good at Yoga.” I quickly respond that the best Yogi is not the one who is most flexible, but the one who is the most focused on what he or she is doing, the one most intensely doing the mula bandha and deep breathing. It is with some sadness that I have observed people “competing with their Yoga practice.” I have also observed others who are discouraged in their practice because they feel this competition and worry that they will never be able to do their practice with the flexibility and skill of others more advanced in the series. My goal is to convey the idea that the greatest Yogi is the one who enjoys his or her Yoga practice the most, not the one who can achieve the ultimate pretzel position. It is my belief, which I hope to convey to you, that in your practice of this moving meditation, what is important, is what is invisible to the observer, what is within each of you.
I believe in the Yoga. I believe that anyone who has the desire can do the Ashtanga practice, perhaps with personal modifications, in a way that is pleasant. For years, I have said, “If someone said to me, ‘You have 15 minutes, one hour, etc., do something good for yourself. You can use barbells, bicycles, or whatever,’ I would start doing the Ashtanga Yoga Salutations to the Sun and Primary Series.” If someone can show me something better, I am ready to learn it. In my more than 40 years of searching, I have learned five or six systems of Yoga practice. For myself, I have not found a better physical, mental, and emotional fitness program than the Ashtanga Yoga system. I hope you will feel the same after our days together.
I look forward to sharing my practice and experience with you. The schedule for this weekend workshop is:
Thursday, October 19th, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
TALK and LED PRIMARY SERIES PRACTICE
Discussion of how David thinks Ashtanga Yoga should be taught and practiced based on his 45 years of daily practice and teaching. This class is the foundation for all students, and particularly teachers, who want a greater depth of understanding of the “big picture” of the most beneficial way to practice and teach Ashtanga Yoga.
Friday, October 20th, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
TALK and LED PRIMARY SERIES PRACTICE
Continuation of in-depth primary series led by David with thorough explanations of every step.
Saturday, October 21st, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
QUESTIONS and LED PRIMARY SERIES PRACTICE
Primary series completed with less interruption by David’s commentary, except for postures not covered the day before.
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
TALK and LED PRANAYAMA
History of Yoga, description and the history of Ashtanga Yoga, David’s travels and adventures in Yoga, and his bringing Ashtanga Yoga to America and its eventual spread to the entire world. Introduction and practice of the Ashtanga yoga pranayama, as taught by Pattabhi Jois, led by David.
Sunday, October 22nd, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm
LED INTERMEDIATE SERIES and PRANAYAMA
An introduction to intermediate series in a way that everyone at all levels can try and enjoy.