Workshops

The Soul of Hatha Yoga through the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore with Eugene Lewins

Location: NW Studio- Small Studio
Dates: Tuesdays, October 3, 10, 17 & 24, 10-11:30am $75

Rabinandrath Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel prize for literature. Steeped in the spirituality of India, a friend of both Gandhi and Einstein, he was also deeply studied in the modern world. His poems give a unique window into how we can bring the timeless wisdom of yoga into the distraction and alienation of our urban life. This will be an active asana and yoga philosophy series available to all levels. Students will receive both written and online material, and worksheets to integrate the insights into our week.

 
Eugene is a yoga teacher, massage therapist, fiction writer, dancer and outdoor trips leader. He weaves through these a passion for community and a joy in teaching and ongoing learning.
 
O, how did the sun's first ray
Into my heart find its way?
This dawn, how could birdsongs pierce my heart's dark den?
After all this time, why does my heart suddenly stir again?

"THE BLISS OF BREATH" with Ty Landrum

Location: Yoga Space NW 210 17th Avenue, Portland OR 97209
Dates: October 20-22, 2017

THE BLISS OF BREATH
Hatha Yoga works with opposing forces of breath and invites these forces to align.  When the breath aligns, the experience of the body opens up, revealing endless patterns of sensation.  The practice is to be present with these patterns, allowing them to unfold in the open expanse of our awareness.  Through this practice, we give ourselves space, and we allow our minds to breathe.  Our thoughts and feelings begin to expand and contract in an open flow of consciousness.  This is the beginning of Hatha Yoga.

In this workshop, we explore some techniques from the Hatha Yoga tradition to bring this experience alive—moving our bodies from the inside, following internal currents of breath, balancing subtle patterns of sensation, and softening ever more deeply into the postures themselves.  Through these techniques, the exploration of embodiment can become a profoundly sensual experience, releasing our tensions, quickening our senses, and reconnecting us to the inherent bliss of deep breathing.

SCHEDULE & PRICING: TOTAL WORKSHOP $225

Friday
SURYA NAMASKAR (6-8 PM)  $45

Saturday
BREATHING INTO ALIGNMENT
    SESSION 1 - BACKBENDS AND TORSIONS (9AM - 11:30AM)  $60
    SESSION 2 - FOLDS AND INVERSIONS (1PM - 3:30PM)  $60

Sunday
MYSORE | (8-10AM)  $45
PHILOSOPHY TALK: THE FEMININE AND THE SUBLIME (11AM-12 NOON)  $25

 

INDIVIDUAL WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS:

SURYA NAMASKAR
Surya Namskar means “Salutations to the Sun.  In the context of yoga, the Sun is not only the celestial body that gives us warmth and daylight, but the radiant center of the human body, where our vital forces converge.  In Surya Namaskar, we are propitiating to this center, inviting our vital forces to rise up from the altar of the pelvis and burn away the sediment of our conditioning, giving us insight.


BREATHING INTO ALIGNMENT
As our practice matures, so does our sense of alignment.  What begins as a struggle for postural perfection becomes an endless exploration of embodied form.  In this workshop, we explore a simple but profound method of postural alignment, based on five distinct patterns of breath and movement that recur throughout the Ashtanga system.


MYSORE
A traditional Mysore-style Ashtanga class.  Beginners are welcome, but some familiarity with the standing sequence is requested.


PHILOSOPHY: THE FEMININE AND THE SUBLIME
In Tantric philosophy, the feminine is the principle of creation.  This principle is abundant, excessive and overwhelms us when it overflows.  In this talk, we explores the nature of the feminine, and the possibility of relating to the feminine intimately, through the Myth of Sati, “she who is.”

BIO:  Ty is the director of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder. He was asked by Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor to take over the directorship of their studio in 2015, and he continues the tradition of teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa as he learned it from them. Ty has a doctoral degree in philosophy from The University of Virginia and has been practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa since 2005. 

 

Workshop pricing options

Mastering the Basics of Ashtanga Yoga with Michele Loew

Location: NW Studio
Dates: Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26, 6:15-8:15pm (Workshop includes 1 month unlimited Ashtanga Mysore pass for the month of October), $150

A slowed down, mindful,and deep inquiry into the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series with Michele Loew & supporting Yoga Space staff.

We will meet for 4 Thursday evenings to study the Primary series of Ashtanga so that each posture is carefully examined. Props and modifications will be utilized to support all students. Come learn the series as a way to deepen your yoga practice in general, as principles can by applied to other types of asana. As you memorize the series and set a foundation for Mysore self-practice, a regular home practice becomes your gift to yourself. Ashtanga Vinyasa is one of the most potent practices of cleansing and strengthening the physical body while awakening the subtle body and removing the obstacles to abiding in our highest selves.

This workshop will prepare the student to go into our led primary series classes safely and give encouragement to practicing in our Mysore guided self practice room each morning.

 

 

Integrative Mindfulness — When Meditation Meets Your Life with David Sudar

Location: NW Studio
Dates: Mondays, October 9,16,23 and 30th, 5:30-7pm $125 for 4 sessions, Drops available is space allows

This four week course will be grounded in traditional sitting meditation, though the emphasis will be on how this practice is not just for the cushion, but also for your everyday life.  You will learn a basic framework for everyday awakening, solid meditative tools, and also get to experience interactive exercises that will show you how to practice mindfulness in relationship, with emotion, as well as common everyday activities.  All experience levels are welcome for this deep dive into what it means to be human!

 

A former Buddhist monk, David Sudar has spent over two years on silent Vipassana meditation retreat, primarily with his core teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya.  He has also lived at the Upaya Zen Center, studied Yoga across India, and holds a degree in Western Psychology.  In both his work and personal life, his great passion is integrating traditional spiritual practice with the realities of everyday life.  

 

Mid- Spine and Shoulders Workshop with Emily Baumann

Location: NW Studio
Dates: October 11th, 18th, and 25th 7:30-9pm, $75 for entire series or $35 for Drop Ins

Join Emily Baumann for a workshop to strengthen and mobilize your shoulders and thoracic/ mid-spine.  Over the course of 3, 90 minute sessions learn poses and techniques to open this typically tense and imbalanced area of the body.  The workshop is open to all levels and will build up to advanced poses such as Pinchamayurasa/ Forearmstand and Scorpion.  Physical adjustments give way to mental, emotional, and spiritual shifts so consider this workshop the gateway to uncover your highest potential.

 

Bio:

Emily has an accessible and creative approach to teaching, always finding new ways to cope with the changing body.  She has taught yoga for almost six years and has studied dance extensively.  Emily has had Rheumatoid Arthritis for the last twenty plus years.  The discomfort she experiences provides an opportunity to discover new ways to best support joints.  She views every life obstacle as an opportunity to gain insight and grow.

 

 

 

Yoga and Meditation for Anxiety

Location: NW Studio
Dates: Saturday, November 4, 1-3:30pm, $40

Join Sarasvati as we learn the neuroendocrinology, psychology and anatomy of depression, anxiety, PTSD bipolar, eating disorders and so much more. Learn how the practices of yoga and meditation in the styles of Hatha,Yin & Vinyasa and seated practice can help us to transform the body and brain. We will create a successful bio individual practice for each student.

Sarasvati has been teaching yoga for 13 years and has studied Interpersonal Neurobiology at PSU.
Sarasvatihewitt.com

 

Doug Keller, "The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga

Location: Yoga Space NW 210 17th Avenue, Portland OR 97209
Dates: December 14-17, 2017

*Early bird pricing through the month of September $330

 

The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga: Rewriting the Story of Our Health and Growth with Doug Keller

A training-intensive for yoga teachers and inquiring students

 

Hatha yoga was never simply about stretching, or even seeking simply ‘fitness’ and strength, though it certainly includes the benefits of flexibility and strength. Hatha yoga focused on the blocks or ‘knots’ — physical as well as energetic and emotional — that get in the way of the creative flow of thought and movement — and which are often at the root of pain and suffering. This was described in terms of the flow of energy — prana — through ‘channels’ or nadis in the body on many levels.

In some of the newest therapeutic insights in contemporary thought, we are coming to understand the cause of much of our chronic pain as arising from ‘distortions’ in the fascia, a specific form of the connective tissue in our body. This description — and its treatment — is amazingly similar to the description given by the yogis as well as the ‘Marma’-centered disciplines of Ayurveda, and the practice of asana is well-suited to overcoming these distortions. We can also recognize the root of ‘yoga injuries’ and pain caused by imbalances in yoga practice — as well as other disciplines of physical movement and sport — that gives rise to or intensifies these distortions.

This perspective is described as the ‘Fascial Distortion Model,’ and it is very practical. There are six types of fascial distortion, a few of which especially appear as the most common causes of pain in yoga and in life, and they are recognized easily by how the person describes or points to the kind of pain he or she is suffering. Three of these forms of pain-and-limitation-causing are especially relevant — and recognizable — to us as yoga practitioners and teachers.

This training will introduce you to the Fascial Distortion Model, relate it to the understanding of Marma as an approach to self-care in yoga practice, and apply this understanding to the themes that we will cover in practical and user-friendly ways.

We’ll begin with the neck and shoulders, focusing on upper body and spinal health, and connect the ideas concerning the Fascial Distortion Model to understanding and addressing shoulder injuries — especially including typical ‘yoga injuries’ to the shoulders.

This will include an additional focus on working with scoliosis — including both principles for targeted work with scoliosis, as well as insights into how these principles are useful for everyone, since asymmetries that lead to muscular and joint problems are nearly always present, whether one has a scoliosis or not. This will add new dimensions to practice, including the pairing of intentional breathing to realignment actions in asana.

From there we will expand into a treatment of the health of the whole body in the context of Movement Impairment Syndromes at the root of chronic pain — focusing in particular the low back, sacrum, hips, knees and feet.

This approach to pain problems is especially suited to yoga, and will provide teachers and practitioners with a vital toolbox for recognizing and assessing these patterns, and designing an approach through specifically targeted asana practice and remedial exercises aimed at changing them for the better.

This year the dimension of the ‘Vayus’ will be added as well, weaving in not only elements of pranayama in relation to health, but practical toning exercises for the ‘core’ related to the experience of the Vayus that can be incorporated into asana practice as well as pranayama. This practical work is related to the concepts contained in ‘The Fascial Web’ by Schultz and Feitis, as well as ideas developed by Orit Sen-Gupta in ‘Vayu’s Gate.’

Each day will include work with the Vayus, pranayama and Yoga Nidra — including discussion of the principles behind each practice, and some historical background from hatha yoga texts.

And each day will begin with a practice, which will give participants a chance to experience how the principles being covered might be introduced simply in the class setting of an asana practice.

All in all, the training will be an exploration into the many dimensions of wisdom that the ever-evolving practice of hatha yoga has to offer to us as body, mind and spirit work to maintain health and grow in heart in the face of the many challenges — including pain, injury and dysfunction — that life throws at us.

 

Thematic Topics Covered Through the Training:

 

Prana Blocks and Fascial Distortions; Their Connection to Our Patterns of Movement in Asana

Doug will introduce the Fascial Distortion Model, presented in yoga- and user-friendly terms, relate it to traditional approaches from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Marma tradition, and will focus on the most relevant forms of recognizable fascial distortions approachable through yoga practice.

This will be coupled with the understanding of Movement Patterns and their Pain Syndromes (from ‘stiff’ to ‘flexible’) associated with these distortions (especially as they appear in yoga practice), and how to address releasing them. This will include a more in-depth look into the fascia itself — what it is, how it works, and how awareness of the nature of fascia can inform our practice.

The practice of poses connected with this theme will be an exploration of ways of entering into, flowing between, and holding poses that brings forth the energetic qualities held within the fascial matrix, the pranic storehouse  of the mind-body.

‘The Head is the Foundation’

Traditionally we think of the foundation of the body — in yoga and in our posture in life — in terms of the foundation set by the feet (and how the bones are ‘stacked’ above it).

But we can also look at freedom and spaciousness in posture and movement in terms of the placement and movement of the head upon the spine, with the maxim, “As above, so below.” The guiding principle will be the yogic insights behind the ‘bandhas’ — Jalandhara bandha in particular.

Sessions based on this theme will focus on alignment and actions of the head and neck, combined with stabilization of the ‘Core,’ with special emphasis on stabilization in twists and head rotation — and how this attention to strengthening and the release of tension can bring greater freedom and better alignment in the rest of the body, particularly in the low back, sacrum and hips.

Insights into — and to be learned from — Scoliosis

The theme of spinal health will include an understanding of the asymmetries — side-bends and rotations of the spine that affect the rib cage, neck and shoulders — that are typical of scoliosis and which are also present to a much lesser degree in many of us who do not have scoliosis, but experience pain and difficulties from more subtle versions of these asymmetries.

This will include practical tools for making assessments, along with tools of practice that can be taught to students so that they can learn to be self-correcting, throughout the day as well as in their asana and breath practice.

This topic will lead us into basic principles of shoulder alignment combined with the breath and actions for the neck. We will cover all of the planes of movement for the shoulders in asana practice, which will be carried over into the next morning’s asana practice.

 

The Myofascial ‘Sutras’ of the Arms

The work with the upper body will be carried over into the practice and into a deeper exploration of the myofascial lines or ‘sutras’ that govern the actions of the arms — the lines of larger muscles that govern the movement of the shoulder blades and give the arms their power, as well as the deeper lines of muscles that govern rotations and are crucial for the health of the rotator cuffs, elbows and wrists.

We will cover actions, ‘openings’ and stretches in non-weightbearing poses, as well as the challenges — and benefits — of poses in which the arms bear weight. Additional connections to scoliosis and asymmetries in the shoulders will be made, with suggestions for practice.

The Breath — and the Vayus

Afternoon sessions will include progressive treatment of the Vayus in relation to asana, pranayama and meditation. This approach will especially bring together deep actions of the core, the breath, the neck and shoulders in seated as well as reclining pranayamaand breath-centered meditation. The breath practice will lead into Yoga Nidra combined with mantra awareness.

 

Mobilizing: Getting Stiff Students Moving Through Targeted Strengthening — and The Secrets of the Hamstrings

 

The problems of ‘stiffness’ — particularly in the hips and hamstrings — that present a challenge in yoga class, as well as being a cause of typical pain problems in the lower back, are actually symptoms of our movement habits and patterns, particularly in forward bending (which is what we do more than anything else in our life of movement).

  • We will explore the ‘Lumbar Flexion’ pattern of movement in the spine that is a significant cause of stiffness, and how to overcome it — which will strengthen the lower back, help overcome harmful postural habits, and help us make progress in achieving greater flexibility in the hamstrings and hips. Without awareness of these patterns, one can easily spend years doing hamstring stretches and see little progress!

  • We will also cover sequencing for stretches that address hip pain caused by tightness, as well as sequencing for sciatic pain arising from problems in the piriformis.

 

Stabilizing: Helping Flexible Students Avoid Joint Pain and Injury

A problem faced by advancing yoga students as well as people drawn to yoga who are more innately flexible is the problem of hypermobility — which leads to joint pain and (ultimately) joint deterioration and inflammation, as well as pain in the muscles and ligaments that are meant to stabilize the joints.

  • These problems arise from innate flexibility and even hypermobility, but are also made worse by movement habits and patterns that can be called the ‘Lumbar Extension Syndrome’ pattern of movement, which gives rise to imbalances in the use of muscles in yoga poses and in life.

  • We will explore this ‘Extension’ pattern of the lumbar spine and how to overcome it — returning to strengthening the ‘Core,’ especially in relation to the psoas and hip flexors, as well as proper actions of the hamstrings and gluteals to help us make progress in balancing a healthy range of movement balanced with joint stability in yoga practice that can make the practice more pain and injury-fee.

  • Emphasis will especially be on promoting sacral stability, as well as poses and exercises addressing hip pain from a weak piriformis and hip abductors.

 

The ideas presented in this session can be helpful to moderately flexible students, as well as providing helpful tips for teachers dealing with overly flexible students.

BIO:

Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for more than 16 years, and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work on ‘Yoga As Therapy.’ He has also served, in addition to his traveling and teaching, as a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master’s Degree program in Yoga Therapy. This program is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master’s degree in this field, and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Doug is also certified by the IAYT as a yoga therapist.

 

A Para Yoga Immersion with Yogarupa Rod Stryker

Location: Norse Hall, SE Portland
Dates: April 14-15, 2018

Yogarupa Rod Stryker returns for another weekend of Para Yoga Immersion.  More information coming soon!

Early Bird Pricing $275 until December 1st!