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Yoga Darshana - a series of yoga philosophy workshops.
You are most likely aware that yoga is more than just a physical practice. There are many texts written which outline and explain the philosophies and techniques behind the yoga that you do in everyday classes.
"The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.” ~ T.K.V. Desikachar
These texts are known as Yoga Darshana - not strictly speaking a philosophy but more the yogic 'point of view'.
Darshana translates to mean "that through which you can see" and through inspirational stories, practical, spiritual and ethical advice this wisdom offers us a way to frame our human experiences and shine a light on inner journey.
"The brain is the heaviest limb in the body. Inspire the brain to stretch the body." ~ BKS Iyengar
These sessions will explore ideas and practices from the long history of yoga. You will engage with texts through discussion, meditation, pranayama, chanting, identifying the key concepts and exploring their relevance to our lives.
They are an opportunity to come together and share our intrigue for these ancient and illuminating concepts and texts.
Sessions are open to all, from complete beginners to teachers. No previous knowledge is required.
March 3 - The Yoga Sutras:
Yamas and Niyamas - exploring the ethics and observances of Patanjali's eight limbed path and their relevance both on and off the mat.
April 21 - The Taittiriya Upanishad -
This Upanishad is directed at 'the householder' - it offers us the idea of the Pancha Maya Kosas (the 5 layers of being that make up a person; body, breath, mind, intellect & bliss) and how to bring them into harmony.
June 2 - The Katha Upanishad
This wonderful book tells us of the story of a young boy, Nachiketas, who has a chance meeting with Yama, Lord of Death, and learns about the importance of self-inquiry, tenacity and faith.
July 14 - The Mandukya Upanishad and Om.
Om, we chant it often, but what is it? In the Mandukya upanishad we find some answers.
October 6 - An intro to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
This text offers a detailed guide to the (often obscure) practices of Hatha yoga (yoga of the body) and how they are a stairway to Raja yoga (yoga of the mind).
November 17 - An Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita
The story unfolds on the battlefield and details a conversation between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer who happens to be the God Krishna. In this text we learn about the various paths of yoga and the importance of finding and following our dharma, our one true path.
Hatha Yoga is the name for the all of the yoga that involves the physical body. The word 'Yoga' means 'Union', the word 'Hatha' is a combination of two words - 'Ha' meaning sun and 'Tha' meaning moon. These physical practices are focused on uniting our solar and lunar natures in order to restore balance to the body which in turn brings peace to our minds.
Within the practices of hatha yoga there is a family of poses that we don't get to explore so much in our open classes - the arm balances.
Handstands, feathered peacock, firefly, crow, flying pigeon...these wonderfully named poses are incredibly fun and uplifting when practised safely...whether you get lift off or not!
Arm balances are challenging poses and ones which force us to unite our solar and lunar sides. We need our solar qualities of strength, wilfulness and courage get into the poses but they must be tempered with our lunar qualities of a deep connection to breath, steadiness of mind and and honest acknowledgement of our own limits.
I've teamed up with Beth Peak on these workshops. Beth is an amazing teacher and we are both huge fans of getting upside down and balancing on our hands.
Flight School is open to practitioners who are ready to explore flight and gravity surfing. You need to be comfortable on your wrists and able to hold down dog for at least a minute.
The next Flight School is on 20th October from 7.15-9.15pm...booking is available here.
Price is £25