Greetings from the forests of India. It has been a long time wish of mine to teach the yoga sutra’s. In their own environment. The forests of India. This year, yogarasayana does just that. We are very excited to announce the “Forest Sage India Retreat 2016!”
We will locate ourselves in a very remote but amazingly beautiful, fully equipped, rustically luxurious Retreat Centre deep in the heart of India’s most beloved Tiger Conservancy National Park.
Run by people as in love with the forest as I am. We will visit its animals by jeep safari, by elephant safari and by foot. We will eat sumptuous locally grown organic meals put together by our hostess, who I must confess, understands Ayurvedic cooking better than many who have trained years in it 🙂
But most of all, we will practice the yoga sutra’s.
Yes, practice them. They are not meant for armchair reading. They must have deeper meaning that touches our own lives intimately. That is what I have yearned to teach. Please come join Jutta Hecht, Anjali Deva and me for this. Oh, and you will obviously get an Ayurvedic spin for all of it too!
We will also travel to the very abode of the sages: Rishikesh. Where we will visit the sacred Nìlakanțha Śiva Temple, perhaps river raft, do evening Puja’s on the banks of the Ganges and um, visit the Beatles Ashram:)
Dates: Oct 14-27.
Locations: Corbett National Park & Rishikesh, India.
Space is limited.
Soon as I am back Stateside (and have seen Bruce Springsteen play just one more time J) I am off to Phoenix, hosted by the lovely Mary Bruce and Lorilee Gilmore for: The Wise Day It sold out some time ago, but if you are in Phoenix, please do contact Mary to see if we can fit you in.
April is a month I really am looking forward to.
First, I get to present the Saturday Practicum at the NAMA Conference.
My topic is Satvavajaya Cikitsa: The Conquest of Truth as a Therapeutic Tool.
I am really looking forward to meeting old friends. And making new ones.
April 22-26th I am so very happy to be back at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass
Valley to teach the fourth year of Emotional Intelligence Studies through Yoga and Ayurveda.
This year, we have an additional two days of advanced training for those who may have done this before, have studied emotional intelligence elsewhere, are yoga therapists, Ayurveda practitioners…oh darn it, anybody who wants to and feels they can go further, please come!
Later in May, I will be in Salt Lake again. With Jennifer Ellen and In Body Academy as my hosts once more. We are planning a very special weekend Immersion. And of course there will be some days set aside for consults and follow up’s. Details to follow shortly!
June and July are teaching, practicing and being home in Southern California. I will teach for LMU’s Yoga Teacher Training Course. My own teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami has requested some of his older students to teach part of his training this year and I am honored to teach the Yoga Sutra Chanting and Subtle Body Anatomy.
There is much more to come, including a long weekend teaching in the Lake Arrowhead area with my dear friend, Amy Wheeler Yoga.
As she puts it, a few days of yoga, Ayurveda and fun!
For now, I leave you with some thoughts on the division coming up between Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Therapist Training. These are my personal thoughts and not endorsed by any organization or person. There has been much written already and it is all very well thought out and stated. This will not come from the same intent to be rational. Rather this comes from the felt sense. Where we may acknowledge something like this: This does not make me feel good. It is from this place I write.
“Yoga is nothing if not therapeutic. Yoga is many things. It is union. It is stillness. It is completion and the journey to completion. It is sacred, it is mundane, it is time consuming, it is one hour of asana per week.
What it is not, is a system of exercise in a classroom or gym setting with designer clothes, mats and gossip about our latest smoothie recipes. It is not in competition to other forms of exercise. Tight butts and longer hamstrings are only side benefits and certainly not the goal. Or at least they should not be.
But it can fast become reduced to that. If we let it. Yoga is us. And we cannot be divided and still call ourselves yogi’s. Is a Yoga Therapist different from a Yoga Teacher? No. Just more specialty-trained: in its therapeutic application. They are still only yogi’s. Like you, me and the new person in class.
There are many realities. One is that yoga is by nature, a therapeutic tool. I beseech Yoga Alliance, who has taken on the responsibility of governing this powerful medicine as it transitions into the West, to live up to this responsibility: to keep yoga sthiram-sukham, keep it as authentic as possible. Certainly not declaw it, denature it and create an impotent yoga. When something comes into contact with a hostile environment it can either be strong enough to survive or it mutates to survive. If yoga mutates into nothing but a magazine style set of physical exercises, albeit posing as asana, it will be a great loss for a lot of seekers who will not know how to find its authentic core. Make no mistake, no matter what we do, this authentic core will survive. But let it not come to that. Where the real yoga needs to be once again sought in rare places. It came West to heal us. Let us not allow it to tear itself, and us, apart. ”
Meanwhile, I continue to work hard to bring yoga and Ayurveda together. I believe it is time. Not as an aberration needing correction but as an evolving of sister sciences that end up converging for the betterment of humanity. This work continues officially through NAMA, where our Committee is creating a new Category of Practitioners: Ayurvedic Yoga Therapists. Powerful stuff.
May we find stillness,