This workshop will entail:
Guided asana class
Here Gregor will analyse the many intricate anatomical details of the majority of the postures of the Primary Series, while maintaining as much pace as possible. The focus will be on breaking down the various phases of entering and exiting the postures into their constituents. Performing postures safely while understanding which anatomical actions will get us deep into the asanas will prevent unnecessary energy expenditure. Through inducing precision this format also achieves that conditioning and emotions lodged in bodily tissue are released, preparing us for the higher limbs of pranayama and meditation.
Yoga Sutra, and Sanskrit chanting
“The Yoga Sutra entered my life 39 years ago and since then it’s been a constant companion. It took me a long time to completely understand it but once this had happened it ended all confusion I had about yoga. Understanding the Sutra gave me complete confidence in how to apply my practices diligently and that I would succeed in due time. The Sutra changed yoga for me from a faith and hope-based system to a science with predictable and repeatable outcomes. It is exactly this confidence and certainty that I would like to pass on to my students. The workshop will be interactive, with ample time for participants to ask questions.”
The Yoga Sutra is the operating manual of yoga. It is only when we understand the why’s and how’s of yoga that we will practice with confidence and beyond doubt. In this class we will chant selected stanzas in Sanskrit and a detailed commentary based on Gregor’s four decades of practice and study will be given. The commentary will retain the depth of the ancient treatises but will be fun, relatable and applicable to modern urban life.
Pranayama and Kriya
Imagine how great it would be to have a switch that, when operated, would enable you to consciously choose between your right and left brain hemispheres, intuitive and analytical intelligence, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, fight/flight reflex and rest/relaxation, and between the male and female, solar and lunar, aspects of your psyche. How great it would be if, when required, you could switch from being compassionate to doggedly determined. Or from charged with energy to completely relaxed within a few minutes. Or from extrovert (physically present, expressive and outgoing) to introvert (reflective and absorbing) within a short time. This switch does in fact exist and it is not at all hidden. It is the prominently protruding olfactory orifice right in the middle of your face: your nose.
Pranayama includes some of the most neglected but yet most powerful methods of yoga. Pranayama is the vital link that connects asana to meditation without which the combined benefit of both cannot be harvested. Learn how to use pranayama to harmonize the doshas (humors of the body) and thus attain a state of health and balance as well as how to still the mind, enabling spiritual insight.
The kriyas are predominantly methods of purification of the body. They support the work of postures and are especially important for people who live in large cities. They aid in removing contamination from chemical, environmental, electrical, biological and electromagnetic sources.
Different to Vedantic or Buddhist meditation, yogic meditation contains the same structural elements as yogic postures and breathing and was designed to form together with those an integrated whole. Meditation is the method of bringing your mind into a receptive state so that you can receive higher knowledge that is already there. Yogic meditation is a collection of scientific methods to bring about such awareness. To accelerate spiritual evolution yogic meditation employs many means amongst which the prime ones are mantra, mudra, bandha, chakra-visualization and Kundalini-raising techniques. The yogic chakras are representations of evolutionary brain circuitry with the lower three chakras representing our reptilian, mammalian and primate ancestry respectively. By understanding the chakras and skillfully meditating on them yoga offers the opportunity to activate higher brain centres and propel the evolution not only of the individual but of society as a whole. Kundalini-raising techniques consist of a combination of all other yogic means to raise the life force (prana) to a level where meditation is easy and spiritual insight becomes spontaneous.