Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Workshop/intensive...how does that work?

Is there a difference between a workshop and an intensive?

Same thing, no?

Or is it something like a ....concept album, everything related, themed?


So, Richard Freeman's workshop/intensive coming up Thursday, there may still be places, the yogacampus website does say the course is still available.

here's the course outline
http://www.yogacampus.com/attend/yoga-intensives/postures-on-a-thread-and-the-middle-path-of-love/

That's the day after tomorrow, mysore rug in the washing machine, spinning as I type.

I have no idea how these things work,workshops not washing machines.

Actually washing machines too...why are there all those different numbers and settings, you just chuck it on 40 and hit start, then spin again when it stops...why cant there just be two buttons.

I came across an article on Elephantjournal where somebody mention me and this blog and that I'd been on loads of workshops, nope, this is the first one.

Ramaswami's TT was I suppose an extra long (five week) workshop but then I was living on campus.

So how does it work?

Are there showers? There doesn't seem to be, do you walk around all hot and sweaty until the second portion (talks on the Gita).


The workshop has two parts and you can book either or both separately

'We are delighted that, for his 2012 visit, Richard Freeman will be exploring not just the multiple subtleties of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, also looking at the Bhagavad Gita, a core yoga text with, , as relevant today as they were 2000 or so years ago.

For the first time, it will be possible to book just the morning practice sessions (£ 265 ), just the afternoon philosophy and discussion sessions (£250) or both together ( £475 ).

Actually I'm missing the afternoon sessions on the Gita, want to head home and do a practice and try and reenforce and internalise the morning session. Besides I have his Yoga matrix, studio talks ( just bought his gazing, prana and banhdas CD's , Excellent) and Pranayama course to digest....besides, Krishna annoys the hell out of me (which is probably why I should take the course). but then of course richard being Richard the Gita is a launch pad for going off all over the place.

Here's the outline of the afternoon session...still tempted, really tempted

"The afternoon sessions The Bhagavad Gita, the Middle Path of Love will use lecture and discussion to explore:

Day 1. Context and Crisis.
The crisis of a unified value code, the crisis of death, the crisis of knowledge, the crisis of relationship and the crisis of love.

Day 2. Waking up in the middle of a paradoxical pot.
The story within the story of the extended, infinite Mahabharata, the revitalisation of the dharma, and the dilemma of Arjuna. What is the effect of the layers of narration, the frames in frames? What is between the armies? Compassion?

Day 3. Nirodha is not what you think.
It is not negative. The field of citta accounts for content, structure and belief of and about experience, including sacred forms.

Day 4. The atman in the atman.
The various philosophies of Sankhya, Karma, Yajna, Jnana and Yoga form the Russian nesting doll quality of themes in the Gita, as atman is within atman within atman. The vision of “Seeing Me within all beings and all beings within Me” is a pattern that runs all the way into the two mirror metaphor of lover and beloved being each others’ heart.

Day 5. The Gita as a universal text like the Yoga Sutra.
The plurality of paths is essential, unavoidable and is at the heart of the insight of the Gita. Even the worship of various gods is all part of a meandering path to Krishna, also various philosophies and concepts of Krishna are a meandering transformation to Krishna. Does the Gita make any explicit reference to self-reference paradox? A new interpretation of the Gita is always needed. We never stand on the same ground in the same circumstances. There is no final interpretation, but what interpretation there is must be new, less dogmatic, more open."

See also my earlier posts on, The Gita as it wa.s
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/original-gita-no-surrender.html
and
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/phulgenda-sinhas-gita-as-it-was.html

.....but back to workshops, how do they.......work?

Is there anywhere to get changed or do you just head home in your sweaty clothes...does everyone turn up in their brand spankin' new Lululemon  or fifteen year old Adidas.

Where do you put your stuff?

This morning I thought I should prepare, get used to practicing on a regular size mat. I struggled with that, I'm so used to my extra long manduka, kept jumping off the end of the mat.

If anyone's reading this going to the same workshop....you really don't want to be directly behind me....or beside me,  can't get the hang of bringing the arms up to the fount.

Is it considered bad form to turn up to a workshop with an extra long mat and/or extra wide rug...I thought so.

Few weeks ago I thought I'd better get with the program and switch back to regulation, by the numbers,  Ashtanga. So hard not to tweak it, slow it down and chuck in some extra vinyasas, long stays or kumbhaka's, I tried, I really tried.

I've also been practicing with Richard's DVD and trying to get the hang of his approach to breathing, the whole pressing the prana down into the apana, drawing apana up into prana...then the heart and pelvic floor awareness, dropping the pubic bone on to the coccyx, relaxing the palate, stilling the tongue, opening the ears, relaxing the palate, kidney hoods and patanjali wings (?), did I mention relaxing the palate.... found this morning I can hardly stand up straight in tadasana with all that going on let along know my down dog from my up, it's gonna be messy.

Lots going on with Richard, love it.

And thus the workshop, to try and make sense of all this and internalise it better.

One workshop got me thinking, what other workshops might I like, also something to do with this post from micqui

Where would be on your list for the perfect ashtanga yoga world tour...?

I realised I'm not interested in mysore style sessions, I'm a home ashtangi, not used to adjustments, used to working things out on my own.

Although an alignment intensive might be a good idea.

And I'm tempted by Mark Darby's workshops, focusing on fundamentals.

I'm interested in David Williams and Danny Paradise's workshops, Nancy's too of course. not just because I'm fascinated in how it was back in the day, though that too,  but more importantly how they have managed their practice over so many years, that relationship with your practice over time fascinates me.

David and Kino seem to focus on the mechanics of practice a lot, would have liked that a year or two ago but I'm less interested in that side of things these days. David's longer workshops are very tempting though.

Manju of course and for so many reasons. For me he's that link to the time before the western students came to Mysore in the 70's. The Mysore shala might have got bigger but Manju continued to work small rooms in the US, decades of workshops.

And of course looking outside of Ashtanga to workshops in other traditions, also an option.....

Unlikely to be blogging through the workshop but will no doubt do a post at the end on some of the things that blow my mind and rock the foundations of my practice.

Update
Just been checking with the Journey planner, Paralympics is messing with the trains, Paddington's a hotspot, Kings Cross also. Had hoped to do my practice early then head on in to London for the course. So Plan B. go in really early, miss the commuters and practice in Regents park, short practice and some pranayama before heading over, If the weather's nice it's a walk in (read across) the park.


Venue : Cecil Sharp House



22 comments:

  1. Haha, you're adorable. I felt exactly the same way leading up to the David G workshop, my first workshop, last spring. what do I bring, what do i wear, where do I put my stuff, where can I shower, which mat do I take? What if I get called out on my weird little things I've started doing in my home practice and forgotten aren't regulation? what if I get an adjustment that breaks me in two?

    I can't wait to hear your report on this workshop, do please write about it if you can, I will read hungrily. And you should totally go to the Gita section because you would have awesome questions/issues/etc with the text and Richard will have thought about it and be able to engage with your thoughts on it at a level few people in the world could do. Rare opportunity, that.

    Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. 'adorable' : )

    You wonder these things, I looked it's just a big hall, beautiful actually, centre for English folk music and dance, will put a picture up in a minute.

    I know I know, would love to do the Gita section actually. I made the mistake of re reading the outline this week but it's going to cost a fortune getting in and out of London peak time everyday. Besides I had a plan, write the notes up on the train then practice as soon as i get home to reenforce the mornings session. If I stay for the Gita I'll have forgotten much of the morning and will be home too late for a decent practice.

    Will sleep on it.

    Loved your David G post, wouldn't be fair not do one of my own.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sure many people will hang around in between sessions.... why do you need to go home and back!?
    I am sure you can skip a week of personal practice.... I so wish I were able to go.

    Looking forward to hearing all about your experience
    Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Grim, I don't think you'll have regrets if you miss an at-home practice or two (especially given that you'll be doing workshop practice, which is intense), but I have a feeling you might regret missing some of Richard's talks - especially the Gita. I would *love* to be in your shoes and have that opportunity. I hope you'll go so I can live through you vicariously! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Chiara, Kai. It's not a case of missing a practice ( I'm not that, no really, and besides i'll squeeze one in in the morning one way or another) more about making the most of the morning session. I transcribed his confluence workshop a while back, so much in there. I just want to go home and work through it all on the mat, repeat it, make sense of it as I said, internalize it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Save your pennies:

    ASHTANGA YOGA BALI CONFERENCE 2013
    Nov. 10-15, 2013

    An Epic Event for the Practitioner/Teachers of the traditional method of Ashtanga Yoga ( "Mysore style (self practice) Ashtanga Yoga) The Teachers are as follows for this week long Intensive:
    Manju Jois
    David Williams
    Danny Paradise
    John Scott
    Mark and Joanne Darby
    Annie Pace
    Radha (Heather Duplex) and Prem (Anthony Carlisi)

    For details and finding out how to register
    Email: prem@ashtangaworld.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't think you'll be doing Mysore style practice in the Wirkshop. It will be a lot of talking and demonstrating and some doing. You should stick around for the whole day, out of respect for Richard's teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  8. thanks for the heads up omiya, thought you were joking at first as pretty much everyone I mentioned is going to be there. I checked though and yep, that's the schedule. What do you think, one day with each? Must check how they've done it in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think your right Anon. The fourth session I think, looks like the back bending class he did on the yoga confluence which as you say was a lot of sitting around between demonstrations and trying things out for yourself. It was that that made me want to get home and spend more time trying everything out and working it into my practice.

    The workshop has two parts and you can book either or both separately

    'We are delighted that, for his 2012 visit, Richard Freeman will be exploring not just the multiple subtleties of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, also looking at the Bhagavad Gita, a core yoga text with, , as relevant today as they were 2000 or so years ago.

    For the first time, it will be possible to book just the morning practice sessions (£ 265 ), just the afternoon philosophy and discussion sessions (£250) or both together ( £475 ).

    I booked just the morning sessions right after Santorini trip when cost was a concern (also the cost of getting and out of London at peak time to take into consideration).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Have added an outline of the second 'Gita' session, damn, made the mistake of reading through it again, good stuff.

    Might read through the Gita again....just in case

    besides the original is supposedly only a third as long if that....
    http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/phulgenda-sinhas-gita-as-it-was.html

    does that mean I can get 33% off the cost of the course

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hm, I am so envious. Reading your Facebook update and post made me check flights to London again...but I cant fake it, cant quite do it and have any mental ability to concentrate... will have to wait for the next...

    Pranayama in the park... nice... especially early!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love that you checked the flights again Claudia : ) I feel bad now should have twisted your arm a little more back when you were first thinking of it. If you'd come I would definately have booked the second session. Raining but some nice big oaks in regents park to sit under.

    Looking forward to reading that nice big pranayama post of yours that you posted today, just glanced at it and am saving it for later ( at work).
    Check the flights again : )

    ReplyDelete
  13. ah, that makes sense then to skip the latter "Gita" session... the asana sessions should be lots of fun. enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yup it is all the teachers you are interested in. Format...no idea? Williams is pretty loosey-goosey. With that many teachers, I suspect that they would give you the option in any given session to do a practice with one or the other teacher, and then there would be some panel discussions etc. Email them and see what they say?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Grimmly
    The use of the word intensive among teachers came after ashtanga central in Mysore pronounced that teachers should not be teaching "workshops". I don't exactly remember the exact words used. The words "intensives" and "inmersions" started coming into use then. Inmersions have the connotation of weekends, while intensives can be week long. I think it's been relaxed since then and the word workshop is being used again.
    Regards
    Arturo

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just attended the david swenson/David williams/danny paradise yoga mela at Kripalu a week ago. What a privilege that was. I thought of you during the week as the history of the western discovery of ashtanga and dissemination of the practice emerged through their stories. In addition, the deep friendship among the 3 teachers added a layer of warmth and acceptance to the whole gathering. David did teach the sequence as he was originally taught it on one of the days. It was such a lovely week. I left with a sense of peace and belonging, and perspective on what i gain from the practice--much less learning about mechanics. You would love it I think. They have done it every other year now 3 times. They announced that they had only 50 people this time, instead of the 90 they had before. Sign up for the next one to support them and support yourself and gain unique insight into the history and value of yoga. Email Kripalu and tell them you are interested so that they definitely do it. The people were lovely, also. Not so many advanced practitioners, many home practitioners, but nice down-to-earth people. No asana competitiveness, just friendly.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Arturo, good to hear from you, shaking my head here re not using the word workshop.

    My Intensive immersion workshop thing with Richard is going well but tough, today was the second day of the immersion intensive workshop, certainly has been intense ...and work. Luckily I've spent time exploring the rishi series, those twenty five breaths in a pose come in handy as prep when you have Richard keeping us deep in the deepest of deep parivtta parsva konasana's while he offers half a dozen or so more metaphors for exploring the posture even further. Really feeling these three hour immersion workshop intensives, felt like we were in marichiyasana D for two of those hours yesterday ; )
    loving it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you Anon. funny you mention kripula, I have a guest post going up next week from somebody who was on the course, sounded great. Probably post it Monday or Tuesday as nobody seems to read blogs over the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Actually, KPJAYI asked that teachers not use the term teacher training, since Ashtanga teachers ar trained in Mysore.

    Eager to hear about your experience with RF!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Let me rephrase: teachers were asked not to offer "teacher training"" -- there was no discussion about terminology.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Karen, there was that big discussion about it a few years back, what was and wasn't said etc.
    http://ashtanganews.com/category/teachers/

    RF workshop going well, I ache everywhere. Going by his 'workshop' on the confluence I expected a lot of sitting around in between demonstrations and talk etc. Nope, full on for three hours, any talk and explanation tends to be while we're in a posture....which means we're staying in some of these for a long time....a very long time : )

    ReplyDelete
  22. One more reply on the ashtanga yoga mela at kripalu from original poster. It was subtitled "the power of community" and hat really came through to me--i left feeling more connected to the practice, he tradition, he community of yogis and myself. It wasn't a dramatic experience but it was deeply grounding and orienting. Something special in a life. It kind of grew on you in a subtle way, much like the practice itself. It would be wonderful if many if your readers planned to go next time and connect with each other.

    ReplyDelete

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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