One of my dreams as a yoga teacher has always been to devote an entire class to teaching practices other than asana. (Asanas are the shapes we make with our bodies in yoga classes.) Asana is amazing and transformative, but it’s not the whole enchilada. This dream is coming true! Yes! In Whole Yoga, I will be sharing techniques for experiencing the other 7 limbs of yoga (plus even more practices from other Margas, or paths).
What are these Limbs anyhow?
In a nutshell (super nutshell, for more in-depth history and scholarship, read Edwin Bryant’s book, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali), Raja (royal) or Ashtanga (eight-limbed) Yoga is one marga (path) of yoga. The aim of Raja yoga is to find space where one is no longer disturbed by the fluctuations of mind (yogah-chitta-vritti-nirodhah). The Yoga Sutras, as written down by the sage Patanjali around 400 CE, describe the states of mind that are yoga, the practices that might lead to the state of yoga and impediments along the way. The eight limbs come from this text.
- yamas// ethics
- niyamas// personal observances
- asana// shapes
- pranayama// breath and energy refinement
- pratyahara// sense refinement
- dharana// concentration
- dhyana// meditation
- samadhi// integration-absorption
What will class be like?
This is a practice-based class, meaning I won’t spend a lot of time lecturing. I may share a reading or poem before the practice, but most of the discussion will occur among students after we practice– what do you feel? where do you feel?
The work will involve simple movements, breathing techniques, body & breath awareness, mudras (seals), bandhas (bonds), mantras (songs) as well as some wild experiments involving hair brushes and incense. (Fun!)
I made a little video for you. A sample class!
For my sweet students spread out across this great world, I am offering this class online. It includes videos, audio recordings, images and written work.
Yoga teachers this course provides 8 hours non-contact continuing education.
Sign up for the online course here.Registration is now closed. A new session of Whole Yoga will commence in November, 2015. To receive updates and reminders about Whole Yoga, sign up here.
Thank you all so much for being here and sharing this practice.