UNDERSTANDING BY COMPARISON An Ashtanga Yoga Workshop with KPJAYI Ce
UNDERSTANDING BY COMPARISON
An Ashtanga Yoga Workshop with
KPJAYI Certified Teacher
Type of Event
45 euros per session
200 euros for 6 sessions
When people ask me what I do, I reply “I teach Ashtanga yoga.” For the majority of people this brief answer is sufficient but for others whose interest is piqued, I add, “I travel around the world teaching workshops.” If our conversation develops and I am asked what it is specifically that I teach in my workshops, I might explain that I teach the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga of my Guru, Sri Jois as I learned it, assimilated it, practiced it, and over the past twenty-five years explored its possibilities and shortcomings.
Often the enquiring mind belongs to a prospective student who wishes to know in more detail exactly how what I teach differs from that taught by the other 40 or so Certified Teachers of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the world. I might answer that my workshops are never the same - just as it is my practice to try NOT to have a one-sided conversation with someone prior to having the actual conversation with them. I do not wish to diminish the possibilities that might arise as we connect with one another. In the same way, I do not like to plan a workshop until I see and get to know the people who stand in front of me on the day.
In order to get an overview of the students enrolled in the workshop I may commence the program with a traditional, guided, Primary-series class.
What is most difficult to describe in a brief conversation is the sum total of my experience as a student of modern dance, yoga, and a variety of other psycho-physical disciplines over the past fifty-two years. It is this experience as well as the practice of my skills as an observer of humankind that informs the materials I share in workshops.
My preferred method of teaching is by comparison.* It could be that in any workshop I might draw upon the similarities and differences between the modern dance technique of Martha Graham or the yoga of Shandor Remete; the BKS Iyengar family or that of Dharma Mittra as compared to Ashtanga yoga. I might decide to explore the ideas of Ideokinesis, or something I learned through practice from Body-Mind Centering or Feldenkrais technique to draw out a likeness in Ashtanga.
Recently I have been especially interested in the writings and personal photographs of Sri Sri T. Krishnamacharya in his “Yoga Makaranda” as well as in the writings of Thomas Myers’ “Anatomy Trains” and the theory of “tensegrity.” Whatever transpires in the workshop session there will undoubtedly be particular attention to detail. In my estimation God and/or Love is in the detail of our practice and it is the detail that makes the difference between an ordinary yoga practice andone that is illuminated by a sense of Balance, Beauty and Truth.
Once I have been able to work with a workshop group in this comparative way, I change the scheduled classes to the traditional Mysore or Guided styles of Guruji, Saraswathi and Sharath with the hope of helping students carry forward into their personal practice new discoveries made, lessons learned. Within a class there is also most often time for chanting of traditional mantras, a few Vedic chants and a Bajan or two.