With Peter in the morning
The first series of ashtanga vinyasa yoga is known as yoga chikitsa, chakitsa is the sanskrit term for therapy. So the primary series is a therapeutic practice specifically designed to strengthen and realign the body. Before we enter the primary series with a meditative mind we must develop a relationship with the body and mind so we can build towards performing the sequence in its entirety, incorporating an awareness of our breath and its direct relationship to mind. If we allow the mind to wander then the breath will follow and the practice will be nothing more than us making body shapes or sitting on the floor.
Every series begins with suryanamaskara A (sun salutations) which then leads to sun salutation B. This is the foundation from which we build our practice. We then move into the standing sequence, followed by the primary series and then closing sequence.
With Sue in the evening
The evening workshops are complimentary and enhancing to the ashtanga yoga practice.
The workshops are fun & informal & we invite you to ask questions & share your own knowledge & experiences. Elements covered include clarifying & becoming intimate with the bandhas, letting go of aggression & ambition in practice, recognising the essential presence of & deeply exploring the synchronisation of movement & breath, the importance, subtleties & inherent integrity of correct alignment & subtly evoking & listening more clearly to the ujjayi breath.
Several sessions of yin yoga will be included this year to invite surrender, softening & absolute stillness. allowing you to see your individual blockages clearly & gradually dissolve them sensitively & safely. Yin yoga provides the opportunity to delve more deeply into your lunar nature, to explore your energy body & deep sensations providing an essential balance to the more yang morning sessions.
The practice taught at our retreat center is based around the first series and the second series, taught in a way that allows young and old, experienced, inexperienced practitioners to enjoy a detailed led practice. We teach in a way that allows conscious awareness of the breath, bandha's and the relationship between the muscles, tendons, ligaments involvement in our movement. When using Drishti, Ujjayi breathing and the bandha's correctly we begin to fan our internal fire (Agni) which allows the muscles to become more malleable and the postures less of an effort. As we move through the asana series each and every organ in the body gets stimulated, this enables stagnant blood to be put back in to circulation wthin the body and allows the organs to be flushed with fresh oxygenated blood improving the function of our organs and ultimately clarity to our minds.
The postures and your own edge
Many of the postures of the primary series can be quite intense and if not accessed in the correct way can cause serious injury to the practitioner. Finding correct alignment in all of the postures is of paramount importance as this is the only way that creates freedom for the movement of the diaphragm . Variations will be given if a posture is too intense.
Assists and Adjustments
During the practise Peter will be giving assists to those who are capable of moving a little deeper into a posture or are having difficulty in aligning the body correctly to access a posture. Peter takes great care and is very sensitive and intuitive when working with your body and its capabilities, to experience the posture fully, you must feel safe and nurtured and not pushed or pulled. Adjustments are given to everybody and may be verbal or physical.
Everyday we will be cultivating a meditation practice. Peter teaches different forms of meditation and we will choose from one for the week, including mindfulness, vipassana, antar mouna, spontaneous visualization or object meditation. The practice is guided and builds as the week progresses.
Pranayama (expanding the dimensions of the breath)
For one morning session during the week we have a therapeutic breathing with awareness class. This practice helps balance the mind and emotions, directly effecting the pranamaya kosha or our energy body.
Samgata yoga core strength sequence
Peter teaches this class at the end of the week and this is his own practise that he has developed over the years. When working the core we are directly affecting the Hara (power centre) and then direct this energy through the body allowing entry to a new experience of vinyasa as we distribute the prana.