Day 2: Saturday, Apr. 14: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Part I: Therapeutic Wisdom: Upper Body Health, The Neck and Our Use of Our Arms. An overview of our arm actions in life and in asana, and their impact upon the health of the neck and spine in general. Asanas work our shoulders in every plane of movement, and are meant to promote freedom of movement in the head and neck, as well as a release of neck tension that is related to many pain problems as well as disorders in breathing patterns. This session will include focus on the relationship between neck and arm tension and breathing patterns, and how yoga helps.
Part 2: Philosophy: The Ethical Compass of the Yogi - and the Problem of the ‘Bad Yogi’. In the contemporary era, we try to identify ‘yoga’ or what is unique about yoga as a discipline in terms of a set of guiding moral principles - specifically the yamas and niyamas of Patanjali. The Bhagavad-Gita introduces the problem of bringing the moral sensibility of the yogi into practical life. We will start with that, and go further to see how ethics is handled, particularly by the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and later texts - and we’ll include the problem of the ‘Bad Yogi’ introduced by concepts of how yoga as a path of liberation takes one ‘beyond’ good and evil; this is reflected in the ideas of some contemporary teachers that the yogi (as tantric) writes his or her own rules. The central question will be, what are the elements of the contemporary yogi’s moral compass?
In this training we will address fundamental aspects of our physical practice in a way that is immediately useful to teachers as well as extraordinarily helpful for interested or advancing students; and we will tie this to the evolving spiritual philosophy of yoga.