Ashtanga Vinyasa is often taught in silence. In place of words, Ashtanga teachers use their hands. They use their hands to adjust, support and guide the breathing body deeper into the experience of the forms, without breaking the silence and engaging the thinking mind. This method of teaching is continuous with the quiet, introspective and tactile nature of the Ashtanga practice itself. Ashtanga Vinyasa is not an endeavor of the intellect, but an exploration of embodied experience. It is through touch, above all, that this exploration comes alive.
But touch can be dangerous, for touch is power, and power can be abused. To teach with touch, one must have clear permissions, a sense of boundaries, and hands that respect those boundaries without ever bending to the wiles of the ego. One must have an atmosphere of openness, in which others are comfortable breaking the silence, voicing their concerns, and redrawing their psychical and physical boundaries on their own. Most importantly, one must have clear and selfless intentions, and be animated by nothing other than a loving desire to support.
In this 5-day intensive, we explore the art of teaching with our hands. We learn how to sustain an atmosphere of openness and trust, how to ask permissions without distracting others in the process, and how to sustain a clear sense of our own boundaries as we expose ourselves to the emotional surges of others. We discuss the issues of intimacy, privacy and vulnerability that come along with using our hands to assist. And we consider the crucial skill of making space for power dynamics to dissolve.
On a technical level, we work through a wide spectrum of adjustments from the Ashtanga syllabus, considering the aspects of alignment that make them safe and useful. We practice them one by one, experimenting with them on the unique bodies of our fellow practitioners, and then sharing our insights about the experience.
photo credit: Ashley Futrell
August 19-23 | 2019
We start each morning at 8 AM with a Mysore-style class, taught by Mary and Ty. After a short break, we begin the morning instructional session, which will be roughly 2 hours long. Around noon, we break for lunch. Then we gather again for another 2.5 hour instructional session.
Mysore Class: 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Workshop: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Lunch Break: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Workshop: 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
This intensive is designed for Ashtanga teachers who want to develop their ability to teach with their hands in a way that is safe, supportive and appropriate for the unique bodies and circumstances of their students. Inquisitive students are also welcome to attend. There are no requirements of technical proficiency in asana. The only requirements are inquisitiveness, kindness, humility, resilience and a sense of humor.
Tuition for the intensive is $600. Registration requires a deposit of $100, with the remaining balance of $500 due by July 22. Refunds will be issued upon request, minus $50 for cancellation costs, until July 22. No refunds will be issued after that time. If you have any questions, please email our administrator using the icon below.