The yoga tradition has the better part of 3,500+ years of rigorous philosophical traditions, each arguing their own views about the world and humanity and the goals/meanings/purposes of this whole project called life, not to mention 6,000+ years of mythology/story telling/archetypes. How does that reduce down and package into a 60 or 75-minute yoga class? It does not.
In any yoga class, we are teaching just a fraction of the immensity of this material. Add to this that there are no standards or agreements over methodology and pedagogy in modern postural yoga across stylistic boundaries. So the stew that is called “yoga” is really quite vast and diverse. This fact can spark frustration for yoga teachers and practitioners. For others, it sparks wonder and curiosity. For me, that there is so much to know sparks a strong desire for learning, and clear paths for decision making within the context of what I teach.
The more one learns, the more one realizes how much there may be out there that one does not know; sometimes knowledge just expands the horizon of ignorance.
In this week-long yoga intensive, we will divide our time together between disciplines, paying particular attention to the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata (please bring with you any translation of the Yogasutra and Bhagavadgita). We will put this all into our bodies with daily asana classes taught by Noah, inspired and themed by teachings from the Bhagavad Gita (class descriptions below).
Our exploration will be entirely secular in nature; no belief required or expected. Please bring an open and curious mind, and an engaged and courageous heart, and the somatic storehouse of your body.
Each day will include:
1. Immersive learning, study, conversation, contemplative practices (inquiry, meditation, mantra, mudra) and practices of asana and pranayama.
2. Teaching skills and pedagogical approaches of story telling, theme based sequencing strategies and the conscious use of myth and metaphor.
SEE “PROGRAM DETAILS” FOR MORE INFO ABOUT PART 1 & PART 2 and what we will study.
DatesApril 2- 7 2019
Part 1 - Mornings - (Yoga Philosophy Immersion - open to yogis of all levels)
T-F 9:00am to 1:30 pm, includes pranayama, meditation, storytelling, and asana sessions
Part 2 - (Conscious Myth & Metaphor in Yoga Teaching - for yoga teachers )
Afternoons daily from 2:30pm to 6pm
Complete participation is strongly recommended. However, life events and circumstances sometimes take priority, and we are as flexible and reasonable as we can be with our students. Makeup options are available. Please see our Makeup Policy for more information.
Part 1: Oceanic Immersion
The yoga tradition offers a wide and deep ocean of wisdom, filled with symbolism, mythic narrative, and rigorous philosophies. This week long yoga immersion will dive deeply into the mythic storytelling traditions of yoga and all things yoga philosophy. Over five days we will explore the stories and symbolism behind yoga poses and practices of asana, meditation, mantra, mudra etc. We will explore asana and the stories and symbolism behind the asanas that we commonly practice and teach, explore how the stories that the poses tell are told again and again in our body/mind/breath with endless variation, how the interpretive possibilities affect our experience of yoga. We will explore these teachings in both their historical context, as well as how we, as modern yogis, may derive meaning from these ancient wisdom traditions.
The symbolism and mythology of yoga’s spiritual tradition add deeper dimensions of meaning to the practice on the mat and provide insights that expand our understanding of the historical traditions. This peek into yoga philosophy and mythic storytelling offer many insights to us now, as 21st century yogis, about our own conscience, culture and nature. You will gain deeper understanding and appreciation for the depth and richness of the history of traditions that influence modern yoga, as well as how we each bring our own cultural and personal stories to the practice.
Our discussions will include background in story telling, folklore and oral and aural traditions of memory, recitation, interpretation and commentary. We will examine the main currents of yoga philosophy and religious traditions of South Asia, from Veda to Tantra to Modern Postural Yoga, including the indigenous religious traditions of South Asia, namely Hinduisim, Buddhism and Jainism. What do these traditions say about the nature of the cosmos and human nature? What relevance do these traditions have to us? We examine how yoga has come to be associated with posture, asana, and the dissemination of yoga to the west and subsequent proliferation of modern postural yoga.
After morning study and sadhana, Noah will offer daily all-levels yoga classes inspired by and themed with teachings and stories from the Bhagavadgita and the greater epic Mahabharata. These theme-based asana classes take you on an integrated journey of thoughtful inquiry (mind), courageous engagement (heart), and experiential embodiment (body). Each class begins with a brief exploration of philosophical teachings and/or a mythic narrative of yoga. We then physicalize the teachings in asana practice through choreographed sequences of postures, and internalize the teachings in contemplative meditative practices. If you wish to dive into this ocean of wisdom and engage the teachings while practicing on the mat, these classes are for you.
Part 2: Using Conscious Myth & Metaphor in Yoga Teaching
Expect lessons on practical application for yoga teachers, including how to weave the philosophy, history, myth, and storytelling into yoga classes and workshops. As yoga teachers, we are experiential educators that facilitate the theatre of mind, body and heart, and we have the opportunity to teach to every learning style, to explore the analytic AND creative sides of our brains.
In this week we will navigate and study practical educational theory and experiential education methodology, with focus on applying this to teaching yoga. We will explore multiple strategies of theming, from more simple to increasingly complex. We will create a tapestry of step-by-step postural instruction infused with the evocative power of metaphor and myth. We dive deeply into the rigor of philosophical thought and find practical ways for you to bring some of these larger concepts to your teaching. Spark your deeper interest and creativity, and your students will learn WAY MORE.
You will be planning themes and yoga classes each day as homework; please budget some time and energy for this homework in addition to our schedule together.
Again, equally important as the substance of this program, is our educational approach. Our focus is on education - not advocacy - and our exploration will be entirely secular in nature; no belief required.
- Completion of 200YTT recommended
- Willingness to participate in a group process
- Ability to give and receive feedback skillfully
- Dedication, motivation and self directed studentship
“I gained so much from this program – it blew all of my expectations out of the water. I came to get away from my everyday self, but ended up finding so much of myself, both mentally and physically.”
“This was the most holistic, detailed, serious and fun yoga instruction I have ever received. The group was lead with great skill across the ability range within group throughout the program. I learned a lot. I grew in my yoga practice and as a person and had a great time.”