Āsana Unlocked: Understanding and Practice

Teacher: Gary Kraftsow

Dates: November 8-10, 2024

Time: Friday, 6:30-8:30pmCT
Sat & Sun, 10am-1pm & 2:30-5:30pmCT

Where: IN PERSON at Moksha Yoga Center, Chicago 

Price: $399

Join Gary Kraftsow in a workshop designed for students and teachers of all levels who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of āsana.

  • Practitioners will learn to use āsana as a means to better understand their bodies and begin to transform their present conditions.
  • Teachers can further their understanding of what is happening in their students’ bodies, and learn how to use adaptation in āsana to move their students toward transformation.

Yoga is an ancient system that includes a set of practical tools to help us heal and transform. Āsana is one of those tools and can help practitioners create a conscious relationship with their bodies in order to develop, maintain, and/or rehabilitate their structures.

It is often the gateway that leads to study of other tools such as prāṇāyāma, meditation, chanting and mantra.  Building a strong foundation through practice creates sturdy roots to help practitioners access the deeper promises of Yoga.

Each session will include a presentation, time for discussion and Q&A, and a full practice.

Friday, November 8, 2024

Introduction to Viniyoga Āsana Principles – 6:30-8:30pm CT
Āsana is a means or a tool to help you understand and transform your present condition, not a goal nor an end in itself.  In Viniyoga, the function of āsana takes precedence over the form, and we utilize the breath to initiate movement.  Both form and breath can then be adapted to best serve the goals of the practitioner.  Using a combination of repetition and stay helps to accustom the body to movement to then gain the most benefit from each posture.

Saturday, November 9, 2024

The Biomechanics of Āsana – 10am-1pmCT
Explore the core principles and purposes of the five different directions of movement in āsana:  forward bend, backward bend, lateral bend, twist, and axial extension.  These core principles reveal the functional potential for the human body. Learn about “release valves” in āsana, understand what is happening in your own body, and how you can use these tools to replace dysfunctional movement patterns with healthy ones.

Form Adaptation in Āsana – 2:30-5:30pmCT
The goal of āsana is to serve the practitioner, not the posture.  Study the use of repetition and stay in āsana practice, and how to adapt the forms of the āsana to serve the functional needs of your body. Learn to make the postures useful and relevant for you, which will help you to further your own transformation.

Sunday, November 10, 2024

Breath Adaptation in Āsana – 10am-1pmCT
Kṛṣṇamācārya once told Gary that if you are not using breath in āsana, you are only doing calisthenics.  Explore the importance of coordinating breath and movement in an āsana practice, the use of the directional flow of breath, and how breath initiates movement in āsana. As well, learn to understand the art and science of adapting the breath in asana to create different structural as well as enegetic effects. Using this powerful tool, you will notice the beginning of subtle transformation in your body and mind.

The Art & Science of Sequencing – 2:30-5:30pmCT
In Viniyoga, we say that sequencing should be effective, efficient, and elegant

  • Learn more about the art and science of sequencing āsana in relation to each other: A well-sequenced āsana practice is logically ordered, context specific, manifests an intention, incorporates the tools related to the intention, and provides maximum functional benefits with minimal risks.
  • Learn more about linking to the deeper tools using āsana as part of an integrated practice that may also include prāṇāyāma, meditation, chanting, and/or mantra.
  • Learn what an integrated practice is all about and how the tools of yoga – āsana, prāṇāyāma, meditation, chanting and mantra – can be woven together to serve a myriad of outcomes.