The Ancients developed systems of personal practice designed to help individuals develop and optimize their potential and protect and maintain their health and well-being throughout life.
Using a metaphor of the sun, they explained the role of personal practice in relation each phase of the life cycle.
In the sunrise phase of life (approximately the first 30 years) practice was designed to support optimal growth and development.
In the midday stage of life (approximately the next 45 years) practice was designed to maintain health and well-being.
In the sunset stage of life (approximately the last 20 years of life) practice was designed to redirect focus, working to resolve and complete and unfinished business (karma), both in the world around us and in personal relationships, and to turn our attention toward the end of life with the intention of finding joy and fulfillment.
In this series of four 3-hour sessions, we will explore how the tools of Yoga practice, including āsana, prāṇāyāma, mantra-japa, and meditation (svādhyāya, saṅkalpa, and manasa pūjā) can be adapted to support our anatomical, physiological, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being throughout our life cycle. Each session will focus on a different aspect of ourselves that is vital to our long-term well-being. Each session will include a presentation, one or two practices (content dependent), and time for discussion and Q&A.
Session 1 will focus on the principles and practice of adapted, breath-centric āsana in order to maintain strength and mobility throughout our lifetime and as we age. We will focus on joint protection, maintaining a strong lower back, and releasing tension in the neck and shoulders. Session 2 will focus on the principles and practice of adapted, breath-centric āsana and prāṇāyāma in order to maintain optimal physiological functioning throughout our lifetime and as we age. We will focus on understanding how to manage stress and maintain balance, and how to stimulate and optimize immune function.
Session 3 will focus on the principles and practice of adapted, breath-centric āsana, prāṇāyāma, and meditation, including svādhyāya and saṅkalpa, to help us maintain emotional balance and mental clarity throughout our lifetime, and as we age. We will focus on identifying and releasing attachments to things that are not serving us and cultivating a sense of purpose that can guide our choices as we move forward into our future.
Session 4 will focus on the principles and practice of adapted, breath-centric āsana, prāṇāyāma, meditation,mantra-japa, and manasa pūjā to help us nourish our ‘spiritual hearts’ throughout our lifetime and as we age. We will focus on finding joy and happiness in the present moment, and a sense of deeper meaning in the face of the inevitable end life.