Start date postponed so you can still sign up. New dates: September 19 – November 23
Yoga has been touted in recent years as a healing modality. It’s said to balance the body, and stabilize mood. As the seasons shift, these are important issues. Autumn tends to be stressful – a returning to school and a sudden shift of gears from summer activity to winter’s, dark. Any seasonal shift brings with it a rash of allergens, digestive stop and gos, changes to sleep and schedule. But this shift toward winter, in particular, is hard on the body and the nervous system. It tends to light up sore joints, remind us of aging, bring down all the pressures of the world.
Winter is hard, metaphorically, and physically. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a fancy name for a very real thing that happens as we lose the long days and spend most of our waking hours in the dark. I’ve found that other mood and psychological issues are also sensitive to the seasonal shift: depressions darken, anxiety moves more, old griefs return and the monotony of living our lives feels more tedious. Auto-immune issues flair. Our worlds get smaller as we shift from social and community life to staying at home where it’s warm. We lose the freshness of the garden and start to eat stored things.
It’s said that yoga, helps. Yoga can be, therapeutic. If it is used that way, taught that way, and understood to be more than yoga asana. Yoga asana can be more than a shape. Yet yoga therapy is distinct from physical therapy, and psychotherapy. Come learn the how, the why, and the practices.
Yoga therapy is distinct from physical therapy. AND a therapeutic practice of yoga veers away from yoga as generally taught in classes: postures and sequences done a few times a week are not enough to effect healing (though the insight gained there often launches people off, into a more healing and personalized practice).
Yoga therapy is distinct from psychotherapy. Partially, in that it so clearly identifies the person as a complex of body and mind. Yoga sees emotions and moods and experiences as happening on both psychological and physical levels. But yoga therapy isn’t just a mind-body wellness system, like deciding that exercise and diet will help our moods. This is true, but it’s only the beginning of understanding the interface of mood, experience, personality, and body.
This ten week series will look at the interface of physiology and psychology, mood and body, through the ancient system of the ‘subtle body’. It will tie ancient practice to neuropsychoimmunology. This will be a course on mind-body wellness. But it will aim at personalizing, practice, as well.
Unlike the summer special series that used the same asana sequence every week, this course will introduce different principals and progressively explore the concepts of vi-yoga (release or purification) and samyoga (connecting to something whole, healing, true). We’ll work up and down the spine and discuss chakra theory and practice in depth, while coming to understand modern somatic healing techniques. We’ll develop our yoga practice beyond asana by learning a few new chants, deepening our meditation skills, and coming to understand yoga methodology or practices as working on the physiology, psychology, and behavioral spheres not only through postures but through a range of practices.
If you have any fascination with subtle body and chakras, or any interest in the therapeutic applications of yoga practices, this is a course you should attend. If you are interested in the way yoga affects psychology and behavior, you should be there. If you just enjoy learning in more depth than is possible in drop in classes, come.