Union Edinburgh 20st-22nd October 2017
Yoga and the Whole of our Lives: Cultivating Harmony in our World Today
Yoga invites us to work practically with the spectrum of our human experience and the reality of the constant change, challenges and opportunities of a human life.
Whether you are new to yoga, or have been immersed in this field for decades, James’ integrated workshop programs offer us the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the practical resources of the yoga tradition and how we can work with them to foster harmony and fulfilment in all aspects of our lives.
The core teachings of yoga make it clear that yoga ‘practice’ is not confined to the time we are working with yoga techniques, but is really everything we do. Drawing on these essential teachings, we will explore ‘full spectrum practical yoga’ and how the practical gifts of yoga can help us navigate the reality of 21st century life.
***Workshop times may be subject to slight changes closer to event***
Morning sessions will be movement based, afternoon and evening sessions will include discussion, meditation exercises, sound work and short movement practices.
This weekend is suitable for participants of all ages and levels of experience and for practitioners/devotees of all styles of yoga practice and inquiry. The physical work we do, with āsana and movement, is all principle-based, ‘scalable’, and relevant to all styles of yogāsana practice and broader movement modalities.
James’ workshops are always deeply practical and relevant to the broader lives of those who attend. If you are curious about ‘taking your yoga beyond the mat’ and/or deepening the impact of your work with yoga techniques, this program is definitely for you. When James gives programs like this, the content is always unique, depending on who is in the room and what is most pertinent to deepening into the topic. These descriptions give a guideline of the overall pattern of the weekend.
Friday 20th October: Opening Discussion Session: 7:30-9:30pm
Yoga and the way of the Evolutionary
James will introduce yoga as the practical school of Indian Philosophy that works with the whole spectrum of our human experience as we consider, amongst other treasures:
-The Map and Compass of the Yoga Tradition: practical tools to cultivate harmony within the reality of the constant change and inevitable challenges of life.
-the ‘Puruṣārthāḥ’ – the ‘Aims of Life’ in the Indian spiritual tradition as practical principles to foster fulfilment and harmony within the reality of nature and the human condition
-Practical Alchemy: Sustainable Development and the Nature of Transformation: Working honestly and realistically where we are, with what is, and the mechanisms of yoga technology that can facilitate lasting change and deepening transformation
-Yoga Āsana way beyond the mat: the technologies of haṭha yoga, and principles of yogic movement to support efficiency and easefulness in broad spectrum movement and all facets of life
Saturday 21st October: Yoga and the next movement
Life is constant change and movement. Yoga is the state of balanced, steady ease and the platform for efficiency and satisfaction in movement and action. This state of balance and integration is our innate capacity as human beings. In today’s world however, we are subject to many influences which can compromise our connection to this capacity.
Here, we will explore how we can work practically with yogic principles to support steady ease throughout the day and through all stages of the reality of our lives.
12:45-15:45 Midday āsana and movement exploration: Yoga āsana as training for life: how we can use our time working with physical yoga practices to support ease and steadiness through the spectrum of our daily lives. In particular, we will look at rehabilitating, reinforcing, and refining healthy neuro-muscular patterns and efficient kinetic chains through the body for safe, easy and effective movement in daily life and in more demanding movement activities.
16:30-19:30 Evening session: satsang talk, meditation and kirtan: With reference to classical archetypes from the Indian yoga tradition, we will consider ancient yet timelessly practical teachings around dynamism and stillness and how we can cultivate positive evolution through the inevitable change and movement of life. We will then further explore practically through meditation and kirtan.
Sunday 22nd October, The Way of the Yogic Warrior: the ‘Many Ways of the One Way’: Quality and the Qualities
Yoga is not about some future imagined goal or eventual payoff, but about cultivating harmony right here and now, wherever we are. Yoga is not so much about what we do, or what techniques we like to explore with, but how we do whatever we are doing.
Here we will take recourse to the wonderful, practical supports of classical yoga teachings from Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra-s and the Bhagavad Gītā as we consider the essential, foundational qualities for the yoga practitioner laid down by Patañjali in his Yoga Sūtra-s, and what it really means to be a yogic warrior in the context of our own lives in our world today.
12:45-15:45 Midday āsana and movement exploration: Yoga: Lifelong long-life Practice
In this session, we will continue our exploration of the technologies of haṭha yoga:
-Working with yogic understandings to harness the miraculous gifts of the ‘divine vehicle’ of our ‘sacred body’.
-Deepening our experiential understanding of movement principles and haṭha yoga technologies to empower our work with any style of ‘physical’ yoga practice or broader movement modality through all stages of life.
-Exploring Balance and Efficiency: How we can harness our work with physical practices so they can support and empower all aspects of our lives.
-Using ‘physical’ practices to deepen self-trust and awareness.
16:30-19:00 Discussion followed by Kirtan: Yogic Warriorhood in our World Today
Focusing on practical frames and supports encoded in the Yoga Sūtra and Bhagavad Gītā, we will consider the archetype of the yogic warrior and how useful and important it can be in all facets of our lives and especially in these times of technological bombardment, information overload and media manipulation.
A few words more about Kirtan: Yoga and the Power of Sound: Call and response singing and chanting with James Boag
The yoga tradition offers myriad tools we can work with to cultivate integration and recover our innate capacities for deep presence and sustainable wellbeing. These include many sound-based techniques and practices. The extraordinary visionaries and research scientists of the ancient yoga tradition recognised the pervasive, penetrative power of sound and how the readily accessible resources of our own voices can be harnessed to foster harmony through the whole of our being.
The call and response singing and chanting of kirtan, is simple, yet powerful, cleansing and uplifting. James will also speak briefly about kirtan, Sanskrit as an energy-based language, the symbolism and effects of the words we use in the practice, and how kirtan relates to other practices and paths of yoga.
Everyone welcome! Do not worry if you are not a virtuoso singer. The joy and practical benefits of yoga are open to everyone.
Originally from Yorkshire, James teaches yoga and applied yoga philosophy globally.
James is known for his storytelling, his rich kirtans, deep meditations, principle-based approach to asana/natural movement and for bringing the timeless wisdom of the traditional scriptural teachings vividly into the context of our lives today. He has been teaching for over twenty years, teaching yoga since 2003 and leading integrated programs on applied yoga philosophy around the world since 2009. He regularly returns to Mysore in South India where he completed his MA in Sanskrit, to lead courses on the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras and Indian Mythology.
***Workshop times may be subject to slight changes closer to event***