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The Universe of Yoga
1 December @ 9:30 am - 2 December @ 3:30 pm JST
Welcome to the Universe of Yoga!
Like any universe, Yoga cannot be understood from only one vantage point. In this five-part series we will explore this ancient art and science through four different perspectives. All four of these ways are primary practices in the Yoga tradition, as a whole.
All 5 sessions are open to all levels of Yoga experience. Even if you are new to the practice, you are warmly invited to attend.
About the Content
The Intro Talk will not have any asana practice, but you are strongly encouraged to attend this session to get the most out of this weekend.
The Yogasana, Pranayama and Purana sessions will each begin with a 20-30 minute talk to explain what kind of practices will be done, how we will practice, and why we will practice the things we will practice. The remainder of the time in these three sessions will be spent practicing. The asana practices and Mark’s teaching methodology are not from any one particular style. Instead, Mark draws from his in-depth study of several styles over his 20+ years of practice and teaching. From that vast knowledge and experience, whatever poses are most suitable and beneficial for the students at that time will be taught.
The final session, Dhyana, will contain a longer opening talk, about 60 minutes. That talk will include the what, how and why of the particular meditation practice we will do together. During the talk, you will also receive information about the differences in meditation practices, and why this is important to understand. The practice itself will be about 30 minutes in total, after which there will be a 20-30 minute Q&A session.
*** All 5 sessions will be taught in English and Japanese. ***
Intro Talk: What is Yoga?
Saturday, December 1 – 9:30-11:00
Pull up a cushion, grab your favorite warm beverage and settle in for a concise and animated discussion about the ways in which Yoga is defined. This is a highly informative and fascinating talk for both new and seasoned yoga practitioners. This talk sets the stage for the series of four practices.
Yogasana: The Fires of Focus & Compassion
Saturday, December 1 – 11:15-13:15
In this session you will learn about two fires of intention that can be brought to bear in the Yoga practice, and how to apply these intentions to your physical practice of yogasana. We will practice a variety of standing poses, including some balances. The Fires of Intention and Compassion will be embodied as complementary forces of steadiness and softness. By embodying both, you will become more able to instill your physical practice with a fire of focus, while being able to temper that focus with a compassionate presence. This creates an active state of rest. This active state of rest will enhance the functioning of your entire nervous system, and deeply nourish the health of all of the organs.
Pranayama: The Breath of Life
Saturday, December 1 – 14:30-16:30
In this session, we focus on several different types of pranayama, breathing techniques found in Yoga. We will do these breath practices in combination with the practice of yogasana. This practice will awaken your subtle body awareness, which will enable you to experience new layers of understanding of each yogasana.
Purana: Wisdom Teachings to Grow By
Sunday, December 2 – 10:00-12:30
In this session, we will approach Yoga from the perspective of the ancient myths. Myths are a central teaching tool in all of the Indian traditions, including Yoga. The myth we will focus on relates the origins of Hatha Yoga, the foundational school of all yogasana. We will engage in a practice of yogasana to bring the wisdom of this myth into our physical body. The yogasana we use will be traditional poses from the ancient texts in a sequence that will detoxify your body and allow a deep restfulness to awaken in your body and mind.
Dhyana: Quieting the Mind
Sunday, December 2 – 13:30-15:30
In this session, we will discuss and practice of dhyana, meditation. Meditation in the various Yoga schools is different than the mindfulness meditation practices of Buddhism. You will learn a practice of meditation that comes from an ancient Tantric Yoga text. This practice is excellent for quieting the mind while creating more focus to assist with your daily tasks. This practice will also allow you to more clearly and deeply assimilate all you have learned and experienced from this weekend of practice.