Weekly Master Class

The weekly Master Class meets every Saturday for 1 hour 45 minutes to cover a wide variety of topics related to various aspects of Yoga practice and teaching. This class provides a deeper exploration of more challenging Asana, related anatomical and physiological function, and refinement of physical alignment. This is a weekly public class, and you do not have to be a teacher to attend.

Yoga Workshop with Doug Keller

March 4-6, 2022

Aches and Pains Are a Part of Life: So Is Yoga

Aches and pains are a part of life. The causes of some — usually more temporary — are obvious to us, while the causes of those that linger and become more persistent over time are not so obvious.

Life throws us out of balance. Beyond what we hear of yoga being about ‘union,’ it is also about balance, particularly within the body, and offers us practical tools for reestablishing and better maintaining balance, stability, and freedom of movement.

Full Workshop – All 5 Sessions $295

Saturday Morning: Loving the Low Back – The Core and the Psoas

March 5, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

This session will start out with a nice warm-up practice, focusing on movement from the core and centering the psoas. What follows will be a deeper inquiry into the psoas, core, and low back, with experiential exercises for releasing the psoas by joining movement and breath — leading to an evening relaxation.

The psoas muscle has long been recognized as central to our posture and movement, and a source of back and hip pain. Yet the muscle is so deep, and involved in so much of our movement, including the breath, that we don’t so much ‘feel’ the psoas as we feel the effects of its working well – or not.

What are the effects of a tight psoas? How do we recognize it? How do we ‘release’ the psoas? What is its relation to the breath and emotion? How does awareness of the psoas give insights into traditional experiential language in yoga — particularly the Vayus — Prana and Apana?

Doug will explain and illustrate the psoas and the main ideas about it, and sort out the lessons we can take into our yoga practice. We’ll come to understand the variety of problems created by a ‘tight’ psoas, and how nearly all of the asanas of yoga address the psoas in different ways. session will give you a greater understanding and appreciation of the psoas, experiential tools to work with it, and an asana session to give you ideas for your own practice!

Purchase Workshop – $65

Friday Evening: Foundations — New Perspectives on the Feet — Connections to the Knees and Hips

Friday March 4, 6:00- 8:30 pm

It has been traditional to treat the ‘foundation’ of the feet as having four corners that are meant to be equally ‘grounded.’ But this idea is both static, and doesn’t really fit the anatomy of the feet. After an introduction to a different, more dynamic perspective on the feet, we’ll take it into a well-rounded evening practice, seeing how this approach stabilizes the knees while connecting to the actions of the hips — particularly hip openers. The evening will finish with guided relaxation.

Purchase Workshop – $60

Saturday Afternoon: Making Connections for Understanding the ‘zig-zags’ of Body Aches

March 5, 2:30-5:00 pm

This session will start with a practice exploring functional connections between the two sides of the body in familiar, fundamental yoga poses. And then we will explore the idea further and experientially.

A fundamental part of our development is learning ‘contralateral’ movement, first through crawling, and then through walking — but we often lose touch with this over time, leading to hip pain on one side, connected to shoulder pain on the other, and so on, in a confusing configuration of aches and pains.

Yoga poses are designed to re-establish these connections and restore the wholeness of movement, but they are not often practiced this way. This session will alert you to habitual postural shifts and rotations at the root of many of your aches, through simple exercises for becoming aware of these habits and patterns. And it will give you simple principles for asana practice to reconfigure your patterns.

This session will also tie in nicely with the previous session on the psoas, since the psoas plays an important role in these patterns.

Purchase Workshop – $60

Sunday Morning: Keys to the Shoulder Girdle

March 6, 9:00-12:00 pm

The shoulder girdle includes three moving parts — collarbone, shoulder blade, and armbone (humerus). For healthy, pain-free movement of the shoulders, all three parts have to work together well.

We’ll look at the role of these three parts and their joints in shoulder aches and pains, and principles for warmup and action for all of them, with applications in asana. This will include a look at common form of shoulder aches and pains, and their causes — including and especially shoulder impingement and rotator cuff problems. Special attention will be given to the ‘wings’ of the shoulders — the shoulder blades.

There will be plenty of ‘light bulb’ moments for working better with your shoulders in yoga poses — and in life.

Purchase Workshop – $65

Sunday Afternoon: Breath and Yoga Nidra

2:30-4:30 pm

The afternoon will be devoted to simple dharanas (focusing techniques) for the breath drawn from a special text, the Vijnanabhairava, leading to short meditations and Yoga Nidra.

The Vijnanabhairava was a very practical text from Kashmir Shaivism that included 108 meditation and focusing techniques, many of them giving different perspectives on the ‘Hamsa’ mantra — the mantra of the breath — that is a key element in Yoga Nidra.

In this session, you’ll be introduced to the experiential practices from the Vijnanabhairava that will be most helpful to your practice of Yoga Nidra and pranayama, you’ll come to understand the ideas that provide the context for these practices. Most importantly you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Yoga Nidra, and will be guided into the experience of it.

Purchase Workshop – $60