Yoga Workshop

with Doug Keller

June 28-30, 2024

Rediscovering Yoga: New Perspectives on an Evolving Wisdom Tradition
Full Workshop  $295


Friday Evening 6:00 – 8:30 PM $60

The Shoulders and the Secret of Asana: It’s in the Joints

There are secrets to knowing how to move the shoulders well for the sake of greater freedom — and it’s not just about stretching! We need to understand how the joints of our shoulder girdle work, and how it is lack of proper ‘joint play’ causes tightness as well as weakness and pain syndromes.

In this session, Doug will lay out fundamental principles for working with the shoulder joints safely and effectively, founded on principles of joint play. Proper space for movement in the joints is the key to proper flexibility and tone in our muscles, as well as reducing inflammation. This will be an all-levels practice focused on the shoulders, and on leaving the shoulders feeling good by the end of the evening.

The wisdom tradition of yoga places this interest in healthy joints in the realm of ‘Vyana Vayu’ — the expansive and pervasive aspect of the ‘Prana’ or life force that flows through our nervous system as sensation, and a feeling of spaciousness and ease.

Saturday Morning 9:00 am – Noon $65

The Heart of Movement: the Sacrum and Spine

All movement in asana begins with the spine, and the natural undulation of the spine in movement is also the foundation for the health and steadiness of the mind. And the heart of the spine’s movement is at the sacrum, whose movement initiate the stimulation into action known in the wisdom tradition of yoga as ‘Prana Vayu,’ as well as the grounding, centering movements characterized as ‘Apana Vayu.’

This session will explore the movements of the sacrum and pelvic bones in forward bending, backbending, and twists, starting from standing poses, and the interwoven threads of muscles connected to these movements by which the integrated whole-body movements of these asanas takes place.

This session will be a very practical and accessible exploration of sacral and low-back health as well as the keys to healthy movement patterns in asana. It will include straightforward understanding of the actions of the ‘Core’ which supports these movements, which are traditionally known as the ‘bandhas.’

Your experience of forward bending, backbending, and twists — without going to extremes — will be transformed by this understanding, and your low back will thank you for it!

Saturday Afternoon 3:00 – 5:30 PM $60

The Keys to the Hips and Knees: the Feet

Freedom in the hips starts from the feet — and the knees are usually the joints that suffer from any disharmony between the feet and hips.

So this afternoon, which focuses primarily on all dimensions of ‘hip opening,’ will work from the feet upward, with care for the knees.

This session will start with simple movements and exercises for our feet that will be translated into principles for movement in asana — and will be essential to your working effectively with your hamstrings, as well as your knees and hips.

From this focus on hip health and hip opening, we will move into breath practices for establishing calmness and equilibrium, balancing ‘Prana’ and ‘Apana’ in the breath to experience states of equipoise or ‘Samana Vayu,’ leading into Yoga Nidra and deep relaxation.

Sunday Morning 9:00 am – Noon $65

The ‘Big Picture’ of Health and Equilibrium: the Torso, the ‘Gut,’ and the Power of Twisting

The hatha yogis were the first to emphasize the crucial importance of the health of our ‘gut’ or digestive system, and to tie the benefits of asana — especially twists and forward bends — to the well-being of this vital area. We now understand the ‘gut’ as a center for our immune and hormonal systems, which are crucial to our resilience as well as our mental and emotional equilibrium.

In this all-levels asana session, we will explore healthy twisting as our most natural movement, and a vital dimension of asana practice influencing our core, and we will touch upon the psoas in the process.

This is about our ‘Core,’ but not just in the sense of abdominal tone: it is the Core that connects lower and upper body and is the support for shoulder and neck freedom, as well as freedom and equilibrium in the breath. It’s a further exploration of ‘Samana Vayu,’ the heart of intuition, inspiration, and clarity of mind.

Sunday Afternoon  3:00 – 5:30 PM $60

Intention and Empowerment: Connecting Intention to the Power of Feeling in Breath and Mind

The neck and head are the pathway of the breath, where the flow of the breath meets the mind. Neck and shoulder tension presents blocks to this flow, and the starting point for resolving these blocks is our awareness of them.

We’ll start with some simple principles and practices for recognizing and reducing neck tension, empowered by our awareness of how this tension affects the flow of our breath. This is the realm of ‘Udana Vayu,’ which empowers clarity of mind and the power of intention.

This practical work with the neck and breath becomes an exploration of the ‘granthis’ or ‘blocks’ or inner resistance to focus and intention which can also take place on an emotional level. The subtler, deeper path of yoga involves navigating around and through these blocks with breath and mind.

The session will largely be simple breath practices, with simple ‘dharanas’ or focusing and meditation techniques leading to Yoga Nidra. The practice of Yoga Nidra itself is as essential part of yoga that supports the healthy architecture of sleep. This is a vital realm of renewal, where we are often lacking.