Adam Keen, Ashtanga Workshop Sofia
Ashtanga Workshop Sofia 2023 at Ashtanga Yoga Shala, Sofia, Bulgaria
Have you found yourself on a plateau in your practice? Or, perhaps, you’ve been suffering from an injury that doesn’t seem to be going away? Maybe you’re simply questioning the constant chasing of postures, going from one to the next without ever arriving at the feeling you’d hoped for in your yoga. If any of this is the case for you, this workshop will provide some answers. All levels are welcome and will benefit from every session.
SATURDAY APRIL 23
8.30 – 10.30: Mysore
There is a way to give yoga assists that are safe, non-intrusive and don’t involve being pushed into postures. The method uses energetic pointers and resistance stretches so everyone can progress naturally and safely as their bodies dictate.
This session will be a practical exposition of how the more profound work in what we are doing relates to compression. This is the ability to balance opposing forces in your body rather than only pushing your body in one direction. Using compression is more likely to keep you injury free. It’s also a more effective method to make real and sustainable progress.
11.00 – 12.30: Foundations of An Effective Practice
Learn the basic techniques to establish safe and sustainable progress. Through the following principles, using demonstration and partner work, you will be able to incorporate the following codes into your practice:
- How to stretch safely through breath-based action
- To instigate opposing forces in the body to build strength (as opposed to simply flexibility).
- Side body stability; the importance of the medial stretch for scapula strength and mobility.
- What bandha means as a tool to engineer diaphragmatic breathing
A more effective approach to the idea of alignment in practice.
13.30 - 15.00: Jump Through & Jump Back - Lighter Lifts
Are you completely lost on how to lift your body weight? Or are you halfway there but getting stuck? Or, you can generally complete the movement but doubt the sustainability for your shoulders in the long run. If any of these relates to you, this workshop may provide some answers or, at least, a clearer idea of your path forward.
The basis of this workshop will be on understanding diaphragmatic control as the foundation of developing the strength to hold your weight in your hands. In other words, be prepared to discover that the work is not exactly where we think it lies – in stronger abs or arm muscles. Indeed, the technique is not so hard physically, but more mentally, in working with body awareness and the epicentre of this as the elusive muscle of the diaphragm.
15.00 to 16.00: Practice Chat -The Wisdom of the Early Ashtanga Teachers
Having been privileged enough to spend time with and interview most of the original Western students of Pattabhi Jois, it is Adam’s pleasure to share the insights they have provided. Some of which you will be familiar with, but many that you probably won’t be. Including Pattabhi Jois’ original attitude towards the teaching of yoga asana or even the way, they were encouraged to practice.
This workshop is always a lively discussion, discussing the wisdom of such early practitioners as David Williams, David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, Chuck Miller, and Richard Freeman, among others. Expect some entertaining stories about the old days and some information that might radically alter your attitude towards practice. Indeed, it could potentially change your understanding of the Ashtanga method altogether. There will be time for Q&A.
SUNDAY APRIL 23
8.30 – 10.30: Mysore (as above)
10.30 – 12.00: A new definition of backbends
The actual translation of the ‘backbend’ at the end of the Primary Series we are most familiar with is not, in fact, as a backbend at all. Instead, urdhva dhanurasana means inverted bow. So, taking this as our starting place, we can develop a fresh understanding of what is to be aimed in the movement if it is effective.
Whatever your feelings about backbends, with a fresh understanding of the technique of these movements, in other words, bowing the body as opposed to what often happens in simply pushing into the lower back, a new approach is highly likely to occur. One in which the posture flows naturally, without force, and, most importantly, without causing back pain for the rest of the day!
Bookings are being taken and managed by Ashtanga Yoga Shala, Sofia, Bulgaria.
You can make a money transfer to their bank account:
United Bulgarian Bank
SWIFT BIC: UBBSBGSF
Ashtanga yoga shala
Or in cash in @ashtanga yoga shala.
For more information email email@example.com or phone +359 896 762 764
Who is Adam Keen?
Adam Keen completed the Advanced A sequence of Ashtanga yoga in 2013 with Sharathji in Mysore (authorised level 2 in 2012). He has been a yoga practitioner since 1999. Adam has taught internationally and spent over ten years running a Mysore program in his native London.
His style is open, non-dogmatic and eclectic while remaining rooted in an appreciation of
the tradition as taught in Mysore. He has a unique way of making everyone welcome and meeting students where they are with humour and kindness. When not practising yoga, Adam likes to cook; in his earlier years, he was a vegetarian chef in a Buddhist monastery. This took him to Purple Valley in Goa, where he was employed as Kitchen Manager and where he met his wife, Theresa.
Adam is co-founder of Keen on Yoga, an online yoga platform, and he hosts the Keen on Yoga Podcast and YouTube channels. He has interviewed most of the top Ashtanga teachers and philosophy academics in this capacity, leading to a unique overview of the modern yoga world and teaching approaches.
Still a philosophy student at heart, Adam shares his thoughts and experience daily on social media, where you can find him discussing many of the questions that come to our minds, but we’re often afraid or unsure how to ask.
Find him on Instagram @adam_keen_ashtanga
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