We are all going to fall in life! It is how we recover that defines us and ultimately shapes our future. Practising balancing postures is an effective way to develop the courage and determination we need to try again when life is not going as planned.
Together we will play with balance in a light-hearted and curious way. We will fall a lot and laugh a lot and ultimately develop the courage and strength that is necessary to be a strong and flexible in both body and mind.
1. Correct Anatomical Alignment:
- Vasisthasana - Side Plank
- Kakasanam - Crow
- Parsva Kakasanam - Side Crow
- Eka Pada Galavasana - One legged Sage Galava Pose
- Astavakrasanam - Eight Bends Pose
- Hamsasana/Mayurasana - Swan/Peacock Pose
2. Flexibility training using mostly Yin Yoga to release tension in places where we need to be mobile to create the asanas mentioned above.
3. Strength training exercise that build stability and fortitude in the core, arms, shoulders and upper back. A mixture of yoga and other strength training modalities will be used.
Hours and Certification
This workshop is a one day, 6 hour intensive and counts as Continuing Education with the American Yoga Alliance for Certified Yoga Teachers seeking to further their studies and accreditations. A certificate will be issued.
Balance is a word that’s tossed around in the health and healing community a lot. We have learned that any excess in life results in less than desirable results. Too much of anything leads us into trouble. Our senses can certainly attach themselves to pushing away the things we don’t like and holding on to the people, places and things that we do like. By developing a balanced attitude towards our likes and dislikes we make room for all of our life’s experiences. It is here, embodied by an equanimous attitude, that we experience real liberation from the ups and downs of life. Balance is the key to sustainable joy!
Who is this workshop for?
This course is appropriate for everyone! Balance is not a place you arrive at and then you are done. No! Balance is a point between the sway from side to side that we need to make a continuous effort to stay in. Whether you are trying to stay the course in life or trying to hold an asana - perfect balance is a constant effort. We need to allow for detours from the course and the time it takes to get back on track. Again here the lessons we learn about balance on our mat are transferable to maintaining and working towards a life of balance. Developing the qualities that help us to maintain balance will help you to avoid big messy falls and to manage the odd stumble or two!
What is the course about?
This workshop is about learning to break down the fundamental components of challenging standing balances. To master these postures we need to develop awareness around stability, flexibility and concentration.
Stability- Developing strength in muscles that brace an asana is key to balancing on one leg. The core stabilizers are the gluteus medius, adductors, transverse abdominis, psoas and the thoracic diaphragm. Through a series of conditioning exercises drawn from yoga, kinesiology, martial arts and pilates we will develop a keen awareness in the utilization of these core stabilizers.
Flexibility - To create the shape required to perform many one legged balances the hips, shoulders and feet need a minimum degree of flexibility to make the posture possible. If we do not have the flexibility that we are unable to place the limb in the correct place where balance and lift off is possible. We will explore asanas that create mobility in all of the right places to make these poses possible. Softening into the balance allows us to experience the ‘sukham' or sweetness of the pose rather than fighting to stay centred.
Concentration - Once we are aware of and can activate the core stabilizers and we can combine this action with relaxing the muscles that need to lengthen in these shapes then we can poor our attention into our drishti. Drishti is the place where our eyes settle into a one-pointed-focus to minimize the stimulation to the mind. Challenging balances are one of the best ways to get out of your head! You simply can not worry about life or make plans or lament about the past and stay balanced. You have to concentrate on all the signals that your body is sending you in this moment to stay equalized.
Postures and their variations that we will explore:
- Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
- Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus with a Standing Forward Bend)
- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
- Parivrtta Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Had-to-Big-Toe Pose)
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
- Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Ardha Chandrasana)
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
- Gurudasana (Eagle Pose)
- Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise Pose)
What does this course do for you?
This course will provide you with:
1. Awareness - Balance is not just a place that you arrive at your done — No way! You have to keep observing and attending to all the little shifts your body makes and respond by either engaging or relaxing. It’s a constant effort to stay balanced. Like life — sometimes we drift a little off course and we have to notice - be aware - so that we can direct our efforts back to our life’s path. It’s a constant effort to stay tuned to our higher purpose and balancing poses are a great way to sharpen your attention.
2. Confidence - mastering one legged balances gives us a type of courage and inner strength that easily translates from our mat to our efforts in the world. We learn that all the limits we experience in this life we have set for ourselves. When we conquer fear with determination, strength and grace we teach ourselves that we can do anything we set our minds too.
3. Strength - Being flexible is an important part of our yoga practice. Being strong is just as important as flexibility. Students that are hyper mobile will benefit from the course. Learn how to stabilize a bendy and vulnerable body. Strong muscles when engaged protect our joints and make all of the movements you make in your day to day life safer and more intelligent.
4. Stability - Developing awareness of how our weight is distributed through our feet and building strength in our core stabilization muscles will help you to avoid falling and to get rid of clumsiness. If you are prone to hurting yourself this course is for you!
5. New Ways of Teaching - if you are a yoga teacher you will leave this course with fresh and interesting ways to teach these postures that will inspire your students and help them reach their goals. Yoga is often described as a stretching routine. Teach your students that being strong is as important as being flexible.