Weekend Workshop "The Primary Series"
"Through this workshop I hope students come away more empowered and aware in their own practice. I also hope students use this workshop as an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on their personal practice. " - Kristina Reese
"I look forward to teaching at our Ashtanga Yoga Intensive because I LOVE technique. I love to discuss and explore the mechanics of the body, and my goal is to help students understand how to approach postures and transitions mindfully and intentionally." - Kristin McCoy
"The goal would be for each student to leave with a solid understanding of safe alignment and purpose of each asana within the primary series as well as the safest way for them in particular to be practicing it." -Kelsey Bourgeois
October 9, 10 and 11
Friday: 7-9 PM
Saturday: 9-12 & 2-6
Sunday: 9-12 & 2-5
My journey with Ashtanga began 8 yrs ago, when I began practicing at and soon teaching at an "it's yoga" franchise studio in Utah. "it's yoga" is known for its rogue Ashtanga series "the Rocket", created by Larry shultz for the Grateful Dead while he was touring with them. It is a mash up of the series and a total blast. But over the years, I transitioned into a more traditional and serious practice, studying with Tim Miller, Richard Freeman, Jen Rene and Amy Williams. I still have an affinity for 'outside the box' Ashtanga and myself practice a mash up of traditional and contemporary Ashtanga. Though I do feel to be able to be able to safely practice the faster and higher risk sequences safely, it is wise to have a basis in traditional Mysore style Ashtanga with a knowledgeable teacher.
I'm super excited to be offering this weekend intensive because it is all about offering students this basis for Ashtanga. And unlike intensives I've offered in the past, this one is geared toward the practitioner more than the teacher. The goal would be for each student to leave with a solid understanding of safe alignment and purpose of each asana within the primary series as well as the safest way for them in particular to be practicing it.
I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga two years ago. I was already a Kripalu trained yoga teacher and professional dancer, and was in the process of recovering from a series of fairly serious hip injuries. I love to take class and try a variety of styles, but I was a bit leery of Ashtanga Yoga because it has a reputation for being physically extreme. For years, I had had so many set backs in my physical practice due to my hip, so I was leery of entering a style that is notorious for contortionist-like postures. I didn't consciously choose to become an "Ashtangi", but Kelsey Bourgeois was a colleague of mine, and I started dropping in to her Ashtanga Yoga classes. After a few classes I became very intrigued because, counterintuitively, the deep hip opening postures of the primary series had a very positive effect on my body. I was also in the process of divorce, and the fresh new perspective of a different yoga style, the physical intensity, and the methodical nature of the primary series helped me to feel empowered and emotionally balanced. My first year of practicing, I was in school studying dance and inspite of dancing about 8 hours per day, I started practicing fairly regularly - about 3 or 4 times per week, eventually more - because I found it that beneficial. After I completed my dance studies, I started an every day practice and have since journeyed into the second series. I am most influenced by Kino MacGregor and have had the privilege and delight of studying with her. I love teaching Ashtanga Yoga because it is so inspiring to see students really dedicate themselves to trying something really hard and rewarding to watch them progress as they become more experienced with the series.
I look forward to teaching at our Ashtanga Yoga Intensive because I LOVE technique. I love to discuss and explore the mechanics of the body, and my goal is to help students understand how to approach postures and transitions mindfully and intentionally. I have so many ideas and stories about Ashtanga Yoga that just don't fit into a typical class, so I look forward to sharing more discoveries from my practice in this workshop format. I hope to empower students and help to build their confidence to practice on their own or in a Mysore-style setting. I hope that students leave believing that, if they desire to, they can be an Ashtangi!
My first real taste of Ashtanga was via a Primary Series Intensive with Kelsey in 2013. As a teacher I was drawn to the sequence because it lets me turn off my ‘teacher brain’ while practicing as I don’t have to create, the foundation is there already. As a practitionerI find the sequence to be sometimes challenging but always rewarding. For a while I struggled with Bhujapidasana, at the time I just couldn’t imagine getting my feet tucked and chin down—It seemed impossible. Eventually, with consistent practice and many ego filing attempts, one day it clicked. Now I find that section of the sequence to be my most powerful! That’s what I love about Ashtanga, through experiencing and overcoming challenges, I am able to better know and appreciate myself.
I began teaching the Primary Series in early 2015 (again, thanks to Kelsey). I was somewhat thrown in before I felt ‘ready’ but, that actually helped me better connect with students learning the sequence, as the experience was still quite fresh for me too. I love teaching Ashtanga because I get to witness experiences that students may have never thought possible for themselves. I love sharing different versions, prep poses and options to help students explore their potential.
Through this workshop I hope students come away more empowered and aware in their own practice. There are SO many minute elements of the Primary Series that just cannot be covered during a lead practice, but we will be able to touch on them during the workshop. I also hope students use this workshop as an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on their personal practice.