SUMMER PRACTICE IMMERSION
The practice of yoga is about connecting to the natural spaciousness of the heart, and allowing its warmth to melt the clutter of the mind. The point is not to escape from ourselves, or to take refuge from the tumult of our lives, but to engage ourselves more openly and honestly than ever before. When we connect to the natural spaciousness of the heart, we connect to something fine and noble, something that nourishes and sustains us from within, and gives us the courage to see ourselves as we are. And intimate connection with the loving intelligence of the heart allows us to look back upon ourselves with blistering clarity. It allows us to see ourselves without our usual arguments and defenses. It allow us to understand how we isolate ourselves with our narrow ideas, and how we create suffering around us. Still more potently, it allows us to see how we can break our ancient patterns, and love ourselves more truly, by surrendering our schemes and aligning with the currents of awakening.
Through the clarity of vision that is yoga, we can see down into the depths of our hearts, and we can recognize our emptiness without recoiling in fear. As we stare into the abyss with our senses opened and tuned, we discover a bottomless well of unconditional love—not the focused love that we confine to our inner circle of family and friends, but a mad and immeasurable love that pours out through our senses in every waking moment, as the very essence of conscious experience. As we learn to bathe ourselves in that love, we soften and release. Our psychical space opens and expands to allow our consciousness to breathe.
In this immersion, we dive deep into the interconnected practices of asana, pranayama, and meditation, as instruments for probing into the sublime depths of the heart. At every step, we consider how these practices retune our attention to the immediate unfoldment of our sensory experience, expose us to all of the hidden and unfamiliar parts of ourselves, and urge us to embrace them all. This immersion is an opportunity to disengage from ordinary patterns of practice and experience, and to rediscover the rituals of yoga as potent moments in an endless process of touching something tender, elemental and profound, something that can sweeten every moment of our experience, if only we can slow ourselves down, surrender our defenses, and open ourselves to its rhythmic and seductive flow.
Using the captivating imagery of the Tantric and Hatha Yoga traditions as our guide, we rethink the dynamics of these practices. We contemplate certain contemporary and traditional formulations of these practices, and we recast those formulations into our own language, mapping them onto our own bodily experience to bring them alive. Through this process, we unlock the potency of our yogic rituals, and we renew our relationship with the living phenomenon of yoga itself.
This intensive will involve full morning practice sessions involving Mysore-style Ashtanga Vinyasa classes and weekly guided explorations, followed by pranayama, seated meditation and chanting. After a midday break, we return to study central yogic ideas, to contemplate yogic mythology, to reflect on our own mental, emotional and somatic states, to workshop our practices, to learn new techniques, and to commune together around our shared aspiration.
— asana (as contemplation)
— pranayama (as prayer)
— embodied meditation (as the direct experience of being)
— reflective inquiry
— working with emotions
— alchemizing desire
— deep listening
— allowing things to unravel
— relating with groundlessness
— the four immeasurables
— tantric mythology
— embodied philosophy
— the subtle body
This intensive is designed for those courageous souls who wish to follow the currents of Hatha Yoga practice where they naturally lead, into the sublime and groundless depths of the heart. You will be invited to stare into your own depths, with courage and compassion, and to extend those same qualities to those around you. Some facility with the Ashtanga Vinyasa method is essential, but there are no requirements of postural or technical proficiency. There will be no performative pressures, and we will engage ourselves with softness and an abiding sense of humor. People with injuries and special conditions who have a genuine interest in our subject are absolutely welcome to join.
Our immersion will be held at the Boulder Shambhala Center, in the beautiful Shambhala Training Hall. This is a spacious and light filled space, lined with tall windows, high above Spruce street. Having been used for meditation practice for decades, the hall has a vibrant and open atmosphere, perfect for our contemplative explorations.
The full tuition for the Summer Intensive is $1200. Registration is secure upon $400 deposit, with the remaining balance due on August 3. Refunds will be issued upon request, minus $100 for administrative fees until August 3. No refunds will be issued after Aug 3, except under extenuating circumstances. To register, make your registration deposit by clicking the register button below. You will receive a confirmation email promptly.
Two scholarships will be given for this intensive. Each will cover one half of the tuition. To apply, please complete the Into the Heart Scholarship Application with the subject “completed application.” All applications will receive reply.