A Practitioner Centred Approach to Ashtanga Yoga
A retreat with Wambui Njuguna-Raisanen and Greg Nardi
8 April to 15 April 2023
This course encourages us to use the tools of yoga for self-reflection and loving accountability. As we come to understand how we are connected through community, we can make space and/or take our place as the change makers we've been waiting for.
This retreat is open for all levels of practitioners – from beginners to advanced.
Daily Mysore sessions
These classes offer one of the greatest opportunities for individualized instruction. In these classes, practitioners guide themselves through their sequence from memory. The teacher will assist with memorization as necessary. The teacher will work with each practitioner individually to offer feedback and assistance with their ongoing practice. The teacher may use verbal cues, hands on assistance, and demonstration, to support your practice. Feel free to communicate with your teacher so that they can find the best way to support you.
Sunday, Day 1 – What is a practitioner centered approach to Ashtanga Yoga with Wambui and Greg
Learning is a feedback loop between teacher and practitioners. A teacher will use their expertise in service of the practitioner’s growth towards goals as determined between the practitioner and teacher. The teacher then supports the practitioner’s exploration of the techniques offering feedback and assistance as necessary. The process is centered on the practitioner’s experience empowering practitioner’s to make choices around their practice in way that best serve them.
Monday, Day 2- The Power of Touch with Greg
Listening to your body – The power of touch
It often takes time and practice to cultivate the skill of listening to one’s body. We often learn to be ok with what is done to us rather than asking for what we want. The use of touch in the classroom can be an opportunity for us to learn to listen to what we want and communicate our wants as well as our limits. This will enhance our ability to know ourselves and be autonomous in our interactions with others.
Wednesday, Day 3 – The Cycle of Socialization with Wambui
From personal to collective- Identifying social location
Once we have cultivated the skill of listening to our body and trusting our intuition, we can begin to grow awareness around how our bodies relate to each other’s bodies, and the greater collective social fabric. We will identify how touch means different things to different people. As well, we’ll also examine our personal social locations and how these determine how safely we can show up in spaces. We will reflect on the cycle of socialization to determine how institutions and systems keep us in cycles of unconscious ignorance; thereby, healing avidya, the first klesha (obstacle) found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.
Thursday, Day 4 – Hosted discussion, What do we do once we’ve empowered ourselves? With Wambui and Greg
The last joint session will put together all the pieces from the previous session. The group can reflect and share any questions or insights that have come up for them during our time together. We can create an accountability plan by sharing one or two action steps people can realistically commit to following through with, in the spirit of taking their yoga off the mat and into the world.
Each afternoon session will last 90 mins followed by 30 minutes of meditation, pranayama and grounding exercises.
Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen, E-RYT 500, TCYM-T, is a Kenyan-American based in Portugal, passionate about making wellness through yoga and meditation seamlessly engaged in equity and justice so that more people of the global majority can live well and thrive. Wambui took annual trips to Mysore, India between 2009-1016 and has been co-teaching with Petri Räisänen since 2010. She edited and translated Petri’s two books, both on the subject of Ashtanga Yoga. Wambui is deeply inspired by spiritual teachers and communities that seek ways to apply the insights from our various practices and teachings to situations of social, racial, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice. She would like to see wellness spaces engage more in social justice + collective change and activist spaces learn to breathe deeply and practice sustainable self-care in the midst of dismantling systemic oppression. This is her definition of community care.
Greg Nardi, E-RYT 500, Yoga Unify QE-3 is the lead teacher of Ashtanga Yoga Worldwide classes, workshops, and trainings.
Ashtanga Yoga Worldwide comes from Greg’s 24+ years of experience studying, practicing, and teaching yoga. He took extended trips to Mysore, India between 1999-2016 to learn yoga with a focus in asana, yoga history and philosophy, pranayama, meditation, and chanting. Greg has also studied yoga therapy at Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy. He teaches with Yoga4Change a Florida based non-profit organization that achieves lasting, demonstrative change for veterans, individuals who are experiencing incarceration, youth, and people living with mental health conditions through a purpose-driven yoga curriculum.
Greg was formerly authorized level 2 with the KPJAYI in Mysore, India. Since resigning his authorization in 2018 Greg has dedicated himself to educating himself and fellow Ashtanga practitioners around power dynamics and consent driven, student centered approaches to the teaching and practice of Ashtanga Yoga. Greg believes in the healing power of yoga for all.
Practical details about the retreat center
Currently the internet at the retreat is not reliable. If you are dependent on internet for work, we ask you to bring your own data on your phone, to which you can connect your laptop, if needed. Phones work very well. There is also a cafe 10 minutes from the retreat with good internet, however, it is a busy cafe and not very suitable for work.
Cristoforo, our retreat centre is a very simple yet beautiful place, built by an architect named Denis Devaris, who had an intention to create a meeting point for Spiritual seekers. Built slowly over 30 years using volcanic rocks from the island, the rooms are all unique with their own distinct personalities featuring beautiful details and personal touches. Given the nature of these types of buildings, imperfection is to be expected with a plumbing system not quite up to modern standards! However, set right into the land with a wonderfully lush garden, Cristoforo really is an oasis in South Tenerife. When packing for your retreat, make sure you add warmer clothes. From December till March the mornings and evenings can be quite chilly. The rooms are not heated, but are equipped with cozy duvets and hot water bottles for the beds. All rooms are equipped with a water kettle.
The closest beach is 20 min by walk from Cristoforo in Callo Salvaje. We now have a free shuttle bus service to the closest beaches.
The food served at the retreat will be mainly vegan and completely vegetarian, prepared freshly everyday by our wonderful retreat chefs. We try were possible to use local and organic products. We sometimes use eggs or dairy in the kitchen. If you have food allergies/sensitivities, please let us know. Gluten free options are available. We have a self service tea & coffee station for guest use and try to provide fruit for snacking during the day.
You have the option to enjoy your food either inside or outside in the beautiful garden.
Maximum number of students is 25.
Morning classes will be taught with maximum 16 students in each class.
Practice will take place inside the beautiful wooden garden Shala. Savasana is usually taken outside to make space in the Shala, especially during full retreats and occasionally afternoon workshops will take place outside. Make sure you pack warm practice clothes for Savasana.
Arrival day and check out.
The rooms are available after 3pm. The retreat starts with an introduction meeting at 5pm, followed by dinner at 6.30pm. All students should aim to arrive for the introduction meeting. The first practice is on Sunday morning and the last practice is on Friday in the morning. The check out is on Saturday at 9am.
Cost: £950 GBP per week for shared accommodation and £1250 GBP for single accommodation. The price is all-inclusive (includes accommodation, all meals and yoga). There is an option to pay a deposit of 50% of the full amount to secure your place. The deposit is non-refundable and the balance must be paid at least 4 weeks prior to the start date.
Please note that we have a limited amount of single rooms for this retreat. Before booking a single room confirm availability with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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