no alt text set

This workshop is suitable for anyone interested in Ashtanga with a motivation to learn. There will be both asana theory (practice) and philosophy (lecture) classes.

Imagine if you could see any pose from basic to advanced and know how to do that pose in a way that perfectly suits you and your body.  Knowing how to apply the universal asana principles to your poses will give you this powerful knowledge.

Learn to cut through the superficial, external differences of a pose and pay attention to the deeper, more important, and empowering commonalities that are shared by all poses.

Answer such questions as “What is the point or goal of doing this pose?” or “What constitutes improvement and how can I take safe, logical, and manageable steps to ensure that I’m optimally directing my efforts?”

Go deep into the subject of asana and learn an organized thought process that you use to do or develop or troubleshoot any pose. Know how to modify a pose to suit your limits or other individual circumstances.

In this Asana Principles workshop you will also study how doing asanas is yoga philosophy in action. The workshop will focus on how to apply the 5 core asana principles to your poses and how yoga philosophy corresponds to each of the principles. Then you can use your physical practice to directly experience and learn to live by the wisdom that is the heart of yoga’s teachings.

 “… the learned know that the practice of yoga and its philosophy are one and the same thing”. – Bhagavad Gita

Course description

In his workshops David offers a combination both traditional counted vinyasa led classes and clinic style led classes that investigate specific aspects of the practice in varying levels of detail. These important classes feature more verbal instruction; they give students a chance to slow things down, see new ways to orient during practice, get explanations of elusive, often unspoken aspects of the practice, and understand the Ashtanga method in greater, more subtle detail. During the two-week workshop, David weaves together studies of asana, pranayama, bandhas, vinyasa, chanting, bhakti yoga, yoga sutras and other elements to help develop Ashtanga Vidya (knowledge).

Each morning includes Mysore classes. All levels of practitioners are welcome.

Afternoon classes

March 12th –  (Asana Theory) – Principle #1, Part 1
March 13th –  (Asana Theory and Philosophy) – Principle #1, Part 2
March 15th –  (Asana Theory) – Principle #2, Part 1
March 16th –  (Asana and Philosophy) – Principle #2, Part 2
March 19th –  (Asana Theory) – Principle #3, Part 1
March 20th –  (Asana Theory and Philosophy) – Principle #3, Part 2
March 22nd –  (Asana Theory) – Principle #4, Part 1
March 23rd –  (Asana Theory and Philosophy) – Principle #4, Part 2

Full Retreat Workshop Description

Asana Principle 1: The Single Position

On the surface each posture in the Primary Series can appear to be significantly different from another but in actuality the different postures are variations on one single asana, the Single Position. No matter what posture you are working, from the most exotic and advanced, to the most basic and elementary, they are all the same basic position. In this class, David will teach:

Asana Section

  • Study of the Single Position Samasthiti—pelvis, spine, head as a Danda, role of the legs and arms, 3 body Planes (Median, Frontal, and Horizontal), Spotlights (9 images of horizontal surfaces along the central axis).
  • Apply the actions of Samasthiti to the poses of Surya Namaskara including Plank, Chaturanga Dandasana, and Downward Dog Pose
  • Study of Dandasana and Sirsasana two close allies to Samasthiti:,

Philosophy Section

  • -Hatha vs Raja Yoga
  • -Sacred Consciousness is the Samasthiti of Philosophy
  • -Yoga Sutras 1:2, 1:3, 3:35, 3:36
  • -Meditation on the Infinite is the root of asana practice

Asana Principle #2 – The Crouch And The Spring of Transitions

Every transition is a pranic pump that features the two opposing actions of expressing an animal like crouch and then a decisive spring into purposeful movement. The galvanization of energy that takes place when you exhale and coil your body into a crouch and then spring into skillful action causes the dormant energy within your center to awaken and circulate freely within your body. In this class, David will teach the crouch and spring principle:

 Asana Section

  • Standing Poses, Navasana, Bhujapidasana
  • Learning progress of Sirsasana (Head Balance), Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance), Urdhva Mukha Vrkshasana (Handstand).

Philosophy Class

  • -Hatha Yoga Pradipika hatha yoga foundation for Raja Yoga (from chapter on Asana)
  • -Kundalini foundation for yoga practice (from chapter on Mudras)
  • -YS 2, 46 study of the quality of Stira, earth element, garima siddhi
  • -Dharma as an aspect of stira and as overall foundation of one’s life

 Asana Principle #3 – Foundation First: Limbs As Levers

 On the wheel of hatha yoga, meditation is the hub around which all techniques as spokes revolve which means every aspect of hatha yoga must inevitably lead you back to the center, to meditation. Remaining closely connected to the foundation of your posture is one means of centering yourself, and staying in the hub of meditation.

Asana Section

  • Use Surya Namaskara to learn about the 3 phases of every transition:  Crouch, Spring and Destination.
  • Study of the learning progression for jumping back and jumping through between seated postures; a range of exercises to suit all levels.
  • Dynamism as a practice ethic; study of lesser-known places and creative ways to use the crouch and spring approach to your transitions.

Philosophy Class

  • -Yoga is skill in action;
  • -Bhagavad Gita chapter 3 on action
  • -YS Ch 2-36 benefits of satya (2ndYama)
  • -YS Ch 2-43,, benefits of tapas (3rdNiyama)
  • -Yoga Vasistha on self effort

Asana Principle #4 – Opposing Forces, Spinal Gesture

 It can be helpful to think of your asana as a stance of equilibrium, or more specifically as a dynamic expression of a momentary equilibrium. Equilibrium can be defined as “a state of adjustment between opposing or divergent influences or elements”-and this could also serve well as definition of asana. In coming to a state of equilibrium you are working to create an internal order, a unique, physical bodily harmony, a focused mental, inward absorption, and you achieve this order by learning to muscularly, skeletally, and energetically activate parts of the body such as your feet, legs, torso, shoulders and arms. The process of applying these specific asana actions to your body happens by putting into play conflicting and contrary forces. In this workshop, David will teach what these forces are:

Asana Section

  • Exercises to explore and clarify the basic pelvic and spinal positions
  • Study of Spine versus Limbs: main pair of opposites to awaken Kundalini
  • Gesturing with your spine; tapping a main part of you for creative expression.

Philosophy Section

  • -YS 2-46 Stira Sukham Asanam and action–
  • -YS 2-38 benefits of Brahmacarya-tapping creativity,
  • -Hatha Yoga Pradipika Prana, Nadi’s, and Kundalini
  • -Freeing your spine and the manifesting the element of space—sukha—su-with, kha-space and manifesting creativity

Below is an example of a weekly schedule. Please note that the timings of classes may be changed and adjusted to best nourish the teaching environment and the student. Additional activities not mentioned on the schedule may be added. 

Saturday 11 March
Arrival to the retreat. Rooms are available after 2pm.
6pm Introduction meeting followed by dinner. The participants should aim to attend the meeting.

Sunday 12 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory) – Principle #1, Part 1
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Monday 13 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory and Philosophy) – Principle #1, Part 2
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Tuesday 14 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Wednesday 15 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory) – Principle #2, Part 1
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Thursday 16 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana and Philosophy) – Principle #2, Part 2
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Friday 17 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Saturday 18 March
Sleep in!! Day Off!
10am Special Saturday Brunch
6pm Dinner

Sunday 19 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory) – Principle #3, Part 1
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Monday 20 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory and Philosophy) – Principle #3, Part 2
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Tuesday 21 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Wednesday 22 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory) – Principle #4, Part 1
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Thursday 23 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
11.30am (Asana Theory and Philosophy) – Principle #4, Part 2
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Friday 24 March
7am Morning Mysore
10am Brunch
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Saturday 25 March
9am Check out from rooms
10am Breakfast

About the teacher

David Garrigues

For 30 years David Garrigues has maintained an enthusiastic personal practice that is dedicated to asana and pranayama study in the Ashtanga tradition. He is an internationally recognized yoga teacher and creator of the Asana Kitchen video instruction series that is one of the leading online yoga learning resources. His intense dedication to hatha yoga has created a diverse, soulful, open hearted, and serious global learning community. David’s mission is to help students of yoga flourish within the living, contemporary lineage of Ashtanga Yoga. He aims to be a part of the circle of hatha yoga lovers who are devoted to applying the teachings of Ashtanga yoga in ways that promotes physical, psychological, and spiritual growth in themselves and others. To read more about David visits his website.

Booking information

Please read the booking information before booking a retreat.

Accommodation Options

Take a look at our 3 accommodation options: