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Ashtanga Yoga Chikitsa

A Two Week Retreat with Joseph Armstrong and Friends

Chikitsa means therapy, and it speaks directly to the healing power of Ashtanga Yoga. In this two week offering led by Joseph and a circle of seasoned, Miami Life Center trained colleagues, you will be presented a holistic and inclusive program exploring the power of traditional Ashtanga, establishing a strong foundation for beginners while delving into advanced techniques for intermediate and advanced series practitioners.

Begin each day with a mysore style practice, where Joseph will work closely with all students meeting them where they are as they explore inner and outer alignment. Esme Lamas will join and together we will give extra attention to beginners, nurturing their entry into the method while also bringing expert eyes and assists to second and third series Ashtangi’s. Edgar Navarro will be on hand to lead traditional Pranayama throughout the week.

Our exploration of Ashtanga Yoga, emphasizing practical insights and the therapeutic aspect, will be fun, focused and accessible. Every workshop and practice is intentionally designed for practitioners at all levels. We will skillfully detail the core fundamentals of folding, twisting, opening and balancing, while also testing the seemingly impossible backbends, inversions and transitions that make this practice so dynamic, fascinating and ALIVE.

Know that we pride ourselves on being friendly and relatable, and have designed a down-to-earth immersion into the healing power of Ashtanga Yoga. We invite you to sign up now and look forward to sharing the power of connection and community with you!

About the teachers

Joseph Armstrong is a level 2 teacher of Ashtanga Yoga, having received authorization from Paramamguru Sharath Jois in 2019 . He teaches yoga with feet planted firmly in tradition and gaze turned towards the future. His search for a more present and peaceful life first led him to the practice in 2008. A few years later he was in India, studying intensively.

After finally overcoming a long struggle with addiction, Joseph began experimenting with Ashtanga Yoga. He understood quickly that the lineage was calling to him to deepen his practice. He underwent a 2 year apprenticeship program at the world renowned Miami Life Center, continuing his education under his teachers Tim Feldmann and Kino MacGregor. In 2016 he completed 2 months of study in Mysore under Sharath Jois. 2017 brought Joseph to Guatemala where he taught Mysore Style for over a year while also traveling and giving workshops in Europe and the Americas. 2019 brought him back to Miami and his yoga family at MLC.

Joseph teaches yoga because attempts to do any and everything else ended disastrously. But when he finally devoted himself to his passion, he became an asset to himself and others. He hopes his practice allows him to be ever more loving and to exist gently.

         

Edgar Navarro is one of the directors of Miami Life Center, a vibrant yoga studio nestled in the heart of the energetic city of Miami. With a passion for holistic well-being and a deep-rooted love for yoga and Breathwork, Edgar works to create a space where individuals can embark on transformative journeys of self-discovery and mindfulness. Edgar has trained under the guidance of teachers like Sharath Jois, Mark Linksman, Kino MacGregor, Tim Feldmann, Eddie Stern, Robert Moses and many more.

         

Esmeralda Lamas is an Authorized level 2 teacher and devoted practitioner of the Ashtanga Yoga Method. Esme believes yoga is the best tool to overcome any obstacle that we may face in life. Esme started to practice yoga in 2008 but it was three years after when she immersed herself in the study of the Ashtanga Yoga method. Shortly after, she traveled for the first time to Mysore, India to study with R Saraswati Jois. In 2016, Esme went back to Mysore to study under the guidance of Sri. R Sharath Jois at SYC and dived in the study of traditional yoga philosophy and chanting with Dr. M.A.Jayashree and Sri. M.A.Narasimhan.

Since then, Esme has travel to Mysore several times to connect with the lineage in an authentic and pure way; to find inspiration and to continue walking the path as a student. In 2022, she received the formal blessing to teach from Sri. R Sharath Jois.

She finds yoga to be a beautiful gift which deserves to be shared with others in order to make this world a better place to live in.

Esme teaches with passion and love, guiding her students with kindness and precise adjustments that help those who want to improve their physical, emotional and spiritual practice.

She is a firm believer in dedication and effort and during her classes she pays special attention to the breath, the movement and the gaze. These three components allow the mind to be focused in the present moment, help the body to be grounded and create internal space for a spiritual journey.

Course description

Start each day with traditional Mysore style practice, except for Friday when we will do a led Full Primary. Workshops run from 4pm to 6pm on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We will schedule fun, optional, but totally encouraged, group outings for select afternoons and rest days!

Below is our working weekly schedule. Please note that there may be changes made to optimize the experience!

Weekly Schedule:

Saturday Nov 9
Arrival to the retreat, with rooms available after 2pm.
6pm Welcome Meeting and Diner.
(Your attendance to this gathering is important as we set the tone and get connected.)
6:30pm Dinner

Sunday Nov 10
7am-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4:00pm Workshop: Ashtanga Yoga Foundations with Joseph and Friends
6pm Dinner

Monday Nov 11
7am-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: Jump Back and Jump Throughs with Joseph
6pm Dinner

Tuesday Nov 12
7-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Wednesday Nov 13
7am-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: Yoga and The Relaxation Response with Joseph
6pm Dinner

Thursday Nov 14
7-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: The Journey to Dropbacks with Joseph
6pm Dinner

Friday Nov 15
7am Led Full Primary with Joseph
8:30 Conference and Q&A
10am Brunch
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Saturday Nov 16
Rest and/or Adventure Day
10am Special Saturday Brunch
6pm Dinner

Sunday Nov 17
7am-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: Hip Opening and Leg Behind the Head Joseph and Esme
6pm Dinner

Monday Nov 18
7am-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: Yoga, Recovery and The Gunas with Joseph
6pm Dinner

Tuesday Nov 19
7-9am Morning Mysore
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Wednesday Nov 20
7am-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: An Introduction to Intermediate and Beyond with Esme
6pm Dinner

Thursday Nov 21
7-9am Morning Mysore with Joseph and Esme
9am Chanting with Esme
9:15am-10am Pranayama with Edgar
10am Breakfast
1:30pm Chai and Fruits
4pm to 6pm Workshop: Struggle Pose Asana Clinic with Joseph and Esme
6pm Dinner

Friday Nov 22
7am Led Full Primary with Joseph
8:30 Conference and Q&A
10am Brunch
Afternoon off
6pm Dinner

Saturday Nov 23
9am Check out from rooms
10am Breakfast

Class Descriptions:

Chanting Class
Chant the mantras, asana names and sanskrit numbers as taught in Sharath Yoga Centre chanting class with Laksmish

Pranayama
An compassionate all levels presentation of the traditional ashtanga pranayama sequence, including Ujjayi, nadi shodhana, Kumbhaka and Sitali

Conference and Q&A
A short yoga talk followed by an open Q&A forum.

Mysore Style
A traditional self guided practice space with hands on adjustments to support the students journey. Traditional Jois Lineage sequencing is the basis of this session.

Ashtanga Yoga Foundations
No matter what series you practice we always begin with the standing poses. These foundational asanas are often overlooked, but as you progress through the series you begin to realize how important they are to what comes next. After a brief introduction of the tristhana method, we are going to explore how the standing poses of Ashtanga are setting you up for success by trying to understand the fundamentals of each Asana. Different students will volunteer to have their alignment workshopped with the teachers as a way for the group to understand the poses in differing bodies.

An Introduction to Intermediate and Beyond
This class will take a look at the challenging postures of third series in a fun and approachable way. We will focus our attention on the various tricky arm balances and the strength and alignment required to do them.

Yoga and the Relaxation Response
Learn how the relaxation response works in the nervous system then practice meditation and breathwork techniques that tap into this natural power.

Yoga, Recovery and the Gunas
Yoga is about connection, deepening your inner awareness while supporting that inner journey through healthy connections with others. This workshop explores a traditional framework for understanding patterns in our lives and how yoga helps us become more aware and skillful in our life choices.

Jump Back and Jump Throughs
Drills and Skills for breaking down these challenging transitions while building up the strength and movement patterns that make them possible.

Struggle Pose Asana Clinic
In this session we’ll take student requests to break down struggle poses and the recipe for success each requires. We will break down the elements of strength, flexibility and alignment required for these poses. Different students will volunteer to have their alignment workshopped with the teachers as a way for the group to understand the poses in differing bodies.

The Journey to Drop Backs
Expand the front body and open the heart. Create a firm base. Learn to lift, not collapse. Build tolerance for challenges. These are some of the lessons one moves through in backbending. Build upon week one’s backbending class, as we ‘test the impossible’ with some second series poses and drop back work.

Hip Opening and Leg Behind the Head
Leg behind the head is a complex movement that places broad ranging demands on the dobby. Hip flexibility, back extension and even the strength of neck play important roles here. In this class we will learn techniques that all levels can apply to their journey towards open hips and eventually eka and dwi pada sirsasana.

Booking Information

Please read the Terms & Conditions before booking a retreat.

Accommodation Options

Take a look at our accommodation options: