Adam Keen Purple Valley Tenerife

This two-week retreat will include Mysore and or led classes every morning six days per week.  The workshops in the first week will be asana focused with Adam Keen, and we are delighted that Prof. Edwin Bryant will be joining us in the second week to teach yoga philosophy in the afternoons.

The aim will be how to use both methods in modern daily life.

Course description

Week 1: Asana Focus

We will explore how you can work within the Ashtanga system to make it work for you. We can create a practice that you love again or build a sustainable one from the beginning.

The Ashtanga sequences are a generalisation or guidelines to help us toward an ideal and keep us motivated. We need to find out how to do things in our own way, for our unique bodies to find the key to maintaining a lifelong practice. When we consider the history of Ashtanga we find that the original focus was on individuality.

This is possible to do within the framework of traditional Ashtanga.  There is a path between rigid conformism and complacency that we shall learn to walk together here. It can be done by making a relationship between the two fundamental qualities of yoga practice: tapas and ahimsa.

Course schedule

Week 1: Asana Focus

Sunday to Thursday, 8.00 a.m.: Mysore class
Friday 8.30 a.m.: Led Primary
Brunch: 11.00 a.m.

Sunday 4.00 pm: The Shape is Only the Start of the Asana Starting at the beginning we will look at how you can work in each asana to make your practice progress and be more interesting too. We will look at how functional stretching using a subtler and structured technique builds strength rather than just flexibility to protect from injuries.  We will also look at using bandhas to connect with the breath via the diaphragm to gently unfold ourselves from the inside out.

Monday 4.00 pm: Why Did No One Tell Me This?
This is the question Adam often hears in his workshops as he shares the techniques he and his students have found so transformative.  As we continue to work through the series we will explore fundamental ways to work in a more effective way. This workshop also addresses common injury issues and gives a few clear and simple tips on how to resolve them.

Tuesday 4.00 pm: Backbends Without Pain or Fear
All too often students dread the backbends that come at the end of practice. This can be turned around 180 degrees to be something we might even look forward to. We will go through the fundamental principles of a backbend incorporating the gradual backbends that come at the beginning of the Intermediate series.  I believe everyone doing the much more intense urdhva dhanurasana should consider including this postures in their practice, something that has been incredibly effective for so many students I’ve come across.

Thursday 4.00 pm: Jump-back for everyone
Whether you can’t imagine being able to do these movements or you can do it already, this workshop will give a fresh perspective. If you can do it already, there are ways you can make sure the movement is sustainable over the long term by spreading the force of the movement through the whole of your body. If you’re working towards it; you will come away with a clear direction as to what needs to be done as well as what to do in the meantime. This movement is deeply effective; much more than just a party trick. There are ways and means whereby everyone can make their way towards completing it and getting the benefit.

Adam Keen Purple Valley Tenerife

Course description

Week 2 – Yoga Philosophy Focus

This week continues to have the Mysore and led classes in the mornings and the workshops will be led by Edwin Bryant.

Yoga philosophy doesn’t always appear accessible or relatable. It’s often not exactly clear what ‘yoga philosophy’ is in the first place. Instead, as we shall find out, yoga has used a multitude of different methods over the last two millennia or so, whilst also having different aims.

Edwin will first give an overview of the subject in general and then the texts of The Yoga Sutras and The Bhagavad Gita, what they believe, and how they fit into and differ from other teachings on yoga. It will be helpful, although not necessary for you to have a copy of Edwin’s Yoga Sutras book that you might use to refer to or make notes.

Course schedule

Week 2: Asana Focus

Sunday to Thursday, 8.00 a.m.: Mysore class
Friday 8.30 a.m.: Led Primary
Brunch: 11.00 a.m.

Sunday & Monday: 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm
An introduction and overview to the history of yoga and origins of ‘yoga philosophy’. Edwin will bring his full academic background to bear on the Vedas wisdom, where all the texts fit into this and how they all fit together (or also often contradict each other!).

Tuesday & Wednesday: 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm
Using Edwin’s own book on The Yoga Sutras, we will go through the text and clarify exactly what Patanjali did and didn’t mean regarding ‘yoga citta vritti nirodha’, as well as look at the background against which the text was written and how it fits in with other texts.

Thursday & Friday: 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm
The Bhagavad Gita is as relevant today as it ever was. However, it doesn’t always appear that way on a first reading. Edwin will offer a comprehensive look at the main themes running through the text to show how the battlefield is still within and without all of us as well as the possible solutions to this problem.


About the teachers

Adam Keen

Adam Keen completed the Advanced A sequence of Ashtanga yoga in 2013 with Sharathji in Mysore (authorised level 2 in 2012).  He has been a yoga practitioner since 1999, starting with hatha yoga while studying philosophy at university.

Adam has taught internationally and spent over ten years running a Mysore program in his native London, UK.  His style is open, non-dogmatic and eclectic while remaining rooted in an appreciation of the tradition as taught in Mysore. He has a unique way of making everyone welcome and meeting students where they are with humour and kindness.

He is also the co-founder of Keen on Yoga, an online yoga platform hosting workshops and events, and the host of the Keen on Yoga Podcast and YouTube channels. He has interviewed most of the top Ashtanga teachers and philosophy academics in this capacity, leading to a unique overview of the modern yoga world and teaching approaches.

When not practising yoga, Adam likes to cook – in his earlier years, he was a chef, supporting himself in this profession in London whilst studying yoga. This took him to Purple Valley Yoga, where he was employed as the chef and met his wife, Theresa.

Still a philosophy student at heart, Adam shares his thoughts and experience daily on social media, where you can find him discussing many of the questions that come to our minds, but we’re often afraid or unsure how to ask. Find him on Instagram @adam_keen_ashtanga

Edwin Bryant

Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D. in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University, where his thesis culminated in his first book: The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture (Oxford University Press, 2001).  He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion.

His translation of and commentary on the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) is the most widely used translation in yoga teacher trainings internationally and has become a reference point for teachers and academics alike.

As a personal practitioner of bhakti yoga for over 45 years, several of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigour with appreciation towards traditional knowledge systems.

His teaching method is to allow the ancient texts to speak in their own voice and through their own terms and categories. He teaches with clarity, passion and also a good dose of British humour. His seminars are both fun as well as incredibly insightful.

Edwin’s most recently published work is a sequel to this by the same publisher entitled Bhakti Yoga: Tales and Teachings from the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017). This work, too, seeks to ground the practices of bhakti in the traditional Krishna-cantered framework of the Vrindavan devotional traditions.


1 week booking option available ONLY for the first week! 

Booking information

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Accommodation Options

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