The Intensive Workshops of our house
I am a few weeks ago to write about the Ashtanga Yoga Workshops that I organize here at our house, with authorized and certified teacher by KPJAYI *.
I am no apologist to go every week or every month from Workshop to Workshop, to practice a few days with Teacher A, and a week from now to be in Professor B’s room! I have a way of being totally different from what is fashionable, but certainly agree with the fact of attending sporadically a Workshop, especially when the participation is with people who really have something to add to our practice, can be a rich experience and great inspiration.
Some of you might ask, but how do we choose who go deeper our practice? If we do not go and meet the teachers for the first time, how do we know it’s with that person we want to learn? These are pertinent questions, I always did some research work before enrolling in an Intensive, trying to figure out who was going to teach, and also talking directly with my teachers or other practitioners to advise me, and, above all, I listened to my inner voice. Another detail that makes a lot of sense to me was the teacher’s experience, how many years he practiced and how many years he taught, whether he had a school or if he was just a teacher of Workshops.
And according to this line of thinking, many years ago, when I started this practice house, I made the decision to only organize two, maximum three, workshops a year, because more than that would be exaggerated and unnecessary, especially because my intention was to invite teachers with whom I felt a real connection, what normally can not be explain in words, but is what we feel, especially people like me, a scorpion of sign, and with this heart full of intuition! And with a few exceptions throughout these nearly 12 years of Ashtanga Cascais, I have been given the privilege of inviting and working with some of my direct teachers, and others who are people I met in Mysore, KPJAYI, and realized that their classes would be important to the community of practitioners in Portugal.
These Workshops are thought out and organized to be inspiration for our practice, and so we can better understand how to take Yoga into our daily lives. They aim to prove that Ashtanga Yoga is more than folding to the right and left side, lengthening up and twisting down because it surpasses the postures and movements we do, due to the daily work of mental focus training, discipline, detachment and courage to be present at the moment. And these teachers create an energy so intense and strong of practice and concentration, able to unlock and clean up what might seem complicated, confusing, or scattered. They do not teach magic formulas, or miracle recipes, or promises of a prosperous, laughable and easy future. But they offer something that is unique and special, which is a group experience, where everyone is welcome, whether total beginner to Yoga or more experienced practitioner, to stop, feel and breathe, renew energy without competition, judgment, or comparison , putting away the masks, the luggage and the weights of the past, clearing the mind of the expectations and will of the future, and knowing how to be well with ourselves, despite good and bad days, easy or more complicated.
It seems that it is not much different if you have already practiced Ashtanga Yoga with a dedicated teacher, but I can assure you it is! I still do not know if it’s our room, the energy of these teachers, the people who have come to participate, or the fact that we practice closer to each other, and the heat we generate! Whether it is the whole of this, or if it has nothing to do with these factors, they are always days of inspiration to develop our physical, mental, emotional and energetic skills and to advance a little more in this way of learning.
* KPJAYI – Shri Krishna Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute