(most recent at the top)
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The breath and support (incl. headstand)
This one began with a simple exploration of the difference between 'lifting' parts of the body and 'using the ground to release into space'... The way to 'use' the ground is to find a breathing relationship to it. The outcome is an awakening of the core and spine that offers a completely different experience of how the body can move...
Awakening movement from the centre
A gentle building awakening of the spine for the Spring
I began this by planting a seed about state of mind - and how you can play with 'directions' of the senses together with 'expression' to find good mental balance in relationship to your environment. We went on to explore awakening with whilst relaxing without - moving towards our outward actions supporting inner release...
Senses, physical expression, the core and the spine.
How to approach your practice
On this workshop I take you through a serial overview of things you need to attend to in approach to any posture, IF you want to improve some aspect of your experience. The approach also gives you a way of recognising exactly where you are at and what you need to do in any moment of practice.
THIS is how you do it
Clarity about 'gathering in to open out'
'Gathering in to open out' is a principle that works, but is full of misconception that can stay stuck (because it still works)... in this workshop we explored the individual and very personal relationships to the world in action that can unravel any confusion.
Sourcing outward action from the centre
A workshop for the neck & throat
Continuing on from the the previous week's theme of 'decoupling' actions so we can see what individual aspects of our bodies and movement can do by themselves in order to piece things together again with more confluence... This workshop we did our best to 'leave the neck and throat' out of things (so that the rest of the body can develop better ways of supporting you that don't rely on the neck)
A development of support that liberates the neck and shoulders.
Understanding support from within and without
So this session was spent learning to 'de-couple' habitual compensatory reactions to the actions of the limbs to discover how they can support a relaxed spine, followed by an exploration of how the core and breathing gear (spine) can move us whilst the limbs relax ... in order to put them back together in harmony rather than conflict.
Simplifying and strengthening movement and support
Between the centre and your hands & feet
This was a large-ish class with most areas of the body needing to be covered, so I went for a central solution to all local issues (neck, shoulders, knees and elbows, hips and groins). Here is a powerfully transformative workshop on how the outward release of tension through the limbs depends on a direct connection of them to pivotal points along the spine that can be accessed through core engagement related to support.
From the hands & feet to the core and throat
Head neck and knees
This workshop started with people feeling a little tired and fragile, so I began with a slow-build of energy from the ground up with some reclining, twists and leg extensions, with a particular focus on how to free up the head and neck, and developing into including looking after the knees... deep as usual
A gentle build up to strength and ease
The whole thing ...
This workshop had a bit more of an educational lilt in terms of understanding how the whole thing works - I talk about options for the spine, flexion and extension from different parts. I of course bring the breath and interaction with the earth into the mix, along with appropriate use of the limbs... A good one for those that want to understand things directly through the body.
Our options and favourable ways of doing things
Integrating inward with outward.
This first workshop of 2022 was a rather wonderful exploration of how inward moving actions, engagements and releases can be integrated with and supported by our outward engagements through the limbs. The second half started with a far-reaching pranayama which we took into standing postures
The breath, the spine, and interaction with the world
The limbs the core and the head
Another deep-reaching workshop build around releasing common limb joint problems through developing a central/centred relationship to the world around us (the breath and its core responsiveness to support). And we finished with a physical exploration that relieves the head/neck/throat from the job of control, followed by a deep relaxation to integrate...
Integrating everything with the centre.
The Limbs, the Core & the Breath
From a question about a restricted shoulder, this workshop evolved into a fantastic exploration of how to use the limbs in a way that brings you back to your centre through the breath and its release. A masterclass in the relationship between pranayama and posture...
A masterclass in pranayama and posture
Exploring your relationships to above and below.
We began with my signature practice - which I call 'mahapranayamasana' - a practice that simple in appearance, but through engagement and breath can reveal everything you need to know about practice. We then worked with wheel (backbend) - deconstructing /reconstructing it to a point of integration
Looking at 'wheel'.
Taking care of YOUR issue during practice, and Shoulderstand
So this started with a gentle investigative approach to simply lying down, taking time to make sure that you can 're-invent' things to make whatever your habitual complication is feel better (i mentioned specifics for all individuals on the group). We then deconstructed and rebuilt shoulder stand up into a new experience for everyone...
Taking care in shoulder stand
The deepest and kindest of explorations...
This workshop evolved from the fact that most participants were feeling less than top form, including someone with covid symptoms. What followed was a very deep exploration centred in causing zero physical stress. It was fabulous I think!
A workshop for if you are feeling rough..
How to frame your attention in practice
This was a general workshop starting with some standing postures - but I share how I go about framing my attention when I am practicing for myself. If you are clear about what you are relating to, and what you might expect to happen as a result, you get an opportunity to recognise the 'that's it!' moment, which is your cue to move on to the next direction of attention... Become clear about what I share here and you have a direct guide for life.
Recognising when to 'change gear' in posture work
Try it out in another posture!
So on this workshop I began with my signature Mahapranayamasana (the breathing earth practice) and I invited participants to tune into some of the responses and benefits of relating to support in a situation where it is possible to relax. I then invited them to try out something else (dog pose was the first thing) to see if they could transpose the experience and movements they had felt in an oppositionally different position... The outcome is surprising!
How to understand what the body needs to do...
A whole-body solution to neck and shoulders
This Saturday morning re-treat was a celebration of the relationships between the neck/throat, the wings/shoulders, and the face! It is the way we 'hold' ourselves in space that cause these common physical complaints, and it is the way we interact with the world and with the sense of weight that can change everything - The outcome is freedom for the neck and shoulders...
'The breath of Atlas'
A celebration of the hips
This workshop was centred around how to wake up proprioceptive support responses from within (the core responses within the pelvis) and from without (the limbs in support and the actions around the pelvis) - all for the purposes of taking strain off the groins and lower back. The outcome is a new somatic sense of the hips and how they celebrate in movement. (I taught this one from my phone, so quality is a little impaired - but the content is fantastic)
Learning to let go of the internal holding of the hips so that they can support you!
Kindness to the spine through the breath
For this workshop I shared a way of being with the breath in 3 significant areas of the body : lower body/navel/pelvis, head and throat/neck, the chest/ribcage/upper spine. The outcome is potential freedom for the spine in all 3 areas.
A Saturday re-treat workshop
The Sacred Breath II - introductory workshop
A deep exploration of the various fundamental choices we have in our breathing, and the relationships of breathing 'actions' to our support. (A prequel to 'Sacred Breath II' - A live and interactive course to run on Sundays from early September 2021. Check '1:1s & Workshops for details.
The choices we have in our breathing...
The solution is the breath!
This workshop began with asking the group what they need: the answer was basically solutions for everything from the head to hips and of course the spine in between. So I began with addressing the most prevalent issue for people - the base of the spine - and took through a deep exploration of how the breath and its release in the area can change everything. (Some of the content of my next course)
An accidental prequel to 'the Sacred Breath 2'
Moving breathing and living from the Centre
I refer to this title as the ultimate healing because the majority of our restrictions and physical dysfunctions are sourced in a distortion in ourselves - born of being physically pulled away from our centre. Re-discovering the natural experience of the centred movement and breath leads to new ease and a different kind of strength.
The ultimate healing
From without to within | From within to without
This 'Creating space to heal' workshop will change your body-map! After some time of deep guided inner release, we spent the day exploring how to support a relaxed spine and the spaces within from our periferal actions. Then we followed by working the other way round - from the deep core responses that arose from the first experiment ... engaging through a relaxed periferal body. Then finding the natural breathing rhythm between the two 'ways' of supporting ourselves.
Creating the space to heal 4
The neck, head & shoulders
On this second part of 'Creating the space to heal' we looked at how the spine of the upper body can find support from the earth and the (breathing) relationships between the head shoulders and ribcage can lead to an awakening of the upper spine.
Creating the space to heal 2
Coming home ~ to the centre of release.
Over this workshop we gently built up a picture of how the upper body and chest, can rest into and use the support of the ground to move you freely in space, and how the contents of the lower half can take the weight off the spine and invite the upper body to ground.
Saturday morning re-treat
Learning the power of letting go
The workshop began with experiencing how inner tensions (like the groins) are usually tense because of the way we arrive into a position. What followed was a deep exploration of how the 'breathing gear' can respond to surrender of your weight...
Saturday morning re-treat
The return to Innocence
This was a rather special workshop where I guide people through various 'innocent' relationships between the body and itself, between the person and action, and between action and the world around you .... people ended up doing whatever the body felt like doing and the instructions were the same for everyone...
Saturday morning re-treat
A general workshop dealing with specifics that people brought.
This Saturday re-treat was all of my regulars, so I simply spent the time working with how to liberate particular local issues that, in the end, everyone needs to pay attention to. The outcome was pivotal for many of the participants.
Saturday morning re-treat
The Breath and the space all around
On this Saturday re-treat, I was once again inviting people to find the 'breathing earth' but then expanded into how the central spaces of the body can be connected to the space above and all around you... We included the solar plexus and then in standing postures, particularly the throat...
Saturday morning re-treat
Pranayama and Posture
Today's workshop was centred around the understanding that the 'goal' in any posture is to let go into it, and that the only way that this can happen (well) is when the movements of breathing act equally as our support - for this to happen, these movements need to relate to where we are in contact with the ground...
Saturday morning re-treat
The Solar Plexus and Throat
This week we went into a depth of work that would normally be reserved for a course - finding movements that are sourced in spacious relationships between two fundamental chakras to the world around (through touch and space - a bit of an offshoot from the ongoing Enviro-somatic Intelligence series...