Another new (old) talk by Richard Freeman goes online

Curl yourself up for an hour. There’s a new Richard Freeman talk up on the Yoga Workshop site. Link is here, and a super quick description:

Practicing Yoga in the Face of Adversity

Whether it’s a personal difficulty, or a political travesty or even a war, life seems often to toss adversity our way. This talk was recorded on October 20, 2013.

Yes, it’s from a while back, but as best as I can tell it’s just gone up here.

Posted by Steve

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Richard Freeman: Dueling with non-dualism

This is a few weeks old now, but the Yoga Workshop sneaked (well, to me anyway) a new talk by Richard Freeman up on the website and/or Soundcloud page. Give it a listen at either link. It’s about 75 minutes.

And to avoid that being our shortest post ever, here’s a link to a piece about Russell Brand’s meeting Amma. It includes this quote:

When I first heard of ‘The hugging saint’ I thought, how can you get to be a saint just by hugging? My understanding is that you have to do at least three miracles that are then verified by the Vatican. I suppose my fervently competitive nature is incensed by the notion of another’s canonisation “That’s not fair, I want to be a saint”, I think. Plus if epic physical interaction is now a milieu that’s acknowledged in the mystical realm I’d like to trade my awards for something more spiritually substantial. Like sainthood.

This frivolity aside, I first met Amma in Manhattan about five years ago with my mate Eddie Stern who happens to be one of the world’s foremost yoga teachers. At the summit, Amma, which is Malalayam (sic) for ‘Mother’ is backed by swamis and sari swathed acolytes. There is no grandeur, no messianic staring or theatrical laying on of hands, just a woman dressed in white giving out cuddles and sweets.

There you have it, my italics added.

Posted by Steve

Richard Freeman talks prana and apana

We mentioned when Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor were out in Los Angeles to produce videos for YogaGlo. I assume this one — link right here to a teaser — is among those.

The preview is worth a watch (just five minutes) because of Richard’s explanation of prana and apana — a nice refresher. Here’s the description of the class to give you more of a sense:

Prana governs inhaling. Apana governs exhaling. This class explores how these two primary patterns of Internal Shakti are the foundation of alignment and how they need and love each other.

The full video is 30 minutes.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga and marijuana — an authority’s point of view

Yesterday’s post noted the expected media pile-up on a story by the San Francisco Chronicle about people smoking pot before practicing yoga.

A quick digression into a reminder: We post stories that, in our minds, reach a certain critical mass in the mainstream media just to provide those of us more deeply involved in whatever the “yoga community” is a window on how others are seeing it.

OK, back to yoga and pot.

I recalled that Richard Freeman addressed the issue in an “Ask the Experts” a while back:

When relationships, details of everyday life and one’s own yoga practice are dealt with under the influence of marijuana the result is often a lack of completion, an absence of external feedback and an inability to postpone pleasure. Yoga practitioners who smoke during, or after their practice on a regular basis, tend to plateau in their practice and gradually lose their, “edge,” their intellectual capacity and brilliance.

You can click on the link to get his full thoughts.

Anyone have a different take? I’m not suggesting there’s no benefit; I’m just suggesting that way people in the story/stories about it this week talk about it seem to be missing the point of practicing yoga (as I understand it).

Posted by Steve

Richard Freeman talks technique, alignment and lineage

Just happened upon this Soundcloud of a Richard Freeman talk. These are always must-listen, right? Here are the details:

Richard talks about methodology of asana as a dialectic between sthira and sukha, the inbreath and outbreath and technique as the continual process of refining your actions to navigate skillfully down the path without causing suffering to yourself or others. This talk was recorded on 19 Oct 2014.

We’ll have more on lineage in a bit… stay tuned for the next post.

Yoga Workshop’s full Soundcloud page is right here, also.

Posted by Steve

Deciding if the atman or non-atman wins, with Richard Freeman

Noon Colorado time today (so maybe 30 or so minutes from when this posts), registration opens up for Richard Freeman’s week-long “Advanced Intensive” in June — and not at the Yoga Workshop, but in Santa Fe.

Bringing together yoga and Buddhism, it sounds… pretty mind-blowing:

Join Richard and Mary along with their dear friend and beloved teacher, Joan Halifax, at this remarkable residential retreat at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Though yoga and Buddhism have evolved into two distinct disciplines, they stem from common roots and their teachings remain some of the most accessible and profound. In this 5-day intensive we will explore differences and complementary concepts within these two classical systems as reflected in asana practice, as well as through study and chanting of traditional texts.

Historically yoga and Buddhism have opposed, stolen from and have even learned from each other. On the surface they seem to be based on conflicting axioms. Buddhists say that there is no self or atman. Hindu yogis say that the Self or atman is all that there is. Who’s right? By looking at the foundational teachings of early Buddhism, juxtaposed with the early Samkhya and Vedanta of the Upanisads, we will see if the atman or non-atman wins. Then we will consider Advaita Vedanta and the Middle Path of Mahayana Buddhism to see just how much these schools have helped each other to evolve.

Check out more information at the link above, including the prices. Exact dates are June 3-7, 2015.

This is a subject I was recently pondering. So, this is truly tempting.

Posted by Steve

Applications being accepted for Richard Freeman’s Teacher Intensive

So, during the past weeks we have learned that Tim Miller is holding a Third Series Teacher Training next summer (probably you should have heard back from them by now; if you haven’t, I’d suggest you follow up with an email), the next Confluence will be in March 2016 and now we have the application period open for Richard Freeman’s annual summer intensive. Here’s the link and a reminder of what this really fascinating and fantastic month is all about:

Richard offers month-long teacher intensives through the Yoga Workshop. The purpose of the course is to begin an exploration of the internal principles and forms of Ashtanga Yoga at a level that will deepen one’s practice and make teaching a natural outcome of practice. Always returning to our own personal experience, we will explore the practices and philosophies of yoga, their contexts, purposes, patterns and limitations. Examining the tradition from multiple viewpoints should give depth and sophistication to the interconnected processes of yoga. The course will flow through the many and often contradictory philosophies of yoga into therapeutics, into asana practice, on to Sanskrit and pranayama, back into meditation, on into the biomechanics of posture and movement and into the hands-on world of relating to others.

The dates are July 27 to Aug. 21, so it overlaps a few days with Tim’s Third Series — so tough choice! A bit more about the requirements:

Applications are evaluated from a broad perspective and we try to select a group with balanced interests and proficiencies: yoga, practice, philosophical, life experience, etc. — so please be clear and specific about your interests, strengths, limitations, and other information you feel is important.

Cost is $3,300. All the info is at the link.

Posted by Steve