I just finished hosting an Ashtanga Yoga Retreat here in Nicaragua titled An Exploration of Stretch and Strength. It was a huge success and I believe that my guests left with a whole new passion for Ashtanga Yoga that they hadn’t necessarily arrived with. I suppose it is fair to say that if I can get kids to enthuse about learning algebra (under duress) then it should be pretty easy to share my passion of Ashtanga Yoga with adults who share my love of yoga.
We practised a modified Primary Series each morning. Afternoon workshops were delivered on release techniques and strengthening exercises, all geared towards the advancement of Ashtanga Yoga. We released the front, back and side lines and then identified postures that relied on these lines. We strengthened the glutes and then mapped out the use of the glutes through the Primary Series. We spent a full session on shoulder stability and the use of the armpit bandha. It was Ashtanga Yoga at it’s technical best.
And yes, by the end of the week, there was significant progress not just physically but mentally as well……practice became more focused, the mind became stiller. Students reaped the benefits of practising Ashtanga Yoga with me and yes, they really liked it. But still I dare not market my product as A Week of Ashtanga Yoga, Nicaragua!!!
So, what is in a name?? Why does a retreat called An Exploration of Stretch and Strength have so much more appeal than Ashtanga Yoga Retreat? Julia’s Breathe and Release Camp…a great name but the reality is that I would still teach a whole heap of Ashtanga Yoga and all that is related to it. Why does the mention of Ashtanga Yoga have a similar stigmatism attached to it, a similar stigmatism attached to it as the mere mention of algebra…..I can’t do it; it’s too hard; it doesn’t make sense; I’m going to fail.
So, what to do? An Exploration of Stretch and Strength, Nicaragua…..I think this just about covers it or is it false advertising. Your thoughts please!!