The Human Tree: Principles of Alignment in Iyengar Yoga workshop
Join us at YogaOnCrete and experience lightness of body and spirit and the joy of honouring and nurturing the needs of your body, mind and spirit through the practice of Iyengar yoga, daily encounters with the cool, turquoise Mediterranean waters at quiet beaches, idyllic unspoilt surroundings, and wholesome local food, excursions, a warm and welcoming group of people and much more!
One of the distinct features which makes humans unique in nature lies in the verticality of the spine. This change in spinal position liberated the head and neck from the downward constraints in relation to the earth. The vertical axis functions as an antenna which connects earth and sky, thus making humanity a meeting place between opposing as well as complementary forces. By studying the biomechanics of verticality in cultures where people are still able to carry weight on their heads, one can see that human form itself is a reflection of the dynamic interaction between these two forces. In this original presentation of the traditional alignment of Iyengar yoga, all yogic techniques are traced back into their physiological source, i.e. the natural functions and reflexes of the body. Therefore, one is able to understand the alignment behind the yogic techniques from the inside out.
During the week together, we will work in a slow and methodical way, using body, mind and breath as a field of enquiry to explore the following topics:
- external and internal rooting in different series of asanas; precise and detailed explanation of alignment principles
- opening the back of the diaphragm to liberate breathing and to prepare for the subtle techniques of pranayama
- deep rest by learning how to access and release the nervous system
The aim of the workshop is to enable participants to understand the principles behind alignment, so they have the confidence to start or consolidate their personal practice.
- Twice daily Iyengar yoga classes
- Professional and experienced yoga instructor
- 7 nights' accommodation in traditional guesthouse located near beach
- 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners included
- A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach
- Linen and towels provided
The week begins with an introductory yoga session at 6.00 p.m. on the day of arrival, followed by dinner. Thereafter, there will be a morning (8.30-10.30 a.m.) and afternoon (6.00-7.30 p.m.) Iyengar yoga class. In between classes, there will be enough time for guests to relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and region.
The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes; guests can join in an optional excursion, including a guided hike through the magnificent Aradaina gorge (approx. €25 depending on number of participants). Two of the nights guests are free to dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approx. €15 for a full meal including drinks). Individual excursions (e.g., hikes, boat trips) can also be arranged at an extra cost. On the last day, departure can be arranged after breakfast.
The number of guests is limited to 15, to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, and to ascertain that individual attention is given in the classes.
The classes comprise of a series of asanas (physical postures), usually sustained for some time so that the body and its necessary actions can be observed within the posture, pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditative techniques (sitting in silence, concentration techniques), through which the development of awareness of the body and mind in the present moment and deep relaxation are practiced.
Iyengar yoga was developed through the pioneering work of B.K.S. Iyengar, who freed the classical yoga postures (asanas) from their Indian mystique and with the use of props made them suitable for Westerners, who want to have a clear understanding of what happens in a yoga posture. A typical Iyengar yoga class focuses on precision of movement, correct alignment, and the study of the ‘muscle and mind’ actions and resistance necessary to enter a state of concentration. Breathing awareness is emphasized in every asana in order to deepen the experience. Through consistent practise the student overcomes physical and mental/emotional limits and develops a deep awareness of the body, power, control, patience and physical and mental harmony.
Constantinos is an enthusiastic and dedicated practitioner of Iyengar Yoga since 1992. In 1996, he moved to France where he also obtained his certification as a clinical psychologist from the University of Picardie. During that time, he studied extensively psychoanalysis both in the freudian and the lacanian vein and became particularly interested in the possible role of the immune system as an interface between body and mind. In the course of time, it became apparent to him that health is not simply the absence of disease but also concerns a state beyond that, which relates to the plasticity and lightness of the energy body. In 1999, he moved to London where he continued his study of psychoanalysis at a postgraduate level while also studying yoga at the South London Iyengar Yoga Institute, where he stayed for 3 years. In 2002, he gained his Iyengar Yoga teaching certification and became a member of the UK association. After his return to Greece in 2003, he opened the first official Iyengar Yoga Centre in Athens, where the first teacher training in the country took place. His teaching is alignment-based and aims at clarifying the biomechanics of asanas and pranayamas in a very precise way. It is also informed by the belief that the study of the body, nature and breath gives one the opportunity to understand the mind.
- (all inclusive) per person per week
- €520 shared non en suite accommodation (2 in a room) with use of communal bathroom.
- €600 shared en suite accommodation (3 in a room) or single non-ensuite (with use of communal bathroom).
- €650 shared en suite twin or double room.
- €820 single en suite accommodation (please note that single room availability is limited).
- €450 non-participating partner sharing a room.
- €510 work-exchange option (only one place per week): about 2-3 hours’ help per day with light household tasks (e.g., washing dishes, cleaning yoga studio) that does not interfere with the attendance of all classes. Accommodation in triple room.