Basic Yoga Curriculum for 4-day retreats
Natural Breath – Natural Posture …and Relaxation
The main focus of all programs is an exploration of natural breath and natural posture in Meditation, Yoga and Daily Movement. The work develops and supports the natural dynamics of the breath cycle which constantly energize and align the pelvis and spinal column while fostering an open heart; The exploration and appreciation of these dynamics are the foundation for generating “good” posture and healthy movement.
Yoga classes often talk about and explore “the bandhas” which is an energizing of groups of muscles to foster alignment and health. These practices can seem complicated and occult, but these dynamics turn out to be just a natural expression of conscious, and slightly energized breathing. Once the relationships between breath and posture are understood, all alignment and yoga postures are an expression/extension of this understanding… and yoga postures are built from the inside out and the ground up through breath awareness.
We will explore these foundational dynamics through a variety of yoga traditions, including: Pilates, Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini.
In order to appreciate joint anatomy and apply this learning to our practice, we also play with interactive anatomy exhibits that measure lung and breath volume of different manners of breathing and measure muscle exertion at joints.
Relaxation – Surrender
A major emphasis will be placed on relaxation, as it is as essential in fostering health and deep change as is basic vitality. We will open up to relaxation through Open Focus meditations, Tantra body/breath practices, and guided Savasana (a pose of complete surrender while lying on the floor).
The basic daily schedule is guided morning meditation, 1 or 2 movement sessions, time at the beach, an optional second meditation, and lecture. The main focus is the connection between natural posture and natural breath in meditation, exercise and daily movement.
5:00 – 6:00 Guided meditation and breath/posture awareness
6:15 – 8:00 Yoga class. Classes explore a variety of different yoga styles, but always focusing how the dynamics within the natural breath-cycle foster natural, healthy posture.
7:30 – 9:00 Breakfast and light tasks (eg. watering)
9:00 – 10:00 Rest
10:00 – 11:30 Course material
11:30 – 12:30 Meditation
12:30 – 2:30 Lunch
2:30 – 5:00 Afternoons vary, but we usually go down to the beach for a swim. Return to Ranch
6:00 – 7:00 . Posture clinic or Yin Yoga
7:00 – 8:30 Light meal, eg. salad or yogurt and fruit. With discussion of course material
Please see Daily Life at The Ranch