Posts Tagged ‘albuquerque’
Vinyasa on The Edge
What makes us doubt ourselves, our beliefs, and our abilities? Come on an adventurous journey with Chris Courtney, who channels his experiences as a mountain guide and yoga teacher into an exploration of believing in ourselves, our beliefs, and our abilities.
We start by giving ourselves permission to not be perfect, then he’ll guide you through an ashtanga-inspired vinyasa flow in which you’ll safely find your own edge, where we’ll break down some challenging poses to enable you to sneak across any barriers to a new level of self-belief….laughing all the way! (Asana and laughter)
Adjustments and Assists For Yoga Teachers
Review and learn how to give gentle, safe and supportive hands-on assists which help students to more fully feel the energy of each asana – all while honoring and supporting their breath and intentions. For more information on Chris’ approach to yoga assists, see his article on Elephant Journal titled “Yoga Adjustments or Yoga Assists?’ http://www.chriscourtneyyoga.com/?p=158 (Asana and discussion)*
Yoga For Runners and Cyclists
A workshop focused on the specific needs of runners and cyclists. We build a strong mind-body-breath connection as we flow through a series of asanas and fascia freeing movements to allow you to run/cycle more fluidly while preventing injuries and feeling great!
Yoga For Regular Guys
Can’t touch your toes? Feel more comfortable in a weight room than in a yoga studio? Convinced that yoga is “too New Age-y” — or simply too hard? This workshop demystifies yoga for the regular guy, in a playful and energetic way which is both accessible and authentic – taught by a regular guy just like you. Together we’ll get strong, stretched, and confident to attend a regular yoga class without feeling lost or out of place. And no, we won’t make you wear spandex. Yes, yoga can be masculine – and fun!
Yoga for Skiers and Snowboarders
Never done yoga but love to ski or snowboard? No fear – this workshop is for anyone looking for a way to improve their skiing through yoga. The only requirements are curiosity and an open mind.
Interested in finding core strength, body awareness, and balance that will help take your skiing to another level? Tired of dealing with tight hips or sore lower back muscles after a weekend on the slopes? Want to learn how yoga can help prevent skiing-related injuries?
With this 2 hour workshop, you’ll learn how you can use yoga to improve your strength, flexibility, stamina, balance and breathing to improve your skiing and boarding. Whether you want to prevent injury or take your skiing or boarding to the next level, this workshop can help you on the way to achieve your goals!
The Warrior and The Yogi
Who are we? Our family tells us, society tells us, laws and customs tell us. But what do we say? How do we get to that place of self-knowledge and conviction where we are able to state without doubt, fear or anger, “This is who I am, this is what I believe, this is how I intend to live my life?”
How do we find our true calling, our soul companions, our destiny? In this task, a powerful ally is the Warrior Ethos. Directed inward, it grounds us, fortifies us and focuses our resolve. When we find ourselves taking a closer look at the path of yoga, we see not only parallels to the warrior ethos but also that they are a reflection of each other.
Lifelong yogi and warrior Chris Courtney leads you on a journey to understand how to blend the codes of the warrior and the yogi into a powerful and fulfilling life practice, all while building a more peaceful and just world. (Discussion and asana)
VOTED ALBUQUERQUE’S BEST YOGA INSTRUCTOR 2012, ALBUQUERQUE – THE MAGAZINE
Hi Everyone! I’ve just arrived to my new home in Stuttgart, Germany and I’ll be posting my new class schedule once its all set. I’ll also be setting up some new workshops in both Europe and the USA so stay tuned!
Private lessons by appointment – contact me at email@example.com
Upcoming workshops and events:
2013: Yoga Klassen und Workshops in Deutschland und Italia!
July 18-21st, Yoga + Adventure Weekend Retreat, Stubai Valley, Austria
Previous 2012/2013 workshops and events:
October 29th, 1:30-5:30 PM, Rock-N-Flow Fusion Festival, Spirit of Yoga, Tempe, AZ
November 5th, 2;30-3-5:30 PM, Rock-N-Flow Fusion Festival, Blissful Spirits Yoga, Albuquerque, NM
December 10th, Yoga For Skiers and Snowboarders, Albuquerque, NM
February 14th, Valentine’s Partner Yoga (with Live Music), Blissful Spirits, Albuquerque, NM
April 22nd, 2nd Annual Water Warrior Yoga Benefit, Indianapolis, IN
August 3rd-4th 2012, Flagstaff Yoga Festival, Flagstaff, AZ
September 1st, New Mexico Yoga Conference, Albuquerque, NM
October 19th, 2012, Mountainside Fitness, Peoria, AZ
October 20th, 2012, Studio Santosha, Phoenix, AZ
October 27-28th, Santa Cruz Yoga, Santa Cruz, CA
February 7-10 2013, Sedona Yoga Festival, Sedona AZ
March 3-5, Texas Yoga Conference, Houston, TX
Vinyasa Yoga Albuquerque
Yoga Classes Albuquerque
ALBUQUERQUE YOGA VINYASA CHRIS COURTNEY
Last year I wrote an article, Retail Therapy For The Economically Recessed, which touched on the yogic restraint of aparigraha (non-hoarding, non-grasping). At the time, I approached it from the angle that most do; one of resisting the urge to consume ever more stuff and not taking more than you need.
While this is an important perspective to consider as the annual American orgy of consumption (aka the “holiday season”) approaches, I believe it only scratches the surface of how we can apply this yama (self-restraint) in our everyday lives. By observing other aspects of aparigraha, we can make the world a more civil and happy place to live. Isn’t that what the yamas are all about anyway?
It seems we’re always grasping for something we think we don’t have enough of; possessions, people’s attention, a great looking pincha mayrasana, or the accolades of others. One aspect on non-hoarding that comes to mind is the need for us to apply it to everyday conversations. You can live a most frugal and materially unselfish life but if you tend to dominate every conversation you’re in, you’re probably not living with aparigraha.
Sure, we all have something to say and want to be heard, but not hoarding the conversation and leaving space for others to offer their thoughts makes for more harmonious interactions. Besdies, we do learn more by listening!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t speak your truth – far from it. What I am saying is that in speaking your truth, explore your own intentions and ask yourself if you are allowing space for others to speak theirs as well. This also means taking the time to listen. not just finding someplace else to be (mentally or physically) when its someone else’s turn to speak.
What about other ways we interact with those around us, like the way we occupy space on the sidewalk, the studio, or the grocery store? After over a decade of living abroad I’m often still in culture shock when I see the way Americans physically occupy space, with little awareness or regard for how it affects others. Yes, I believe aparigraha applies here as well.
Sure, this hoarding of space can take the form of trying to have the biggest house, the biggest car or staking out your own 2 acres of space at the beach but its often much simpler than that.
It doesn’t matter whether its a group of friends walking five abreast on the sidewalk (and expecting everyone else to move out of the way) or the ones who block an entire grocery aisle with their cart while standing with their hands on their hips looking at an item – we Americans are space-hoarders.
As a tall guy with long arms and legs, I’ve always been hyper-sensitive about not taking up too much space since if I’m not mindful about it, its just going to happen – especially in a crowded yoga studio. I often joke that the reason I wanted to teach yoga was because it seemed that only at the front of the room could I fully stretch out my arms…but I digress.
Sure, we’re a country with a low population density and a cultural need for “personal space”, so we do seem to come by this one honestly. But, as our public spaces become more crowded, a little less space-hoarding and more personal awareness could go a long way to improving everyone’s quality of life.
Of course being mindful all the time that we’re not monopolizing a conversation, taking up too much space or too much of someone’s time can seem like it would require a lot of effort. Luckily, there is an easier way; living in abundance. As studio owner and author Meta Hirschl says in her book Vital Yoga: A Sourcebook For Students and Teachers; “Aparigraha also means gaining awareness and focusing on our inherent sufficiency instead of deprivation.”
So, instead of feeling the need to say everything you want to say in every conversation, living in abundance reminds us of the richness of thoughts and ideas someone else may have – which helps us to actively listen and engage others in real conversations, not a series of monologues. It also releases us from the feeling of insecurity that we need to grab space and attention while we can, lest an opportunity be lost.
And finally, living in abundance makes us aware of just how fulfilling our lives can be. If we practice this each day with a sense of gratitude, it won’t be long before we’re living with aparigraha without having to think about it.
So, in the coming weeks as the deluge of advertisements bombard us with messages designed to tell us what we lack, by living in abundance and gratitude we can blissfully smile and breathe our way through the season.
Plus, the space we’ll be leaving in the aisles of those stores by our absence will make it easier for others to embrace aparigraha in some way as well.
This article originally appeared in Elephant Journal, November 2010.
Albuquerque Yoga Vinyasa
Picture yourself fully present in a pose during yoga class when suddenly, the teacher adjusts you in a way which throws you off balance (either physically or energetically). Perhaps he twisted you forcefully into your revolved triangle or she grabbed and adjusted your feet in headstand in a way which did not seem very supportive, but more corrective.
In another class, the teacher gently and quietly approaches you and provides a gentle hands-on assist which is supportive and allows you to more fully feel the energy of the pose (asana). And in most classes adjustments (if any), are given verbally and focus on foot and hip placements, etc. While such verbal adjustments (not to mention clear instructions) are necessary, they still seem incomplete.
I’ve come full circle on the entire question of hands-on adjustments in yoga after years of either not being adjusted while everyone else was (I’m a pretty tall guy so teachers didn’t always know what to do) or felt unsafe as a teacher forcefully tried to move my body in a way it wasn’t ready for.
After spending the last few months doing some intensive training with Doug Swenson in South Lake Tahoe (which included many days and hours of practicing gentle hands-on adjustments), I’ve come to embrace a new appreciation of them and now count myself as an enthusiastic supporter.
Doug Swenson’s four golden rules of yoga adjustments, as he taught them, were to:
- Enter and exit quietly
- Breathe with the student – on their inhale and exhale
- Be a guardian angel for your student – allow no harm to come to the student (or yourself)
- Be mindful of hand placements and avoid potentially inappropriate ones
What I find so refreshing about this approach, as we learned it from Doug, is that its not so much corrective as it supportive. In fact, calling them adjustments is something of a misnomer since his methods are more akin to an assist. Of course I really depends more on the teacher than on the student. And what I’m talking about here are not the potentially perilous issues of human touch, asking permission first, nor liability issues but rather a matter of intention.
So, in addition to Doug’s four golden rules of yoga adjustments/assists, I humbly added the following to my own approach:
- Its their asana, breath and intention, not yours.
- Be there to support and not to “fix”
If I give an adjustment which forcefully twists or lifts a student into a “fuller expression” of the pose, I could not only potentially hurt the student, but would be allowing my ego and energy to interfere with (rather than support) their experience. At the same time, if I provide a gentle hands-on assist which supports them in the energetics of the pose in a way which allows them more fully open into it themselves, then I am supporting their intention and practice.
Such corrections focus on the core of the body rather than on hand and foot placement or hip direction. That said, I’ve already found that most students will correct their own hands and feet once their core energy is gently assisted into moving in the right direction (and not just moved into the right direction).
And even while being gentle and supportive, it can be disruptive for a student when, instead of the teacher getting on the student’s inhale/exhale breathing pattern, they approach and tell them student to inhale when they are just starting their exhale. See Doug’s rule #2!
Of course its difficult to fully express this approach to yoga adjustments/assists without demonstrating them in person (or giving a workshop) but I hope that these thoughts can open up a broader discussion of them in general. Why don’t more yoga teachers do them? Why aren’t more yoga teachers trained in them? Why are we afraid to touch? And perhaps most importantly, what will benefit our students the most in their practice?
With deep gratitude to my teacher Doug Swenson
To book Chris for a workshop on yoga adjustmets/assists, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Chris on Twitter at CK_Courtney
The article originally appeared in Elephant Journal on July 27th, 2010.
My classes vary but my style is generally a vinyasa-based mix infused with humor and generous helpings of kick-your-asana power flow sequences.
I also offer specialized classes such as yoga for climbers, skiers and runners. Private lessons and workshops are always available!
You can contact me via email at email@example.com
Check the “Classes” link above for specific times and days.
With deepest gratitude to my teacher Doug Swenson and the incredible people I’ve spent the last 2 months with, I’m excited to announce that I’ve just finished the 500 hour yoga teacher training program at Lake Tahoe!
I can’t begin to describe what an amazing experience it has been and can’t wait to pass along all I’ve learned to others.
While I’ve been trained in multiple styles, the main style Doug teaches is Sadhana Yoga Chi – a style which incorporates both the more physically challenging aspects of ashtanga yoga with the gentler forms, all linked to the breath in a vinyasa and incorporating more fluid movements found in Tai Chi. Sadhana Yoga Chi is not just a physical practice on the mat but also a holistic approach to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Here is Doug’s description of the style which captures it all:
The goal of Sadhana Yoga Chi is to create a holistic balance between learning and teaching, power and softness, intellect and fitness. As both students and teachers, we embrace a true appreciation for nature, simplicity, integrity, happiness and laughter. We are inspired to seek true human potential in all life and throughout time. Last but not least, we aspire for a genuine balance between your own physical, mental, and spiritual self.
A story I tell less often is how I learned to find peace and serenity in meditation while under mortar and rocket barrages in Baghdad a few years ago.
In a past life while working a stint at the US Embassy in Baghdad (long story…), I used to be awakened in the morning by an alarm telling us that rockets and mortars were inbound to our little collection of trailer homes behind the embassy along the Euphrates. This usually meant rolling out of bed and onto the floor to get under my armored vest…basically into balasana (child’s pose) with my arms tucked under the vest - to wait and wonder if some shell would come crashing through the tin roof of my trailer and ruin my day.
Sometimes these alarms would go off while I was in the shower or sitting on the toilet. So, my roommate and I made a deal that if either of us was hit while on the can, we’d pull the other off so we wouldn’t go out like Elvis…but I digress.
It was during those mornings (and often late afternoons) while hearing rockets whizzing overhead and hearing the crash of mortars landing nearby that I learned how to find inner peace. Powerless to do anything but crouch and wait (perhaps even to die), I learned to let go and try not to be attached to the outcome of the situation but rather to tuck inside and be one with my own breath. At first it was a way to overcome the fear of hearing the crashes getting closer and closer to me (before they stopped) but later it became a way to access a much deeper level of meditation and get a better glimpse of my true self.
Why is it that it takes such drastic situations to make us truly focus inward and strip away the things which block us from connecting to our true selves? Why did my mind wander so in quiet rooms back home but find such focus in a war zone of all places?
Ever since those experiences in Baghdad, I’ve been able to check out and meditate anywhere. In the middle of a busy airport? No problem! Sitting next to a crying baby? Piece of cake! In a beautiful mountain meadow? Now you’re talking!
Sure, we’d all like to have that serene place to meditate or practice yoga but in an ever-louder, ever-crowded world such places are far harder to come by. Of course, that place within ourselves is always available, provided we remember to look for it.
This article originally appeared in Elephant Journal on June 28th, 2010.