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Come to the heart of Bali, and experience yoga like never before. Drop whatever you are doing, and give yourself the time to learn yoga, from one of the worlds most inspiring and thoughtful teachers. By taking the plunge into this holistic yoga program, your practice and insight will reach new heights.
The Shala Bali has a number of beautiful villas, with an amazing yoga space, overlooking the rice fields. The grounds have maintained gardens, a 20-meter lap pool, a restaurant kitchen with facilities to do your own cooking, a secondary yoga space, and massage space.
These month long courses are intended for committed practitioners of any level or ability. Ideally each student should have a background in self practice, and know at least half the primary series before being ready to commit to this course. The basis of this course is Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Depending on your level of ability, you will be taught the primary series, the intermediate series and the advanced series in a traditional manner, step by step.
Students are also expected to be open to learning new material, and not limiting themselves with a rigid approach to practice. During the first week of the course all students are encouraged to learn and commit to memory the moon sequence (from Vinyasa krama), and subsequently practice it once a week, or more if needed.
Depending on the experience and inclination of each student, some participants will be encouraged to pursue the Ashtanga Vinyasa sequencing, through the intermediate and advanced postures. Other students, if time permits, will be encouraged to learn from Vinyasa krama - the lion, bound sequences, and beyond. %Some students will work with both systems at the same time.
The program is conducted over six mornings and four afternoon classes per week. Each class lasts approximately 3 hours. The total time for the course is approximately 108 hours. There will be:
Limited numbers to guarantee personal attention;
Ashtanga yoga is a sequential system of postures linked by movement and breath. This system comprises three series of asana called primary, intermediate, and advanced A, B, C, D. The primary series is called yoga Chikitsa, meaning body therapy. The intermediate series is called nadi shodhana, meaning nervous system purification. The advanced Series (A, B, C, and D) are collectively known as Sthira Bhaga or steady strength.
Although it is important to learn the postures in the correct order with the Ashtanga yoga method, it is the cultivation of the breath that is paramount. By focusing on the breath, rather than just the achievement of the postures, the practice brings you into deeper contact with yourself. The linking of breath with movement is the foundation of the tradition, as it combines the three elements of breath, body, and mind. That is pranayama, asana, and drishti, or looking places. These are known as the tristhanam, or the three places of attention.
The breath is the vehicle by which the body and mind are observed, purified, and transcended. It is through self-practice and self-observation that a non-judgmental attitude can be developed. This peaceful quality is particularly cultivated by focusing on the flowing nature of the breath.
The term Vinyasa krama, otherwise known as moving by numbers, is the tradition of practicing asana in a flowing sequence connected harmoniously by the breath. Krama means a step or in stages. It also means to learn the postures one by one, observing the correct order. Vinyasa krama is also an attempt to provide useful and interesting asana variations to practitioners, and teachers of any tradition, age, or ability.
These flowing sequences, guided by the quality of your breath, will bring balance to your regular practice, particularly if it has become stale, painful, or incomplete in some way. They will inspire and guide your practice to new heights, bringing fresh light and awareness to each and every moment. The system of yoga is not static. There are as many methods of yoga as there are practitioners of yoga. They will evolve and change with each new student who attempts them. Try to balance this creativity with commitment and consistency.
The venue of the program is a yoga retreat centre (The Shala Bali) in Ubud, Bali.