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Advancing Your Practice with Edward Clark And Nikki Durrant (Tripsichore Yoga)

October 16 – 18, 2015

This series of Workshops is dedicated to strategies for improving your yoga practice – to understanding how to be your own teacher and how to get more out of your regular classes.  Each workshop will include a section on Pranayama and Philosophy – not as separate subjects, but as material that is integral to making your practice grow.

What does it take to move your practice forward?  How do you start working on and refining challenging material?  Usual answers would consider looking at postures that you find challenging and this could be material that you are already good at as well as that which you find difficult.  Both can deepen a practice.  A deeper practice isn’t just about harder postures though.  Rather, it is also the quality with which you perform them.

Each session in this series of 6 workshops takes the form of a Tripsichore class, but will expand and break down particular segments to give insight into the finer points of the techniques and sequences.  This course will cover a range of Tripsichore Sun Salutes as well as the lengthy and infinitely expandable series we call the Girish Sequence.   Unlike the on-going movement found in Sun Salutes, the Girish Sequence spends more time working the breath in postures.  So, there will be an interesting contrast between how yoga is worked in movement and stillness.   An Inversion (be it Headstand, Forearm Balance, or Handstand) can be quite different when done as a part of continuous movement and when sustained for a long period.  Both present challenge that have as much to do with the mind’s response as it does with physical control.

As always in a Tripsichore class, expect to do a great variety of Back Bends, Twists, and intriguing Balances.  Our aim is to make exciting and entertaining physical and mental challenges.

While vinyasa or flow styles of yoga are popular offerings at studios around the world, the techniques have not been well articulated.  This is a training intended for those who specifically want to develop a more profound understanding of vinyasa technique.  The course will be taught from the perspective of Tripsichore technique, but the application of these principles is valid across a broad range of yoga styles.  As this course is for teachers, the material covered will be quite technical and participants should expect to learn material that is challenging to master in its level of detail and which will provide a basis for personal study and inspiration for an extended period.

Tripsichore Vinyasa Yoga is both challenging and fun.  It encourages the student to explore the furthest range of their physical potential while providing the technical approaches that ensure safety.  The Tripsichore Yoga style has been developed for 30 years and, in investigating yoga, has endeavoured to reconcile the idea of making advanced physical practice enhance the ends of a spiritual quest.  While Tripsichore is known for its amazing variety of unusual postures, these have been discovered through the use of orthodox yoga techniques.  These techniques have been experimented with to expand the range of what can possibly be derived from sound basics.  The results have shown that there is a lot more to yoga than just standard asanas.

This course will be taught by Edward Clark (creator of Tripsichore) and Nikki Durrant (the world’s leading practitioner of Tripsichore).

VINYASA – Techniques For Cultivating Evenness, Smoothness And Fluidity

The premise of a Vinyasa practice is that evenness of breath coupled with evenness of movement results in (or is the result of) evenness of mind.  This evenness is equated with the stillness that previous generations of yogis have sought.
The phenomenon of Vinyasa may or may not be a new development in yoga technique, but its popularity has certainly never attained the remarkable levels that it has today.  Despite this popularity, its techniques have not been well articulated.  The KL Training For Teachers sets out to clearly establish the rationale for the Tripsichore vinyasa style and where it sits in the contexts of ancient and contemporary yoga thought and practice, delineating the reasoning behind, and the techniques for, the execution of vinyasa.  This is information that teachers and practitioners alike should be aware of…

UJJAYI BREATH

As most vinyasa systems overtly make use of the evenness of breath, particular breathing techniques are used.  The one used most frequently is the Ujjayi breath.  It should be stressed that the function of the breath is the practise of the 4th limb of Ashtanga Yoga – Pranayama.  Pranayama is not, as is commonly held, breathing exercises.  Rather it is about the manipulation of energy.  The meticulous practise of the breathing techniques is to direct prana.
The Ujjayi breath is a vigorously muscular form of breathing which is used to direct energy in a subtle way through a channel in the spinal region known as the sushumna.  But, apart from this subtle aim, it is important to note that in a vigorous physical practice (as is the case in most vinyasa), the lower back is a particularly vulnerable area for potential injury.  The accurate practise of Ujjayi demands that an Uddiyana (flying up) action occurs on both the inhale and exhale.  On a purely muscular level, the abdominal region is worked in such a way that the structural integrity of the lower back is maintained.
This presents a potentially confusing situation for the yoga teacher and student – breath is in the lungs (relatively high in the thoracic cavity) but the action of breathing begins its function at the base of the sushumna in the Mula region (the lower end of the spinal area).  The Ujjayi breath consists of 3 somewhat arbitrarily distinguished sections – the diaphragmatic, the thoracic and the clavicular and is distinguished by both its sound and the use of Uddiyana.  The action of the Uddiyana contributes to the fullness of the inhale and exhale.  The physical mechanism is easily recognised by the lengthening of the abdominals, but it is said to operate on a deep internal level with a forward action applied on the inhale at the Mula and a backward action on the exhale.

TRIPSICHORE SUN SALUTES

These sun salutes consist of a variety of progressively more complex postures and transitions that are moved through by the use of the Ujjayi breath.  The premise is that one seeks, through the breath, to keep the energetic coherence of the spine by leaving its lengthened shape unaltered throughout and, in so doing, endeavouring to preserve an energetic connection between the base of the spine and the top of the skull.  In effect, the spine is maintained as it would be in a seated meditation while the body is carried through a series of evenly metered movements initiated and synchronised with the breath.

THE GIRIS SEQUENCE

The postures and counter-poses in this sequence are held for approximately equal lengths of time and continue the effort to make the energetic connection practised in the Sun Salutes.  That is to say, while they are constructed in form to resemble a conventional posture based series, they are still overtly about using pranayama as in the Sun Salutes.  The comparative slowness, however, gives the practitioner or teacher an increased amount of time to make subtle adjustments in the movement of the breath and energy without the possible distraction of remembering the relatively complex sequencing of the Sun Salutes.

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