The Yoga Of Living: Brightening Our Lights of Discernment & Compassion
March 11 & 12 || A ParaYoga Immersion at the Heartwood Center in Evanston Illinois
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“I am thrilled to return to Evanston, IL and the opportunity share live and in-person. Chicago has long been an extraordinary community of leading teachers and deeply committed practitioners. My intention for this workshop is to draw upon yogic and Tantric practices, perennial wisdom as well as conversation to directly address the challenges that so many of us have faced in recent years and may be still trying to resolve.” – Rod Stryker
If we are to be in right relationship with the world and the people in it, we must be in right relationship with ourself. The rewards include greater resilience and less suffering, and the ability to “see” from a larger context so that we are consistently guided by the innate intelligence––literally, the wisdom in our own heart. Over the course of this weekend we will dive into the most relevant teachings of tantra and we’ll turn to the teachings of the yoga sutra (the seminal text of Yoga) specifically, sutra 1:34 and those practices that directly resolve the “darkening of the heart.”
Practice will focus on building resilience and self-reliance. We will practice to deepen our capacity to reflect on our thoughts and feelings which leads to elevating our relations and understanding. We will re-establish ourselves on the path to healthy interdependence and intra-dependence. In addition to four practicums devoted to asana, pranayama and meditation and contemplation, the weekend will also include conversation. On Sunday, we’ll convene a panel of teachers/ leading voices, creating an opportunity to come together to discuss the practical ways to integrate the teachings into our lives outside of practice––the practical aspects of living our highest ideals. Rod will facilitate this conversation with respected colleagues including Nick and Lela Beem, Lisa Bertke and Jim Bennett.
Session 1 | 9:30 – 12:30pm
Resolving the Knot of Attachment (Brahma Grunthi)
Practice will emphasize forward bends and lengthening exhale. We re-establish a clear “foundation” and balance our nervous system, setting the stage for “letting go,” a softening of attachment, and a contemplation/meditation to help resolve anger and to move into deep peace and freedom.
Session 2 | 2:30 – 5:00pm
Illuminating the Heart––the Soul of Compassion
Back bends help us to improve inhalation, renew our vital force and our capacity to give and receive nurturance and love.
Session 3 | 9:30 – 12:30pm
Remembering Life’s Deeper Purpose––Dissolving Unconscious Patterns (Vishnu Grunthi)
Lean into the practices that ignite authentic aspiration and insight. A balanced sequence enlivens a sense of freedom, culminating in a specific contemplation and meditation leading into boundlessness.
Panel Discussion | 1:15 – 2:15pm
Meeting This Moment Together: Cultivating Curiosity, Community & Strength A conversation with leading ParaYoga Certified teachers and colleagues. An opportunity to elevate our personal understanding as panelists share about the practical aspects of living their yoga and teaching, discuss their concerns, the gifts of practice, learning from life’s challenges, claiming our humanity and a call for renewed community.
Session 4 | 2:30 – 4:30pm
Assimilation and Balance––Renewing Self Trust and Empowerment (Rudra Grunthi)
Our final practice emphasizes twists and postures that help stabilize the body and mind. Designed to instill a clear and positive sense of the path ahead––how you will live your yoga and honor the best in yourself and one another.
Closing | 4:30 – 5:30pm
An opportunity to share reflections in smaller groups and as a collective. The intention is to not only renew a sense of community, but to promote sensitive integration of the entire weekend.
More information about the weekend:
The past few years have challenged practically everything, in particular our bodies and our relationships. Much of what until recently we relied upon to feel whole and to maintain our sense of belonging has undergone major shifts––pandemics, technology and powerful changes in the social order. If we are to meet these practical challenges, can yoga provide real solutions? How does one find yogic ideals in such times? What teachings or practices are particularly relevant to help us meet this moment moreover, to find grace in relatively ungraceful times? These are themes we will explore over the weekend.