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Course Details:

Mar 30th 2019 - Apr 12th 2019

Kathy Cooper
Kathy Cooper

Beginning this practice in 1976 on Maui, Hawaii, there were no yoga mats and we did not know the name of this practice. We called it “The Yoga”. Nancy Gilgoff and David Williams were my teachers and David taught me all of the series. For five years I practiced Advanced A & B exclusively without a standing pose or once doing Primary or Intermediate.
I feel very blessed to have had this time for complete focus on my practice, as I had virtually no injuries while developing. I began teaching intermittently over the years and at sixty began teaching full time. The inherent wisdom of Ashtanga Yoga has led me on a transformative journey. Being present in the body through the connection to the breath and bandhas is the key which unlocks the blocks. This union is the place where the mental/emotional/physical bodies find their release and begin to unwind. Facing myself daily on the mat, I continue to open to the deeper Self, releasing the conditioning of the mind and body. My love of yoga keeps me on the mat daily. It is my teacher, healer and fountain of youth. The longing for the deeper truths of life has led me to explore Sufism, Shamanism, Vipassana and other meditation systems, and awake teachers.
I have done many retreats over the years. Daily practice has supported this journey impeccably, both in integrating openings and surrending to the now. Adyashanti expresses this journey beautifully. “The Spiritual task we are given is a simple one; to attend to that inner spark of radiance, to hold vigil over it until we realize it to be ourself, and to dig up and cast off all arguments we have with its love.”
I have done in-depth yoga trainings with Richard Freeman and Maritza, formerly of the Iyengar and Anusara traditions. The integration of the wisdom of alignment has informed my ability to support practitioners to correct and avoid injuries and clarify/support the engagement of the bandhas. I also practice Jin Shin Jyutsu, a type of accupressure which is deeply harmonizing . It is a perfect accompaniment to yoga. I bring this informed, deep, long-time practice to my teaching, supporting practitioners to strengthen their core/breath/alignment to correct and avoid injuries and to move from the core.
“Kathy is someone who is filled with the balanced light of both broad, loving energy that feeds the soul and that burning single-pointed ekagrata shiva energy that is capable of building cities(and tearing them down.) She expresses a lifetime of accumulated wisdom that facilitates her open fearlessness. She exemplifies living our yoga.” Sarah from Portland, Oregon

Course Description:

Morning Mysore practice: For those familiar with the series, assistance is focused on the individual practitioner who moves at her/his own pace.  Over the years I recognize that I can give insight to practitioners from the intuitive in this format that I feel supports making the practice our own.    

Led for beginners:  For those new to the practice, I will teach the breath and bandhas and lead the Suryanamskars and standing poses for 3 days to initiate beginners.

Topics for the afternoon include:  

1~  Breath and Bandhas as key to this vinyasa practice.  We will work with how to develop and direct the  breath in practice; and  how to engage bandhas, experiencing them in various poses. Depending on time available in this class,  I will teach savasana as the essential balance to an active practice.  

2~ Broad strokes in alignment principals that I recognize as supporting healthy movement over time.  These include insights into the neck, shoulders, low back, hips, knees, legs and hyperextension.

3~ Finishing poses and inversions, the queen and king of poses, which are often treated as poor cousins to the asanas.  Includes padmasana poses. 3~ Vinyasa instruction~As we repeat these poses many times in each practice;  over years the skillful and undesirable habits we cultivate will make all the difference in our ability to thrive  the Ashtanga system.  If time allows, I will include some standing poses.  

4~ Continuation of standing poses and forward bends with hip opening and psoas support.  

5~ Backbending poses in Intermediate series ending with principals and practice for safe standing backbends.   Sprinkled in throughout clinics will be philosophy, sutras and personal experiences.

6~ Musings from the mat.  Heart opening practice.  Will include how to work with injuries, my thoughts on practice over many years, and………..

7~ Pranayama practice.  Pranayama for everyone, at whatever stage of practice.  The Ashtanga pranayama is for students who have had a dedicated practice for several years and are proficient in the Primary and Intermediate series.  

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