The Yoga of Soma and Psyche: A pre-conference workshop with Angela Farmer
Part of the Yoga & Psyche Conference>>
The origins of yoga and psychology lie within us. Our heart and soul yearn to express life's river of emotions, uniting body and mind in harmony. At a deep cellular level, our physical body and emotions are entwined. All experiences of fear, pain, joy, and love are interwoven into the fabric of our being. Body tissues and fluids hold memories of this life, and perhaps many more.
Trauma and stress cause us to separate the vital union of body-mind-soul, cutting us off from our sense of wholeness and the joy of simply being alive. Dark moments can overwhelm us, and rising fears can push us into unhealthy habits and addictions. Something like a hole or deep pit inside feels empty and craves to be filled. We turn too often to external solutions that distract or numb the pain and sense of loss.
During this weekend we shall find some of those places in our bodies where fear, pain, and tension are held, buried deep, often hidden from our immediate awareness. By supporting, honoring, and finding ways to communicate with these long lost parts of ourselves, they may begin to release, unwind, and heal. Embracing their return brings a joy beyond words.
Exploring the "inner body" and the power of prana (our life-force carried by the breath), we shall reinforce and empower the parts of ourselves that were weak, held back, or damaged. Once accepted as a part of us, they need to gain strength and establish themselves. Finally, through meditation, we shall open ourselves to our own energy-field, and through breath awareness discover an intimate relationship with our surroundings.
The yoga you may have learned and practiced previously is not abandoned, but rather nourished and deepened with refined awareness and patience, so that it becomes truly your own unique and creative way to recover your wholeness, your power, and your joy.
Angela Farmer is an international teacher of the divine feminine in yoga. After qualifying in physical education from Chelsea College of London University, she taught in schools and colleges for ten years. She developed her own approach to creative movement, dance, and art, and her work had a profound effect on the future of a more interactive, free, and creative attitude to education in England during the late 1950s and early sixties.
She was twenty-eight when she found yoga, which at that time was very little known in the West. Her father begged her not to do "that Eastern thing. It is against our religion"! Meeting BKS Iyengar in London in 1966, she felt inspired to follow the yogic path. During the next ten years she made several trips to India, studying and "traveling through" the authoritarian and patriarchal teachings of yoga, until her own breakthrough occurred, enabling her to discover the feminine in yoga, as well as uncover parts of herself that had been lost early in life due to trauma and debilitating surgery.
This experience gave her a new perspective on life. The stern, masculine, "straight and narrow" path dissolved, giving way to an inward and deeply feminine journey-unwinding, sensing, and unfolding a beauty and power that had so long eluded her. She saw how she had been following a tradition that suppressed the psyche, yet was gaining tremendous momentum in the West as a physical practice demanding perfection of form and denying freedom of expression.
For the last thirty-five years she has continued to evolve an approach that transfers the concept of "doing" to "undoing." In place of the striving for perfection of form she encourages the soul's innate wisdom and healing to let the body unfold and to lead students towards their inner growth and emotional balance.
She now lives with her husband in their beautiful home and retreat center on the Greek island of Lesbos. They teach courses there during the summer, and travel worldwide to offer their teaching. She is especially interested in holding retreats for women, helping them to release old trauma and discover their true beauty and power.
Saturday and Sunday
April 12 and 13, 2014
CIIS Main Building
$250/$300/$350 (when one price tier sells out, that tier is closed)
Yoga & Psyche conference attendees: $125
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