“Breath is the Guru — Refining & Teaching a Personal Practice with Mark Whitwell”
"Your breath is your guru - obey your guru!" — T. Krishnamacharya, 'grandfather' of modern yoga
What did Krishnamacharya mean by this? Join Mark Whitwell, student of Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar since 1973, to explore this in your personal practice and teaching. With six live sessions over two weekends Mark will join us from his home in Fiji and together we will discover the pure pleasure of the breath.
Krishnamacharya was referring to the way that we do our yoga postures: according to the number of breaths and the breath ratio that you can do without a struggle. The very purpose of yoga postures is to engage the breath, enhance the breath, to be with the breath. We say that if you’re with your breath, you are with Life itself. The breath is the gauge to the postures, the guru to the postures.
Go deep into the precise breath principles from the tradition that transform asana from physical movement alone to profound intimacy with our body, breath and life. "Whole-body prayer to Life." From an external experience to an internal experience — or perhaps more accurately, dissolving any distinction between within and without. Removing the struggle.
Those who have studied before with Mark know that he wears his 50 years of experience lightly, teaching through friendly engaged dialogue and gentle accessible sequences that nonetheless take us powerfully and deeply into the beauty of our own direct experience.
In each session we will dialogue first, learn through discussing people’s individual practices, and then do a practice that includes asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, chanting, mantra and perhaps some sitar music. For those with Zoom eye strain: during practice you are encouraged not to look at the screen but use closed eyes most of the time.
This workshop is suitable for both those developing or rediscovering a home practice and those with years of experience practicing and teaching.
By the end you will feel nurtured and confident in how to listen deeply to the wisdom of your own breath and make it the centre of your practice, and share this with others.
"My yoga practice learned with you has transformed lockdown — I can receive that intimacy from my breath which I was missing so badly from other people. I am intimate with my life in a very tangible way. It is like a soft hug for myself."