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Upside Down! Inside Out!


  • You and the Mat, Oakland 3966 Piedmont Avenue Oakland, CA, 94611 United States (map)

Advanced Yoga Series focusing on Inversions

This workshop series is designed for the serious student and teacher in mind, but is open to anyone who wants to explore active challenging asana, including inverted and some back-bending poses. Each session we will focus on specific areas and inversion/s and the intention is to bring delight and an exploratory perspective to these poses, while cultivating inner body awareness to support outer body movement. The series is not about acrobatic prowess, but more about opening to the belly, central channel and an imaginative, balanced practice that informs every aspect of one’s life and being. Each session will include an introductory meditation, a full active practice and a short discussion time with guidance for between session practice. There will be a short 10-15 minute break in each workshop.  

Options will be given to those not inverting but you need to be able to participate in the preparations and take care of yourself...ie know your limits!

Online Support: There will be handouts and information on a web-link to support the series and between session practice.

  1. January 14 Sunday 1-5pm (Please note this date is changed from the original Jan 21 date) The Joys of Inverting - Preliminaries and Cautions for Practice and Teaching. This session will focus on preparing and enjoying Adho Mukha Vrksasana and Picca Mayurasana, bringing awareness to the hands and feet, and exploring how our evolutionary story supports our upward aspirations! Our poses will encourage both playfulness and wise recognition of limitations and we will use the breath to both enhance and be enhanced by our upside down inside out investigations. Our intro discussion will include a reflection on why emphasis on these poses may be helpful at a time when the whole world feels topsy turvy!
  2. February 11 Sunday 1-5pm  ¡Belly, Balance and Chakra! – Awakening the belly (2nd chakra area) to find support and stability in Picca Mayurasana and preparations for Sirsasana. This workshop will explore the significance of calming the overworked 3rd chakra area, using cylinder imagery to keep the back body open, and using breath, image and movement to open into the heart and shoulder area (4th chakra). We will use preparatory poses and deeper abdominal work that will invite the interior body to enliven and guide the exterior body and enhance joint mobility.  
  3. March 11 Sunday 1-5pm Tranquil Transitions: Approaches to Sirsasana and Sarvangasana to enhance safety and ease in the neck area, using sound and the central channel focus. This session will begin and end in Supta Sirsasana to invite the calmness and spaciousness of the central channel to permeate our inversion practice. Our neck is delicate. Who among us has not had poor posture at some point in life, or car accidents and whiplash? In this session we will look at some of the critiques of these poses that have been widespread in the yoga web world and consider whether we really do need to throw the baby out with the bathwater or whether we can actually find harmonious and nourishing ways to explore these poses within a serious committed yoga practice. We will leave some time at the end of this session to discuss teaching issues as related to these poses.

Sundays 1/14 1-5pm, 2/11 1-5pm, 3/11 1-5pm, at You and the Mat, Piedmont Ave, Oakland.  Registration info at You and the Mat. Participants are encouraged to sign up for the entire series and will receive online manual/handouts.

Earlier Event: January 8
Intro to Yoga Series
Later Event: January 16
Advanced Practice at SoBo