Krama and Marma in Yoga: Inspirations for the Path Inward Through the Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga
A Three Day Training Intensive for Yoga Teachers and Inquiring Students
Friday-Sunday, January 17th – 19th, 2020, The Arlington Center, 369 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA
• Friday, 1:30-4:30 pm; 6:00-9:00 pm (1.5 hour dinner break)
• Saturday, 12:00-3:00 pm; 4:00-7:00 pm (1 hour lunch break)
• Sunday, 9:00 am-12:00 pm; 1:30-4:30 pm (1.5 hour lunch break)
• Each session will include an asana practice centered around the theme
• A detailed, illustrated manual and PDF downloads of the slide presentations will be provided.
Single session, $65
Single day, $125
Any two days, $245
Full training, $360
“Session Three: Understanding Sciatic Pain”, is sold out. We are accepting registration for any or all of the other five sessions.
Please Note: After you have registered for your single session(s), please email Mimi Izzo, the registrar, to specify which session(s).
The Sanskrit word ‘Krama’ means “an ordered placement of a sequence of events”. ‘Krama’ yoga is the step-by-step path that acknowledges that we don’t just ‘do’ yoga, but enter into the experience progressively, incorporating the experiential learning from each step into the one that follows. This applies as much to the therapeutic wisdom of yoga practice as it does to its spiritual dimensions.
We most often think of ‘sequencing’ as simply a physiological rationale for how we string yoga poses together in a series. But in a much deeper sense, ‘Krama’ is about the revelations we explore at each stage of practice that unveil the next stage of experiential understanding. And all the while, according to tantric philosophy, the thread running through this progression is the confirmation of the essential intuition or ‘prasiddhi’ we had from the beginning, but did not fully understand or appreciate — but still intuited its truth.
This training will range from the practical — tools for working sequentially with yoga practice, not just through the ordering of poses, but through understanding the firing order of muscles that produce a healthy chain of functional movement — to deeper forms of understanding through the marma system of Ayurveda that supplement and reinforce our practice, to an even deeper understanding that it is marma that provides the path to the ‘Chakras’ (getting us beyond the more simplistic ideas that poses ‘open’ our chakras).
• A manual is provided free of charge with the training, which includes the teaching points of the training, illustrated and in detail, with space for you to take notes as we go along. This reduces the stress of taking extensive notes, so that participants can be fully present to experience what is being covered.
• In addition, the slide presentations used in the lectures will also be available to download, and can be saved to your computer or tablet as high quality color documents for review.
• The sessions will range from the practical/experiential to the philosophical/experiential, all with a thread of understanding that will illuminate your practice.
• Session One: Timing is Everything
Understanding the Firing Order of Muscles Along Functional Lines in Asana Practice
This session will be an experiential exploration of the functional lines of movement that provide the core of effective asana practice, and a clear understanding of the ‘firing order’ of muscles we need to recruit along those lines to keep our asanas ‘firing on all cylinders!’
• Session Two: Why ‘Open’ the Hips?
Essentials of Safe Hip Opening and the Core
Much of asana practice is devoted to ‘opening’ the hips, but often without much explanation of what we are really trying to achieve and why — and how best to go about it while recognizing our own structural limitations. The central purpose really has to do with the core — involving Mula and Uddiyana Bandha, and a deep awareness of sacral rhythm. We’ll be exploring all of the elements of hip opening, and how and why working with it is beneficial, even if your hips aren’t very ‘open’ — as well as what you can beneficially focus on if your hips are quite ‘open’ or hypermobile.
• Session Three: Understanding Sciatic Pain
Marma and Asana Protocols for Working With It — and Preventing It From Happening
Sciatic pain is a pervasive problem for anyone with legs and a spine. We will explore the elements of the pain pattern and its different varieties, and marma massage protocols for self-care and prevention linked with asana sequencing. Postural self-assessments will be an important element for understanding the deeper mysteries of the piriformis, which plays a leading role in a large proportion of cases of sciatic pain — and needs to be understood to get beyond simply prescribing piriformis ‘stretches.’
• Session Four: Marma as the Gateway to the Chakras
A Philosophical and Experiential Exploration through Breath and Yoga Nidra
The theme for the weekend is the intersection of marma and yoga, and while many of the applications treat marma on a practical, physical level in conjunction with fascia and fascial distortions, marma actually has a longer history in hatha yoga on the subtler level of dharana awareness, not involving touch or physical action at all. We don’t actually ‘open’ chakras through physical action such as asana. Marma is the gateway, both physical and subtle, to the inward-turning experience described by the different variations on the chakra ‘system.’ We will explore the philosophy and the sequential practices of breath and awareness that lead inward to that experience, going beyond the standard physicalistic pranayama practices and joining meditation and yoga nidra practices.
• Session Five: The Neck and Shoulders
Marma Protocols and Targeted Work for the Neck and Shoulders
Effective work for dealing with the shoulders — both to facilitate better, safer asana practice and for working with neck and shoulder pain — requires an understanding of the elements of shoulder movement. This includes experientially understanding the muscles involved and their interrelationships, having targeted practices for working with them, and having a marma protocol for working with myofascial release for the shoulders when doing ‘stretches’ just isn’t enough. The approach will be step-by-step for understanding and working with the shoulders, and will include wrist health and insights into the value of ‘mudra’ as more than simply hand gestures.
• Session Six: A Complete Practice
All Paths of Yoga in One Experience
Our final session will be a practice that weaves together the elements of the weekend from beginning to end, from asana to pranayama, meditation and yoga nidra in a complete experience. The central theme will be the flow through the ‘madhya’ or ‘middle,’ involving the fluidity of the psoas and rhythms of the sacrum in movement, breath, relaxation and meditation.
Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for a decade, and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work on ‘Yoga As Therapy.
He is also, in addition to his traveling and teaching, a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master’s Degree program in Yoga Therapy. This program is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master’s degree in this field, and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Visit Doug at www.doyoga.com