Don't miss this rare opportunity to study with one of the world's Ashtanga Yoga Legends! For the first time in three years, David Swenson will return to Australia in October to teach a six-day workshop series at our shala in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
David is vastly experienced, having begun his practice at 15 in Texas many years ago. He later studied under the Grandfather of Ashtanga Yoga, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. David is very approachable and warm-hearted with a wealth of knowledge to help you with your practice, regardless of your experience.
Full workshop ( 13 classes & 2 talks ) $ 620
Weekdays ( 9 classes & 1 talk ) $440
Weekend ( 6 classes & 1 talk ) $310
Morning Mysore ( 4 classes ) $160
Individual Class $50
Individual Talk $40
See details below or BOOK NOW.
FRIDAY OCT 12
6.30 - 8.30 pm: INTRODUCTION TO FUNDAMENTALS
An introduction to Ashtanga Yoga open to all levels of experience or lack thereof The building blocks of Ashtanga Yoga will be explored through what David refers to as The Five Elements of Practice; Breath, Bandhas, Drishti, Asana and Vinyasa. After a short discussion David will conduct an introductory flow through an abbreviated sequence from the First Series. This is a great way to gain a taste of Ashtanga under the guidance of one of the world’s most renowned and compassionate instructors.
If you are curious to know more about this dynamic and flowing system, come and join David for a fun, flowing, user-friendly adventure into the basics of Ashtanga Yoga.
*Cautionary Note: You might actually enjoy it!
SATURDAY OCT 13
9 - 11 am: FULL LED PRIMARY SERIES
Dancing with the Breath in a First Series Rhythm
This class is designed for those already familiar with the First Series of Ashtanga Yoga yet it is open to all levels of proficiency from the daily-practicing aficionados to the novice fit-it-in-when-I-can weekend warriors and everyone in between. The class will be conducted like a choreographed dance flowing along all of the way from the opening sun salutations to the closing savasana. David will spend time at the beginning of class to introduce alternatives to some of the more challenging asanas as well as offer user-friendly vinyasa options. There will be time at the end of the flow to enjoy a soothing, deep relaxation.
12.30 - 3 pm: FLYING FLOATING AND HANDSTANDING
A Fun-filled exploration of Vinyasa and Arm-balances
One of the greatest challenges of the Ashtanga flow is the vinyasa. In this class David will break the vinyasa down into its basic components. He likes to refer to this as: “The Physics of Flight”. Participants will explore techniques for creating greater lightness and efficiency of practice while using less effort to achieve greater ease.
The class will also explore the elements of handstands and arm-balances. It is common to feel intimidated or even frightened by balancing on our hands. David will address this and offer techniques and practical methods of approach to allow for greater confidence and ability that can be carried away and applied within a personal practice. This will all be done through the avenue of insightful and simple methods he has designed through decades of practice and teaching. There will be partner work as well as individual techniques. All levels may attend even if you have never done a handstand before.
Come and Experience the Joy of Flight!
3.30 - 5 pm: BREATH, BANDHAS and PRANAYAMA (Saturday 3.30)
Seeking the Unseen and Experiencing the Intangible
Our first act of life as we enter this world is to inhale and our last act before departing is to exhale. Breath is our most elemental form of life and unites all of humanity yet we think little about it. The ancient yogis gave it great thought and in so doing developed intricate methods of harnessing breath to gain control of the mind and see the world with greater clarity.
This class will delve into the realms of specialized Yogic Breathing as well as the subtle and highly misunderstood internal energy valves known as Bandhas. There is much confusion surrounding these mystical tools and the part they play in the regulation and control of pranic flow. David will share information he gained directly from K. Pattabhi Jois as well as a series of practical exercises he has developed himself to assist the practitioner in gaining a greater understanding of these subtle yet powerful energy gateways. All are sure to leave with new insights and useful tools for personal practice regardless of their system. Come and Feel the Prana!
SUNDAY OCT 14
(please choose either Mysore Style OR Led Class)
6.30 - 9.30 am: MYSORE STYLE
10 - 12 am: HALF PRIMARY
Half of the practice with all of the fun!!!
This class is designed for those wanting a softer more gentle experience of Ashtanga. The pace is slower than a standard flow and vinyasas will be left out between right and left sides. The class will move about one half of the way through the First Series including finishing postures and at about half of the normal speed and then slide right into a guided deep relaxation to round out the experience. David will offer plenty of alternatives for the vinyasas and asanas in order to make the class accessible to All Levels of practitioner. This class is a great way to experience the flow of Ashtanga while moving at a nice mellow pace.
The rhythm is like a gentle flowing stream.
12.30 - 2.30 pm: INVERSIONS AND BACKBENDS
Building Roots and Growing Confidence
Whether you are frightened of inverting or love to hang out upside-down and whether you have a flexible back or a stiff board-like spine there is much to be learned from David’s insightful tools for building confidence and gaining control in Inversions and backbends. David will take the class on a journey of exploration into the unseen world of Gravity and share methods of how to utilize this perpetual energy as a stabilizing force for establishing our roots from which we can grow into inversions and backbends with greater ease and more confidence. He will teach the participants methods to expand the front of the body and open the heart rather than collapse the back in order to discover greater depth in a backbend with less effort and more grace and efficiency.
Take the seeds of information he shares and plant them within the fertile ground of your personal practice and watch them grow!
3 - 5 pm: TALK ON LIFE, LOVE AND LIVING WITH PURPOSE
Seeking A Path, Building Dreams and Finding Peace
David will share Stories, Anecdotes and Insights gained over his more than 40 years of yoga practice and pursuits of spiritual life, love, health and adventure. David's life is filled with colorful, sometimes wild, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious and always entertaining pursuits of knowledge of the world around him and the wonders that reside within us all. Within his tales of travel, fasting, chanting, seeking, studying, laughing and crying there is always a thread of sincerity of purpose that anyone seeking greater meaning of life can relate to and possibly even gain tools of insights of their own from the mistakes, successes, failures, triumphs and bumps along the road of life that David shares with honesty and heart-felt sincerity. Buckle Up It’s a Wild Ride!
MONDAY OCT 15
6.00 - 9.00 am: MYSORE STYLE
10 - 1 pm: TOOLS, TALENTS & TECHNIQUES FOR TEACHERS
Presenting Yoga to the Individual for Health, Healing and Happiness
It is quite easy to teach someone that already knows how to do something. It only requires a verbal command and then waiting for the action to take place. But is that really teaching? Actual teaching requires specialized skill sets in order to apply the yoga to the needs of each individual. Every class that we teach can be considered a mixed-level class. This means special attention needs to be paid to those that are not readily able to do an asana or grasp an instruction. This requires patience, insight, sensitivity, experience and the ability to communicate clearly. Teachers need to be ready to deal with any circumstance that they are confronted with. It is our duty to find a way to present the yoga to anyone that is interested. Ashtanga is not meant to be some kind of elite fitness program just for people with two arms, two legs and a strong, flexible body. Pattabhi Jois once worked with a quadriplegic boy in Mysore. He did not refuse him due to limitation.
This class will look at ways to work with both people with a healthy body as well as those with injuries or special conditions that limit their ability. By learning to recognize the inherent lines of energy in an asana a teacher can discover ways of bringing the student into harmony with those lines while also working within the realms of their limitations and abilities. This will be done through Q and A to explore specific conditions and situations as well as practical work with partners to apply the techniques.
This class is great for teachers or those just wanting to gain more insights into personal practice or helping others with theirs.
6 - 8 pm: REALLY HIP OPENINGS FOR THE HIPS
A Pleasant Exploration of Gentle Methods To Open the Hips
Tight hips can cause problems in other areas such as the knees and back. David has devised an approach of exploring the hips through slow and gentle movements, stable holding of postures and deep breathing which all combine to bring greater openness to the hips without forcing or pushing. To create stability David will share methods of activating one area in order to relax another. This balanced approach is both safe and effective and can be applied to other regions of the body as well. As always, David will manage to make this enjoyable experience. Bring Those Tight Hips In For a Tune-Up!
TUESDAY OCT 16
6.00 - 9.00 am: MYSORE STYLE
10 - 12 am: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN BALANCE?
A Fun-Filled Exploration of Not Falling Over
Whether standing on our feet, hands, head or any other body part balance can be one of the most challenging aspects of practice. David will share his personal insights and methods of finding balance in an unstable world. The class will contain partner work as well as individual pursuits of balance in an array of asanas. Interestingly there are many parallels between the techniques used for physically balancing in our body and also in finding balance in our life. David has an amazing ability to convey complex ideas in a simple, fun and practical way. Regardless of what system of yoga one does there is sure to be a wealth of knowledge gained from this class that can be applied on the mat and in life! Falling Is Optional!
6 - 8 pm: ASHTANGA’S GREATEST HITS
Playing the Edge and Enjoying the Ride
Curious about some of the more intricate or advanced asanas but have felt intimidated by them or uncertain about how to approach them in your practice? Then this class is for you! David will take the group on a special guided tour of select asanas from the Primary, Intermediate and even from the Advanced Series of asanas. If you are not familiar with the more challenging postures there is no need to be scared of them! David has an amazing ability to break down the essence and energetic foundation of any asana to allow practitioners of all levels to feel comfortable and confident when exploring realms of the practice that they find most challenging. There are always plenty of safe and sensible alternatives offered so that the student may utilize the most comfortable approach for their particular level.
WEDNESDAY OCT 17
6.00 - 9.00 am: MYSORE STYLE
10 - 12 pm: TALK ON EIGHT LIMBS AND DAILY LIFE
Ancient Solutions for Modern Challenges
Underlying the mysterious and complex philosophy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras there is a truly profound simplicity that may be applied within the context of our daily lives. This talk will discuss the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga and explore their applications within the challenges of life. What is the use of Philosophy without real application? We may memorize quotations or stanzas from great writings but unless we can apply them within the fabric of our life they are merely words spoken rather than knowledge realized. Real Tools for Real Life!