Yoga as a Living Practice: Beyond Postures

Have you always wanted to learn deeper practices of yoga or had the hunch that there is application beyond the sticky mat? Have you left a yoga asana practice with difficultly bringing the experience of peace into your home, workplace, or interactions with others? Always known that yoga is a way of life, but wondered what exactly that really means?

In this course we will bring yoga out of a studio or retreat context, and into your home and the world. You will bring the insights of yoga and meditation to your day to day life in your home, personal relationships, and social context.

This training is for you if…

  • You aspire to become a yoga teacher with more to share than yoga postures, and especially if you have not felt that “mainstream” yoga teacher trainings were not for you. To be clear this is NOT a yoga teacher training but it CAN enhance your understanding in a way that most YTTs do not offer.
  • You’re a dedicated yoga practitioner looking to deepen your personal practice and knowledge of yoga
  • You’ve been curious about yoga philosophy and it’s sister science Ayurveda
  • You want a training that operates from a lens of honoring the roots of yoga
  • You care about creating experiences that honor diversity and inclusion.
  • You are ready to learn in a community invested in equity.

Why do YOU practice?

In studios within particular zip-codes or retreat centers, separated from cultural context, philosophical underpinnings, and whole segments of society, we often practice a kind of yoga that further stratifies us. We may experience endorphins from physical practice, experience personal benefits, and perhaps gain insights into our lives which can be vaguely translated to our other environments; but this can feel short-lived and can become dependent upon our physical ability and the teacher’s daily inspiration.

What then happens off the mat when we are confronted by our own deep seated fears and neurosis, ideas about ourselves in relationship to others, and less than ideal circumstances? How do we bring the insight and bliss off the mat and into our lives? What are some accessible contemplations, actions, and practices aside from yoga postures that help to integrate the wisdom of yoga into our lives?

 

Go Deep Into the Simple

Not only while on a cushion or upon a mountaintop, but in every moment, every context, and each relationship, it is possible to live a soulful, connected life. But let’s make no mistake; Authentic yoga practice is not for the faint of heart. Learning yoga is a constant process, in many ways an UN-doing.

It is challenging, not because we are squeezing our bodies into pretzel-like shapes, but because we are tasked to remember what are minds are conditioned to forget, that we are not separate but unified beings, unified with something beyond our individualism, beyond name and form. To even glimpse this reality and then engage with the world this way can be revolutionary and counterculture.

IN MODULE ONE, Yamas, Liberation, and Justice with Dr. Yasmene Mumby, we are asked to confront the divisive conditionings and our own implicit biases that lead to racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobia even in action or in the most subtle sense of thought. We are asked to pay attention to how we really feel which is not always pleasant. We are asked to witness the experience of others which is sometimes painful and honor that our own small experiences are not the totality of experience for all; we are asked to open our minds.

IN MODULE TWO, with Anjali, Mirabelle D’Cunha, and Hasu Patel, we ride the waves of our breath and sound into an experience that aligns with nature and a rich culture of Hindusthani music and chanting. This exploratory module includes both pranayama, mantra, and singing.

IN MODULE THREE, we dive further into yogic history and philosophies and discover a vast diversity of texts, historical figures, and philosophies which change from Vedic times to the present. We gain a deeper understanding of what has happened to these practices and how we arrived at a modern context of 20 billion practitioners of yoga poses. We will look at excerpts of texts like the Upanishads, The Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga SpandaKarika, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and more. We will learn about rarely mentioned female yogis and the read verses of their poetry. We will look in detail at the devastating affects of colonialism and the complex migration of select yoga practitioners to the West. This module will include lecture/slideshows, experiential meditation practices, and workshops which allow us to explore our own biases and appropriation.

IN MODULE FOUR, Ayurveda with Anjali, we expand our notion of meditation on a cushion to “moment to moment awareness of what is”. Through the spiritual and practical wisdom of Ayurveda, we engage and manage our senses to better discern what is good for each of us. We learn about our unique blueprints of health and take context, time, season, into consideration to create practices which are not a one size fits all approach. For those who participate in the full course, a consultation is also offered.

 

Are you ready? Take this course if you want to:

  • Transform your notions of yoga practice and yourself.
  • Enhance your current teaching with greater context and understanding. Receive YA – CEUS.
  • Bring depth to simple practices that are so often left out of “mainstream” yoga. Practices like pranayama and chair yoga as well as discourse around the ethical principles (yamas and niyamas) will set you up to introduce yoga to people who never thought it applied to them or reach those who never felt comfortable in a traditional mat class.
  • Avoid burnout. Create the space in your home that supports a life of balance and resilience. Expand your idea of what practice really means and create a lifestyle that supports longevity.
  • Shift consciousness. The work of personal transformation opens doors to diverse classrooms, settings, and radical imaginings of ways to spread love.

With Anjali and her team of guest instructors and collaborators, we learn how to live our practice beyond the mat and see yoga through a lens of social justice and truthful awakening. We can begin to interact with each other with personal and community accountability. We can create a world more inclusive and welcoming to those we may see as different from ourselves. 

Join Anjali Sunita, Dr. Yasmene Mumby, Mirabella D’Cunha, Sheliza Jamal, Guruji Hasu Patel, and several more teachers TBA for a life-altering community experience.

Register for each module separately priced, or for the whole course discounted.

For Module one only, Yamas, Liberation, and Justice with Dr. Yasmene Mumby, Wednesdays June 2nd – June 30th, 6:30 – 8 pm EDT: Click Here

For Module two only, Breath and Sound with Mirabelle D’Cunha, Anjali Sunita, and Guruji Hasu Patel, July 7th – August 11th: Click Here

For Module three only Yoga History and Philosophy: From origins to western migration, with a growing team of teachers TBA, Wednesdays 6:30 – 8 pm, September 8th – December 15h: Click Here

For Module four only, Ayurveda for Self Care with Anjali Sunita, 8 Wednesdays January 5th – February 23rd, 2022, 6:30 – 8 pm: Click Here

For the entire course, click here to register. Early Bird rate ends May 1st, 2021.

Questions? Please email villagelifewellness@gmail.com

About US

ANJALI SUNITA is the Founder and Director of Baltimore Yoga Village, a community wellness platform which amplifies life changing and affirming programs and Village Life Wellness, her private Ayurvedic practice. Her yogic roots stem from the Sivananda Ashrams in India and Canada, North Indian classical singing with Hasu Patel at Oberlin College, and Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Insititute in New Mexico and his clinics in Pune, India. As a biracial woman of Indian ancestry, she carries particular interest in restoring what is most sacred, the practices and medicines, which have been colonized out of her family. She designed this program for exceptional education, dialogue, and visibility for teachers she respects. She will teach several workshops in Module 3: Yoga History and Philosophy and all of Module 4: Ayurveda.

DR. YASMENE MUMBY is a Brooklyn-based writer and yoga instructor who started practicing eleven years ago when she was a middle school Social Studies teacher and community organizer in Baltimore. Yasmene loves creating and producing audio-documentaries. You can listen to Higher Purpose, about an organization that supports people with legal system records to gain livable wage employment on Baltimore’s NPR station here. Her latest audiodoc, Ahimsa, the audiomemoir on yoga, wellness, and Black Lives in 2020 is out on AppleGoogle, and Spotify. She is the facilitator of the Yoga As A Living Practice module one: Yamas, Liberation, and Justice.

HASU PATEL, composer, performer and educator, is one of the few world-class female artists performing today Classical Music on sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. Born in the culturally rich city of Baroda, India, Hasu began her musical studies in early childhood. She had many years of rigorous training under her illustrious Gurus Prof. N.B. Kikani and Ustad Anwar Khan Sahib. She is the first woman to receive a music degree with a Gold medal in the 75-year history of the Faculty of Performing Arts, M.S. University, Baroda, India. At the age of 21, she won the first prize in Gujarat State for the stringed instrument competition held by All India Radio. Hasu-ji is co-leading the Yoga As A Living Practice Module 2: Breath and Sound.

MIRABELLE D’CUNHA supports committed yoga lovers to savour the luxury of inner experience and find purpose, pleasure and joy in life through breath. Mirabelle is in an intimate relationship with yoga as a breath-ing experience and has been on the path of living yoga for 19 years, studying with swamis (monks) and teachers from the Sivananda Saraswati lineage and at Mumbai University. Mirabelle has taught for Yoga Alliance, at yoga ashrams and studios in India, the USA, Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands and is a guest teacher on yoga teacher trainings on pranayama, bhakti yoga, and the deeper nuances of yoga as a living practice. Mirabelle will share pranayama in Module 2: Breath and Sound.

PREM SADASIVANANDA, a scholar of Vedantic Philosophy, Hindu Scripture and Sanskrit, is well-known for his lively and humorous talks, his accessible teaching style and his unique ability to bring the ancient Yogic scriptures and texts to life in the modern world. Prem Sadasivananda started his path in the Sivananda Organization where he served for over 24 years as a sannyasi. He served as the Director of the Sivananda Center in New York City from 2003 to 2014 and the London Center from 1990 to 2003. Prem Sadasivananda strives to provide loving and gentle guidance, perspective and inspiration for all levels of spiritual aspirants in search of a deeper purpose in life. Prem is offering 3 sessions as part of the Yoga As A Living Practice Module 3: Yoga History and Philosophy.

ANJALI RAO is a yoga teacher, social justice activist, community organizer, multi-cultural training specialist, and a cancer survivor. She is an Indian American from Bangalore, India. Her work explores yoga philosophy and history, integrating marginalized voices using story-telling, imagery, and poetry. She centers intersectionality and critical thinking, connection and diversity of perspectives in her approach to sharing this ancestral lineage

SHELIZA JAMAL is the founder of Curated Leadership. As an Equity & Inclusion Practitioner, she creates meaningful programs that focus on inclusion.

SUSANNA BARKATAKI is a yoga diversity and unity educator and author of Honor Yoga’s Roots. She has an Honors degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Education from Cambridge College and is the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute.

DR. KALPANA SHERE-WOLFE  is a physician trained in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Critical Care Medicine and Integrative Medicine. She studied yoga and Vedic Chant since 2006 and later became certified in yoga, yoga therapy, Vedic chant, and Ayurveda.

LEANORA EUBANKS  earned her 200hr. therapeutic-style yoga certification through Diane Finlayson’s Yama Therapeutics (Yoga, Ayurveda & Meditative Arts) program.  Currently she studies with Maria Garre, New Mexico School of Yoga, and will earn her Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist certification in 2021.  Fueled by holistic perspectives, she also has an Occupational Therapy Assistant degree from the Community College of Baltimore County, a B.A. in Urban Studies from Eastern University and ten years of experience in experiential education as an Outward Bound instructor.

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