Pranayama

Prāṇāyāma comes from the Sanskrit words "prana" meaning life force or vital energy, and "ayama" meaning extension or control. Through conscious breathing, we can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm the mind and reduce stress. It also helps to improve lung capacity, respiratory function, and circulation. By practicing Pranayama, we become more aware of the subtle sensations in our nervous system and our breath, which can help us to focus and concentrate our mind. This mental transformation process is called dhārana (“concentration”) and is a crucial step in preparing the mind for dhyāna (“meditation”). This process can also lead to samādhi, a state of deep meditation. The breather, breathing, and breath become empty of form and fall into one, resulting in a heightened sense of consciousness and self-awareness. Pranayama is a powerful tool for achieving a deeper level of awareness and concentration, promoting relaxation. It reduces stress, improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, and ultimately leads to a profound experience of meditation and self-realization. We will also see how the meaning and goals of Pranayama are defined classical texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutra or Adi Shankara's Aparokshanubhuti which will transform the way you look at - and practice - breathing exercises.

Pranayama-Techniques

In the retreats you will learn and practice the most prāṇāyāma techniques. Just like in the asana practice you will understand the meaning and desired results of the practices rather than just mechanically repeating techniques, counting numbers etc. This way we will go beyond the physical plane and dive into the different layers of experience.
  • Kapāla-Bhāti
  • Viloma
  • Ujjāyī
  • Nāḍi-śodhana
  • śītalī | sītkārī
  • Nauli kriyā

Imagine the whole spectrum of education had been taken over by sports teachers who declared gymnastics to be the only meaningful thing to learn. That’s what they are good at, all the other stuff is too difficult, so it’s just theory, right? Welcome to “modern” Yoga. Ignorance or narrow-mindedness are no signs of good practice or teaching.

All components of Yoga practice need each other. The purpose of Asana is fulfilled in providing a stable foundation for controlling the nervous system and the senses. Controlled senses allow you to concentrate the mind. Only a concentrated mind can be cultivated. This is where Yoga begins. 

The most important quality of all practices is adhering to an ethical system, all the time, without exception. This is said to be the “great yogic vow” (mahavratam), according to the scriptures of Yoga. Selfish, narcissistic, greedy or abusive teacher personalities indicate the complete absence of Yoga. Instagram.

The most important tool for students and teachers alike is the whole spectrum of education. Let’s do our homework so we won’t be fooled :)

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Upcoming Intensives in 2023

Mon, 1. April - 
Sun, 7. April
@ Holzmannstett (Bavaria, Germany)
SPECIAL: This retreat is in German! Take your Ashtanga practice beyond with alignment workshops, philosophy and Sanskrit studies. Dive deeply into Grischa’s magic ingredients for a transformative Mysore practice, pranayama and meditation. In addition this is a very special opportunity for studying one of the most inspiring texts on Yoga that exists, the famous Bhagavad Gita!
Mon, 24. June - 
Sun, 30. June
@ Breitenteicher Mühle
Experience the magic of daily pranayama, Mysore style and Meditation practice. Take your Ashtanga practice beyond with alignment workshops, philosophy and Sanskrit studies with the “full ashtanga intensive” program. Or take it easy and relax or work a little with the “ashtanga holidays” package.

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