An in-depth exploration of the evolution of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from the roots to the flowers”
In his workshops and retreats, Andrew Eppler shares a lifelong experience with yoga and a deep love for its power to create transformation and healing. With a beautiful pristine environment, amazing food, sun, sea, and nature this retreat will be a great opportunity to relax aa well as deepen your practice and understanding of yoga. We will begin each day with therapeutic postures to warm up with followed by the Ashtanga Vinyasa practices. We will finish with some Mudras and Pranayama. While practicing the Ashtanga Series with precision, students will be given individual options for how to best approach their unique challenges and tension patterns in their bodies. For the first days of the retreat, the classes will be led Ashtanga Series. If there are people who prefer to practice Mysore style we can accommodate them as there will be two people adjusting. During the day everyone can relax and take full advantage of the beautiful surroundings. In the afternoon sessions, we will explore Bandhas and their effects, Thai Massage and other forms of Bodywork, and ideas for refining and deepening the postures. We will also discuss the theoretical foundations of Vinyasa practice, learning the history and philosophy behind Ashtanga Yoga. Andrew will show the film that he has directed and produced, Mysore Yoga Traditions on one of the evenings. Through a series of interviews with prominent people in Mysore, this film gives the most in-depth perspective to date on the yoga community of Mysore and how the yoga of Mysore has evolved into western culture. Andrew has made a long study of the philosophy and history of Ashtanga Yoga and believes it should be shared with everyone.
Bandhas and Body Mechanics-
In this afternoon class, we will explore the Bandhas! First, we will learn about the roots of these practices in Hatha Yoga and then we will work with the Bandhas to give some experiential ideas about how to really incorporate Bandhas into our asana practices, and the influences they have on the way we move our bodies. Some foundational techniques will be taught here that we will elaborate on over the course of the retreat.
In this class we will explore Thai Massage, Myofascial Release, Yoga Therapy and various ways in which we can help ourselves and our fellow practitioners to release tension in our bodies and make progress with difficult areas of our yoga practices. We will learn about the markers of imbalance in our bodies and explore methods for correcting and realigning our bodies. Everyone gets a Thai Massage! We will give some tools with which we can work within our yoga practices to help create a healing, joyful, pain free yoga practice.
We will focus on two areas in this class, Back Bending and Arm Balances. We will explore various methods for approaching these areas in a vinyasa flow style class where we can play with variations on poses and work gradually into some challenging areas of the Ashtanga Practice. Andrew and Mila will both share tips and tricks and innovative ideas from yoga communities all around the world about how to approach certain postures. This is a great time for asking questions about poses and breaking things down.
To know better the work of Andrew we suggest to watch his interesting film, called Mysore Yoga Traditions, an inquiry into the cultural background of yoga in Mysore, how it has evolved, and the philosophy upon which this global practice rests. Here the link to the trailer: www.mysoreyogatraditions.com.
Andrew Eppler – BIO:
Andrew Eppler has been practicing and teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for over 30 Years. He is the owner and director of Ashtanga Yoga Studio in Norman Oklahoma USA. Andrew has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sri BNS Iyengar and many of the senior western teachers of Ashtanga Yoga including David Williams, Nancy Gilgoff, Danny Paradise, David Swenson and others. Beginning his daily yoga practice the age of 14, yoga has been his lifelong passion. Andrew teaches with kindness and respect for each individual’s needs and the inherent wisdom we all have within our own bodies. While working within the traditional framework of Ashtanga Yoga, Andrew enjoys sharing ideas about yoga that are both traditional and contemporary. For over 20 years Andrew has considered BNS Iyengar from Mysore to be his primary Indian teacher. Because of this, his approach to the practice has always been different from mainstream Ashtanga. His instructions from his teacher have not been “never change the sequence of postures” but rather “teach this beautiful system of practice in a way that transcends culture, language, religion and politics and try to share it sincerely and kindly with as many people as possible.” Andrew’s teaching is a synthesis of ideas and techniques he has learned through years of traveling and teaching in many countries. Some of the influences in Andrew’s approach to asanas include Myofascial stretch, Thai Massage, and Chiropractic techniques. He sees yoga as a life-long exploration and has always collected safe and effective methods for creating balance, relieving pain, and moving deeper into the postures. Andrew is also a magician and uses magic and illusion in his workshops to illustrate some of the philosophical ideas of yoga. While staying grounded in the roots of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and at the same time drawing from many sources of inspiration and technique from all around the world, Andrew’s teaching encourages students to create their own healing, joyful, evolving, sacred, lifelong yoga practices.
Mila Rybakova will be assisting Andrew with adjustments in the retreat. Mila is an experienced and talented yoga teacher from Ukraine. Mila has spent her whole life studying movement and dance, and she has been a dedicated yoga practitioner for over 10 years. She has a strong background in Eastern European Hatha Yoga and meditation practices, including Ishvara Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Slavic Energy Practices. Mila teaches regular classes in Kiev, Ukraine, and leads yoga retreats in the United States, India, and Egypt. She teaches with great precision, compassion, and creativity and she will contribute to the richness and diversity of this yoga experience!