Haṭha Yoga as I use the term refers to a body of practices descended from Śaiva and Buddhist breath and energy work developed between the 10th and 18th centuries in the Himalayan region of what is now India and Tibet. The texts that have survived from this period describe powerful practices of energy cultivation that leads to states of bliss, clarity, and inner power, and support a tantric path of both Subtle Power (siddhi) and Liberation (mokṣa) from the round of birth and death (saṁsāra). The most prominent modern forms of these practices are the prānāyāma, bandha, and mudrā taught in the lineage of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya of Mysore (1888-1989), teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar and Śri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga system. I began my yoga study in 1996 doing Ashtanga at It’s Yoga in San Francisco, but learned the Haṭha practices later, studying with teachers from various lineages.
As the flowing postural style of Aṣtānga gained popularity, teachers began to create their own sequences of postures, improvising and choreographing new practice sequences from the vocabulary of poses (āsana) formalized by Iyengar and Jois. The new style, called Vinyasa from a term used by Krishnamacharya for movement pathways in and out of poses, became the most prominent style of public class in SF where I was practicing, and my own primary style as well. I taught Vinyasa classes for many years, bringing in aspects of the postmodern dance technique I was also studying. My classes focused on cultivating steady, warm, embodied presence through graceful, non-effortful movement, continuous breath focus, and mindfulness of the body in both movement and stillness.
I no longer teach public yoga āsana classes, but work with practitioners individually and in workshop contexts to refine their practice, and to integrate physical work with their broader spiritual or inner growth path.
Individual yoga sessions with me can include work on:
- postures and movement (āsana) in relation to energy and the nervous system
- breath cultivation (prānāyāma, bandha, and mudrā)
- trauma symptoms and nervous system resilience (see Organic Intelligence)
- study of texts and core teachings from the Buddhist and Hindu yoga traditions
- spiritual and existential inquiry
Haṭha Yoga laboratory
In 2017 I will begin offering 8-week series’ called Haṭha Yoga Laboratories. These will be affordable practice intensives for experienced students focusing on the core energetic practices of the Haṭha Yoga system, and will work with āsana in self-guided, intuitive structures built on the framework of Authentic Movement. I will put word out for these classes on my mailing list and at Satsang, so if you’re interested in joining, please sign up for my mailing list, or contact me directly.