The Power of Intention:
Yoga, Purpose and Fulfillment from the Wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita
Join Jessica for a weekend immersion into yoga and the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita. Considered India’s most widely revered spiritual scripture, the Bhagavad Gita is a compelling epic poem that contains the complete science of yoga and self-realization. More than a series of poses, the Bhagavad Gita defines yoga as a way of life; a purification of consciousness through a life of study, service, love and devotion-in-action. It prescribes that the success of yoga — and long-term happiness and fulfillment in life — is realized by fully “yoking” one’s life to dharma, by aligning the ways you act, think and speak with the divine intelligence that pervades the universe — filling the place in the world that only you can fill, making the contribution that only you can make.
Dharma, the inner possibility harbored within every human soul, is the centerpiece of the yoga tradition. The tools of yoga — asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation — are a means to support and embody these deeper spirited teachings. Take a weekend to align your practice with your purpose and discover the life-giving teachings of this ancient yogic text.
Dharma: Claiming Your Unique Role in the Whole of Life // 2 hours // $35 // Saturday August 6 //1:30pm - 3:30pm
Dharma is the compelling force in each of us that longs to thrive and become who and what we are meant to be. We are each a single cell in the greater body of this world, with a unique role to play in the service of sustaining and advancing the whole of which we are part. Dharma supports you, as an individual, in your role as an essential part of the whole of life.
In this workshop, we will introduce the story of the Bhagavad Gita and how these teachings inform and impact the practitioner of yoga today. After in-depth study into the Vedic understanding of dharma, truth and action, we will weave the teachings into a practice of asana, meditation and guided Self-inquiry.
Desire: Purifying the Divine Spark // 2.5 hours // $45 // Saturday August 6 // 4:00pm - 6:30pm
Desire is the apex of our consciousness. It precedes our every action, since before we can do, we first have to want. Through our wanting, we come to know more of ourselves, each other and life. Desire is the divine spark that fuels our pursuit of spiritual and lasting fulfillment in every aspect of our lives.
In this workshop, we will explore the fickle, murky, yet life-affirming territory of desire, and how, as practitioners of yoga, we can approach and employ it to be a guide, instead of a hindrance, to our spiritual pursuit. After guided self-study and a written activity, we will use the tools of sankalpa (an intention we make to support our highest truth, or dharma) and yoga nidra (a systematic guided relaxation) to dissolve our self-imposed limitations, making the mind a more powerful agent to help us fulfill our desires, intentions and dharma.
Devotion: The Yoga of Action // 2.5 hours // $45 // Sunday August 7 // 10:00am - 12:30pm
The word yoga means "to yoke.” In the case of the yoga of action, it means to yoke all of one’s being to dharma. To bring every action into alignment with your highest purpose. If we do not regulate our lifestyle, environment and activities to support our dharma, our mind will be more and more agitated and our deepest intentions will become lost. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna states that perfection in yoga is attained when one has molded his life in such a way that all his thoughts and activities are yoked to higher truth. This is when our yoga becomes lived.
In this workshop, we will explore the yogic topics of bhakti (devotion), sadhana (spiritual practice), sattvic (pure) lifestyle, karma yoga (service) and samadhi (union) in light of the Gita’s wisdom and discuss how small deliberate choices taken in support of dharma can radically transform our lives. To conclude, we will engage a practice of action-oriented asana and mantra meditation.
Detachment: Freedom from Anxiety // 2 hours // $35 // Sunday August 7 // 1:00pm - 3:00pm
The Bhagavad Gita says that all anxiety is a result of being attached to the reward of our action. When we are motivated only by desire for the fruits of our actions, our mind becomes divided and miserable; always anxious about the results of what we do. Freedom from anxiety is found in one of the most brilliant discoveries of the ancient yoga tradition: the power of non-attachment. When the ego relinquishes control, our unconditional devotion brings its own fulfillment and eventually the task takes on a life of its own. Only action based on inspiration and humility, and not bound by expectation, is truly free.
In this workshop, we will explore how to balance the two-fold path of yoga, abhyasa (persevering practice) and vairagya (non-attachment). These topics will be discussed in light of this determining point in Krishna’s dialogue with Arjuna, as well as the fifth niyama in Pantanjali’s eight-limbed system of yoga, ishvara pranidhana (surrender/devotion to the Divine). These teachings will be woven into a practice of anxiety-reducing pranayama and restorative asana.