Chosen Text: Bhagavad Gita
Anatomical Focus: The Shoulder Girdle (including sequences for neck, upper back and chest, arms, wrists and hands)
Nature's Celebration: Lupine!
Practice Focus: All categories of asana including workshops on Shoulder Stability, Neck Release, Thoracic Mobility, Inversions and Backbends, Self-Care for your Forearms, Wrists and Hands and so much more!
The word “Shraddha” is often translated as faith. Literally, it refers to “that which is placed in the heart.” It is whatever we care most deeply about in this world. It is the love in our hearts that trumps everything else and that empowers us to action. Shraddha is a potency within us that we develop and evolve over the course of our lives that both soothes and stabilizes us but that also gives us the courage to create amazing things with our lives. It draws us into profound connectivity. You might also translate shraddha as conviction, trust, reverence, creed, self-confidence, or the enthusiasm that comes from living life with an open heart. Shraddha affords us clarity and unshakeable calm and yet at the same time it is filled with energy! It is what we believe in our heart of hearts, it is our very substance, it is what we choose to commit ourselves to, and it is the key to our destiny.
I first read the Bhagavad Gita at Middlebury College over 21 years ago. For me, it is a wellspring of comfort, direction and mystery. It renews my devotion, it deepens my sense of purpose and it reminds me of the sacredness of even the simplest acts of daily life. One of the things that I love most about the Gita is that there is no right or wrong way to interpret it. The text comes alive as you begin to personalize it in your own unique way. And it a gift to share the adventure of the Gita with a loving and supportive group of yogi friends! I am tremendously excited because this will be the first time that I will be leading a group through selected chapters of the Gita. My hope is that through our conversations the characters and themes will come leaping off the pages and into your minds and hearts in a way that makes them relevant, relatable and endlessly engaging. One of the lenses through which we will look at the Gita this year is the lens of relationship: the love between student and teacher, the truth exacted by real friendship, the high stakes of intimacy, and the enduring comfort of knowing that we belong.
The heart and soul of these week-long programs are the practices themselves. There will be no anatomy lectures, there will be nothing for you to memorize, nothing for you to grasp, nothing in the way of evaluation or performance. This is a chance for you to give your thinking minds a rest, to pull back from the incredible level of stimulation in our digital world, to quiet any sense of urgency about needing to know or do anything, and to give yourself over to feeling, experiencing, and being.
There will be 14 movement practices and fourteen meditation practices which I have had the most enormous fun planning and playing around with since I flew back from Bali and moved to Stonington 18 months ago. They include the following:
· The Structure of Freedom: Shoulder Girdle Stability (vinyasa)
· Sliding and Gliding Your Way to Sweet Release (hatha/MFR)
· Rhomboid Rapture: Warmth in the Cave of the Heart (vinyasa)
· The Sound of a Seashell: Nervous System and Breath (hatha)
· Movement through all Planes: Functional, Free and Playful (vinyasa)
· Stabilizing the Jam Jar: Profound Neck Release (hatha/MFR)
· The High Stakes of Intimacy: Straps and Chest-Opening Backbends (vinyasa)
· Mandala Flow: Stillness in Movement (vinyasa)
· Scrumptious Side-body (yin)
· My Thoracic Spine is Singing an Aria! (vinyasa)
· Forearm, Wrist and Hand Therapy (hatha, joint mobilization)
· Neck, Face and Jaw (hatha, MFR, joint mobilization)
· White Flag: Surrendering the Heart’s Armor (yin)
· Wings of the Heart: Lats and Overhead Backbends (vinyasa)
· and of course… Upside Down Party! (workshop)
The meditations I have created are specifically for this program and are all intended to encourage a deep sense of letting go:
· Wild Roses: Infinite Unfolding
· Effortless Being
· Luminous Body
· Releasing Pressure
· Coming Home
· Sitting on a Beach with a Friend
· Tidal Rhythms
· Emerald Green Stars of Light
· Progressive Relaxation
· There is No Rush
· Heart’s Longing
· The Kindness of Mystery
Location and Activities:
I could not ask for a better backdrop for the soul-stirring week that we will be spending together than the raw and wild beauty of coastal Maine.
These programs will be held at a luxurious, oceanfront retreat in Deer Isle where you will have access to your own private beach with glorious sunsets overlooking Penobscot Bay. Twice daily practices will take place in the great room with hardwood floors with radiant heat and a wall of windows through which you will be able to witness the dramatic tides and ever-changing landscape of the ocean’s edge. These trainings are rooted in the vinyasa methodology but will include hatha, MFR, yin, pranayama and meditation practices as well. Mornings will include lively philosophy discussions inspired by some of yoga's most beloved and time-honored texts. Afternoons will include walks through mossy woods, over lichen-laced granite, to secluded white sand beaches, to uninhabited islands encircled with wild roses. You’ll breathe in some of the freshest air you can imagine. Evenings are sure to be filled with laughter and games. The formal celebration of our week together will be a daytrip by boat to Isle au Haut to explore a remote and uniquely tranquil part of Acadia National Park.
The retreats are being fully catered by Margie Litman whose quiet delicacy, passion for her craft, and commitment to locally-sourced ingredients are sure to feed not only your bellies but your hearts and minds as well.
These retreats will be fully catered by Margie Litman whose quiet delicacy, passion for her craft, and enormous creativity are sure to feed not only your bellies but your hearts and minds as well. And of course my wonderful partner Kerry will bring lobster and other fresh seafood off the boat for those of you who like!
I can’t wait to share these adventures with you!
For those of you enrolled in my 300-hour Teacher Training, each of these week-long programs counts as 45 hours towards your certification. Each participant will be awarded a certificate upon completion of the program stating that you have completed 45 contact hours with me. This certificate can be submitted to Yoga Alliance to satisfy the continuing education requirement for teachers of 30 hours per 3-year cycle. Please note that these trainings do NOT including teaching practicum hours.
If you are not a yoga teacher, but are a devoted and curious student with a minimum 2 years of consistent practice experience, you may apply to attend these trainings.
a passionate love of yoga!
a deep respect for the sacredness of the yoga tradition of which we as teachers are a living part
good physical and mental health. Due to the rigor of these programs, these trainings are not suitable for those in the early stages of recovering from acute illness or injury or from any condition that might limit full participation and enjoyment of the day's activities.
$2,995 per person (private room, shared bath)
$5,995 per couple (private room, private bath)
Program costs include:
round-trip transportation to and from the Bangor or Bar Harbor airport
7 nights accommodation at a luxurious eco-smart retreat with private beach
all meals during your stay (gluten-free and vegetarian options provided at every meal)
a day trip to Isle au Haut - a remote and uniquely tranquil part of Acadia National Park
twice-daily yoga practices including vinyasa, hatha, MFR, yin, pranayama and meditation. Although each training has a specialized focus, the retreat will offer a balanced practice that addresses the entirety of you - not just your physical body but your, mind, heart and soul
much much more!
A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required to reserve your spot. Please note that due to the limited number of spaces available, I am unable to hold spots without a deposit.
For inquiries and to apply, kindly e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org