New York - Full Primary Series
September 21/22 2019 - 11am-4pm
Cost: $275
For students with proficiency in Full Primary

New York - Half Primary Series
September 21 only, 2019 - 11am-4pm
Cost: $150
For students practicing Half Primary

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The Art of Giving and Receiving Adjustments

For Students, Teachers and Aspiring Teachers

Adjustments are at the heart of traditional Mysore Style Ashtanga practice. In this workshop you will learn how to give adjustments and also how best to receive them.

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It is often difficult to understand how to apply the right effort or leverage to move into a posture and how to relax tension that limits the body's range of motion and flexibility. Adjustments are designed to educate the body to move intelligently, to selectively use the right muscles and to relax tension that restricts movement in the desired direction. 

Adjustments can allow students to feel as though they are practicing an asana correctly where they would otherwise be struggling and once a posture has been deepened through an adjustment it is more easily accessible through independent practice.

Adjustments should give the student a sense of release, freedom of movement and safety while at the same time leaving them grounded and stable and safe. Through feeling grounded and safe, the body can surrender to intelligent guidance and move into or towards a desired “perfect” asana. 

Moving the body through its natural range of motion does not require force but understanding and guidance, sensitivity and correct perception - these are the qualities we will work to cultivate. 

We will utilize natural forces that can assist us such as the force of gravity and the fluidity of the breath: we use our body weight instead of strength and instead of forcing the body we use the breath as the vehicle for movement. 

Workshop Structure

Each session will commence with a meditation on the principles of the Yama and Niyama - non-violence or compassion, kindness and nurturing support - non-ambition or non-greed - being present in the moment - respecting the body. We will consider what motivates us as teachers and practitioners - cultivating pure intentions - seeing the body as sacred - not controlling or restricting the body but creating space for movement and freedom. 

We will work on all the important asanas which are normally adjusted in the Ashtanga Practice and will learn a number of ways to adjust each pose, taking into account common injuries, different body types and conditions and alignment problems. 

It is our intention to develop a thorough understanding of the techniques for adjusting through repetition. In this way participants will get plenty of experience both with adjusting each pose and with receiving adjustments in each pose and experiencing and discussing the rationale behind each asana and adjustment. 

Moving back and forth between the two roles of adjusting and being adjusted, one develops both an objective understanding of method and a subjective feeling for technique. By the end of the course students will have both learned the adjustments and had the opportunity to practice each asana repeatedly.

The workshop is therefore suitable both as a way of deepening one’s own practice and as a training to assist others and can be attended with either intention. 

Technique

Guy was a student of Pattabhi Jois for many years and this has provided a foundation for his technique but also an education about how not to teach: many students were injured and many students were sexually assaulted by KP Jois. In this workshop we will explore how to be gentle, kind and nurturing, how to avoid harming, abusing and controlling the student, how to cultivate freedom of movement by providing steadiness and a calm stable foundation, while at the same time helping to evolve a practice in the best possible way.

Guy has been teaching this way for over 25 years and will share his knowledge and experience about how to be effective, safe, respectful of the student and the student's boundaries. He has also studied and integrated many different healing modalities - massage therapy, trigger point muscle release, reflexology, tui-na, reiki etc.. He regards asana practice as therapy.

Feedback From Previous Adjustment Workshops

"Some features of the organization of the workshop were really outstanding: 1) rather than doing every asana of the primary series, you focused on the ones that most typically need adjusting; 2) we rotated partners each day for each asana. In other workshops, when stuck with the same partner all afternoon, it was a limiting factor. Before, when paired with someone who could not drop back, I failed to learn that adjustment. 3) always reviewing what we'd previously learned 4) later, rotating asana by asana - doing a different body and a different asana, a fairly good replication of an actual class."

"The repetition of adjustments rapidly deepened my own practice. I guesstimate that we each received about 30-50 adjustments a day (about 720 adjustments during the workshop). That could be equal to or more than the number I’ve received the last 18 months. (!) This was the most valuable aspect of the workshop for me...

...It was very beneficial and generous of you to demonstrate adjustments again, and again and again if needed. There are many possible adjustments and you were emphasizing a certain style. It became apparent you see a hierarchy of asanas that are most important to adjust." 

"I highly recommend GD's intensive adjustment clinic for all ashtanga students who are interested in deepening their practice and for teachers interested in exploring the intricacies of adjusting. Guy's years of experience as a teacher and teacher of teachers comes through as he adds his own philosophy and style of adjusting while grounding students in the traditional methodology of ashtanga as taught to him by Pattabhi Jois. Each day the clinic included instruction, practice and ongoing discussion and feedback. It was a great opportunity to practice adjustments directly on students and to learn a variety of adjustments for each pose of the primary series. Guy is a patient teacher who makes his students feel comfortable; the clinic is both rigorous and tons of fun." 

"It is clearly Guy’s belief that we learn best through repetition, and this holds true when he teaches both asana and adjustments. Learning to give adjustments from Guy is similar to the way he teaches asana. One pose is taught at a time, and the student is expected to gain proficiency before receiving the next. Guy is acutely aware of the differences in body types and teaches not only the foundation to adjusting each pose, but also the ability to assess what kind of adjustment the student is actually in need of. It is clear he does not teach one-size-fits-all. After having studied adjusting with Guy, I have become so much more aware of the subtle aspects that can change adjustments from a purely physical action to something more energetic and tailored to the specific individual." 

"I would say that the workshop enhances one's ability to learn non-verbally through hands-on instruction. The strength of the workshop as I see it is the time and attention that you, Guy, give to each student as they learn the adjustments. It seemed as if you were always there when needed to guide and answer questions."

"Adjustments can help students go deeper into poses and in some cases teach a student the way a pose should feel before the student can achieve the pose on his/her own."

"The traditional method of teaching Ashtanga yoga postures is by physically adjusting the student into correct alignment or simply deeper towards the posture’s true expression. Guy Donahaye embodies a unique combination of gentleness and power. From the first moment as a student in Guy's hands the sensation was one of security and trust, allowing me to relax and breathe into the posture. It is inadequate to talk only about the physical nature of Guy's adjustments. He communicates a calming spirituality, rooted in tradition, which sets one free into the present moment. For a teacher, learning Guy's approach to adjustment would be priceless. My yoga journey has included many master teachers. Guy is among the very best."