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Finding Clarity in Yoga Practice, Culture & Service with Matthew Remski [CANCELED]
Oct 27, 2016| $35 – $140
[THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED]
Join Matthew Remski, writer, researcher and “heart-centered skeptic,” as he leads thought-provoking discussions on some of the vital issues facing yoga practitioners and teachers today.
The Death of a Yogi
Michael Stone, who offered yoga and meditation retreats worldwide and authored several innovative books, died on July 16 after taking street drugs. He had struggled with bipolar disorder for decades. Matthew will speak about the life of his friend and colleague, and hold space for group reflection on how mental illness is held and hidden in our yoga communities. All donations for this offering will benefit Michael’s surviving family.
- Friday, Oct. 27, 2017
- 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
If you would like to make a donation that is either lesser or greater than the pricing options shown at checkout, please call us or stop by the studio to RSVP.
Defining Yoga: Navigating Private and Public Discourses with Integrity and Respect
It’s natural for everyone to have a private definition of yoga practice. What could be more intimate and personal than the sensations and meanings of movement, breath, meditation and contemplation? And yet, if we stop with our private definitions, we miss out on not only the historical richness and diversity of yoga literature, we run the risk of further fragmenting a heritage that has struggled to survive colonialism and now globalization. In this discussion we’ll explore the difference between “yoga as a personal journey” and yoga as an historic spirituality with specific roots in Indian wisdom practice.
- Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017
- 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Manual Adjustments: Challenges and Possibilities
In many yoga spaces, teachers and students share the expectation that adjustments are a standard part of practice. But this aspect of modern yoga is marred by an uncomfortable history. At the dawn of the global movement in 1930s India, adjustments in key learning spaces such as the Mysore Palace merged with the somatics of corporal punishment. They conveyed assumptions about spiritualized pain and surrender delivered through a pedagogy of unquestioned charisma and presumed consent. In combination, these factors have led to decades of blurred boundaries, sexualized touch, and general intrusion. If you’re a yoga teacher and you want to adjust people, this discussion will help you get square with this history first. It will help you think about how you will protect your students from it, especially in an unregulated industry. It will offer guidelines for moving forward in the creation of safe and student-driven yoga education.
- Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017
- 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
What Is the Yoga Teacher’s Scope of Practice?
The modern yoga industry has aspirations towards therapeutic and social service, but few mechanisms to guide competency. It also has emerged from a pedagogy in which teachers have been explicitly rewarded for overstepping their trained skill sets. Some of this happens through earnest enthusiasm, but some of it intersects with outright manipulation. Complicating it all is the industry’s allergy to legal regulation. It is left to yoga educators, therefore, to get really smart about understanding and defining what the limits and possibilities of their training are. In this discussion, we’ll explore five potential guidelines that can positively inform scope of practice for the yoga teacher.
- Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017
- 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Does Yoga Support Social Justice Work? No and Yes.
The Bhagavad Gita was the favourite book of both Gandhi and his assassin. European fascist movements of the 1930s were fascinated with yoga. And today, practicing yoga is not a reliable predictor of one’s political persuasion. The Yoga Sutras will not teach you about reproductive rights, rape culture or white privilege. The Hatha yoga texts are in no way feminist. Is it a mistake to believe that practicing yoga makes you a better citizen or ally? In this discussion we’ll explore how social justice work really begins with education that comes from beyond the yoga mat. And — how those who are working in social justice movement really can trust yoga practice to help build resilience.
- Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017
- 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- $35 each Early bird through Oct 22
$40 each Full price Oct 23 and after
- All Four Workshops:
$125 Early bird through Oct 22
$140 Full price Oct 23 and after
About Matthew Remski:
I have been practicing meditation and yoga since 1996, sitting and moving with teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist, Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Iyengar streams. Along the way I’ve trained as a yoga therapist and an Ayurvedic consultant, and have maintained a private practice in Toronto since 2008. From 2008 through 2012 I co-directed Yoga Festival Toronto and Yoga Community Toronto, non-profit activist organizations dedicated to promoting open dialogue and accessibility. During that same period I studied jyotiśhāstra in a small oral-culture setting at the Vidya Institute in Toronto. I currently facilitate programming for yoga trainings internationally, focusing on yoga philosophy, meditation, Ayurveda, and the social psychology of practice. In all subject areas, I encourage students to explore how yoga practice can resist the psychic and material dominance of neoliberalism, and the quickening pace of environmental destruction.
I’m the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Of Threads of Yoga: a remix of Patanjali’s Sutras with commentary and reverie, scholar Mark Singleton writes: “I don’t know of any reading of the yoga sutras as wildly creative, as impassioned and as earnest as this. it engages Patanjali and the reader in an urgent, electrified conversation that weaves philosophy, symbolist poetry, psychoanalysis and cultural history. There’s a kind of delight and freshness in this book that is very rare in writing on yoga, and especially rare in writing on the yoga sutras. This is a Patanjali for postmoderns, less a translation than a startlingly relevant report on our current condition, through the prism of this ancient text.”