1. Yoga Practice in Silence
If you are ever to come to union with God you must pass through silence. - Anthony De Mello
In the Tao Te Ching it says
"To attain knowledge add things every day. To attain wisdom remove things every day."
I learned by practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga Mysore style for 18 years plus travelling to India for 5 years to practice with Sharath that what I needed to remove from yoga is technology.
In Western yoga classes it had crossed the boundry of the studio walls and pushed out nature.
First the it was the constant talking of the teacher and most recently the screens.
My vision is to have this room above packed with students practicing Ashtanga yoga Mysore style in silence each morning.
To create the experience and emergent energy that occurs when seekers come together with the common goal of moving, breathing and paying attention so there is union with God.
To do this in a habitat close to nature and at the edge of a wild forest under a sacred mountain.
I first experienced this depth of practice in Mysore India on my 2nd trip when Sharath moved me to an earlier, but not the earliest, batch of students.
Everyone in the room had an established Ashtanga practice and only needed optional help in a few pre determined postures like Supta Vajrasana.
The result was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before or have since.
It is one of the most powerful and memorable experience in my life and what kept me going back year after year.
Now with life’s circumstances and responsibilities it is unlikely I will return to Mysore.
The time has come to now share what I learned and create the same experience in my home at the edge of Jasper National Park at Folding Mountain Alberta Canada.
The room I have designed will be run exactly the same way I learned from Sharath in Mysore
Except in my opinion…..even better. There will be even more than talking missing from my room.
I can hear the Ashtanga tribe say
“how dare you! How can you make it better than Sharath!”
Ok better isn't the correct word. Updated?
I’ll let you decide but I think even Sharath, also a lover of nature, might agree.
A More Natural Garden
"In the garden the soul and nature marry. When we love cultivation more than excitement we are ready to start a garden. In the garden we cultivate yearning and longing—those strangely un-American feelings—and notice tiny desires. Paying attention to tiny, hardly noticeable feelings is the garden way." - Robert Bly, Iron John
Mysore is a city.
A city, by definition, has more technology and less nature.
I don't think technology is bad and we need to get rid of it. It has provided tremendous benefits but it does have its downsides when it is becomes an addiction and is overused.
Right now it has broken through almost every boundry of not only our physical habitat but our recently our psychological habitat.
I'm one of the increasingly rare humans who has been alive during this change.
Have you heard the garden analogy when it comes to yoga practice?
It's basically the paradigm of the practice room being a garden.
It makes total sense to me since our bodies come from nature not from a factory.
Like plants in garden we don’t need to be constantly attended to once the planting has been done.
They don’t need the gardener standing over top saying “ok move your leaf slightly to the left, now extend your roots deep into the ground”
Plants do need the nutrients and protection a walled garden provides.
Humans are not different in order to thrive and grow strong we need
But we also need to be shielded from pollution. Which is why I designed the yoga shala with
Nature in. Technology maybe after or......
2. After Practice. Mountains.
“Life is outside but we stare into a screen” - My remix of a Henry David Thoreau quote
Since Northaven is located at one of the most popular and beautiful locations on planet earth the last thing you want to do after practice is sit inside and recover. I
Especially when you have the options of:
Swimming/Cold Dips in pristine mountain lakes and rivers
Recharging in the Nature Spa with Sauna and Sunbathing
Eating and Drinking Organic and Local
After practice is is where things get a lot different than in Mysore.
Outdoor strength training, biohacking rest and recovery, hiking mountain peaks, rock climbing, cold dips in the rivers and lakes, sauna, mountain biking and a ton of other activities just outside the doors of the yoga shala.
Im not a big fan of what looks like resting which is really increasing inflammation and anxiety from sitting inside with a phone stuck to your hand and scrolling endlessly. I wrote a post on that here.
I’ve found for myself that a more sustainable approach is to keep the dose of the practice low intensity (zone 2 heart rate) and not too physically demanding so you actually have more energy for the rest of the day.
This level is different for every person. It might be all of second for one student and just standing for another.
I’ve also found that if you hit a roadblock in the series physically that you want to overcome it works better and faster to figure out why then work on it outside of practice. What John Scott first referred to as homework.
Whether you want “homework” or instead just do less is up to you. For those student that want to move past some of the obstacles in their practice I will offer workshops on how what I’ve done.
Mysore in the Mountains
June to Sept at Northaven Retreat Center
How it works
Monday to Friday 7:00 till 10:00 AM - Mysore Open Practice
(I'll teach from 9am to 10am and it may change to earlier, to learn more about me click here)
Prerequisites to attending - ZOOM Call with Clint either option 1 or option 2 depending on your level of experience.
1. People who don’t have a practice and want to learn or have questions - For those people who don’t have an Ashtanga practice email email@example.com with the subject line "new student"
2. People who do have an Ashtanga Mysore practice and want attend - Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Ashtanga practitioner"
Students not staying in the Habitat Rooms - This would include locals, people staying at the Jasper East Cabins or Overlander Mountain Lodge. $150 per month, $75 per week or $20 per class.
Visiting Students - Singles $169 a night plus taxes which includes single accommodations in the seacan rooms, practice space, use of kitchen facilities plus nature spa and sauna pass. Weekly rate $999.00 plus taxes
Larger accommodations available at Jasper East Cabins right next to shala here
*Please note the Seacan main floor rooms are directly under the yoga shala so are for students only. These room do not have the Organic cotton beds like the second floor rooms which are $259 per night.