One of my only workshops in Europe this year. I will be presenting all my latest explorations from different masters in movement and yoga and going beyond the mat – both in terms of the physical and the mental/emotional practice. For bookings: http://cityzen.it/mark-robberds-milano/
Beyond The Mat – Mark Robberds
In this class we will explore isolating and articulating each vertebrae of the spine, which is where it all begins, as well as a whole body, open-chain joint mobility routine as it relates to the modern yoga practice. You will learn how to apply these to closed-chain exercises in core postures like high plank, chaturanga dandasana and downward facing dog. You will learn how to strengthen the posterior chain and create hip and lower back ‘bandhas’ – co-activation techniques, for Upward Dog, while accessing more movement in the thoracic spine.
This awareness, combined with reinforcing the key principle of synchronised movement with the breath, will be weaved into the foundation of the asana practice – the sun salutations – where we will also work on developing jumping, pressing and floating patterns.
We will begin by building upon details in the ‘open-chain whole body joint mobility routine’ in relation to Yoga postures. Then we will refine their application in Closed chain movements, to increase joint stabilisation and mobility, and improve the jumping, pressing and floating patterns found in the sun salutations.
The key movement principles of aligning bones for the proper execution of standing postures and utilising the rebound effect of ground reaction forces will be explored. This involves finding the balance between giving our weight to the floor and rebounding upwards. We will introduce the expanding and condensing, upward and downward, patterns of the breath and how this is intrinsically tied into movement.
The open chain joint mobility routine will be covered – this time as it applies to arm balancing and hand stand practice.
We will then work on stability drills, developing a strong core and a building a sufficient active and passive range of motion through the shoulders and hip flexors.
A preliminary locomotion practice will be introduced as a warm up and a way to develop new fine motor skills and to find more awareness and confidence for balancing on the hands.
Key arm balances like the crow, crane and frogstand and their differences will be explored and understood.
We will go through all the tools needed to build your handstand and spend some time working both in groups and individually at the level appropriate for each student.
Open chain joint mobility and spinal waves with a specific focus on how to use these techniques for deepening your backbending practice.
We will releases the key areas of the front body with a combination of stretching techniques and build more active flexibility and end range control.
We will explore and experiment with two very different approaches to back bends – the contortion school approach and the belly dance/breakdance/capoeira schools – so that you have more ways to move backwards.
Breathwork, meditation and Self-Inquiry
In this class there will be discussion on what is the purpose of all this asana practice and where does the Modern Yoga practice fit in the scheme of the historical evolution of the Yoga tradition.
We will spend time with the introductory breathing techniques taught in the classical Hatha Yoga schools. You will learn abdominal breathing and thoracic breathing methods and how to apply the three bandhas, and the classical ‘kriyas’ (cleansing techniques) like Nauli. (Do not eat a big lunch) Also, the essential Nadi Shodhana, for calming the nervous system will be practiced.
We will finish with developing a foundation for a seated meditation practice and talk about the importance of not only practicing yoga postures, but to cultivate a sitting practice and how this can be a powerful tool for transformation in your life.