This course is inspired and blessed by Tiwariji, Paul’s direct teacher and one of the few living knowledgeable authorities on Pranayama and its place in the field of yoga today. It is a living tradition. Paul has learnt the full practice in a special one-to-one capacity over the past 17+ years with Tiwariji. Tiwariji learnt directly from his teacher, Swami Kuvalayananda, who was an adept and highly accomplished in Pranayama and the science of yoga. He was also a devotee and spent his years in practice and training with his teacher, Madhavadas, on the banks of the Narmada river, also being taught this exact practice of Pranayama. In this way it has been passed on very personally and effectively. Such a tradition survives all books as it is only experience that ultimately counts. Over the years of study and introspection with Tiwariji and in this practice Paul has had the opportunity to better understand it from direct experience and how to help pass it on and help others to practice and teach it better. This course is designed to help you practice more effectively, understand Pranayama techniques to a deeper degree based on the information given and the depth of practice being done in a purpose-built, dedicated environment. Based on this you can improve as a practitioner and teacher. This course does not claim to develop Pranayama teachers but rather to stimulate and increase the base and understanding of practice.
The past three years have covered elements of both practice and physiology and this course will continue in that vein, to cover a synthesis of practice, techniques, physiology and philosophy, as below. Further topics will be covered in 2017, to wrap up a full five sections to this curriculum. It aims to combine traditional practice and wisdom with scientific and psychological understanding. This year Paul will introduce numerous findings on the breath and physiology based on his research on the scientific side, along with continuing to offer insight on the nature of pranayama practice and what happens in the process. It is a program that is part-practice, part-lecture, part-discussion based on your enquiring questions.
Recap on how to Sit, Breathe, and Practice Pranayama
Recap on Small Details needed for the correct practice of Pranayama
An overview of Pranayama in the texts
The Energetic Body and its Influence in Pranayama
Nadi Shodhana through Breath and Shatkarma Kriyas
Insight on the preparations for Pranayama and the Release of Tension
Obstacles to Growth through Yoga
Elements for Success in Dedicated (Yoga) Practice
How the breath works in terms of both anatomy and physiology, some latest findings
Some Scientific Findings Relating to Pranayama and Yoga
Importance of Food and Pranayama
Pranayama techniques explained
How to Continue and Grow Your Practice
The key focus is on your practice and gaining experience. The morning session will be devoted to a 90-minute Kriya and Pranayama practice preceded by 45-minutes sitting meditation covering contemplation, mantra japa, pranava japa, and annapannasati (silent awareness on the breath). This will be followed by Asana practice. Asana will be a mix of guided sessions and self-practice. For the first time this year Paul will take small groups for self-practice on the outdoor shala on different days. If your Asana practice is other than Ashtanga you are of course welcome. If you do not have a dedicated Asana practice then we will teach you the basics of the Ashtanga method.
The afternoon will focus on Pranayama practice along with Pranava (Om) recitation to help still the mental activity and trigger a shift in the autonomic nervous system thereby enabling one to get more internally connected, really touch something inside that leads to real transformation. Within this time will be the lecture focus for the day coupled with your questions and answers to the best of the teacher’s ability. In the evening will be a mixture of personal time, related videos, further practice and chanting. Typically Paul is not present for the evening programs but one of the team leads them. Through repeated practice and greater understanding it can grow within. Pranayama is a true gift and holds a power to really transform one’s state and behavior if practiced with faith and dedication over time. This program is dedicated to encourage that in you. It is recommended you continue into the next two-week program with Tiwariji and Paul to further your pranayama practice.
July 3 – 16, 2016
The Daily Schedule
The program begins at 5pm on the first day of the retreat with a group welcome and departure is at 12pm on the last day. The schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the teacher.
6:00 am Deva Yajna – Fire Ceremony (not everyday – optional to attend)
6:30 – 8:30 am Mantra and Pranava Japa, Meditation techniques, and Pranayama practice with pulse analysis with Paul
8:30 am Mysore Style Self Practice with occasional Led Explorative classes to deepen the understanding of the material covered with Paul.
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Brunch buffet
3:00 – 3:30 pm Snack and refreshment
3:00 – 3:30 pm Chanting practice with Elonne
3:30 – 6:00 pm Lecture on Pranayama, physiology and energetic theory, Q&A, Pranayama practice and Pranava Japa
6:00 – 8:00 pm Complimentary herbal steam room available
6:00 – 8:00 pm Dinner buffet
7:30 pm Evening program – video, meditation, private time
Please arrive by 4pm for a program welcome on the first day. Departure is by 12 noon on the last day. You are welcome to arrive early or stay on, check our residential stay rates Saturday is free from formal group Pranayama practice. Enjoy the morning to rest.