Talks & Workshops for Yoga Teachers & Students

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Energy Anatomy, phsyical practices, integrating ancient philosopy, & beyond!

 

- Mudra Vigyan: Healing through Yoga Mudras 

Mudra Vigyan is the science of healing through Mudras (symbolic therapeutic hand positions). Each finger represents Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Ether. Touching upon the hundreds of nerve endings which influence the whole body at a cellular and atomic(energetic) level; this practice affects the body, mind & spirit of one's being, aids in healing, and can be an important aspect of yoga asanas.

This segment goes into the in-depth wisdom of ancient Yoga Mudras, Ritualistic, Therapeutic/Healing & Sacred dance mudras, and their therapeutic & healing usages. Amrita Choudhury guides you through various hand mudras in combination with eye, breath, & visualization techniques which aid in various physical, emotional & spiritual healing. Theory, technique, breathwork, practice, movement, all are incorporated in this class series. Special attention is given to how mudras can be incorporated in yoga practices & teachings.

 

- Introduction to Chakras & Nadis 

 

A comprehensive introduction to each of the seven chakras residing in the subtle body. This segment highlights the physical, biological, emotional, & energetic significance of each chakra. Participants will learn how to incorporate this ancient wisdom into some of their asanas & teaching practice. Both Sankrit & English terminology will be used to offer a complete view of the energetic chakra system from the ancient Indian Yogic perspective. Participants will also learn about how the flow of the Kundalini energy through each chakra affects the energetic and emotional body.

 

The human body is also known to have 72,000 nadis that help carry prana (energy) to each cell. Various asanas in combination with breathwork activates certain nadis. We will be exploring the main 3 Nadis : Ida, Pingala, and Sushmana, and how the cosmic force(Shakti) is able to travel through the spinal column through the nadis and unite with the Siva located in the crown chakra. This union at the energetic level, represents the grand union with one’s higher self.

 

- Introduction to the 5 Vayus 

 

In Sanskrit “Vayu” means “wind”. The ancient Yogi/Yoginis considered Prana (one’s life force energy) to have five different vayus or “flowing winds”. Each Vayu has special energetic qualities and functions. Out of the 49 Vayus, we will be exploring the 5 main Vayus (Pancha Prana), that yoga practitioners can incorporate into their yoga practices and teachings: Prana-Vayu, Apana-Vayu, Samana-Vayu, Udana-Vayu, and Vyana-Vayu.

- Introduction to the 3 Gunas 

 

In Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, Gunas or strands of life, weave us together to achieve a higher objective in this universe we reside in. Knowledge of the Sattva, Rajas, & Tamas Gunas, are particularly important for yoga practitioners to understand how they are able to shift their focus inward for each asana. Understanding these attributes, helps build the path that leads to Sattva – a state of serenity, balance, & contentment. This wisdom helps the practitioner incorporate this aspect within each asana.

- Yoga Philosophy, Asana's & the stories behind them

Each Asana is considered a ritual (a puja) in flowing motion of life. Various stories from the Bhagavad Gita, The Mahabharata, Ramayana, The Vedas & Upanishads are behind the asanas. When one knows the true meaning and essence of each asana, then the asanas come alive & hence the Hatha Yoga practice becomes powerful. Bring each asana to life working from the inside, learn about the stories, philosophies, & practices that make up the asana to integrate a complete practice. 

 

- Cultural appropriation of Yoga: How to respectfully teach & practice Yoga

This is a special class specifically designed for Western Yoga students and teachers. Amrita discusses the ongoing conflict of cultural appropriation of yoga and highlights aspects of representation, equity, the importance of the native narrative, People of color issues, & general awareness of Yoga's history & evolution in India and in the West.

Teachers and students are offered valuable tools & knowledge to integrate into their existing Yoga teachings and practices. Amrita believes that one is able to respectfully continue the way they are teaching and practicing; by adding various traditional knowledge, awareness & respect for the people & cultures the practice comes from, knowledge in Indian Yoga history, technique, Yoga philosophy, being aware of the cultural do's & don't, & also including the native narrative into their existing practice. Topics of misrepresentations, misconceptions, & misused practices of Yoga that exist in the West, will also be covered

After working in this field for more than 30 years, Amrita has found herself to be one of the minority Indians who comes from ancient yoga lineages at various conferences, talks, & seminars. Her mission is always to bring this knowledge to practioners and teachers with compassion, empathy, respecting the tradition & it's people, & through the power of awareness. 

This class/workshop starts with honoring the wisdom of all ancestors, a special puja that takes us lovingly and compassionately into the wonderous world of Indian Yoga.

 

 

Biography: Amrita Choudhury

Amrita Choudhury brings more than 30 years of international teaching, choreography, & performance experience.

 

Amrita comes from a lineage influenced by the Tantra & Bhakti traditions of India. Born and brought up in India, her greatest inspirations came from her grandfather- a Shivaite priest & Yogi, her grand-aunt Yogini Sri Anandamayi Ma, & temple yogini Sashimani Mahari. She was educated in the world renowned institution Santiniketan Ashram, founded by the poet Tagore. Here, spirituality, the arts, culture, & education were harmoniously taught in outside classrooms surrounded by nature.

 

Amrita was awarded grants by the Canada & Quebec Council of Arts for her in-depth research related to Mudras & their significance use and practice; amongst the temple Yogini/Yogis of ancient India, in Ayurveda, within Rituals, & for therapeutic functions.

She has offered talks, workshops, & demonstrations/performances at various Yoga conferences/studios, educational institutions, seminars internationally, including Ted Talks.

Amrita specializes in Mudras, Mantras, Sacred Dance, Yoga philosophy, and practice. She has performed extensive research in the field of Yoga & Mudras used in Sacred Movement/Dance, Yoga and Rituals/Pujas. These techniques have been part of her since a very young age; it is a part of her daily life & instilled in her regular teachings.

She has been invited to offer specialized modules related to Yoga, Mudra Vigyan, Chakras, Nrityoga® (Yoga of Dance), Yoga philosophies & practices to various trainings & Yoga schools internationally. Amrita is also the founder of Nrityoga® - Yoga of Dance, a discipline that incorporates ancient Yoga, Sacred Dance, Meditation, Mudra practice, with the philosophies of Raja, Bhakti, Tantra, Jnana, Hatha, Mantra, and various other yoga traditions. She has also worked with the McGill medical faculty, hospitals, psychotherapists, and other health workers to help incorporate Yoga practices, therapeutic mudra/mantra meditation, movement, & yogic philosophies into their and their client’s every day lives.

Amrita holds a degree in Anthropology, and is a respected Yoga-dance researcher, teacher, & practitioner. She continues to enjoy sharing the wisdom of her lineage and home country India, related to Yoga, spirituality, & Sacred Dance. Amrita has made her home in Montreal, Canada and continues to travel throughout Europe, Asia, South America, North America offering workshops, talks, & performances.