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Archive for March, 2009

I would write “What It Is”, but the truth is I don’t know what this practice will be, as we will co-create it together over these next several months. But here’s basic description for the flyer, and I will include links to appropriate websites here if you’re curious to learn more about the foundations for the Work.

The Yoga That Reconnects

Do you ever wonder why you’re here? Getting on the mat to do yet another down-dog? Or, more broadly: Why are you on this planet, in this particular time and place, with all the massive challenges we face as well as unprecedented opportunities for transformation?

In this class you will learn to utilize the resources you have developed through your yoga practice to connect more deeply with yourself, others, and our Mother Earth. Together we will do the Yoga — and the Work — that we can not do alone, for the welfare of all beings — including ourselves.

Join us.

Visit this blog right here (!) for more information, readings, resources, and discussions.

In this class we will explore an ever-evolving mix of practices, including, but not limited to:
•    asana and pranayama (on the mat, drawn from diverse yogic traditions)
•    other breathwork and movement explorations (on & off the mat)
•    floor work (off the mat)
•    partner/interpersonal work (both on and off the mat, incorporating movement and sharing)
•    large group and small group shares
•    visualizations
•    longer meditations
•    guided imagery work
•    journaling (bring a journal and pen/pencil to every class)
•    creative expression

Bio:

Tal is currently a leader for What’s Your Tree and Off the Mat, Into the World, which create small group circles for sustainable social change as sectors of the Engage Network. Over the past year, Tal’s most significant and intensive study has been with esteemed eco-philosopher, engaged Buddhist, poet, activist, and scholar Joanna Macy, founder of The Work That Reconnects (and yes, this class is named in homage to Joanna and the Work). Tal seeks to bring this much-needed Work for healing, community-building, and transformation to the yoga world through The Yoga That Reconnects and by leading Yoga In Action circles.

Through his work with Off the Mat and What’s Your Tree, Tal has had the good fortune to study with Seane Corn, Julia Butterfly Hill, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling. Other influential teachers and practices over the past several years include Gabrielle Roth (5 Rhythms), Anna Halprin, Andrew Harvey, and Emilie Conrad (Continuum Movement). Tal has practiced Somatic Awareness, qigong and tae kwon do, and is passionate about exploring all embodied practices which can help us to tap into our innate ability to heal ourselves and others.

In June 2002, after almost a decade of studying yoga, Tal co-founded Kula Yoga Project with Schuyler Grant. Though the studio has received many accolades, including being named “Best Of” by New York magazine in 2005, Tal is most proud to have helped co-create a vibrant yoga community only a few blocks from the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

Tal has completed several teacher trainings with John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga, and first trained with master teacher Alison West in NYC. His teachers outside the world of asana include Douglas Brooks and Scot Nichols, and Tal is inspired by the work of Julia Butterfly Hill, Van Jones, Paul Hawken, Paul Shepard, Ted Roszak, David Abrams, Andy Fisher, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, and Rumi, among dozens of others (see the blog for more!).

A portion of proceeds from this class will go towards the 2009 Seva Challenge to support health and healing for the people of Northern Uganda.

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As brilliant as Freud was in many respects, he was also a creature of his time. The following is especially telling:

“Nature,” Freud dismally concluded, “is eternally remote. She destroys us–coldly, cruelly, relentlessly.” Whatever else has been revised and rejected in Freud’s theories, this tragic sense of estrangement from nature continues to haunt psychology, making the natural world seem remote and hostile.

Which is why we need so desperately not only to get out — to go outside, to places where concrete does not reign nor are cars the liveliest feature of the landscape — but also to go inside, to get in touch with the very real and very present nature inside each and every one of us, in each and every one of our watery cells, a connection back to those first life forms which bumped up against each other in the primordial seas billions of years ago.

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I’ve spent the past few hours working on the description of The Yoga That Reconnects (TYTR) for a flyer, and I’ve found it incredibly difficult to summarize my vision in just a few paragraphs. That’s why I created this blog! I realize that many of us don’t have time in this fast-paced culture, with our busy lives and packed days, to delve into our non-work, non-family and friends practices more deeply, but I hope this class provides an opporuntity to at least feel more deeply into what it is you are here for, what you are called to do, what is your soul’s calling…I am so excited to co-create this space with you and stand alongside you as we uncover and discover hidden gems that have been there all along, waiting for us to reach beyond what we previously thought possible.

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These are the very first words of the very first post on this brand-spanking-new blog, The Yoga That Reconnects. This blog will be a place for me — and you — to discover, uncover, and recover what this class will look like, feel like, sound like, and be like. Of course, it will be no substitute for the classes or workshops or intensives themselves, but will provide resources for further exploration and contemplation, understanding and insight. You can also find out more about me at the “About Me” page, which I will also be updating and adding to over time. Thanks for visiting — please come back soon, as I hope to add posts fairly regularly, and definitely on a weekly basis after each class.

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