Hatha yoga and Alexander Technique Retreat

Improve your alignment, body awareness and ability to release.
1 – 7 May 2019 & 9 – 15 May 2019
Hatha yoga and the Alexander Technique together – what better combination!

Moving through daily life with more ease and poise, and practising yoga without forcing, stiffening or overworking is the aim of this yoga retreat at the beautiful and magical Rustic Retreats home, Bagend. We will be applying a few important principles of the Alexander Technique to help you improve your alignment, your body awareness and the ability to release within our dynamic Hatha in the morning and more gentle, restorative practice in the evening.
No right position: From an Alexander Technique point of view, working on your posture is less about achieving the “right” position than it is about how you support any position you are in. This might be a very different approach for you, where sometimes it seems that one of the most important things is to bring the body into the “right” position.
When practising an unfamiliar asana, instead of trying to force ourselves into it, we will be trying to keep our attention on the lengthening and widening of our body. We will be working on what happens when we let go of forcing the right position and turn our attention to how we are supporting ourselves to find more ease, more enjoyment, and paradoxically, it may be easier to execute the asana.
Don’t get pulled down towards your goal: We tend to pull ourselves toward the goal of any activity, thus often tightening our neck and shoulders. We pull our head to our phones, our heads and shoulders to the computer, or we pull ourselves into an asana. We will be looking at accepting where we are now in our poses, imagining the lengthening and widening and feeling an entirely different sensation allowing us to practice with more ease.
Finding where “up” is and expansion in all directions: Because of points 1 and 2 we often lose sense of where “up” is, where we are in space. Keeping awareness in the space around us (above, in front, behind, under, and at the sides) will help us to keep our body “open” and will make it easier to expand in all directions. We will practice finding the vertical and 3 dimensions while walking, making it easier to find the “up” and the space inside our body when practising yoga.

Do not lose the relationship between head, neck and back when engaging the limbs: When we raise an arm, be it in everyday life or in yoga, we often pull the trunk with the arms. Imagine you are typing on your laptop, the front of the trunk gets pulled forward and down slightly towards the keyboard and the shoulders get pulled in. Over time, this tightens the whole front of the body.
We will be looking at how we lift our arms in yoga asanas and how we can do this without losing the relationship between head, neck and back – for example, by imagining the head floating up, the weight of the body falling through the heels into the floor and the back widening, before lifting up the arms.