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Expand, Support, Offer: A Weekend Exploring Kriya Yoga

  • The Yoga Haven Galveston, TX (map)

This weekend we will explore sutra 2.1 from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

Yoga Sutra 2.1 tapaḥsvādhyāyeśvarapraṇidhānāni

The second limb of yoga (of the eight limbs cited in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras) are the niyamas - five ways (or 'duties') of observing ourself. The last three of these niyamas, when combined, are called kriya yoga. They are: tapas (to heat; to glow; to shine; to purify; to change; to transform), svadhyaya (self-observation or self-study), and ishvara pranidhana (having complete faith in the guiding and protecting power of a force greater than one's self).

Kriya yoga, when practiced in an intentional way, is guaranteed to bring about some sort of change in one's life. This weekend we will explore these three niyamas in three very different workshops. Just as it's impossible to separate the parts from the whole in our physical body, the same goes for these three niyamas. We will be focusing on a single one in each workshop, yet my hope is that you feel the echo of each in all the work; resulting in a rich, layered experience that will continue to unfold after our weekend together ends.

Friday Nov. 9th, evening
Creating SPACE: Opening the Side Seams of Our Body

Opening up our side (lateral) body can allow for more freedom of movement. Tightness in the sides of our body will show up the most in twisting and side bending, but because of the way some of our muscles “overlap” at the side seam of the body, tightness in the sides can also have an impact on both forward and backward bending.

As one might expect, opening the side body can also create more space for the diaphragm, ribs, lungs, and organs to expand. This opening up of our 'gills' allows for more breath and prana (energy) to move though out the entire body, and positively affect the functioning of all of the systems (respiratory, digestive, lymphatic, emotional, etc).

On a psychic level, when we allow this space to expand, we give ourselves permission to take up more space in the world, allowing our brilliance to radiate and truly be seen.

In this workshop, we'll use chairs and other props to explore dynamic yoga poses while fully supported, which changes our relationship with gravity to one of releasing into versus resisting against; allowing us to experience the poses in new ways. Neuromuscularly this will introduce new information into our systems resulting in the potential to feel more ease and spaciousness in both one's asana and meditation practices in the future.

Saturday, Nov. 10th, afternoon:
Building SUPPORT: Exploring the Hamstrings & Psoas
When people talk about their hamstrings it's usually regarding how tight they are. In this workshop, we'll be looking at our hamstrings from a different perspective – as pillars of support instead of something simply in need of stretching.

The psoas major muscles are often referred to as 'the muscles of the soul' because of their depth both physically and psychically. When you consider their integral relationship to the psoas, it could then be said that the hamstrings are the “pillars of our soul”.

Our aim in this workshop will be to build strong, stable pillars; resulting in more support for our lower spine; and because of the body's fascial connections, more ease in our neck and shoulders, as well.

Sunday, Nov. 11th, afternoon:
OFFERing it up: Movement, Meditation & Cacao
To complete our weekend, we'll alchemize the powerful properties of cacao with intention, chanting, movement, and meditation. Gentle yoga sequences and slow, mindful, somatic movement will assist in bringing participants into a state of open-heartedness and an understanding of why the word for 'cacao' in ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations translates to the “Food of the Gods'.

Contraindications: If you are on anti-depressants or anxiety medications, or have high blood pressure, or a history of chronic migraines, we ask that you contact Jyl before signing up for the ceremony so we can discuss whether the cacao work is right for you, or alternatives if it is not. Please send any questions or concerns to

Details & Registration coming soon!

Earlier Event: September 15
Cacao Ceremony | St. Gallen
Later Event: November 17
Open Sacrum, Open Heart | Rockwall