Showing posts with label David Swenson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Swenson. Show all posts

29 March 2013

Aparigraha with David Swenson. Ashtanga Yoga Confluence 2013

Another great clip from the Ashtanga yoga confluence 2013. David Swenson shares his understanding of Aparigraha. I love his fun story telling approach!
Thank you to Amanda Manfredi


10 March 2012

The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga-Ashtanga confluence

This video is just fabulous-Thank you to the person who posted it. How wonderful to have all this information, from all these amazing first generation Ashtangi-So much shared knowledge and wisdom and not an asana in sight. 

21 October 2011

David Swenson Triyoga London 2011

The wonderful ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson will be in London from the 18th - 27th November 2011. As mentioned in previous posts, David was my first yoga teacher many years ago. I was able to catch up with him again at a Triyoga workshop last year. Despite a 16 year gap, he was just the same; funny, generous and with a mountain of knowledge to share. It was in this workshop that I came to a standing position from a backbend for the first (and last) time, well almost...

I would recommend getting along to one of the many workshops on offer. They range from led classes to teacher training, so choose wisely.

Many of my students feel slightly intimidated by practising with someone like David, but there really is no need to be.

Triyoga soho London: 2nd floor, Kingly Court, Soho, London W1B 5PW.
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly Circus

13 December 2010

Backbend breakthrough with David Swenson

When I attended a David Swenson workshop recently entitled somewhere along the lines of “hands on adjustments” I had thought I might pick up a few tips, on assisting, my students into a couple of poses.

David Swenson had been my first yoga teacher many years ago (16 to be precise). A lot of things have happened in my life in those years (and no doubt in his too) and I felt like a different person to the one who was introduced to yoga by this man all those years ago. We chatted briefly after the workshop and I thanked him for introducing me to Ashtanga yoga and, therefore, changing my life direction for ever. Amazing how one chance meeting on a Greek island can open up a whole new dimension!

In fact I had gone to Skyros to attend a workshop called “Creative Change”. I changed my mind and moved to the other side of the island to do yoga and windsurfing. The workshop worked in a funny kind of way.

David Swenson was just as I had remembered him; he had hardly changed at all... A little lighter, a little less hair (sorry David), but still sharing his yoga knowledge in a fun and honest way. We shared a little bit of banter, his ability to tease and be teased shows something about being comfortable in his own skin; something I think we all strive for.

As in many yoga workshops, you are often paired with someone to work on a pose. We had worked on a couple of standing poses and then David said we were going to work on a backbend. I was paired with a French couple who spoke no English and my knowledge of French is counting to ten (so not so useful). We were then very quickly shown how to come to standing from a back bend ( Urdhva Dhanurasana).

I have never done this before and quite frankly had thought it was probably off limits to me (as I’m nearer to 50 than I am to 40). I had set my own limits of what was achievable. No one was more surprised than me to find myself in a standing position from starting in a backbend. It was fantastic! I had a breakthrough not only in the physical sense, but also in the way I view my own limitations.

The other issue that come up for me was a question of trust. I was allowing a couple of strangers to assist me in a pose that I had previously felt fearful of. We did not speak the same language and had met only a minute before, but - hey presto - the three of us were up on our feet for the first time.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to do this pose again? What I do know is that I was given the opportunity to experience something new on many level and for this I am very grateful. It seems David Swenson opens doors and I walk through them. Hopefully it won’t be another 16 years before our paths cross again.

25 October 2010

David Swenson at triyoga soho

The internationally-recognised Ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson will be teaching at triyoga Soho from the 26th November until the 5th of December 2010. This is a great opportunity to practice with one of the “old school” Ashtanga yoga teachers.

David was my first yoga teacher way back in 1994. Since then, I have not had the chance to attend any of his classes or workshops. However, I have booked a place on the “hands on” adjustment workshop that he will be holding. There are a number of workshops on offer, from led primary series classes to a yoga teacher training intensive. So there is something for everyone!

I have mentioned to a number of my yoga students that they should take the rare chance to go and practice yoga with David. Some of them, however, feel slightly intimidated at the prospect.

When I meet him on a Greek island 16 years ago, I had no idea who he was and had never practised yoga before. David has a passion for yoga which he clearly loves to share. It is true that he can get into the most amazing poses, but he does not expect students to come along and be him. From what I remember, he was a funny, laid-back teacher who inspired me on my yogic journey and to whom I will always be grateful.

triyoga soho
2nd Floor, Kingly Court
Tel: 020 7483 3344

09 June 2010

What is Vinyasa?

David Swenson describes Vinyasa as the "marriage of breath & movement". The linking of yoga poses while flowing with the breath is vinyasa.

The asanas (poses) cease to be separate from the breath while practising this form of yoga; thus allowing a yogic dance of breath and movement. Ashtanga Vinyasa is one of the best known forms of this style of yoga practice.

The Suryanamaskas (sun salutaions) are often described as vinyasa, as is linking upward facing dog and downward facing dog. Vinyasas are placed in between poses to bring the body back into a neutral position in this yoga practice

Vinyasa flow classes - sometimes called flow yoga classes - are becoming increasing popular. This is because there is freedom to create various sequences. These sequences are not random, but linked poses flowing from one to another. Repetition is a key feature in vinyasa yoga.

Every entrance and exit to a pose is made with an inhalation or exhalation. Transition from one pose to another is fluid and there is no breath retention. Heat is created in the body and the mind is calmed by the flow of breath and movement. It is said that, by practising vinyasa, we align ourselves with the continuous flow of the universe.

“Weave the Tapestry of Vinyasa from the Threads of Breath and Movement”
David Swenson

24 March 2010

My first yoga teacher

Funny, how we come to yoga or find our first teacher. My first experience of yoga was on the Greek island of Skyros back in 1995. My husband had booked me on a two week holistic holiday. I had been through a fairly traumatic period. I had sat with my mum in hospital where she passed away after a two week illness; I was with her when she died and watched her take her last few breaths.

Having left my husband and two young children at home, I arrived in Skyros emotional and exhausted. My husband had booked me on a workshop called “creative change”, bless him. I lasted two days on this course, as it really was not for me at that time. I changed courses and moved to the other side of the island, where they offered windsurfing and yoga.

The yoga was practised outside under the pine trees and while practising yoga you would occasionally be hit on the head by a stray pine cone. The smell of pine takes me right back to that outdoor shala.

Now to my first teacher and class... The teacher on that two week course was the Ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson. Although I had worked in fitness for a fairly long time before this, nothing came close to my first class. I clearly remember my arms shaking while doing the downward facing dog and had to sit out a lot of the practice and observe the experienced yogis flow through their practice.

David was a fantastic, kind and gentle teacher who encouraged everyone to be with their own practice. We would do yoga twice a day and a morning meditation which included tree hugging (this was a first for me too, but I haven't pursued this though). The power of breath and movement was amazing. The creative change had come, but not through the course, but rather through the introduction to yoga. Watching my mum take her last few breaths was in a way the instigator to me connecting to my own breath through yoga; thus opening a new chapter in my life.

David Swenson

08 January 2010

Video: yoga with Doug Swenson

Here is a rare yoga clip of Doug Swenson, older brother of David Swenson, the global Ashtanga yoga teacher. Doug was David's first yoga teacher and has been practising for a very long time. Enjoy!!

23 October 2009

Video: Ashtanga primary series with David Swenson

David Swenson, teaching first part of the Ashtanga primary series.This clip allows you to really observe the flow of the Sun Salutations. So many yoga poses come from the strength and awareness of the Surya Namaskars. I like the way David teaches the primary series, while it is obviously still dynamic, it is not as fast as some teachers like to practice.

20 July 2009

Recommended yoga reading

I heartily recommend the book Ashtanga Yoga written by David Swenson, a must-read for anybody interested in this particular style of yoga, which translates into English as follows:
Ashta=Eight Anga=Limb Yoga=Union (The Eight Limbs of Yoga)
David has been practising yoga since he was 13 years old and has made a life-time study of the Ashtanga series. The book looks at both the primary and intermediate series, and also offers some short forms of the practice, which are particularly useful for when time is restricted. I love the way David has put variations for all the poses. He offers at least three different options for each pose, thus making the Ashtanga series available to all.

Having studied yoga with David back in the early 90's, I don’t think this book reflects his sense of humour, which has to be experienced by meeting the man in person. The book does, however, reflect his amazing wisdom of the Ashtanga Series as taught to him by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

I use this book as my yoga bible and take it with me wherever I go. I also use it as a reference book when I need to look for any technical adjustments. I believe the poses shown in the book are very accurate and guide the student through a safe yoga practice.

Although books can be extremely useful to all yoga students, it is always a good idea to seek the guidance of a qualified teacher, before you progress to Mysore style self-practice.