USA Retreat May 5-7 Session Details

Power of Relaxation

Friday, May 5th

Yogi Ashokananda will examine what is meant by true relaxation – a state that leads to self healing, good health, happiness and increased productivity. 

Harnessing the energy of your subtle body and acquiring self-knowledge are key to relaxing into your true self and realizing your inner power.  Yogi will highlight the traditional yogic beliefs that have influenced the meditation & mindfulness techniques and practices and will delve a little deeper into: 

  • Importance of yoga & posture
  • Effects of relaxation on the nervous system
  • Power of Self-realization
  • Breath & Prana

You will be guided through basic relaxation practices, a fully guided meditation and Yogi will provide you with techniques to help you on your journey of self-discovery by encouraging self-examination, self-awareness and self-acceptance.  

These practices will allow you to relax into your authentic self without the pressure of having to be “happy” all the time.  When this pressure is released, you will feel more content and fulfilled.  You will become more aware of your own patterns of behavior and the split between your material personality and your spiritual self is healed.  As life around you becomes increasingly frenetic, it is increasingly important to find inner stillness.  

The practices are based on embracing the whole self and trying to create a sense of humanity, through accepting and transforming the lower three chakras, concerned with grounding, rootedness, mental and physical constipation, anger, sexuality, self-confidence, greed and lust.  

Your spirit or soul is already perfect and whole; it does not require healing.  All it needs is space for you to experience your highest self.  You can accomplish this by clearing the physical and emotional pathways to it and rid yourself of samskaras (the imprints on your personality of unused emotions from experiences).   

Finding peace at the physical level and not running away from yourself in your mind is key.  You will take away from these session practices to help you find a long-lasting peace within yourself that allows you to be with all your emotions and feelings without the veneer of “positive thinking”.  In this way, you can be your true, authentic self, connected and compassionate with yourself and others.

Body Awakening – Himalayan Hatha Yoga

Saturday, May 6th

This practice will allow you to experience the essence and authenticity of true Hatha Yoga with Yogi Ashokananda’s signature style of Himalayan Hatha Yoga. 

During this session you will understand precise alignment and its effect within the asanas to stimulate correct engagement of the muscles and the importance of breath attention to open the body for awakening.

Awakened body through Himalayan Hatha Yoga practices brings ease into your day-to-day life,  allowing the body to channel the energy and to embrace the emotions to live mindfully in everyday activities.  An awakened body is anchored and balanced physically, mentally & emotionally.

This session is suitable for all levels, focussing on joint & ligament health, alignment strengthening the muscular system through the balanced sequences of Himalayan Hatha Yoga Series 1 & 4. 

Himalayan Hatha Yoga is a strong, yet supportive form of yoga, working through the entire body, cleansing and revitalizing through a combination of physical & subtle body practices and special sequencing, each sequence with its own emphasis.

The focus of Himalayan Hatha Yoga is on inner body strength, breath, accuracy and alignment of the asanas, with consistent regard for a safe, healthy and balanced practice.  To achieve this requires a strong connection with the breath and the body, which evolves over time through discipline and practice.  

The philosophy is embedded in the practice itself, and the spiritual benefits occur through the physicality of it.

Discourse Session

Saturday, May 5th

Roots of Yoga in Indian Tradition & How This Applies to Our Modern Lives

Yogi will lead an intriguing discussion on the foundation of yoga from a traditional perspective and how it applies in our modern day to day lives.  

Yoga can be viewed as a basic physical practice, or it can be viewed as a way to live a meaningful and mindful life.  Yoga is the life journey to know yourself, to truly know yourself and live your life based on your inner self.  

Discussion topics will include managing and controlling your mind, your senses and your emotions, instead of reacting to them.  The importance of transforming samskaras, which are hidden at a cellular level, created by a lifetime of emotions, stresses and memories that can result in disease, illness and poor health, i.e. poor, physical, emotional & mental health.  

Yogi will provide you with direct techniques that will help you to become more aware and able to directly transform your physical, emotional & mental health.   

Breath Healing – Prana Kriya Yoga

Saturday, May 6th

This session will allow you to experience the essence and authenticity of true Kriya Yoga with Yogi Ashokananda’s signature style of Prana Kriya Yoga.

Regardless of your physical strength and ability, Yogi will expertly guide you so that you can experience the layer of your highest consciousness by focusing on the fundamental principles of the practice. In this energetic and empowering session, we will go into fascinating detail and experience of Prana Kriya Yoga, the physical and subtle body alignment, stimulating the energy with the breath to channel throughout the body. 

The session is suitable for all levels, focusing on gentle and subtle Kriyas in combination with the breath, primordial sounds and mudras, to create a healing effect on the physical and subtle body.  

Prana Kriya Yoga harmonizes and unites the flow of the physical movement in our bodies (kriya) with its energetic power helping you become aware of your creative potential.

This form of yoga is one of the most effective means by which to achieve your goals and aspirations, material, emotional and spiritual, and bring your actions in line with your mental and emotional state. Prana Kriya Yoga has also long been highly regarded among many great masters and yogis to hold the key to slowing down the aging process. It achieves this by recharging the blood with oxygen and decarbonizing it, thus rejuvenating the brain and spinal center and preventing the decay of tissues in the body.

It awakens the hidden energy (kundalini) within you allowing you to transform and free yourself from limiting beliefs and old behavioral patterns that hold you back.

Master Q&A

Saturday, May 6th

The opportunity to discuss with Yogi any questions you have from the day.  

The Q&A sessions quite often lead to sharing experiences along with storytelling from Yogi’s own personal experience.  It is never surprising how one individual’s question is relevant to the majority of people.  It is a good opportunity to discuss topics with Yogi, the person who has been living a yogic lifestyle as integral to his life since a child. 

Pranayama & Chakra Meditation

Sunday, May 7th

Yogi will guide you through very specific pranayama techniques, using the breath and sounds to stimulate and awaken the energy in the chakras releasing any blocked energy to create energetic alignment.  Leading into chakra meditation to raise and align the vibration of the chakras.

Chakra meditation uses mantra and breath to stimulate and soothe the energy of the chakras and prepare the nervous system for kundalini to rise.  The flow of energy through each chakra is increased to affect the elements within different parts of the body relating to the properties of each chakra.  The ultimate effect brings many physical and psychological benefits which can only be felt by experiencing this wonderful process.   

The result is felt on every level – on a physical level, this meditation is one of the best antidotes for depression, stress and insomnia. It is good for balancing blood pressure, for heart problems and positively affects the nervous system. The cardiovascular practice also takes you to a state of meditation and tranquility. On an emotional and spiritual level, you will experience renewal and transformation. 

Rejuvenate the Brain & Spinal Energy

Sunday, May 7th

This session will build upon the morning’s practice, linking the breath to the movement (kriyas) spending more time practicing each kriya, a limited number of kriyas which will focus on the spinal energy. 

You will be guided through every step of the process as you prepare for each Kriya and observe the effects on your physical body and energy body following the practice of each Kriya.  

The session is suitable for all levels, focusing on gentle and subtle Kriyas in combination with the breath, primordial sounds and mudras, to create a healing effect on the physical and subtle body.  

Prana Kriya Yoga harmonizes and unites the flow of the physical movement in our bodies (kriya) with its energetic power (prana) helping you become aware of your creative potential.

Discourse Session

Sunday, May 7th

Meditation & Mindfulness and Impact on the Brain

Yogi will highlight the relevance and importance of meditation and mindfulness practices on the brain’s development and activity.  The research in this area has been growing steadily for years with new studies being published weekly to illustrate the benefits, scientifically proven through MRi or EEG the benefits of these ancient practices  

Meditation practices have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain (the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind”)  to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. 

Meditation does produce measurable changes in our most important organ and whether you require scientific proof or not, it is never too late to being an actual practice to receive brain these impacts on your brain which will be highlighted during this session: 

  • Preserve the Aging Brain
  • Reduces Activity in the Brain’s “Me Center”
  • Its Effects Rival Antidepressants for Depression, Anxiety
  • May Lead to Volume Changes in Key Areas of the Brain
  • Improves Concentration and Attention (only after a few days of meditation)
  • Reduces Anxiety — and Social Anxiety
  • Can Help with Addiction

Restore & Revive

Sunday, May 7th

The Himalayan Hatha Yoga restorative practice will explore a limited number of asanas, using the mind and breath to take you deeper in the posture allowing you to truly let go.  Once you let go, the restoration can take place. 

The restorative practice will include asanas that bring your mind to a state of calm and stillness, lessening the strain on the nervous system, with less engagement of your physical body.  The postures will be done either seated, lying down on back or stomach.

All the parts of the body are being used in such a way where the mental approach to them means you have less strain on your muscles so that the flow of the blood happens effortlessly and releases the tension from your nervous system for healing.

This type of restorative practice will give energy to the body and recharge you.

Self-Contemplation / Free Time

Take time out, go for a walk following your meal, explore the natural surroundings of Golden Hill Retreat Center before we continue with the afternoon sessions together.

Invest in yourself, spending very precious time to connect to yourself for Self-Contemplation.  Yogi will discuss the importance of Self-Contemplation and techniques to support this aspect of the practices.  

Self-contemplation is a key practice during our time together and your empowerment towards self-discovery and healing.  It is an essential take-away from the retreat as you will develop an understanding of the concept & techniques that can continue beyond our retreat time together.

Self-contemplation helps you to refine the process of thought development, the further you go, the freer you can become.  

Spend time with yourself, getting in touch with your senses.  Make a conscious decision to understand how your senses are reacting to everything around you.  Realign your awareness to your senses, it is important to fine tune this ability to hear and see yourself.  

Connection to self through nature is natural, as we are made of the same 5 elements – Air, Space, Water, Fire & Earth.  Each of these elements exist here at Golden Hill Retreat Center supporting your connection throughout the retreat.   Where is your Nature when you return home? 

Q&A and Closing

The closing remarks from Yogi, summarizing the techniques to take home and how to continue the practices beyond the weekend.  There will be more opportunity to discuss with Yogi any questions you have from the retreat.  

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