Thursday, June 25, 2009

Asia tour 2009

South Korea

In May, I traveled to South Korea for the third time to teach at Jai Center, a yoga studio dedicated to building yoga community in Korea. This time we offered the first ever Anusara Yoga 100-hour Immersion, to a group of extraordinary students from all over Korea and the world.

The immersion was translated from English into Korean by my dear friend and yoga teacher, Tina Park, who is bilingual and also grew up in Korea. Because of Tina's skills, and a 15 year friendship that makes us totally in sync with translating, the teachings penetrated the room, creating a synergistic cross pollination of cultures and backgrounds which linked the hearts of the Western and Eastern students in a profound way.

In addition yoga is really growing in Korea, so to be sharing these teachings feels really remarkable when you consider that only 50 years ago South Korea was desecrated from war. Out of so much destruction, in such a short time, Seoul has totally re-created itself and is now a thriving modern city full of life, culture, and urban prowess. This energy of rebirth, re-creation, and perseverance truly permeates the culture in Seoul and that shakti floods the practice and the energy in the yoga studio, a total inspiration and a metaphor for our own yoga and personal expansion that we experience in the Immersion. It was profound to be a part of such a meaningful week with everyone.

The Immersion was so powerful for the students that we decided to offer an additional Part 1 in August so that more students throughout Asia can begin the Immersion cycle that will continue through spring of 2010. With the challenge of bringing US teachers over to Asia consistently, it is rare to be able to take the whole 3-part Immersion with the same teacher and the same group throughout. My immersion graduates are always so thankful for the experience they gained by doing the complete program with the same group and same teacher. If you have every wanted to visit Seoul or wanted to take a 3 part Immersion in this way, now is the time to jump on this training, August 28-September 6th, 2009. To register visit Jai Center.

There will be a 4-day break in between long weekend sessions so you can see, and experience Seoul and assimilate the teachings. And one of the wonderful benefits of translation is the natural pause that occurs while the English is being translated - it gives you time to take amazing notes and really take in the teachings. And very exciting, we will be preparing the ground for John Friend who will be visiting Korea for the first time in April of 2010!

South East Asia

Touring in South East Asia this year was a record high on many levels. More students than ever came out for Anusara Yoga. I taught in Singapore for the first time and loved it, we had our usual epic yoga marathon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and we culminated the tour with a fabulous Therapy Retreat in Koh Samui Thailand
, where I taught our group daily therapeutic yoga. We were all mercilessly pampered by amazing spa treatments that abound on the island.

Anusara Inspired teacher, Elizabeth Linton, a graduate of my 100-hr Anusara Immersion
and teacher training in Denver, joined up on the tour to assist me. She was a total trooper and added so much to the tour. The students truly benefitted from all the added attention and we had a blast traveling and hanging out with the kulas all over South East Asia.

We did a lot of great eating in Singapore!

Riding the "Flyer" in Singapore

Celebrating John Friend's 50th birthday with Durian Cake and the Malaysian Anusara Kula.

Retreat on Koh Samui
at Absolute Sanctuary

Following the retreat a few of us got to go to some of the islands by boat. In this picture we are sitting in the ocean where multi colored rainbows of fish did auspicious pradakshina around the Goddesses. This does not even capture the majesty of it!

Thanks to everyone who helped make my tour in Asia so gorgeous, especially Tina Park
(Seoul), Elizabeth Linton (from somewhere else), Sumei Shum, Lynn Yeo and Monica Lee (Singapore), Vincent Tam (Kuala Lumpur), Jeanne Chung (Singapore/Koh Samui) and Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams (Bangkok)!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why Yoga Retreats Rock

An article by Amy Ippoliti and Tarah Cech

Hi my name is Amy Ippoliti, and I am a yoga retreat junkie. It started back in the 90’s in Utah after my first taste of a retreat with John Friend up in the mountains. Thanks to John, I now have an addiction to yoga retreats.

In yoga, we start with the premise that as individuals we want to take care of our health, emotional well-being and develop a deeper connection to spirit in order to serve our families, community and the world more fully.

With today’s fast paced culture it is easy to lose sight of what is most meaningful in our lives. Distractions abound, and the use of abundant forms of communication technology leaves us little time for restoration, relaxation, and rejuvenation, let alone basic free time. Over time, lack of attention to what is most important leads to depletion, stress and “dis-ease”.

In the ancient yogic text called the Upanishads, it is stated that one must first be able to put food on the table and take care of survival needs before asking the bigger questions in life. So once one finds a certain degree of success, the opportunity to go to the next level arises. Most yoga students have achieved this basic level of success and have made it to the yoga studio to discover more.

What is so different about a yoga retreat?

Imagine waking up in an exotic location, strolling along a garden path to join a group of like minded friends for a vibrant organic breakfast that has been prepared for you by someone else, and then making your way to a gorgeous outdoor yoga studio where your favorite teacher is waiting to guide you in an extended blissful practice.

With out you having to think about it, as you are on the mat, your room is being freshly cleaned, your bed made, and an exquisite lunch is being prepared in the kitchen.

Following lunch you relax in the hot tub or receive a healing spa treatment, and like magic the gardens are being optimized by the staff, the yoga studio is being swept clean, and a nourishing dinner is on its way.

You invest your leisure time in contemplation of what really matters, setting intentions for your life, turning obstacles into opportunities, and visioning your dreams while keeping company with other great beings who share the desire to live out loud, on purpose and with celebration.

Your afternoon practice supports you in integrating the wisdom of a great lineage of teachers into your experience both on and off the mat, and you leave class feeling more inspired, hopeful, with a lighter load, and more open to possibility.
The days continue in this way, and by the end of the trip your spiritual gas tank has been filled to the brim, your battery has been recharged, you realize that you are truly supported by friends on your journey, and the world awaits your excellent contribution and the higher frequency you can now share.

What’s not to love?

If you want to become a retreat junkie like me, there are a variety of fabulous trips to choose from with beautiful teachings, in gorgeous locations globally. Visit to begin dreaming your next adventure now.

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