Another World Adventures

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Yoganthropy in Liberia

Original post: Another World Adventures

3mins read

When our friends at Barefoot Liberia first suggested a yoga / philanthropic retreat in Liberia to us we wanted to hug them. Starting Another World Adventures was our way of getting more balance in our lives and it seemed like together we could offer some SERIOUS balance to others.

Danny Paradise will be leading the retreat. It doesn’t come much better than this when it comes to Ashtanga Yoga. He’s been practicing since before we were born which makes us feel good for 2 reasons the first being we feel young, the second being that his compassionate, inspiring and kind nature and teachings are perfectly honed and have influenced the practice, life and teaching of many, quite profoundly.

Here are some excerpts from an interview with Kia Naddermier in conversation with Danny.

What’s the main difference between Ashtanga Yoga and other types of yoga?

Ashtanga Yoga has specific sequences of postures that incorporate internal locking and continuous movement aligned with deep breath that creates deep heat, sweat, purification, extreme flexibility, strength and balance. The practices of Ashtanga Yoga represent the most concentrated practices in the studies of Hatha Yoga. The order of the sequences represents the science of unlocking the body, creating deep levels of strength, flexibility and balance. Other studies of Hatha Yoga are all valuable in the healing force they create as well as the levels flexibility of and strength that are explored but the physical results are generally more moderate. The practices also create total independence, personal authority and personal responsibility because once the practices are learned you can do them on your own.

Can a person with physical limitations or an elderly person practice Ashtanga Yoga?

I’ve been teaching for since 1979 … I’ve had people in my classes from the ages of 7 to 80. Anyone can learn the practices but they have to be modified according to individual ability, age, physical problems, previous injuries, accidents, history etc. I’ve met men and women around the world who have even started Ashtanga Yoga in their mid 50′s and within 4 or 5 years they’ve become very advanced and are practicing 2nd and 3rd series. When one becomes regular at the practices then the limitations of the mind and body fall away very quickly. This is a quantum science. At the same time it’s important to recognize that the primary series is also a lifetime practice. These practices also teach us how to age with grace, vitality and health. People are discovering these are the ways in which to age slowly and gracefully…and consequently never ending up in a deteriorated condition over many years in an old age home being wheeled around. Ultimately the purpose of Yoga may be to teach us how to pass through aging and death with clarity, tranquility and wisdom.

You have taught yoga to many artists over the years (Madonna, Sting, Dona Karan, Paul Simon to mention a few). Can yoga influence creativity?

Yoga expands awareness and initiates a connection with the soul as all Shamanic practices do. Imagination can be considered a force of illumination of the soul. Creativity and imagination are of course intimately linked. So as consciousness expands so does creativity. One of the teachings of Tantra Yoga is that we all have unlimited creativity. Yoga creates life force, clarity, health, and it is an evolutionary tool of consciousness. So for artists it is a magical tool for increasing levels of creativity, awareness, sensitivity and clarity.

You can read the rest of the interview here and find out more about this very unique opportunity to join this small yoga retreat in 2014 here

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