Contemplating the Essence of the Yoga Sutras

January 13 from 1:00-5:00 with Maryam Ovissi & Jafar Alexander

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As one build's their connection to the practice, process and philosophy of Yoga, one will inevitably arrive to the doorway of the Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras offers us clear insight into the why, how and what of Yoga. The 196 Yoga Sutras as codified by Patanjali are inspired by the teachings of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. We will share insight in the origins of Yoga and why it was so impactful then and now!

Jafar and Maryam will share insight that is essential not only for the Yoga Teacher but also for the Yoga Practitioner. Come spend an afternoon exploring the Yoga Sutras and how to utilize them in the practice of Yoga.

Maryam and Jafar have co-authored "A Pilgrimage through the Yoga Sutras" and we will have copies available to use as our guide.

Duration 4 hours / 4 CEC's for teachers, $65/$55 early bird discount by Jan. 6 — Sign up here

Maryam Ovissi, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, C-IAYT, YACEP

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Maryam Ovissi believes, "Yoga is the most powerful system that gives power back to the indivdual to find their freedom, moving from the inside- consciousness!"
Maryam has had the honor to be the owner and director of BelovedYoga- a flow based yoga studio and wellness center located in Reston and Great Falls, Virginia, for over 10 years. BelovedYoga has been a powerful nucleus in Reston & Great Falls for over 9 years, partnering with Cornerstones on many community projects as well as creating an annual event~ Love Your Body; Northern Virginia Yoga & Wellness Day ~ at the Reston Town Center every June.

Maryam Ovissi became an avid student of yoga in 1999, after studying privately with Simin Yahaghi, her first yoga teacher, in California. Since 2001, she has been teaching Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Prenatal and Mom & Baby classes. Maryam is a certified yoga instructor that has done numerous trainings including her 500 hr Teacher Training under the tutorledge of Bhekaji Lynch. She has continued to study with reknown teachers in the world of Yoga. Maryam co-developer of the BelovedYoga Teacher Training Programs: 200 hr Immersion, 300 hr Advance Teacher Training and the BelovedYoga Certification Program. The BelovedYoga School meets the standards set by Yoga Alliance and is a member school of International Association of Yoga Therapists.

About Jafar Alexander, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, YACEP

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Jafar's belief is "Yoga is yoga. No need to complicate it, it's quite simple. Breathe, move, and find your way to silence. Everything you need to know is right here... Atha!" His devoted study of Yoga has made him a multi-dimensional teacher who is able to playfully weave stories with expert sequencing and thoughtful philosophical inquiry all in one asana, making his classes what he likes to call "Yogasanas - keeping the Yoga in the Asana!"

Jafar uses his diverse and comprehensive understanding of the yogic tradition to guide practitioners in individual sessions, group classes, weekend workshops, master classes, and teacher training programs. Jafar’s energy and presence brings yoga theory to life as he encourages yogis/yoginis to find space, allowing for movement, which leads to freedom from attachment. He truly shares his yoga practice and passion through a connected journey of self-awareness, conscious breath, and physical strength.

Jafar has a unique range of influence from fellow yogis such as A.G. Mohan, Kelly McGonigal, Anirudh Shastri, Cora Wen, Richard Rosen, Doug Keller, and Maryam Ovissi. Jafar is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance at the 500 hr. level. He is the Director of the BelovedYoga Flow Teacher Training and leads the BelovedYoga School. In Summer 2014, Jafar helped expand the BelovedYoga School to Europe and will continue to offer workshops and training abroad and at home.


Anatomical Geography: Mapping the Bony Landmarks of the Body

February 10 from 1:00-5:00 with Mary Richards

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What's a spine? (Hint: We are not talking about the vertebral column at present ...) Where do you find a tuberosity, trochanter or malleolus? How does any of this pertain to yoga practice or instruction?

Knowledge of skeletal anatomy is immensely useful for those of us who teach and practice asana, especially when offering modifications, since people come in all shapes and sizes. Skeletal anatomy also provides a point of reference for studying muscles because many muscles are named according to their relationships to nearby bones. Furthermore, the palpable and visible bony features of our skeletal anatomy provide us with valuable information about the movement and orientation of our joints. From the foundation of the skeleton, we can offer anatomically correct and functional movement instructions, offer safe and effective assists to our students, and place props to support the body properly in asana. 

Join Mary Richards, anatomy fanatic, for an adventure that explores the bony features of our magnificent skeletal structure. We will explore the planes of movement, how different types of joints move, and learn about the law of concave-convex motion. This workshop involves active practice, so be ready to practice from your bones.

Duration: 4 hours, 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $60/50 early bird by 2/3/19 — Sign up here

About Mary Richards, M.S., C-IAYT, e-RYT500

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Mary began practicing yoga in 1992, and teaching in 2002. For over 10 years, Mary studied primarily in the Iyengar tradition with additional study in other lineages. In 2002, she attended her first workshop with Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT. Mary felt an immediate resonance with Judith's work; she has studied regularly with her ever since. Mary assists Judith at various workshops around the United States and serves as her lead therapeutics and anatomy teaching assistant. Mary and Lizzie Lasater, M.Arch, yoga instructor and Judith’s daughter, also share a series on Lizzie’s YouTube channel entitled “Today’s Anatomy Question,” which features dialogue and demonstration of anatomical concepts and principles pertaining to asana. Mary, Judith and Lizzie are currently co-developing a digital movement literacy course, which will launch in December 2017.

Mary's teaching and practice are informed by her deep, abiding interest in and study of anatomy and kinesiology. Mary has completed credited coursework with labs in anatomy, physiology, cadaver dissection, kinesiology and biology. Additionally, she graduates on July 23, 2017, with a master's of science in yoga therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has also completed volunteer observation hours at physical therapy facilities specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. Mary is passionate about sharing her experience in yoga therapeutics and other healing modalities to help others cope with -- and ideally, prevent -- injury to the joint segments of the body, especially the weight-bearing joints of the lower extremity.

Mary has been married for over 20 years. She and her husband have a son and daughter. They live in Alexandria, Va., where Mary teaches syllabus-based classes, sees clients privately, and trains body workers and yoga instructors.