The following is a guest post by forty year yoga practitioner, accomplished author and in high demand international event leader, Donna Farhi. Donna is leading ‘The Joy of Fluidity in Form’ yoga retreat with us to Nosara, Costa Rica on July 11-18, 2020.
I truly believe that we begin life innately sensitive and fluidly responsive.
One only has to spend time witnessing an infant exploring the world with delightful curiosity to see that this is how we start life. Somehow by the time we reach kindergarten and have our bodies confined to sitting on tiny chairs (and released for a “physical recess”), we have already begun to lose our birthright. I know that this was true for me. As a young child I loved to dance spontaneously, choreograph movement sequences to music, and improvise when playing with the ebb and flow of ocean waves at the beach. One day while dancing, spinning, prancing and spiraling along the beach an adult walking stiffly along the shore shouted at me to “Stop! Walk nicely like Elizabeth!” A profound feeling of shame coursed through me and I began to feel deeply confused about this fluid sensuousness inside of me.
When I began practicing Yoga alone in my room as a young teenager, this latent fluidity found a new outlet of expression.
Later I would study contemporary dance, ballet, and then Yoga through the methodology of Iyengar Yoga. Gradually, both through technical dance training and then through highly structured Yoga training, I began to feel once again that my movement was being censored by an unseen force. All my naturalness was being taught out of me. It would seem that in the intervening years my work has been to restore a connection with the intelligence of the body and to trust the ways in which the body is constantly self-suggesting what is needed.
I meet many people who think of themselves as stiff and inflexible in their bodies, yet when they begin to move without the strict covenants of idealized forms they rediscover ease within their bodies.
When they relinquish thinking their way into movement and embrace feeling their way into movement, many self-perceived limitations fall away. After all, our bodies are 60-70% fluid when we are born, and each of us carries our own internal ocean within the confines of our skin.
I’m delighted to offer this retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica where nature can show us and support a return to this reality of our fluid nature.
My dear friend and colleague Karla Brodie will be joining me, offering blissful Restorative Yoga in the afternoon, while I’ll be guiding the morning sessions focusing on guided movement inquiry, fluid warm-ups and slow yet strengthening Yoga practice building a vocabulary of possibilities that can enhance your relationship with yoga as a sustainable lifelong practice. By offering progressive points of entry for many of the practices, you can practice at any level that feels right for your body.
Donna Farhi is a Yoga teacher who has been practicing for over 40 years and teaching since 1982.
She is one of the most sought-after guest teachers in the world, leading intensives and retreats internationally. As a post-lineage pioneer, Donna has been at the forefront of generating a new model for teaching and practice that fosters self-inquiry through the cultivation of each person’s innate sensitivity and bodily intelligence. Her approach to Yoga is informed by the refinement of natural and universal movement principles that underlie safe and sustainable Yoga practice. Incorporating the rigorous backing of anatomical principles for safe and sustainable practice, Donna offers progressive levels of engagement that allow people of all levels of experience and from all traditions to build their own authentic Yoga practice. READ MORE