Yogasara Method

Yogasara means ‘the essence of yoga’. It is the name of our studio where we have chosen teachers whom we believe are congruent with this meaning- they are not all trained in the Yogasara method directly- check out individual biogs/workshop leaders for more details about their offerings.

Yogasara has also become short hand for our teaching method- Yogasara Krama Vinyasa Tantra- is a system of transformational yoga that invites you to realise your deepest self and enable you to re-source through relationship with self, others, the natural and phenomenal world & spirit.

Yogasara courses and teacher training are a laboratory of yoga and movement reconnecting body, mind and spirit- we offer tangible pathways between the three. We facilitate conscious embodiment through asana, dance, meditation, mantra, ritual, devotion, visualisation, philosophy, transpersonal psychology, voice/verbal expression, and neuroscience. We believe these are all essential components to enable an intelligent experience of all the facets a modern yoga practice can offer.

Yogasara Krama Vinyasa Tantra aims to empower its practitioners to realise their own innate capacity to step into a life that is in flow. This more awakened state of being can then emanate into the world and contribute to healing the web of life.

Yogasara Krama Vinyasa Tantra is a work in progress & will keep evolving as we learn, grow & respond to feedback. It is our contribution to the yoga world- where we aim to balance deep respect for what has come before, a progressive, inclusive attitude for all that is now, and an honouring of that which is yet to come.

Yogasara teaching method includes 4 main modalities

  1. Through detailed verbal cues, using anatomy, poetry &/or metaphor
  2. Demonstration- appropriate demonstration of postures to enable students to ‘see’ the postures with the intention of enabling them to translate the postures into their own body appropriately.
  3. Hands on Teaching- skilful enhancements with the intention of gifting specific kinaesthetic information & feedback
  4. Through embodied presence or ‘resonnace’

This system has been developed by Sarah Harlow alongside Christopher Gladwell’s -Engaged yoga christophergladwell.com supported by Sam Burkey – Samantra yoga samantra.co.uk

It is inspired by all of our teachers & students past & present. It is a synergy of our combined practice spanning over 75 years collectively! Our contribution is infused with our other skills- past, present and ongoing. See our individual biogs for more details about who brings what.

The Yogasara practices include an in-depth exploration of the following:

Asana

Conscious embodiment through a detailed exploration of alignment principles & experiential anatomy, using a Kramic (step-by-step) approach to the postures.

Krama Vinyasa

A creative, step by step exploration of movement and breath as a direct experience of spirit moving as and through the body with awareness.

Breath & Pranayama

Explore breathing techniques and pranayama- how to harness Prana (life force) & learn how to direct it through the body-mind for enhanced wellbeing, clarity & empowerment.

Bhanda

Demystify and access the energetic experience of bhanda through the muscular body. Find more strength & stability physically, mentally & emotionally.

Vayus – Interoception/proprioception

Understand how to perceive and harness directional forces in the body to find balance inside and out. Understand functional movement within a gravitational field and experience space as a supportive energetic force.

Koshas, Chakras & Dimensions of being

Understand & experience more fully the interplay of body-mind-emotions-energy & spirit. Dimensions of being includes the ‘Lenses of awareness’ a map for orientating oneself consciously in relationship to self,

other & spirit. We use the Chakra system in conjunction with other contemporary human development maps so that they can be understood & experienced in ways that are applicable to everyday life. We also use the Chakra map as a way to break down physical & energetic anatomy so that we can enquire into specific areas in more detail.

Mantra, Meditation, Chanting & Voice

Explore how sitting practice & sound/vibration can invoke transpersonal states of awareness and facilitate greater well-being. Discover the power of having a voice that can communicate with clarity and ease.

Dance

Spontaneous movement is another opportunity to liberate ourselves to fully express our creativity in form. Asana offers specificity and a dance offers liberty. The Tantric practice of Tandava is an opportunity to allow the vibration of life itself or Spanda- the ‘sacred tremor’ to move through us- resulting in free flowing movement we could call dance. The Shamanic traditions also recognise this innate impulse to move spontaneously. Yogasara offers contemporary explorations of this principle through Movement Medicine and Natural dance with experienced practitioners/facilitators in these modalities.

Science

The contemporary evolution of yoga, ,we believe, is essential to enable the benefits to reach far and wide. Yogasara practices are rooted in the latest research from neuroscience, up to date understanding of anatomy and physiology through the somatic world including Anatomy Trains/Kinesis Myofacial Integration & Body Mind Centring. We have great respect for both western & eastern medicine including Chinese medicine & Ayurveda and incorporate these teachings into our overall approach. We advocate preventative health through complimentary therapies and also respect the appropriate use of western medicine.

Philosophy

Our teaching is rooted in the Tantric philosophy- inspired by the Vjinana Bhairava Tantra- and other ancient texts. Tantra shows us that everything is intrinsically divine & that through the senses & the phenomenal world we can realise we are divine through seeing our natural interconnectedness. We also include the teachings of Patanjali & Buddhism and we compare & contrast Tantra with Sutric philosophy to offer you an over- arching understanding. `We share the History of Yoga philosophy to empower you to take your own informed view.

Transpersonal Psychology/psychotherapy

We recognise that the body-mind are one flow of consciousness and matter. Through enquiring first into the conditioned self through the Yogasara practices we can start to reveal patterns that we have acquired physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically- from a place of accepting ‘what is’ through insight and with respect and love -we can then take the journey of living the answer to the question “who am I if I were free of this conditioning”.

The practices of Yogasara have been synergised to give you tools to free yourself and open you up to the life force that can ‘re-source’ you again & again. Meeting ourselves fully is deep work and can be painful- we recommend if you uncover wounds that need specific attention that you take care to seek the support that you need, sometimes we need some 1-1 help to heal and move on.

Community

The individual is a part of the whole- We recognise the individual self as a part of the continuum of life; once the individual self is fully embodied it naturally seeks an ever deeper relationship with the wider web of life. Yogasara recognises our innate need for connection and consciously uses the group as a forum for further awakening. Groups can reveal our patterns of relating and uncover any wounds we may have. The constellation of each group is unique and we invite you to take the opportunity while part of an ongoing group to see and transform any unhealthy patterns you may have adopted. The freedom to fully be yourself and fully belong can enable a deep sense of healing and empowerment so you can fully ‘take your place’ in your life and the wider world.

Bhakti/Devotion

The Yogasara method seeks to awaken what we believe to be an intrinsic desire to be in service to the Source of Life. Whether that be through yoga, dance, being in nature, prayer, ritual, ceremony or all of the above or something else! Wether you call this Source of Life God, Goddess, Shiva, Shakti, the Cosmos, Spirit, the Divine or you don’t know what to call it at all! We respect each individual’s route towards the gift of Humility, Awe & Gratitude for life on earth that arises naturally when we feel re-connected to the Source of Life. We intend to inspire a natural ‘remembering’ of sacredness. We encourage you to take action on and off the mat- to be in service to precious human life, the Source of Life and the planet we call home.