Cyprus Mail

The nature of freedom

A three-day workshop in Nicosia promises to teach participants about love and the nature of clarity and freedom. In September leading senior yoga teacher Christopher Gladwell will run one of his popular Shakti workshops at yoga studio The Centre in Nicosia.

Shakti is the concept or personification of divine feminine creative power and Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for creation and the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation.

This are concepts that may take a while to understand, and Gladwell is one of the people qualified to convey them.

Gladwell has been actively studying yoga in its various forms of physical practice (asana), bodywork, breath work and pranayama, meditation and mindfulness, vibration and mantra, devotion and bhakti for about 35 years. He is the author of Engaged Yoga and runs a busy studio in Bristol, in between running workshops and trainings across Europe.

The Nicosia event starts on Friday 23 with an open class from 6pm until 8.30pm followed by a two-day workshop on Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s open class is on bio-intelligent asana practice, breath, compassion and mind and steps to a deeper practice.

Saturday’s theme is ‘The goddess as intelligence’. As it states in the Devi Gita and in the Vajrayana (two of the most important texts in Shaktism/goddess worship and tantric Buddhism), wisdom, clarity and intelligence as well as gnosis (jnana) are aspects of the divine feminine.

In this context, body-based practices will be used to find a more conscious flow and connection in the web of the nervous system.

“When we understand stress and its experience as the neuro-glandular muscular experience of separation, then we can use practice to move through this natural experience of separation into the inseparable matrix of Herself,” the programme explains.

The programme works with fascial awareness, the breath as the field of devotion, and seeing the mind content for what it is which leads to understanding the process of evolution.
Sunday is devoted to ‘The goddess as bliss’.

The programme centres on polarity. The reasoning behind it is that love is both the source and the fruit of polarity, as both attraction and repulsion require polarity.

According to Gladwell “the human brain functions in polarity and struggles to compute unity. The Goddess in her infinite wisdom created yogic practice to go beyond polarity, to enable us to know her. Beyond truth we move into method, methods of seeing and of knowing inseparability, Her.”
During the day, movement will be used to find appreciation throughout the conscious flow of body-mind, breath as the field of devotion as well as other practices to find extraordinary levels of emphatic appreciation.

Devine Feminine
Yoga workshop with Christopher Gladwell. September 23-25. The Centre, 6 Panayioti Kaspi Street, Nicosia. Friday: 6pm-8.30pm, Saturday: 9.30am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm. €35 Friday open class only, €125 three days. Tel: 97-873494

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