TELLURIDE – There are only a small number of certified, master Ashtanga yoga teachers in the world and Tim Miller, who returns to Telluride to teach a three-day workshop in the ancient and powerful discipline February 25-27, is among them.
“Tim is one of the most senior, longtime, life-committed practitioners of Ashtanga yoga,” said Robyn Van Gelder, co-owner of Telluride Yoga Center, which is hosting the workshop. “To have somebody of that caliber and level of commitment to the practice teach in Telluride is an honor.”
Marking his third time teaching a workshop here, Miller said that this year’s will not substantially differ from those he has done in the past, “except for the fact that I will be older and wiser and more compassionate – having just turned 60 a few days before.”
Made popular in the West largely through the influence of the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, known affectionately to his students as Guruji, the Ashtanga method incorporates breathing in synchronization with progressive postures and specific points of visual focus to build internal heat that is said to purify the organs by producing sweat that carries impurities and toxins out of the body. In addition to strengthening and stretching the body, it also focuses and calms the mind.
“Ashtanga yoga was the first type of yoga I was introduced to and it has always resonated with me in a profound way,” said Miller, who, in addition to studying and teaching the discipline for over 30 years, was the first American certified to teach by Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India.
“No other approaches to yoga have even come close in regards to their ability to penetrate to the very essence of who we are,” Miller explained.
The workshop begins on Friday, Feb. 25 from 8:15 to 10:45 a.m., as Miller provides an “Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga and Exploration of the Primary Series” emphasizing detoxification of the body and mind and stressing the importance of a consistent yoga practice.
Friday evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Miller will lead a light and thoughtful practice he described as “the perfect class for beginners to Ashtanga” integrating the philosophy of the ancient authoritative yoga texts, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, with the fundamental principals of Ashtanga yoga during “The Marriage of Yoga Philosophy with Yoga Methodology.”
On Saturday, Feb. 26, practitioners join Miller from 9 to 11 a.m. for “The Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga” also known as Yoga Chikitsa or Yoga Therapy. Done consistently and accurately over a long period of time, it is said to enlighten the body and mind, revealing the teacher within.
Saturday afternoon from 3 to 5:30 p.m., “The Asana Doctor” will explore the biomechanics of specific asanas (postures), how to work with areas of particular density or weakness in the body, how to work with injuries, and how to adapt asanas for specific needs.
“It is a class that would be of interest to all practitioners of yoga and anyone interested in a deeper exploration of the body,” said Miller.
The workshop wraps up with a final “Improvisation” class on Sunday, Feb. 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. including postures and breath work by request. The class will use the Ashtanga principles of vinyasa, intelligently conceived progression and counterpose to create asana sequences to explore various themes.
Those practitioners with a background in Vinyasa Flow yoga rather than traditional Ashtanga will feel very much at home in the class, Miller said.
The TYC is also pleased to be offering two scholarship opportunities in conjunction with the workshop. The first is a full scholarship with a value of $250, and the second is a half scholarship valued at $125.
“It’s something we’ve wanted to do in the past, and it’s important for us to support the community,” said Van Gelder.
“Supporting individuals that would like to participate in events at the studio but may have financial constraints is the best way we can do that,” she continued.
To apply, submit an essay of no longer than one page to email@example.com no later than midnight on Sunday, Feb. 20. The essay should explain why you would qualify for a scholarship and how you believe you will benefit from participating in the workshop. Applicants must be willing to supply proof of need for financial assistance.
“It encourages people to know that there are options to be able to participate,” Van Gelder said.
Cost for the full Tim Miller Ashtanga workshop is $250. Single classes are $50 each. Pre-registration is strongly advised. For more information visit www.tellurideyoga.com or call 970/729-1673.