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Sofia Diaz Heart Hatha Yoga Weekend

by Eleanor on 04/07/2011 - About Me

in -Sofia Diaz,Heart Hatha Yoga Weekend

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A good friend of mine kept recommending that I check out his favorite yoga instructor, Sofia Diaz, when she next came to teach in Berkeley. I already had a daily Hatha Yoga practice and wasn’t planning to be in Berkeley anytime soon, but after six months of his insistence, I decided to go see what all the fuss was about. I was also a little curious, having participated in multiple David Deida Weekends, what this former partner of his would be like. After all, what kind of woman could be a match for David Deida?

I went to the website to read about the program and saw this:

Heart Hatha Yoga: The Fullest Spectrum of Yogic Embodiment
In the non-dual yogic traditions, one human heart is understood to have the light of 10,000 suns. This means that the spectrum of light that is our greatest intelligence, ie: The Heart, is multifarious, brilliant, multicolored, and both physically tangible and subtle. The practice of Hatha Yoga based on this is “the only way to fly” through gross physical obstructions and the splintered attention that causes our confusions. This week of classes and weekend intensive will unfold and celebrate the first three touchstones of nine levels of HaTha yogic understanding through very thorough instruction in awareness, breath, and the use of will within a very exacting asana practice. Forward folds will be the foundation and gentle inversions will be the exclamation point of finding Heart awareness through the strength of disorienting our sense of self through deep and delicious practice.

I had no idea what it meant we would be doing – I had never even heard of a forward fold – but it sounded alluring enough to seal the deal. I booked my travel and showed up not knowing what to expect. I thought maybe we would be doing yoga for 12 hours per day, so I was a little worried about my ability to keep up physically, but as it turned out, I was perfectly matched for the course, which was a great mix of intellectual and physical learning.

The program worked on a very subtle level. Sofia would bring up certain topics seemingly casually and they would click into place throughout the weekend.

One of the first things we explored when we arrived was the idea of attraction and how much of our energy is spent judging and questioning the things that we’re naturally attracted to in life. She encouraged us to notice where our attention and energy was at all times.

She then introduced the concept of yoga asanas as a devotional offering that is not just about opening physical body. This was a profound revelation for me, the idea that we are all living divine offerings, sacrificing pieces of our identity to free up energy and awareness for our Selves to shine through to reveal the good, the beautiful and the true. No transformation is possible without sacrifice, and it doesn’t necessarily mean giving up something we like; it’s about giving up something we’re attached to and identified with. I suddenly understood why religions often encourage sacrifice, fasting, lent.

Asanas were defined as “the seat from which you feel the universe.” They never get comfortable, and we are lying to ourselves if we tell ourselves we can’t do one. To motivate ourselves to get fully into an asana, we must first realize that it is an experience worth having. We had ample opportunities to experience the excruciating resistance we were consistently producing while holding the most seemingly simple asanas, such as forward folds.

The other takeaway was that we don’t have to clean up the messes in our lives and experiences to offer ourselves in love and devotion. This is a big one – as often I think that ‘having it all together’ is a prerequisite for my growth. Just by being herself, Sofia demonstrated the grace that is possible at all times. She is a remarkably inspiring woman, very real and down to earth and simultaneously magical.

Another highlight for me was the section on inversions. She had us write down some thoughts or poetry right after exiting the inverted postures and this is what flowed out of me:

No need to panic
Arms hurt but body feels good
Hanging upside down

Not just my body
Went upside down this time
My mind inverted

Currents everywhere
I could collapse into a pile of jelly
Why don’t I feel like this all the time?

There were too many valuable lessons to recount from the weekend – these are just a few of the surprising examples that I never expected to learn at a yoga class.  In fact, this wasn’t a yoga class, this was an understated, powerful transformational weekend program at a bargain price. I thought I knew a lot about Hatha Yoga going in, but it turns out I’d only scratched the surface with my existing practice. Learning it from Sofia Diaz was a special experience.

My understanding is that each of her weekend courses are completely different, but of equally high quality, so I recommend checking out any one of them out if you can. She also offers teleclasses on her website if you can’t make it to a live weekend.

Duration 2.5 days
Price $400
Official Website http://www.sofiayoga.com
Tips for success – Come with an open mind, especially if you’ve done a lot of yoga before
– Bring clothes that make you feel comfortable and attractive
– Don’t plan anything in the evenings and give your body time to rest after
Sofia Diaz Heart Hatha Yoga Weekend4.6428571428572Eleanor2011-04-07 06:19:36A good friend of mine kept recommending that I check out his favorite yoga instructor, Sofia Diaz, when she next came to teach in Berkeley. I already …
-Sofia Diaz,Heart Hatha Yoga Weekend$400Sofia Diaz Heart Hatha Yoga WeekendA good friend of mine kept recommending that I check out his favorite yoga instructor, Sofia Diaz, when she next came to teach in Berkeley. I already …

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