About Adam Keen.
Adam has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2004. He is one of few practitioners to have completed the Advanced B series in Mysore, India, under the guidance of Sharath Jois, and was given level 2 authorisation to teach the intermediate series in 2012.
Adam’s teaching is thoughtful and pragmatic. His guiding principle is to facilitate your own unique experience of yoga, beyond the dictates of simply conforming to the instruction of a perceived authority.
Outside the sphere of yoga, Adam is a vegetarian chef, having cooked at Buddhist centres, yoga retreats and vegetarian restaurants of his home town London, UK. This has kept him well grounded and with a decent sense of humour.
To book these workshops
- Sign up on website.
- Book the ‘Adam Keen registration’ class (this does not guarantee you a spot).
- Make payment (cost below) and you will be added into the workshops. You will then receive an email on completion.
Regular practitioners at the shala will be prioritised. Those booking the full weekend will also be given first priority.
July 24 (Friday)
6pm-8pm Intro class
This will be an introduction to the basic principles of technique in Ashtanga Yoga using a mix of postures from primary and intermediate series.
July 25 (Saturday)
11am-1pm Twists and Hips
The Twists seem obvious, or sometimes considered ‘the rest’ postures. The Hips, often uncomfortable, frustrating, and finally culminating in ‘my-sore knee’. So, it is with good reason that we take an in-depth look into both these movements and see if we can find some stability and methodology within them other than just pushing and hoping for the best.
With Twisting, it’s a question of effectiveness. How to make them more dynamic by ‘the power of oppositions’, or more simply, the job of core-work and our legs. It’s all too easy to avoid the actual stretch if we’re not careful.
As for The Hips, we need to find a way to view this process of opening them, and the ‘lotus-work’ that awaits us, in a more subtle, patient, skillful, and ultimately, less forceful, way. They are actually opened ‘via the back-door.’ We learn to sneak-up upon them, rather than push against them, for they often push back!
To this end, a few of the ‘primary suspects’ will be rounded up and inspected carefully. We shall also be adding-in a few home stretches, as, for many people, The Lotus and the knees are no laughing matter. We have to be thoughtful and realise that it may take us more work than the sequence allows, formulated, as it was, for a different time and body.
2pm-4pm Workshop: Introduction to Pranayama and a Yoga Philosophy
Pranayama was always considered dangerous to learn and only suitable for advanced students after many years of physical Practise.
However, this is not the case. A basic and solid start at breath-control is a sensible complement to yoga asana. For, to some degree, it is actually easier to get a handle on the subtle mechanics of the diaphragm without the distraction of exerting ourselves in the task of making shapes. By getting deeper into The Breathe, we come to naturally intuit how the very postures are simply an emanation of our breathing.
Over the course of this module, we will progress from a clear and simple introduction to the fundamentals to consider three basic pranayamas — one calming, one invigorating, and one focusing. We are first required to get in touch with the basic mechanism entailing what Bandha means to breathing. For breathing deeply is more than just a poetic injunction to relax; it is something that takes Practise and skill with your abdomen.
How do we bring some texture and practicality into the dry rule-book of The Eightfold Path of Ashtanga yoga? So often, we hear things like ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) quoted, but we need to actually consider how this might relate to us and our life for it to be of relevance. Otherwise, we are just memorising information.
This is a lively look at how to use the principles offered by Patanjali in the eight steps he envisaged, without taking them as a discipline to be followed, instead practical suggestions in order that we live a more satisfied and peaceful kind of a life.
July 26 (Sunday)
11am-1pm Workshop: Safe and Comfortable Backbends
You either love them or hate them; sometimes both. They are so strongly invigorating, but they can also be frightening. Moreover, whilst we’re up there, it’s not always easy to know what it is we ought to be trying to do in the first place.
During this session, a careful exploration of the basic principles to bear in mind will be demonstrated. Warm up prep-work will be gone through, as well as looking at the different backbends actually available in the Primary Series itself. Thus, when we arrive at the end, it’s not such a shock as it’s not the first backbend we’ve done.
We will also consider the early postures of The Intermediate Series. In fact, simpler to access than the one we are all familiar with, we can gain a lot through working with them. Modifications will be offered, as well as showing how use of a couple of props, and partner-help, can really render the whole thing so much more comfortable and less challenging.
Because Backbends shouldn’t be painful, nor leave us with a stiff-back for the rest of the day. Regardless, of how you consider your back, they don’t need to hurt. They should instead actually help us to feel better and more healthy. This experience is, quite honestly, available to everyone. But, there are a few hidden considerations that may prove surprising and revelational along the way.
Full Weekend = €150
One Mysore = €20
One Workshop = €40