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The Art of Vinyasa

Shambhala recently hosted a conversation about The Art of Vinyasa: Awakening Body and Mind through the Practice of Ashtanga Yoga, by Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, cofounders of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder. They were joined by Nataraja Kallio, the Program Chair of Yoga Studies at Naropa University, to discuss their radical approach to the Ashtanga Vinyasa system of yoga.



Judith Hanson Lasater has taught yoga since 1971. She holds a doctorate in East-West psychology and is a physical therapist. Dr. Lasater is the president of the California Yoga Teachers Association and serves on the advisory boards of Yoga Journal and the Yoga Research and Education Center.

Her yoga training includes study with B. K. S. Iyengar in India and the United States. She teaches ongoing classes in kinesiology, yoga therapeutics, and the Yoga Sutra at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. In addition, she leads workshops and retreats throughout the United States and abroad.

Dr. Lasater writes extensively about yoga. Her feature articles, columns, and essays appear in numerous books, magazines, and anthologies. She is the author of Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, the first book devoted to the supported yoga poses and breathing techniques called restorative yoga.

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Tias Little on the Subtle Body

Shambhala: So I thought I’d start with a little context about you—how did you first find out about yoga and start this journey?

Tias: Really I started through my mother, who did yoga when we lived in London back in the ’70s. She’s really my first influence and I’ve also always been an academic because my father taught at the university level—he taught comparative religion for thirty years. So I’ve always had an interest in the spiritual path.

Then when I came into the yogic practice, it was this kind of magic alchemy of the wisdom teachings and the sadhana, the practice. I’ve always been a contemplative type, and so my interest has naturally been toward to meditative side of the practice.

As an undergraduate, I studied with Bob Thurman, Robert Thurman. I studied Buddhist psychology, so I think that the dharma has always been part of my growth and my path. While I’ve done a lot of really physical yoga, more calisthenic-like yoga, I’ve always had the wisdom seeds planted along the route of my path. And so that’s how I’ve really come into this path of yoga.

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