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17 Sep 2011: Thai Yoga Massage Workshop, CT

August 18, 2011

PLAY DEAD… GET A LIFE!

In this hands-on, non-theoretical workshop our task, believe it or not, is to develop the art of Playing Dead! When you can “play dead” convincingly (remember the possum in “Over the Hedge?”), you will have achieved a state of no-mind, such as eventually happens via the disciplines of yoga and meditation.
The reason for this is contained in the relationship that exists between the state of your mind and the tension in your musculature. Literally, having a tight, controlling mind adversely affects your ability to move lightly and freely.

Becoming aware of this relationship is a way to gain control over mental chaos and stress. We use shavasana (‘corpse pose’) and the help of a partner to make this connection. Under normal circumstances shavasana can easily be faked, such as when the mind is busy elsewhere (multi-tasking!). But when a seemingly passive body shows resistance to being gently invited to move along natural pathways, such as occurs in Thai Yoga Massage, this mental ‘noise’ is revealed.
It is fascinating to discover that simply dropping control over your voluntary muscles results in a calmer state of mind. It is this feature that immediately distinguishes Thai Yoga Massage from any other modality and discovering it amounts to a new skill in managing your life!
By consciously using the body as your yardstick, you naturally let go of extraneous thoughts and in so doing (or rather, not-doing!) allow yourself to enter progressively deeper levels of meditation. For some, this happens instantaneously. For others it takes more time (and trust). The whole process is one of em-bodying Presence…and the feeling throughout, verges on pure Bliss!

Thai Yoga Massage is a hugely complex healing modality and health maintenance system that has no equal. It also varies from one practitioner to another. For Jen Bovim, the complexity of the choreography she applies is inversely proportional to the resistance that she encounters. The greater the ability of the receiver to let go and enter fully into the present moment, the more complex and wide-ranging will be the Thai Yoga Massage she gives.
Fortunately complexity is not a prerequisite for effective stress relief or general enjoyment! Over the short duration of a workshop everyone will get a chance to be both a giver and a receiver of a highly simplified choreography that is literally the essence of Thai Yoga Massage. You will leave feeling relaxed and peaceful as well as confident of your ability to provide significant, hands-on relief to others in your life.

The focus required to assist others in this humble, non-verbal way also helps to calm the mind. You may find that your yoga practice is infused with a new level of body awareness. You may also see the point of shavasana!

For a fresh take on Life…let’s play dead!

Where: Guru Ram Das Yoga Studio

When: Saturday 17th September 2011

Time: 11.00am – 4.00pm

Cost: R450 (R800 per couple) – Includes Light Lunch

Bring: 2 cushions, a bottle of water

Main criterion for participation: At ease with working on the floor (knees, back etc).
If you cannot match this criterion but would nevertheless like to participate as a “receiver”, please find a partner who would like to be your “giver”. Alternatively, contact Guru Ram Das in case a “giver” can be found on your behalf.

Jen Bovim has a B.Soc.Sc in Psychology and Sociology from UCT. 30 years ago she received her first yoga instruction from musician and yogi, Steve Newman, a gift that began her life-long relationship with yoga. She was shortly afterwards trained in Swedish massage by Ute Randall from Namibia.
She married and went sailing with her husband, during which time she gave birth to two of her three children. On returning to South Africa, she encountered Vipassana, completing three 10-day silent meditation retreats before travelling to Thailand to receive training in the ancient, northern-style of Thai Yoga Massage. She is currently studying Trager Movement Re-education and lives with her family in Scarborough.

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