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Asana Unlocked

with Gary Kraftsow

Friday - Sunday, July 26 -28

Join Gary Kraftsow in a workshop designed for students and teachers of all levels who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of āsana. Practitioners will learn to use  āsana as a means to better understand their bodies and begin to transform their present conditions. Teachers can further their understanding of what is happening in their students’ bodies, and learn how to use adaptation in āsana to move their students toward transformation.

Friday – 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Introduction to Viniyoga Āsana Principles
Āsana is a means or a tool to help you understand and transform your present condition, not a goal nor an end in itself. In Viniyoga, the function of āsana takes precedence over the form, and we utilize the breath to initiate movement. Both form and breath can then be adapted to best serve the goals of the practitioner. Using a combination of repetition and stay helps to accustom the body to movement to then gain the most benefit from each posture.


Saturday – 10:00 - 12:30 p.m.
The Biomechanics of Āsana
Explore the core principles and purposes of the five different directions of movement in āsana: forward bend, backward bend, lateral bend, twist, and axial extension. Learn about “release valves” in āsana and how you can use yogic tools to replace dysfunctional movement patterns with healthy ones.

Saturday – 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Form Adaptation in Āsana
The goal of āsana is to serve the practitioner, not the posture. Study the use of repetition and stay in āsana practice, and how to adapt the forms of the āsana to serve the functional needs of your body.


Saturday – 10:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Breath Adaptation in Āsana
Krishnamacharya once told Gary that if you are not using breath in āsana, you are only doing calisthenics. Explore the importance of coordinating breath and movement in an āsana practice, the use of the directional flow of breath, and how breath initiates movement in āsana.


Sunday – 2:30-5:00 p.m.
The Art & Science of Sequencing

In Viniyoga, we say that sequencing should be effective, efficient and elegant.  A well sequenced āsana practice is logically ordred, context specific, manifests an intention, incorporates the tools related to the intention, and provides maximum functional benefits with minimal risks.

We have a limited number of early bird $345 full workshop until July 14th or when we fill at the early price, $390 afterwards. Friday night only $30 Individual sat/sun modules, $90.00 each



The classical Kriya Yoga philosophy of Patanjali guides us in accomplishing our goals over several months of study. Our approach is threefold:


Tapas - Building the Fire of Personal Practice
Every teacher must have a strong foundation of personal practice. This program aims to provide a solid understanding and mastery of the many various asana and pranayama techniques. The fire of personal practice will give one an internal foundation from which to teach as well as serve as purification and preparation for study and meditation.

Svadyaya - Study
To deepen the understanding of the physical and energetic body, students will study both gross and subtle anatomy in-depth. There will also be a comprehensive study of the history of classical yoga as well as an in-depth study of the sacred texts of the yoga philosophy. Students will learn the basics of the language of ancient India, classical Sanskrit, as well as the fundamentals of chanting and mantra.


Isvara Pranidhana - Surrender to Truth
Yoga is ultimately about surrendering to the truth within. This process reaches fruition through the learning and application of the arts of karma yoga, meditation, and self-inquiry.

Options for Course Study

Many of our students take this course with the intention to deepen their study of the art and science of yoga. One need not have the intention to teach to take the course. Most of the material in the first part is given to prepare the student to come to a place where they approach learning the art of teaching. Many programs today start with the teaching application skills assuming the student is already ready when this is not the case.


The emphasis in our program is learning how to practice, learning how to teach from the inside out, with emphasis on advanced study as a preparation for teaching. This program is designed to be completed over several months.



The Yoga Shala of Portland will grant those completing all program requirements a certificate. This certificate far exceed the standard of 500 hours.


This teacher training course is the most extensive and thorough program I have ever come across and the experience I gained is immeasurable. The teachers have amazing knowledge in all aspects of the yoga practice and I am forever grateful to them for passing their wisdom on. 

— Yoga Shala Teacher Training Graduate

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