28 people gathered in Laren
Dojo, Holland, in the weekend of 6 - 8
February 2015, to study under this theme. The range of the
group was wide: 11 teacher trainees (first to third year), 2 teachers
who had already completed the training of this system, 9 others
including beginners and teachers from other systems, and 6 staff
members. After arrival, all
participants enjoyed lavender compress on their eyelids, which helped
much out of tiredness of daily work and travel.
Saturday morning till Sunday lunchtime, I gave a total of 8-hour
lessons in 3 blocks. This was my third intensive seminar on the same
theme following February 2013
and February 2014.
In Okido Yoga, asana, whether it is static or dynamic, is a practice of the state of dhyana as explained
in Oki-sensei's book
'Meditation Yoga' page 62-63. Body, Mind
and Breathing are to
be united in
action, i.e. movement or pose.
In order for students
to experience this, my lessons were programmed as follows:
- Joint-Freeing as promoting abdominal movement for
- Posture awareness in both static/dynamic
- Lower body strengthening and energy-centering on hara including
practice of Mulabandha
- Refining awareness between breathing, physical intensity and mind (do-be-do-be-
taught in 2013)
- Considering on two ways of action process: mind-body-breathing or
Due to the
participants' different conditions as well as variety of
yoga practice, I neither chose advanced asanas nor asked them
so many times. I think it is far more important in an intensive
seminar to test differences of sensations, learn how to find the best
themselves, and obtain hints of how to practise at home. The key is
engaging one's mind to apply the three-hold principle of unification of
mind and breathing in one action.
As well as attending these 8-hour yoga lessons,
teacher trainees had been given pre-reading
homework, which was two lectures from Oki-sensei's
Lectures'. Accordingly, teacher
trainees and teachers had discussion with Mizue and myself while the
rest of the group did ginger compress. And while the trainees' group
did ginger compress, the rest had a discussion session to
address their questions about the general Okido Yoga dojo life and
diet. Because the
whole group was large, this one-time division worked very well.
Apart from my lessons and discussions, Mizue led the
morning chanting with the Heart
Sutra. Morning walk, compresses, cooking of healthy cleaning food and
all other work behind scenes were run by dedicated staff members:
Marleen, Anneke and Dennis. Such cooperation and such selfless services
grow during the four years of this Okido Yoga teacher training and in
after that. It is beauty of Okido Yoga.
My next seminar in Laren will be 1-3 May 2015.
talk, practise and have fun and seriousness! All photos (except the
last one) was contributed by Monika Stepak.