Meet Ned Gardiner of Asheville Iyengar Yoga
This 3-day nature retreat will focus on standing, forward-bending, back-bending, and pranayama-- all at an introductory level. Iyengar is a branch of yoga focused on the discipline of gradual progression of body movements that peel back the layers of the mind, body and spirit to cultivate clarity and calm.
Who are you and how has experiential learning made a different in your life?
These are hard questions! I'm not sure how to answer "who am i?" I'm just getting to know myself!
I am a student of yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar's teachings have given me the opportunity to study myself and open up to being less limited than my mind and body had previously suggested. I am learning to learn, learning to do, learning to teach, teaching to learn (and so forth) an ancient art and science that opens doors such as that.
To call this humbling is to miss the point, for of course we are small in comparison to the experience and wisdom that luminaries have passed along for us to examine, experience, and question. Who are we to say we have limitations when we rarely test for the boundaries?
What is the program you are presenting and what do you hope participants will get out of the weekend?
In this weekend we will explore the asanas B.K.S. Iyengar suggested we practice as we begin to study yoga. His personal brilliance was in offering specific guidance about how to practice. Moving from periphery to core and out again, we will touch upon the eight limbs ('ashtanga' in Sanskrit) of yoga.
I hope participants get a spark of interest in the subject to help them continue their own self-exploration.
"Inspiration" comes from Latin for "to breathe into." Latin and Sanskrit come from the same Proto-Indo-European language. Yogic texts (written in Sanskrit) describe 'pranayama'-- one of the eight limbs ('ashtanga,' again) of yoga which addresses working with the life force which animates everything. So "inspiration" literally and figuratively is interdependent with the outdoors, where our atmosphere is generated.
Describe a time you were inspired when being outdoors.
I draw inspiration regularly from what is today known as the Pisgah National Forest. The forests there are healing from a heavy cutting early last century. The canopy won't close as the chestnut and other would-be giants of the forests no longer grow to their majestic potential in the southern Appalachians. But growth and change continue nonetheless. Transformation is what I seek, so I go to my local forests to see and experience it on a grand scale.