As I begin to prepare for my last-ever summer immersion (and the final program of any kind) at The Breathing Project, I thought I’d share some of the questions we will be considering during the five-day course of study I’ve titled “Bandha: Untying and Uniting Body, Breath and Mind”:
Is there a simple definition of bandha that can serve as a foundation for a breath-centered approach to yoga practice?
Can bandha refer to our natural tendency to hold, constrict, channel, and otherwise modulate our breathng mechanism in response to stressors, or should the definition of bandha be limited to the intentional techniques of breath manipulation more commonly referred to in yoga practice?
Can the yogic model of the five koshas help us experience the action of bandha on more subtle dimensions of our being?
Should bandha be taught to beginning students?
What is the relationship between traditional descriptions of the static application of bandha wherein the body is unmoving and the breath is retained, and the modern context of bandha practiced while the body and breath are in motion?
The great thing about using questions as an entry point into a practice-based group inquiry is that we can benefit tremendously from learning to be comfortable with not arriving at final answers. In fact, along with all the insights we generate, we usually end up with more questions than when we started. I’ve learned to offer a disclaimer to that effect at the beginning of every workshop I teach.
If I had to to pick one perspective that’s been changed the most by my last 14 years at The Breathing Project, it would be just that; a greatly increased tolerance for having my answers questioned. Or, as Richard Feynman so succinctly put it:
“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”
There are still a few spaces left in the immersion. It runs Monday thru Friday, July 24–28. Here’s a link to the full description and registration page. We have assembled a truly wonderful international group of students, and I’d love for you to join us.