DATES: February 21 – 28, 2015
WORKSHOP LEADER: Phoebe Andrews
Learn the ancient process of creating a Yantra: an art form that uses sacred geometry to evoke a meditative state. Phoebe, one of the few westerners fortunate to receive training in this art form, will guide you through the traditional steps to complete your very own Yantra. There is a specific and meaningful process, such as working from the outside in, that mirrors the process of going from the outside world into your being as you meditate or practice yoga. Classes will be offered every day lasting approx. 2 hours. The first two classes will be spent laying down the outline with pencil, ruler, and compass on paper. The rest of the classes will be spent painting your Yantra. Phoebe will discuss the history, the meaning of Yantras, and their relationship to meditation and yoga. This process is fun and creative as well as meditative. No artistic experience necessary!
Yantra design, in addition to your yoga classes, makes this week at Anamaya unique. Both of these ancient practices have a powerful meditative and healing effect, which is amplified when taken in unison.
By participating in this retreat your flight will be carbon neutral! How is this possible? By partnering with Community Carbon Trees, a company in Costa Rica dedicated to reforestation, we donate the amount of trees it takes to offset your flight roundtrip.
What is Yantra?
HISTORY: 4000 years ago in northern India sages sat in mediation. During this deep contemplation, the universe began to reveal itself first in the form of mantra, or sound vibration, followed yantra, a visual representation and counterpart to each mantra. These wise people understood that each individual yantra, with its particular geometric shape constructions and particular color combinations, represents particular aspects of the universe. The Tantric Yantra is equivalent to the Buddhist Mandala except that a mandala represents the entire cosmos whereas the yantra is a specific deity or energy. YAM=support/holding the essence of an object or concept TRA=liberation from bondage YANTRA=tool for freedom.
BENEFITS: The colors and shapes that make up the yantra are like a container of this energy and by creating or meditating upon a yantra, you are invoking this energy, which can enhance qualities or aspects of your life. Despite their differences, all yantras have a centering effect that lead you back to the source and a feeling of contentment. When creating a yantra, you start at the top, drawing in the clockwise direction (creation), and always move from the outside in. This pattern mirrors the process of meditation taking the practitioner from the periphery to the core of your being. In modern society more emphasis is put on left brained activities and when we do use our right brain, it functions alternately from the left. Yantra creation is one of the few activities that simultaneously engages both hemispheres of the brain.
Workshop Leader Phoebe Andrews
When Phoebe stumbled across the Santosh Puri Ashram in Haridwar, India during the Kumba Mela 2010, the gap was bridged between her two passions: yoga and art. While completing her Bachelors Degree in Studio Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Phoebe found time to practice at the Yoga Workshop with Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman, but her love for art and yoga remained separate. It wasn’t until graduating from college in 2009 that Phoebe went and completed her first yoga teacher training at Yoga Thailand with Paul Dallaghan in the Ashtanga style and subsequently traveled to Goa, Mysore, Bali and finally to the Santosh Puri Ashram, where she found art and yoga were seamlessly incorporated in daily life through the practice of Yantra design. Phoebe has since been practicing and teaching Yantra design for five years. Phoebe lives in Humboldt County, California where she has completed a yoga teacher training in the Anusara yoga style with Robyn Smith and continues to practice and teach yoga, pranayama, meditation, and Yantra design daily. Phoebe teaches yoga and yantra retreats around the world. In addition to Ashtanga, Anusara, and other styles of yoga, Phoebe practices Acro, Aerial Silks, and Martial Arts to explore other ways to deepen her mind body connection.
Phoebe’s Philosophy of Teaching
I practice and teach yoga to know myself better. Yogic practices, including but not limited to asana, help me get in touch with my inner self and experience the joys life has to offer from this place of integration. I study and endeavor to live by the non-dualistic philosophy of Tantra. My Vinyasa flow style classes take the fundamental principles of Ashtanga and the alignment principles of Anusara for a well-rounded practice. I am trained in Ashtanga and Anusara but have experience with other styles including Acro Yoga. I teach a variety of levels from beginners to seasoned practitioners. I encourage the participants of my workshop to do what feels right for them even if that means skipping the provided activities. I like to remind them that it is their retreat. My retreats provide the unique experience of Yoga practice and the creative art of Yantra design. Together these practices will help you to deepen your mind body connection. Our approach to these ancient practices is playful to create a safe and nurturing environment.
A Message From Phoebe and our Guest Yoga Teacher, Allison Pals