About the Guest:
Gabriel Halpern holds a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Health Psychology, and was trained at the Iyengar Yoga Institutes in San Francisco and Pune, India. Gabriel has practiced since 1970 and gives workshops nationally. He founded the Yoga Circle in Chicago, IL in1985. For over twenty years he was a core performance faculty member at De Paul University’s Theater Department. In 2011, he was awarded the Elder/Mentor of the Year by the Mankind Project. Under his guidance, the Yoga Circle was voted the “best traditional hatha studio” by Chicago magazine in 2016. Owing to the direct influence of BKS Iyengar and over 48 years continuous study and practice Gabriel’s teaching is all that is yoga: zeal in practice, science, art form, lifestyle, and mystical mentoring.
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I’m not convinced my yoga is better than your yoga because I am not in your body or your life or your circumstances or family constellation. I do not know where you come from or what makes you tick. I do not know what your body “needs”.
If the yoga industry wants to thrive again, it needs to start teaching more than fitness. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel- all the techniques already exist within yoga’s traditions to offer a class that touches every part of our being. By offering more integrated classes that include pranayama, mantra, meditation and kriya, we can now provide a yoga experience, instead of just yoga poses.
Just as each feature of cosmic order has an essential nature, cosmic order itself has an essential nature. Bringing ourselves into harmony with the essential nature of cosmic order is the way by which we can live peacefully in the world. Conversely, dissonant action relative the essential nature of cosmic order brings about chaos and destruction.
Nikki Costello is an educator with 30 years of teaching and training experience in the Yoga and Wellness industry. She works at the intersection of social justice and Yoga with a focus on facilitating new models of embodied leadership.