Yantra Yoga Supervisions and More at Tsegyalgar East
by Paula Barry
(Photos of candidates by Beth Stiller)
IN…two…three…four. OUT two…three…four. HOLD two…three…four. This is the count that distinguishes Yantra Yoga from other yogas. It is the patient coordination of the breathing with the movement that allows each particular hold to be shaped and experienced. We heard that count many times over during the two weeks that the five candidates for both Level one and Level two Yantra Yoga teachers were being supervised by Laura Evangelisti while at the same time teaching the fortunate students who attended the courses.
Learning and relearning Yantra Yoga in a supervision course is a unique experience, perhaps even more so as a Yantra Yoga teacher. Having worked with many of the ‘supervisees’ to prepare, and train to teach, to find their voice, to perfect the Yantras, to stretch and grow, and then to be a student and learn from them is an occasion where one feels both humbled and proud.
The specialness of attending these two supervision courses at Tsegyalgar this summer was in large part due to having Laura Evangelisti here! She patiently, kindly and carefully listened to the candidates explain and teach the movements, making sure with her observant words and suggestions that their explanations were complete and precise and done with assiduous adherence to the text of Vairocana’s ‘The Union of the Sun’ and Moon and Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s essential commentary ‘A Stainless Mirror of Jewels’.
With her more than thirty years of experience as one of the two principal teachers (along with Fabio Andrico) selected by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu to train students and teachers, Laura frequently embellished and added insight to our practice of Yantra Yoga. She was able to suggest many modifications for bodies with limitations proving once again that everyone can have a meaningful experience of practicing Yantra Yoga. She had a keen eye for each of the candidates much practiced execution of the yantras, and often with a gentle touch and precise comments was able to adjust their bodies in a way that allowed a more precise and deeper experience of the movement, thus assuring that the transmission of Yantra Yoga will carry on precisely into the future.
For First Level Yantra Yoga Teacher the Supervisees were: Adriane Boscardine, Curzio Aliosi and Angelica Sidlecki. For the Second Level: Luke Karamol and Leticia Recepter. They were all wonderfully enthusiastic, and had such a genuine experience of the potentiality of Yantra Yoga, that they feel compelled to teach in order share this unique system of Yoga with others.
For the last two days of Laura’s time here at Tsegyalgar, we had the joyful experience of learning Kumar Kumari, the system of Yantra Yoga for children that came to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu some years ago while he was in retreat. Laura taught us this system with sweetness and patience like a gentle mother teaching her children. We, as teachers, are now practicing Kumar Kumari together in order to be approved to teach future generations of kids the movements and the benefits to their young bodies, energies and minds.
We also had a chance to watch the new Yantra Yoga for Pregnancy video, a more gentle variation of Yantra Yoga developed by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and Laura Evangelisti in consultation with experts in the field of pregnancy, which will soon be available for women who are expecting.
And, we had fun together! When not practicing Yantra Yoga, we shared stories of our lives, ate dinners together, shopped, drank a little wine and above all came together as disciples and practitioners of Dzogchen with a great devotion to the teachings of our illuminated Master, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.