Telluride Yoga Fest: Featured Presenter, Dr. Alanna Kaivalya

Telluride Yoga Fest: Featured Presenter, Dr. Alanna Kaivalya

The annual Telluride Yoga Festival takes place this year, Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, July 24. Tickets/passes available here. Scroll down to the bottom of  Dr. Alanna Kaivalya’s story for her video interview. A book-signing for Alanna’s “Myths of the Asanas & Sacred Sound,” Sunday, July 24, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Between the Covers Bookstore.

Alanna © Heather Bonker

Alanna © Heather Bonker

Yoga is way more than assuming the shapes of various warriors, trees, mountains, and a menagerie of animals – though Dr. Alanna Kaivalya’s first book “Myths of the Asanas” (released in Spring 2010) explains why dogs, monkeys, tortoises, eagles, lions, crows, fish, cobras, peacocks, swans, cows, cranes and more have found comfortable habitat on rubberized mats.

It is way more than asanas or the bodily postures with strange-sounding names transmitted by teachers in India for thousands of years.

Yoga asana evolved as an integral part of a comprehensive spiritual practice oriented towards personal transformation. The assumption, that it’s all about the poses and nothing but, is according to Ayurvedic practitioner (and inaugural Telluride Yoga Festival presenter Dr. Robert Svoboda) like making a meal of the skin of a fruit, “unaware of the juicier flesh beneath it.”

Or as returning Telluride Yoga Festival presenters Dr. Alanna Kaivalya – a newly minted Ph.D. in the field of in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology – explains:

“Yoga is an amazing thing; it stretches your hamstrings, but it also bends your mind. In addition to mastering the poses and breathing through a vinyasa, you learn how to master your life.”

Bottom line: however intense, a yoga practice is clearly way more than exercise. It is part of a whole package of disciplines designed for personal growth and development – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – and a way to make space for new ideas about ourselves and the world around us.

The Telluride Yoga Festival, this year, July 21 – July 24, is an inspirational four-day event featuring over 100 ways to experience now and zen, including the practices of asana, pranayama, and meditation; the study of yoga philosophy and myth; plus music, hiking, SUP, dining, and more.

To kick off the long weekend, festival director Erika Henschel offers two all-day (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) intensives guaranteed to deepen the body-mind connection: Telluride Yoga Fest regular Tias Little leads “The Wisdom of the Subtle Body”; Alanna teaches “Yoga Beyond the Mat: Making Yoga Your Spiritual Practice.”

“Alanna Kaivalya is a modern mythologist & mystic reinterpreting the heart of yoga for modern practitioners…,” wrote The Huffington Post.

Yoga is and always has been for everyone – but its teachings evolved in the East. According to Alanna, the practice needs to be tweaked to better accommodate the psyche of the modern Western practitioner – which The Kaivalya Method does through a combination of traditional yoga principles and methodologies, plus the study of philosophy, psychology, and mythology.

At the opening workshop – and at subsequent classes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – Alanna promises to provide all the tools needed to catalyze meaningful transformation.

According to Yoga Fest’s website:

“This day features an in-depth discussion on the power of personal myth, as well as practical exercises that take you progressively deeper into yourself to open your mind, expand your consciousness, heal your energetic and psychological body, and ultimately, experience the power of the myth you live by. Learn how to create potent personal rituals, super-charge your meditation, access your unconscious, and recruit your highest self into your daily spiritual practice of yoga.”

The work at the intensive is based on findings Alanna describes in her upcoming “Yoga Beyond the Mat: How to Make Yoga Your Spiritual Practice.”

In the book, I decode the process of transformation and take you from the outside in, giving you step-by-step instructions and practices that help you to live your yoga—the state of complete integration and blissful connection. Like yoga, this book won’t make your life better, instead, it makes you better at your life.”

Specifically participants will learn to remove obstacles in their path to bliss and to appreciate the present moment. Balancing the chakras, healing childhood wounds, creating personal rituals, transforming archetypal energy, and working with the hero’s journey as described by mythological scholar Joseph Campbell, for Alanna (and for you if you choose to join her), that’s all in a day’s work.

And please note: Alana’s name is no accident: the yogi who attains kaivalya is a being who has gained independence from all bondages and achieved the absolute true consciousness.

No small trick.

Then again Dr. Alanna Kaivalya has always aimed high.

To learn more, watch this video in which Alanna answers questions about her life and work and the classes she will lead, all variations on a theme of comprehensive self-healing, at the 2016 Telluride Yoga Festival:

  • Karol Batton
    Posted at 07:58h, 22 July

    Thanks! Can hardly wait to see Neil Young!

    FYI – the Peaks now has an amazing Chef – best one they have ever had! Go try the burrata salad, the halibut, the chicken and the olive oil cake. They call the restaurant Altezza now.

    They have always had beautiful views. Now they finally have a chef who is worthy of the space and creates fresh food from quality ingredients. Check it out.

    I do NOT work for them, but feel like locals would want to know.

    Neil Young: Two Telluride Shows This Fall
    Posted: 21 Jul 2016 10:00 AM PDT
    Neil Young + Promise of the Real to play two shows in Telluride, September 30

    • Susan Viebrock
      Posted at 17:42h, 23 October

      Yes, I have tasted his food. Terrific. Clean.