with Steph Bour & Gordana Markovic
This special class will combine yoga and Shiatsu to create a restorative afternoon of self-care. An evening in which you could experience both therapies and the soothing effects they have on the subtle body. When the nervous system is soothed, tension is unraveled and connective tissue along with muscle memory can be released to renew and heal.
We will practice a sequence of restorative yoga postures, in some of which you will receive gentle Shiatsu hands on touch (thumb, finger or palm pressure) along meridians or just on specific points in different areas of your body. Shiatsu is practiced on the body fully clothed. Wearing socks and comfortable warming clothing is recommended to keep you cozy for this workshop.
Take this opportunity to simply pause in the chaos of life and breathe, listen, observe, practicing just being rather than doing. We will explore and become aware of the relationship between energy and asana, structure and feeling, doing and being. You will be invited to deeply relax and feel a sense of grounding. The combination of these practices creates space for relaxation to deepen, promoting the innate capacity for self-knowledge and self-healing.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a Japanese traditional healing art that has its roots in the ancient wisdom and principles of Chinese medicine. Shiatsu is based on the same medical system as acupuncture. SHI means finger and ATSU means pressure. Shiatsu is a manual therapy that uses thumb, finger or palm pressure along with stretches to stimulate the energy pathways in the body. We experience life energy or Ki (Japanese for Qi) in the form of movement, communication, respiration, digestion, thoughts, feelings, etc. Any blockages or stagnation within the energy channel matrix of the body can result in physical, psychological and emotional disharmony. Shiatsu helps balance the energy on all levels, while experiencing a profoundly relaxing and therapeutic musculoskeletal treatment. Benefits of Shiatsu include reduced stress and anxiety, muscle tension relief, increased mobility, improved digestion, better sleep and clearer mind. It is common to feel more grounded, centered, and aware of better sense of mind body connection after the treatment.
What is the connection between shiatsu and yoga?
Yoga and Shiatsu are two practical sciences, both rooted within the ancient traditions from China, Japan and India. Yogic view of a healthy body consists of a steady flow of Prana (vital energy) through a matrix of Nadis and Chakras. Shiatsu perspective is that Ki (Japanese for Qi, vital energy) is flowing through the body through meridians. These channels can be seen to relate to organs and can be linked to specific areas and tissues of the body. They intersect with blood vessels, muscles, tendons and sinews but have broader functions relating them to emotional and mental states. Stress, diet, multitasking, overwork or injury can promote imbalances understood in Classical Chinese Medicine as blocked, depleted or out of balance flow of Ki. With Yoga and Shiatsu we can cultivate embodied awareness of the meridian system and its unity in order to restore healthy balance of Ki and Prana. Practice of postures with application of a healing touch of Shiatsu will stimulate different meridians and create a ripples effect.
Practicing postures with an understanding of wider function of meridians related to different areas of the body will grow a new sense of interconnectedness and enrich a general perception and feeling of being whole in a human body. The essence of both practices is to support us in returning to our true nature, to engage with our deeper selves. The methods offer tools to help expand space and, within that expanded space, possibilities for deep quiet, acceptance, creativity, clarity might arise.
About the teachers:
Steph is a french-native, Chicago-based yoga teacher and mother, with over 500 hours of training, including 200-hours certified by Yoga Alliance, she specialized in Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, and earned a 95h certification by Amala School of Prenatal Yoga, she completed additional trainings in restorative yoga, Yoga Nidra for pregnancy and birth support, and massage therapy.
Gordana has an endless curiosity about what it means to be a human being and what life might be about. This curiosity led her to her first yoga class in 1996. Her journey of learning is still unfolding. She completed 200-hour yoga teacher training at Moksha Yoga Center in 2010 and went on to complete over 500-hours of formal training in the US and more hours of studying Eastern philosophies and practices in India and Nepal. She has been teaching yoga since 2010.
Gordana has a devotional, all-inclusive and integrative approach to her teaching. Daily practice is the root of her exploration and inspiration. It teaches her to overcome habits, relax within, find discipline, be open and fearless, realize sacredness in everyday life, trust courage and be honest.She considers an array of practices for increasing space, sensitivity, and capacity to experience reality as it is. Gordana is committed to learning while also serving and supporting others on their personal learning path in the ways that she authentically knows. She teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa, Mysore and Yoga Nidra throughout Chicago. Gordana is also a certified Zen Shiatsu therapist supporting others with healing art of manual therapy.