Detailed Listing of Festival Presenters

go to: Iyengar Presenters
  go to: Open Weekend Presenters

Kathy Alef | | Stan Andrzejewski | | Olop Arpipi | | Victoria Austin | | Sherri Baptiste | | Gitte Bechsgaard | Ros Bell | | Sophie Boller | | Nora Burnett | | Paul Cabanis | | Cristina Costa | | Anna Delury | | Mary Devore | | George Dovas | | Erin Ehlers | | Aileen Epstein Ignadiou | | Ruth Fisk | | Gabriella Giubilaro | | Gloria Goldberg | | Eden Goldman | | Alan Goode | | Gail Grossman | | Sheila Haswell | | Jeanne Heileman | | Juliet Heizman | | Justin Herold | | Holly Hoffmann | | Greta Kent-Stoll | | Gary Kraftsow | | John Leebold | | Maya Lev | | Pixie Lillas | | Elana Maggal | | Simon Marrocco | | Amey Mathews | | Ginny Nadler | | Jaki Nett | | Keiko Okuno | | Jayne Orton | | Liz Pagan | | Aadil Palkhivala | | Larry Payne | | Neil Pearson | | Shane Phillips | | Jennifer Prugh | | Margaret Rawlinson | | Shiva Rea | | Cathy Rogers Evans | | Ila Sarley | | Antonio Sausys | | Carrie Schneider | | John Schumacher | | Wendelin Scott | | Shaili Shafai | | Maria Shatlanova | | Peter Sterios | | Sue Stiles | | Maxine Tobias | | Lisa Walford | | Amy Weintraub | | Joan White | | Anat Zahor | | Kate Zuckerman | |

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Gitte Bechsgaard
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BIOGRAPHY: Gitte Bechsgaard

Gitte Bechsgaard, Ph. D., author with her colleague Gillian McCann, of her third book: Yoga and Alignment: From the Upanishads to B.K.S. Iyengar (2021), and founder of Vidya Institute International, Toronto (2002, https://vidyainstitute.ca/), has studied, taught and researched in the field of Yoga, Psychology and the Vedic Wisdom Traditions for almost 30 years, first making her mark with her 2011 Ph. D thesis on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, published as The Gift of Consciousness: Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (Cambridge Scholars Press).

Gitte is also a certified Level 3 Iyengar Yoga teacher (CIYT) who teaches throughout North America and Europe. Aside from her work in the field of Yoga and spirituality, she is also a registered psychotherapist (RP). She is a graduate from the Centre for Training in psychotherapy (CTP), Toronto. She has studied privately with her mentor Sri Krishan Mantriji in the areas of Sanskrit, Yoga philosophy, Jyotish and Contemplative practice. She has also been actively engaged in Yoga research in various hospital settings in Toronto for the last 18 years, in conjunction with York University. Her main area of interest is the dialogue between Eastern and Western approaches to the mind, health and healing.

List of Gitte’s Iyengar Sessions

Title:

Transformation through integrated practice: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Type:

Sat Brahma Mild

Length:

1.5 hour(s)

Description:

Practice is a lifelong endeavour. It is an inner pilgrimage of the soul.
Through practice we come to realize our inner potential for without polishing and cultivation the Self remains hidden from view.
Practice is a catalyst which brings embodied transformation to life.

Notes:

List of Gitte’s Open Weekend Sessions

Title:

Patanjali’s philosophy of Alignment & the Iyengar Method

Type:

[A] On The Mat / Asana Class

Level:

General Level

Length:

2.0 hour(s)

Description:

Do not forget the word align. It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, Self, and intelligence. B.K.S Iyengar.

In Iyengar Yoga posture practice (asana) and alignment are often associated with seeking integral balance and symmetry of form in the individual postures. Iyengar pioneered a radically new way of looking at alignment from the perspective of the body, and made asana the entry point to learn about the existence of the Abiding Self within.

The Method developed by Iyengar built on the teachings of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

During this workshop, you’ll learn about the ancient Sanskrit commentaries on the Yoga Sutras (Vyasa’s bhasyam) and how these ancient Wisdom teachings can enrich our understanding of Practice. We’ll take a deep dive into the specific sutras which hold the key to help you understand alignment in the Iyengar Method.

Notes:

This workshop will include:

  • Sutra recitation
  • Traditional Sanskrit Chants
  • Lecture and philosophical teachings

Title:

Dharma & Alignment: the Higher Law and the Four Goals of Life

Type:

[D] Off The Mat / Giving Back to the World

Level:

General Level

Length:

1.5 hour(s)

Description:

Alignment is a foundational concept in the Yoga Tradition and is related to the idea of Sacred Order (ṛta). In the Yogic paradigm, dharma is connected to an individual’s unique spiritual purpose. Concepts of dharma are intrinsically linked to living and practicing in a way that allows for individual flourishing.

The Classical Yoga Tradition, in looking at the life of a Yogi, developed the idea of the four goals of life (purusharthas) which are spiritual purpose (dharma), gaining a livelihood and material resources (artha), enjoying relationships and love (kama) and liberation (moksha). Within the sister-discipline of Jyotish (Vedic astrology) an individual’s horoscope is used to analyze the balance between these four life-goals and is meant to guide the individual through the phases of life.

Traditional systems such as Yoga contain a set of codes and higher principles to guide the Yoga practitioner, the connecting concept being that we should be in alignment with ṛta, dharma and higher law.

In this workshop we will be exploring the Vedic Concept of Dharma including these four life-goals and is meant to guide the practicing yogi through the various phases of life.  Yoga offers one of the clearest and most accessible pathways to connect to the Divine and provides step by step guidance in the journey towards higher consciousness.

Notes:

This workshop will include:

  • Lecture & philosophical teachings
  • Traditional Sanskrit Chants

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Gitte Bechsgaard
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