Brilliance through yoga: Vail Vitality Center offers 3-part series | VailDaily.com

Brilliance through yoga: Vail Vitality Center offers 3-part series

Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily

VAIL — When you think about yoga, what comes to mind? Meditation and soothing music? A series of poses with names such as "downward dog," "warrior one" and "triangle"? Perhaps, but yoga has many different forms — and purposes.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Vail Vitality Center is hosting a special event with Boulder-based De West designed to help participants align internally and remove obstacles limiting the ability to live your best life.

'Body Work'

Living Your Brilliance — Therapeutic Yoga for Everybody with De West is a three-part series. Certified yoga therapist and educator De West will lead the series. It doesn't look like your typical yoga, West explained.

"It's very different than what traditional yoga does," West said. "I approach it much more like body work or physical therapy."

For those who are familiar with the various yoga disciplines, West said that it's like restorative yoga or yin yoga, but more iyingar yoga, which aligns the body, mind and breath. Though it may be difficult to describe, the purpose of the workshop is clear: West helps attendees remove obstacles or blocks that keep them from being their best selves.

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By working through the different kosas (kosa is a Sanskrit word that refers to a "sheath" or layer of the self) — the physical body, the energy body, the mental body, the mind body and the bliss body — West said that you can look at different things that block the different layers of being. Using elements such as journaling, asana, breathing and a little bit of mantra, West gives participants tools to work on these obstacles that prevent them from being their most brilliant selves.

Focusing on Self

Each session will focus on a different aspect of self, focusing on poses and sequences that address each layer, uncovering inner brilliance. West said that they are "stand alone" sessions, but they work well together. As these are group sessions, West also explained that she will adjust each class to the participants, discovering what each needs and teaching in the moment.

The sessions move through various postures as well as address breathing. And though it may look as though you're simply resting with your feet on a bolster, the practice is internal. West describes working with the mind and body, letting your body go numb, closing down the highway of veins and nerves, then reopening them.

"It's not what it looks like on the outside," West said. "It's what it feels like on the inside."

The techniques and practice style that West espouses seems to resonate with students who have participated in prior workshops.

"Four months later, I'm still digesting the powerful lessons De offered in this class," said Rachel Zurer, who participated in a similar series in Boulder. "Part of the magic came just from committing time, energy and money to making space for self-care those four weekends in a row; part of it came from the group of women I was able to connect with and a large part from De's authentic, warm, intuitive teaching style."

These weekend sessions are meant for all level of yoga practitioners, from complete beginners to advanced yogis.

"We're trying to break habitual patterns and those patterns might even be in the yoga practice," West said. "It works for practitioners as well as those who have never done yoga. If you do have a practice, come with an open mind to experience something slightly different."

If you go …

What: Living Your Brilliance — Therapeutic Yoga for Everybody with De West

Where: Vail Vitality Center.

When: Saturday, Aug. 26, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 27, from 9 to 11 a.m.

Cost: $45 per session or $120 for the three-session series.

More information: To register, call 970-476-7960 or visit http://www.vailvitalitycenter.com.

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