Optimal Health: Mental, Psychological & Spiritual Goals with Gary Kraftsow

Tomorrow, I’ll be pulling myself out of bed at the crack of dawn, make some coffee, and head over to my friend Olivia Esuabana’s house. We will then make a 3-hour road trip to Portland, Oregon to see Gary Kraftsow, who’s been there all week doing a workshop on Optimal Health from a Viniyoga perspective.

I’m not trained in the Viniyoga tradition, but I greatly appreciate Gary’s book Yoga for Wellness, not to mention TKV Desikachar’s The Heart of Yoga, where I saw pictures of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya’s for the first time, with whom–I was excited to find out– I share the same birthday.

I wanted to go see Gary after I read an article about him for my 500-hour teacher training titled Radical Healing as we discussed the pancha maya kosha model. After looking at his schedule for the next couple years, I realized that Portland would be the closest for me. So, two sleepy yoga girls will be on our way, cruising down and up Interstate 5 tomorrow, to see what Gary has to say to us about mental, psychological, and spiritual goals.

Myself, I’m most interested in hearing about facing death. In fact, it’s a big reason why I’m going. Death is inevitable, yet it’s not often talked about. Finding joy is not particularly a challenge for me these days. When I wake up in the morning safe and sound in warm bed with a roof over, and there’s hot running water, indoors plumbing, and toilet paper, life is awesome.

From the Shala Yoga of Portland website:

OPTIMAL HEALTH – The Viniyoga Perspective
with Gary Kraftsow

Saturday, July 31, 10:00am – 1:00pm & 2:30 – 5:30pm

Experience the methods to improve attention, focus, listening, and memory. Discover tools to increase self-confidence, self-esteem, tolerance, compassion, and discrimination. Discussion will include “spiritual” goals including finding joy, finding purpose, and facing death.