Rasa Sadhana Workshop
Led by: Joy Radish
From August 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm until August 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm at Gowanus
The Sanskrit word rasa translates to “juice”, “essence” “taste” and “bliss.” First written about in approximately 200 B.C. in a treatise on art and aesthetics, rasa theory presents us with 9 distinct human “moods” and somatic states that range from absolute disgust to the most blissful states of peace and love. According to tantric theory, a healthy person is able to experience or invoke all 9 rasas depending on what circumstances call for. Yet many of us tend to feel that our range of emotional experience is limited to a few familiar states. Many of us have the tendency to over identify with certain emotions, assuming that they are a fixed part of the personality rather than transient experiences. Rasa Sadhana (intentional practice of rasas) offers an approach that helps us disengage from addictive or toxic emotional states while increasing more agreeable rasas through embodied and experiential techniques. Through Rasa Sadhana we can learn to retrain our neuropathways, reactive behaviors, and emotional responses so that we may ultimately feel more peace, love and connection.
The first part of this workshop will introduce Rasa Theory through an overview of the historical development of art, emotion, and spirituality in India. This non-western approach will offer an alternative paradigm for understanding the relationship between mind, body, and emotions, as well as an of the impact of the environment on emotional health. Participants will be introduced to techniques call upon the senses and physical body to affect changes in the mental and emotional field.
Next, participants will be guided through an embodied exploration of the 9 rasas with time to experience and “taste” each one. With a clear understanding of their emotional terrain through this model, participants will start to identify the rasas they would like to they would like to experience more of, or relate to with more ease. We will employ methods derived form drama therapy, yogic mudras (hand gestures), writing exercises, tantric meditation, and art making in for this process.
Finally, we will dive into Rasa Sadhana, learning specific practices intended to loosen the grip of toxic emotional states and simultaneously increase the rasas that aid in our healing. We will learn how to also sustain the rasas of calmness, love, joyfulness and wonder through subtle practice. We will work directly with the tanmantras, or 5 senses to create shifts in the body-mind. We will cover everything from the use of mantra, nutrition, daily routine, physical yoga practice, and therapeutic arts as directly applied to each rasa. Participants will be then be able to set up a home practice derived from the tools provided in the workshop.
The facilitator will schedule a follow up 20 minute phone call approximately 1 month after the workshop to discuss how the rasas practice is going/unfolding.
$35 early bird / $45 day of