A number of Turkey's top expat yogis will be leading a variety of yoga and holistic therapy programs over the next month that may just catch your fancy and will conveniently be offered in English
The practice of yoga has been trending in Turkey big-time over the past decade, but a lesser-known fact is that behind this gaining popularity are a number of well-loved yoga practitioners that also happen to be foreigners residing long-term in Turkey. Many have made an influential mark on the popular practice and impressive centers that have been popping up since the millennium and are considered to be some of the leading trainers in Turkey. Here is an upcoming schedule for yoga events offered by expats in Istanbul.
Chris Chavez Master Practice Intensive Nov. 16-20
Chris Chavez is a renowned global yoga teacher based in Istanbul; however he also travels the world leading yoga classes and workshops. Originally from New Mexico, Chris spent years in Los Angeles honing his practice that he now shares with his die-hard Istanbul fans as a co-owner of Cihangir Yoga. Doubling as a musician you may catch him busting out his guitar in class. Chris is the ultimate teacher's teacher and while you can catch him leading classes open to all levels at Cihangir Yoga's Caddebostan location, such as on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. or his advanced class at the Istinye branch on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
From Wednesday, Nov. 16 to Sunday Nov. 20, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Chris will be guiding a very special "Master Intensive," in which he will help advanced level students to explore new level of poses and sequences. Chris has transformed many Istanbullu yoga students into skilled teachers, which he does in his "200 Hour: The Chris Chavez Path To Teaching," a Yoga Alliance certification program spread out over six intensive long-weekend sessions held once every two months.
Learn Breath Meditation with David Cornwell Nov. 26-27
David Cornwell is an Irish expat and one of the founding members of Cihangir Yoga. Since then, with his wife Zeynep Aksoy, who also happens to be a pioneering yoga teacher in Turkey, and one of the founders, along with Andrew Ziont, of Yoga Şala, Turkey's first official yoga center, the dynamic duo have started up Advayta Yoga, an alternative yoga organization in which no profit is gained from the expert teachers on board that offer extended Yoga Alliance teacher trainings.
Over the weekend of Nov. 26-27, David Cornwell will be holding a two-day breathing meditation workshop at Cihangir Yoga's Caddebostan location, aptly named Cihangir Yoga Cadde. This two and a half hour course is open to all, however participants are required to attend both sessions held between 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Students will learn traditional breathing meditation that has been practiced for over 2,000 years, framed within the context of contemporary scientific research on the effects of meditation on the body and mind, and the concept of somatic healing. This training will provide the tools to establish a daily meditation practice of breath meditation that could profoundly change your life.
Exploring the Power of Yoga with Godfrey Deveroux Nov. 18-23
Godfrey Deveroux is an esteemed yoga practitioner, having studied directly with B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, B.N.S Iyengar of Mysore and Zen Master Soten Genpo Roshi, and is also the author of many popular books and videos on the practice. He is also the founder of the Tuscany-based retreat and education center Dynamic Yoga and holds training courses in several European cities and will be coming to Cihangir Yoga from Nov. 18-23 to lead a seven-course workshop that will explore yoga postures as pranayama (breathing regulation) and meditation, going upside down and doing backbends as well as tantric meditation.
Alexis Gulliver's YogaUni goes to İzmİr on Nov. 19
Alexis Gulliver, who originally hails from Michigan yet has been in Istanbul teaching yoga for a good decade now, is also the founder of YogaUni, an online platform for yoga and pilates that health enthusiasts can practice from home. Alexis was one of the first yoga teachers in Turkey and has contributed greatly to the practice becoming such a trend. While Alexis also offers regular classes at Yoga Şala in Etiler at 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights, as well as occasional master classes on Saturdays, she will be joining her YogaUni crew at Zeniva Hotel in Izmir's popular Alsancak neighborhood on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a full schedule of activities introducing various yoga and nutritional practices for the website's fans.
Family Constellation and Training with Svagito Dec. 2-11
Systematic Family Therapy aka Family Constellation is a method that helps people find peace and reconciliation with past members of their family or anyone with whom they are closely related. While there are many styles to this treatment in layman's terms, an individual who is having their constellation read is tested in a sense by other participants who take on the role of individuals from that person's past in order to better understand their traumas.
Svagito Liebermeister holds a degree in psychology from Munich University and has over 30 years practical experience as a therapist and penned the books "The Roots of Love. A Guide to Family Constellation" and "The Zen Way of Counseling- a meditative approach to working with people" and therefore is the ultimate teacher to provide this very special Family Constellation workshop to be held at Cihangir Yoga. Just some of the topics to be covered include, love and order in a family system, resolving family guilt, the dynamic between victims and perpetrators, the difference between "blind love" and "conscious love," the balance of giving and taking and gaining strength as a man or woman. Held daily from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. as well as night sessions until 10 p.m., for beginners, the Training Level 1 Program will take place from Dec. 5-11.
French yoga traıner Stephanie Sayegh at MAC Fit
French expat Stephanie Sayegh, a former heart forgery nurse who then became a yoga, pilates and pranayama instructor is another highly influential figure in Turkey's yoga world. She is the founder of the Mind Body Festival, a three-day festival held in Istanbul and Bodrum that brings together practitioners of a wide variety of holistic practices and the students that want to learn them. You can catch her teaching one of her classes in Istanbul at Turkey's prestigious MAC (Mars Athletic Club) gym.
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