Here is a selection of the most popular topics for workshops, retreats and teacher trainings
Each workshop can last between 3 - 4 hours depending on your preference
New Workshop Topics
Near Enemies to the Truth
What are ‘near enemies to the truth’? They are slightly distorted versions of spiritual teachings—statements that are close to a profound and subtle truth, but are distorted just enough to make a big difference over time, such as “you create your own reality,” or “everything happens for a reason.” Understanding the Near Enemies to the Truth, and why they are near enemies and not the truth itself, is hugely important for any spiritual seeker who wants to get past the beginner stages and into the deep (and deeply fulfilling) spiritual work. While a Near Enemy can be a Temporary Ally for a beginner, as the stakes get higher in spiritual practice, there is no such thing as ‘close enough’ anymore, and your comforting affirmations must be sacrificed on the altar of truth, or else your spiritual progress stalls. In this workshop, we will go deep into the teachings that have become distorted into cliches and bumper-sticker slogans.
Understanding energy leaks; or, Seven Ways to keep your Mojo
In the yoga tradition we encounter a fascinating metaphor: it is said that the milk of a lioness is so potent that no container can hold it except for pure gold. If the golden vessel has impurities, the milk will eat through the vessel like acid at those points, and drain away. In the same way, if the practitioner has too many 'energy leaks' then the spiritual energy (shakti) that is generated through yogic practice will simply leak away again. Once you know what the main energy leaks are, you can set about plugging them. If you manage to plug most of them, you will experience something astonishing: the very same yogic practices you've been doing all along now seem to generate much more power, energy, prāṇa. In fact, you're not generating more energy, you're just not leaking it away anymore! Systematically addressing these 'leaks' shifts the playing field of spiritual practice radically. Of course, it takes time to address them — but it's time and effort well-spent, that repays its investment more generously than you might imagine.
Morality and Ethics
How do prominent yoga teachers with decades of practice behind them lose their heads, violate the principle of consent, and fall from grace so dramatically? is there something about yoga itself that generates their delusions of grandeur? or is it unresolved psychological 'baggage' surfacing at an inopportune moment? Furthermore, how can so many teachers effectively teach the Yamas and Niyamas -- the yogic codes of conduct and ethical guidelines -- without following some of them in their own lives? These are hugely important questions as we enter into a new era of modern yoga and seek to create containers for teaching and practice that protect people from harm rather than protect charismatic harmers. Join us for this sure-to-be-controversial workshop.
The rise of the spiritual movement called Tantra was accompanied by (and indeed fueled) an unprecedented rise in the worship of goddesses and female spirits in ancient India. In this workshop, we explore the role of the Divine Feminine in Tantrik Yoga (the only form of yoga in which it has a role), and learn why these goddess archetypes are so important to the Tantrik tradition. At the end of this dynamic workshop, you will finally understand what the fierce and sweet goddesses represent, why they are depicted as they are, and what those symbolic images have to do with your spiritual practice.
What is Awakening? Actualize the Goal of Yoga
All the ancient masters of yoga without exception say that this practice has a purpose: full awakening to our real nature and radical freedom from all mind-created suffering. So why is there so little discussion of that goal and how we can realistically attain it? This provocative workshop will present powerful teachings from the yoga traditions that clarify the nature of the path, the goal, and the obstacles along the way. When these become clear, our road suddenly seems shorter, we see that we have what it takes to walk it, and our whole life in energized by that conviction. Join us for uncensored straight talk about the ups, downs, and apparent shadows of the journey. Lecture, Q&A, and meditation.
What is Yoga? The Ancient and Modern Practices
Yoga is a living tradition arising from the ancient meditative disciplines of India, yet has forgotten much of its own history. There is a new wave of work by scholars who are also practitioners whose goals are to reintegrate some of what has been forgotten, clarify the roots of many ideas and practices that are around today, and chart clearly the varied landscape of Indian spiritual thought. This is not simply a retrospective exercise but is done with a view to how these practices can contribute to our lives today. This workshop, packed with "aha" moments, will help you understand where yoga came from and where it's going.
Tantra Illuminated: The Original Teachings and Practices of the Ancient Tradition
Though Tantrik philosophy was deeply influential on all the Indian religions, especially the spiritual path of Yoga, "Tantra" is a much-misunderstood concept today. Going back to the original sources, we discover that the roots of this tradition possess some of the most effective teachings and technologies for human transformation, and these offerings are particularly relevant for our time. As teachers and practitioners of yoga, these powerful teachings and practices can creates shifts and openings on the deepest levels of our being, clarify the sources of suffering and bliss in our lives, and leading us to illuminating insights that more fully connect us with our true nature.
Seven Steps to Walk the Path of Yoga
There are so many yoga traditions, spiritual teachings, and forms of practice that it can be overwhelming. How to make sense of it all? Drawing on 25 years of experience and study, this workshop presents the key essential features that make the journey of yoga successful and joyous. The seven stages of the path and the seven indispensable practices will be clearly presented, with immediately actionable information. This engaging and surprisingly entertaining workshop will inspire your spiritual journey like no other.
Yoga and Tantrik Philosophy
The Story of Yoga (HISTORY OF YOGA TRADITIONS)
Note: This workshop can be broken down into 4 parts of approximately 3 hours each.
Explore the overarching themes in the 2,500 year history of the integrative psycho-physical discipline of self-actualization known as yoga. Discover which practices are consistently associated with the word yoga over the millennia, the various definitions given to the word in the original Sanskrit sources, and most importantly of all, what all forms of yoga have in common.
Patañjali Exposed - From Notoriety to Obscurity and Back Again
Despite the fact that the Yoga-sūtra is constantly cited in modern yoga teaching, only a tiny number of modern yogis can correctly explain Patañjali's main ideas and contributions. Even his definitions of yoga and samādhi are not correctly understood in the modern yoga world. This workshop, based on a solid year of intensive research on Patañjali's teachings, will bring clarity to the muddied waters of classical Yogaphilosophy. Hareesh's findings on this topic have been accepted for a forthcoming publication.
Tantric Roots of Modern Yoga
The purpose of this workshop is to explore which practices of 20th-century yoga derive from classical Tantric Yoga, which derive from Hatha-yoga, and which have a modern provenance. We will also explore how many forms of modern practice become ineffective by combining incompatible elements of both View and Practice, and how to resolve those incompatibilities to craft a much more powerful and effective practice that bears fruit much more rapidly.
Lost in Translation -- The Massive Implications of How We Translate the word 'Yoga'
The idea that yoga means 'union' is frequently parroted, despite the fact that this is not its primary meaning in many of our key texts, including the Yoga-sūtra. In this workshop, Hareesh presents a passionate argument that translating yoga as 'integration', in accordance with the teachings of the Tantrik tradition, makes all the difference in terms of how we approach our practice. We will explore how the practice-paradigm of integration can be used in all contexts, from physical āsana to healing trauma to realizing our deepest nature.
A Wellspring of Power: The Practice of Yoga in the Tantric Mode
Empower your practice of Yoga by exploring what practice in a Tantric mode means, and why it accelerates the effectiveness of yoga on all levels. Explore the influence of Tantrism on modern yoga, and the historical connection between the two. Discover what the term "yoga" really means in the original Sanskrit texts, and how Tantrism refined the nature of yoga for the modern age. Explore practice on a subtle level, analyzing the challenges that arise in our practice and how they can be overcome.
The Secret Science of Sound and Mantra: How mantra-practice can invite health, prosperity and happiness.
American yogis are increasingly awake to the joy and power of kīrtan, or singing Sanskrit mantras. In this new workshop, you will learn from a Sanskrit scholar about the six kinds of mantras and how to use them to cleanse the mind, open the subtle centers, and create greater ease and flow in your life. Mantra practice has a unique power to increase the "juiciness" of life! Since it can only be learned from a qualified scholar-practitioner, join us for this rare offering.
Tantrik Yoga's Greatest Contribution -- The Art and Science of Micro-Meditations
This workshop draws on the powerful teachings of the Vijñāna-bhairava-tantra, a seminal text of Tantrik Yoga that shows us how meditation and awareness cultivation need not be a form of escapism that removes us from 'the real world', but rather can profound enhance our quality of life in the day-to-day. One of the primary tools that this Tantrik scripture offers is that of 'micro-meditations'--five or ten-minute awareness cultivation techniques that can be done anytime, anywhere. When you fill your life with these micro-meditations, it creates a depth of experience and enhancement of meaning that is virtually impossible to imagine until you experience it for yourself.
Why the Chakras, Nādīs and Bindus Matter in your Practice
On the subject of the chakras, misunderstandings and woolly thinking are rife. Hareesh's blog on this subject is his most popular writing to date, receiving nearly 200,000 views, demonstrating the enormous interest in this topic. This workshop, by popular demand, will seek to set the record straight, explaining clearly the traditional teachings on the yogic subtle body, also known as the energy body. A Tantrik scholar is the ideal person to teach on this topic, since the systemization of the subtle body and the mapping of the chakras originated within Tantrik Yoga.
yoga in everyday life
Awakened relationship: A practical spiritual guide to the challenge of human relating
The arena of close relationships is often where we struggle most in life. We need a new paradigm, a value set that brings clarity to the ways we relate, coupled with modes of compassionate communication that help us understand each other. This groundbreaking workshop draws on key teachings of the original Tantrik tradition that provide the clarity so needed in this area of life. Previous participants in this workshop describe it as "veils of confusion being torn away" and have felt empowered and inspired to relate to others from the place of their deepest truth.
Letting Life Move through You: how a Yogi makes a difference to the world
Some have argued that yoga, especially in its meditative aspects, has little to do with the socio-political challenges of the modern world, especially the concerns of social justice. After all, how can a discipline developed in preindustrial India help us to navigate the rapidly changing modern landscape? Simple: by helping us see through our conditioned 'stories' about reality and access our deepest inner intuition. When we have access to that prajñā, we can allow life-energy to move through us and show us where and how we can most be of service to the world around us.
Yoga as Integration -- marrying spiritual practice to worldly life
Popularly, it's said that yoga means 'union'. But this definition only applies in religious/theistic contexts. In this workshop, Hareesh makes a compelling argument for defining yoga as 'integration', and explains why defining it as such has such a powerful impact on practice. The direction in which you aim your practice makes all the difference in the world: in this new workshop, we'll explore how to aim your practice towards becoming internally undivided and whole.