Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Balance in times of crisis: Ayurvedic and Yogic self-care

Workshop Number: 
Jennifer Rioux
Who may register?: 
Open to All
Experiential Activities: 
only full time attenders (participants should attend all week)

Workshop participants will explore the ancient spiritual sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga as tools for maintaining balance during difficult times. These traditions use five-element theory and mindfulness practices, maximizing understanding of self, others and our environment to support us in remaining grounded and clear in times of challenge and change.

Workshop Description

In this workshop we will learn, discuss and practice self-care strategies that will help us continue being of service under challenging circumstances by maximizing our well-being on both individual and community levels. The commitment to be of service is noble and profound, yet so often we find ourselves drained and looking for inspiration to continue. The 5,000 year old spiritual sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy provide simple tools to promote self-awarness, enhance our relationships, and ground ourselves while maintaining clarity of purpose and an optimistic outlook in the face of injustice.

Ayurvedic healing and Yoga therapy begin from a foundation of self-love, self-care and self-compassion and offer us the framework of ethical practice through the yamas (external actions) and niyamas (internal actions). Ayurveda uses the concept of a constitutional baseline of health that is unique to each person. From this baseline, we all become imbalanced via diet, lifestyles, stress, relationships or toher circumstances. Ayurveda offer self-understanding through an exploration of how the five elements express themselves in our bodies and minds.

By understanding the five elements and the doshas (bioenergetic systems referred to as vata, pitta and kapha) and using simple tools of self-care, we can regain balance. In this workshop, we will lean tools and practices that help us understand our individual constitutions, the primary contributors to imbalance, and how simple practices can invigorate us and help us achieve optimal vitality and clarity of purpose. Though understanding our constitution/imbalance profile is a life-long endeavor, we will make a start in this workshop to achieve both immediate and long-term results that can support us in carrying out our dharma - or life's purpose - without losing inner peace.

We will be engaging in a variety of meditations and movement exercises, as well as some writing and reflection.

Please bring a notebok, writing utensil, comfortable clothing, a yoga mat/props you need and an open mind.

It would be best if meals are light before morning practice and the less caffeine ingested the better.

If you have movement limitations, efforts will be made to modify yoga poses to your abilities.

Please bring your own yoga mat. I will be flying in and cannot bring extra mats or props for attendees.

No preparatory reading is necessary.  We will begin at the beginning and go at a comfortable pace for the group.

Leader Experience

I have lead dozens of workshops throughout my career in diverse settings at both large and small conferences.  I have typically worked with between 10-30 people at a time and prefer a small group dynamic where space can be created for partner work and learning in a communal context. I have previously offered workshops at yoga studios, medical schools, community centers, academic conferences and spiritual gatherings.