May 7, 2012
Joyful Ease: Your Own True Body

Patricia Sullivan and Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts will be leading two Tassajara retreats this summer. Join them in June or August to awaken a sense of fully embodied joy and ease through yoga asana, breath, and Zen meditation.

“Going deep into the mountains of Tassajara, surrounded by the beauty and sounds of nature, encountering ourselves and others in the practice of yoga and Zen is a great joy,” Green Gulch Farm Abbess Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts has said of her experience of the annual Tassajara retreat she leads with longtime yoga teacher Patricia Sullivan.

The two practices of yoga and Zen resonate fully and yet are clearly distinct. Since Patricia and Linda practice both, and have known each other and worked together for many years, they have an intuitive ease and respect for each other’s way.

Patrica finds herself struck “again and again by Linda’s use of stories to illustrate aspects of practice in a way that opens my heart anew to joyful ease, courage, compassion and wisdom.”

Of late, Patricia refers to her approach as teaching from a perspective of the yoga before the yoga, beginning the asana classes with “pre-yoga” sequences of simple refined movements to re-create lost stability and fluidity. This work, she says, is both corrective and preventative. With greater symmetry of function, our natural ease and spaciousness in the body and mind are restored.  Her own experience with injury, frustration through long periods of pain, and rediscovery of the joy that rests within guide her offerings.

“It’s not just that we want a healthy body,” Patricia says. “We want a sensitive body. We use the asanas to wake students up to what the body is capable of and to where they might need to be more steady and where they might need to be more flexible. These qualities are also nurtured in the heart and mind when we widen our intention to include that aspect of practice. We can become intimately sensitive to the web of connections between all layers of our existence. This is the ease and joy of your own true body.”