Led by Krista Katrovas, B.A., M.F.A., E RYT, HSC
The Prague Summer Program assumes a dynamic relation between the mind and body, that is, between the psychological and physiological, and therefore between the imagination and brain chemistry, as the latter may be affected by expertly guided physical movement and meditation.
Since Krista Katrovas joined the PSP team in 2009, yoga and shamanism have been important features of the program. As an expert yogini who is trained extensively in the numerous major yoga schools and styles all over the U.S. and in India, Krista accommodates all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and, trained as a writer herself, is particularly skilled in crafting yoga classes geared towards writers´ physical and spiritual needs. As a shaman practitioner and therapist, she likewise seeks to accommodate all levels of experience.
Krista offers Shamanic Yoga and Shamanic Counseling through the PSP for the writers accepted into the program. In addition, she offers the opportunity for individuals to attend the month-long program and practice Shamanic Yoga exclusively, whether they participate in the writing workshops and other literary events or not.
The cost for attending the PSP exclusively for Shamanic Yoga is $2,300; this includes housing in Hotel Inos for the four weeks of the PSP, a hearty breakfast seven days a week, a travel pass for all forms of municipal transportation, and invigorating literary and other cultural walking tours of Prague. In addition, yogis and yoginis are invited to attend all literary readings and other program-sponsored cultural events.
The imagination is the origin of dreams, art, and other distortions, divine as well as banal, of “reality.” It is also our primary portal onto the truth of who we are. All ancient wisdom centers on acceptance of there being only the thinnest membrane between what is, and what is imagined. Shamanism reaches back, past the modern binary of “real” and “not real,” past clinical distinctions regarding the boundaries of normalcy, to a time when imagination was not unreality, but another reality. It is this other reality, a place of self-revelation and healing, that we seek to access and occupy by “journeying” to locations in all of us, places where spirit animals and spirit teachers reside and exist to guide us.
Yoga is, arguably, the oldest holistic health-maintenance regime in the world. Its practice may range from the gentlest guided movements to contortionist exhibitions of athleticism. At its best, it honors each body’s limits, and optimizes healthy movement, breathing, and meditation within those limits.
We will fuse the ancient practices of shamanism and yoga. Each session will begin with a shamanic journey to the lower and upper realms followed by a yoga practice that honors each individual’s relative strength, endurance, and flexibility. Each practice will be noncompetitive, and will center exclusively on healing the mind, body, and spirit.
Neither shamanism nor yoga exists to replace or augment other belief systems, and, together, humbly celebrate all positive manifestations of faith and spirituality.
Harner Shamanic Counseling (HSC) is a spiritual rather than a psychological system, and therefore it is not necessary for the HSC counselor to be a clinical psychologist or to have been trained in any other related scientific/humanistic field. It is, however, essential that the counselor be an experienced practitioner of practical shamanism and a devoted follower of the Harner technique. Most importantly, the counselor must be a wise, empathetic, compassionate individual.
The shamanic system recognizes two conscious states, the ordinary state of consciousness (OSC) and the non-ordinary state of consciousness (NOSC); the latter is also referred to as the shamanic state of consciousness. The OSC is self-explanatory. The NOSC involves those states in which the shaman “journeys” to levels of awareness from which s/he may retrieve information regarding healing.
There are three “worlds,” or realms of awareness within the NSOC: the upper, middle, and lower. The middle world is akin, or at least most resembles and seems connected to, what we recognize as “the world.” The upper and lower worlds are populated by compassionate spirits, helpful beings, some animal-seeming, some human-seeming. It is to these realms that the client will be guided to find her/his/their teachers.
These events are ceremonial; live drumming will accompany the shaman practitioner’s verbal guidance of participants, through an altered state of consciousness, into the upper and lower realms where they may interact with the spirit world. The goal: internal and external harmony and balance.
What to bring:
–a journal and writing instrument
–eye pillow or bandana
–favorite pillow and/or blanket
(Reading materials will be disseminated)
All group sessions of yoga and shamanism are free to PSP students.
Private yoga and shamanic “journeying” sessions are priced as follows:
Yoga: 300 CZK per fifty minutes (approx. $13)
Shamanic counseling: 500 crowns per fifty minutes (approx. $23)