What is Lîla Yoga®?
“What leads to contentment in life? How do we cultivate compassion? What are the sources of our motivations?”
“Learning the art of open attention, Lila Yoga provides a complete holistic approach to living in a healthy, balanced body/mind. Free from judgment, we practice asanas, pranayama, hiking, chanting, quiet-present-time, and meditation to reveal our tenancies and provide an opportunity for noticing habits & states of being (mental & physical). Without analyzing our thoughts or feelings, we observe our self and learn skills in compassionate living and courageous clear strength.”
“Yoga is the science of human living in clarity within the mind, body. When this kind of union is present in our lives we are in a state of yoga and Eternal wisdom, peace, patience and joy are revealed to us. Influenced by Jiddu Krishnamurti’s philosophy and Krishnamacharya’s teachings, Erica Kaufman instigated a movement of practice and research called Lila Yoga®–a traditional practice of Hatha (physical), Raja (physiological & philosophical), Bhakti (devotional) yoga and Lila (Divine Play). Through postures, breath work, mindfulness, meditation, teachings, silence, observation, chants and devotions, Lila Yoga explores the possibility of living in brilliant ease by rejuvenating Self-trust/love, awakening energy within our body, and uniting this with universal currents of energy around us. ”
“Rather than mimicking the shape of a posture, Lila Yoga® focuses on clarifying the direction and intensity of these pathways. The result is deeply engaged and focused yoga postures.”
“Lila Yoga® is a method of practice that balances discipline and curiosity while inspiring strength and creativity. Using the body as a tool to understand the mind, Lila Yoga® is a philosophy in motion—a meditation in motion.”
Lîla Yoga® focuses on…
- the power of the mind
- internal and external energy patterns
- quality & depth of involvement
- clarity within the moment
- living with more agility and grace
- trusting the intuitive
How I came to Yoga?
“I am thankful for being introduced to the great science of yoga at age 9 and thankful for being a personality that was receptive to the concepts and philosophies. When I think of those early years, I think of my mother/my Teacher–and her unwavering patience in teaching me with love and persistence.
Influenced by Krishnamacharya’s teachings and Krishna Murti’s philosophies, I was brought into this beautiful lineage of yoga. When I think of yoga, I think of life. Through my life with yoga, I began to refine my awareness, my choices. I experienced moments of yoga–true integration beyond the limited body/mind. These moments were so potent that I felt compelled to practice more–to learn more. By age 14 I was practicing 3-5 times a week with my meditation teacher Dr Clayton McCracken.
As I continued to practice and sensitize, I felt a strong awareness of energy within me and around me yielding complete connectivity. This was the beginnings of Lila Yoga®. Lila Yoga® explores the possibility of living in brilliant ease by rejuvenating Self-trust, awakening energy pathways within the body, and uniting them with the currents of energy around us. Using the body as a tool to understand the mind, Lila Yoga® is a philosophy in motion—a meditation in motion.” –Erica Kaufman
Bio: Erica Kaufman, MFA, E-RYT500+
Erica is a dancer, choreographer, yogini, and a Contact Improviser.
- Krishnamacharya’s teachings and studies at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India
- Krishnamurti’s philosophy and studies at Krishnamurti Foundation
- Florence Kaufman, her yogacharya mother who introduced her to yoga
- Dr Clayton McCracken, meditation teacher
- Founder of Lila Yoga®
- Holds the Highest Level of Registry with Yoga Alliance
- Practicing since 1975, teaching since 1984 since
- Yoga Journal noted Erica’s Lîla Yoga classes with its signature Karma Credit.
- Shambhala Mountain Center faculty since 2005 —offering annual Lila Yoga Retreats
- formal studies in Body Mind Centering, Contemplative Dance, Authentic Movement, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Mindfulness Living, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique.
- Teaching Contact Improvisation since 1989
- In 2008 worked with Nancy Stark Smith to coordinate CI36 — the international, once a decade, celebration commemorating the inception of Contact Improvisation.
- India (2-3 months a year–teaching in Chennai, Bangalore, Goa and Rishikesh) USA, Europe, and Israel teaching seminars on Creativity, Improvisation, Movement & Reconciliation, Mindfulness, Dance, Contact Improvisation and Lila Yoga
- Pennsylvania State University
- Shambhala Mountain Center in the Colorado Rockies
- Lila Yoga Studios
- Conservatory at Point Park College
- Carnegie Institute
- University of Denver
- Visiting Professor: University of Marburg in Germany (visiting artist Fall ‘05)
- Guest Artist: Bewegungs-art in Freibrug
- Juniata College
Fun Fact: Since 2006, she has taught Lila Yoga, in its basic form, to Pennsylvania Deputies Sheriffs as part of their physical conditioning program.
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