notes on Shokuchi's Yoga Teaching

You can learn more about Shokuchi here.

In this retreat Shokuchi is offering Cultivating the BodyMind of Tranquillity, Restorative Yoga, Prāṇayāma, and yogāsana class in the Donald Moyer Yoga tradition.

Cultivating the BodyMind of Tranquillity includes Sūryanamaskāra (Sun Salutes–Shokuchi's version), Prāṇāyāma (see below), Ṡamatha practice (traditional Buddhist concentration practice developing tranquillity), and Ṡavāsana (relaxed stillness).

Restorative Yoga

“The development of these [restorative yoga] poses is credited to B.K.S. Iyengar, of Pune, India…I often refer to restorative yoga poses as ‘active relaxation’. By supporting the body with props, we alternately stimulate and relax. Some poses have an overall benefit. Others target an individual part, such as the lungs or heart. All create specific physiological responses which are beneficial to health and reduces the effects of stress-related disease.” Judith Lasater in Relax and Renew.


“Prāṇa is the energy permeating the universe at all levels. It is physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, spiritual and cosmic energy. All vibrating energies are prāṇa. All physical energies such as heat, light, gravity magnetism and electricity are also prāṇa. It is the hidden or potential energy in all beings, released to the fullest extent in times of danger. It is the prime mover of all activity. It is energy which creates, protects and destroys. Vigour, power, vitality, life and spirit are all forms of prāṇa.

Prāṇayāma is an art and has techniques to make the respiratory organs to move and expand intentionally, rhythmically and intensively….This disciplined breathing helps the mind to concentrate,,, the practice of prāṅayāma regulates the flow of prāṇa throughout the body….” BKS Iyengar in Light on Prāṇayāma

In this retreat, Shokuchi will introduce prāṅayāma gently through awareness of the natural process of breathing through a felt sense of the physical movements associated with breathing. Basic prāṇayāma practices will then be explored.

Donald Moyer Yoga

Donald Moyer was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1939. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Cornell University in 1959, and received an Honours B.A. in English Language and Literature from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1962. He worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst in London during the 1960’s. In 1971, he took his first yoga class with Penny Nield-Smith at the Dance Center in Floral Street, just around the corner from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

In 1974, Donald moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where, with the help and support of Maureen Carruthers, he began teaching yoga. In January 1976, he studied for the first time with B.K.S. Iyengar as a part of a group of ten or twelve students at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. He returned to Pune frequently between 1976 and 1988.

At the end of 1976, Donald moved to San Francisco to continue his studies at the Institute for Yoga Teacher Education (now the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco). Before he graduated he was invited to join the faculty. In 1978, he founded The Yoga Room in Berkeley, California. Donald wrote the “Asana” column for Yoga Journal in 1987, 1989, and 1992. His books include Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body (2006) and Yoga for Healthy Feet: Practice from the Ground Up (2016), both published by Shambhala Publications. He was co-publisher at Rodmell Press from 1988 to 2016.