Marcus Veda

Marcus Veda

Rocket Yoga
London, UK

“It’s a matter of life and breath.”

Like many others, I came to yoga for the physical fix, but soon found the magic went deeper. With a degree in philosophy I’d spent most of my 20s exploring the good life as one half of the Loose Cannons band/DJs, remixing, recording and touring the world, living the dream.

Off-stage, I came to the mat through martial arts- enjoying the self-discipline and control of ninjutsu but moreover, the freedom and flow of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (which I have recently re-discovered.) The yoga first came as a way to recover from lingering injuries picked up along the way.

But the need to properly heal the body coincided with a sneaking desire for change in the mind. Maxing-out every studio intro-offer in London, and trying any style of yoga available, I finally landed on dynamic vinyasa and more specifically, the Ashtanga-inspired Rocket system, which satisfied an undying urge to fly.

Going on to teacher trainings with The Yoga People, David Swenson, David Kyle, and Jason Crandell, I also studied in Yin Yoga too, complementing the daily yang of London city-life with a deepening appreciation of meditation, stillness of mind and yoga beyond the asanas that originally got me hooked. In 2015 we co-founded the Dead Yogis Society, a karma yoga movement to wipe the gloss off the lips of #instayoga and return to the breath, sweat and rawness of the practice.

He has also co-written two books with Hannah Whittingham: on yogic philosophy, “Greed, Sex, Intention- Living like a yogi in the 21st Century” and postures in the age of social media, “How To Win at Yoga.” As well as running their own teacher trainings through The Good Life Yoga School in London.

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Friday, 09.07
10:00 • 1,5H
Rajastic Yoga

Rajas is the stimulating and active guna of yearning, physical experience and movement. “Rocket”, is the dynamic vinyasa system developed by Larry Schultz (because it takes you higher).

This workshop will focus on the synchronous ujjayi breath and yogasana sequence of Rocket. Specifically taking the beat of the drum  and moving with it, together as one in one continuous uplifting flow. The tempo of the specially mixed soundtrack is designed to sync in the breath, to a constant 4 Beats  in, 4 beats out, “locking-in” dharana (focus) with the moving meditation.  The Back arches, balances and inversions fired up by ujjayi pranayama will get you lifted.

Borne out  of traditional Ashtanga, Rocket breaks the hierarchy of postures in an  attempt to make the variety of the rich practice more accessible. Marcus will take you through the greatest hits of “Rocket”:  the trade mark transitions, inversions, backbends and playful vinyasas  threaded together with his signature soundtrack. Not “achieving” asanas but “feeling” them wherever you are. Up up and away.

Saturday, 10.07
10:00 • 2H
Sattvic Flow Down

Sattva is the inherently pure and illuminating guna of the mind and the cognitive senses.

In the middle of our bodies, literally dividing us in half, supporting the top, moving the bottom, are the hips- the physical and emotional centre. To find true balance we need to align the hips. They are at the base/foundation of our chakras/energy centres. As my teacher says, “If the hips are”out”, it’s all out”.

In this workshop we will move through a dynamic flow, specifically targeted at strengthening the full circumference of the socket, not abandoning the inside/outside edges, but paying extra attention to the rest: The front – chronically tight and overworked hip-flexors and quads- to the back- over-stretched and under-appreciated hamstrings; and the biggest of them all (loved but often lost)– the glutes. What should be the powerhouses of most of our movements on and off the mat, are now (through the widely acknowledged epidemic of “glute-amnesia”) largely found sitting around watching the supporting muscles struggling to do their work. The lazy teenagers of the modern western body, they are at the root of so many of the physical complaints we see today- from lower back pain, to hip tightness and weakness, radiating out to the knees and up the spine… We spend too much time in modern vinyasa yoga stretching, or worse, ignoring them, when we need to wake them up and strengthen … While sedentary lifestyles mean they are getting shorter and weaker every day, we gotta fire them up: As the great sage said, Use them or lose them.

The core also connects the breath to the hips, especially the frequently mentioned psoas- or “yoga muscle” and we will use the vinyasa- special connection of the breath to movement- to integrate the breathing muscles with the moving muscles and develop the awareness so that this integration can become the centre of a sattvic asana practice.

Sunday, 11.07
13:00 • 1,75H
Rocket Inversions & Arm Balances

How to get up, into and out of hand-balancing poses so that they become part of the flow in your Vinyasa instead of the place where it breaks down.

Handstands are about approaching challenges in a new way and seeing things from a different perspective.

The beauty is not just in the shapes we create but how they bring your concentration into sharp focus, controlling the wandering mind (citta vritti). In this way they really are about taking your practice to the next level- from asana to dharana on the eight-limbed path. We will explore how to come into them, how to come out of them, and how to reach a valid expression of the pose even if that is not the fullest version. Much of the confidence to access any inversion freely comes from playing around on your hands enough so that it becomes a more familiar place to be – not a place where we just freak out. So we will play and try to lose a few inhibitions on the way.

Funk master yogi George Clinton (nearly) said it right, “Still your mind and your ass will follow.” ….With some tips, tools, techniques and tricks, we can begin to unstick the sticky parts of your upside-down practice, intention intact.