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Vajra Yoga - A Mahasiddha Reunion: Devotion, Wisdom, and Taras’ Magic

May 09 - May 16, 2022

Dr. Robert Svoboda

Richard Freeman

Mary Taylor

Krishna Das

Nina Rao

Michele Loew

Robert A.F. Thurman

Don't miss your chance to join an all-star team of teachers and practitioners of Indic yogic sciences for a weeklong Vajrayoga study and practice intensive, "A Mahasiddha Reunion: Devotion, Wisdom, and Taras' Magic" May 9-16 at Menla or online. Space is very limited for the in-person option, so sign up now for this amazing opportunity to study and practice with some of the best minds and hearts in the field!This stand-alone hybrid Vajrayoga intensive explores the so-far little-known common origins and philosophical and practical relationships between Tantric Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and Hathayoga. You will leave this retreat physically energized, personally inspired, and connected with a growing community of students who are looking to go deeper in their yogic studies and practices.For all morning sessions, the Vajrayoga/Hathayoga practice stream will be navigated by expert yogi/nis, Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor, and Michele Loew, as they cover a broad spectrum of yogic practices that are most beneficial when practiced together. Through movements strung together on the thread of the breath, we will bring the brilliant core of the central axis out through the forms of the postures, turning them into mudras of feeling and expression so that our practice is an ever-deepening source of inspiration.For the afternoon teachings, Robert Thurman and Robert Svoboda will lead lively discussions presenting the vast and amazing teachings of some notable Indian mahasiddha adepts. The first westerner ever to graduate from a college of Ayurveda and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India, Robert Svoboda will present some of the main teachings of the extraordinary Indian Aghori, Vimalananda, with whom he spent many years studying in the 70s and 80s. Robert Thurman will share teachings from the famous Indian master Vimalakirti (whose famous sutra Thurman translated himself) and the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa, relating them to Svoboda's presentations and giving special emphasis to the female Buddha Tara.Our evening sessions will consist of riveting all-faculty discussions on the Vimalakirti Sutra, Bhagavat Gita, and other seminal Indian texts, with students encouraged to offer many questions. Kirtan chant-master Krishna Das will join in several of these discussions and will of course also offer two kirtans with his amazing band on Thursday and Saturday evenings. In addition to performing with KD in the kirtans and participating in some all-faculty discussions, Nina Rao will offer an afternoon chanting session on Friday.On Sunday, Svoboda and Thurman will lead a very special Water Tiger Year Enlightenment Full Moon Fire Puja in the central field of Menla's campus, with all students participating. This puja is a powerful way to celebrate the Buddha's birth, death, and total enlightenment (as well as our own in the future!) in a gorgeous setting.The intensive counts for 60 hours of Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credits!Click Register Now above if you wish to register to attend in person at Menla. If you can only attend part of the retreat, you may arrange a partial/prorated registration via our Front Desk at [email protected]. Please note that we have a two-night stay minimum. Also, we have a few spots reserved in shared housing for those needing partial scholarships. If you are interested in applying for a partial scholarship, please email Michael Burbank at [email protected]

If you are unable to attend in person and wish to attend online-only,CLICK HERE to register for our online option.


ScheduleMonday, May 9th
  • 3 - 6 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Discussion (Freeman, Taylor, Thurman, Loew)
Tuesday, May 10th
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm The Brilliance of Moving in the Middle Path (Freeman, Taylor)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Teaching (Thurman)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Discussion (Freeman, Taylor, Thurman, Loew)
Wednesday, May 11th
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm The Brilliance of Moving in the Middle Path (Freeman, Taylor)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Teaching (Thurman)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Discussion (Freeman, Taylor, Thurman, Loew)
Thursday, May 12th
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm The Brilliance of Moving in the Middle Path (Freeman, Taylor)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Teaching (Svoboda & Thurman)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Kirtan (KD & Friends)
Friday, May 13th
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm The Brilliance of Moving in the Middle Path (Freeman, Taylor)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 3 - 4 pm Chanting with Nina Rao (Rao)
  • 4 - 6 pm Teaching (Svoboda & Thurman)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Discussion (KD, Svoboda, Freeman, Taylor, Thurman, Loew)
Saturday, May 14th
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm The Brilliance of Moving in the Middle Path (Freeman, Taylor)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 4 - 6 pm Teaching (KD, Svoboda, Thurman)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Kirtan (KD & Friends)
Sunday, May 15th
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 am - 12:30 pm The Brilliance of Moving in the Middle Path (Freeman, Taylor)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 3 pm Free Time for Spa Appointments, Relaxation, or Self-Study
  • 3 - 6 pm Water Tiger Year Enlightenment Full Moon Fire Puja (Svoboda & Thurman)
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Discussion (KD, Svoboda, Freeman, Taylor, Thurman, Loew)
Monday, May 16th
  • 7 - 11 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 7 - 9 am Vajra Yoga & Tara Practice (Loew)
  • 9 - 10 am Breakfast
  • 10:30 - 12:30 pm Closing Discussion (KD, Svoboda, Freeman, Taylor, Thurman, Loew)
  • 12:30-1:30pm Lunch & Departure
*Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

ABOUT THE TEACHERs

Dr. Robert Svoboda

Dr. Robert Svoboda was the first Westerner to graduate from a college of Ayurveda and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India. During and after his formal Ayurvedic training, he was tutored in Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotish, Tantra and other forms of classical Indian lore by his mento...

Richard Freeman

A student of yoga since 1968 and is one of America's foremost teachers of yoga. He has studied various traditions in Asia which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois. Richard is an avid student of both Western and Eas...

Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 while earning a degree in psychology. In 1988, Mary traveled to India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and began to see the overlay of yoga with her interests in food, cooking, movement, anatomy and art. Mary has authored three cookbooks ...

Krishna Das

Krishna Das is a Grammy-nominated chant artist and has sung with people all around the world for over 35 years. His music offers the practice of chanting mantras– mostly in the Indian tradition, with some Buddhist and Gospel infusions. By sharing his life experiences on the pa...

Nina Rao

Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das' business mana...

Michele Loew

Michele Loew is an international yoga teacher and the founder and director of The Yoga Space in Portland, Oregon.  She is known as a teacher’s teacher and is respected for her 200 Hr. & 500 Hr. Yoga Schools and her ability to combine Western knowledge of the body (anatomy & ph...

Robert A.F. Thurman

Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University as well as co-founder and President of Tibet House US and it's Menla Retreat & Spa. A world-wide lecturer on Tibetan Buddhism, activist for the plight of the Tibetan people, translator of Buddhis...

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