Penn College to Offer Hatha Yoga Asana Workshop on April 17

Published 03.22.2004


A special four-hour Hatha Yoga Asana Workshop taught by three area yoga instructors will be offered Saturday, April 17, at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Offered through Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College, the workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at Penn's Inn in the Bush Campus Center on the main campus in Williamsport. A buffet-style vegetarian luncheon will follow from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the College's Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

The workshop will feature highly individualized instruction and personal attention in the art and science of hatha yoga. It also will provide a framework for developing a personal yoga asana (postures) practice. In this intensive practice, participants will learn the basics of yoga asana, pranayama (breathing), the typical sequencing of asana and how to experience deep relaxation.

Three yoga instructors trained in the practices of traditional hatha yoga schools will teach the workshop. Their combined experience and knowledge makes the workshop a unique opportunity for those new to yoga, as well as those interested in comprehensive yoga asana instruction.

The instructors Ginny Mazzei, Rick Hummel and Tom Woodson will provide the opportunity for students to practice and explore a series of asana from which a regular home practice can be developed. The Hatha Yoga Workshop will include activities for centering and warming up; standing poses; abdominal strengthening and energizing; seated, prone and supine poses; backbends; seated forward bends and twist; and an introduction to pranayama (breathing techniques). Participants should have some previous experience and be physically and mentally prepared to practice.

"This is a yoga workshop that will allow folks to learn and explore yoga asana on a number of levels," Woodson said. "The exploration of the subtleties of movement within each asana and more time to experience the yoga postures will provide a challenge to experienced practitioners, as well as an excellent review of some basic asana for those relatively new to yoga."

Loose-fitting clothing or tights are recommended (shorts and a T-shirt are preferred), and participants should bring a blanket, thick towel and a strap or belt to the class (a yoga mat and a strap are preferable).

The cost for the workshop is $37, which includes the luncheon. To register or receive more information, call (570) 327-4775, or register online.

Instructors' biographies:

Rick Hummel has been practicing or teaching yoga for more than 20 years. He has taught six to eight hatha yoga classes a week for the past five years in the Susquehanna Valley. His main teacher was Dr. Vijayendra Pratap, a student of Swami Kuvalayanandaji, founder/director of the SKY Foundation and president of the Yoga Research Society. Hummel also studied at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif., and at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Mass. He graduated from the Atlanta School of Massage in 1984 and has been a massage therapist since that time. With a bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy from Bloomsburg University and a master's degree in education from Bucknell University, Hummel incorporates into his classes an eclectic blend of information designed to promote a healthy maintenance of the body, mind and spirit.

Ginny Mazzei uses a holistic approach to help clients attain and maintain health and wellness in their lives. She received a master's degree in social work from Rutgers University in 1980 and has worked in a variety of settings with diverse populations. Studying yoga science and various other healing traditions has resulted in her integrated approach to wellness that enhances the body-mind connection and deepens spiritual awareness. Mazzei has been studying yoga with the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy since 1991 and is certified through the institute since 1994 to teach hatha yoga. In 1996, she received training and certification in the therapeutic applications of yoga through the Integrative Yoga Therapy Program. In the summer of 2002, she completed a teachers' training course with Shiva Rea in the art of teaching vinyasa flow yoga. She is a registered yoga teacher with the national Yoga Alliance and a professional member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Mazzei is a nationally certified massage therapist and offers Swedish, deep tissue/trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, reflexology, lymphatic drainage and Thai yoga massage. Currently, she is studying neuromuscular therapy at the Upledger Institute. She is also a Touch-Pro-certified chair massage practitioner and a graduate of the Lehigh Valley Healing Arts Academy.

Tom Woodson started practicing hatha yoga in the early '70s with a student of Sri Swami Sivananda. Yogi Bhajan's visit to Detroit in 1971 prompted Woodson to study Kundalini yoga. Over the 10 years that followed, he studied with instructors from traditional hatha yoga schools (Bihar) as well as students of Swami Satchidananda. In the past few years, Woodson has enjoyed studying in the B.K.S. Iyengar yoga tradition, and he has attended workshops in other yoga traditions. Most recently, he attended workshops at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam and the Rev. Sri Swami Satchidananda Ashram in Virginia. He is a member of the Himalayan Institute Teachers Association, and he attends teacher workshops and retreats there several times a year. He also is a member of the International Yoga Therapist Association. Woodson leads small-group instruction in hatha yoga three nights a week at Penn College.