Postural yoga practices give us infinite possibilities for insight into our lives and relationships. If we’re open to it, each asana can become a unique mirror, reflecting our innermost selves, revealing our strengths, weaknesses, and emotions. Add conscious breathing and practices of visualization and self-reflective meditation, and yoga becomes a beautiful path to more sublime experience in everything.

But our mirrors can be easily distorted by forms and forces that make the asanas unnecessarily difficult, confusing, or even injurious. Qualities of alignment (what goes where) and energetics (our actions within those forms) matter. Here the insights of direct experience in connection with knowledge derived from functional anatomy and kinesiology empower us to optimize our postural practices. As yoga teachers, this is a key to guiding our students in the asanas.

This series of workshops and master classes with Mark Stephens focus on developing and refining the knowledge and skills for the optimal guidance of our students as well as deeper insight into ourselves. Open to both teachers and students, the workshops are primarily oriented to teaching while the master classes – open to all students and teachers – offer guided practices in which insights from the workshops are applied.

The Dharma Discovery Workshop

A basic question at the heart of most philosophies, is, “Who am I?” It’s a central theme in much of ancient to modern yoga and a primary focus of the Bhagavad Gita. It’s also implied in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali’s practice of svadyaya, “self-study.” But how to we study ourselves? And as we find ways to do self-study, how do we connect that self-study to living our lives with clearer intentions?

The Anatomy & Energetics of Asana Workshops

These sessions look in close detail at the intricate elements of asanas. We will explore from the ground up, looking at, discussing, and refining how we bring each asana into its fullest expression. With no prior knowledge of anatomy required, we will draw from anatomy to consider how best to transition into each posture, what to do once in it, and how best to transition out of it, whether to a neutral form or into another asana. In doing so, we will ask what the body is asking of us to do it with steadiness and ease. Applying the insights of direct personal experience, anatomy, and kinesiology, we will look at how different people experience the asanas in different ways, generating insights into how best to guide unique students with clear individualized cues as well as more general cues for whole classes. Stability, ease, healthy range of motion, and balance are our consistent themes, with a primary focus on teaching.

The Master Classes

These classes are designed and taught for all levels of students, offering alternative options for beginners to seriously advanced students and teachers. They model how to teach, including how to teach multi-level classes, while focusing on guiding the practice in accessible, sustainable, and meaningful ways.


California yoga teacher and author Mark Stephens integrates insights from vastly diverse sources found in ancient-to-modern yoga, tantra, science, mythology, and philosophy. Practicing yoga since 1991, teaching since 1996, and training teachers since 2002, his four yoga textbooks, Teaching Yoga, Yoga Sequencing, Yoga Adjustments, and Yoga Therapy, plus Yoga for Better Sleep, are available in many languages. Mark is currently writing a book on the histories and philosophies of yoga from ancient to modern times. He wrote the “For Teachers” column for Yoga Journal Deutschland in 2017-2019. Mark lives in Santa Cruz, California and teaches globally. Learn more at



19.09.2024 | 17.30 – 21.00
20.09.2024 | 09.00 – 21.00 (1h Lunch Break, 1,5h Dinner Break)
21.09.2024 | 09.00 – 21.00 (1h Lunch Break, 1,5h Dinner Break)
22.09.2024 | 09.00 – 18.00 (1h Lunch Break)


Redwood Yoga Studio, Bonn City Center (Acherstraße 26-28)

All 4 Days-Package (includes all workshops & masterclasses): 600€, Early Bird (until 1.6.): 560€
Only Dharma Discovery Workshop: 49€, Early Bird (until 1.6.): 44€
Anatomy & Energetics Training (includes masterclasses): 560€, Early Bird (until 1.6.): 530€


THURSDAY 19.09.24

17.30 – 21.00 | Dharma Discovery – Making Yoga and Life More Meaningful

This workshop will take you on a journey more deeply into yourself. With the goal of consciously cultivating clarity and congruence in our lives, the process itself requires deep self-reflection. To support this, we will proceed in three stages. First, Mark will give a brief lecture on meaning and purpose in yoga, drawing from ancient to modern yoga sources. Second, we will do a 90-minute asana practice with options for all levels of students, ensuring you are doing a practice that is appropriate for you. Third, upon rising from Savasana, we will engage in a series of self-reflective practices that involve private journaling on specific personal questions followed by guided heart-centered meditations that bring forth more of our most deeply held feelings and thoughts, all for the fruits of self-understanding and more conscious living.

Investment for individual workshop: 49€

FRIDAY 20.09.24

09.00 – 13.00 | Anatomy & Energetics – Session I: Teaching Standing Asanas

Please see the general description for this series of workshops. Here we will begin with a brief overview of foot, ankle, knee and hip anatomy. Then we will focus on standing asanas, starting with Tadasana (Mountain Pose), and proceeding with exploration of forms in which the hips are neutrally, externally, and internally rotated, including in standing balance asanas. As noted in the general description, we will look to direct experience in dialogue with applied anatomy and kinesiology to optimize alignment and deepen the experience of the forms.

14.00 – 17.00 | Anatomy & Energetics – Session II: Teaching Hand & Arm Support Asanas

Please see the general description for this series of workshops. Here we will begin with a brief overview of hand-to-shoulder girdle anatomy. Then we will focus on hand and arm support asanas, starting with a focus on the hands, fingers, and wrists in relatively simple forms (first on all fours). We will look closely at changes in the forms and qualities of pressure or tension that arise with more complex asanas, from Puppy Dog and Downward Facing Dog to a variety of arm balances.

18.30 – 21.00 | Master Class: Hips & Arm Balances

We will begin with the breath and a focus on the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders before doing a series of warming Surya Namaskaras and Dancing Warriors designed to open and stabilize the hips and shoulders in preparation for a series of beginning-to-advanced level arm balances (including Bakasana, Parsva Bakasana, Bhujapidasana, Tittibhasana, Astavakrasana, Eka Pada Koundinyasana, Galavasana, Urdhva Kukkutasana and Uttana Prasithasana). The complete practice includes wrist and shoulder therapy practices to ensure the full integration of the practice.

SATURDAY 21.09.24

09.00 – 13.00 | Anatomy & Energetics – Session III: Teaching Backbends

Please see the general description for this series of workshops. Here we will begin with a brief overview of basic spinal anatomy and some review of hip and shoulder girdle anatomy as they pertain to backbends. Then we will explore a variety of backbends in which the path into the forms are very different – contraction, traction, and leveraged – as well as the very different qualities of backbends with the arms in extension versus flexion.

14.00 – 17.00 | Anatomy & Energetics – Session IV: Teaching Spinal Twists

Please see the general description for this series of workshops. Here we will briefly review spinal anatomy along with an overview of the larger anatomy of the torso that relates to spinal twists. We will then look at seated and supine twists before exploring twists in standing asanas (including standing balance).

18.30 – 21.00 | Master Class –Heart Opening Backbends and Their Integration

This class begins with exploration of the breath, from natural breathing to various pranayama techniques. We then move into a Vinyasa Flow-ish asana practice designed to gradually release tension and thereby more easily open into a series of progressively deeper heart-opening backbends before exploring a sequence of twists, seated and supine forward bends and hip opening asanas designed to help integrate and balance energy on the path to Savasana.

SUNDAY 22.09.24

09.00 – 13.00 | Anatomy & Energetics – Session V: Teaching Forward Bends & Hip Openers

Please see the general description for this series of workshops. Here we will briefly review spinal, hip, and leg (primarily hamstrings) anatomy in preparation for looking closely at a series of supine, seated, standing forward bends and hip opening asanas, including the practice of “true hip mobilization” that will be fully explored in the master class that follows.

14.00 – 18.00 | Master Class: Healthy Back, Open Heart

Fear of moving into the unknown is just one of the many challenges of back bending. Restriction in the spine, tightness in the shoulders, hips and groins, and weakness in the arms, legs and abdominal core all contribute to the difficulty that we encounter in stretching and opening the front of the body. At the heart of it all is the heart and a lifetime of embodied emotions – every joy, trauma, hope and dream from childhood to the present moment pulsating inside. Meanwhile, low back and neck pain are the primary musculo-skeletal complaints across all of humanity, and many yoga asanas can make those conditions worse. This workshop will utilize a variety of techniques – including heart-centered guided meditation, low-back and neck-specific exercises, core integration, hip & groin openers, shoulder openers and spinal twists – to help you move safely and joyfully into a deeper back bending, heart opening practice.