Telluride Yoga Fest: Vincent Bolletta
The ninth annual Telluride Yoga Festival takes place Thursday, July 21 – July 24, 2016. Tickets/passes here. Schedule here. Vincent Bolletta is a returning presenter from New Zealand. Scroll down to the bottom of the story to watch his video interview.
Meet Vincent Bolletta:
Though he hails from the land of sheep – New Zealand, where the quadrupedal ruminant outnumbers people sixfold – he is (to pay off that metaphor) a bellwether, a leader, and “yoga superstar and teacher to the stars…” (doughit.nz.com).
Vincent Bolletta returns (after seven years) to Telluride to present at the upcoming Telluride Yoga Festival, Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, July 24, 2016. The weekend also includes a special exhibition of yoga photographs featuring Vincent in close encounters with an urban environment.
Implicit in the word “Yoga,” which comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj” meaning “to join,” is the unifying of two things: in Vincent’s images, the architecture of a man’s body melds with the architecture of a building or structure of some hard-edged kind. Through that union, both become something more interesting and arresting than either was when viewed separately. Also implied is the notion that by yielding and bending to our surroundings rather than constantly fighting with what is, we enhance the potential for beauty, rather than stress.
Vincent Bolletta has been involved in the health and fitness industries for the past 28 years; teaching and practicing yoga for 26 years (since 1990). He is one of New Zealand’s foremost yoga instructors and teacher trainers with a wealth of knowledge in biomechanics, yoga therapy, movement therapy, and postural analysis.
Vincent’s yoga philosophy?
The answers lies in definitions found in the yoga bible, “The Heart of Yoga,” in which Desikachar offers three definitions of a dedicated practice:
Yoga as the movement from one point to another, higher one
Yoga as the bring together, the unifying of two things
Yoga as action with undivided, uninterrupted attention
Implicit in all of the above is the idea that yoga means something changes over time.
In short, Vincent believes the symbol of yoga is not the OM sign; it is the question mark: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? (And if you are a teacher, also What are you teaching?)
Questions which provide the subtext or through-lines for whatever happens to us on and off the mat.
“Yoga is not about getting to a certain point, but how we progress to that point,” says Vincent.
“…that which was impossible, becomes possible; that which was unattainable; that which was invisible can be seen,” explains Desikchar.
What path to personal transformation does Vincent share with his students, which lineage does he follow?
A maverick teacher, Vincent has spent his yoga journey exploring the many styles and approaches to practice, from his early beginnings of Iyengar Yoga to the systematic practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa to now searching for the essence of yoga through the methodology of Yoga Therapy and how it applies to the functional lives of everyday practitioners.
Vincent describes his teaching as “contemporary cuisine, not so much a style or a personality as a fusion of many different approaches to practice” – though he sites Gary Kraftsow, founder of the America Viniyoga Institute, as among his most influential mentors.
In a Viniyoga-based sequence, the emphasis is on breath-generated movement. Poses begin with an inhale and end with an exhale, turning the practice as a whole into a moving meditation. Viniyoga means “the science of appropriate adaptation.” The goal is to meet students where they are and tailor the practice to their individual needs.
In a class setting, Vincent encourages his students to be curious about their practice, offering a range of tools to support this inquiry: asana, pranayama (or controlled breathing), postural re-patterning, and hands on enhancement. His classes are informative, interactive, and practical.
At the Telluride Yoga Festival, Vincent Bolletta is scheduled to teach three classes, two on Friday at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and one on Sunday at 3 p.m., as follows:
“Breathe Life Into Your Hips and Pelvis.” A strong and supple pair of hips is essential to yoga and to the rest of your life. Improving hip function eases lower back pain, improves circulation and allows you to stand and move more gracefully. Opening up and getting energy flowing through this area can do wonders for physical and emotional wellbeing.
“Exploration of the Inner Forms of the Body for Transformation.” This is a guided meditation that takes a tour of the inner recesses and networks of your body. The session will highlight how the different layers are interconnected and interdependent. Explore the fluid nature of your body in order to create wellbeing and transformation.
“Being in Flow with the Masculine & Feminine.” The focus is internally integrating yoga posture from the perspective of seamlessly joining masculine and feminine movements. Allowing your attention to become meditative to develop awareness from the inside out. Create movement that brings sophistication and refinement to your practice. Learn how to refine your attention and intentions to direct subtle elements that can help you navigate your practice with greater fluidity.
“The goal is to become more in touch with who we really are; not to touch our toes,” says Vincent.
Watch Vincent Bolletta as he answers my questions in this video interview here:
More about Vincent Bolletta:
Classically schooled in numerous yoga traditions and holding a Diploma in Sports Science, Vincent has gained qualifications and experience in movement impairment syndromes, anatomy, and physiology. His teaching encompasses private sessions, general classes, and yoga retreats.
Vincent has worked along side with some of New Zealand’s top athletes, including 16 years as a presenter, educator, and yoga coach for Les Mills. He is currently the Product Manager and Lead Trainer for the yogame™ class products from One Fitness Concepts, delivering pragmatic and accessible yoga workouts to people who are sometimes not engaged by conventional yoga styles.
Vincent has also developed a teacher training course call the “Art of Yoga,” a one-year program dedicated to the teaching and practice of yoga.
He is also part of the faculty of The Centre for Contemporary Yoga Studies 200 – 500 hour course.
The year 2016 will see Vincent returning to China to offer a Teacher Training Yoga Therapy course after a successful 2015 teaching and coaching circuit.
He has also toured internationally in Europe as a personal yoga therapist and done teacher trainings in New Zealand, England, and China.
Vincent Bolletta has a bent for creativity in all avenues of living with a particular passion for photography. While developing his own photographic skills, he has also worked collaboratively with photographer Marc Mateo on a series of yoga photographs which have been exhibited in New Zealand and the USA and were published by Yoga Journal Russia.
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