108 Sun Salutations – Noon, Sunday September 22nd at The Studio

Get rid of stress, prepare for fall, or get the best detoxing of your life!!! , and cleanse … at Noon – Sunday 22nd… a special class!

Transition to Autumn by completing the 108 Sun Salutations mala. Most people who have done this say they feel even 10X better from it than a yoga class! The constant rhythm creates some amazing detoxing.

You can work to your body’s capacity, but I promise, if you can do 25 Sun Salutations… and be mindful you can do 108! (This is my 40th time leading this class and this has been the consensus).

This will be handled as a regular yoga class… drop in or use your membership.

For about 3000 years, yogis have done 108 malas or ‘countings’ at the seasonal shifts. There is a sacred significance to 108 in many spiritual traditions. (54 letters in the sanskrit alphabet x 2). For instance, there are 108 beads in the mala (beads) and the rosary. Whether or not you put much into the 108 number (I don’t per say), this is a great way to transition to the new season! As we practice this meditative flow, we burn off the impurities of yesterday and come into the light of the sun more vibrant than before.

Challenge yourself to complete a traditional yoga mala.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday at Noon!

Yoga Meditiation & Mindfulness Weekend

Exploring Mindfulness on the Mat at Kaivalya 777 University Ave.

With emerging fields such as Neuroplasticity making incredible discoveries about meditation’s effect on the brain, it is clear that mindfulness practices are of great help to our lives whether we engage them on a cushion or on a yoga mat.  Like any practice, it is something we can do better and understand more than we currently do.  What keeps us from doing so is usually rooted in East/West confusion and a lack of practices that are accessible to a 21st Century Western Mind.

Whether you’ve never been on a yoga mat or cushion in your life or you are a mindfulness regular, you will find new, relevant, and authentic connections in this weekend to what is most important in your life.  As with all of our workshops, claims are guaranteed — refunds are no questions asked.  Please join us for what is most sure to be a weekend that will give you insight into everything you do.


Friday  June 21st     :    Yoga Mindfulness in Context

6:30p – 10p  :  Presentation  “A History and Theory of Yoga Mindfulness”  with Alex Pfeiffer

This will be a brief overview of the history of mindfulness in the Yoga Tradition beginning with the Upanishads which are arguably the founding text of every tradition that engages in mindfulness practice and explain why India rose as an epicenter of so many traditions from Yoga to Buddhism.  What is the breakthrough of the Upanishads?  … and what does it mean to mindfulness in 2013?  How are they the same?  How are they different?  We explore these questions.

Saturday June 22nd    :  Yoga Mindfulness of the Past and Present

9am – Noon :  Mat Practice  :  “Being, Will, and Creativity on the Mat” with Alex Pfeiffer

How many times have you heard, “Be Mindful on the Mat?”   What does this mean exactly?   Are there different ways of being mindful?   Alex submits that there are different (and equal) styles of mindfulness and that these mindfulness styles serve like 3 primary ingredients in any yoga style today.  In other words we get vast differences from Kripalu, to Yin Yoga to Prana Flow to Iyengar based on these fundamental varying styles of mindfulness.  These are the primary ingredients to yoga on the mat today.

1pm – 5pm :   Introspection Practices  :  “Traditional Yogic Meditation Techniques for the Western Mind” with Swami Ajaya, PhD

We are lucky to have Swami Ajaya, a Swami, a psychotherapist, and early pioneer in East – West integration for this afternoon session which will explore traditional meditation techniques from yoga’s past.  Most think of meditation as sitting still with a quiet mind; however, the ancient yogis understood that everyone has a different constitution and therefore a variety of methods are necessary for a variety of types of people.  We will explore the variety from Vedanta’s tradition of Self Inquiry to Mantra to Traditional Meditation of Patanjali.  Meditation is, in fact, far richer than clearing your mind.  Here’s a chance to play with the vast variety of ways to look inward to experience a richer world.

Sunday June 23rd    :   Mindfulness of the Future

9am – Noon :    Intersubjective Introspection Practices   “The Miracle of We” with Alex Pfeiffer

Yoga has tended to think of spiritual practice as a solo activity.  The yogi who goes off to the cave is still an image seared into our collective consciousness.  While there are wonderful gifts yielded from practicing solo, a more highly interdependent world, arguably calls for more… and what a richer life we can yield when we transfer mindfulness to our relationships.  In a highly experimental session, Alex draws upon the work of Decker Cunov and Susan Campbell to ask what happens when we make mindfulness interactive?  The result can transform your relationships from friendships to work to loved ones.

1pm – 4pm  :   Introspection Practice   “Big Mind” with Dr. Kamie Buddemeier

Our last session is the best.  This revolutionary practice of “Big Mind” has helped many taste enlightenment and transfer it into their lives where other methods have just been confusing.  What makes this method extremely accessible is that it is simple yet applies the best of both East and West when it comes to the art of attachment and letting go.  You will leave with an understanding and experience of how everything about you is perfect as it is.  We are fortunate to have one of about a dozen certified practicitioners of Big Mind joining us.  You can find out more at:   bigmind.org


$50 per session  or $197 for the weekend  (inquire for YA certified RYT training rates)  

email:  alex.pfeiffer@kaivalya-yoga.com   to sign up


Bonus for all Full Weekend Attendees:   Shiva, Shakti, and Shadow video series $109 value.




Alex Pfeiffer   has been training yoga teachers since 2010.  His 21st Century Yoga on the Mat Yoga Teacher Training focuses on two of the most important discoveries made in mindfulness in integrating East & West.  (1)  We are Unique but not separate.  and (2) We all have the option to participate or not with the Evolutionary Impulse inside of us.   These are the paths to a well lived life in the 21st Century.

Swami Ajaya, PhD has the unique distinction of being both a licensed clinical psychologist and a  Swami.  Allan Ajaya or Swami Ajaya, as he is also known, received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Department of Psychiatry. He has served on the graduate faculties of the University of Wisconsin and the Himalayan Institute. He has studied with leading innovators of experiential  psychotherapy including Carl Whitaker, Ron Kurtz (the developer of Hakomi therapy), Arnold Mindell, and David Grove.

In 1973 he was initiated as a Swami in the Himalayan tradition by Swami Rama. This initiation took place in Rishikesh, on the banks of the Ganges, on Shivaratri, a sacred holy day. As Swami Ajaya, he spent years in India studying and teaching yoga and meditation. He has authored and edited several landmark texts that integrate Eastern and Western approaches to healing the whole person. These include:  Yoga and Psychotherapy: The Evolution of Consciousness;  Yoga Psychology: A Practical Guide to MeditationEmotion to Enlightenment;   Living with the Himalayan Masters;  Psychotherapy East and West: A Unifying Paradigm;   Healing the Whole Person   Find out more at beingawareness.org

 Dr. Kamie Buddemeier, MD   is an Interventional Cardiologist practicing at the Marshfield Clinic in Wi. Kamie is also an ordained Zen monk and trained Big Mind facilitator. She has been studying with Zen Master Genpo Merzel Roshi since 2006. Her passion is bringing awareness and awakening to traditional western medicine to allow healing and wholeness to prevail. She has designed a clinical trial using the Big Mind process to enhance awareness and reduce stress in patients with coronary artery disease. She believes that health can be maintained or restored by self awareness, owning the emotional content of one’s life and experiencing the scope of who we truly are. Big Mind is an experiential process drawing on the wisdom of western psychology and the eastern wisdom traditions and really a fantastic tool to unlock the wisdom that resides is each and every one of us.



Kaivalya Closing

It was announced yesterday that Kaivalya will be closing its doors for Yoga Classes on May 18th.

The three most important things about this in context to the teacher training are:

1) This will not affect teacher training dates or commitment from me.
2) Teacher Trainings will continue to be held at Kaivalya until further notice despite the public closing of regular classes.

If you’d like more details on what’s going on, here they are….

The decision is entirely financial. Dave, the owner, is on the hook for the lease until 2015 currently trying to find someone to sublet the space. There 3 possibilities:

1) Someone sublets the space and continues to run it as a yoga studio. The space may go on in a very similar, possibly seamless way including with the teacher training.  A possibility and what I’d most like to see happen!

2) Someone sublets the space and decides to use it as a different type of business. No more yoga at University Square.

3) No one sublets the space. It sits unused.

Until the space is taken over and occupied by another business, Dave will continue to let us use Kaivalya for teacher training weekends, so I expect we will continue to use it through the summer. I will be doing the legal work this month to decouple the training financially so I’ll be able to take it wherever I want. I am committed to continuing to give you the best possible training I can, so I will find another space to have it in due time.

As of the end of May, I will legally own the training outright, so I will be able to hold it in whatever space I choose. Therefore, should Kaivalya be sublet and turned into another type of business, the training can be easily moved. I will be spending May doing this legal work and will begin looking for other locations in June/July. In the meantime, the next start May 30 – June 2 will still be at Kaivalya as will likely most or all of the summer.

I want to thank you all for your interest in this training to begin with and assure you that it will continue strong as long as I’m still pumping my own blood. If you have other questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Blessings & Light,



What is Integral?

Most Intelligent Westerners have abandoned the fundamentalist view and given up literalist belief in their own religious traditions.  The old souls among us have also found the prevailing academic worldview of “scientific materialism”, while very true, to be severely lacking in bringing vibrancy to the process of life.  And western philosophy, while providing important insight, seems to lack something at its heart.


So, its no accident that many of us have turned east.  But while the east has its own genius it also has its own shortcomings and cultural baggage.  We live in an exciting time. For the first time in history, we have access to all of the world’s great wisdom traditions, including science.  This has never happened before.  Not long ago, you’d be lucky to have access to one.

It is my contention that the calling of this unique age is to carefully integrate wisdom that can make any given tradition more effective.  This includes yoga.  While many of yoga’s ancient roots are extremely effective and should stay in yoga’s evolution forward, there are other areas that yoga can learn from in order to be more complete… and less partial.

If it is true that yoga and the east have their own cultural brilliance, then we must be careful to move forward as to not water yoga down…yet to get beyond the limitations of the east (and there are as many as there are with the west), we must be careful to not romanticize a culture simply for being new, exotic, and different than our own.  The eye opening capacity of the east is strong, but there are many conflicts to parse out.

As you can imagine, this evolution forward is tricky.  And confusing to figure out for yourself.  Often times when navigating tricky territory, it can help to have a map.  A really good map.  April 26 – 28, I plan to present a map, based on the research and philosophical work of the Integral Movement, to show the way forward for yoga’s new age.  This map may give you insight that its not just your cultural conditioning, but your innate wisdom that is uncomfortable with the eastern guru model and that gets flagged when something east sounds irrational.  It may also mean a lack of understanding.  This map will help parse all that out by including the best scientific research on consciousness available.

While you always have to figure out your path for yourself, having a map to see where others have been can be invaluable.

Please consider joining us April 26-28 for a journey through east, west, antiquity, modernity, post-modernity, and into the coming integral age which integrates the best from all to move us forward.



Integration of East and West : Integral Philosophy Weekend

Full Weekend or by Session at Kaivalya Yoga 777 University Ave.    April 26 – 28, 2013 with Alex Pfeiffer

What does the mind-body-self-culture-nature map of the future look like?  What is integral philosophy?  If you haven’t read it, you may want to read this article on those very questions.  

from Marc Gafni

Friday April 26th
One Evening Session  
Session 1  :  Integral Consciousness moving from Antiquity to Modern to Post-modern and Beyond, 7 – 10pm
Alex will introduce Integral Consciousness and its capacity to integrate the best aspects of ego and the unconscious.  Meanwhile we will examine philosophies of the east and of yoga antiquity, as the question they have to offer us in the west and also look at their shortcomings and valid critiques of modernism and postmodernism.  We will also discuss what this reveals about the limitations of modernism and postmodernism and offer a suitable integration forward.
Saturday April 27th
2  Sessions
Session 2  :  Mat Practice  :  The Throat Chakra     9am – Noon  
Why practice on our mat with the Throat Chakra?  Developmentally, the throat chakra is the integrating chakra.  It is the place in our body-mind connection that is the energy of integration.  A helpful tool as we traverse the East-West terrain.
Session 3  :   The Growth of Self in Multiple Inteligences,   1:30pm  –   5pm
We human beings are far more dynamic than we’ve been led to believe.  We have many parts of our own potential genius.  Many of us have cultivated or are capable of cultivating high capacities of not just cognition, but of self identity intelligence, needs, values, emotional intelligence, aesthetic intelligence  moral genius, interpersonal talent, kinesthetic ability, and spiritual brilliance.  “Isn’t it all relative?”  you might ask.  “Yes” is the answer, “But” there is a difference between the Dali Lama and the Pope, and we’ll explore that difference in this session.
from joe-perez.com
Sunday April 28th
3 Sessions  
Session 4  :    Always, Already:  States, Types, and the AQAL Map   9a – 11:30
What if we could put together and easy to understand, inclusive map that brings the best of East, West, North, South… that integrates the truths of scientific modernity and honors the revelations of post modernism?   This map would also have to account for the differences in experience in these worldviews as well as fit them together.  While there are many Integral maps available, the AQAL map is generally considered to be the one that is the most inclusive. 
Session 5  :    The 1,2,3 of God and the Conveyor Belt,   11:45a – 2:15p
Despite the shortcomings of Western Religous models, is there something that we might take from them that is insightful?  Is there something they have to say… or perhaps something that is revealed as their new potential for the coming age once we reflect on what the best of science and eastern antiquity have to offer?  In this session, we’ll explore the exciting new and healthy function of religion in the future!
Session 6   :  Integral Life Practice :  The Great Experiment  3:45 – 6:15p
For thousands of years, in almost all parts of the globe, human beings have engaged in practices to transform and balance their lives.  From the contemplative traditions to the latest scientific breakthroughs in health, nutrition, and physical exercise – we have always sought a way to connect with deeper truths to achieve well-being and harmony and to realize our highest potentials.  In this session, we will explore what the theory of the weekend leads us to in terms of tangible practice.

Please join us for this very unique and insightful weekend!

$35  per session  (early bird:  4/23/2013),    $45 after
$150 for full weekend (early bird),  $170 after

Catalog prices applicable for RYS200 Trainees.


Sign up at Kaivalya Front Desk, with Alex in person, or email:   alex@integralnest.com

Free Bonus for All Full Weekend Participants  “Adikara : Development of the Yogi”  Video Series  2hrs, $49 value.  (Note:  Register in advance and get access to this video series early, as it will make the weekend more insightful!)



Alex Pfeiffer has been exploring integral consciousness through bodywork and yoga since being certified in both in 2004.  He has experienced its power first hand as a method of healing old wounds and as a source of efficiency to preserve the energy from which we can live life from a vibrant place.

Growing Your Potential : Finding Your Path Through the Chakras

Full Weekend or by Session at Kaivalya Yoga 777 University Ave.    April 5 – 7, 2013  with Alex Pfeiffer and Joe Fred Paprocki

The Chakras are an amazing body-mind map.  There are a couple ways of looking at the Chakra System.  One way is a moment-to-moment view of the chakras as human potentialities available in every moment.  This is an important view, one that we explored in our first chakra weekend.   The other view is looking at what the Chakras have to say about how to convert these infinite potentials, available in every moment, into permanent traits.  We will explore what occurs on the path of what the modern west calls neuro-plasticity or development; what the east calls the “gradual school”; and what the east-west dialogue has called Stages of Consciousness or “making permanent traits” from impermanent states.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that you can find states of compassion and awareness, but have had a difficult time making them a more consistent, grounded, part of your life.  This is what much of this weekend will be about.
While this weekend will deepen what we covered in our first chakra weekend, this weekend is open to and will still make sense to those who did not attend the February Weekend.  Those who did attend the February Weekend will gain more insight into both views of the Chakra system.
Friday April 5th
One Evening Session  
Session 1  :  The Chakra System : Grounding Potential into Development, 7 – 10pm
Alex gives an introduction to the Chakra System as a deep field of human potential.   Potential, if to be realized, must be given the proper nutrients to Develop.   We begin the journey of how to convert potentials to development.  Have you noticed that you are able to experience incredible spiritual states, but these states don’t hold?   Good Development means that States are able to ground into more permanent traits.  We begin this organic journey here.
Saturday April 6th
2  Sessions
2  :  Mat Practice “Musical Journey – Live!   Through the Chakras”,  9am – 12:15 with Live Musical Guest, Joe Fred Paprocki
With Live Music, we take a travel through the Chakra System on the mat and engage on the mat what is learned in the weekend’s other sections.  Dive into the positive vibes focused on inspiring Love and Compassion.  Live musical soundtrack provided by the amazing Joe Fred Paprocki.
3  :   Ego, Not a Four Letter Word  1:30  –   5pm
Have you heard the term “Kill Your Ego” in yoga / alternate spiritual circles?  (What part of you do you think wants to kill your ego?)  Ask a Western Psychologist about killing your  ego and they’ll assume your goal is to become a psychopath.  What Gives?  Can there be a synthesis of East and West?  Is the Ego Bad?   …. Or perhaps just misaligned.
Sunday April 7th
One Evening Session  
4  :    Ego’s Spiritual Role, 3:45 – 6:45
Is Ego Bad?  We are going to suggest that it is not Ego that is the problem.  It’s Ego Tension (automatic contraction), Ego’s Defensiveness, and Ego’s Misalignment (in a self-aware being) that is the problem.  Come discover Ego’s true role as a conduit between the outside world and your true, core self.   Grounding Spiritual Reality in your life requires Healthy Ego! 

Please join us for this very unique and insightful weekend!

$40  per session  (early bird:  4/1/2013),    $50 after
$140 for full weekend (early bird),  $160 after

Catalog prices applicable for RYS200 Trainees.


Sign up at Kaivalya Front Desk, with Alex in person, or email:   alex@integralnest.com

Free Bonus for All Full Weekend Participants  “Adikara : Development of the Yogi”  Video Series  2hrs, $49 value.  (Note:  Register in advance and get access to this video series early, as it will make the weekend more insightful!)



Alex Pfeiffer has been exploring the chakra system through bodywork and yoga since being certified in both in 2004.  He has experienced its power first hand as a method of healing old wounds and as a source of energy from which to live life from a vibrant place.

Joe Fred Paprocki has been making a name for himself as a songwriter and performer of “heart centered” music since 2007.  With a focus on inspiring gratitude, love and peace of mind within the listener, Joe is now in the process of creating his third music album and touring the west coast with his live musical offerings while not in Madison.   www.joefred.info

What is the Chakra System?

To some its an other worldly spiritual realm.

To others its a left over relic from a medieval and superstitious period in yoga’s history.

Actually, its neither.

We all know that yoga affects not just our body, but also our state of mind.  As a matter of fact, you can’t really affect one without affecting the other.  This body-mind connection is why you feel so damn good after a yoga class; and feel good in a way that is much different than the good feeling of a run or other form of exercise.

Yoga has attuned itself to this connection and has evolved as a physical activity not designed to lift the most weight or get somewhere the fastest, but to bring you into a more spacious state of mind.  You have have noticed yoga allows you to, at times, cruise through mental and emotional blocks that once held you back.  Or you may have noticed yoga inviting you to a place in yourself beyond your thought, emotion, and conditioned way of being.

The ancient yogis figured much of this out years ago and put together a very sophisticated map of the mind-body connection.  The Chakras are not otherworldly.  They are here, in this flesh, in this bone, in this world now.  Not in the way that a pancreas is in your body, but in the way that poetry comes from your human heart and mind.  The Chakras are about the experience of being human, a metaphor for the deepest ways a human being can become more, and they are very real.

I will be leading another teacher training caliber (but open to the public) weekend on the Chakras from April 5 – 7.   In this weekend, you’ll explore this primordial spiritual psychology.  In theory, and more importantly – you will be taken through the subtle openings in your body that allow self-integration and healing to complete.  I’ll be covering the primary psychological stumbling blocks and potentials for joy in this human ride.  If you are interested in getting a tangible experience of your chakras; if you want to learn more about what this system means to the practice on your mat; please join us!

Check Out More On the Weekend Here

This workshop, like every workshop we do has a 100% Money Back Guarantee   No questions asked and no disapproval or judgments   If you don’t believe this is worth every penny you paid, if it doesn’t rock your world, we’ll refund you all the way.  There’s no reason to miss!

So, am I saying that I don’t believe energies exist?  That its all merely metaphor?  Before I answer that question, let me say this.  We will cover energy.  By energy, I do not mean anything other worldly.  I mean something very tangible in your moment to moment experience – YOUR LIFE FORCE.  YOUR VITALITY.    That is the important part – your moment-to-moment existence.  Are there actually energies within that science cannot detect (yet) or is all this Chakra stuff an artful way to talk about what’s going on in the physical body?  My first answer is that it doesn’t matter.  Whether science discovers spiritual energies or whether science proves that it is all going on in the nervous and endocrine systems will not change the fact that the model has worked for over a thousand years and it relevance to bodymind connection.  You don’t have to “believe” it at all.  Personally, I tentatively believe there is something going on beyond what we currently accept in mainstream science, but if I’m proven wrong, it won’t matter because, like acupuncture  the model works.  It is within your moment-to-moment experience.  In other words, the Chakras are not beyond your body, they are deeper through your body.

“The body asks only to be loved, lived, and illuminated. It is not some rigidly separate, self-existing mass but is continuous—and not just elementally—with all that is, at essence being but precipitated Being, spun from gravity and boundless light. The body is not just matter! (And for that matter, matter is not just matter.) The body is not a burden with which we’ve been saddled, nor is it an obstruction to realizing our true nature. Whatever its wrapping, our body is a gift. We need to shift from having a body to being a body, and from being a body to Being. In permitting a fuller, saner embodiment of our essential nature, we make possible a deeper life for ourselves, a life in which we cannot help but breathe integrity into our stride, developing a deep intimacy with all that we are.”   — Robert Augustus Masters