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.