Navtej Singh Johar is a dancer-choreographer, scholar, a yoga exponent and an activist. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (the President’s award) for Contemporary Choreography (2014), his work—within all fields of his varied interests—remains consistently body-centric! It twines practice with critical theory and social action, traverses freely between the traditional and the contemporary, and rigorously engages both the philosophical and the sociological discourses of the body. Johar teaches Dance Studies at the Ashoka University, India, has been a research fellow at the, International Research Centre, “Interweaving Performance Cultures”, Freie University, Berlin; and is the founder-director of Studio Abhyas, New Delhi, where he runs an award-winning urban activism project called The Power of Seeing. He is also an activist for animal and LGBTQ rights. Over years of practice, he has devised two embodied practices, the BARPS Method that is designed to practice asana more effectively, and Abhyas Somatics inspired by the concepts of rasa and sukha that are central to Indian poetics and Yoga respectively.
BARPS is a method devised by Navtej Johar to keep the practice of yoga-asana independent of religion and even the idea of God. Relying completely on the intelligence, sensitivity and most importantly the sensory and spiritual appetites of the body, it is a self-regulatory practice that aims to progressively facilitate the practitioner through five progressive processes acroamatically denoted as BARPS, namely: bracing; alignment, rotation (of joints), poise and spacious-stretch. Apart from these, the ten day workshop will also focus on the aspects of buoyancy, agency, reciprocity, presence, and seeing. The aim of the practice is to make the practitioner an informed curator of her own practice, free to autonomously intuit, envision and direct the body, breath and attention towards an immersive condition of both clarity and authority.