The Jaguar Path: an Empowering New Direction Carved from Two Ancient Traditions

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The Jaguar Path is a unique program that fuses the time-honored—and complementary—practices of yoga and Incan shamanism to create a new modality for healing and empowerment for people today. The core of the Jaguar Path lies in the Incan trilogy of the three primary power animals—serpent, jaguar, condor—and how they symbolize the realms of body, mind, and spirit.

Ray Crist and Shaman Don Bastillo

Ray Crist and Shaman Don Bastillo

Yoga and Incan shamanism merge to create a new modality for healing and empowerment for people today.

Ray Crist, a certified yoga teacher who was initiated as a healer by the Quero Indians of Peru, brings his transformative nine-month Jaguar Path training to Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Massachusetts.

The Jaguar Path is a unique program that fuses the time-honored—and complementary—practices of yoga and Incan shamanism to create a new modality for healing and empowerment for people today. The core of the Jaguar Path lies in the Incan trilogy of the three primary power animals—serpent, jaguar, condor—and how they symbolize the realms of body, mind, and spirit. The serpent represents the body. Just as the serpent sheds its skin, so we let go of that which no longer serves us. “The serpent is linked to the posture practice,” Ray explains. “Through our physical yoga practice, we release toxins and let go of unnecessary layers.” The jaguar represents the mind and the heart of the path. “The human mind is driven by fear,” says Ray. “Jaguar practices create a strong, fearless mind, for in the jungle the jaguar is the ruler of its domain and knows no fear.” The condor represents the spirit, able to see the greater picture as it rises above. “The condor is meditation, shamanic journeying, flying wing to wing with the great spirit."

What yoga and shamanism do that is so powerful, and what the Jaguar Path training explores, is the use archetypes—the symbols of strength, wisdom, and courage that live within each of us. “Archetypes, such as the serpent, condor, and jaguar help us establish a better foundation of who we are,” says Ray. When the serpent, jaguar, condor (body, mind, and spirit) merge, energetic shifts occur. This merger is union, which is the essence of yoga and shamanism. “The shamanic tools of the Jaguar Path give us new ways of perceiving ourselves, personal empowerment, and direction in life,” says Ray. “We journey from a place of lack (I want) to a place of abundance (what I can offer). Embarking on the Jaguar Path means tapping into the healer within, opening the mind and freeing the body to release deeply held samskaras, or energy blocks, that lie buried within the subconscious.”

The Jaguar Path training at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Massachusetts, runs one weekend a month for nine months, October 13, 2012–June, 9, 2013. Each day of the training is separated into three immersions: Yoga in the morning for the body, lecture in the afternoon for the mind, and shamanic studies and journeying in the evening for the spirit. Savasana (Corpse pose) and guided meditations are used as shamanic journeys, portals into what is referred to as “the underworld”—the subconscious. “Once we venture into the vast, unexplored areas of our mind, we come to understand our patterns, our habits, what holds us back,” says Ray. “By looking into ourselves we learn who we are, and this energetic shift in awareness is palpable.”

Ray teaches that the word “shaman” means “the knower” in the Tungusic language. “In other words, knowing the self, being cognizant of what’s happening around you and within you,” he says. “We are all innately shamans, but we’re not trained to recognize it.” To embark on the Jaguar Path, then, is to awaken the inner seer, the inner warrior and healer, that potential within all of us to carve our own path with clarity and strength.

For more information on Ray, the Jaguar Path, and the upcoming training, visit http://yogaandshamanism.com

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Ray Crist
The Jaguar Path
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