Saturday : August 9, 2008 . 1-4 PM SMPY East ( 522 Santa Monica Blvd. )
Ample parking @ the Library.
" This is simply an opportunity for those of us who have been practicing a while to go deeper . With 3 hours , there will be ample opportunity to thoroughly explore the standing, seated and supine poses and still have time to finish with a long rest & meditation. We will also try a few asanas not taught in an all-levels class. Please be comfortable with the basics before attending. Come prepared to work hard & find peace."
Suggested donation $ 25.00. firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
"In every class I teach, there are usually at least
a few beginners. In fact, most classes usually always have a few. Since the new
people are the most important, I always make sure to explain things at a
remedial level for them. This also serves as a reminder for those that have
been practicing for a while. But what about a class where that isn't necessary?
A time and place where we won't need to wait for the new people... where the
focus will be so thick you can cut it with a knife.... where we can dive
deeper.... a 3 hour block of time to get intensely immersed into our asana
practice and then finish in style, the only way, with meditation. My only
misgiving is that I won't get to roll my mat out and practice with everyone
Vytas B. has been one of my primary teachers for almost 3 years now. " FOCUS so thick you can cut it with a knife ... " no denying the RASA & PRANA of that statement , all prep for MEDITATION , OMMMM -
"If you want to learn about something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to MASTER something, TEACH it."
"The first student you will have as a teacher is yourself. And as the
light of one candle can light thousands of candles, you must first
illuminate your own consciousness. Awaken your own awareness. Then you
can HELP. You can SERVE. You can CONTRIBUTE. You can do your part to
help humanity enter this New Age and make the dream of world peace a
The image on the left is not one of Christo's latest installations . It is our HQ in Beverly Hills being prepped for the Bastille Day event last Thursday co-sponsored by a major publication the company contributes a lot of ad $s to.
It was another long week as I had just made a trip to the wealthiest zip code in the country , Rancho Sta. Fe , to scope out projects. My 2 French sales team associates were kind enough to carry on conversations in English during the trip , especially when they sussed out my ability to comprehend earlier exchanges conducted solely in French, heh heh.
So as most practices of yoga celebrate LIBERATION, Bastille Day AKA "Quatorze Juillet" is a marker for FREEDOM of a more temporal nature. It is ironic that a day that was originally characterized by violence & terror is now an excuse to party; and the French do know how to throw a party. The bartenders went through almost 70 bottles of bubbly but in my case, 3 bottles of Sparkling Evian; a jazz band on the roof top & a "Bal Musette"ensemble on the main floor.
Bret Thompson,who used to be the Exec.Chef of the Patina Group,and now owner of MILK on Beverly BLVD., did a great job with the pass arounds , including an olive tapenade for veggies like myself and macarrons with sorbet. The other hi lights of the evening ,aside from the blessings of the attendance of MAJOR potential client developers from Orange County & Palm Desert was meeting & chatting with ace photographer Firooz Zahedi from Vanity Fair.
He had recently shot Mr. & Mrs. Pitt for the June 2008 issue. Thinking about the tag "Vanity Fair" and the seemingly material & superficial nature of FORTUNE , FAME & POWER that seem to be hallmarks & obsessions for most of our clients, re-inforced my perspective of playing the "WITNESS" from a detached, yogic point-of-view. Just like an ace photographer observes from a distance in order to capture that moment -
Tesa Celdran is @ Sri Pattabhi Jois' AYRI in Mysore , India. She was fortunate to meet with him on his birthday:
"I didn't want the day to end without a post on Guruji as today is his birthday, Guru Purnima,
the full moon in July. I love this shot of him , yes, taken by
moi, as he turned to look at the room filled with his students who came
to celebrate and pay respects on his 93rd birthday"
It has been over 30 years since the first "Western" students took what is now dubbed "Ashtanga Yoga" & spread its practice to the Americas, Europe & once again, back to Asia.
Om vande gurunam caranaravinde sandarshita svatma sukha va bodhe
Pure Yoga NYC 's first location on 86th & 3rd opened on June 25th.
Via the New York Sun :
"Behind that lush green exterior is the just-opened Pure Yoga. It is
not a yoga studio, as New Yorkers have come to know them; it is more a PRISTINE, orchid-filled marketplace, where members can take part in 19
types of yoga and yoga-hybrid classes.
The breadth of options is what some members say attracted them to
Pure Yoga, though other city yogis wonder how smaller, long-standing
yoga establishments will fare in its wake. New York City
is home to hundreds of such spaces, from home-based studios to classes
at boutique and chain gyms and larger yoga centers, such as the
12,000-square-foot Jivamukti Yoga School, near Union Square.
At 20,000 square feet, Pure Yoga dwarfs them all. While city yoga
studios tend to specialize in one type of practice, Pure Yoga offers
under one roof ANUSARA, IYENGAR, JIVAMUKTI, MYSORE, VINYASA ("ex-Power ") , prenatal,
and other yoga styles. There are also combination courses that fuse
yoga with another form of exercise, such as strength training or
Bollywood-style dance. The 85 weekly classes run 60, 75, 90, or 120 minutes
For those overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what's on offer, Pure Yoga
employs "yoga concierges" to advise students and direct them to the
correct studio spaces. For members NEW to the practice, they might
recommend the introductory series, where students learn basic poses and
breathing techniques, as well as YOGA ETIQUETTE (don't step on someone
else's mat, don't get up to leave during the closing poses), or one of
the more gentle classes of the "Slow Flow," or "Restorative" varieties. VETERAN YOGIS might be steered toward a "Hot Flow" session, taught in a
100-degree room, or an "Upside Down" class, where inverted poses such
as headstands, handstands, and shoulder-stands are taught."
Pure Yoga HK has driven the upscale "Yoga Studio as Experience " spa vibe in Asia . It looks like the concept has successfully been translated to NYC. There is much to be said regarding the authenticity of a basic "SHALA" type practice space. However, I have started to regard my visits to group practice as opportunities to find peace & decompress. An elusive scenario at times when classes have become too crowded. So the "PURE" experience is something I would like to check out. Of course , the other criteria for evaluation would be the teachers -
Check out the rest of the article online @ the New York Sun-
My first class with Ashley Turner six years ago was a magic carpet ride of BHAKTI. As a new student , I found her teaching style challenging & inspiring from a physical, spiritual & philosophical standpoint. Her desire to take novice practitioners like myself to the proverbial " Next Level" was manifested in her emphasis on PRATYAHARA , TAPAS ( i.e. why we don't drink liquids during practice) & APARIGRAHA.
Via her monthly newsletter E-Volve is this :
"Donation Yoga is a revolutionary concept – an HONOR SYSTEM, where the power
is in the student’s hands to determine the value of this practice and align
their actions with their heart. It is a chance to teach yoga the way it was
originally taught – available to everyone. $20 a class is expensive and many
people cannot practice regularly for this amount. The donation system brings
yoga to everyone.
For most of us, money is one of the last frontiers to
clean up our game. We may be excelling in yoga asanas, meditating twice a day,
reading spiritual books, etc. But, the real test lies in the way we live our
life. Where do we spend our money? Are our choices conscious or habitual? What
is our real motivation in doing business? Do we simply value economic
indicators, or do we hold a larger vision – responsible for everyone’s highest
good? The donation system sets up a dynamic of DEEP TRUST. Trust that students
will give in integrity – an amount that accurately reflects and rewards the work
and if they don’t, it’s not our problem. It can be tough, when you see students
walking out and not paying, or putting $2 in the donation box, but as a teacher,
it’s a chance to continually practice non-attachment and compassion. Working
for the reward of the work itself, trusting that you will be taken care of, not
judging someone, because you don’t know where they’re coming from. It proves
that there are viable alternatives to our capitalist market – where we can all
operate from non-greediness (aparigraha) and recognize in a very real
way that the more we give, the more we get...." Click here
for the rest of Ashley's interview with Yogamates.com
Via www.fordmodels.tv is this new clip from Agustin Agurreberry demoing advanced asana. As my nephew had asked me via SMS this weekend , " Is it necessary to have a GURU in order to have an advanced practice ?" -
Agustin,who has been practicing for over 7 years says , " Best to study advancedposes under the guidance of a master or GURU", his teacher being Sri Dharma Mittra. Jerome Mercier took us through several of these asanas at 6 AM yesterday;his favorite EKA PADA KUNDINYASA ,BHUJAPIDASANA , TITIBHASANA, PINCHA MAYURASANA & KURMASANA as prep for PRATYAHARA . The closing Ashtangi cycle of 3 URDHVA DANURASANAS prior to SAVASANA always gets me at the end-