Bintang Baru is a beer that I used to enjoy in Bali ( back-in-the day ), & now a surf / lifestyle apparel company ( www.bintang.com.br ) based out of Praia Joatinga , near Rio has adopted the moniker as well. Did not make it to Joatinga last January , but I have put it solidly on my calendar for this November when I make another trip back to Brazil. Check out the " Sirsasana on a surfboard moment " a third way into the vdo -
It is Jerome's birthday this coming Monday . He had asked me on Thursday , " What are you doing on Yom Kippur ? " , ( getting ready for another trip to Houston & Dallas , hehe ) , as he will be marking his " parabens " with 39 sets of Surya Namaskars @ his 7 AM class . In lieu of my presence then , here is a VDO of his favorite Brasileiro , Seu Jorge , rocking the Maha Mantra with Thievery Corporation -
Fitness Magazine ( Mind , Body & Spirit ) has just selected this blog as one of its favorites under the category MOTIVATION :
" MahaMondo . Yoga lover ? Get the latest news on yoga & videos with new poses & sequences in this yogi's blog . "
Thanks for the honor , FM. Yes , I love yoga. It is Motivational , but more so , Inspirational. Joel B. always talks about the classic definition of a yogi, living isolated in a cave, sitting on a mat & practicing PRATYAHARA. So I'm not quite there yet.
" You're the book that I have opened , and now I got to know much more ." This Massive Attack tune is an analogy for my personal practice ; a "work-in progress" , an unfinished sympathy. I got to thinking about it after Jorgen's class this evening where I was joined by another teacher, Vytas B. These teachers on my personal shortlist are the conductors for this " work-in-progress ." I mentioned to V after class that the common thread among all my principal teachers was their ability to distill & communicate " Yogas citta-vrtti nirodha " to me. Their calmness , light & knowledge inspires a student to " know much more . " Hari OM.
Via MysoreTourism is this vid showing Dr. C. Sharath Kumar leading a class through the classic version of Surya Namaskar ( 12 asanas ) along with pranayama & shloka. I've started to attend Sanskit & Yoga Tradition classes & as a result of this , I can hear how random "instructors" can't even pronounce or call the asanas properly. Listen & learn -
Rio de Janeiro is starting to emerge as a destination for international teachers to conduct retreats in. The distinguished Ashtanga teacher , Clayton Horton , shown on the left with Tatiane R. , was there recently for a workshop @ Blyss Ipanema .
Here is an article by Clayton on the relationship between Ashtanga practice & moon days :
" In the Ashtanga Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, both full and new Moon days are regarded as holidays and asana practice is not recommended. Guruji explains that when the triad of the Earth, Sun and Moon are all in a straight line in space, universal energy is much stronger on these days and the possibility of injury is greater. Injury during this period is often more intense and the injury takes longer to heal.
Scientists agree, our bodies are made of 70% water and we are subject to the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon much like our oceans. The month’s highest tides are during full and new Moons. During a full Moon, the Sun is in opposition to the Moon and planet Earth is found in between them; we see the Moon rise in the East as the Sun sets in the West at this time. Usually 14 days later, we will experience a new Moon in which the Sun and Moon are conjunct. We will not see the Moon when it is new because it is in between the Earth and the Sun. Sometimes the new moon is referred too as the dark Moon. The day after this new Moon, we will see a small sliver of the Moon after sunset.
After the new Moon, the Moon will be waxing and collecting more light from the Sun day by day until it becomes full 2 weeks later. After the full Moon, the Moon is waning, appearing smaller and smaller in visible shape day by day.
During the full Moon cycle, pranic energy (prana vayu) is dominant. This pranic energy is upward moving, towards the head and north pole of the spinal axis. This period sees an increase of internal fluid, physical energy and possible over stimulation of body and mind.
During the new Moon cycle, apranic energy (apana vayu) is dominant. Apranic energy is downward moving towards the south pole of the spinal axis. This period is decreasing and eliminating in nature. Individuals experience a loss of internal fluid, dry, stiff muscles and joints, decreased physical and mental energy and can often appear moody or lethargic. Due to this downward dominant force of the new Moon, Farmers have found this the optimal time for planting their crops. The uplifting and flowering time of the full Moon is optimal for transplanting and harvesting.
In traditional cultures, new and full Moon periods are favorable times for rituals, auspicious beginnings and endings, more intense sadhana (spiritual practice), ceremonies and important decision making. Astrologers are forever watching the Moon in their predictions and scheduling of important calendar dates to find the most advantageous times for a variety of occasions such as the signing of contracts, weddings, birth and death. Women are often much more cognizant of and sensitive to the Moon cycles due to the Moon’s direct connection to the menstruation cycle. This is the natural sacred cycle of fertility and creation itself.
Living in highly industrialized areas, human beings generally become less attuned to lunar cycles. Often, we do not see the rising or setting of the Moon if we live in an area with tall buildings. We do not rely on lunar light for night vision as our ancestors. We are frequently tuned into the cycle of a 9-5 workday and a 5 day work week more than anything.
Tuning into, witnessing and perhaps even celebrating the lunar cycles of the full and new moon is a way for us to connect to the internal cycles of our own bodies as well as the macrocosmic dance of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Where is the Moon? "
Muito obrigado to Clayton Horton & Tatiane R. for this "illuminating" piece -
Mahalo nui loa ( thank you very much ) to the Kama'ainas ( Hawaiian locals ) who are keeping the Aloha Spirit alive. It is what makes Hawaii , just like Brazil , a special place , where the beauty of the location is intensified by the local vibe.
Tourism is still down in this destination state ; and I think it has made Hawaiians look inwards and really focus once again on themselves and their culture.
The image at left is of Waikiki at sunrise ; looking probably like it did back in the late 1930s when tourists still arrived via cruise ship at Aloha Tower. The irony is that Waikiki is now eroding and hotels & the city government will have to shore it up with additional sand to maintain it.
I made it back to Santa Monica for Jorgen's 6:30 PM class last night . It was MAHA to hear him say to the newbies , " Easy with the water , you don't want to put out the fire . " Now that is being a CLASSIC teacher indeed. Much RESPECT for that.
Will be back in Honolulu next week & I'm already feeling the "Kamaaina spirit" with all the emails from there sprinkled with MAHALOs & ALOHAs. Live from Aloha Stadium 2006 , Pearl Jam covers soulman Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole's Hawaii 78.
Jerome M. had mentioned to me that Jorgen Christiansson would be teaching @ the soon to open Yogis Anonymous studio on 2nd St . I had heard a lot about Jorgen's classes but had never made it to Maha in Brentwood where he also teaches.
This morning was the 1st opportunity I got to practice under him @ his " Classic Yoga Made in India " 10 AM Sunday YA class.
Jorgen's teaching style is marked by the 4 "A"s : Ashtanga , Asana , Alignment & Adjustment. He started class with the traditional 12 asana Surya Namaskar which includes Ashwa Sanchalanasana & Ashtanga Namaskar.
Just like my favorite teachers, Jorgen used Sanskrit throughout the sequences , in calling asanas & counting ( panca, sat ). His explanation & breakdown for approaching & exploring the alignment of the various asanas aided immensely in co-ordinating the breath & creating expansion.
This is really one of the more mature , balanced & well sequenced classes I have practiced at. It also helped that there was just the right number of practitioners on a Sunday morning at the studio ; which probably may not last too long once word of this class spreads.
Jorgen closed our practice with the invocation , " Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu " , the universal prayer from the Vedas. It is MAHA to have this class that references classicism & tradition.
Image via Flickr; * Thank you Angela J. for documenting this amazing adjustment !