From the Bhagavad Gita : " When like the tortoise, which withdraws on all sides its limbs, the aspirant withdraws his senses from the sense-objects. Then wisdom becomes steady. The tortoise symbolizes looking inward , and controlling very carefully what is put out. "
I really look forward to our Sunday morning classes. There is no sense of fervid dashing through traffic which I encounter on weekdays if I am in town in order to make it to a weekday evening class. As they say in Brasil , muito tranquilo !
And perhaps because there is more natural light in the room , the adjustments of Jorgen C. seem deeper & more expansive ; particularly in an asana like Kurmasana where the drishti is directed inwards to the ajna chakra. Surrender & breathe through it.
The New York Times has just released another vapid piece entitled " The Yoga Manifesto " . The oft mentioned term " Yoga Superstar " was used frequently in the article. Putting Jivamukti's Sharon Gannon & David Life in that category is a bit of a stretch as they do not project themselves as such. There are also genuine celebrities of our time , like Christy Turlington for example , who have communicated their journey intelligently & spiritually. However, there is an emerging breed of opportunists who are vibrating at a lower frequency , pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator and pushing their own not so hidden agendas of superstardom via YouTube & The Huffington Post. As the source of the " Bon Jovi Chant " likes to phrase it defensively , " What is tradition ? " Classicism & tradition are definitely not corny , cheesy or disingenous . MAYA has been described as illusion & delusion ; terms which are applicable to these poster children for Ahamkara gone wild. Hari Om Tat Sat.
Here are Mick & Keith of the Stones exposing their vulnerable & sensitive sides in this classic video , " I can Almost Hear You Sigh . " As I can attest to from a previous life , it is usually serial heart breakers that get their karmic "come-uppance " via losing " The One ". I was thinking of this tune after class last night as there was a member of the pack / species "Westside Cougaris" who was practicing beside me. One of the hallmarks of this group is the incessant moaning & sighing which they think constitutes Ujjayi pranayama. As my teacher says , " Breathe through your nose , not through your mouth , hehe . " Ujjayi has the silken & rhythmic texture of oceanic breath and is effective in Yoga Chikitsa : therapy & purification. So call attention to your breath & not to yourself -
I have been in Seattle this week and had the opportunity to visit Samadhi Yoga on Pike St.
" At Samadhi Yoga our aim is to share the magic of yoga to help students attain the essential state of joy or Samadhi. Samadhi literally translated means transcendental bliss. Classes may include traditional Sanskrit chants , mantra japa , pranayama and meditation as a means for realizing the ultimate state of pure consciousness, Samadhi. "
Across from Samadhi (and with an ironically located Ferrari dealership around the corner ) are a couple of my favorite restaurants in Seattle ,Plum Bistro & Boom Noodle .
Boom has the best vegetarian Shiitake Soba & Yasai Yakisoba ; I ate there everyday . Plum Bistro serves coffee in individual presses from Stumptown Coffee Roasters which I had first experienced at the Ace Hotel NYC.
The other discovery this trip was Le Panier ,the self-titled " Very French Bakery " , in Pike Place Market. Incredibly flaky almond croissants & coffee. It's a good place to drop in on a rainy Seattle day -
Teacher & author Peter Marchand talks about Pratyahara ; the withdrawal & purification of the senses in Ashtanga Yoga. I am of the the belief that Pratyahara should be emphasized by teachers so that new students can develop a sense of attunement & will in order to set the tone before practice. It continues to amaze me as to how some people who claim to have been practicing for a while cannot stop talking / chattering before class and then proceed to pipe up even louder after. The word "calm " does not exist in their vocabulary. Kurmasana is a great analogy for Pratyahara ; like a tortoise , withdrawing into one's shell , turning inward .
I took this picture early Wednesday evening as I was walking with my nephew along Fillmore Avenue towards Broadway in Pacific Heights. The condominium on the right was a hangout during my college days as a friend's family had a unit on the 10th floor.
The weather in San Francisco has been glorious this week . I had flown in early Monday morning and then headed out to St. Helena and Healdsburg in a downpour.
Thanks to Chad Herst of Mission Ashtanga for saying " I am digging your blog -" . Will endeavor to make it to your early AM Mysore class when I am back again in SFO towards the end of May.
Also in the groovy Mission District is Foreign Cinema , where I had an excellent meal of seasonal vegetables & local cheese with an associate, while a Chinese art film was projected on the exterior patio wall.