My teacher has been working with me the past couple of weeks in order to progress in Marichyasana B & C. They have proven to be pretty intense asanas but with his strong adjustments , I am starting to see the proverbial " light at the end of the tunnel " , as well as focus on my breathing as I endeavor to relax into the binding. Chris Croft , who teaches in the south of England , breaks down the approach to Marichyasana in this video. As he describes Ashtanga Yoga ,
" Your journey begins here " .
KAWAL SINGH AHLUWALIA, a spiritual man who practices yoga daily, built his house overlooking the Arabian Sea more than 20 years ago.
But recently, Mr. Ahluwalia, known as Titoo, has found his center of gravity shifting from Mumbai, where he keeps an apartment and runs an organic food company called Conscious Food, to this sleepy village about three hours from the city.
“It offers me an almost sacred silence,” he said. “This place is a sanctuary for the soul."
Yoga is initially about transformation , but real practice will connect one to God , to the Divine . I am encouraged to finally read an article from the NY Times that is not focusing on the superficiality of the " yoga scene " , but illustrates how one man changed his lifestyle & environment in order to enhance his connection with the spiritual.
Saraswathi, daughter of Guruji, Sri K Pattabhi Jois, practiced and learned yoga at home under her father’s guidance from the age of 10 in 1951, until taking on family responsibilities in 1963.
She then assisted Guruji in yoga classes until 1975 at which time she began her own classes. In 2002, Saraswathi once again started teaching with Guruji (and Sharath) at their shala, KPJAYI, in Mysore.
To this day, she continues steadfastly teaching Ashtanga Yoga both at home in India as well as offering workshops internationally. We are incredibly fortunate to have her teachings come to us here in Encinitas.
Just back from another business trip , this time around , Seattle WA this week.
Had a terrific Thai vegetarian dinner at In the Bowl Vegetarian Bistro ( the use of the word bistro is a bit of a stretch hehe, as cafe' might be more apropo ) Wed. evening.
For those of us who have been to Thailand , the authentic flavors & freshness of the food there are not that easy to come by here in the USA. To be able to pull those off without using ingredients like fish sauce is incredible. Such is the case at In the Bowl.
The other interesting feature of ITB were all the Ganesha murtis adorning every counter & ledge of the space. Majority of the Thais are Buddhist , but they still manage to worship Hindu deities like Ganapati as well.
I had also emailed Troy Lucero that I was going to drop-in for his Thursday AM Mysore class. Unfortunately , a meeting was called for 8:30 AM that same morning at the last minute. Troy was gracious to email back & say he was looking forward to seeing me on my next trip back to Seattle.
& Thumbs down to the W Hotel Seattle & Alaska Airlines for still charging for WiFi access. It is the 21st CE people ! Even SEATAC has Free WiFi available all over the concourses -
It was over a year ago that I first approached my teacher with the idea of a fundraiser at the Electric Lodge benefitting Yoga Gives Back ( www.yogagivesback.org ). His passion for India & its various gifts to the world has been an ongoing inspiration to me. So in the spirit of yogic SEVA , I sponsored what turned out to be the most successful YGB fundraiser last year. It is heartening that the intention & energy from that event has now snowballed into a Global Fundraiser on Sept. 17th this year. Esteemed teachers Eddie Stern & Kino MacGregor have likewise committed to support the cause , to empower women in India to build sustainable livelihoods. Thanks to Ting Poo , one of Jorgen's Mysore class assistants , for editing this vdo. Ki Jai !
YogaCityNYC just did a feature entiitled " Eddie Stern's All Encompassing Space ."
I have mentioned in several previous posts that the Broome St. Temple / AYNY shala is a special place in SoHo.
Here is an excerpt that illustrates why :
" The Ganesh temple on Broome Street was opened by legendary yoga teacher and Pattabhi Jois disciple, Eddie Stern, in 2000.
Inside are two shrines, one dedicated to the elephant God Ganesh, and another to Krishna, preserver of the universe. A meditative space devoted to Shiva: the cosmic dancer and an idol of Hanuman: the monkey God, add cosmic balance to the space. The space is small, about 1800 square feet and holds 80 people. During the day it doubles as a yoga studio.
In India, Stern learned Ashtanga and Sanskrit chanting. He found the temple atmosphere moving and decided to incorporate it into his school. “The devotional part of yoga, to surrender yourself to something higher than your own self is important,” he explained. "
Via Nityanandarama 108 is this bhajan as written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura , sung during the 4 AM Magala Aarti. " The night has come to an end & the light of dawn is entering. O jiva soul , arise & give up your sleep . Chant the holy names of Lord Hari, who is the giver of liberation .."
I would like to thank Mike of the Ashtanga Yoga Center of Austin for the warm welcome to their shala & allowing me to drop-in for morning Mysore yesterday. It always helps to send an introductory email mentioning my teacher prior to dropping-in , as I had done from Dallas earlier during the week. From the shala website : " Our purpose is to teach Ashtanga yoga in a way that teaches both the lineage of Krishnamacharya & Shri K. Pattabhi Jois and meets each student individually - for the spiritual , mental and physical benefit of the community . " www.ashtangaaustin.com
In this Yoga Discussion Room ,David Garrigues discusses the challenges of working with our reactions & responses during the practice. Thanks David for coming up with this insightful video. Most videos do not address what Guruji had described & David quotes here as " The internal practice , everything else is circus ". Maharaj takes this even higher by stating that " The practice of yoga should lead one to God ." There is a lot of superficiality going on in the yoga blogging arena , where more attention is paid online as to what the crowd or scene at a studio is , how one can scam a free class or event , or where to chase the latest roach truck. Whatever your MAYA & ego's agenda is , you need to bring it back to tradition , & ask yourself why you really ( claim to ) practice.