As a traveling student , there is nothing like dropping-in at a traditional Ashtanga YogaShala & knowing that there will be a sense of sameness & continuity there ; wherever that " there " may be.
The image on the left is from the entryway of the AYRI Roma yogashala.
Being back in Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving break , I've been able to practice at my teacher's yogashala the past couple of days. During Led Class , I was on the receiving end of several " welcome back " adjustments , which initially reminded me that , yes , sitting in airplanes for etyended period of times is completely unnatural.
But most importantly , it also reminded me that my dharma as a student of the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice is to breathe through it & Surrender. Then everything makes sense & expansion happens.
From the KPJAYI website comes this new entry ( to me ) which distills parampara , the elements of knowledge , dharma & surrender intrinsic to it.
" Surrendering to parampara is like entering a river of teachings that has been flowing for thousands of years , a river that age-old masters have followed into an ocean of knowledge "
This one is really funny. You've probably been a fly on the wall before Led Class or on the way out of a yogashala to catch ( & hear ) these gems of " Chatterranga ". That's what happens when you think ( & talk ) too much & over analyze what is supposed to transform you via "99 % Practice , 1 % Theory" , hehe.
I hope you have all had a happy and relaxing summer ! As September
approaches, the festival season at the Broome Street Temple begins,
starting with Ganesh Chaturthi from September 15th to 19th. During the
fall season the days shorten, and we naturally become more quiet, inward
and reflective. Ganesh, with his small eyes and trunk of
discrimination, symbolizes our reflective nature, and removes the
obstacles that cloud our consciousness that prevent our inward journey
towards Self-knowledge. He is therefore also regarded as the bestower of
the wisdom that accompanies inner reflection.
The Ganesh festival is followed by Devi Navaratri, where we seek the
blessings of the Divine Mother in her aspects Durga, Lakshmi and
Saraswati - She who removes difficulties, bestows spiritual merit and
prosperity, and makes us fit to receive divine knowledge. It is also the
fall harvest festival, when the Divine Mother is thanked and celebrated
for giving the bounty of food and nourishment.
The season culminates with Deepavali, the festival of lights, where we
celebrate the light of realization, the inner light of divine
consciousness that resides equally in all beings, with music, dance and
There are three levels that all of these festivals, and all spiritual practices, address: personal, elemental and collective.
* On the personal level, we devote ourselves to internal purification,
clarification of our intentions, and intensify our spiritual practices;
* On the elemental level, we see that we are an intricately woven part
of the natural world, and therefore strive to respect and care for
nature and our planet;
* On a collective level, we strengthen our understanding that at our
core we are one, unified field of consciousness, and through mantra,
ritual, yoga and other practices, seek to move beyond differences to a
state of wholeness, compassion and understanding.
When we chant Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi at the end of our prayers, we are acknowledging these three levels.
So, please save the dates of September 15th - 19th for our grandest
festival of the year. Our special additions to the schedule this year
include Veda chanting and arati on Pier 40 at the Hudson River to
inaugurate the festival on Saturday the 15th, from 4-6 pm, and the
Ganesh Utsav procession on Wednesday the 19th, at 6 pm.
In the next email we will send a detailed schedule, and ways for you to
get involved in making our 11th annual festival a huge success!
One of the challenges of traveling for work is finding the time to squeeze in a vist to a local yogashala in order to attend Mysore or Led Class.
I made it to Troy Lucero's 6:30 AM Mysore class last Tuesday at the East Hall of the Oddfellows Building on Capito Hill.
Troy has been practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for 20 years . He went to India in 1993 to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois , apprenticed with Tim Miller & spent 7 years teaching with Richard Freeman in Colorado.
Troy is an experienced teacher. His website states " He has a rare ability to assess & understand each student's body & yoga practice ". Which I concur with as he provided a number of valuable pointers during my practice as well as insights into what I should work on moving forward.
The East Hall has a double height ceiling which is unusual for a practice space. It provided a sense of expansion as I moved through the Surya Namaskars while the morning sunlight started to filter in. Very contemplative & mellow.
I am definitely looking forward to dropping in again on my next visit to Seattle.
21 June 2012 (First day of Ratha Yatra). Usually by sunset, the three chariots of Baladeva, Subhadra and Jagannath would reach Gundica Temple on the first day. This year however, none of the chariots reach Gundica Temple on this day. So our sankirtan party led the crowd in front of Baladeva's chariot to a blissful 6-hour dancing and singing of the Lord's names and glories. Baladeva almost reached Gundica Temple while Subhadra and Jagannath are just about to reach midway. This video is just a little fraction of today's ecstatic sankirtan
I had lunch today with Lila Padma Devi Dasi as she will be heading to Mysore soon for an extended stay. We share the intention of being able to devote more time eventually in visiting temples & practicing Bhakti & Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. This vdo from Kino shares her experiences & insights with Mysore , Guruji , Sharath & practicing in the yogashala.