I have posted this video before but on the heels of the previous post regarding Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , it deserves a re-feature. The Sri Siksastakam is composed of 8 verses in which the mission , the Sankirtan movement & precepts of Sri Krishna Chaitanya are revealed. " Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam "
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois talks about his Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya. I never got to study with or meet Guruji but his parampara is kept alive by his grandson Sharath & all the teachers that continue to share the system & practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. And on Guru Purnima , we will honor & express gratitude to all the teachers who have helped us dispel the darkness of our own ignorance & illusion. Blessings !
I stayed at the Public Chicago last week , a new concept as conceived by hotelier ian Schrager. He has been on my radar for quite a while , from his early days as a nightclub impresario at Studio 54 ( which I was too young to experience ).
However , I have stayed & partied at several of his seminal hotels ; Morgans , the Paramount ,the Royalton , the Mondrian , the list goes on.
So the Public is a new " personalized & service oriented " property. Which suits my present incarnation perfectly. No fuss & hype , just comfort & convenience.
It is most relaxed early in the morning for breakfast at the Library. The party hordes do start descending at 5 PM in order to start drinking at the Library or the transformed iconic Pump Room. These have been isolated to the 2 flanking wings of the lobby , so the disco inferno atmosphere that usually greets you at the lobby of any W Hotel is avoided.
The Pump Room was the place to see & be seen back in the day. And its original , albeit more senior Gold Coast Chicago crowd was quite in evidence early Monday evening when we had dinner there.
I was wondering what was going through their minds as they took in the new sparse look of the Pump Room , devoid of the gold plaster that used to reign there. How they liked Chef Jean-Georges " farm to table " centric menu.
Seeing the smiles on their faces & hearing their polite laughter , it did feel that they were embracing the change.
I won't be able to attend my teacher's retreat next weekend as I am flying out to Chicago on Monday , back to Sta. Monica for the weekend just to change suitcase contents , then it is onwards to Atlanta the following Monday.
It is scheduled from June 22nd to 24th at the Udaya Retreat Sanctuary in Malibu.
The retreat schedule will consist of daily yoga classes, Saturday PM satsang Q & A workshop / conference , chanting / Kirtan , sunset meditation , gourmet vegetarian / vegan cuisine , fresh juices & smoothies.
That's me on the left thanking the Deities the count is almost over , especially in a Prasarita C adjustment.
Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana is one of the asanas that I am working on refining in my practice. Patrick helped me with it just as he breaks it down here in the standing series version during his evening Mysore class at Miami Life Center. It is very reaffirming when he says that the asana will become accessible to me in time. Patrick is heading to Mysore in July.
It has been several months since I last dropped in at Chad Herst's Mysore class in the Mission SFO.
However , he does keep his blog updated regularly. I enjoy keeping up with it as he addresses questions & topics that have been bandied about in the blogosphere .
The difference being that he writes from a very scholarly , erudite & calm manner ( i.e. no sensationalism or profanity necessary to drive home points ). Pretty much the Chad I have known from the couple of times I have seen him in SFO.
This particular post sheds light on the curent dichotomy between what was the classic Indian yogi , the new India & the West.
He describes Classical Indian Dharma versus the Western Path as : " In India, the sense of individuality and uniqueness is not valued in the same way it is valued in the West. From a very young age, what is valued is one’s relationship to one’s role in society. If you are a brahman, then, indeed, that’s what you are. That’s the role you are to play out in society.
Relatively speaking, life tends to happen to people in India compared to the West. It isn’t chosen the way it’s chosen here. And while that is starting to change, now, the change is slow. So, for example, it wasn’t until recently and in certain very small pockets of Indian culture that one would even think to choose one’s partner in marriage. That was determined by the caste of the individuals, the parents, and often with the aid of a family astrologer.
One’s role is called dharma, or duty. A major theme in The Bhagvad Gita, is performing one’s duty to caste. If that means fighting one’s family members for the sake of upholding the universal law, or santana dharma, then it must be done, like it or not.
The essence of the training of the yogi in India is the elimination of likes and dislikes, of the overly identified sense of self, called asmita in the Yoga Sutras. And, in turn, identifying and surrendering to the role the society has put upon him or her.
What we in the West think of as the creative faculty to be at choice in how we live our lives is completely eliminated. Surrendering to one’s role-be it one’s role in society or in the family unit-is the transformational breakthrough that’s asked of the aspirant. "
Ashtanga4Life is another recent visitor to Mysore with a series of photos & blog posts providing a glimpse of the Gokulam experience :
" A huge part of practicing Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India is centered around the locals and yoga tourists who live in Gokulam.
Mysore is a fairly large city, and Gokulam is the section of it where the Sri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga institute is located.
From the coffee & chocolate man, to the sweet shop, cows, rickshaws and coconuts, here’s what you can expect to see if you travel to Mysore to practice Ashtanga yoga.
Eventually, he ( Sharath on what it meant to become more spiritual ) just told us. I wish I had written down exactly what he said, but his basic message was that becoming spiritual means changing yourself.
It means learning to keep the focus on the internal world while turning away from the distraction and struggle of trying to change the external one all the time. Surrender. Accept. Change comes from this. "