Death has such great importance in this society that it affects everything. I learned from my guru that death is not the enemy, I see it as another moment. Yet it’s the end of an incarnation and means going on to other incarnations. Ram Dass
This Vinyassa flow sequence taught by Claire Missingham is a great example of how dynamic flow yoga does not have to be rushed. I have practised in london with Claire a couple of times and have enjoyed the way she teaches what could be deemed difficult poses with a soft approach.
Regardless of what may happen, we are all going to age. However, it is how we age both mentally and physically that will affect our quality of life. According to yoga philosophy it is the flexibility of the spine that determines the age. You only have to look at yoga gurus - both past and present - to see that a regular yoga practice has a huge effect on the ageing process.
The body is supple and mobile and the brain remains active well into old age. Many yoga teachers look more youthful than their birth age and remain “young at heart”, living active lives well into their 90's. The current trend for a quick fix under the surgeons scalpel is just that; a “quick fix” to make one look youthful on the outside, while the rest of the body is degenerating in the usual way. Yoga and a yogic lifestyle allows the body to slow the ageing process down.
Stress is a major factor in ageing. By learning to control and use your breath (pranayama) to help control stressful situations, you are abl…
The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible. Ram Dass
You did so in the full understanding that the American dream is a dream that all the world's people deserve; that a new world is in the making in which humanity should be united in its diversity of race, gender, language and religion. Nelson Mandela
I have found this fantastic video on Youtube. It is an amazing demonstration of advanced flow yoga, definitely not for the faint-hearted. He must have many years experience under his belt... As they say on the TV, do not try this at home!
Seeing as though it is Friday, I thought I would post something different; a video featuring live music from Ravi Shankar, one of India's best known musicians, that I have come across on Youtube. The clip was recorded live at The Concert For Bangladesh in August 1971 to an audience of some 400,000 people in Madison Square Garden in New York. The event was organised by ex-Beatle, George Harrison, and Ravi Shankar in order to raise money for newly independent Bangladesh, which had been struck by war and natural disasters.
In the clip, you can hear the Indian music part of the show, with Ravi Shankar playing the sitar, accompanied by other well known Indian musicians. I do not profess to being an expert on Indian music, but the performance is quite amazing and, of course, is great for practising yoga to. In my humble opinion, it is well worth watching.
Here is another ashtanga yoga video I have come across on Youtube. The poses demonstrated in the video are superb, the music is very relaxing and the locations (it was shot in India) are quite breathtaking. Highly recommendable!
The practice of yoga induces a primary sense of measure and proportion. Reduced to our own body, our first instrument, we learn to play it, drawing from it maximum resonance and harmony. (Yehudi Menuhin)
My introduction to Bikram yoga was at the Funky Door Studio in San Fransico. I arrived with my friend and was warmly welcomed by the teacher, who called me by my first name - via a microphone headset - from the front of the class throughout the practice. The class was full of young scantily-clad yoga students, who all appeared to know the 26 poses in the Bikram series.
Before the yoga session starts a towel is placed on your yoga mat. The reason why becomes apparent very soon as the room is heated to sauna temperature and the sequence is commenced with a breathing practice (prananyama). In that first class my friend and I must have hit the floor at least five times to escape the heat. I found it amazing that anyone could stay on their feet for the duration of the class; the heat was so intense that I started to feel quite dizzy. As I looked around the classroom from my new position on the floor, I could see people standing in pools of sweat (hence the towels on the mat). It is, therefo…
For those of you who would like to further your knowledge of yoga, I would like to recommend the following book: Moola Bandha (The Master Key) by Swami Buddhananda, published by the Bihar School of Yoga.
The book is suitable for any yoga student who would like to understand more about the effects of the bandhas in a yoga practice. It is a fascintating read, describing how to use the bandhas in order to activate the arousal of Kundalini, the primal energy within.
The three bandhas are the Jalandhara or throat lock, Uddiyana or abdomen lock and the Moola, perineum or root lock. There is a fourth bandha, which is a combination of the three, called maha bandha.
Very little has been written about the ancient practice of bandhas. This book has a theoretic and practical approach to the use of bandhas, as well as covering pranic and psychotherapeutic aspects of using these locks. Practical advice is given in order to help you to find and use them effectively.
Here is an amusing video I have found on Youtube titled Laughing Yoga. It is not to be taken at all seriously, but the laughter (especially the anti-stress yoga) is rather contagious. Sorry about the poor quality sound, by the way... but enjoy!