22 April 2013

Savasana or No asana?

So this is the one thing in Sharath's new book ASTANGA YOGA ANUSTHANA that took me slightly by surprise. At the end of the yoga practice Sharath says "take rest". In Mysore he says "go home and take rest". Many, many books and teachers (including myself) refer to the pose below as savasana. Sharath says in his book this is NOT savasana as no asana (pose) is being done. Thoughts anyone?

Pattabhi Jois and Sharath - Opening Chant

Some great old footage. Not sure when this was taken, but Sharath looks quite young.

Thank you to Dmitry Baryshnikov for sharing.

21 April 2013

The inward journey: To know oneself

"To know oneself is to know ones body, mind and soul." 
"The inward journey will allow you to explore and integrate each of these aspects of your being. from your physical body, you will journey inward to discover your "subtle bodies"-your energy body, where breath and emotions reside; your mental body, where thoughts and obsessions can be mastered: your intellectual body, where intelligence and wisdom can can be found; and your divine body, where the universal soul can be glimpsed." 

Light on Life.
B.K.S Iyengar

17 April 2013

Asteya-Yama, Non-stealing by Sharath Jois

Here is Asteya one of the Yamas from the ashtanga yoga eight limbs.

This is from Sharath's book Astanga yoga Anusthana. I have heard him discuss some of the things mentioned here, including the stealing of poses. I think if we could all practice this to the best of our ability (both in and out of the yoga community), life would indeed be a better place. I think quite often non-stealing is associated with material theft. This item clearly defines a number of areas to be considered.

"Asteya means non stealing property or wealth that belongs to others. This includes not stealing work, ideas or even attempting to perform Asana that are not taught to you. If you practice non-stealing, you will reap all the gems of life, which are not necessary monetary. Real gems are peace of mind, joy and ultimate happiness. According to the yogis, there is no gem like the peace of mind and ultimate joy that we can attain through spiritual practice, and non-attachment,  Indeed, non-attachment is probably the most effective antidote to the desire to steal, for the desire to possess comes to us only when we succumb to forms of attachments."
Sharath Jois

asteyapratishaayam sarvaratnopasthanam YS 2.37
When one is established in non-stealing, all jewels present themselves.

15 April 2013

Astanga Yoga Anusthana, Sharath Jois

I'm lucky enough to have a copy of the Sharath Jois book filtering its way out of Mysore. It is a beautiful simple book with some fabulous images like the ones above, displaying the humility and parampara shared between Guruji and Sharath. Parampara "the uninterrupted succession: the direct and unbroken transmission of knowledge from a teacher to his or her student"

The book gives all asana (poses) with the sanskrit count and offers a few asana for therapy, including respiratory problems and back pain. Interestingly for me, the poses for back pain are amongst some things my husband will give his patients, when he is treating them for back issues.

There is a short pranayama Nadhi Shodan which I take to mean you can practice this technique whilst doing primary series (this book is only primary series); not only once you have gotten through 3rd series, as I have seen recommended recently.

There are beautiful mantras and clear definitions on Sharath interpretation of the Yama and Niyama...some of which I will share in another post.

I love that this book is simple and not over styled, which in my mind is what Ashtanga yoga is all about.

04 April 2013

Hands on Yoga adjustments, David Keil

I would highly recommend David Keil DVDs for both yoga teachers or students that would like to understand more about yoga adjustments or how to approach a yoga pose in a different way.

His teaching technique is very clear. He has obviously spent a lot of time studying the body (and yoga).

I've learnt a lot from watching these DVDs and I think they are very useful reference tools, especially if - like me - you like to give hands on yoga adjustments.

03 April 2013

Stillpoint Yoga London Mini Documentary

A lovely short film from Stillpoint yoga in London Bridge. It shows you can find peace and tranquilly in the middle of this great city. I have had the pleasure of practising yoga in this space recently. It is a beautiful "understated" yoga space where Scott and his colleagues are sharing  Ashtanga yoga without the hype. Go and see for yourself!