A video of ashtanga yoga students practising around the world, will be released on the full moon day of July 31st 2015. It will show the global influence that Pattabhi Jois has had on so many people; many of whom (including myself), have never even met him
This video will show students simply showing up on their mats and practising yoga. This is a wonderful, moving tribute to Guruji who dedicated his life to Ashtanga yoga. A fitting celebration/dedication to a wonderful man in what would have been his 100th birthday year.
Sharath said " new asana new pain" last week in conference, here in Mysore. Anyone who practises Ashatanga yoga can probably relate to this-I think practising some "old" asana's with a new approach can also create pain ( both physical and emotional)...in my experience if we stick with it, and trust in the process we can overcome some of of this pain ( both real and imagined) .....He also said he took two years with one pose-I would love to know what pose that was? but I am not quite brave enough to ask :-)
I have been here in Mysore at KPJAYI for 9 days now. This is my 3rd trip to Mysore and thus far my most introspective. The shala is VERY busy but the energy is quite calm. There are lots of students waiting in the lobby area to be called to practise in the morning, again a very calm and civil bunch of yoga students (or perhaps I am more calm and civil :-)).
Time is a funny thing here. No-one seems to stick to it. The cleaner said "I will come at 11am on Friday" she came at 1pm on Saturday. The man who fixed the internet problem said "Madam, I will come at 7.15pm on Friday"; he showed up at 10.15 on Saturday (at least the quarter past the hour was consistent in his case). Time goes really fast or incredibly slow; it can sometimes feel like a twilight zone.
Sharath is on excellent form; smiley and happy and moving around the shala in his usual nimble way. His mother Saraswarti no longer assists him in the main shala (although she still teaches in her own shala). I…
Great clip of Sharath in the shala in Mysore-amazing how he is able to stay really focused whilst his son plays around a few feet away from him. I also thought it interesting how high he stays on his toes when he jumps back & rolls forward-thoughts on that anyone?
Svadhyaya : means self- study. A teacher can only guide a yoga student. A student must then go and study- expanding the knowledge they have learnt from their teacher, until they have some deeper personal understanding of the subject, being shown to them.
Swadhayadisthaddevatasamprayogah YS 2.44
While practicing self study we totally submerse ourselves in the deity that we have chosen.
See Sharath Jois- Astanga yoga Anusthana for his interpretation on this.
I feel really lucky to have practised yoga with the two people I would call the most influential teachers in my yoga practice, Nancy Gilgoff and Sharath Jois, here in London this summer (see previous blog items).
Nancy has of course known the Jois family for many, many years and recommended practising ashtanga yoga with Manju, if I got the opportunity.
StillPoint yoga London hosted him here in London and I managed to get along to one led ashtanga yoga class. It was a wonderful experience and I can only describe it as a "soft and joyful" practice.
It is always interesting to see how the same yoga asanas (more or less), are taught differently by different teachers. Manju counted us into the pose but not once we were in it. I glanced at him in in what seemed to be a very long Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and saw that he was counting to himself throughout. This really made me smile. The long pranayama and chanting were the best and was indeed the pranayama practice Nancy had t…
Well this is a rare treat indeed-Sharath teaching a short pranayama on youtube and wearing his Brahmin thread. This is the pranayama that he shared here in London on his recent trip.This is the first time I have ever seen a video of him teaching like this.
What an honour it has been to be part of the ashtanga yoga community sharing a week of yoga with the wonderful Sharath Jois here in London.
Meeting new people, seeing familiar faces, and even practising next to my daughter on one occasion. Sharath was truly happy and shiny (which was very contagious) and even taught a short pranayama at the end of the led primary class on two occasions (which I personally have never experienced with him before). He said that you could use this pranayama if you were stressed or angry... perhaps he thinks us Londoners need it! :-)
He laughed a lot. My daughter Cally had her hands apart in virabhadrasana 1 and I could hear him saying "close your hands" and knew he was talking to her. I reached over and pushed them together. He whispered to me "is she yours?" and laughed (he later said he thought we looked very similar). We were two in a very large group. I'm sure everyone in the room has taken a bit of "Sharath sunshine&quo…
From Sharath Jois Astanga Yoga Anusthana: Sauca means maintaining both internal and external purity (antara sauca and bahir sauca, respectively)
Thinking good positive thoughts will keep our mind pure. Likewise keeping our environment and person, clothes, body, belongings and surroundings clean and clear will also keep our vision clean and clear.
With purity of speech and thought, the mind will also be purified.
Once the mind is purified then the atma (the soul) will be purified. This applies especially to the yoga practitioner, who should keep himself clean in respect to and in consideration for others, and also as an example to others.
saucatsvangajugupsa parairasmsargah YS 2.40
From cleanliness, an aversion to one's own body and contact with the bodies of others develops.
My daughter has been practising yoga on and off for a number of years. She and my son grew up in a household where yoga is a way of life for me. I have never imposed yoga on my family, but I have to say I love having my daughter in my classes. She has started to have a much deeper understanding of yoga and this understanding is helping her through a very difficult and stressful period of time as she prepares for her degree show at Central Saint Martins in London.
I am currently her only yoga teacher but I am hoping she will be able to practice with my own teachers, Nancy Gilgoff and with Sharath Jois when they are in London over the summer.
I remember discussing with Nancy many years ago how it felt to see her daughter practising with her. She had said she always loved looking through her legs and seeing Vanessa on a mat beside her. Vanessa now assists her quite often when she is teaching around the world.
My daughter and I discuss yoga. All limbs. Not too much because in a way by tr…
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?
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 Ya…
I love all the stories here! Such a wonderful insight to Pattabhi Jois-what a great sense of humour he had. I think Sharath has learnt a lot from his grandfather in all areas. I've seen him cut people down in conference when he thinks they have asked a stupid question.