MYCPT is very fortunate to have Yvonne de Kock teach two workshop classes in which students will learn to count in Sanskrit, the asana names of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, and the opening and closing mantras. The focus will be on correct pronunciation. Yvonne has been a student of yoga for over 26 years and has been studying Sanskrit for the past 17 years. More details about the classes here, and more about Yvonne here. All proceeds will go to CSI. WHY IS PRONUNCIATION SO IMPORTANT IN SANSKRIT? It is important to spend a little time to learn the basics of Sanskrit pronunciation. Reading [……..]
The more you work inwards by paying attention to breath control throughout the practice, the more you build up stamina to carry on if needed, and if the practitioner is ready. Many people, and I include myself, are attracted at first to the physical challenge and benefit. The problem is the misconception of thinking that we have to achieve a complete series in order to have a full practice, without paying attention to the vinyasas, not to mention the drishtis. Patience is required from the practitioner as much as from the teacher to lead slowly, slowly in the safest way towards developing a full self-practice, like Surya Namaskara can be.
As students at AIR may know, Neal & Vanessa were in Mysore, India over Jan & Feb studying at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI). Pattabhi Jois, who is considered the father of the Mysore Ashtanga method, passed away some years ago, of course. But today the institute is run by his grandson, Sharath Jois. Each year, thousands of Ashtanga practitioners stream to the city of Mysore to deepen their practice alongside well-known practioners. Many of these students are of course teachers themselves. Mysore is known as the birthplace of Ashtanga, and continues to be the source – the spring of inspiration and learning for Ashtanga [……..]
So what is this mysterious chanting we do before Practice? Does this affect my faith? What does the opening chant really mean? Should I chant it if I don’t know what it means? Hopefully the following translation will try to answer these questions. The translation is taken from a talk by Arvind Pare (https://www.facebook.com/GangaInGokulam) which I was fortunate to attend on my last trip to Mysore 2014. Arvind had many insightful stories and commentaries which help to give the chant a greater meaning. So I’ve included some of them here. The original text is written in Sanskrit but I’ve used the English transliteration below. For [……..]
The yoga journey is a lifelong quest, but there are many milestones and joys to celebrate along the way. They say you can eat a whole elephant simply by taking small bites. Now I don’t wish to advocate eating elephants, but I still think it’s a great metaphor! And yoga is like that: Yoga is the elephant, because it’s huge. Just consider that asana – the physical practice that starts with sun salutations and ends with everybody’s old favourite, savasana – is just one part of the eight-fold path of yoga. And the asanas themselves take many years to master. Suddenly asana doesn’t seem quite [……..]