Sunday, 28 September 2014

Falling asleep in Savasana and the search of great Coffee and Samadhi

M. snapped the picture of me in Savasana yesterday, I'd fallen asleep and not for the first time it seems, Savasana, in the bath, in a friends Meditation class, "Stay present, stay present, stay... ZZzzzzzzzzzz

I thought the picture gives an idea of the size of the upstairs Shala, only just wide enough. I should probably be running the mats lengthwise, which would be facing east too, might try it for this evenings practice but you know what it's like, once you have your spot....

In need of Coffee, damned good coffee....
Yesterday I spent running around Kyoto, on my own, playing tourist. Back when were were living in Kyoto, ten years or so ago, we tended to avoid the main tourist areas in favour of the more out of the way or less well known temples and shrines. Yesterday I saw places for the first time that I'd only seen in pictures, despite living there for a number of years.

Hoken-ji pgaoda

Best of all though was discovering the Best Coffee in Kyoto, the Kansai region, in all Japan, perhaps..... unless you know different.

I'd ended up wandering from Gion down to the Hoken-ji and the four ( or is it five ) tier Pagoda. After walking all day I was in need of a coffee but to be honest the coffee hasn't been that great thus far. Just down from Hoken-ji though was a fancy looking place that boasted great coffee but looked a little too fancy for it's own good, too much style over content perhaps. Still, it had an espresso machine in the window and sacks of beans, how bad could it be.

Lets jump ahead,

I was given my macchiato in a paper cup, Hmmmmm the first sip, the world dropped away, I can't really put it into words but everything just, well,  dropped away and there was this sense of peace, a Samadhi of sorts but lasting I guess only a minute. With the second sip I just smiled and felt as happy as I've ever felt, with the third I almost burst out laughing, " This is great coffee" I said, ".... but you know that". The guy just smiled, he knew.

Perhaps they get that a lot.

Clearly I need to sit more

It was the best coffee I've ever had, surely the best in Kyoto if not Japan, Samadhi for heaven's sake, can it get better than that, really?

It's a one shop company, supposedly the owner asked himself what he really wanted in life and decide he just wanted a simple life and good coffee so bought himself a coffee farm in Hawaii.

In the shop he will roast your beans for you in a special roaster made in Japan that takes five minutes, then he'll grind thebeans for you. Your coffee he'll run through the most incredibly beautiful espresso machine I've ever seen, all metal and wood. It has these beautiful wooden paddles that you can adjust the flow of the coffee, unfortunately it's called 'The slayer' but it's made in Seattle and they know a thing or two about coffee I hear.

The barista is Junichi Yamaguchi, a world Champion I believe, beautiful to watch him work, adjusting this, tweaking that..... well here he is at work on the Seattle Slayer, here in Hong Kong.

Anyway great coffee and made me want to move back to Kyoto within cycling distance of the place.

M.however,  is an Osaka girl and perhaps feels a little slighted, she's been sending me links to the best coffee in Osaka.

I cycled across town to one today, Brooklyn Roasting Company in Kitahama. And it was great coffee except that the barista, keen to show off his fancy creme design perhaps just kept pouring and pouring the milk in to my macchiato, ruined. Of course if you like latte then just order a macchiato here and you get a latte on the cheap.

Nope sorry, still moving to Kyoto.

But of course %Arabica isn't going to be open before practice in the morning, I still need my pre-practice brew. I came across this researching coffee in Kyoto. Seems Kyoto has a bit of a thing for the vacuum syphon method and I'm tempted to try it out,  perhaps pick one up for home use, some say it's the best method of all.

Cona Vacuum Brewer

Update: but for now we've picked up an Aeropress half price, always wanted to try one, what it may lack in romance it supposedly makes up for in flavour.

Going to be a little embarrassing asking for freshly picked, freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee from Arabica for one of the these but still the thing is portable so I can take back to the UK and Moscow in November for the workshops.

Link to Aeropress World Championship. Love how 3rd place went into the finer points of ph balance whereas the winner just chucked some water in shook it about a bit and plunged.

I mentioned that I'll be giving a workshop in Moscow in November, they seem to like the old picture of me playing my flute with my leg behind my head for their flyer's. I tried to explain to my friend Michelle that there was a serious point behind the picture (  Michele, Ashtangi Angel, has a workshop coming up herself in November, in Coventry on Overcoming Fear in Ashtanga Practice. It's also Michelle who painted my Vayu in the Mysore style seen behind me in the picture below).  I'd been offered free flute lessons but I couldn't find the time to practice yoga and flute, thus the tongue in cheek photo. However, while setting up for the picture I noticed that it was hard to play long tones without half decent alignment, I started exploring playing some long tones in different postures..... I don't think she bought it, still thinks I was just showing off.

There is no justification at all for making an update with a Shakuhachi but I did it anyway.

See this post

Friday, 26 September 2014

Krishnamacharya's Personal Pranayama practice? UPDATE: Details of MY upcoming workshop in Moscow

If you were Krishnamacharya, if you had spent 80 odd years, pretty much your whole life, studying, practising and later teaching yoga, reading all the ancient texts, all the different approaches to practice in the original sanskrit; how would you yourself practice?

What for example would your own personal pranayama practice be like?

Last year I picked up the Original French version of Emergence of yoga, written by Krishnamacharyas 3rd son T. K. Sribhashyam.

Amazon link Emergence du Yoga by Krishnamacharya's Son T. K. Sribashyam

My Review here

I took the section on Krishnamacharya's own practice ( apercu (overview?) in French, translated as 'Insight' in the English edition) and turned them into practice sheets and have been practicing them off and on all year

One example - Krishnamacharya own practice?

....along with the life saving session, presented as an example of Krishnamacharya's personal practice in the Movie Breath of Gods.

Quick Review: The Breathing God : Der Atmende Gott. DVD cover translation

REVIEW: Breath of God, Documentary on T. Krishnamacharya

There's a section in Emergence of Yoga titled 'Insight into my Father's practice session', I can't decide if 'insight' here means actual practices of Krishnamacharya as observed by the son or notes written down by the father, or practice sessions that are pretty much the kind of approach and content Krishnamacharya was taking at the time, after a lifetime of study and practice.

Nestled in amongst the integrated asana and pranayama practices is this example of a pranayama session. The book actually has a small chapter containing eleven other pranayama practice sessions. I don't remember this particular Pranayama session being in the original French version, I gave my copy away when the English edition came out so can't check.

It's a pleasure to practice, a nice mixture of pranayama's and I particularly like the employment of mantra's.

Ramaswami taught us to mentally recite a pranayama mantra built on the Gayatri in the kumbhaka after the inhalation,

My pranayama page they are employed at each stage of the pranayama, mentally recite the Gayatri once on the inhalation, four times on the kumbhaka and twice during the exhalation.

I had the Krishnamacharya practice sheets I'd made up last year with me in Crete and practiced them after leaving Rethymno for Agios pavlos, I was looking forward to getting my hands back on the book after I arrived in Japan (I'd shipped my books over). Since arriving I've started working through all the examples of General practice in the order they're presented in the book. Sri Sribhashyam mentions that they are presented pedagogically and it's interesting to see how he's introducing the different elements of practice, alternatives to certain asana (sirsasana for example) more challenging asana, the Kumbhaka's (breath retentions) length of stay, the focal points (fascinating) and here, with Krishnamacharya's own practice, employment of mantra. The same goes for the pranayama chapter, they build up. If you find Krishnamacharya's pranayama session below too challenging for now then you can start with the first couple of pranayama's presented in the book.

The pranayama session nestled in amongst the integrated asana and pranayama practice sessions.

Difficult to read the small print?

Gayathri Mantra

Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ prachodáyāt

Chanted quickly the mantra takes five seconds, giving us a a 1:4:2 of five seconds for the inhalation, twenty seconds for the kumbhaka and ten seconds for the exhalation.

Narayana Gayathri Mantra

Aum Naaraayanaaya Vidmahe
Vaasu-dhevaya Dhimahee
Thanno Naaraayana Prachodayath

And because the Krishnamacharya Pranayama session above is quite involved here are the first two sessions from the Pranayama chapter in the book..


A link to my own adapted version of Krishnamacharya's "life saving practice' from last year, including a video.

from my previous post 

....where I suggest the book is Applied vinyasa Krama

Nice to practice Ashtanga downstairs. Since I arrived in Japan I've been looking more carefully at Sri Sribhashyam book Emergence of Yoga, going through each of the general practices( In the upstairs shala) in the order they're presented ( there are 58 examples of general practice plus the life saving practices featured in the Documentary about Sri Sribhashyam's father Krishnamacharya , Breath of Gods, as well as a number of pranayama practices and insights into Krishnamacharya's own practice). I've been exploring the book over the last year but but it's interesting to go through it practice by practice and see how Sri Sribhashyam introduces Kumbhaka's, a focus on different vital points and longer stays as well as more challenging asana. The structure reminds me of the guidelines to practice presented by Ramaswami. Ramswami encourages us to learn the long sequences presented in his book The Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga to gain insights into the relationship between asana but once we've become familiar with the sequence, the goal is to choose appropriate asana each day along with those key asana we are encouraged to practice each day. Sri Sribhashyam's Emergence to Yoga feels a little like applied Vinyasa Krama, how one might go about teaching and practicing Vinyasa Krama with the added inclusion of the focus on vital points not mention by Ramaswami. There are differences but they seem outweighed by the similarities.


UPDATE - My Workshop in Moscow 22nd/23rd November 2014.

I just headed over to FB to post this I saw that Ilya has posted details of my upcoming workshop in Moscow in November, details below in Russian and English translation (translation by fb).

I'm flying back to the UK on the 13th November and may be doing a workshop that weekend in the UK (confirmation and details to come). Then It's over to Moscow for the workshop below, I'm  excited about it, met so many wonderful dedicated practitioners from Moscow at the Yoga Rainbow festival earlier in the year. 

I found a flight back to the Japan on 2nd December via Delhi, haven't been there for 50 years, I believe we stopped off there on the way back from Singapore when I was six months old. 

This also means I'll be in Europe for the last weekend of November and available to present a workshop after all should anyone wish to get in touch again about the possibility.

Семинар Энтони Грим Холла 22-23 ноября

Оригинальная Аштанга-виньяса йога и Виньяса-крама йога Шри Тирумалая Кришнамачарьи

Практика и теория.

Энтони Грим Холл (Лондон, Англия) начал заниматься йогой в возрасте сорока с лишним лет, страдая лишним весом, болями в спине, проблемами с почками, стрессами. Изучал Аштанга виньяса йогу и наследие Кришнамачарьи, ведет популярный блог на эту тему. Был координатором перевода второй книги Шри Т. Кришнамачарьи «Йогасанагалу» на английский, с помощью индийского переводчика с языка каннада Сатья Мурти. Закончил курс для преподавателей стиля «Виньяса Крама» под руководством Шриватса Рамасвами (непосредственного ученика Кришнамачарьи в период его жизни в Мадрасе на протяжении 33 лет).
В 2011 опубликовал книгу «Полная книга практики виньяса йоги», предназначенной для развития самостоятельной практики виньяса-йоги. Основной предмет многолетних исследований Энтони – развитие и взаимосвязь разных подходов к практике асан в наследии Кришнамачарьи от ранних лет Аштанга виньяса йоги до последних лет Виньяса крамы.
Известно, что в разные периоды своей жизни и даже разным ученикам Шри Т.Кришнамачарья преподавал практику йоги по-разному. Его методику 30-40-х годов, преподаваемую в школе йоги Майсорского дворца, сохранил и структурировал Шри К. Паттабхи Джойс, изменив некоторые аспекты практики (и немного изменяя их в период 70-х – 90-х годов).
Когда Кришнамачарья переехал в Мадрас, столицу штата Тамил Наду (ныне город Ченнай), его преподавание строилось несколько иначе – и такой подход получил название Виньяса-крама. В тот период у него учились такие мастера, как его сын Т.К.В Дешикачар, А.Г. Мохан, Шриватса Рамасвами. У последнего обучался Энтони Грим Холл (который по основной профессии является мастером по ремонту саксофонов).
Шриватса Рамасвами
Блог Энтони о традиции Кришнамачарьи


Суббота,  22 ноября
10.00 -  13.00 Оригинальная последовательность Аштанга виньяса йоги, основанная на работах Кришнамачарьи 1940-х годов «Йога Макаранда» и «Йогасанагалу». Подходит для любого уровня физической подготовки, так как акцент ставится не на сложных асанах, но на внимании к дыханию, удлиннении дыхательного цикла, использовании кумбхак и более длительных фиксаций асан, нежели в АВЙ П.Джойса. Практика.
15.00-17.00 Лекция о наследии Шри Т. Кришнамачарьи – его жизнь, написанные им книги «Йога Макаранда» (1934) и «Йогасанагалу» (1941), их влияние на Аштанга виньяса йогу Шри К. Паттабхи Джойса а также на поздний подход Кришнамачарьи. Теория.
Воскресенье, 23 ноября
10.00 – 13.00 Тренировачная последовательность «Виньяса Крама», основанная на учении позднего Кришнамачарьи, как его передает Шриватса Рамасвами. Асана, пранаяма, пратьяхара, джапа медитация. Практика.
15.00 – 17.00 “Ключевые асаны, мудры, выполняемые всем телом, бандхи, пранаямы и медитация в йоге позднего Кришнамачарьи”Практика и обсуждение.

Место проведения:
Москва, м. Китай-Город, Старосадский переулок д. 6 стр.2
До 1 ноября – 6 тыс. руб.
После 1 ноября – 7 тыс. руб.
Оплата администраторам в центре Йога108 (Покровка, 11) в часы работы центра.
+7 (495) 624-47-22 (будни 15:00-21:00, выходные 11:00-13:30)
Жители других городов могут внести оплату через системы электронных платежей, пишите с темой “Семинар Грим Холла”
Посетившим весь семинар выдается сертификат участия. Количество мест ограничено.

Seminar Anthony Grimm Hall 22-23 November 

Original Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Vinyasa Krama Yoga, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya 

Practice and theory. 

Anthony Grimm Hall (London, England) started doing yoga at the age of forty years, suffering from obesity, back pain, kidney problems, stress. Studied Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and Krishnamacharya's legacy, is a popular blog on this topic. He was coordinator of the translation of the second book of Sri T. Krishnamacharya "Yogasanagalu" in English, with the help of the Indian interpreter Kannada Satya Murthy. Completed a course for teachers of the style "Vinyasa Krama" under the leadership of Srivatsa Ramaswami (direct student of Krishnamacharya in the period of his life in Madras for 33 years). 

In 2011 Antony published the book "The Complete Book of Vinyasa yoga practice," designed for the development of independent practice vinyasa yoga. The main subject of many years of research, Anthony - development and the relationship between different approaches to the practice of asanas in the legacy of the early years of Krishnamacharya Ashtanga vinyasa yoga until recent years Vinyasa Krama. 

It is known that in different periods of his life, and even different students Sri T.Krishnamacharya taught yoga practice differently. His technique 30-40's, taught at the school of yoga Mysore Palace, preserved and structured Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, changing some aspects of the practice (and slightly changing their period in the 70's - 90's). When Krishnamacharya moved to Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu (now Chennai), his teaching was built a little differently - and this approach is called Vinyasa Krama-. At that time, he studied such masters as his son tkv Deshikachar, AG Mohan, Srivatsa Ramaswami. The latter was trained by Anthony Grim Hall (which is the main profession repairman saxophones). 

Anthony blog about the tradition of Krishnamacharya 


Saturday, November 22 

10.00 - 13.00 The original sequence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, based on the works of Krishnamacharya 1940s "Yoga Makaranda" and "Yogasanagalu." Suitable for any level of fitness, as the focus is not on complex asanas, but attention to the breath, lengthening of the respiratory cycle, using Kumbhak and longer fixations asanas than in AVY P. Joyce. Practice. 

15.00-17.00 Lecture on Sri T. Krishnamacharya's legacy - his life, he had written the book "Yoga Makaranda" (1934) and "Yogasanagalu" (1941), their impact on the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and the late approach Krishnamacharya. Theory. 

Sunday, November 23 

10.00 - 13.00 trenirovachnogo sequence "Vinyasa Krama", based on the teachings of Krishnamacharya late as it passes Srivatsa Ramaswami. Asana, pranayama, pratyahara, japa meditation. Practice. 

15.00 - 17.00 "Key asanas, mudras performed all over, bandha, pranayama and meditation in yoga Krishnamacharya late." Practice and discussion. 


Moscow, m. China-Town, Starosadskiy lane d. 6 p.2 


Prior to November 1 - 6 th. Rub. After November 1 - 7 th. Rub. 

Payment administrators in the center Yoga108 (Pokrovka, 11) in the opening hours of the center. +7 (495) 624-47-22 (weekdays 15: 00-21: 00, output 11: 00-13: 30) 

Residents of other cities can make a payment through the electronic payment system, write with the theme of "Seminar Grim Hall" 


Creative Commons License
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga at home by Anthony Grim Hall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta


%Arabica ((% includes theory (OA) . Richard freeman Workshop 10 second exhalation 10 second inhalation 10 second inhale 10-15 second inhalation/ exhalation 100 years of beatitude 1008 108 dropbacks 108 dropbacks. 108 sun salutations 2000 asana 21 Things to know before starting an ashtanga practice 21st century yoga 2nd series 2nd series list 3rd edition Vinyasa Krama Practice Book 3rd series 4th series 5% theory 80 rounds Pranayama 95% practice 99%practice 1% theory < manju A. G. Mohan A.G. Mohhan Abernathy butter aches and pains Achieving full lotus. acro yoga adhomukha padmasana Adi Shankara Adjusting Adjusting postures. 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Neti Beginner Ashtanga Beginning Ashtanga Being in the World best Ashtanga books. best Coffee in Japan Best Coffee in Kyoto best jump back best jump through bhagavad gita Bhagavadagita Bhagavan Das Bhaya Kumbakam Bhoja's commentary on Yoga sutras bhuja pindasana Big people can do you Bikram biography of Krishnamacharya Birdwatching Birth & Motherhood birthday Blogsy Body clock Body image Book review Born again Ashtangi bow Bow sequence BRAHMASANA breath Breath control breath is nice Breath of god Breath of gods Breath of the Gods Breath of the Gods – A Journey to the Origins of Modern Yoga breath retention in asana Breathing breathing rate in ashtanga. 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