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

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

On two week solo practice/study retreat

Packing for retreat now so will be away from the blog for the next couple of weeks. 
(Will try to update Yogasanagalu or Heart stopping article post when translations comes in).
Comments are on hold (moderation) until I get back.

Santorini

I'll be staying back of the Island, right over there by the beach

Manduka Santorini Prolite


Amazon link

Ongoing Translation page

Free Dowload

Link



From Ramaswami Yoga for the Three Stages of Life

Amazon Link



More Krishnamacharya's Yogasangalu translation : Pranayama Special benefits



Pages 30-31 regarding "special benefits" is done.  Next section is Mudras which he skips by referring to yogamakaranda" and then kriyas.  



Summary: In the practitioner who performs the above described bandha according to the instructions of his guru, brain essence can not be destroyed by the jataragni.  In addition, relief from gas related abdominal bloating is also achieved.

In Pranayama, all three bandhas must be practiced.  After rechaka, one must do jalandharabandha, moolabandha and uddiyanabandha while after puraka, moolabandha and jalandarabandha must be followed without fail during pranayama.

In yogashastra, one must do 320 pranayamas everyday.  This means that it was classfied as 80 in the morning, 80 in the afternoon, 80 in the evening and 80 in mid-night.  Since this is impossible, one can do 80 pranayama in one sitting.  The reason is that now a days, you need to spend more time working to support your life.  Benefits are delayed too.

Rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka when practiced with equal time and equal numbers are called “Samavrutti pranayama.”  

When practiced with variations (increase and/or decrease) in time and numbers it is called “Vishamavrutti pranayama”.


Those who learn it from a Guru will learn to practice properly.

Those who are not proficient in yogasana  will not be able to get expertise in pranayama.

Women who are not pregnant have equal rights as men.  Even in pregnancy they have the right to practice samasankya samavrutti pranayama.  However, after the 6-month of pregnancy,  they can not practice that (samavrutti pranayama) also.  Yoganga applies equally to both men and women except during pregnancy - please remember this.

Some are saying that Nauli, Neti, Vasti, Vajroli, Dhauti, Khechari etc., kriyas are also part of yoganga and propagating such information through various texts is very unfortunate.

Any text that shows a list of yogangas does not say so.  “Hatayogapradipika” lists them under a separate heading “Shatkriyas” and in the same text clearly states that everyone should not practice it.

मेदःश्लेश्माधिकः पूर्वं षटकर्माणि समाचरेत्।
अन्यस्तु नाचरेत्तानि दोषाणां समभावतः॥

Medha shleshmadhikah poorvam shatkarmani samacharet|
Anystu nacharettani doshanam samabhavatah||

Therefore, we should pay attention to this rule and use it only as treatment for certain diseases such as those caused by excess fat.



Monday, 18 June 2012

Recent Chuck Miller Workshop Video plus Chuck Miller in Japan interview

Chuck Miller has always been one of my 'Ashtanga heroes', that almost scary focus and intensity he has in all those 1980's, Jois led Yogaworks videos.



 I was just told about this recent video from a workshop held at Babylon Yoga, in Vancouver, from last week I think so pretty current. Bit of music for the first minute or two then that cuts out and you get a taste of Chuck's teaching.

Here's a link to Chuck and Maty's website
http://www.chuckandmaty.com/bios.htm



And here's another link to a post from last year that has an earlier Chuck Miller Workshop video from Babylon Yoga  plus some Maty videos.
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/great-ashtanga-day-chuck-and-maty.html

--------------------------------

Chuck Miller interview in Japan 2009

I was looking around for a recent interview with Chuck Miller (trying to find a great quote of his I came across a while back) but came across this interview from a couple of years ago following a workshop in Tokyo. I know I have a few readers from Japan and I imagine it can be 難しい finding that much Ashtanga directly relating to your country, thought you might enjoy this if you haven't seen it already.

November 30th, 2009
Interview: Chuck Miller, Teacher of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Talks about Traveling and Teaching Yoga in Japan
Interview by Dylan Robertson.

This is an interview with Chuck Miller held after his five-day workshop series hosted by Prana Power Yoga Studio in Ebisu, Tokyo from October 30 to November 2, 2009.

Chuck Miller has been practicing yoga since 1971, and he learned Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Teaching since 1988, Chuck was co-owner of the original Yoga Works in Santa Monica, California, for seventeen years. He now travels the world teaching yoga workshops with his wife, Maty Ezraty.

This time Chuck visited us by himself while Maty was in an extended Vipassana Meditation retreat.
----------------------------
I understand this is your fifth visit to Japan. What was it like coming here for the first time?

Maty and I first visited Japan in 2004. On that first trip, we spent a month traveling around Japan and four days teaching in Tokyo.
I really wanted to find the lost, old Japan. I was inspired by a book written by an English guy by the name of Alan Booth, who actually walked from one end of Japan to the other. We went from one great onsen ryokan (traditional Japanese inn with natural hot spring baths) to another. We made our way through Kamisuwa-onsen, Matsumoto, Hida Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, and then down to Kyoto.

I was initially reluctant to go to Kyoto, thinking it would just be a tourist trap. But when I got there, I realized it would have been a mistake to skip it because so much of what I wanted to see was being preserved there.

From Kyoto, we went to Yamaguchi, Yufuin in Kyushu, and Shikoku, where we took slow trains through the countryside and got to see the mountains and beautiful river valleys. We ended up in Kochi, where we experienced our third or fourth typhoon.

From there, we made our way back to Tokyo for the first Yoga Fest. Ken Harakuma of IYC had invited us to give the keynote address.

After Yoga Fest, we travelled out to Izu for an onsen and came back to Tokyo to teach for a week at IYC. We had a great response with sixty students doing Ashtanga.

You’ve taught Ashtanga Yoga all over the world. Is it different teaching in Japan?

The similarities are really striking. The tendencies of the human body and mind transcend culture and geography to a large extent. As an Ashtanga Yoga teacher, I encounter the same patterns in students in Japan as I do in Helsinki, Oslo, Berlin, Paris, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Of course, there are little differences.
I think Japanese students, at least outwardly, show a really high level of respect towards teachers. In places like Norway, they’re more casual and not as likely to put a teacher up on a pedestal. In Japan, there’s a bit of a tendency to do that. I actually hope that it doesn’t run deep in their psyche, and that it’s just a formality.

As a teacher, the kind of treatment I receive in Japan is very gratifying of course, but it’s not really what I’m looking for. What’s much more interesting to me is that students become empowered. Having people learning to think for themselves is much more interesting to me than having people just follow other people.

The interview continues HERE (with pictures)
http://www.helloyoga.com/2009/11/30/chuck-miller-ashtanga-vinyasa-yoga-teaching-japan/


....back to my packing, no easy way to get a manduka in a backpack.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Surya namaskara chant for Sunday...plus the other 80%

Ramaswami chanting with Krishnamacharya
A status update from Ramaswami this morning...


"One of the chants I learnt from my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya was Suryanamaskara (Sun Salutation) also popularly known as Arunam from Yajur Veda. I used to chant this with him every Sunday for several years and it was what we did on my last class with him. I had it recorded by Sangeetha sometime during the early 80s if I remember correct. Googling, today, I found that you can play this hour long chant from the following link
http://www.muzigle.com/track/39987/#!track/arunam-1
Tomorrow is Sunday, the day for Sun Salutations. Hope you like it"
.


Many of Ramaswami's chanting Cd's can be found here as audio downloads
http://www.sangeethamusic.com/Search-results1.php

Ramaswami teaching chants in the traditional manner, including How to chant the Yoga Sutras can be found on his website here (these chants used to accompany his book The complete Book of Vinyasa Krama
http://vinyasakrama.com/Chants


On Ramaswami's teacher training course in 2010, Ramaswami chanted this in full, after every verse the class would perform a sun salutation...

"Suryanamaskara (Arunam) or Sun Salutation was one of his (Krishnamacharya's) and one of the most popular chants in South India. It runs for an hour and in every Teacher Training program I chant this text consisting of 32 sections and the participants do one Suryanamaskara at the end of the chanting of each section. It takes about two hours for the entire exercise" Ramaswami . Chanting with Krishnamacharya


I've just downloaded the  mp3 and will be taking it away with me next week so I can repeat the practice the following Sunday.

One more link, this time to my post on the Sun salutations with mantra, this is an approach to sun salutations that Krishnamacharya used to teach, where a mantra is recited mentally during Kumbhaka (breath retention) at each stage of the Sun salutation
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/srivatsa-ramaswamis-complete-book-of.html
-----------------------------

Another FB status update from Ramaswami this week that I particularly liked....

The other 80%
"Sri Krishnamacharya's teaching of asanas are adapted differently by his disciples, sometimes richly varied according to the needs of their students. But Sri Krishnamacharya also taught several other angas like Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana and other kramas like chikitsa. Additionally he also felt for himself and his students that one should, in addition to Yoga system, learn other orthodox systems of thought like Nyaya, Samkhya, Vedanta, Vaishnavism, Vedas, Chants and others. He was a phenomenal teacher, one could study with him all life. But we hear of Sri Krishnamacharya's teaching of asanas only, what about the other 80% of his teachings, very relevant and essential?"

Ramaswami's 2012 TT course is coming up in July at LMU in Los Angeles.
See HERE for enrolment details
http://www.lmu.edu/academics/extension/crs/yoga/yoga_teacher.htm

SRIVATSA RAMASWAMI’S 200 Hour Vinyasakrama Yoga Program—Registered with Yoga Alliance

I. Complete Vinyasa Krama Asanas : In this program about 700 Vinyasas woven around several classical postures will be taught in 10 major sequences. Emphasis will also be placed on breath synchronization with the movements so important to Krishnamacharya’s krama or method. Total instruction 60 Hrs
II. Visesha Vinyasa and Viyasakrama : In this practicum, Speacial Vinyasa sequences, like several Sun Salutation methods and other unique sequences will be taught. Adapting Hatha Yoga to individual needs and developing a sustainable, progressive personal yoga practice will also be discussed. Instruction 20 Hrs
III. Pranayama Methods: In this course several Pranayama methods including Nadi Sodhana, Anuloma, Pratiloma, Viloma Ujjayi, Kapalabhati and Bhastrika and Pranayama with mantras will be taught in detail. Several textual references from Hathayoga Pradipika, Yoga Yagnyavalkya and Yoga Upanishads also will be discussed. Also teaching methods of Pranayama. Total Instruction 20 Hrs
IV. Mantras and Meditation: In this program, Mantras as a means of developing the mind towards meditation will be discussed and taught. Several classical mantras including Pranava (Om), Gayatri, Sanskrit alphabets (matruka) mantras will be taught. Introduction to vedic mantras. Total Instruction 20 Hrs
V. Sri T Krishnamacharya’s Works: Even as Sri Krishnamacharya is well known, his works which contain some of his great insights to Yoga are not yet well known. One way to study the Master’s wisdom will be to study his works. In this program, some of his important works especially Yoga Rahasya will be gone through in detail. Yoga Makaranda and his work on Yoga Sutras will also form part of the study. Total Instruction 20 Hrs
VI. Raja Yoga (Yoga Sutra) Studies: Traditionally Yoga Sutras have been the Yogi’s Bible. Sri Krishnamacharya would exhort his students to eschew any practice that may violate or is inconsistent with the teachings and thought process of the Yoga Sutras. It is incumbent on all committed Yogis to take a serious and depth look at the Sutras. In this course all the sutras will be taught with the sutra meaning. Total Instruction 20 Hrs
VII. Yoga for the Internal Organs: In this program, emphasis will be placed on a proper assessment of available yoga techniques to impart health to different parts of the body, especially the internal organs, called the kosas, as the heart (hrdaya kosa), lungs (svasa kosa), stomach (anna kosa) and others . Total Instruction 10 Hrs
VIII. Yoga Business and Teaching Methodology: Practical information on how to get a website, start a newsletter and generate word of mouth will be provided. In the second part of this course methods of teaching different aspects of yoga like asanas, pranayama, meditation, and texts to different groups of people(all ages) will be covered. Total Instruction 10 Hrs
IX. Chanting Yoga Sutras and Subtle Anatomy: This course contains two seperate segments. In the first, participants will be taught the methodology of chanting the Yoga Sutras. Practice of chanting several sutras using the conventional method of "chandas". Total Instruction 10 Hrs
X. Anatomy and Physiology: The class will take an overview of the major bones and muscles of the body. We will look at their location and function and specifically how they can be utilized in various yoga postures. Total Instruction 10 Hrs



My own slideshow from the 2010 course

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Another 'lost' text/work by Krishnamacharya?


So we have the translation to krishnamacharya's Yogasangagalu coming along nicely HERE but now I come across this....
Salutations to the Teacher and the Eternal one

"During this time, I also had the good fortune to receive some of the early writings of Sti t. Krishnamacharya of madras (present day Chenni). Among these, one short work has influenced me profoundly: Salutations to the Teacher and the Eternal one. It has been the book more than any other that has helped me to decipher and understand the ancient hatha yogic texts in their fullness "
Shandor Remete, Shadow Yoga Chaya Yoga

Anyone know of, seen or has access to a copy of this work?

Here's another reference to to from Peter Sterios writing in Yoga Journal

"In "Salutation to the Teacher and the Eternal One," a paper written by T. Krishnamacharya and distributed to students at the Yoga Mandiram in Madras, he says: "One important thing to be constantly kept in mind when doing asanas is the regulation of the breath. It should be slow, thin, long, and steady: breathing through both nostrils with a rubbing sensation at the throat and through the esophagus, inhaling when coming to the straight posture, and exhaling when bending the body."
http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/146

UPDATE
Text released by AG Mohan see this post
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/krishnamacharyas-yoga-makaranda-part-2.html

Friday, 15 June 2012

Sri T. Krishnamacharya / Sri K. Pattabhi.Jois, Similarities / Differences (?)

Similarities ?

Sri T. Krishnamacharya
Sri K. Pattabhi.Jois








Differences ?
*(broadly generalising) 

Sri T. Krishnamacharya
'Classical/Traditional'
Flexible approach to asana
Primary, middle and proficient framework but no fixed sequence
Flexibility in the length and duration of breath dependent on asana
Ujjayi
Kumbhaka (Breath retention)
Integrated practice of asana, pranayama and meditation

See, 
Salutations to the Teacher and the Eternal one (has anyone seen or have access to this text?)
.................

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
'Modern/Postural'
Fixed sequence
*Surya namaskara
Fixed series
Five breaths per asana except in finishing sequence
Inhalation and exhalation the same
Breathing with sound
Generally no Kumbhaka (breath retention)
Focus on asana only (at least until Advanced series)

See, 
Surya namaskara

*Although the pictures above show the same postures found in Surya namaskara, Krishnamacharya supposedly disapproved of their extensive use. In Yoga Makaranda he treats each stage of the Surya namaskar a as a distinct posture, many of which may be held for ten to fifteen minutes. Krishnamacharya also taught Suryanamaskara with mantra where each stage would be held on kumbhaka while the appropriate mantra was mentally chanted.

Classical/traditional/Modern. I'm taking classical/traditional to suggest an integrated practice that includes focus on the Yamas/Niyamas, Asana with ujayii and kumbhaka, pranayama and meditative practices in line with the ancient texts Eg. Yoga Upanishads, Yogayajnavalkyam etc. I take 'modern' to suggest an approach to practice that focuses mainly on asana . I recognise this as a position up for discussion and debate. 

When first developing my own practice, I doubt I would have found the classical approach as appealing as the more clearly defined modern one, though this changed after a couple of years of practice and I began to seek and lean towards a more classical, integrated approach.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Rare tongue yoga footage and the role of the tongue in the eight limbs of Ashtanga

Many are familiar with the nauli, the belly churning Kriya



Perhaps not so familiar, and on a rock further down the river, I recently discovered the great and renowned tongue yogis of Ber-ksh-ire.

Below is rare footage indeed of the advanced series kriya, Tongue nauli 



More tongue nauli from the Intermediate series



Ok, so just a bit of fun to show off my colleagues and their remarkable talents.

However, perhaps it's interesting to reflect on the role of the tongue in our practice

Tongue yoga

In the eight limbs of Ashtanga...

YAMAS / NIYAMAS
we find mindfulness of speech in the yamas

1. Ahimsa (अहिंसा): Nonviolence. Abstinence from injury; harmlessness, the not causing of pain to any living creature in thought, word, or deed at any time

2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, word and thought in conformity with the facts.

...and in the 10 traditional Niyamas

Japa: recitation, chanting mantras daily;

Svādhyāya: study of the Vedic scriptures (remember it was and often still is an oral tradition)

ASANA
we clearly have the advanced series tongue vinyasas above as well as simhasana, lion face,





 Khechari Mudra
As S points out in comments there is also Khechari Mudra, Traditionally this involved cutting the frenulum a hairs width at a time, week by week, for three years. I've heard too that it is possible to take a kinder approach where you stretch the tongue back towards your soft pallet  for a period of time each day. S. writes in the comments

"There is another very important tongue action in yoga - Khechari Mudra. I have learned mine with Shri Shailendra Sharma in India. It is achieved by the series of special kriyas rather than cutting the base of the tongue. I can't say it was totally painless but it worked fine".

See the comments for a second comment from S with more details on this.

Also, by coincidence, I just recived Shandor Remete's book Shadow Yoga, Charya Yoga. This book was recommended to me in comments to previous posts in relation to the Ten Vayus and also the Eight Marmas. Opening it at work this morning I find on page 55, a chapter on....The Tongue (page 56). More on this soon.

Interesting book by the way and some wonderful illustrations.

See the Pranayama techniques Sitali, mentioned below. In the approach Ramaswami describes, the tongue is folded back at the end of the inhalation....

"fold the tongue, and touch the top of the upper palate, even the uvula if possible, This is called jivha bandha".

Here's Krishnamacharya writing on the traditional approach in his Yoga Makaranda of 1938.

"After first learning the yoga marmas with the help of a sat guru who is still practicing this, cut 1/12 of one angula measure (width of one hair ) of the thin seed of skin at the bottom of the tongue with a sharp knife. Apply a well-powdered paste of sainthava lavanam salt (rock salt) on the area of the cut. Rub cows butter on both sides of the tongue, and holding the tip of the tongue with a small iron tong, pull the tongue out carefully, little by little. Repeat this pulling (the pulling) every day. once a week, as mentioned above, cut the seed of flesh at the base of the tongue very carefully. practice this for three years. the tongue will lengthen and will easily be able to touch the middle of the eyebrows. After it lengthens this much, fold it inside the mouth, keep it in the cavity which is alongside the base of the inner tongue and fix the gaze on the mid brow". Krishnamacharya Yoga Makaranda. p47


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frenulum_of_tongue


PRANAYAMA..

Sitali

"1. Sit in a comfortable asana.

2. Curl the tongue into a roll, protrude it and inhale through the wet tongue.

3. At the end of the inhalation, release the curl, fold the tongue, and touch the top of the upper palate, even the uvula if possible, This is called jivha bandha.

4. Then stretch the back of the neck, drop the chin to around three inches below the neck pit, forming kantha bandha.

5. After Kumbhaka (retention) exhale through alternate nostrils (or both and visualise alternating).

6. Repeat wetting the tongue (before inhalation) -the air conditioning pranayama"
Srivatsa Ramaswami : Yoga for the Three Stages of Life p209



PRATYAHARA
The withdrawal of the senses would include that of taste


MEDITATION
Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi we may employ the chanting of mantra 

Here's Ramaswami again

"The meditation or chanting of the mantra would be referred to as
pranava dhyana or pranava japa. Pranava itself is a beautiful word.
Scholars refer to it as a word derived from the root “Nam” or “nam” to
bow (Nam prahvi bhave) as used in namah or namaste. 'Prakarshena nauti
sthouti iti pranavah', meaning pranava is the highest praise or
obeisance to the highest principle, here Iswara or Brahman. Another
interesting interpretation of this word comes from deriving the word
from another root 'nav' (or nava) to begin or new like 'novo'.  Since
Brahman is said to be pure consciousness and never changes it is
always new, always 'nava' and hence pranava.

There are other important mantras who have separate names. The Gayatri
mantra which is of the gayatri meter refers to the mantra starting
with 'tat savitur..' and even though there are many other mantras in
the Gayatri meter, only this particular mantra, the brain child of
Viswamitra is referred to as gayatri. Then we have another famous
mantra “namassivaya”. This namassivaya mantra is more often referred
to as 'panchakshari' or five syllable mantra even as there are scores
of other mantras which have five syllables. 'Om namo narayanaya' my
Guru's favorite mantra is known as ashtakshari as it has eight
syllables. 'Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya' is a very popular Krishna
mantra and is known as 'dwadasakshari' as there are 12 syllables in
it.
The mantras especially pranava were chanted, meditated upon and
referred to with considerable devotion and respect in the olden days".

January 2012 Newsletter from Srivatsa Ramaswami—Yoga, Knowing the
Unknown

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

If I was to organise a retreat.....

Purely hypothetical
If I was to organise a retreat....

My upcoming solo practice/study retreat to Santorini has got me thinking.

Most retreats and workshops tend to revolve around a well known teacher. You go there to learn/benefit from the teacher's experience, to have your practice tweaked, your alignment perhaps, get some help with postures your struggling with, perhaps be given new 'poses'.

Then there are workshops that focus on a particular aspect of practice, floating, back bending, arm balances etc. I'm going to one of Richard Freeman's workshops myself later in the year that has that kind of a format, I'm looking forward to it.

On the 'holiday' I'm going on next week though, the idea is just to have more time for my practice. On my regular day off I get to practice longer, I tend to practice for around three or four hours in the morning (this includes full pranayama etc) and then another two or three hours in the evening, the rest of the day I tend to read/study or perhaps work up a more detailed blog post that I've had in mind, it's a kind of a yoga day. The idea of the holiday is to have time to practice like that, not once a week on my day off but fourteen days in a row ( a month, three would be nice).

I don't have to make compromises in my practice, I can take as long as I want in postures, repeat them, do variations and still have time for long shoulder stands and headstands, longer savasanas and full sessions of pranayama, a decent sit. In the past, in the evening session, I tended to do a mini 'home workshop' session on back bending or arm balancing, tic tacks say or something else I wanted to work on separately from my regular practice.

I can chant for a while and take the time to improve my regular meat and veg chants or work on/learn new ones. I can get stuck into an area of the sutras I'm not as familiar with or different commentaries and compare them or some other text. And I can take more time and thought over what I'm eating.

It got me thinking...

What if there was a retreat like that.

Say I booked two rooms somewhere in Greece say (this is purely hypothetical) , one of the islands perhaps a larger practice room and then a quieter room, not for 'finishing' but for pranayama and meditation.

We have the rooms available all day, all night. there are no 'practice times' you go in and practice when you want for as long as you want then practice some pranayama and or meditate, again for as long or as often as you want or not, entirely up to you.

There could be some optional reading groups, pick a text or two at the beginning of the retreat, decide on the time best suited to everyone to that would fit around each others practice and just meet up and read through and discuss the text.

Perhaps some pranayama and practice groups where we could look at different approaches to pranayama, meditation that we might like to try out in our own practice.

Perhaps a discussion session at the beginning on practice where we could offer the odd hour here and there to lead a 'regular workshop' session on some aspect of practice. I could offer something on Vinyasa Krama variations , you might be good at back bending and happy to offer a mini  'master or rather peer class'. Sid might be happy to offer something on pranayama, we could all lead a session in how we approach meditation.....is this getting too hippyish?

Rest of the time you could be sociable or not, 'quiet' tables where you could eat in silence and others where you could get together...perhaps a quiet reading room.

I like this idea

Feel free to add and develop this idea, maybe we or somebody else will set it up sometime.

Or what if it wasn't a retreat, but a yoga shala, a nondenominational, kind of Mysoreish space where anyone could come along and practice what they wanted for as long as they wanted, how they wanted....

How and when do you practice?

Steve asked a question about this in a comment to the previous but one post.

What time does everyone tend to practice?

Do you include pranayama, meditation?

If so, how do you fit that in/ Do you practice pranayama directly after you asana practice, before or do you practice it later in the day, separately.

Same for meditation, before or after practice or not at all?

If you do practice pranayama or meditation or perhaps pratyahara, what form(at) does it take, how long.

Feel free to comment on this, as a little sketch or in more detail.

Just started to think how a questionnaire might look and got carried away. I've based it on roughly on the yoga sutras.

Not sure how one might use such a thing, for our own private use perhaps, something we might post on a blog if you have one or respond to in comments, anonymously perhaps to avoid ego issues, whether here or through email which I could then post if you so wished.

Would it be interesting, useful, I'm really not sure.

And perhaps it's too long, could be used as a framework of sample questions, some you might feel like answering, others not.

On reflection I think this might work best, if at all, as something mainly private so I've added a final group of questions called 'Dates' might be interesting to run through this once or twice a year to see how our practice, changes, grows, falls off etc. Although a few that anyone feels like making public might be useful and aid our own reflection.

And some links to a couple of bloggers who have tried it out.

Micqui at Ashtanga Angel
http://ashtangiangel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/how-and-when-i-practice-response-to.html

Rani at Yoga Junky
http://ranijeyaraj.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/grimmlys-questionnaire.html

and another one at Ro's place (who has a blog title even longer than mine 'Yoga Every Day (except Saturdays and Moon Days)'
http://royogini.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/response-to-grimmlys-questionnaire.html

Your Practice

Asana

1. What approach to/style(s) of asana do you currently practice?

2. What time do you practice?

3. Where do you practice?

4. How long do you practice for?

5. How many times do you practice 
a. per day

b. per week

Pranayama

6. Do you practice pranayama?

7. Which pranayamas do you practice?

8. How long do you practice pranayama?

9. When do you practice pranayama? 

10. How long have you practiced pranayama?

Pratyahara

11. Do you include pratyahara in your practice?

12. what approach to pratyahara do you take?

Meditation

13. Do you practice meditation?

14. What approach to/style of meditation do you practice?

15. Where do you meditate?

16. How many times do you meditate
a. per day?

b. per week?

17. How long do you meditate for?

Reflection

18. Do you take time to formally reflect on your asana, pranayama, pratyahra, meditation practice? 

19. When do you reflect asana, pranayama, pratyahra, meditation?

20. Where do your reflect on your asana, pranayama, pratyahra, meditation?

21. How long do you reflect on your asana, pranayama, pratyahra, meditation?

Textual study

22. Do you study carefully any 'Yogic' texts?

23. Which texts do you study?

24. When do you study?

Yamas and Niyamas

25. How familiar are you with the yamas and niyamas?

26. Do you make a particular effort to practice them?

27. Do you reflect at the end of the day on how well you have practiced them?

General

28. How long have you been practicing Yoga?

29. Have you ever attended a teacher training or teaching intensive course

30. Have you attended a retreat or workshop and if so how many?

Chanting

31. Do you practice chanting?

32. When do you chant?

33. How long do you chant?

34. Where do you chant?

35. Which chants do you practice?

Dates

36. When did you begin your asana practice?

37. When did you begin pranayama?

38. When did you begin to practice mediation regularly?

39. When did you begin to pay particular attention to the yamas and niyamas?

40. When did you begin to formally reflect on your practice?

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