Manju said on the TT course I attended in Crete this year that he saw himself more as a messenger than a teacher ( or heaven forbid a guru), sharing what his father had taught him. Here's more of the message.
Important to point out perhaps that these are notes and of course lack context.
|Picture courtesy of Petra of Traditional Ashtanaga Yoga in Prague http://www.ashtangapraha.cz|
Thank you Petra
Manju Jois Day 3
Do not assist in upward facing dog, could damage the lower back
Pashimottanasana is a very important posture, stay longer
Adjusting in Triang Mukha Eka Pada: 1) one hand on sacrum, 2) legs squeeze together (bring together), 3) final step come down
Adjusting Janu A: lock knee in 90 degrees, one hand on sacrum, one hand on upper back. Do not
adjust in Janu B and C (too dangerous, let the student lead themselves through these postures)
Adjusting Mari A: legs lock them in, hand on sacrum, hand on upper back. Foot close to body, never put foot away from body (look at old photos)
Adjusting Mari C: Knee on upper femur to stabilize femur here. Use hands to open shoulders. Soften in upper back on shoulders. Keep grounded in the legs. Don’t fight the adjustment.
On Posture practice
Gentle practice, not rough or strained
Learn how to sit, then meditate
Don’t rush/ Relax, don’t be rigid
If you have trouble with the vinyasa count, just keep breathing, then go into the posture with the correct vinyasa/breathing sequence, don’t rush into the posture
For cold weather: (less than 22 Celsius), take a warm shower before to warm the body first
Abyasa= practice, then all is coming to you, meaning daily practice
Manju Quotes from Discussion
“Patthabi Jois would read the newspaper while teaching, not too serious, it’s relax. Most westerners take very serious, not good”
“In west it’s serious, like a boot camp, (ekum, dwei, trini). No, this is bad way, should be about fun. Yoga practice in the west too serious, like a mausoleum”
“People use the name Guruji this, Guruji that, they are stealing the name (asteya). It is not honest, no humble, because your yoga is not Patthabi Jois yoga”
“Now Mysore is too big, 70-80 people, how can you teach? There is no attention. Too many people, quality goes down”
“Big teacher training not good either. 10 students maximum. teacher needs to pay attention”
Manju Day 4
Bhujapidasana (adjustment): Assist from waist
Garbha Pindasana A: Hold face, become one with OM
Garbha Pindasana B: “roll 9 times not true, they made that up”. Roll from tailbone to neck bone. Hands on head, roll as long as it takes, there is no set number of rolls.
Baddha Konasana (adjustment): Relax shoulders, get them to go down, then press knees a bit. Slowly release.
Konasana (adjustment): Careful to avoid tearing hamstring. Massage hamstring, now go down (slowly push down, not too hard). Feel if they relaxed or not
Supta Konasana: Flip them over and catch them Setu Bandhasana: In position, pull back with a towel
Urdhva Dhanurasana (assist): No assist on ground. Drop back assist with a towel. Assistant stand one foot forward, stand straight don’t pull your back assisting!
Pascimottanasana: Massage shoulders; chop back around spine to give massage
Backbends: Position of feet don’t matter, just don’t hurt your knees or back!
On modern yoga practice:
Yoga asana is physical exercise (Hatha yoga), not a spiritual practice. Raja yoga is a spiritual practice, for monks. Hatha yoga is for everyone.
“Names not important [what you call the practice, or the postures], the practice is important”
How to teach beginners: First teach how to sit, then teach how to breathe. If the sounds is right, then teach Surya Namaskar.
- At first focus on the tip of the nose – other drishti will follow
- Eyes open or closed? “There is no rule, closed eyes is ok. Practice once in a while with closed eyes.”
On the teacher holding back / “giving” asanas:
“ There is no timing, when you want to do it, you try”
“ Yoga has no rules. All the people come and make up different rules”
“Try it, and be careful”
On Mula bandha:
“Strengthen abdominal muscles, then automatically mula bandha becomes strong”
“is ok if not perfect, make effort is ok. Just keep trying”
Throat chakra: for chanting. Chanting makes you happy. People always say “Manju, you are always smiling, why?” I say “I don’t know, I can’t help it. Of course, you have to be happy”