Any blogging over the next two months will most likely be done from one of the pallet benches (perfect for the yoga sadhaka) next to the sea in Home cafe/bar under the fortezza, excellent service, great frappe (actually, excellent coffee here), stunning view and good wifi.
My view from Home Sweet Home cafe, Rethymno, Crete as I write this and wait for it to cool down enough to hit the beach
And of course Manju is coming in August.
|Artist's impression of original text inscribed in Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Photo of the Stone of 12 Angles, Cusco, Peru.|
Often attributed to Socrates, 'Know thyself' was an inscription found at the temple of Delphi and is thought to originate from Thales of Militias the first of the PreSocratic Philosophers ( the pre socratic philosophers are argued to have been influenced directly or indirectly by Indian Upanishadic thought). Socrates refers to Know thyself several times in Plato’s dialogues arguing that one should 'know thyself' before seeking to know the gods, or anything else for that matter. What supposedly made Socrates unique was that he understood that he did not know himself and thus could not know anything else, in the dialogues he shows others that they too don’t actually know what they thought they did. 'Know thyself' has been interpreted in many ways, to know thyself rather than how others’ see you’, to seek understanding of the nature of self reminding one of Patanjali perhaps or, following Buddha, to know (for) thyself rather than trusting only to teachers or scriptures, to put teaching to the test of your own experience.
Listening to Indian teachers do you sometimes get the feeling that they seem to think we, the western students of yoga, are completely incapable of understanding the yamas and niyamas as if there is a complete absence of moral or ethical teaching in our culture. Is there such a culture? Has there ever been? Isn't that a defining characteristic of a culture, a society (discuss).
So here's a game, match the Delphic maxim to the appropriate yama niyama
In the morning I'm practising full 2nd series with Kristina in the shala and in the evening I'm doing a short Vinyasa Krama practice leading up to longer stays in a couple of Ashtanga 2nd series postures and introducing Krishnamacharya's kumbhaka instruction. The plan all along here has been to reground my 2nd series to explore Krishnamacharya's use of Kumbhaka in 2nd just as I've been doing with his Primary asana for the last year. So around 40 minutes of asana followed by half an hour of pranayama and a Sit.
See my Ashtanga Rishi Series page for long stays of 25 or 50 breaths in all Primary and 2nd series asana
Kumbhaka tends to be straight forward in Krishnamacharya's Primary, if the head is up the breath is held in after the inhalation if the head is down then it tends to be held out after the exhalation, easy, oh and no kumbhaka in twists.
2nd series is a little less obvious but thankfully Krishnamacharya indicates which kumbhaka for which asana, it's clear he was very serious about this approach to practice. In the table below he also gives the health benefits for the asana, can we speculate if there is a correlation between the kumbhaka and the health benefits? if we don't include the kumbha do we still get the health benefit?
And what about teaching kumbhaka, do we include kumbhaka from the start or do we consider it a more advanced option. My own inclination as been to think of kumbhaka as an advanced option that's available to us but perhaps that's my Ashtanga bias. In Vinyasa Krama short kumbhakas are included form the start in asana.
Middle and part of the proficient groups page from Krtishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu, see the Yogasanagalu page at the top of the blog
Krishnamacharya Ashtanga and Vinyasa Krama in Crete
Thank you to my so so generous teacher Kristina Karitinou for inviting and allowing me to continue offering Intro to Vinyasa Krama classes in her beautiful Ashtanga shala space in Rethymno on Thursday evenings. Last week we focused on the Lotus sequence this week we'll look at the Bow and Meditative sequences as well as more time for pranayama and a longer savasana (promise).
Looks like I might be offering an intro to Krishnamacharya and Vinyasa Krama in Chania at Nektarios and Gloria's Ashtanga Yoga Crete, possibly this Friday, check out the beautiful website.
Update: Tomorrow(Friday) at 7pm.
As well as an Ashtanga teacher Nekatarios is a Sitar player, we're hoping to collaborate on a post concerning the Sitar and it's anatomical correlation with the body.