Manju Pattabhi Jois Resource

A stand alone page with all things related to Manju Pattabhi Jois.

This is a work in progress, for now I've just collected some earlier posts with interviews, videos, reviews etc. More material and links to come.




Reviews of My Teacher training  Course in Rethymno Crete with Manju. August 2013

Manju Jois TT Part 1 0f 4 : Photo preview: Manju's Workshop in Rethymno, Crete

Manju Jois TT Part 2 of 4 : Ashtanga Adjustments ?

Manju Jois TT Part 3 of 4 : Practice


Transcriptions and notes of  Crete Q and A sessions

Manju TT Crete Part 4A of 4 : Q and A - Development of the Ashtanga series etc.

Manju Jois TT course Part 4B of 4 : Questions and Answers - Rishi series? When to practice? Why 'females' shouldn't do Advanced series? When did SKPJ write Yoga Mala etc.

Manju Jois TT course Part 4C of 4 : Questions and Answers - Friday, final Q and A day. Woman and Ashtanga, Advanced series? Watching his father practice etc...

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Earlier posts
Thursday, 12 September 2013


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Friday, 5 July 2013
This is just a post to launch a new stand-alone page sitting at the top of the blog that I've called Ashtanga History


Friday, 10 May 2013
Going to Manju Jois' TT in Rethymno, Crete August 2013 includes interviews and training videos(see below)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


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Interviews with Manju - From his website



Manju Jois interviews and Teacher Training videos

I came across a nice interview with Manju Jois last night on the Aspiring Yogi blog.
I particularly liked these questions

KPJ: Describe your usual yoga practice/routine?
MJ: I practice yoga in the morning every day except Saturday. My routine is to get up at 4am, have a shower and practice for 1 hour, picking a few postures from the primary and intermediate series, then four or five postures from the advanced series. The asana practice is followed by chanting for ½ an hour.

KPJ: You have been teaching for 47 years. What changes have you noticed over that time, either in your own approach to teaching, or more generally in terms of Ashtanga yoga?
MJ: I teach in the traditional style that I learnt from my father. My aim is to keep the teaching pure and simple. Unfortunately the teaching is often not the same as when I learnt. I don’t know if it is because of a shortage of time, or they don’t know the traditional style or don’t want to teach it.

KPJ: What do you think is the most common mistake that people make when practicing yoga?
MJ: The biggest mistake that students make is overdoing their practice and not knowing when to stop. Yoga is supposed to be relaxing!  It is better to do fewer asanas perfectly with correct breathing, rather than lots of poses if you have forgotten about the breath and bandhas. Keep up your practice everyday. You don’t have to do 100 postures. Listen to your body, stop when it tells you it is stretched enough. People get hurt when they continue.

KPJ: In led classes, we hold each pose for five breaths. Is it appropriate to hold the pose for longer, especially if you have one side stiffer than another?
MJ: In Mysore style practice you can take as many breaths as you want. In fact, usually the body reacts after the fifth breath, so you need to stay longer to get the complete benefit. The Yoga Sutras say Sthira sukham asanam – meaning asana is a meditation and you have to stay in poses and breathe properly.

A couple of  Videos from Youtube of Manju's Teacher training workshop




While on the topic of Manju, here's the excellent video from Warsaw that I posed last year, Hooked on Yoga


here's the link to where the video was posted http://vimeo.com/19598795
and a link to manju's own website http://www.manjujois.com/


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Manju's teaching of  Pranayama

Transcription of this to come ( does anyone have notes on Manju's approach to Bhastika pranayama ( he didn't get around to it on the course, notes, videos etc. welcome)

Transcription to come of the video below.


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NB: VIDEO PAGE TO COME once I've trawled YouTube.

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My review of Manju's Book, DVD, CD

Manju Jois Bundle, DVD, Training manual and chanting CD - first look

The Manju Jois 'Bundle' arrived from Ashtanga.Com.

Took Six days from confirmation of order to delivery, USA to UK. Only regular first class post too, not express or anything special.

I've been thinking very seriously about taking Manju's workshop this year, thought I'd take a look at his kit. Only thing is, I'm so into my practice as it is at the moment with it's slow, slow breathing that I don't really have much inclination to do a straight Ashtanga anymore.

At least I didn't......


So very quick first thoughts, another fuller review to come.

BOOK - Ashtanga Yoga Training Manual Manju Jois and Greg Tebb ( this is was designed with Manju's TT's, Intensives and workshops in mind.


A little disappointed in the quality, bit cheaply produced it has to be said, although I like the layout (mostly, at times things get a little bunched up). Good to have a ring binder although it's not as strong as the one on David Swenson's book, get the feeling it would be falling apart towards the end of a workshop.

I was hoping for something a little special, a little different ( not sure what I was hoping for exactly) but it's just the pose and the instructions/count etc. which seems pretty standard. I mentioned I like the layout, pretty much a posture a page with a space for notes. I'm going to scan mine and then paste in Krishnamacharya's instructions for the same postures for comparison, should be interesting.

The nice touch is the quotes from Hathayogapradipka, Geranda Samhita, Yoga Rahasya etc.

One interesting thing to pick out, in the majority of postures we find, as in the page above for Janu Sirsasana

"Dasha diirgha rechaka puuraka" - 10 long inhalations and exhalations.


DVD - Ashtanga Yoga Workshop (*90 minutes)
*2 min for opening chant and 15 minutes in padmasana chanting rather than Savasana at the end of the practice so about 75 minutes for the actual primary series


This was a nice surprise. It has Manju Leading a class with the chant but get this, everybody repeats every word of the count including the names of all the postures, great way to learn and practice the count.

I'd heard Manju did this on his workshops, really looking forward to practicing along with it.

I mentioned that in the book we find...

"Dasha diirgha rechaka puuraka" - 10 long inhalations and exhalations.

I checked the video to see how long we get for those ten, long, inhalations and exhalations, about 25-30 seconds, give or take a second or two. Interestingly, Manju doesn't count the breaths ( leaving that up to you) I liked that, it means I can get three longish, half decent breaths in but somebody else might choose, five shorter ones...or ten pants.

Here are some comparisons to put it in perspective, all for when in Janu Sirsasana at dwe ( this is hardly fair though as the time varies slightly in the different postures, especially in the led classes of Manju and his father ( it's guess work in Led), for example Manju left them in the preceding posture for 30 seconds), the demo's are a different case. gives an idea though of the general pace of the practice.

David Robson - 40 seconds!
Richard Freeman - 29 seconds
Manju Jois - 25 seconds
Lino - 24 seconds
John Scott - 20 seconds
Kino - 20 seconds
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois - 20 seconds
David Swenson - 19 seconds
Sharath - 13 seconds

What me?
Grimmly - 90 seconds, but that's really only because of the 10 long inhalations and exhalations.

So the stay in the actual posture is generous but overall it's taken pretty fast and you have to go some to keep up, 75 minutes isn't long, the last fifteen minutes of the DVD's 90 Minute run time is taken up with chanting.

UPDATE: A comment came in from Sereaux on Dave Robson's Drum Beat Primary


"I've been practicing periodically to David Robson’s mp3 Ashtanga Yoga’s Primary Series to the Steady Beat of a Drum. It goes to a 4 second inhale and a 4 second exhale – so 5 breaths equates out to 40 seconds. Not quite 90, but nearly double the others. It has helped to keep me to recognize when and where I’m rushing – also helped me stay focused on the breath. I always tend to rush the inhale. All Sanskrit counting. Whole practice takes 109 minutes with opening chant, 3 Sury A, 3 Sury B, and only two paschimottanasana variations.
Sereaux"



Chant CD - Shanti mantras




Consists of the opening and closing chant and then the Shanti mantras, at slow and regular speed. Nice and clear, I could practice with these although I prefer Ramaswami's traditional way of teaching chants.


There's also a pdf with the chants and translations.

Was a little underwhelmed when I first opened the box but am getting quite excited now to getting stuck in and even more tempted by the thought of a his workshop.

UPDATE 7/5/2013
Coming back to this post three months later.

I mentioned in the post that I was quite wrapped up with my 'slow Ashtanga' practice based on Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda at the time the Manju bundle arrived. Recently I've shifted back to a pretty standard Ashtanga practice in the mornings ( VK and pranayama practice in the evening slot) and that has a lot to with Manju's DVD. I like that Manju doesn't count through the actual asana on the DVD, this means I can get in three long slow breaths while in the posture, this works quite well. I can get through the whole series without sacrificing (my approach to) the breath too much. I've been practicing along with the DVD on my days off, Sanskrit count getting inside my head, enjoying it. Rest of the week I take it a little slower still but not by much, add in a few extra VK postures, alonger stay or two ( kind of weaving the Vinyasa krama and Yoga Makaranda influences into my ashtanga practice) but not too many to upset the balance. Wish Manju did a led 2nd Cd or DVD as I've moved back to 2nd series in the mornings.

I like it so much now, as well as the TT videos in the post above, (and I've always felt drawn to Manju's approach to the practice in general, as suggested by interviews and workshop reports) that I'm finalising the logistics for attending Manju's week long TT in Crete, in August this year (finally a workshop in our quiet time at work). Excited.


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Manju's website


Link to Kristina Karitinou website 

Links to the extended Ashtanga yoga Greece family 

UPDATE: 2016

A short interview followed by one of Manju's
Led Primary classes.
pranayama
and chanting

LED PRIMARY


PRANAYAMA


CHANTING




INTERVIEW




WRITTEN BY HELEN CLARE ON 3RD MAY 2016. POSTED IN YOGA CLASSES 
CORNWALL, YOGA LIFESTYLE, YOGA NEWS

Manju Jois, son of the late Pattabhi Jois – founder of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, had some very interesting points to make about modern day yoga this week during a 5 day workshop here in Cornwall. He claimed, with a chuckle but an underlying tone of seriousness, that he is “still trying to clean up the mess that westerners have created”. He is referring to the current yoga world, with it’s myriad forms and styles, Instagram yoga celebrities, books, leggings and other products, all seeming to enhance the yoga experience.

For a start, Manju claims the name Ashtanga Yoga is just a label that westerners have applied to the style taught by his father, Pattabhi Jois. It is still Hatha Yoga, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and was never meant to have been labelled as anything else, just as B.K.S. Iyengar never meant for his ‘style’ to have his name attached to it.

Ashtanga yoga has gained a name for itself as a very strict form of yoga practice, where the yogi must dedicate her or himself to 6 days a week, preferably at 6am, not progressing to the next pose in the series until each one is mastered. “Nonsense!”, exclaims Manju, ‘just enjoy yourself’ he declares. Other than resting on Moon Days, it doesn’t matter what days you do or don’t practise or how many times in a week – it doesn’t even matter if you don’t stick to the series or move on before achieving a particular pose. When asked in the first of our Q & A sessions what we should do if we can’t do a pose, he replies, “Just go on to the next one! Screw that pose and move on to the next one!”

The Ashtanga Primary series is a therapeutic sequence of poses, he went on to explain, but there are certain poses within the second, Intermediate series, that can help facilitate some of the more advanced first series poses. For example, Bharadvajasana and Ardha Matseyendrasana can help with the infamous Marichyasana D. In the very first workshop, Manju led us through the first half of the Primary series followed by the first half of Intermediate – much to everyone’s surprise, but offering a well-rounded practice.

Manju has a passion for chanting the Vedic mantras as part of the yoga practice and wants to impart the equal importance of chanting to asana practice, which is lost by so many of us in the West. Manju’s fear is that yoga has become nothing more than physical exercise – comparable to aerobics because of the way it is taught – diluted and changed from the traditional source. “Keep it the same and you cannot go wrong”, he says referring to the many teachers who are claiming to be teaching in their own style. Continue the tradition and teach what your teacher taught you, and avoid the Ego by striving to invent new things and stand out, is his solution.

Manju is clearly a dedicated yogi and messenger of his father’s, but his answer to so many questions is – stick to the tradition, and just enjoy yourself.


*
NOTE:  Contradiction?


“Nonsense!”, exclaims Manju, ‘just enjoy yourself’ he declares. Other than resting on Moon Days, it doesn’t matter what days you do or don’t practise or how many times in a week – it doesn’t even matter if you don’t stick to the series or move on before achieving a particular pose. When asked in the first of our Q & A sessions what we should do if we can’t do a pose, he replies, “Just go on to the next one! Screw that pose and move on to the next one!” 

Manju’s fear is that yoga has become nothing more than physical exercise – comparable to aerobics because of the way it is taught – diluted and changed from the traditional source. “Keep it the same and you cannot go wrong”, he says referring to the many teachers who are claiming to be teaching in their own style. Continue the tradition and teach what your teacher taught you, and avoid the Ego by striving to invent new things and stand out, is his solution.

*

If flexibility with regard to the practice, the postures, their order and application, is considered part of the approach Manju is taking, as he seems to suggest, then there is perhaps no contradiction. Taking too controlling an approach however, replacing the flexibility inherent in the approach with a strict adherance to dogma, seems to go against the spirit and essence of the Yoga Manju's father, Pattabhi Jois shared with his son.


"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)" 
Walt Whitman Song of Myself

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A Reminder

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
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