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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Krishnamacharya on jumping

I've been looking closely at Krishnamacharya's descriptions of 'jumping' in his 1934 text Yoga Makaranda. This of course was written while Krishnamacharya was teaching the young Pattabhi Jois in Mysore.

First up is a description of jumping the legs apart into the likes of Parsvottanasama, Prasarita padottanasana etc.

But Pattabhi Jois was, I hear,  a jumper, Manju still is, Iyengar certainly is, Ramaswami also.

And so, it appears was Krishnamacharya.

Notice Krishnamacharya's use of kumbhaka ( holding the breath in or out) in the jumps and lifts (utpluthi)

puraka = inhalation
Rechaka = exhalation.

*See end of post for measurement conversion

These descriptions are all from yoga makaranda, I've taken liberties with the layout and the italics are either notes or bringing in an earlier description of some vinyasas.

3 Prasarita Padottanasana 

Stand in tadasana krama.

Jump the legs apart, placing the feet 3 mozhams apart on the ground. 

(Mozham: If I remember right it is equal to two jaans. A direct definition is the length of the forearm starting with the tip of the middle finger. Strung flowers are measured in mozhams (even today. The word has an English equivalent - cubit.) 
Practise jumping and placing the feet at the correct distance all in one jump. 

While jumping, either puraka kumbhaka or recaka kumbhaka can be done. 

There should be no noise while jumping and pressing the feet onto the floor. 

Now raise the arms and slowly exhale through the nose. 

While doing recaka, bend forward and lower the upper part of the body (above the hips) down towards the ground. 

Take the hands between the legs and moving them back step-by-step, place the palms on the ground. 

Lower the head down between the hands. 

At this time, the legs should not be even slightly bent. 

After remaining in this position for some time, raise the head, draw in clean air through the nose and 
slowly raise the body. 

After standing up, jump back to tadasana.  


5 Caturanga Dandasana there are 4 vinyasas

Vinyasas 1, 2, and 3 are as for uttanasana. 

(1st Vinyasa - raise the arms above the head while inhaling.

2nd Vinyasa - While exhaling the breath out slowly, bend the upper part of the 
body (that is, the part above the hip) little by little and place the palms down by the legs. 
The knees must not be even slightly bent. 

3rd vinyasa - Raise the head upwards and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. 
While doing this, draw in clean air through the nostril, hold the breath firmly and maintain this position). 

Press both palms down firmly while doing the 4th vinyasa from the 3rd vinyasa of uttanasana. 

Do only recaka and firmly hold the breath out without doing puraka. 

Keeping the weight balanced equally on both legs, jump backwards (keeping both legs parallel to each other) and holding the body straight like a rod, lie down facing downwards. 

At this time, only the palms and toes touch the ground. No other parts of the body touch the ground. 

That is, there must be 4 angulas of space between the body and the ground. 

In this position, if you keep a stick or rod on top of the body, the rod must touch the body completely. 

We need to keep our body this straight. But make sure to check gaps formed by the muscles and mounds of flesh to determine if all the adjustments are correct.

Remain in this sthiti for at least ten minutes and then return to samasthiti.


8 Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana 

This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.

The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. 

(ie. stand erect. 1st Vinyasa raise the arms above the head while inhaling
2nd Vinyasa exhaling the breath out slowly, bend the upper part of the body (that is, the part above the hip) little by little and place the palms down by the legs. The knees must not be even slightly bent. 
3rd Vinyasa Raise the head upwards and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose). 

The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, 

The 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, 

The 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. 

Practise these following the earlier instructions. 

In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. 

That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. 

Extend the legs out forward (cross leg jump through?) and sit down. 

Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. 
In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose. 

After this extend both arms out towards the feet (the legs are already extended in front). 

Clasp the big toes of the feet tightly with the first three fingers (thumb, index, middle) of the hands such that the left hand holds the left big toe and the right hand holds the right big toe. 

Do not raise the knees even slightly. 

Then, pull in the stomach while doing recaka, lower the head and press the face down onto the knee. 

The knees should not rise from the ground in this sthiti either. 

This is the 9th vinyasa. This is called pascimottanasana. 

This pascimottanasana has many forms. 

After first practising this asana with the face pressed onto the knee, practise it with the chin placed on the knee and then eventually with it placed 3 angulas below the knee on the calf. 

In the 10th vinyasa raise the head. 

In the 11th vinyasa, keeping the hands firmly pressed on the ground, raise the entire body off the ground and balance it in the air without touching the ground. 

The 11th vinyasa is called uthpluthi. 

The 12th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana. 

The 13th is urdhvamukhasvanasana. 

The 14th is adhomukhasvanasana. 

The 15th is the first vinyasa of uttanasana. 

The 16th vinyasa is the 2nd vinyasa of uttanasana. 

Afterwards, return to samasthiti. .

This asana can be done on the floor or on a mat according to the capabilities of one’s body. 
Learn some of the other forms of pascimottanasana krama by studying the pictures carefully. 


On a side note, Ramaswami, who studied with Krishnamacharya for 33 years, refers to the his presentation of asana, as taught to him by Krishnamacharya, as Vinyasa Krama. I just noticed that under the description in Yoga Makaranda (1934) for 9. Ardhabaddhapadmapascimottanasana, Krisnamacharya writes...

"This has 22 vinyasas.The 8th and 15th vinyasas are the asana sthiti. 
Up to the 7th vinyasa, practise according to the pascimottanasana vinyasa krama...."



The art of konark sury mandir
One of the earliest surviving literature which talks about units of measurement is Chanakya’s Arthasastra.  He mentions the various units of space and time in his book.
1 Angula = 16.764 mm
4 Angula = 1 Dhanurgraha
8 Angula = 1 Dhanurmushti
12 Angula = 1 Vitasti
96 Angula = 1 Dhanus (1 Dhanu = 6 feet)
108 Angula = 1 Garhaptya Dhanus ( grihapati – carpenters..suggesting this unit was used by Carpenters at that time)
1 Yojana = 8000 Garhapatya Dhanus = 8000* 108*16.764 mm = 14.484 km = 9 miles exactly
1 Mile = 1000 Dhanus = 1000 * 96 * 16.764 = 1.609 km
Interestingly, the word, “mile” comes from a Latin word  , “milli” meaning a thousand.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

GUEST POST: Esther's AsobiGokoro Bags, Beautiful Yoga Mat Bags from Recycled Kimono

My friend Esther lives in Japan, In Yamagata, mountain country. She's from the England and I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of years back, we took in some Art, coffee, lots of Ashtanga talk. You may well know her blog Shanti Star , she has a new post up today in fact, Mysore Class with Matt Corigliano

Esther is an Ashtanga practitioner and teacher.
She also makes bags, Yoga mat bags....from recycled Kimono's

Here's a link Esther's recycled Kimono Yoga mat bag blog

AsobiGokoro Bags

I've been hassling Ester to send me a guest post on her mat bags, made from recycled kimono's, ever since I first saw one posted on fb. After much pestering and pinning down to deadlines here we have it. And pictures lots of pictures including some of the stages involved in making the bags, which I was particularly curious about. I sent a few questions as a framework but it turns out that Esther had already answered some questions in a post on another  blog, the much loved Small Blue Pearls/ The Runway project (PS. send in your runway pictures)

Here's Esther's guest post/response to my questions
AsobiGokoro Bags Yoga Mat Bags: Recycled Kimono
Why make bags out of old kimono?  
Well, because I had a pile of kimono and other fabrics taking up space in my cupboard, and I love bags.  I needed to start making stuff with all the fabrics I’d collected.  I have a bit of a fabric fetish, and they were beginning to pile up.  I love the Japanese sense of colour and design expressed in the kimono and really enjoy pairing this with a surprising print inside.

Making yoga mat bags started when looking at a lovely yoga mat bag that was way out of my price range.  So, I thought I would make one instead.  However, I soon realized, that after I”d gone and bought the fabric, thread, zipper, etc it wasn’t actually much cheaper than buying one.  But, I loved it, and it was in my favourite colours and totally original.  I made a couple  more and gave them to friends, they were very homemade looking.
Through a process of trial and error, asking friends, relatives, shop assistants all kinds of questions I slowly learnt how to make them better and more beautiful.  It really was, and still is, quite a journey.  Always aiming to make a more beautiful bag than the last one.  
What are some of the problems and how did you overcome them?
There have been constant hurdles to overcome, mainly because I have been learning as I go along, and every piece is different..  Different combinations of fabrics produce very different bags.  Also I don’t want to waste any material so I take a while to plan out a bag in the most efficient way, I have very few scraps.  Every little piece is a treasure.
How strong are these bags?
They are pretty strong. Not cargo strength, but I’ve thrown mine around a lot as a tester, it’s still going strong. I use a fairly substantial cotton interfacing in them all now.   It may not be necessary, as the first ones I made didn’t have this and they’re still going strong, but just to be sure.

The silk ones will eventually wear thin I’m sure, but that’s part of the beauty of natural fabrics.
Which was the most terrifying material you cut up?
The most terrifying kimono material I ever cut up was the sleeves from a friends coming of age Kimono, that her recently passed away father had bought for her when she was 20.  When young the sleeves are long and later the sleeves are trimmed. She had kept the trimmings, she is now about 46, and asked me to make a bag for her. It was quite an honor and very precious, not only because it was in memory of her deceased father, but also because the original kimono cost around 18,000pounds! There wasn’t much material, so I had to be careful and piece together a bag.  I will probably never sew fabric that gorgeous again, and was so pleased with the result I kept it a few extra days to admire it in private.

Has it ever gone really really wrong?
Oh yes, I have made every kind of mistake possible.  My husband has a good eye (his mother is professional seamstress) and points out all the faults.  Sometimes this feels like a Japanese spiritual path of bag making.  I take them apart, and redo, aiming for simple perfection. 
Do you have any that you couldn't bare to part with?
Actually, pretty much all of them.  That’s the thing, I get very attached to these bags, this isn’t a business, it’s my art, little embarrassing to say that, but that’s how I feel.  I stopped painting, as I wasn’t terribly good and paintings were piling up in the house, but to make something practical and special…that’s more like it.  It’s something I love to do, to play with fabrics and colour combinations.  I can only make a bag I am excited about.  I never want to part with the one I”ve just made, but by the time I’ve finished the next, I’m ready.

When I’ve made one I have to sit with it a while before I let it go, I’m getting better now. I’m always most pleased with the most recent one.  

My students and friends have been very supportive and snapping them up, which is lovely as I get to see my bags all the time.  Some have gone overseas and I’m getting better with the practice of non-attachment, ha ha!
A good friend told me I must let them go, keep a flow of energy, to challenge myself to make them better and better and more beautiful. 

How long does it take to make one?
Not sure how long they take, as I work in spurts whenever I have the time and inclination. Sometimes more like a frenzy, forgetting everything else in my excitement to finish one.   I don’t want it to be a chore, to have that negative energy in the bags, it’s nice to relax and get into the process.  It is a process indeed.  From taking apart the kimono, and if necessary washing and ironing all the pieces.  Then trying out combinations of kimono and lining materials and zippers what style of bag would it suit, once I feel suitably inspired and can carve out some time I start to to make one.  It does take many many hours, but the time flies, aborbed.  Measuring, cutting, interfacing, making bias tape, lots of hand sewing, I like the details.  Actual time at the machine is minimal.  

You jokingly mentioned that you wanted to see sweat and pin pricked fingers, the blood sweat and tears of making mat bags from precious kimono.  Well, no joke there is sweat, and near to tears when I do something wrong. As for blood, at times blood had been shed! There is a lot of hand sewing, sometimes through 7 layers of fabric the occasional finger has been pricked!

Do you have pictures of your favourite?
So hard, as at one point every one has been my favourite.  I guess the one I really couldn’t let go is the one I’m using, this purple one is the newest one and so my current favourite, and these came a close second.

I just so enjoy this creative practice, and want to make beautiful unique pieces for someone to carry their little piece of sacred space around with them, a joy to open, and hopefully help inspire a practice.  Beauty I believe can inspire spirituality, actually I was just reading this morning in the “Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” about how meditation (or yoga) is an art and to do it in a richly inspired way, to inspire yourself.  So, this is my little contribution to help devoted yogi’s on their way.

If anyone is interested in any of the bags feartured here (link to blog) drop me a line on the AsobiGokoro facebook page.

Esther lives in Yamagata in the north of Japan and is also practicing and teaching Ashtanga yoga.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Moving back to Japan and yoga mat bags from recycled kimono's

So the big news here is that M. and I are moving back to Japan. My wife is from Osaka, that's Osaka castle above. We actually met at University and after our studies went to live in Japan for a number of years, first in Osaka, later in Kyoto, we were married there in fact, in one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto, Shimogamo jinja. We came back to the UK ten years ago but now it's time to move back, to be closer to family, but also because we both just miss the place. 

Shimogamo jinja

M. will be going early next year and I'll be following around the end of May once Visa's are all sorted out. Hopefully we'll be moving back to Kyoto, just down the road from Osaka. Any readers want to give me the lowdown on the Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe Ashtanga scene?

Demachiyanagi, Kyoto. This is taken from the bridge just up from where we used to live. I played sax under this bridge every morning for a couple of years and in all weathers.
This morning I was reminded of something Kristina said in the interview post last week.

Kristina: "It is of paramount importance for the practitioners to develop awareness of the cultural heritage of the place they are in".

Kristina was talking about Greece but I'm looking forward to exploring the encounter between my own practice and the rich cultural heritage of Japan, of Zen and Shinto.... obviously but the Aesthetic concept of Wabi-sabi also comes to mind,  "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete", there's a definition for Ashtanga for you to chew over.

My friend Esther lives in Japan, In Yamagata, mountain country. She's from the England and I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of years back, took in some Art, coffee, lots of Ashtanga talk. Esther is an Ashtanga practitioner and teacher.
She also makes bags, mat bags....from up cycled Kimono's

I've been hassling Ester to send me a guest post on her mat bags, made from recycled kimono's, ever since I first saw one posted on fb. After much pestering and pinning she's come through with lots of pictures and a guest post, see the following blog post. I sent a few questions as a framework but it turns out that Esther had already answered some questions in a post on another blog, the much loved Small Blue Pearls/ The Runway project (send in your runway pictures)

Here's a taste but go to the link above perhaps for better questions than mine.

Q: How long does each bag take to make?
A: I have no idea how long the total process is but considering the amount of time each bag takes, they're probably under priced. I begin by taking apart the kimono, then washing, drying, ironing. Then the fun of matching fabrics, threads and zippers. The zippers are all made-to-order for me, so I have to wait 10 days for them to arrive. This is slow work! But I love every stage of it. I have a choice of 240 zipper colours, the choices are endless. I love thinking up colour combinations, the creative process is so stimulating. Then the cutting, stitching, ironing, lots of prep work. Making the bias tape, inserting the piping on the end pieces, finally the sewing. I find it a very peaceful, meditative act. Quietly working away, sometimes listening to podcasts (helps to keep my English active and feed my brain) and other times, embarrassing to admit, I listen to Indian chants, sutras, Bhagavad Gita—really puts me in a good headspace to create.

Q: Are there a lot of kimonos to choose from? Not being from Japan, they seem so precious to me...
A: There are lots and lots of kimono here, but most are very very very expensive. I root around the recycle shops looking for bargains. Old ones, some with stains or holes which may have very good fabric yet are worthless as kimono, so can be picked up fairly cheaply. I like the vintage fabrics best . . . getting harder to find those though. Right now I have quite a stock. I can make about 4 bags from a single kimono. I want to make one-of-a-kind pieces though. Mainly because this is more of an art project for me, I don't want to mass produce them— I enjoy making each one individually. Certainly not a great business model, but that's not why I'm doing it.

See the next post for Esther's responses to my own questions regarding her bags in her 'Guest post'

GUEST POST: Esther's AsobiGokoro Bags Yoga Mat Bags: Recycled Kimono

Tapas: Final update, One month Chakra Bandhasana Challenge. YES or NO....or Kinda

So 'final' update on the one month Chakra Bandhasana challenge, first a recap....

 Here's, the original post
Chakra Bhandasana - Grab heels in a month backbend challenge

If you remember, this project came about from seeing this video by Jen René Peg Mulqueenand Michael Joel Hall.

30th Oct

6th Nov

7th Nov

12th Nov

A slice of brilliance from Michael Joel Hall

My own attempt

15th Nov

Which brings us to today, I've been running this pretty much from Tuesday to Tuesday (my day off), so this would be a month.

drum roll....

26th Nov

Chakra bandhasana ladies and gentlemen, that's it right there, bound, solid, and secure...

Have you noticed that most hold the leg above the ankle, above the knee even, (scoff), BELOW the ankle that's what you should be after...and none of this hands wrapped right around the leg, that's just cheating, you want to be aiming at subtlety, the merest gesture, the ankle tendon gently held between the fingertips/nails.

What do you mean it doesn't count




Anyone for a THREE month Chakra Bandhasana, challenge,.......anyone?

Here's the video anyway, it's coming, gradually, no rush really. I'm more interested at the moment in settling into that final step/brick and exploring the breath, want to get ten long slow breaths there and then twenty-five, worry about catching the legs later.


Chakra bandhasana or Tirangamukha Uttanasana

Thank you to Chiara for the Yoga Blocks, I didn't have an indelible marker in the house so have photoshopped the tag in.

Something my friend Susan mentioned about her understanding regarding the difference in names for this posture is that as far as she knew Tirangamukha Uttanasana was holding above the knees and chakra Bandhasana catching the ankles. This was depressing as I was catching (between my fingertips) below the ankle. This time I tried having the block a little higher to see if I could catch a little higher. Seem to be on to something, I'm kind of at the ankle here especially if I manage to flatten the feet, perhaps because it was earlier in the morning I was a little less bendy than Tuesday. Oh and Susan's iPhone autocorrects chakra Bandhasana to chakra bendy asana, which I like.

So Chakra bandhasana or Tirangamukha Uttanasana

In Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda (1934) we find one of the young boys of the Mysore palace school, here it's called Tirangamukha Uttanasana and this is grouped in with the uttanasana variations, in a sense it is a 'backward facing' uttanasana, Ramaswami refers to it as Tiryangamukha Uttanasana suggesting Krishnamacharya continued to.

Iyengar has it as Chakra Bandhasana but this version, a bound wheel pose, he's walking in from Urdhva Dhanurasana too rather than dropping back and catching from the air

Iyengar is more 'bound' than I am obviously

All the old texts seem to have different names for the same postures, gets confusing. Plus the descriptions in the old texts aren't what we're used to now, so they seem to end up slightly different with every reading. Krishnamacharya refers to certain postures as one thing in this school and something else in another school, one student probably remembers one of those name another remembers a different one or calls it by some text he comes across in the Mysore Library. That's just the postures with names deriving from texts.... the others are just, shall we say, ...'rediscovered' during practice ( or teaching), and then described in a moment of inspiration. There can't be that many of the old named postures that are set in stone.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

David Garrigues Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series DVD

I subscribed to David's newsletter a while back and just had this one come through with details of his new DVD. It struck me how Ashtanga video's/dvd's have changed over the years. We have the Led classes from Encinitas, Pattabhi Jois himself leading some of his early students through a straight series. There are the 'talking you through it' DVD's, David Swenson, Richard Freeman and later Mark Darby (my personal favourite for first Primary series) also the nothing but the count dvd's, Lino and John Scott come to mind, Sharath too of course. (Manju's DVD is a little different, and quite unique, with it's listen and repeat sanskrit count), and now more recently Kino and David Garrigues with their led series AND tutorials, the tutorials often on a separate disc.

I seem to be in synch with Kino, she brought out her second series while I was working on second series and her third series DVD around the time I was venturing more seriously into 3rd. I never got around to buying David Garrigues' Primary when it came but always liked the look of it, couldn't really justify another Primary series, when as a good home Ashtangi I already had all the others. Same goes for this his Intermediate, I already have my wrist bind in pasasana and my Kapo ( heel/ankle grab comes and goes), Dwi pada sirsasana, karandavasana.... I don't really NEED another 2nd series DVD do I? And yet I love David's Asana Kitchen's, love how he works with actual students, Kino does that to some extent in her Youtube Videos of course but not on her DVD's. David Garrigues' approach may well be the ultimate in Home Ashtanga DVD's.

That said I do have a soft spot for Richard Freeman, every time I practice along with one of his discs, whether Primary or Second series I discover things that I had missed the first time around, or the tenth for that matter, there is new awareness and delight, always delight with Richard.

If your new to Second series, David may well be the way to go but if you already have your second then pick up Richard's and as Paul Ricour might have said had he practiced Ashtanga '...rediscover it anew'.

Talking of 2nd, last day of my one month to chakrabhandasana challenge, I'm on the bottom step of the 'yoga block stairs' and might have a go at reaching for the ankle/leg today and see what happens. plan is just to do an extended first half of second ( extra backbends prep from VK plus some extensions) then move on to Urdhva Dhanurasana drop backs before moving on to finishing sequence. Post to come later today (master plan is to practice a little later, go for a walk, nice warm bath then practice, stack the odds in my favour), most likely though I'll change the title on all the previous posts to 3 months to Chakrabandhasana and  hope nobody notices , Shhhhhhh.

Greetings from Europe, 
For the past three weeks I have been touring around Europe teaching and sharing the lineage. By the end of my tour I will have met Ashtanga students from London to Moscow.  I am having an amazing time and meeting some wonderful Ashtangi's along the way. 

After one year I am pleased to offer you my new Second Series dvd.  It is a carefully prepared tutorial on the Intermediate Series as taught to me by its author Sri K Pattabhi Jois. All of the details and a list of content are listed below. 

I will also be teaching a special New Year's class, December 31st and January 1st at the Ashtanga Yoga School of Philadelphia.  These two days are filled with Mysore classes, pranayama, chanting, and lots of bhakti! I hope you can join me.


I am happy to offer you this carefully prepared tutorial on the Intermediate Series as taught to me by its author Sri K Pattabhi Jois. 

 What is included?
The first pranayama called Ujjayi in the Ashtanga Pranayama Sequence.

Second Series, called Nadi Shodana, purifies the pranic channels of the body. Practice it and extend your breathing capacity, effect an energetic awakening that helps you access buddhi, the reflective, discerning, higher intelligence faculty of your mind. Become fit for dhyana, meditation, contemplative poise that yields dynamism, radiant health and Self knowledge. 

May we all continue to grow in Bhakti and Jnana.

See also this earlier post

Workshop Review: David Garrigues’ workshop in London -The razor’s edge: a balance of opposites

Monday, 25 November 2013

Ramaswami chant tutorials including the Yoga Taravali where the opening Ashtanga chant comes from.

Yoga Taravali of Adi Sankara-Chanting by Srivatsa Ramaswami

Begins with the first part of the Ashtanga opening chant, if you'd ever wondered where it came from....

Some other wonderful chants from Ramaswami taught in the traditional way,

First one you may know already or have at least always wanted to learn.

Sahanaavavatu Peace Chant Tutorial- Srivatsa Ramaswami

This is one of my favourites

Trayambakam ( Mrityunjaya mantra) chant Tutorial-Srivatsa Ramiswami

Another favourites but this one is tricky.

I'm sure Ramaswami must have winced once or twice as we were learning this on his TT course at LMU in 2010. It was OK while he was going through it word by word, phrase by phrase but we would go back over all the chants we'd been working on and some of them were more of a a struggle than others, this one in particular. The funny part was that there is a last phrase that gets repeated throughout and whenever the class would get to that bit after stumbling through the first part we would all sing out strong and loud.

I needed more work on this and thankfully Josh has posted a recording of Ramaswami working through the mantra on the 2012 TT.

And here's the tutorial from Josh Geidel

Also my all time favourite

First, a Ganesa prayer ..A short Ganesa prayer in Tamil which I chant at the beginning of my yoga practice/class. It is the invocatory hymn from Tirumandiram a very old Tamil classic written by Tirumular, said to be a contemporary of Patanjali

And Peace chants

****Peace Chants from Yajur Veda
One of the meanings of the word Yoga is peace of mind, apart from 'union' (yoga yuktih samadhanam). Sri Krishnamacharya always used a peace invocation before and after any yoga, chanting and theory class. He taught me several sections of the vedas including chanting of them. Out of it, ten vedic peace chants can be found in this audio. It is about 15 minutes. One or all of them can be chanted with Yoga practice in yoga studios. Hope you like the chant. I chanted it several years back for my book. It is said these vedic peace chants create a peaceful environment and create in all beings a sense of peace-whether one chants them, meditates on them or merely listens to them. Feel free to share it with others or give it to yoga studios for use if you like them. Here is the link

See this post/page from Ramaswami's Chanting the Yoga Sutra tutorials

Previous post

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Chapter Previews; My Early Krishnamacharya Ashtanga Practice Resource Book

For some reason the earlier post where I introduced my Krishnamacharya Resource book has gone a little strange, the right side of the post seems to be missing.

So here it is again but this time with chapter previews.

I put the book through a Creative Space format that I'd been saving for the print version of my Vinyasa Krama Practice Book, something I still haven't gotten around to doing. It seems to work quite well, where before I was a little embarrassed to put this up, having just thrown together some old posts, now I'm feeling a little more pleased with it. Still some formatting and editing to do but getting there.
Link to Amazon

I'd brought together a bunch of my Krishnamacharya posts in preparation for a couple of workshops I'd been invited to present and have been reading through them, I think I still agree with most of it.

I still need to do some work editing the whole thing, getting rid of some of it's bloggyness and well as improve the layout but, for now, it's something to be going on with.

Here's the link to the epub version which is ideal for the iPad

and this is a regular pdf version

Below are the first pages of most of the chapters/articles/ex posts

Many of the 'chapters' first appeared on my Krishnamacharya blog 9click on the title for the link to the original blog post


Screenshots of first page of each (most) chapters....

1. Yogasanagalu's (1941) 'Original' Ashtanga Primary Group/Series in Yoga Makaranda (1934)

12. In 1937 "Guruji was teaching a 4 year course in yoga... the same course outline (1974) that you received from Nancy" Eddie Sterne.

19. Krishnamacharya and headstands, also Ramaswami's Inverted sequence and the Ashtanga ‘seven deadlies’.

24. Krishnamacharya’s Interpretation of YS II-47 : “By making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained”.

25. Notes on practicing Krishnamacharya’s yogasanagalu.

Table of Contents

1. Yogasanagalu's (1941) 'Original' Ashtanga Primary Group/Series in Yoga Makaranda (1934)

2. How to practice Krishnamacharya's 'Original' Ashtanga Yoga.

3. Uddiyana kriya and asana in Krishnamacharya's 'Original' Ashtanga.

4. Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda extended stays.

5. Examples of usage of Kumbhaka (Breath retention) in asana in Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda! 24

6. Why did Krishnamacharya introduce kumbhaka (breath retention) into the practice of asana in Ashtanga.

7. Why did Krishnamacharya introduced kumbhaka into asana.

8. APPENDIX: Kumbhaka in Krishnamacharya's descriptions of asana.

9. Krishnamacharya's asana description in Yogasanagalu (1941).

10. Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu - the extra asana (descriptions taken from his other works).

11. Krishnamacharya's 1941 Ashtanga Asana table.

12. In 1937 "Guruji was teaching a 4 year course in yoga... the same course outline (1974) that you received from Nancy" Eddie Sterne.

13.The 'Original' Ashtanga yoga Syllabus given to Nancy Gilgoff and David Williams by Sri K Pattabhi Jois in 1974 Mysore.

14. Posts related to Ashtanga history.

15. What did Krishnamacharya study with his Guru in Tibet- Yogacarya Krishnamacharya - The Purnacarya. Edited by Mala Srivatsan.

16. What would Krishnamacharya's Sun Salutation be like.

17. Krishnamacharya paschimottanasana, including transitions.

18. Krishnamacharya's Mysore HOUSE RECOMMENDATIONS (practice guidelines) from Yoga Makaranda (1934) and Yogasanagalu (1941).

19. Krishnamacharya and headstands, also Ramaswami's Inverted sequence and the Ashtanga ‘seven deadlies’.

20. Krishnamacharya own practice (An outline of Krishnamacharya's own practice).

21. Pranayama: Notes from Yoga makaranda ( Part II).

22. Krishnamacharya on CHAKRAS.

23. Krishnamacharya on Samyama in Yogasanagalua and Yoga makaranda ( part II) Chakras, Jivatma, Paramata. 

24. Krishnamacharya’s Interpretation of YS II-47 : “By making the breath smooth (and long), and by concentration or focussing the mind on the breath, the perfection of the posture is obtained”.

25. Notes on practicing Krishnamacharya’s yogasanagalu.

As this posts links to most of my blog posts on krishnamacharya I'll be giving it it's own page at the top of the blog with links to other krishnamacharya Resource materials.

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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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