Category Archives: Yoga

Anything general about yoga.

A yoga teacher…

Qualities of a good yoga teacher (for me)…

Gentle and calming

Open and giving

Knowledgable and skillful

I have met several and will forever be grateful to them.  This week, I am especially thankful to Gregor Maehle — “Be compassionate in your practice.”

And to my teacher Jon Cagas, who so willingly gave his time to help my colleagues in their practice of yoga — for his love of yoga and his value of physical activity –“Gratitude, compassion, surrender”.

Om.

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Hello my dear MIND…

I afforded myself a session (half a day) of this weekend’s seminar with A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan.  They are students of Shri Krishnamacharya who is said to be the father of modern yoga (he was teacher to Sri K. Patthabi Jois and B.S.K. Iyengar).

1.  Yoga is a means to make our mind steady. One certainty in life is change.  Change can be brought about by external events, which we cannot control . Change can be brought about internally, through our minds…this we can have control over.

2.  What are the three most important things in life? Mr. Mohan asked Krisnamacharya this question. His answer: HEALTH which can be achieved through the practice of asanas; LONGEVITY which can achieved through pranayama; and TRANQUILITY, attained through meditation.

3.  The mind is our inner television.   I need to “watch” what I think.  Thinking is more powerful than action. If we think things through, then our actions (including speech) will be more meaningful and/or less hurtful.

4.  Happiness is simply letting go. Letting go of thought processes that causes anxiety, fear and worry.  Freedom is in our own hands.  If we do things that will make us happy, we become free; if we don’t do them, we become bound.

According to Mr. Mohan, happiness is within our reach and can be a constant in our lives.  We can do this by having a focused mind; being aware of our thoughts and subsequent actions and consciously free ourselves from those that make us “unhappy”.

These are just a few lessons of that half-day and introductory evening that I attended.  There are practical applications that I had started using in my practice this morning.  Mr. Mohan was funny with his “stories” and is very sincere and humble in spreading happiness through the teachings of Sri. T. Krishnamacharya.

Grateful for this experience…

Yoga, a practice that binds

A couple of people asked me how I felt and what I thought about my first “international” yoga retreat and workshop.  I think I was still not done savoring the experience and cannot answer the question well.

First, I was so amazed at how the practice of ashtanga yoga binds people from all over the world! Swiss, Germans, Americans, Brazilian, Filipinos, Japanese, Thais,  Singaporeans — all have the same practice! I cannot believe that a single man was able to influence  people around the globe to take on the discipline to practice yoga!

I was mesmerized by Tiwariji.  His presence was comforting, his words were encouraging and uplifting,  I have not really met anyone in the past that had the same effect (maybe Fr. Reuter during my high school years).  He always had a smile on his face! He looked really happy! My friend Berta says maybe that’s how enlightened people look — I might just agree with her!

It took quite some time for me to understand how four women, who were devoted to their families would leave for more than a week!  What will make them do that?! The trip wasn’t about getting or running away.  I believe it is about touching base with the teacher, being close to an “energy” source, finding ways to enrich the self so that there can be more to share.  It was an affirmation of the person you have become.  It allowed me to look back when my practice began and where it can go — how my life was before yoga, when I started yoga and yoga in my life.

Yoga is literally translated to “yoke” – a bond.  I understood myself more through the practice of yoga.  It allowed me to bind my whole being — weaknesses, strengths, potentials, unaccomplished goals.  I opened up myself to people I would never have met if not through the practice.  Yoga binds people; people close to you, people new to you, people who live far away.

Om.

 

 

Lessons from Paul

On uddiyana bandha and nauli…

(photo taken from http://www.indianetzone.com/photos_gallery/22/uddiyana-bandh_3326.jpg)

… about three inches below the navel

…passive abdomen, diaphragm is active

….steps:

1. Exhale, pull in the lower abdominals, 2. One-fourth of a second relax, anus is relaxed, 3. Diaphragm is actived, 4. Relax, 5. Inhale

(6. Isolate the abodminal rectus for Nauli)

**********

On Central Nauli also known as the crown hatha, helps in…

… elimination, digestion, assimilation, circulation, cleansing of the lymph nodes and has a overall positive effect on the nervous system

**********

On Agni Sara is kind of the opposite of uddiyana bandha….

…active abdomen, passive diaphragm

….steps:

1.  Exhale, pull back lower abdominals, 2. Flick forward the lower abdominals (transversus), anus is relaxed, 3. Expand abdomen, organs start to float in the positve environment, 4. Repeat flick and expand three to seven times, 5. Inhale.

…you may hear digestive abdominal sounds when doing this, and that’s ok!

Tiwariji

Too much talking is an obstacle in yoga.

We are all divine! But divinity is not to be achieved, it has to be re-discovered.  An obstacle to divinity is lack of awareness.

The cause of happiness or suffering is brought about by the function of the mind. Yoga will help channelize the function of the mind. Pranayama helps control the mind.

Practice with awareness.  Sincerity in practice. Any art or science in life needs sincerity in practice.

Om.

Ticking off my yoga bucketlist

Check mark! To travel just for yoga.
Check mark! To learn from my teachers’ teachers!

In the three years I have been practicing ashtanga yoga I have met friends who would be gone days at a time to take up yoga classes or workshops in another country. I have always been curious and would look up websites in an attempt to satisfy my curiosity. And as I became more involved in the practice, my desire to “yoga travel” increased.

So finally tomorrow I will venture off to my first “yoga travel”! I will be going to Samahita Retreat Yoga Thailand. This is where most of my yoga teachers acquired their teacher training.

I am kinda excited. I will be with friends/teachers. I am eager to meet and learn from both Paul and Tiwari. Aside from asana practice we will be learning pranayama and philosophy.

I’m soooo excited!

My yoga journey continues…om.

Count down…

Five days.

Five days to go until I get to practice and learn from him,

Paul Dallaghan, my teachers’ teacher

Five days before pursuing and discovering more about my favorite yoga practice of Pranayama with O.P. Tiwari.

Five days to go and am feeling anxious…to leave them for a while,

Fluffy

and the hubby…

Five days…tick, tock, tick, tock…

Om.