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…
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.
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.
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,
and the hubby…
Five days…tick, tock, tick, tock…
I had just gotten back from a very relaxing break. I had a couple of chances to practice yoga while I was away. The first time was a short one, standing poses and finishing. It was helpful to keep my body active and not succumb to the passivity of my current environment. The second time, was an early morning full practice. During that practice, my body was stiff and weak… must be all the food and alcohol I have been ingesting!
Today, I started my practice with pranayama. My breathing was consistent and flowing evenly. Brahmari was so relaxing. I also felt stable and comfortable in padmasana…so I pursued a 5-minute meditation. It was calming and gave me a sense of composure. The thirty minutes was truly satisfying for me!
Asana practice will be tonight…I wonder how my body will respond?
A small group of yogins and yoginis took a short trip out of the city to the cool hillsides of Antipolo for a Yoga Retreat.
The natural and rustic feel of Camp Explore was a perfect setting for this retreat.
The Buddha welcomed us to signify a peaceful and bountiful event for us.
For two mornings, we would take that short trip through the “woods” to get to our practice area.
We had a tiled open area for practice. The pros…our ambient sounds came from nature and our green surroundings made things tranquil. The cons…mosquitoes and the cool mountain breeze! I think it was colder here than at Chi spa where we usually practice.
We started the day with pranayama practice and asana practice.
We had two workshops; the first on pranayama and the other on strength and flexibility. The workshops were fun!
We were able to do meditation one night and we were able to sit and discuss yoga concepts and curiosities.
We had to fight psychological deprivation of food we prefer to eat and believe in the fact that soup and salad would nourish us enough. (I think I will keep this diet until Easter?!)
It was great to spend more time with my teacher from whom I learned a lot from these past days. He shared with us two great movies “The Guru” and “Ashtanga New York”. Hmmm…I need to get a copy of those, especially the one on Guruji!
I go through life knowing that my yoga practice has changed me, but this is something that I normally don’t talk about or discuss with the people I regularly work with. This trip brought together people from different work backgrounds, different age groups, different lives with yoga as their common link.
Although I had qualms leaving my normal comforts of life and leaving my “security blanket” husband for a couple of nights, I think the time I spent with people who are on the same journey as I am (with yoga in their lives) was very much worth the trip!
The led class I attended yesterday afternoon has invigorated me enough that I decided to just do pranayama this morning. My daily pranayama practice has helped me focus and gives me enough energy to go through my everyday tasks.
Tomorrow will be a big day (for me and some students anyway) so I am preparing myself mentally, psychologically and spiritually. Yoga don’t fail me….
When you inhale, you take the strength from God, When you exhale, it represents the service you give to the world. – B.K.S. Iyengar
This is the second Sunday of Aahuti. When I took on this “challenge” I knew Sunday would be the most difficult. Sunday is my sleep-in day (right! I still wake up at 6 or 7 am..); my “laze-around” day, my day to walk with my hubby.
Today, Ricky helped out in the Dream Marathon for the TBR at Nuvali so he was out of the house very early. The ambient sounds on Sunday are different too; the traffic on EDSA is quiet; there are no kids waiting for the schoolbus; the sound of birds are more predominant actually.
I was able to do my breathing activities well. Although I tried to up my ratio today, I realize I still need to work more on this. I did 5 minutes of meditation too; the quiet-ness was very enticing. I felt peaceful at the end of practice. My mind is clear and my body is ready for work.
My friend and teacher re-tweeted this chant for healing…
Om tiyabakam yajamahe/Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam/Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaat/Mrtyormuksheeya Maamrtaat
(To Siva, the three-eyed one, the one who is master of all senses and qualities and the one who is the sustainer of all growth; May he releas us from the bondage of death as a ripened cuccumber is released from its stalk; and may he grant us immortality.)
Shanti, shanti, shanti…