Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Today's ashtanga.com newsletter has a link to some public Q&A's with Pattabhi Jois from 1991, translated (?) from French to English by Guy Donahaye.

In it, Guruji addresses such burning issues as:

What happens if you do the sequences out of order (illness will come).

What to do when there is no sound on the inhale ("He is not controling completely abdominal and anus. Anus you control, stiff (strong) breathing is coming, with sound breathing....If long breathing, inhalation is not correct or if only the exhalation is coming long, that is heart trouble is starting. That is very bad").

Why we shouldn't practice outside ("Energy you doing practice practice outside, your heat is not coming out. Heat increasing and poison is not coming out. Poison means sweat… Your strength is gone. Your temperature is gone.").

What floor to practice on ("Third, fourth floor he is doing yoga - very bad. Underground he is doing yoga, very bad. First floor, that is all.")

What to do when you're feeling lazy and don't want to practice (eat proper - sattvic - food)

When to do full vinyasa (when you don't have to work and can spend five hours on your your practice)

Whether it's OK to heat the room / keep the windows open during practice (too much heat is bad, because the heat should come from within - HOPEFULLY THOSE OF YOU WHO TURN THE THERMOSTAT UP TO 90 WILL HEED THIS - and one open window, high up, is good).

Some excerpts:

Question: Why should we not practice on full and new moon days?

Answer: That day is very difficult day. Two stars one place (conjunction) is going. New moon also, full moon also. That day very dangerous day. You (take) practice (on that day), anyone can have a small pain starting. That pain is not going very quickly. Long time he is taking. Some broken possible. That is why that day don’t do.

Question: While doing tolasana at the end of practice, which is the correct drishti?

Answer: Both sides: Pull up. Pull upping time you take Nasagra dristi. One also here also, both dristi, no problem. Nasagrai dristi and broomadhya dristi.

On why to do vinyasa:

"Without vinyasa you don’t do asana. Why? One part (of body) you bending - you can understand? For example, paschimottanasana, Ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana, you doing one leg, bend one leg, and take back your foot. How long? Long time. After little (restricted) blood circulation, every joint stopping. After again take up, jump back again, next posture, next leg you put it. After your jumping time, tight your whole body, don’t loose, tight it (for vinyasa, the body should be engaged, not relaxed). After blood circulation automatically is going (moving). That pain quickly is going.

"You without vinyasa, you do every pose (without vinyasa), all the joints so blood circulation so blood circulation not correctly. Circulation is not coming, stopping there (in the joint). After sitting posture you do completely, all body sick, gradually sick(nes is) starting. "Oh! Yoga is given (making me) sick - not liking" (i dont like it). People is not liking. That some asana - "Oh! It is very bad. Very pain is coming. Oh! left it (I dont want to do it). That asana don’t do!" Some people is telling. Why that? This is method you don’t understanding (why? because they dont understand the correct method). That is why you this method you follow - no trouble! Body also is very perfect. You can understand? That is the method."

The full text is here.

And tomorrow I will post an account of my first conference with Guruji, which took place over a decade later - in 2002.

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