Friday, September 21, 2012
Mysore Etiquette by Cara Jepsen / Kali Om, for tomorrow's Mysore 101 workshop at Yoga Now
You may arrive and leave at any time during the class
Enter and leave quietly. Try to place your mat without too much drama
For best results, come at least three times a week
Let the teacher know about any injury or condition you have
Once you get on your mat, stay. Take care of bathroom duties before class
Stop when/where the teacher asks you to stop
Do not drink water, as this destroys the internal purifying heat. Traditionally, no water is taken 20 minutes before or after practice, either
It’s OK to ask questions or wait for an adjustment. Just try to keep the volume low
Try to use ujjayi breath, dristi (gaze), vinyasa and bandhas as you practice
Do Primary Series the first time you practice in a new place / with a new teacher, or after travel
Traditionally, practice is not done on the new and full moon and ladies do not practice for three days during their cycle
If pressed for time, tell the teacher. In general, the sun salutations, standing poses and closing poses are most important. Do not skip the poses you don’t like.
Learn everything you can about the pose you’re working on, such as its name and meaning. Look up others doing the pose, and try to learn from them. You may do your “nemesis” pose three times in class, or hold it for a long time.
Every pose has a correct vinyasa – a specific way to enter and exit. When in doubt, ask
Those who sweat a lot should bring two towels – one for you and one for the teacher
Practice saucha (cleanliness) on your person and your clothes, mat, towel, etc.
Try not to come to class reeking of garlic, onions or meat. Yogis historically do not consume these items. A sattvic (mild) vegetarian diet is traditional, and yields the best results
Remember the words of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: “Ashtanga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory” and “Do you practice and all is coming.” And keep in mind that the three greatest obstacles to practice are sleep, laziness and disease.
Text (c) 2012 by Kali Om. Photo (c) 2002 by Cara Jepsen
Thursday, September 20, 2012
"We spent seemingly endless hours in the offices of doctors and dentists. Once after a two-hour wait in a doctor's office Swami [Madhavananda, ninth president of the Ramakrishna Mission] said to me, 'If we, who come in this train of a divine incarnation and his partners, have it like this, just think of what must be the lot of ordinary people.'
"This gave me considerable food for thought."
Monday, September 17, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
"In life, whenever one tries to attain something, one encounters obstacles. Personal karma, habits and health problems get in the way. Just like when Moses went to the desert and heard voices that spoke of temptations, the mind devises tricks. If one makes a decision to fast and just read the scriptures for 30 days, the mind will play tricks during that time. The tendency of the mind and senses is to want only pleasure. The mind is so powerful, it will discern a little headache so that one can start to make excuses for not practicing. One might say, 'I'll start in the New Year' over and over. Then the New Year passes, and one is still over-indulging and generally carrying on as before. One feels that one cannot stop and change behavior, and delays the decision until their birthday. In a short time, it's the new millennium. So it goes as you continue to do the things you do not really choose to. One acts automatically due to past habits. Then one day, you are 80 years old and it is too late.
"It's best to make a contractual promise. Write and sign the document, then give the promise to someone in whom you believe to help insure that you stick to your word and follow through with right action."
-Dharma Yoga Life of a Yogi Teacher Training Manual
Thursday, September 06, 2012
"Vedanta is not a creed, it is, rather, the foundation of all creeds and religions - those not only of India but the world; for it explains in rational terms the eternal laws governing all spiritual life and gives aid to all men and women in the spiritual unfoldment, whatever their individual religious affiliations and beliefs may be. It is, in truth, a Universal Philosophy and REligion, belong to no one race of people, but to mankind as a whole."