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How do you motivate yourself to practice, and other questions of David Robson

November 22, 2014

Going a little video heavy, but this looks like a new, nicely package — and succinct at about eight minutes — video of Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto’s David Robson:

Posted by Steve

Friday asana aid: Upward dog

November 21, 2014

At least one new video to share with you on this fundamental part of the Ashtanga practice: Upward dog.

Here goes, with one just up from DG:

And now a few more:


One focused on beginners:

And finally, because: dogs:

Posted by Steve

Let’s crowdsource: Collecting Ashtanga shala videos

November 20, 2014
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Here’s a call out to you: Do you know of video showing off the inner workings — aka practice — at any Ashtanga shalas?

I’ve had a few private messages seconding the idea of trying to collect any and all videos. We’ve posted a few over the years here. I think we have, and this is not exhaustive, the following: Ashtanga Yoga Center; Ashtanga Yoga in Melbourne; AYNY (via the NY Times); Copenhagen; Pacific Ashtanga; Paris; and (I always get confused) Victoria or Vancouver. (I’m actually having trouble finding it, so I may be mistaken.

And so I thought we’d try to crowdsource and get as definitive a list together as possible. It might make for an ugly looking post — a bunch of videos — but it might be kind of nice, as well.

So, do feel free (and encouraged) to post links in the comments — or via Facebook, too.

Posted by Steve

Deciding if the atman or non-atman wins, with Richard Freeman

November 19, 2014
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Noon Colorado time today (so maybe 30 or so minutes from when this posts), registration opens up for Richard Freeman’s week-long “Advanced Intensive” in June — and not at the Yoga Workshop, but in Santa Fe.

Bringing together yoga and Buddhism, it sounds… pretty mind-blowing:

Join Richard and Mary along with their dear friend and beloved teacher, Joan Halifax, at this remarkable residential retreat at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Though yoga and Buddhism have evolved into two distinct disciplines, they stem from common roots and their teachings remain some of the most accessible and profound. In this 5-day intensive we will explore differences and complementary concepts within these two classical systems as reflected in asana practice, as well as through study and chanting of traditional texts.

Historically yoga and Buddhism have opposed, stolen from and have even learned from each other. On the surface they seem to be based on conflicting axioms. Buddhists say that there is no self or atman. Hindu yogis say that the Self or atman is all that there is. Who’s right? By looking at the foundational teachings of early Buddhism, juxtaposed with the early Samkhya and Vedanta of the Upanisads, we will see if the atman or non-atman wins. Then we will consider Advaita Vedanta and the Middle Path of Mahayana Buddhism to see just how much these schools have helped each other to evolve.

Check out more information at the link above, including the prices. Exact dates are June 3-7, 2015.

This is a subject I was recently pondering. So, this is truly tempting.

Posted by Steve

There’s a curious little item in Tim Miller’s blog this week

November 19, 2014

Tim Miller has his latest blog post up — a little earlier than usual — and I happen to have just finished a somewhat truncated practice (in the P.M.? Yes — will try to get around to talking about that in the days ahead) and am hovering over dinner, so I saw it earlier than usual, as well.

It’s usual in almost all other ways: A classically Tim take on the skies above us:

In Indian mythology Shani is the son of Surya, and–like all fathers and sons–they have their issues.  There are many different versions of the story of Surya and Shani.  This is my favorite one:  Surya is married to Sanjana, the daughter of the Divine Architect, Vishvakarman.  Sanjana is a delicate sort and begins to find the heat and brightness of Surya oppressive.  Seeking relief, she creates a clone of herself called Chhaya (Shadow) and asks her to assume her role with Surya as she seeks respite in her father’s house.  Surya doesn’t notice the change and has marital relations with Chhaya, resulting in the birth of Shani.  Shani is born with a dark complexion and the moment his father lays eyes on him he goes into an eclipse, questioning the true paternity of Shani.

Check for the full story. And also, check for this hidden little min-bombshell (bombyshell?):

Concerning this aspect, astrologer Robert Hand writes:  “On this day you will turn your attention to your duties and responsibilities, to those tasks that you may not want to do but feel you must in order to fulfill your obligations to others.”  For me this has played out in the last two days as being one of the subjects in a documentary film about ashtanga yoga—having a camera in my face while teaching and practicing.

What’s that about? We’ll have to wait and find out, although I may put Bobbie on the case to check and see if anyone we know is in the know.

Posted by Steve

A look inside another Ashtanga shala: Pacific Ashtanga

November 18, 2014

A week ago, I shared video from Ashtanga Yoga Copenhagen and suggested someone ought to splice together all the videos out there that document different shalas around the world.

I happened upon another today, from a shala we — especially Bobbie — know well: Pacific Ashtanga in Dana Point, CA. Diana Christinson is in charge there; Bobbie studied with her for a few years. Take a look (posted in June):

Perhaps I’ll try to get around to getting a page together with, at least, links to all of these so there’s some semi-repository for them.

Posted by Steve

Light on Iyengar: Talk on his legacy at Harvard

November 18, 2014

I know this sort of goes against our Ashtanga focus, but this video — up just a week or so — from the Harvard Divinity School is worth a watch, if you have almost exactly 90 minutes to spare. Here’s the description so you know what you’re in for:

This panel was held on October 20 in honor of the passing of BKS Iyengar, considered to have been one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. Panelists included scholars and friends of Iyengar: Stephanie Corigliano, PhD candidate, comparative theology, Boston College; Francis Schussler Fiorenza, Charles Chauncey Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Theological Studies, HDS; Seth D. Powell, PhD candidate at Harvard; Zoe Stewart, yoga teacher and student of BKS Iyengar for 30 years; Patricia Walden, director, BKS Iyengar Yogamala and student of BKS Iyengar for over 30 years.

And the video:

I checked around, but can’t confirm that the Stephanie Corigliano is related to Certified teacher Dominic Corigliano, although my suspicion is they are. (They’re friends on Facebook, at least.) We all know Patricia Walden.

Posted by Steve