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David Swenson: Yoga for everyone

October 25, 2014
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I think this is the first of the David Swenson videos from the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne. I missed it. You can’t catch everything:

We’ll keep our eye out for future ones.

Posted by Steve

Since Third Series is the news of the week: Here it is

October 24, 2014

I’ll go ahead and say that Tim Miller’s announcing he’ll be doing a Third Series Teacher Training next summer is the big Ashtanga news of the week.

If you’re wavering on whether to go, here’s a reminder of what you’ll be in for:

And here’s another version we posted a while back.

Yes, I will just be practicing and surfing. Know thyself.

Posted by Steve

Sweet taboo: Music

October 23, 2014
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There seem to be just a few more touchy subjects within the Ashtanga world than playing music during practice. We’ve touched on it a few times, including here and here (our most commented upon post to date). Few people seem to be agnostic about it.

The thing is, music can be beneficial — at least to the physical side of things. There’s new news on that front, via the always handy New York Times. It’s about music’s ability to boost a high-intensity interval workout.

Here’s the key takeaway:

The volunteers all reported that the intervals had been hard. In fact, their feelings about the difficulty were almost identical, whether they had been listening to music or not.

What is interesting is that their power output had been substantially greater when they were listening to music. They were pedaling much more ferociously than without music. But they did not find that effort to be more unpleasant. Without music, the workout struck them as about the equivalent of an eight or higher on a zero to 10 scale of disagreeableness (with 10 being unbearable).

With music, each interval still felt like about an eight or higher to the riders, but they were working much harder during each 30-second spurt. The intensity increased but not the discomfort.

Polled by the scientists at the end of the experiment, all 20 riders said that if they were to take up interval training on their own after the study, they definitely would listen to music to get themselves through the workout.

So, to a question: Can there be a role for music within an Ashtanga practice?

Here’s where I think the answer could be yes: when researching or exploring new, difficult poses. I think that experience can be near enough to the intensity of an interval workout. (For so many, this seems to be all about Kapotasana.) And what I mean is an initial exploration of the physical side of asana, of the reaching and crunching and stretching and ouching as one attempts to find the calmness and stillness of a “proper” pose. Of the discovery of where your body — your grossest kosha — can go before you begin to peel down into the deeper sheaths.

For that, probably turn the music off.

There’s also this: Music also can just be a nice change of pace and scenery.

Posted by Steve

Registration for Third Series Teacher Training Opens at AYC

October 22, 2014

In the name of due diligence, we got word this morning that registration for Tim Miller’s Third Series TT is now open, link here.

Have I registered? Yes I have. Steve will join me next summer for two weeks in Encinitas, practicing with Tim in the mornings and, no doubt, surfing in the afternoon while I’m in class. We had a wonderful week together during Tim’s Second Series, so this time he’s going to stay the whole duration.

The intrepid Maria Zavala is already hot on my heels, offering her help to get me Tim-ready. What is the saying? When the student is ready, the teacher appears? Well, I’m not ready, and the teacher appeared anyway. I’m approaching my 50th birthday (next month), and I’d been thinking maybe I’d start to take it easy, slow down a bit. I guess, on second thought, maybe I was ready…for a kick in the butt.

Posted by Bobbie

David Swenson on using humor to teach Ashtanga

October 22, 2014

Our highlighting Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne’s first video of David Swenson a week ago was pretty popular, so you all will be happy to hear that there are more to come.

I found that good news via their blog, which I didn’t see when I discovered the first video of David. Link to it is here. It also notes that the videos were shot by Darius Devas of Being Films. I’ll be taking a look since there’s plenty of surf videos there.

Here’s the latest from David on using humor to teach Ashtanga:

Here’s a great quote from it: “The yoga is difficult but he brought a joy into the room and we were inspired to try and do more.”

We’ve touched on humor and the practice a bit. Here’s an old one focused on irony.

Posted by Steve

Tim Miller Announces Third Series Teacher Training

October 21, 2014

Those of us who have studied with Tim Miller have been anticipating this announcement for some time. So without further ado, here’s Tim, from an email he sent out this morning:

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a third series training for the first (and possibly the only time) in August of 2015. Of all the different series that I learned from Gurugi (1 thru 4), the third series has always been my favorite and I practiced it with some regularity for over 30 years.

Much anticipated, and very exciting news. Earth-shattering in this household, really, since it was Tim who encouraged Steve to come to his First Series teacher training in Tulum, Mexico, and nudged me into his Second Series training in Encinitas (which he does every two years). Now what? I ask myself. Should you go? Here’s Tim again:

During this two-week immersion, we will examine each asana of the third series in detail, exploring the intricacies of the biomechanics as well as strategies for adjustments. This course is appropriate for those who have completed second series are beginning to practice third and those who are currently practicing third and seeking some refinement in their practice.

Does this description fit you? Yes? Then YOU GO. Doubt that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance? Tim notes that he’s been wanting to teach a Third Teach Training “once before I die.” Maybe I want to take it once before I die, too!

No sign-up details yet on the website, but we’ll let you know when they appear.

Posted by Bobbie

5,000 students do yoga to promote world peace

October 21, 2014

This one’s all about the pictures; unfortunately, all the photos are from Getty Images, which is extremely protective of its copyright, so we won’t risk re-posting here. But check them out at the link above. A little write up from the Daily Mail:

Now that’s what you call a yoga class. 

Almost 5,000 teachers and students started this morning with a massive stretching and flexing session in the south Indian city of Hyderabad.

The group from Delhi Public school, which has branches in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, performed seven classic yoga postures while reciting prayers for world harmony and peace. 

Yoga was developed in India between 600 and 500BC and is used in schools across the county to prepare students for a day of lessons by helping them relax and focus their minds. 

I believe it took place early Monday.

Posted by Steve