Sharath and family move into their new home

Eddie Stern has offered up a wonderful, intimate look into the blessing ceremony for Sharath and his family’s new home. The link, complete with “[terrible quality] pictures, taken on an old generation iPhone” is at this link. Here is a little of what Eddie writes about the Grha Pravesha:

So, to prepare the home for everything that it will be filled with, rituals are performed to remove negative energy and lingering spirits, and to call in good spirits and the blessings of the devas. Sharath and Shruthi’s ceremony was a three day affair, and was wonderful from start to finish.

As someone challenged on this front, I can’t help but notice that in one of the pictures Sharath has no trouble paying homage to Shruti’s father by touching his feet.

I suspect lots of people will especially like the photo titled, simply, “Father and son.”

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

8 thoughts on “Sharath and family move into their new home”

  1. What’s drawn me to the practice in the first place was the rich traditions, religious, spiritual, philosophical. Looking at these photos it brings me back to all your posts as to whether Ashtanga Yoga is religious. I really don’t see how Ashtanga can be said not to be religious. I understand how you could practice ashtanga yoga and not be religious and I also understand how you can practice religion and not believe in what your doing but you do it so that you aren’t disowned by your family or community. I’m drawn to ashtanga yoga because of the traditions including everything outside of asana practice i feel this is what makes it so rich and vibrant. When i see photos like this I just don’t buy that it’s not religious.

    1. The photos are sweet, especially the last one of Sharath and his son. They are practicing their personal religious ceremonies to bless their new home. But, other than it’s Sharath and he’s the current holder of the Ashtanga lineage, I don’t know if that automatically means Ashtanga is “religious.”

      It’s all in the intent, right? Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

      If you practice with worship of God as your intent – if your practice is a prayer to God – then, yes, perhaps Ashtanga is religious for you.

      If the intent is just to breath, feel good/healthy/fit, and maybe also cultivate some compassion for others, and/or increase consciousness, behave with right action, etc…. well, I don’t think that fits the definition of a religion per se.

      Both approaches are fine. I would guess most practitioners fall into the latter category.

      I will agree the more practical intent of the latter can morph towards the worshipful intent of the former as you begin to immerse yourself into the practice. Practice was not worshipful for me when I started years ago. I was raised as an agnostic, with a belief in God, yet abhorring most religion and dogma. Now, I’m a card-carrying daily practitioner, who follows all the dogma (doesn’t practice on Moon Days or menses, and does an oil bath each Saturday) religiously, LOL! 😉

      1. It seems that many peoples approach to Ashtanga is agnostic to atheist. I guess if I turned a blind eye and practiced strictly as exercise with no invocations the practice wouldn’t stir anything spiritual within me. I guess watching all the Guruji videos took me in a different direction i.e. not approaching my practice as exercise but as part of a spiritual practice. I tried other types of asana practice but this one seems to be connected from earth to heaven (my spiritual continuum chart lol). There’s just a lot of connection in this type of practice as a community and individually. I don’t think what i’m getting at can be defined logically and with words.

    2. I suppose I’m on record saying that Ashtanga seems to be a very religious type of yoga — I understand how one can strip the religion away from yoga and have the practices left. And how that is still a valuable practice.

      In this case, though, we are not looking at something that is Ashtanga. Eddie gave us a little peak into Sharath and family’s personal life, outside of the yoga studio. I wouldn’t want this seen as an argument about Ashtanga’s being religious anymore than seeing a famous long-distance runner celebrating Yom Kippur and thinking it showed that high-mileage running is inherently Jewish.

      (I don’t want any of us subpoenaed in any future trials. 🙂 )


      1. In my opinion asana practice as part of the whole yoga practice isn’t the same as running as part of the whole practice of Judaism. There is no mention of running in the Torah but there are many references to yoga in Hindu religious texts.

  2. Hi, this is not regarding this very post, but I thought this may be of some interest to you in general. If not, my apologies.

    I am helping to spread word about this initiative: it’s about the venerable Zen monk incorporating Ashtanga into his practice and teachings… I have written an article and here’s my blog post about it (video):

    Please feel free to repost this, if you think it’s worthy 🙂

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