How Bhakti and devotion fit into a modern yoga practice

I want to continue our rolling with a little less asana, a little more heart. We need to balance things out.

So, for those in New York, here’s something to check out. As seen at Ashtanga Yoga New York:

YogaCity NYC Deeper Learning Series,

Friday, November 15th at Integral Yoga Institute 4-5:30 pm

Five Senior Teachers Discuss Bhakti Yoga And The Role Devotion Plays In Their Practice 

Teachers Swami Asokananda, Eddie Stern, Joshua Greene, Michael Bühler-Rose and Bryn Chrisman will examine how the practice of Bhakti Yoga is integrated into their yoga practice and their teachings. Moderating the panel will be Brette Popper, Publisher and Founder of YogaCity NYC.
The discussion is FREE and open to all.   Register here.
What is Bhakti?  How does it play a role in modern practice? How do teachers and studios bring Bhakti to their classes? And, how does it get integrated into American religious beliefs? This outstanding panel of experts allows us to ponder some of the more advanced and intellectually richer aspects of yoga that get short shrift in the media which tends to focus on celebrity teachers, high priced clothing and asana as pure exercise.

That last sentence sounds like something Eddie might right — and rightly so. I think the “asana as pure exercise” fits nicely into our latest big deal issue courtesy of the NY Times.

I’m also reminded that Eddie and Tim Miller covered a similar topic at the 2012 Confluence. Here was our quick summary:

Bobbie: We learned some beautiful Sanskrit from Eddie, a Ganesha invocation. He divided the room in two and we chanted “Om Gam Ganapati Namah.”

Steve: That was after Tim told his story of coming to Hanuman. First, via Krishna. And then the Divine Mother. And then an opening of his heart with Hanuman. It’s a story everyone should hear. Eddie after said, “Thanks, Tim. That was beautiful.” It is.

Bobbie: I had a wonderful dovetail moment: John Keats and Ganesha. I learned that Ganesha is the lord of Negative Capability.

Steve: Tim talked about bhakti’s role. When we are all asana — he heard this from Bhagavan Das — you burn yourself up. Devotion keeps you juicy — ojas. You need some bhakti to stay juicy. And then we finished with the Hanuman Chalisa.

And here’s what might be the only video of their discussion (only 150 views; other first-year Confluence videos have 1,500 or 2,000; this one is pretty short though):

So that might be a taste of what folks will be in for on Friday in New York. Perhaps it’ll end up on Youtube for all of us to enjoy and consider.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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