Couple Ashtanga videos not related to the Tim Miller training

The big news is that on Wednesday the Third Series teacher training with Tim Miller finished up the official Third Series poses. On, I guess, to back bends and the closing over the next couple of days.

This morning, before the later of two practices (the Mysore, which comes after an Improv that Tim practices along with), I could hear some declarations of exhaustion as well as some surprise that folks didn’t feel worse. So it appears all have lived to tell the tale.

It seems most people are putting photos and short video clips on Facebook, which is horrifically unfriendly to reposting. So instead, here’s a couple new videos not from Encinitas. From Richard Freeman’s monthlong intensive, which finished up a few days ago, I think:

And David Robson, out of Toronto:

The surf here is trying to pick up.

Posted by Steve

Guruji lives here — celebrating Pattabhi Jois’ 100th birthday

I don’t have too much to tell you about this, other than to point you in a direction and say, “Stay tuned.”

But as you probably know, this month is the 100th birthday of Pattabhi Jois. And the Yoga Workshop is celebrating on July 31 with what it is describing as a “short film” commemorating his teachings as well as a discussion with Richard Freeman. Here’s from a post on its Facebook page:

Join us July 31st at the Yoga Workshop for the premier of a short film commemorating the teachings of Sri K Pattabhi Jois on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Arrive at 6:00, film at 6:30 followed by a short discussion with Richard and any Guruji stories folks would like to share. Everyone is welcome so bring a friend!

Perhaps curioser is that it links to this page: Guruji lives here.

Like I said, stay tuned for what’s to come.

Posted by Steve

This story on the Hanuman Festival is missing a key detail: Who’s Hanuman

Today is the kickoff of the fifth Hanuman Festival, being held again in Boulder, Colo. So you probably know what that means: Richard Freeman is a key draw:

Morning: 8:30-10:30 a.m.: Richard Freeman’s Touching Infinity, for intermediate students. Freeman, of Boulder, is a popular returning instructor to the festival. He has been doing yoga since 1968, and his Hanuman classes are always packed.

What the preview story at the local paper, the Boulder Daily Camera, is missing is the explainer on who or what Hanuman is. Maybe everyone in America’s “fittest city” already knows. But that sure feels like info 101 to include.

I’m nitpicking, of course. (The story also seems to assume everyone knows what a kirtan is.) Here’s a few other tidbits that might be of interest:

Participation has steadily grown about 30 percent every year since its inception, organizers say.

About half of the attendees come from out of state, says Yoshi Aono, founder of the festival. This translates to an estimated $500,000 in revenue for the city of Boulder, he says.

[snip]

Also new this year: the launching of Hanuman Adventures, which will organize yoga retreats with a service component throughout the year, as a way to extend the spirit of the festival throughout the year and beyond Boulder’s borders, says Aono.

“Hanuman Adventures takes the traditional yoga retreat, which is a very sweet experience to be on a retreat, but it adds in an element of being part of a local culture and contributing somehow,” he says.

That last news might be something to watch for, no?

Posted by Steve

Richard Freeman video: On yoga, Emerson, Pattabhi Jois and practicing

Here’s a good watch for a day off tomorrow (or today, since you’re already practiced, right?):

To get you to watch:

Richard Freeman shares his thoughts on yoga – from his first awareness of early yogic philosophies written about by Thoreau and Emerson to his journey of being a student of Pattabhi Jois and then eventually becoming a teacher to others. Richard reminds us that yoga is all about waking up and seeing how the mind works – and that though we may fall off the path many times a day, if we practice enough, we see what is not conducive to our happiness or the happiness of others. Yoga allows for the natural push and pull of true awakening. It is about gradually falling in love with life, with immediate experience, with reality as it is. Yoga helps you realize that you make yourself happy by making other people happy and that you make yourself sad by focusing on making only yourself happy. Ultimately, Richard finds yoga to be a powerful tool that helps us be nicer to each other.

That about covers it, but I should also add that Richard is taking part in a fundraiser for the Nepal earthquake victims. It’s Tuesday. Info here.

Posted by Steve

The breath and Ashtanga

I know lots of people are reading and sharing Nancy Gilgoff’s quick set of thoughts we linked to this weekend. One thing, as I’ve been reflecting on it, particularly strikes me:

The perfect pose is without bad pain and without stress… only breath. The correct method is finding that in our own practice, and our role as “teacher” is to help others to find it. Once one finds it then how quickly or slowly we learn primary and intermediate will have little relevance. Keep practising, always coming back to the breath… and enjoy. This is Guruji’s system of yoga, I think.

Sound familiar? One of the revolving pieces on the Yoga Workshop home page says this:

INHALE, EXHALE, (REPEAT).

If you’re new to yoga, that’s all you need to know how to do.

In both cases, it is breath that is fundamental. Everything else, as the saying goes, is just circus tricks.

Sort of a nice reminder.

Posted by Steve