If you want to plan way ahead: Ashtanga Yoga Conference in Bali 2017

It may turn out you can balance your Ashtanga calendars with a long weekend in San Diego one year, and a week in Bali the next.

No judgement here which is better…

I’d seen sketchy — read, secondhand Facebook — mention of the next week’s Ashtanga Yoga Conference at the Bali Research Center, and now found some firsthand confirmation.

It’s a pretty eclectic group of teachers. From the Bali Research Center’s June newsletter:

We have scheduled the next Conference for April 9-14th, 2017, with Manju Jois, Tim Miller, Richard Freeman, Danny Paradise, Kristina Karitinou and of course Radha & Prem Carlisi. I know it is almost 2 years away, but with these very in demand teachers, we had to schedule this far in advance. So put it down in your calendar as it will be another historic Ashtanga event you won’t want to miss!

That’s got most of the early threads of Western students represented. You can check the link above for more — as well as other opportunities to get to Bali. Because you really need a reason…

Posted by Steve


Some highlights from the Ashtanga Yoga Conference in Bali

I’ve been keeping an eye out for videos or other highlights from the Ashtanga Yoga Conference that happened last week in Bali, and so far there hasn’t been much.

Until now. Here’s a recap for everyone who wasn’t there:

In that week, I learned that my 8-year old Primary Series practice is not entirely healthy in a way that I am causing an imbalance through all the forward bending that I have been doing for that long period. It’s been said in one of the panel discussions that we should put less focus on the binding or perfecting a pose before moving on to the next, but more on the dedication and earnestness of the student. According to Nancy, Guruji said that, “the next pose helps the last”. So in line with this, I got the first 6 poses of the Intermediate Series from Manju.

There’s a series of quotes from all the teachers involved, too.

Video from the 2013 version is here, available for a donation. I suppose I’m suspecting something similar from this month’s gathering. So we can stay tuned for that.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga news from Bali

Maybe you get the newsletter from the Ashtanga Yoga Bali Research Institute, headed by Prem and Radha Carlisi.

If not, heck, if so, there are a couple of news items this month worth noting. First though, here’s a link to the full newsletter.

And two main highlights:

They’ve scheduled the 2015 Ashtanga Yoga Bali Conference for April 5-10. The “presenting” teachers are Manju Jois, David Swenson, Danny Paradise, Nancy Gilgoff, Eileen Hall and Prem and Radha.

I checked, and as far as I can tell, the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence hasn’t announced a schedule yet; the first two years, if my memory serves, were around that time in April. This year it was a month later, in May, so there may be a nice spread of time between. Given that three of the teachers above have been at the Confluence, I’m assuming there will be some planning related to this. So you may be able to guess that the Confluence again will be in May. That’s total conjecture, though.

I could as easily conjecture it will be on the East Coast this time, or land in the middle around, say, Boulder, Colo.

Our coverage of the last Bali conference is at this link.

The second piece of news is for you video junkies. For a donation of $95 to their Shanti Carlisi Educational Fund, you can get access to 17 hours of video from the Bali Conference from last fall. You can do that here. A quick description of the fund:

The Shanti Carlisi Educational Fund supports deserving young women from countries such as Tibet, Bali, Sri Lanka and India, by providing funding for their study of the Ancient Vedic Arts of Living: Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda, and Meditation. These recipients will have the opportunity of studying with the best teachers around the globe, allowing them to become the next generation of dedicated practitioners and teachers in their countries. This experience will change their lives as well as the lives of many others.

For more, click here. You can find a preview video at the newsletter or among our coverage, at the link above.

And on an entirely separate note, click here (it’s click day, I guess) to get Tim Miller’s version of the rise of Krishna and the fall of Indra. He runs down the story of their conflict around Mt. Govardhana in his latest Tuesdays with Timji post.

Posted by Steve

New video: Ashtanga Yoga Bali Conference

I’ve been keeping one eye out for video from last Fall’s conference in Bali featuring Manju Jois, Danny Paradise, Annie Pace, David Williams, Joanne & Mark Darby and Prem & Radha Carlisi.

Here’s the first one I’ve seen. It mostly captures the scene and attendees’ practices:

It does note this: The next conference will be in about a year, April 2015, and will include Manju Jois, Danny Paradise, Nancy Gilgoff, David Swenson and Prem & Radha Carlisi. The video also says there are more from the conference at ashtangayogabali.com, but while I see a number of videos (that look worth checking out), right now I couldn’t find any from the conference. Those may be coming, though — this video is pretty new (nine views right now). So maybe check it out again shortly.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga Confluence and Bali Conference — now’s your chance

We noted yesterday that the pre-registration for the 2014 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence opened. You can register at this link. Reminder: It costs a little less but includes staying at the hotel (which is nice and convenient and allows you to be surrounded by other Confluence attendees but also means you are paying for the room).

The schedule is here. A little reminder:

Sunday: May 11, 2014

7:00 -9:00 am – Guided First Series taught by Manju (asana)

7:00-8:30 am – Mysore taught by Richard, Dena, Tim and David with certified and authorized teacher assistance (asana)

8:30-10:00 am – Mysore taught by Richard, Dena, Tim and David with certified and authorized teacher assistance (asana)

11:30 am-1:30 pm – Ashtanga Yoga As It Is with Manju (vedic chanting/pranayama)
Manju began learning Vedic Chanting and Sanskrit at the age of seven from his father K. Pattabhi Jois. After several years of instruction Manju began to practice Vedic Chanting on his own. These simple Vedic mantras create a vibration that result in a feeling of well-being.  Manju enjoys sharing his favorite chants with anyone who is interested in chanting to help with memory, mental peace and relaxation.

4:00-6:00 pm – Panel Discussion: Q & A with Richard, Manju, Dena, Tim and David. Moderated by Dominic Corigliano. (lecture/discussion/Q&A)
This class offers an opportunity for students to ask questions of the teachers. Questions submitted in advance
will be addressed.

The Confluence isn’t the only big gathering on the horizon. I just saw that there are still a couple dozen spots available in the Ashtanga Yoga Conference happening next month in Bali. Link right here, and a reminder (although we did highlight it earlier):

Ashtanga Yoga Bali Conference Course Schedule

Sunday – Thursday 8:00 – 10:00 Mysore class

Friday 8:00 – 10 : 00 Led class

Sunday – Friday 14 : 00 – 16 : 00 Workshop ( Each day different teacher)

Sunday , Tuesday and Thursday 19 : 00- 21 : 00 Evening Conference (Q+A)

Please email us for more detailed information and reservation for your space.

Email: prem@ashtangaworld.com

The Panel Discussions

First Panel Discussion
The history of Ashtanga “vinyasa” Yoga. The story of Rama Mohan Bramacharya, Krishnamacharya, and K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji), and the early days of Ashtanga Yoga in America and the rest of the world.

Second Panel Discussion
Asana Principles and Practice: Research and exploration we have all done over the past 30-50 plus years! The daily practice of Ashtanga and how it has changed and modified for each teacher over the decades.

Third Panel Discussion
Ashtanga Yoga Philosophy: Sharing about the other 7 limbs from a practical, experiential real life and living personal perspective.

The Conference includes Manju; David Williams; Annie Pace; Danny Paradise; Mark and Joanne Darby; Anthony Carlisi; Heather Duplex; and Jeffrey Armstrong.

Posted by Steve 

What’s the best value for your yoga money?

Yesterday we posted a link to a Bali Ashtanga Yoga conference happening in the fall. Pretty solid lineup, pretty nice location.

And I thought the price, $900 for six days, seemed pretty reasonable. (I’d balk more at getting airfare there and the room and board.) But a commenter suggested the price might be a bit steep: $150 per day for morning Mysore and then a two-hour workshop in the afternoon. To break it down further (as if you can’t): That’s $75 per yoga class.

I suppose it is fair to say that’s on the high side. But, the obvious — and legitimate — counter is that you’re getting access to and instruction from a handful of the luminaries in the Ashtanga world. Quality comes at a price.

As a comparison, this year’s Confluence was $495 for three days (plus the opening night). It did include two workshops per day, though, so it had a little more packed in — although not as much overall.

(Oh, and a note while we’re mentioning the Confluence: The Confluence site currently says, “We’ll keep you posted on the dates for 2014.”)

As an alternative to the Bali gathering, the commenter — who deserves props for putting things in terms of a pair of Lululemon pants — suggested spending a month studying with Annie Pace in Colorado or something similar. I suspect the living expenses of renting something in Crestone are probably lower than in Bali.

So I get it, for sure.

But I wonder if everyone would agree that a longer time with one teacher is the better value for the yoga money. There’s of course the draw of being somewhere far away, for a short and intense time. They have a word for that…. vacation, maybe?

How do you pick and choose your workshops or yoga travel? Do you think about how much bang you think you’ll get for your buck?

Oh, and separate topic: Because we promised to bring you NPR’s coffee series, here’s more. Perfect for all you “specialty coffee” lovers.

Posted by Steve

Mysore-style Divali: darshan with Bali

I suspect we’re all pretty familiar with the main stories surrounding Divali: Rama, Krishna, Lakshmi, Kali.

But down Mysore way, it’s Bali who is the central figure, as Tim Miller reminds us in his blog post this week:

Throughout Karnaataka state, where Mysore is located, Divali commemorates the one very special day of the year that King Bali rises from the underworld and showers the people with his blessings.

Bali was born as an asura, a demon, but a righteous asura who gains great wealth, power, and eminence through the help of his guru, Sukra (Venus). He nurses an ancient grievance against Indra, king of the gods, who once killed him in battle. Sukra, the guru of the asuras, restored Bali to life and helped him to become even more powerful than Indra. Bali led his army of asuras to the gates of Amaravati, Indra’s incomparable city. When Indra saw the strength of Bali and his army he fled without a fight, and Bali became the ruler of Heaven.

The story may be taking a familiar twist: Vishnu is about the arrive on the scene as Vamana, his dwarf avatar. You know the rest.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Hinduism’s traditions is the lack of clear divisions between good and evil, right and wrong. (Arjuna’s struggle that leads to the Gita is, perhaps, the most famous example.) The Mahabharata is full of figures who are bad, but redeemed — or at least have clear “good” qualities. Even Ravana is a wise and just king to his people — and he is still far from the evil character in many versions of the Ramayana. (And then there’s Rama’s treatment of Sita once they return to Ayodyha.) For me, it’s Duryodhana’s being in heaven at the end of the Mahabharata that I always have trouble getting my brain around; but he followed his dharma…

As we light the candles tonight, the complexities of life will be on my mind. (And, perhaps, the complexities of our Ashtanga practice.)

Posted by Steve