Tim Miller basks in the afterglow of the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence

Here’s your first-hand set of reflections from the 2014 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, via Tim Miller:

At that moment I was reminded that the Confluence was all about Guruji—that none of us would be there without him. I asked Manju to lead the invocation the first day so we could all hear the proper pronunciation of the Sanskrit. Richard Freeman was teaching a guided class next door and was brilliant, as always, drawing huge numbers to his classes. All of the other teachers were amazed to hear that Richard completed the entire primary series in an hour and fort-five minutes—he has been known for his meticulous and metaphorical style of teaching and slow pacing. 

Click on over to find out what that moment was, and remember, today’s a Moon Day.

Posted by Steve

Video highlights from the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence

We’ve finally come upon some video from last weekend’s Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. It’s a compilation of the weekend.

If you know of any others (or sets of pictures), feel free to share.

Posted by Steve

Ashtanga Yoga Confluence schedule and registration date announced

I’m going to back into this post a little.

Bobbie and I had big plans this summer to re-vamp this blog, broadening the focus more explicitly, and then buying a house and a few other life requirements conspired against us.

Oh, and a few huge jumps in traffic, which made me as a former numbers-hungry journalist all too pleased. But that made changing URL, etc. a tad more complicated.

So we’re here where we were. But, although we started three years ago with a narrow-ish focus around the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence and its teachers, we never were officially connected or anything like that. And as the blog has grown, we’ve shaped our interests around a few other key elements, including our Namarupa Yatra.

I suspect, once we get around to it, we’ll do some minor tweaks to try to make it ever more clear that the Confluence is one thing and our Confluence Countdown is something else — and that confluence, as we’ve written a number of times, can be a coming together of many things (i.e. our yoga-related interests).

All that is a way to pass on news from the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, which I realize is expected of us, and should be, but only as it is a big bit of Ashtanga-related news. We cover it more for that and less because of any direct relationship to the event (although we cherish the relationships with the Confluence teachers and others involved that we are lucky to have).

The news? The schedule is up and, perhaps more importantly, the date for pre-registration is out too: Oct. 7. So watch for that email. As a reminder, the 2014 Confluence is schedule for May 8-11 again in San Diego.

Here’s a little from the schedule on Saturday:

3:00-5:00 pm – Mulabandha Is Not What You “Think” taught by Richard (asana)
To flow gracefully and effortlessly in and out of poses, it is essential to stay vibrant and grounded in breathing.  This class will be based on a study of the essential and elusive activity of Mulabandha and the strong grounding effect of correct ujjayi pranayama.  Mulabandha is a conjunction of complimentary movement patterns, which open the central axis of the body right up through the root of the palate. We will flow seamlessly through these movement patterns, following the thread of the central axis.

3:00-5:00 pm – The Heroic Journey: The Essence of Sadhana taught by Tim (some asana)
The impeccable character of Hanuman embodies the qualities that constitute perfect sadhana: a strong and agile body, an intelligent and discerning mind and a compassionate and devoted heart. The building blocks of these qualities are called the “three vital essences”: prana, tejas and ojas. In this class we will use asana, pranayama and kirtan to cultivate the three vital essences.

That’s a reminder that there always are difficult choices to make!

And a final thing: We’ve had a few folks contact us about some Ashtanga-related rumors they are hearing. We’re checking around. If you know what we’re talking about and have info, feel free to email us or connect with us on Facebook. Sorry to be oblique on this front, but given it is just rumor, we don’t want to fan non-existing flames.

Posted by Steve

The single, funniest moment of the Confluence

At the first Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, Tim Miller proved to be the dark horse who produced the single funniest moment in 2012. From that coverage: “Tim also got the biggest laugh of the Confluence, but it just won’t translate here.”

This year, the front-runner for funniest teacher gets the award: David Swenson.

David mixes humor into his teaching at this point like breath itself. Bobbie always says he seems very much like the Texan he is, and this is part of the reason why. It also is part of his remarkable charm.

At one point during the final panel, at which point everyone was pretty loosened up and the mood overall was the lightest and most hilarious, David talked about what yoga needs.

It needs, he said, a Star magazine to bring everyone back to earth. And he meant the whole thing paparazzi / TMZ thing. You know, with photographers with telephotos lenses: “Sharon Gannon and David Life eat chili dogs!”; or headlines like “Richard Freeman — from Mars!” (Quotes are him.)

It had all the teachers in front of us rolling around laughing. And everyone in the audience, too.

Posted by Steve

And…. that’s a wrap!

It’s Confluence weekend, people.

If you’re headed/heading/already headed to San Diego, please feel free to stop us if we look familiar.

As we did last year, we plan to cover the Confluence as much as possible. Last time, we managed a post, maybe two, per day. Quick reflections and impressions dominated the scene.

This time, we should have a better camera, which will help. And Steve had the brilliant idea of trying to “live blog” one of the discussion sessions. That will depend largely on the Wifi capability of the room.

Two last, sort of suggestions:

  • Last year, we frequented a smoothie place that was a few blocks north of the hotel, across Mission Boulevard. We don’t remember the name and can’t find it via the usual Internet means, so no promises it is still there. It was in the second little strip mall. The first day or so, it wasn’t crowded. By Saturday, it was packed with Confluencies. So plan your eating accordingly.
  • We liked the little taco joint that was immediately south (aka to your left as you leave the hotel). Again, no promises it is still there.

And, once the Confluence is over and we’re back to the real world, we have some improvements/ enhancements/ advancements planned for our ongoing exploration of Ashtanga’s “1%.” Please stay tuned for that, too.

We like to think of it as blogging’s Second Series. (But, wait, does that make it Third…?)

See as many of you as possible soon.

Posted by Bobbie and Steve

Manju heading to Gilgoff’s Maui studio

It’s a little hard to get a lot of fresh information on Nancy Gilgoff.

Manju, via Nancy's site

I suspect that’s not not on purpose. Her Internet site seems a fair reflection of her physical one, as it’s been described to me.

But here’s some news: Manju Jois will be a guest teacher at the House of Yoga and Zen next month.

Here’s a link.

He’ll be there from Nov. 14 to 19 doing a “Primary Teachers’s Training.” That would be an interesting experience, no doubt.

I can’t help but wonder if Manju will be around San Diego in March and make any appearance at the Confluence.  I do know that following the Confluence, Nancy will be doing some teaching up here in Los Angeles. Bobbie and I are checking to see how our calendars look.

Well, and I’m trying to figure out how much intense Ashtanga I can take in one month or less.

Posted by Steve