It’s Oct. 3, so you know what that means: Another month full in Mysore

If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, we can lay it out clearly: If you want to go practice in Mysore, you need to send your application on the very first day of the month. Because, once again:

Sharath’s class is full for OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER 2014 and JANUARY 2015. We will not accept any more registration forms for these months. Online applications for February 2015 arrivals will not be accepted until November 1st. Likewise, online registration for the March 2015 batch will begin on December 1, 2014 (3 months before your start date). If you submit your form earlier, it will be automatically deleted without further notice.

Sounds a little looser if you want to practice with Saraswati — but you still have to apply three months in advance.

Posted by Steve

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Sangita Yoga on a cool San Diego evening

A wonderful addition to this year’s Confluence was having Naren from Sangita Yoga perform on Saturday night.

We’ve posted about him before: here (and especially here, about his album release).

Naren and his partners, notably Hansel on the tabla, bring an honest, traditional approach to their music. They emphasize the sacredness, and its long history, and how the music flows through our own understanding and inner workings.

His description on Saturday of kirtan’s being full of simple words so the audience can lose themselves in the devotion was the clearest, and really most beautiful, way of describing this bhakti practice that I’ve encountered. (I tend to want things more difficult. But here’s a time when simple is best.)

Below is just a taste, which doesn’t do them justice. This is from a song to Saraswati, which they always sing:

Posted by Steve

Happy Navaratri!

Via The Hindu, photo from Thiruvananthapuram

In the latest yatra newsletter we received, our trip’s leader, Namarupa’s Robert Moses, noted that today is the start of Navaratri (or Navratri). It is the nine (you recognize nava, right?) night festial dedicated to the Divine Mother in, as Robert put it, “her triple nature as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.”

Robert encouraged us to find a nearby Hindu Temple or even a yoga center that is observing the festival and attend as many nights as possible, as part of our preparation for the yatra (keeping in mind that Sadhana Yatra means “to exert and go to that which saves,” roughly).

Lacking a temple or yoga center, he also pointed us to the Chandi — the hymn to the Divine Mother — or to this Sanskrit chanting of it. Here’s a little taste:

Who is capable of praising You,
Who have made all of us Vishnu, myself and Shiva
Take our embodied forms?

Oh Devi, being lauded thus,
Bewitch these two unassailable asuras

Let Vishnu, the master of the world
Be quickly awakened from sleep

Now, you can consider yourself pointed, as well.

Update: The next of the Urban Yogis videos featuring Eddie Stern is up. I simply cannot get it to embed, but this should be the link.

Posted by Steve