More ON Ashtanga Yoga & Mysore Style

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Mysore is open to all levels, from absolute beginners to more experienced students. The practice is not led and all instruction can be given on an individual basis. As you gain strength, stamina, flexibility and focus, poses will be added on to your sequence, its recommended to begin by fallowing the half primary series and from there move on to the the full primary series. Enjoy the journey, don’t force anything, focus primarily on your breathing, let your mind body and soul connect in order to surrender and feel the joy in recharging energy from every pose and the full practice.

More benefits of a Mysore Practice:

  • You can doit on your house or show up and join in when it suits you. As long as you  finish your practice, you can come to Mysore class at any point.
  • You can develop your meditation practice by following your own breath: Ashtanga is intended to be a moving meditation. Led classes are a fantastic way to learn about the breath and the vinyasa, but Mysore-style is where you follow your own breath and deepen your focus and meditation skills.
  • Mysore style is for everyone. Its great to see families and couples who wish to practice together, but had different levels of experience. With everyone in the room doing their own practice, the Mysore practice is a great way to work at your full capacity.

Post by: Francisco Neri Bonilla

ASHTANGA YOGA PADMASANA

PADMASANA or the Lotus posture is the classic yoga meditation pose, where the spine it’s straight the eyes are down to the gaze point know as nasagrai, the focus is drawn inward towards breathing and the bandhas. 

  

The “eight limbs of yoga”

ashtanga-yoga-eight-limbs-shaktianandayoga-gurudevi

Ashtanga Yoga means “eight limbs of yoga.” These limbs are defined in the the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and comprise the foundation of the Ashtanga Yoga philosophy.

Asana is the 3rd limb of the 8 limbs, however today, when many people say “Ashtanga” they are often simply referring to Asana, which is the physical sequence of postures as taught by Sri. K Pattabhi Jois.

The following are the 8 practices or limbs:

1. yama  / or moral restraints / how we relate to others
2. niyama / observances / how we relate to ourselves
3. āsana / posture / how we relate to our body
4. prāṇāyāma / breath extension / how we relate to our breath or spirit

5. pratyāhāra /sensory withdrawal / how we relate to our sense organs
6. dhāraṇā /concentration / how we relate to our mind
7. dhyāna /meditation / moving beyond the mind
8. samādhi /meditative absorption / deep realization and inner union

What are the Yamas?

The Yamas or the first limb, consists of five parts:

  1. ahimsā / non-harming
  2. satya / truthfulness
  3. asteya / non-stealing
  4.  bramacharya / focus of energy towards the divine
  5. aparigraha / greedlessness

What are Niyamas?

The Niyamas also contain 5 aspects:

  1. śauca / purity
  2. santoṣa / contentment
  3. tapas / purifying practices
  4. svādhyāya  / self study and the study of sacred texts
  5. Īśvara praṇidhāna / surrender to the divine

What are Asanas?

The Āsanas we practice and teach have been given to us by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois called Guruji.  He believed it was necessary to enter into the eight limbs of yoga through the physical postures, the third limb.

External and Internal Yoga

The first four limbs are referred to as “external yoga,”and the last four limbs are called “internal yoga.” The fifth limb, pratyāhāra, acts as a bridge between the external and internal limbs.

As students of yoga we are able to actively practice the external limbs, while the internal limbs are the fruits of a sincere and continuous practice.

The final limbs of our practice are manifested through Divine Grace and arise spontaneously. They are not mental states that can be brought about by our own individual efforts. They are the result of fully understanding what it means to completely surrender to something greater then oneself.

The eight limbs of yoga are interconnected, and not separate steps along the path. Whether one starts by practicing the physical postures, breath awareness, or mindfulness in the daily practice of the yamas and niyamas, each limb encourages growth in the other.

As the body becomes steady and at ease, the breath starts to come under control, and the mind begins to experience moments of clarity, and essential peace.

Post by: Francisco Neri Bonilla

 

ASHTANGA YOGA CLOSING MANTRA 

Om 

Swasthi-praja bhyah pari pala yantam

Nya-yena margena mahi-mahishaha

Go-bramanebhyaha-shuhamastu-niyam

Lokaa-samastha sukhino-bhavanthu

Om
Om 

May prosperity be glorified

May administrators rule the world with law and justice

May all things that are sacred be protected 

And may people of the world be happy and prosperous 

Om 

    

Ashtanga Yoga Opening Mantra / Mysore Style 

Opening Mantra 

Om 

Vande Gurunam charanaravinde

Sandarshita svatmasukavabodhe

Nishreyase jangalikayamane

Samsara halahala mohashantayi


Abahu Purushakaram

Shankhacakrsi dharinam

Sahasra sirasam svetam

Pranamami patanjalim

Om 


Om 

I pray to the lotus feet of the supreme guru

Who teaches knowledge, awakening the great happiness of the Self revealed

Who acts like the jungle physician

Able to remove the delusion from the poison of conditioned existence

To Pantajali, an incarnation of Adisesa, white in colour with a thousand radiant heads ( in his form as the divine serpent, Ananta), human in form below the shoulders, holding the sword of discrimination, a wheel of fire representing infinite time, and the conch representing divine sound to him,

I prostrate

Om   

  
Post by: Francisco Neri Bonilla 

ASHTANGA PRIMARY SERIES

Yoga Chikitsa (योग चिकित्सा, Yoga Cikitsā) is the Sanksrit (संक्सृत्, Saṁksr̥t) name for the primary series and it can be translated as Yoga Therapy. Therefore this series purifies and heals the body.
The first or primary series forms the basis for all subsequent series. Superficially seen it may seem the easiest of all six Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga series. It is however the most difficult one; it is the series first learnt by every Ashtanga-Yogi; this is where one becomes familiar with the Vinyasa System and gets used to everyday Yoga practice. The following series do not bring anything that is relatively new. Only a couple of new postures integrate into the system one is already familiar with.


   

Lahiri Mahasaya Kriya Yoga

  

Lahiri Mahasaya was born on September 30, 1828, in the village of Ghurni in Bengal, India. At the age of thirty-three, while walking one day in the Himalayan foothills near Ranikhet, he met his guru, Mahavatar Babaji. It was a divine reunion of two who had been together in many lives past; at an awakening touch of blessing, Lahiri Mahasaya became engulfed in a spiritual aura of divine realization that was never to leave him.

   
Mahavatar Babaji initiated him in the science of Kriya Yoga and instructed him to bestow the sacred technique on all sincere seekers. Lahiri Mahasaya returned to his home in Banaras to fulfill this mission. As the first to teach the lost ancient Kriya science in contemporary times, he is renowned as a seminal figure in the renaissance of yoga that began in modern India in the latter part of the nineteenth century and continues to this day.

Paramahansa Yogananda wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi: “As the fragrance of flowers cannot be suppressed, so Lahiri Mahasaya, quietly living as an ideal householder, could not hide his innate glory. Devotee-bees from every part of India began to seek the divine nectar of the liberated master….The harmoniously balanced life of the great householder-guru became the inspiration of thousands of men and women.”

As Lahiri Mahasaya exemplified the highest ideals of Yoga, union of the little self with God, he is reverenced as a Yogavatar, or incarnation of Yoga.

Paramahansa Yogananda’s parents were disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya, and when he was but a babe in arms his mother carried him to the home of her guru. Blessing the infant, Lahiri Mahasaya said, “Little mother, thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.”

Lahiri Mahasaya established no organization during his lifetime, but made this prediction: “About fifty years after my passing, an account of my life will be written because of a deep interest in Yoga that will arise in the West. The message of Yoga will encircle the globe. It will aid in establishing the brotherhood of man: a unity based on humanity’s direct perception of the one Father.”

Lahiri Mahasaya entered mahasamadhi in Banaras, September 26, 1895. Fifty years later, in America, his prediction was fulfilled when an increasing interest in yoga in the West inspired Paramahansa Yogananda to write Autobiography of a Yogi, which contains a beautiful account of Lahiri Mahasaya’s life.