We talked about the 2 pillars of yoga, practice and non-attachment as per yoga sutra 1.12.
Tracy runs Shanti, which “does good works” in Mysore. They have raised most of the money to help this young man. Have a look if you are inclined to help.
Tim Miller on YS 1.12 and 1.14, extract from his blog:
“…When Patanjali suggests that we practice without attachment to the outcome, he’s not suggesting that we take a blasé approach. Rather, he is reminding us that no matter how hard we try to make something happen, some things are just beyond our control. In essence what he is saying is, “Do your best and let it go.” The important thing is to be persevering in our practice and to do it with sincerity and devotion—and nonattachment. Gradually this approach will cultivate peace of mind. It is a difficult thing to harmonize practice and nonattachment. Human nature is such that when we practice something, we want to get better at it. We practice the piano because one day we want to play Carnegie Hall. Likewise, we practice yoga because we want our asanas to be perfect. Well, I’ve got some news for you—your asanas will never be perfect and neither will your life. Ultimately, yoga practice is not about getting better, it’s about bringing forth the best that is already within us. The same can be said of life. We would like our lives to be better—more successful and fulfilling, less stressful and exhausting, more balanced and joyful, etc. Yet, life will continue to be what it is—extremely challenging and complex. One of the things we need to let go of is the need to be perfect….”
We are back with our monthly discussion on Sunday January 14 at 10:00 at 336 W Dana St, 94041, until 11:30. Bring your translations as usual.
2.24 Ignorance Is The Cause Of This Injunction
2.25 By causing a lack ignorance there is then an absence of the alliance, and this leads to a freedom known as a state of liberation or enlightenment for the Seer
We are looking for a volunteer to help us populate the other sutra posts on Sutratalk.com with Ram’s translations. This should take about 1-2 hours per month, and if you are interested please let me know.
And Happy New Year!
Please note the 108 will be rescheduled. There will be no class or sun salutations tomorrow, January 1st at 800 am. We will try to do this for the spring equinox this year.
New York-based Eddie Stern has started to blog again. Here’s an excerpt from one of many interesting posts he has written recently (hat tip Danielle):
Swamigal Chandrashekarendra Bharati, in his book The Guru Tradition, said that the flaws of the guru are to be expected and accepted, but not followed. There is very little possibility of a human being existing without flaws. The guru tradition, however, is not about people, it is about knowledge, and knowledge is carried by vessels, like water is carried by a pot. If you put pure water into a gold, silver or clay pot, the water will still remain pure whether the pot is in perfect condition or whether it has a few dents. As people, we all have a few dents in us, and that is to be expected. It does not, however, invalidate our knowledge or experiences, or our ability to pass them on. In fact, it is quite often those who have the most dents in them, but have learned from those dents, that make the best teachers. The expectation we place upon teachers to be perfect is unrealistic, and unfair, as it puts them in an impossible position to not allow them to freely be the flawed, individuals that they may be. And we do that when we want to deny our own flaws, and cover them with so-called spirituality.
So is lineage important? Can I not learn from a book, or a video? The answer is yes: you can learn quite a lot from a video, but you will miss out on feedback. A video cannot monitor your progress, correct you, or fill in the unseen details. Lineage has made it possible for us to learn what we know of yoga today. If it were not for lineage, we would have never learned anything about yoga. To answer the question: why is lineage in Ashtanga yoga important to us today? It is not important just for today, it is important for all time. Without lineage, yoga will be lost.
When you look for a teacher, look to their experience, look to their character, and most importantly, check to make sure the practice itself makes you feel like you are doing yoga. If you do not feel, inwardly, in your intuitive self, that the practice is truly yoga, then keep looking.
According to osteopath and author Phillip Beach, the deep squat is one of a few “archetypal postures” that are not just good for us, but “deeply embedded into the way our bodies are built.” When you look at our evolutionary history, he’s not wrong—our ancient ancestors squatted for a very long time.
To be clear, we’re talking about a deep squat: feet flat, spine lengthened, and bum hovering above the floor. Those squats you do in CrossFit and Pilates aren’t the same thing. That partial, often weight-bearing squat is not one early hominids needed to perform. Walking a mile with wild game on their backs, and then resting in a deep squat by the fire? Sure. Doing repetitive partial squats while holding an antelope? Probs not.
In its natural form, the deep squat is a form of active rest. Hanging out in one briefly a few times a day helps provide the movement and compression that keeps our joints well lubricated with synovial fluid. Otherwise, the body basically doesn’t bother producing this fluid, and our joints dry up. In other words: Use it or lose it.
The deep squat is also about getting grounded. Experts including Beach say that “floor life”—which literally means getting close to the floor, much like you might do in your weekly yoga class—is a key to wellness. The practice creates a sense of physical embodiment that’s increasingly absent from our hyper-intellectualized, screen-dominated lives.
Happy Merry Holidays Everyone!
As it is right now, there will be no Mysore classes from Sunday, December 24, Christmas Eve, through Friday, December 29th.
There will be regular Mysore class on Sunday, December 31, New Years Eve.
We will have 108 Sun Salutation, 8-10am on Monday, January 1st.
There will be lighter schedule Christmas Week in general and you can check our up to date schedule here.