Yoga Content: Sharath Jois on the Key Ingredients for Experiencing Yoga

Article by Sharath:

When pizza was very new to India, some companies wanted to market themselves to get business, so they created a new pizza called “Gobi Manchurian Pizza.” We were very interested, so we ordered one to our house. It was a regular pizza with pieces of Gobi Manchurian, a Chinese dish, on top. Many people bought it. It was new and different and tasty, but it wasn’t healthy. Similarly, this is how yoga has become: Tasty and attractive, but not healthy.

Hat tip Anne N.

Special Mantra (Musical) Meditation Event, this Friday June 2nd

Venue : 140 Comstock Circle, Stanford, CA (Escondido Village Center)

Dates : Friday, June 2nd

  • 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Veggie Goodness Dinner
  • 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Kirtan yoga

This Friday, we present to you, the Yoga of Sonic Energy (Mantra Meditation with Music, aka Kirtan Yoga) led by the expert musicians at the Stanford Bhakti Yoga Club. Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes!

Just like there are yoga postures for the body to relax and strengthen and tone, there are mantras (special sound vibrations found in the ancient yoga texts) that act as a revitalizing tonic for the mind. Using these mantras for meditation brings the mind to rest in a space free from stress and anxiety. The word “mantra” literally means to “free the mind”.
So come sit back and relax – or get up and dance – and leave feeling invigorated in body, mind and joyful at heart.

Hat tip: Claire H.

Documentary on Chronic Pain

These two films are coming to SF doc fest- The Dr. Sarno doc “All The Rage” and a 30 years of protest work doc “Working in Protest”- Both films screen on Saturday June 10th at the Roxie in SF- 7:15 and 9:30 – filmmaker will be there.
***radical double feature** It is a good idea to buy tickets ahead of time online from the Roxy as is is a small theater. 

All the Rage trailer:

Protest trailer:

Hat Tip: Amy W.

Yoga Content: What is the best reason to get on your mat?

From David Garrigues’ newsletter:

No Reason is the Best Reason to Practice

Practice is important because it moves you out of theory and into experience, experience of the sacred, esoteric knowledge of the Self. Sri K Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga yoga, repeatedly emphasized the difference between theoretical knowledge and practical experiential knowledge.  

Ashtanga yoga students are known for taking practice seriously. We faithfully follow the recipe of two hours or more per day six days a week. There are plenty of us who wake up at pretty much insane hours (3am– ish) in order to carve out our solitary time to practice. You might wonder where the drive or motivation comes from to even begin or sustain such a regime? 

Practice only because you want to practice. End of statement.  Don’t do it for any reason at all, not for following a lineage, for weight loss, to get in shape, fun, health, spiritual growth, realization, prayer, or devotion. NOT FOR ANY OF THOSE REASONS. 

Banish any ‘reason’ that you come across within yourself for getting on your mat no matter what it is.  

You know you’ve found something important to you when you have to do it no matter what because there is no other choice for you. Somehow you find the time to practice, read, study, listen, contemplate, ponder, or otherwise be involved in that subject. With yoga that usually means hounding a teacher and using all manner of ingenuity just to know a little bit more about that thing. You are on the hunt for something that will allow you to penetrate what Kabir calls ‘your thick body’.  

Think about when you a were a kid. You just did stuff, you felt pulled to it, there was no thought of gain or, bettering your self. You didn’t have to convince yourself, you usually just stumbled upon something worthwhile and played. Don’t burden your practice with any reasons at all. 

Like Kabir says “Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word “reason” you already feel miles away.” 

You don’t need a guru, psychological depth, penetrative insights, or important breakthroughs that could revolutionize your soul. It’s actually all so plain and simple just decide and see, it’s so ticklishly near but devilishly difficult to grasp, like Alan Watts said, ‘You can’t bite your own teeth’.  

Attempt to fortify yourself with too many reasons and you’ll miss it and that is a great tragedy because a well timed wink and a sly half smile will usually suffice.

Yoga Content: What It Means To Be Advanced

What It Means To Be Advanced


Being advanced isn’t about curating a portfolio of impressive postures, or in the achievement of a bigger, better practice. Being advanced is an attitude, a spirit, a state of mind. It’s a willingness to be vulnerable—to see honestly the cause and effect of our actions in real time. Being advanced is about approaching the practice with the wonder and curiosity of a beginner. When our experience in a pose moves our soul, it can deepen our relationship to our practice, but also our life.


Hat tip Meghan

Sutra Discussion Group Sunday May 21

Dear Sutra Discussers,

We will be back with our monthly discussion on Sunday May 21 at 10:00 at Karen’s house, 336 W Dana St, 94041, until 11:30. Bring your translations as usual.

We plan to continue with sutra 2.18. This one is a bit heavy. From

That which we can see (dṛśyam) has the qualities of light (prakāśa), movement (kriyā) and stability (sthiti), and is composed (ātmakaṃ) of the elements (bhūta) and the senses (indriya). Its purpose (arthaṁ) is to give the Seer life experiences (bhoga) and help with spiritual transformation (apavarga).To get the most out of the gathering, it is recommended to read a few translations and commentaries beforehand.

You can also listen to our previous discussions at the website.

See some of you Sunday