Category: Ashtanga

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You Stop There, Part II – Reflections on my second trip in Mysore with Sharath Jois

I recently completed my second three month trip practicing with Sharath Jois at the KPJAYI in Mysore. Last year I wrote two blog posts about my first trip, “A New Chapter” and “You Stop There”. These articles expressed my perspective of the experience of starting over as a beginner with Sharath, after having had a daily Ashtanga practice for 12...

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Holistic Asana Practice

An Article for Asana Teachers What does it mean to be holistic in terms of practicing (or teaching) Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga? Holistic means whole, or even part of a whole, and implies completion, integration and oneness. Holistic characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole Part One In...

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Themed Interview with Laruga Glaser: Backbending

Laruga Glaser is such an inspiration for many students and so there was great excitement when we decided to do this themed interview centered around backbending. I talk to Laruga about her own backbending journey and I think you will be surprised to hear that although we may assume they come so easy for her, they are not always her...

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Themed Interview with Mark Darby: Forwardfolding

So this season I decided to do some interviews themed around different aspects of the practice. The format is a chat about the subject and then a demo /workshop. In this interview I get to talk to Darby and I chose forwardfolding not only because a good few students struggle at least initially with these types of postures but also...

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What’s the Problem with Your Shoulder?

Our shoulder is a precision instrument that simultaneously has a vast scope in its range of motion. With pinpoint precision we can synchronise our shoulder muscles to maneuver our arm to point our finger precisely at our object of choice – an action that requires the coordinated recruitment of numerous muscles that surround our shoulder joint like a clock. Your...

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Yoga and Aging

When I was young and naïve I used to say “the good thing about practicing yoga is that as you get older you only get stronger and more flexible!” This is true up to a point and that point is different for every body. The fact is that as we age our body slows down. All of our bodily functions...

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Mula Bandha and Float Backs

Part 1: The Three Bandha The word Bandha can be defined variously as “lock”, “blockage” and “doorway”. Mula Bandha is the lower lock, meaning “root” or “earth”. There are a few definitions that I like regarding MB, so I wanted to start by sharing some of those. Wikipedia Mūla Bandha is the principal, key and primary Bandha of the Yogic...

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Why I don’t Chant, Part 2: Tradition and Self Authority

Last week I published an article titled “Why I don’t Chant”, in which I explained some of the reasons that I don’t use the Ashtanga opening and closing mantras in my classes or in my personal practice. As expected, I received mixed feedback on the article. Some people expressed that it resonated with them deeply, while others felt that by...

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Why I don’t chant

I don’t think I love God more than I love music. Why would a European sitting there, who doesn’t know the difference between Krishna and Rama, listen to this music for two hours? Why are instrumental concerts so popular? Do we know if the performer is playing a kriti in Kannada or Telugu, or if that kriti is talking about...

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