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namaskar A VOICE FOR THE YOGA COMMUNITY OF ASIA

THE WHOLE BODY POSE Downward facing dog, a basic pose the teachers say. But by no means easy ..................................p18

ONE PATH OR MANY? What’s the best route to take in our yoga practice? Depends where you want to go ...........................p30

April 2013 FREE AYC TICKETS HERE Three chances to get an all-event pass to this year’s Asia Yoga Conference in Hong Kong ..................p43


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NAMASKAR


NAMASKAR - APRIL 2013

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

‘Tis the Season of Birth and Renewal Cover photo of Nihan Hantal in Urdhva Dhanurasana taken at D-Life in Turkey by Serra Mubeccel

Spring is unstoppable in the concrete jungle. New leaves brighten winter’s trees and flowers poke through pavement cracks. Living in hectic Hong Kong, it’s easy to become disconnected from the cycles and seasons of nature. Fortunately Philippe is an avid gardener, who teaches our children now is also the time for planting squash, basil and all kinds of beans. Albeit in pots and a tiny urban garden plot he’s cultivated under our building’s carpark. And while diversity might be recommended for a healthy diet and balanced life, is it beneficial for a yoga practice? We ask this question in our dristi “One Practice or Several”. And the answers of Kim, Lori, Paul and Yogesvara are very varied. This question was also asked of yoga teachers Laura, Chris, Janet and Inna, and Julia in Teacher Feature. Other articles you might enjoy include Gaelle’s interview on how to progress in our practice with Iyengar teacher Marla Apt. A nice follow on from that is Valerie’s article on realizing our potential by overcoming fear. The anatomy focus this time is on Downward Facing Dog, by self-confessed anatomy junkie Chris. And the photo essay from Kenneth is about a small Iyengar studio in Hong Kong. For those of you with a sweet tooth, Moosa’s recipe is sure to hit the spot. And poetrylovers may enjoy Yogiuday’s three poems about the Ganges River. Rounding out this issue are reviews of Bhakti Fest by Natalie, a Sivananda teacher training in Austria from Vicky, Anu’s view from the Spiritual Science Research Foundation and a child’s simple perspective of yoga from Shreya.

ABOUT NAMASKAR ADMINISTRATION Carol Adams, carol@caroladams.hk NEWS EDITOR Wai-Ling Tse, wailing.tse@gmail.com CIRCULATION Angela Sun, angela.sun@gmail.com

In This Issue

Thanks as always to Carol for taking care of all the administrative and advertising issues and to Wai-Ling for tirelessly compiling Kula news, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings. I know this is an invaluable resources for many readers. We welcome Angela Sun to our Namaskar volunteers team. An accountant by profession and a part-time yoga teacher, Angela will be looking after circulation and distribution and may be contacted at angela.sun@gmail.com

DRISTI - ONE PRACTICE OR SEVERAL ONE PATH OR MANY 32 The case for pursuing a single path. ONE PRACTICE, MANY FORMS 33 Following two complementary practices. DIVE DEEPLY INTO ONE PATH 34 What you follow depends on your goal. ONE OR SEVERAL TEACHERS 36 The teachers are as important as the practices. TEACHER FEEDBACK 37 Four teachers’ choices for own their practice.

And finally Evolution, Asia Yoga Conference is just around the corner (6-9 June, www.asiayogaconference.com). There are so many wonderful teachers to choose from. If you are having trouble choosing, perhaps ask your like-minded friends and teachers which workshops or lectures they’re interested in. At the very least, I will attend Carlos Pomeda and Ganesh Mohan’s lectures. And if my kids give me a bit more time, I’d love to go to Sri Dharma Mittra, Eoin Finn and my dear friend Patrick Creelman’s asana workshops. Don’t miss the chance to win one of three all-event passes we have to share by answering the questions on page 43.

SPECIAL FEATURES A DAY IN THE LIFE 14 A small Hong Kong studio with a big heart. PROGRESSION 22 An Iyengar view of progressing along the path. POTENTIAL 25 What stands in our way, how can we overcome the obstacles. MANTRA INITIATION 26 How one yogin received a personal mantra from her teacher. POEMS OF THE GANGA 40 Bathing in the mystic waters in Summer, Monsoon & Winger FREE AYC TICKETS 43

Frances Gairns, Editor & Publisher

Namaskar provides a voice for the yoga community in Asia and around the world. The publication is an opportunity for practitioners on a yogic path to selflessly offer their knowledge, learnings and experiences with others. We welcome unsolicited submissions, therefore the opinions expressed within these pages are not necessarily those of Namaskar or its volunteers.

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Frances Gairns, fgairns@netvigator.com

April 2013

REGULAR CONTRIBUTIONS KULA WORKSHOPS, RETREATS TEACHER TRAININGS ASANA TEACHER FEATURE KIDS YOGA SSRF FESTIVAL REVIEW TEACHER TRAINING REVIEW RECIPE DIRECTORY

6 18 27 27 39 45 46 49 52

Articles and photographs in Namaskar are contributed at no charge. Advertising income covers production, distribution, administrative costs and discretionary contributions to selected charities and causes. Namaskar, is published quarterly in January, April, June (coinciding with Asia Yoga Conference) and October. We print almost 5,000 copies per issue (800 more in June for AYC) and distribute for free to yoga studios, teachers, fitness centres, retail outlets, restaurants & cafes and other yoga-friendly outlets. Most readers are in Hong Kong, and about 1,500 copies are mailed to 25 other countries.

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CONTRIBUTORS learning about the complex structures and functions of the human body and apply them as a tool in the ancient science of hatha yoga. chris.poon@pureinternational.com

ANGELA SUN Angela joins the Namaskar volunteer team to look after distribution and circulation. Originally from New York City with a stint in Los Angeles, she has been practicing yoga for 9 years. She is currently teaching private classes in Hong Kong. angela.sun@gmail.com

ANU PURSRAM Anu has been a voluntary member of Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) for 17 years. From a young age, she searched for answers to the purpose of her life, karma and destiny. This quest brought her to SSRF which explains the meaning of life and provides tools for change. anu.p@spiritualresearchfoundation.org

CHRIS POON Chris has been teaching at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong since 2009. He is particularly interested in 4

the dynamic and elevating Kundalini practice, and the sublime mysteries of Tantra. lori@agamayoga.com

KENNETH LEUNG Kenneth has been practicing Iyengar yoga for 3 years. His held his first photo and drawing exhibition this year to raise money for the Hong Kong Cat Fancier’s Club. He has four cats. tingting@netvigator.com GAELLE FOULON DAFFNER An Introductory level 2 certified Iyengar teacher, Gaelle teaches at Yoga Central in Hong Kong and strives to live a better life through yoga. gaelleinla@yahoo.com

KIM ROBERTS Kim is on staff at New Life Foundation in Chiang Rai, Thailand, teaching and counselling. papayayoga@gmail.com, www.toolsforevolution.org HERSHA CHELLARAM Hersha has studied yoga under Sri Swami Satchidananda since she was a child. She is a certified Integral Yoga Instructor, Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher Trainer. She has been teaching yoga since 2002. She member of the Yoga Alliance (ERYT500), Integral Yoga Teacher’s Association and the International Association for Yoga Therapists. hersha.chellaram@me.com LORI DOYLE Lori has been teaching at Agama Yoga in Koh Phangan, Thailand since 2005. She grew up inspired by her father in science and her mother in spirituality. Her favorite aspects of Yoga include Karma Yoga, the transcendent teachings of Kashmir Shaivism, NAMASKAR

MOOSA AL-ISSA Moosa is Executive Director of Life Café and Director of Just Green Organic Convenience Stores in Hong Kong. Moosaalissa@gmail.com

NATALIE MACAM Natalie travels within South East Asia as a guest teacher and is based in California. natrageous@gmail.com / www.tigerwaveyoga.com

PAUL DALLAGHAN Paul is director of Samahita Retreat and Yoga Thailand. He will be teaching at Asia Yoga


Conference again this year. www.yoga-thailand.com

SHREYA PANDEY Shreya, 8, studies in Year 3, in Quarry Bay School, Hong Kong. She enjoys art, music, reading, Barbie and playing with her twin brother. Her favourite books are from Indian Mythology and the Horrid Henry series. She also practices Yoga Asanas with Master Mariappan at Anahata Yoga. supratim.swati@gmail.com (Mother)

VICKY HILL Vicky is a yoga instructor at Wellness and Birth, and Hong Kong company which provides pre- and post-natal homecare. www.wellnessandbirth.com

YOGESVARA BOYLE The founder of Energy of Mind: A Sauhu Therapy, Yogesvara counsels clients online at www.energyofmindtherapy.com. He is also a teacher and trainer for DHARMA INC, a living tradition of classical non-dual Tantra from Central Asia. ww.dharmainc.org VALERIE FANECO Valerie from Being in Yoga, Singapore, is a senior yoga teacher and teacher trainer certified by the Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation (KHYF) founded by TKV Desikachar. She has been studying and teaching the Yogasutra and principles of yoga philosophy for many years. She recently translated a commentary of the Yogasutra into English, published in India. valerie@beinginyoga.com

YOGIUDAY Yogiuday lives in Rishikesh, India where he makes Yogi Yum Yums, handmade, natural sweets, from which all profits go to secondary and tertiary education of local children. yogiuday_harmony@yahoo.es April 2013

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KULA

Updates

HONG KONG

A Day of Mindfulness (DOM) for Health Care & Human Service Professionals 13 April The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Co-organized by Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism, Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong and the Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong. This DOM is part of the “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” initiative to integrate mindfulness practices to the physical and mental health fields. This one will focus on ways to deal with anger, when we think that anger is caused by external conditions, and how we respond to people who have done us harm. Cost HK$100 (including light vegetarian lunch and tea). For more information www.pvfhk.org; aiab@pvfhk.org

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Hong Kong Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He and the Plum Village International Monastic Sangha will come to Hong Kong: 18 May: “Cultivating Peace and Happiness in Schools”, a Day of Mindfulness for the Educator for educators and students at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po 6

19 May: A Day of Mindfulness and Vesak Celebration at the Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism Lotus Pond Temple, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island 21 May: “Body and Mind are One”, a Day of Mindfulness for Healthcare and Social Service Professionals at the HKU Centre on Behavioural Health, Pokfulam 23-26 May: “Happiness is the Way”, a 4-Day Retreat at the YMCA Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village, Ma On Shan (Fully booked at time of printing) 27 May: “Happiness is the Way”, Public Talk at the Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom, Kowloon. (Free tickets from 22 April at Tom Lee Music) For more information www.pvfhk.org; aiab@pvfhk.org

Weekly Sangha Yoga Class Sangha (Community) Yoga every Tuesdays in Kowloon Tong with Wai-Ling. Sangha is the community that lives in harmony and awareness; practising together to become a healthy and peaceful community. The practise focuses on the integration of body, breath and mind; cultivating awareness, mindfulness and joy as well as integrating the practise into daily life. Held 7-8:30pm, Function Room, The Kowloon Tsai Home Owners Association, Kowloon Tong. Cost HK$120. To register wailing.tse@gmail.com; (852 ) 9465 6461

The sparkly new studios of Dickson Yoga in Hong Kong

Gecko Yoga now at The Sanctuary

For more information www.dicksonyoga.com

Gecko Yoga has recently moved to The Sanctuary. Gecko Yoga runs children’s yoga teacher training certification courses, specialist learning workshops promoting healthy well-being for kids and families & hosts international children’s yoga teacher training ranging from Perinatal & Baby Yoga to Teen Yoga Intensives.

Studio for Hire Body & Brain Yoga is a cosy boutique studio (500 sq ft) for hire for workshops and classes. Centrally located in Stanley Street, it is bright with natural light and wooden flooring. Can accommodate up to 20 seats or 10 yoga mats. HK$350400 per hour. Rates are negotiable for regular and long-term users.

For more information www.geckoyoga.com; www.thesanctuary.com.hk

For more information (852) 3104 1156 / info@ibrainyoga.com.hk

New Space for Dickson Yoga

Yogasala officiated by Iyengar

Dickson Yoga has expanded and relocated to Tsim Sha Tsui Centre in TST East. The 20,000 sq feet centre has a 1,500 sq feet hallway equipped with a Hanuman wall for students to practise inversions. A full vegetarian bar is serving desserts and Taiwanese specialty drinks. The changing rooms have sauna, steam and infrared light rooms for pre-yoga warm-up or post-yoga relaxation.

NAMASKAR

Yogasala has obtained the approval from Guruji, B.K.S. Iyengar to using his name for the studio, so is now officially called Iyengar Yogasala Hong Kong. For more information www.yogasalahk.com / info@yogasalahhk.com


Yoga Social Networking Portal bluShiva.com is a new Yoga social networking portal. Promote yourself as a professional Yoga instructor for free to an active and exciting yoga community. For more information www.blushiva.com / (852) 2334 8408

Flex moves to One Island South

Shakti Healing Circle’s spacious studio for new pregnancy yoga with Ying

New pregnancy Yoga at Shakti Healing Circle Ying is a certified Yoga teacher who has been teaching since 1991 and a member of Birthlight, a UK organisation who are world pioneers in the research and development of pregnancy and baby Yoga. Yoga for Pregnancy - Birth and Beyond - Learn how to relax, breath and tone the changing body throughout the different trimesters. Mom & Baby Yoga (10weeks-pre crawling) Benefits for Baby: Develop body awareness: involuntary muscles to voluntary, and baby motor skills. Improve sleep and digesting with the power of massaging touch. Benefits for Mom: Gentle post natal exercise and relaxing techniques with baby. For more information (852) 91914004 / www.sueyenwan.com / www.shaktihealingcircle.com

Free Peter Scott Iyengar Class Peter Scott will celebrate his 10 year of teaching in Hong Kong with free community classes at Chinese International School. Organised by Yoga Central. For more information www.yogacentral.com.hk / yogacentralhk@gmail.com

Personalising your Practice Yoga Central is offering an 8-hr Personal Practice Workshops to help practitioners pathe their way to practise Iyengar Yoga systematically and safely at home. For more information www.yogacentral.com.hk / yogacentralhk@gmail.com

Dada J.P.Vaswani HK Program 14-21 April Dada J.P.Vaswani is the spiritual head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune, India. He is said to be the spiritual leader and the guiding star of the Sindhi community in India and worldwide. He has spoken at the U.N.O on universal peace, and at the House of Commons, London on the World Without Wars. His message of global harmony and peace has captivated audiences at international gatherings such as the World Parliament of Religions and the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit.

The Flex new studio encompasses 3,400 square feet, with three distinct workout studios: a multipurpose studio (Studio A) equipped with a beautiful bamboo floor, ballet barres, TRX rods and numerous props. Offering Yoga, Xtend Barre, Zumba, TRX, adult ballet and FlexKids children’s classes. Studio B is a Pilates Allegro room, equipped with 11 machines, as well as a TRX rod. Studio C is a private Pilates apparatus room for private or small group tuition. The room also houses Gyrotonic Expansion System (GXS) Pulley Tower Combination Unit. For more information www.flexhk.com/ (852) 2813-2212; info@flexhk.com

Yoga Appreciation Month at Balance Health

Acupuncture treatment with Peter Yeung. For more information (852) 2530 3315 / Peter@BalanceHealth.com.hk SINGAPORE

30-day Hot Classic Yoga Challenge with Rene Ekeheien 13 April – 12 May – Pure Yoga Singapore – Chevron House The 30-Day Challenge unites a committed group of yogis to work together and support each other on the path of transformation. For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com THAILAND

New Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Bangkok 7 April marked the inauguration of the newest Sivananda Yoga Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The inaugural program included a yogasana class, a special Havan puja, satsang with Acharya Swami Mahadevananda and a vegetarian lunch. For more information bangkok@sivananda.org /(66) 819156195 / 22871714 / 15

April is “Yoga Appreciation Month” at Balance Health. Yoga teachers are invited for a complimentary

Dada’s talk in English on 15 April “Five Pillars of Spiritual Life” highlights present lives and a positive attitude toward your spiritual goals. The Fifth Spiritual Camp will be held 19-21 April in Gold Coast. For more information (852) 2369 9519/ 9831 3535 / svchk@netvigator.com / www.sadhuvaswani.org

Dada Vaswani will be speaking in Hong Kong this April

April 2013

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KULA

Workshops

HONG KONG

Angel Healing

Ashtanga Weekend Workshop & Primary Series Training with David Swenson

10-12 May House of Light Tina Marie Bertoli, an Angel Therapy Practitioner and Medium communicates with your Angels and Guides to receive Divine Guidance for all aspects of your life.

19-28 April Pure Yoga – The Peninsula Office Tower Come and discover an incredible experience of yoga, laughter and fun with one of the world’s foremost Ashtanga Yoga instructors! For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

Iyengar Yoga with Marla Apt 26-28 April Yoga Central Marla Apt will be conducting Iyengar workshops from ‘Key Principles’ for beginners to yoga teachers’ workshops on Adjustment in Teaching. For more information www.yogacentral.com.hk / yogacentralhk@gmail.com

Kundalini Yoga Full Moon workshops 27 April, 25 May, 22 June Shakti Healing Circle Join Neil Irwin from 2 - 6 pm for this regular workshop. For more information www.shaktihealingcircle.com / info@shaktihealingcircle.com

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For more information +852 3595 2134 / info@houseoflight.com.hk / www.houseoflight.com.hk

Happy Brain Workshop

The Healing Power of Asanas

For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

25 – 26 May Pure Yoga – The Peninsula Office Tower Journey with Michelle Ricaille to the roots of Hatha yoga to learn the healing power of asana through the principles of Yamas and Niyamas.

Iyengar Yoga with Peter Scott

For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

Internal Qigong

13-26 May Body & Brain Yoga Dr Jilong Han teaches how to create health, smile/happiness and peace. You will learn to deepen energy sensation, strengthen physical body and opening heart, and ultimately advancing your spiritual growth. All ages and levels welcome. For more information +852 3104 1156; info@ibrainyoga.com.hk

Zeo Sheehan Workshop 15-21 May Zeo Sheehan is a divine channel, spiritual healer/teacher as well as designer and artist. He has 16 years experience in spirituality, healing and natural health. He has a special interest in crystal energy and healing and as a graduate of the Sacred Mystery school has been training and working closely with the Enlightened Masters since 2003. For more information (852) 3595 2134 /info@houseoflight.com.hk / www.houseoflight.com.hk

25 May & 1 June Shakti Healing Circle Join Qigong master David Seto learn about this ancient Chinese practice. For more information www.shaktihealingcircle.com / info@shaktihealingcircle.com

Aim True with Kathryn Budig 3-5 June Pure Yoga Hong Kong – The Peninsula Office Tower Set every practice, day and breath with the power of your intention. This lecture/class encourages us to tap into what it means for us to Aim True in our lives and to conquer fear to reach love. For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

16-20 June Yoga Central Peter Scott, Senior Iyengar teacher from Melbourne, shares his experience in teaching and assessing Iyengar Yoga at Yoga Central. For more information www.yogacentral.com.hk / yogacentralhk@gmail.com

Know your Body; Know your Pose Workshop with Janet Lau 21 July The Yoga Room If you want to learn more about your body, or if you have ever wondered why certain poses are always a challenge for you, you will have your mysteries solved at this workshop. Cost HK$1,288 Regular (Early bird HK$1,088 before 15 June). Suitable for all levels and limited to 15 students. For more information (852) 2544 8398 / www.yogaroomhk.com SINGAPORE

Vikasa Yoga with Meditation Kosta Miachin Workshop with 14-16 June Master Guo Jun Pure Yoga – The Centrium Kosta’s philosophy is yoga practice has to be an ever-evolving process based on classical hatha yoga techniques that anyone can be a part of, rather than a complete static system.

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14 April–26 May (every Sunday in English) 20 April–1 June (every Saturday in Cantonese) 80 Gallery


Open to everyone who is interested in learning basic Chan (Zen) meditation practice. You will learn the correct body posture in sitting meditation to enable you to sit for a longer period of time and to learn various basic skills to release the neurotic tension to soften your body and mind. Taught by Chan Master Guo Jun, the youngest Dharma Heir of the late Chan Master Shengyen, the most prominent Chan Master in this century. For more information www.80gallery.org / info@80gallery.org; (65) 6438 4481

The Healing Power of Asanas 20 – 21 April Pure Yoga – Ngee Ann City Journey with Michelle Ricaille to the roots of Hatha yoga to learn the healing power of the asana through the principles of Yamas and Niyamas. For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

Vikasa Yoga with Kosta Miachin 10-13 June Pure Yoga– Ngee Ann City Kosta’s philosophy is our yoga practice has to be seen as an everevolving process based on classical hatha yoga techniques that anyone can be a part of, rather than a complete static system.

7-9 June Pure Yoga – Ngee Ann City In this series of workshops we will look from an integrated perspective at posture, yoga asana, movements and myofascial connections. We will examine their component muscle action, bone, joint, nerve and ligament positions, and fascia

Elonne Stockon has a busy schedule at Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui

aligns effortlessly with a sense of presence, purpose and power.

For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

For more information www.yogathailand.com

THAILAND

Restore & Relax

Yoga Practice & Daily Living with Michael Hamilton

For more information www.yogathailand.com

will be at Pure Yoga in Singapore

Enjoying the Therapeutic Uses of Yoga with Chris Kummer

11-18 May Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Whether you’re overweight as a result of stress, lifestyle, bad eating habits, hormonal imbalance or emotional eating, this retreat will help you reach the goal of bringing your body to its ideal and healthy weight. Learn to manage your weight in a holistic way with yoga and healthy eating.

For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com

13-20 April Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui This one-week retreat offers a mix of asana, meditation, practical workshops on inner alignment and talks/discussions on philosophy. The morning session will be a yoga practice in the Ashtanga Mysore Style. The afternoon sessions will be a combination of meditation practice, special yoga asana workshops and talks drawing on Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Tantra and Classical Yoga.

Anatomist & yoga teacher, Chris Kummer

Mayer & Ivana Jelenjic

directions. We will also explore how the various ways of utilising these components affect other functions of the body, such as digestion, neurologyl and general health.

Transformation with Rachel Grey & Dorien Israel 20-27 April Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Core strength isn’t just found in the physical expression of our yoga practice. It is also the practical approach needed to overcome the inevitable challenges and complexities of our daily lives. Discover this internal reservoir of strength that is the core of your being and that will enhance both your yoga practice and your everyday living. By creating inner stability we equip ourselves to live in an unstable world. Once experienced, every aspect of life

27 April-4 May Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Elonne Stockton will also look at how the entire practice can and should have a restorative effect. Whether you are doing breathwork or asana/poses and vinyasas/ movement with breath, the entire practice should support all the systems of the body. Learn how to soften the practice and find this subtle aspect, touching a deep sense of calm and inner peace. For more information www.yogathailand.com

Ashtanga Yoga with Mark Robberds 4-11 May Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui This retreat will be a chance to dive deep into the heart of the Ashtanga Yoga practice. Each day will be a complete and comprehensive exploration of the different layers of the practice - Mysore classes, guided classes, yoga philosophy, music, storytelling, applied anatomy and physiology, alignment and technique, as well as the essentials of yoga breathing, pranayama and meditation. For more information www.yogathailand.com

Yoga & Healthy Weight Retreat with Andrea

April 2013

For more information www.yogathailand.com

The Female Body & Yoga 15-29 June Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Our hormones produce significant biomechanical, physiological and psychological differences between the sexes. With a focus on applied anatomy and physiology, this course is designed for both men and women, practitioners and teachers looking to understand what these differences mean for women with an Ashtanga Vinyasa practice. Led by Elonne Stockton and Arielle Nash. For more information www.yogathailand.com

Pranayama Detail & Practice (Part One) with Paul Dallaghan 30 June-13 July Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui This course is inspired and blessed by Tiwariji, Paul’s direct teacher and one of the few living knowledgeable authorities on Pranayama and its place in the field of yoga today. It is a living tradition. This course will cover a synthesis of practice, techniques, physiology and philosophy. For more information www.yogathailand.com

Pranayama and The Gita with Sri O. P. Tiwari & Paul Dallaghan 14-27 July Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is an 9


Tantra 1

pose, but also to elevate your practice to a state of meditation in action that brings light of awareness into the previously dark and unconscious part of your body and mind.

22-26 April Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Explore your sexuality from a Tantric perspective. For more information www.agamayoga.com / info@agamayoga.com / (66)892 330 217.

For more information www.withinspace.com

Tantra 2

The esteemed O.P. Tiwari will be teaching with Paul Dallaghan at Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui

exceptional writing and is full of wisdom for anyone in life. It is also a foremost teaching in Yoga. Quite different to the Yoga Sutras it delivers the different teachings of yoga in the form of a great dialogue. Tiwariji encourages an open question format in the afternoon discussion sessions as “Yoga” is learnt through what is coming up in the practitioner’s mind. The text is then supplementary and not merely a scholastic approach but one full of wisdom and direct experience. This course can be an intensive internalizing period. The primary focus will be Pranayama practice with in-depth pulse reading of each student, varying as necessary. Mantra recitation and seated meditative techniques will be practiced. For more information www.yogathailand.com

Philosophize & Harmonize 27 July-3 August Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Elonne Stockton focuses on philosophies and traditions of the practice. And since the tradition was originally an oral one, and texts were passed down by chanting them long before anything was properly written down, it will also explore the chanting as a tool to experience the practice and the ideas behind the practice on another level. For more information www.yogathailand.com 10

13-17 May Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Follow-up to their popular Tantra 1 workshop. For more information www.agamayoga.com / info@agamayoga.com / (66)892 330 217.

Nidra Yoga/ Lucid Dreaming 17-21 June Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Exploring amazing possibilities by the power of your mind. For more information www.agamayoga.com / info@agamayoga.com / (66)892 330 217. TAIWAN

Opening Body, Mind and Heart with Basia Going 29 May-1 June SPACE Yoga, Taipei In this unique integrative intensive, not only will you learn to safely condition the body to hold an open space through intelligent backbending and interactive functional anatomy, you’ll also deepen your openness energetically by letting go of emotional baggage and gain insight through philosophical understanding. For more information www.withinspace.com

Essentials & Intricacies of Asana I with Peter Scott 22-23 June SPACE Yoga, Taipei Learn the essential and intricate methods of Iyengar Yoga not only to learn how to practice safely and how the body should feel and be in a

Iyengar teacher Peter Scott will be at various studios around Asia

alignment in Yoga, therefore making postures easier and more refined. For more information www.withinspace.com

Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series with Adarsh Williams 19-21 & 27-28 July SPACE Yoga, Taipei The main focus will be clearly detailing the techniques in alignment, bandha, vinyasa and breath to master more advanced postures including arm balances, deep hip-openings and back bending. This course is perfect for students with a regular practice that may have reached a plateau in their yoga and are looking for the breakthrough to the next level. For more information www.withinspace.com

Focus Forward Fold & Pranayama with Peter Scott 24- 28 June SPACE Yoga, Taipei One of the crucial steps in living an authentic, self-actualized life is developing a personal practice. This course is designed to provide you with the tools to deepen and enrich your practice whether it is developing a home practice alone or making your practice in a group class your own. While the focus of this course is on forward bends, other poses will also be covered.

Adarsh Williams leads various workshops at SPACE Yoga in Taipei

For more information www.withinspace.com

Going Deeper using Active Isolated Stretch with Adarsh Williams 6-7 July & 13-14 July SPACE Yoga, Taipei Explore how modern techniques in isolated muscle stretching and strengthening can help make you better students and teachers of Yoga by providing you with the means to greater strength, flexibility and body awareness. This in turn will give an intuitive sense of

NAMASKAR


KULA

Retreats

Introduction to Wellness Retreat Inner Awakening Vikasa Yoga AUSTRALIA

INDIA

5-7 July Hom Yoga, Sydney A beautiful eco-retreat 45 minutes outside Sydney for a weekend of yoga and yummy food dedicated to you. Stuck in a yoga rut or looking for some fresh inspiration? Explore new postures, exciting transitions and work on refining technique to take your vinyasa practice to the next level. As well as exploring gentler styles such as restorative, yin and yoga nidra and the fundamentals of breathwork and meditation to help deepen your understanding of Yoga as a holistic practice.

8-28 May Bidadi, Bangalore Experience the space of ultimate possibility of amazing leadership and extraordinary enlightenment Awaken your inner potential through power of initiation by a living incarnation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

For more information info@homyoga.com.au / www.homyoga.com.au/ winterwellnessretreat BHUTAN

Sky Heart – A Pure Yoga Retreat with Patrick Creelman 5-12 May Uma by COMO, Paro Be empowered by the majestic beauty of raw nature high in the sky. Be embraced by rich cultural tradition, ceremony and colours, while transforming yourself through deep yogic practices in 5-star luxury. For more information www.pureyoga.com / retreats@pureyoga.com

For more information www.innerawakening.org / nithyanandahongkong@gmail.com / YingYing (852) 93023931 THAILAND

4-11 May Vikasa Yoga, Koh Samui Practice with the founder of Vikasa Yoga – Konstantin Miachin. Vikasa Yoga ���s “Evolution of Yoga” approach is based on integrating deep core work with precise alignment, combining active dynamic exercises from different disciplines with static poses from classic hatha yoga schools, alternating dynamic and static, pressure and deep relaxation. For more information www.theevolutionofyoga.com

Agama Yoga, Koh Foundations of Dharma Phangan 5-12 April Crown Chakra Retreat A 8-Day Silent Meditation retreat that explores Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra. 5-12 May & 2-9 June - Third Eye Retreat - 8-Day Silent Meditation retreat that explores Ajna Chakra, the Third Eye. 30 June - 7 July - Serpent Power Intensive, 8-Day intensive that explores the secrets of Kundalini Shakti, our dormant energy. 28 July - 4 August - Yoga of the Purpose. Everything is possible with the power of our mind. Find your purpose and make it happen. 25-28 August - Awakening the Spirit Retreat. Satsang with Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. For more information www.agamayoga.com / info@agamayoga.com / (66) 892 330 217

June Kailash Akhara A series of week-long immersion retreats in Adi-Yoga, Primal Ayurveda, Meditation and supporting Dharma teachings that can be taken individually, or together for a discounted package. For more information www.dharmainc.org / contact@dharmainc.org

www.evolutionofyoga.com/ weightloss/

Yoga & Meditation 30 June – 7 July, 10 – 17 August, 24 November – 1 December Vikasa Yoga, Koh Samui Two different styles of yoga practice a day. Structured for beginners through advanced students. Meditation allows th e mind to experience an oasis of peace and love within our heart and mind. For more information www.evolutionofyoga.com/ meditationretreat/ UNITED KINGDOM

Ayurveda Retreats with Tri-Dosha 10-14 April - The Fundamentals of Ayurveda 15-19 May - Ayurveda and Nutrition Malvern on the Hills For more information www.tridosha.co.uk / info@tri-dosha.co.uk

Extreme Weight Loss Bootcamp with Monty Crooke 5-15 June Vikasa Yoga, Koh Samui This is an unique chance to train with famous Drill Instructor Monty Crooke in Thailand. Monty will get you from where you are to where you need to be. For more information

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Teacher Trainings

HONG KONG

Radiant Child Yoga - Levels 1&2 3- 5 May The Sanctuary Taught by Jenny Smith, RCYP Facilitator, RCYT, Founder of Gecko Yoga. This training is designed to bring peace, creativity and joy into childrens’ lives through the ancient practice of Yoga. For anyone who is interested in teaching Yoga to children. For more information www.geckoyoga.com

Full Pre-natal & Post-natal Yoga with Jean Bryne & Michelle Papa 28 May – 5 June Pure Yoga – The Peninsula Office Tower Pre-natal and post-natal yoga teaching is one of the most rewarding experiences you may have as a yoga teacher. Pregnant women are very dedicated to their practice, and women often feel physically and emotionally vulnerable during pregnancy and the post-natal period. For more information www.pureyoga.com / teachertraining@pureyoga.com

Yoga for the Special Child 8-14 July (part 1) , 15-21 July (part 2) Sonia Sumar’s yoga is gentle and safe for babies and children with Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism and other developmental disabilities. Taught 12

by Sonia Sumar and Kathy Randolf; Part 1 covers training for children 012 and is open to parents, carers and educators of special needs children, as well as yoga teachers. Part 2 covers training for children over 12 and participants must complete Part 1 and required assignment first. For more information Hersha (852) 6103 9642 / info@hershayoga.com

Yoga For Teens Intensive 4-6 October The Sanctuary Taught by Erin Lila Wilson - E-RYT from San Francisco. A comprehensive certification in Yoga for teens. It offers yoga as a transformative life practice for teens that fosters physical, mental, emotional, and social development through yoga practices and principles. For more information www.geckoyoga.com INDONESIA

Yin Yoga 2-5 May & 6-9 June Yoga Leaf Center, West Java Join Sebastian & Muriel as their share their knowledge and experience with 50 hours of Yin / Yang philosophy, Anatomy, key Yin asana, sequencing, assisting with Yin poses, pranayama, teaching methodology and more. For more information www.withyinyoga.com SINGAPORE

Universal Yoga with Andrey Lappa & Copper

Crow 10-30 June Pure Yoga – Ngee Ann City This programme is designed for practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of the ancient path of yoga, regardless of their background or practice style. Participants will come away with a profound understanding of their personal practice, as well as the skills required to effectively teach a wide array of students through both hatha and vinyasa sub-styles. For more information www.pureyoga.com / events@pure-yoga.com TAIWAN

Rainbow Kids Yoga 26-28 April SPACE Yoga, Taipei A comprehensive, intensive and practical certification course, perfect for anyone who loves working with kids, and yoga. This fun-filled course will provide you with immediate, tangible knowledge and tons of fabulous ideas to create original, captivating and fun yoga experiences for kids of all ages. You do not need to be a yoga teacher to take the course. For more information www.withinspace.com

Living Lab with Basia Going 4-26 May SPACE Yoga, Taipei In this 200-hour training, we will use our body, mind, and other tools to realize and come into the heart of who we really are. While a crosssection of required knowledge such as pranayama, meditation, major yogic texts, philosophy and

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psychology of teaching is covered, our focus will be on making theory real and relevant to our growth. For more information www.withinspace.com THAILAND

Agama Yoga Trainings Koh Phangan 27 May-17 August Learn how to teach Yoga in this very intensive 500-hrs.+ training on a tropical island paradise. 16 September-9 November Therapeutic Yoga TT The first time this training is offered at Agama Yoga. Learn how to apply Therapeutic Yoga for healing purposes. For more information www.agamayoga.com / info@agamayoga.com / (66) 892 330 217

Traditional Hatha & Raja Yoga 5 – 31 May, 9 June – 5 July, 14 July – 9 August Wise Living Yoga Academy, Chiang Mai 200-hour trainings are all inclusive (4 weeks accommodation, 3 vegetarian meals a day, course material and certification). Taught by Daniel Fonseca (E-RYT500) and Jeenal Mehta (Registered member of IAYT) For more information www.teachertraining.wiselivingyoga.com / info@wiselivingyoga.com / (66) 8254 67995


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PHOTO ESSAY

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Yogasala is an Iyengar oasis in the midst of busy Hong Kong. BY KENNETH LEUNG Hong Kong is a fast-paced city where homes are small, streets are crowded and noisy. So when you come across a place which offers a calm respite from all this, it’s easy to want to spend lots of time there. Yogasala in Quarry Bay, is such a place. Since this Iyengar-certified studio opened in 2009, it has become a second-home to many of us students. The teachers Icy (seen opposite at bottom right helping Janet with her shoulder position), Johnny and Bibi share their experience and knowledge generously. The studio is spacious, light and fully equipped with all the props – wall ropes, bridges, bolsters, blocks, straps, blankets – a dedicated Iyengar practitioner could hope for. And though we students come in all shapes, sizes (just look at the variety in shoulder and back flexibility in the photo at the top of the opposite page) and ages (74-year-old Lai King Lai seen opposite being assisted in Gomukhasana), the yoga helps us slow down to find some space and stillness. 14

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YOGA ASANA

THE WHOLE BODY POSE

A fundamental pose which can take years to get comfortable with. BY CHRIS POON

“Downward facing dog is one of the most basic yoga postures,” said the yoga instructor to the class I was taking 18 years ago. But it definitely didn’t feel that way to me: my palms cupped the ground weakly; arms shook constantly; my spine felt like it was buckling; my tight hamstrings were excruciating and; my heels were nowhere near the ground! But 18 years of consistent and earnest practice and the guidance of some knowledgeable and generous teachers, and I can finally start to agree with that teacher’s statement. And in this article I’d like to share a few of the things I’ve learned about this pose. BENEFITS OF THE POSE Most practitioners will know Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) strengthens most major muscles of the body, and stretches the muscles of the back, hips and backs of legs. However it also has powerful benefits for our cardiovascular, respiratory and detoxification systems. As with all inversions, where the heart is higher than the head, deoxygenated blood is flushed down to the lungs with gravity, speeding up detoxification. In addition the heart has to work harder to pump the oxygenated blood against gravity to the hips, where gravity can take it down the legs. Practitioners with high and low blood pressure who may need to avoid full inversions, can usually practice this pose to strengthen their heart. The pose also strengthens our breathing 18

capacity. The body is at about 45 degrees, so lungs, ribs and internal organs are partially inverted, making our body work a bit harder to breathe deeply. During the exhalation, the gravity makes it easier to exhale more completely than when standing up. As the upper body is inverted, the lungs, diaphragm, abdominal organs and the fascia which wraps around the organs are affected by gravity; though about 50 % less than in headstand. This force helps restore elasticity to the tissues of the lungs and the other organs, as well as stimulate the circulation and functioning of the organs. So waste products are taken away quicker and new nutrients are delivered more quickly. ALIGNMENT Downdog is a common pose to many different styles of yoga. Each school emphasises different alignment principles and uses various techniques to achieve this. As my practice is predominantly in Ashtanga vinyasa, I share this school’s principles. We can view alignment from two levels, the first is external alignment, where to place your hands and feet etc, and the second internal alignment, concerning the internal processes of breath and bandhas. External alignment in downdog covers seven fundamental landmarks, namely: 1. palms, fingers, wrists – hands about shoulder-distance apart with fingers spread and palms pressing flat down. Middle finger or index finger pointing forwards depending on shoulder tightness 2. forearms, arms – arms aligned with wrists, with elbow pointing towards the knees. NAMASKAR

Inwardly rotate forearms, while externally rotating upper arms 3. shoulders – working to spread away from the centre line of the body. 4. head, spine – neck extended, but relaxed. Maintain all three spinal curves. 5. pelvis - tilted forwards to retain slight curve of lower back, and to allow the thigh bones to move back into the hip sockets. 6. thighs, knees – thighs slightly rotated inwards. 7. shins, ankles, feet – feet about hip distance apart, slightly turned in. Some practitioners have limited flexibility in their ankle joints and may never get their heels to the ground. Internal alignment concerns conscious breathing together with proper engagement of mula and uddiyana bandha. The goal is to channel prana into ida, pingala and the central sushuma nadi. Practitioners may visualise a flow of prana between the base of the pelvis and top of the skull, though the spinal column. Practitioners come in all shapes and sizes and abilities. Some have tight shoulders, while others have overly flexible spines. There is no one piece of alignment advice that will suit everybody. So when considering if this alignment tip or principle is right for me, a good question to start with is “how can I best align my spine to create balance and ease?” COMMON MISTAKES As a teacher I often see students trying to press their chest towards the ground in downdog. And indeed I was guilty of this when I started practicing under Michel Besnard at Yogasana [now Yoga Mala] in Hong Kong. He was the first teacher to


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After 18 years of practice Chris finally feels comfortable in Downdog

suggest my sternum (chest bone) should not be so close to the ground, which creates a backbend through the whole spine and was painfully compressing my lower back. He taught me to respect the natural curves of my spine and bring my chest up a bit higher.

How can I best align my spine to create balance and ease?

Another common mistake is rolling the weight of the hands to the outer edges. Paul Dallaghan of Samahita Retreat [formerly Yoga Thailand] put me right, advising me to spread my fingers as wide as possible and press down through the whole hand. Since practicing this way, my shoulders are pain-free. CONCLUSION Generally, downdog seems to be an easy and fundamental pose. However it can take many years of consistent practice to understanding fully its benefits and potential. Have faith that if practiced with good alignment, proper breath and energetic integration, it is a powerful pose which can rejuvenate the inner vitality of the body.

Downdog Adjustments for Teachers & Good Friends SACRUM PRESS Stand in front of your student or friend in downdog. Place the heel of your hand on their sacrum (the flat bone just above the tailbone). Press up and back to give the feeling of lengthening the lower back. This adjustment is not so good for people with tight shoulders. THORACIC PRESS / SHOULDER WRAP Stand in front of your student or friend and put each hand on each of their shoulder blades. The heels of your hands should be on the inner edge of their shoulder blade, and your fingers spread over their shoulder (deltoid). On their exhale, press gently on the shoulder blades and use your fingers to rotate their shoulders and upper arms away from the centre line of their body. PELVIC TILT Stand behind your student or friend and hold each side of his/her pelvis, with your fingers to the front, thumbs to the back of the pelvic bowl and inner wrists pressing inwards. Gently pull the whole pelvis back and up, while using your wrists to help tilt the pelvis forwards. As you help create more space in his/her hip sockets, ask your student/friend to inwardly rotate their thigh bones. WRIST PAIN If your student/friend has carpel tunnel (wrist) pain, fold up a small towel to about 1 – 2 inches and put in under the heel of each hand when doing downdog.

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YOGA STYLES

PROGRESSION

The Compass of our Practice BY GAELLE FOULON DAFFNER

Do you remember your first yoga class and the aches of the morning after? How different you are now, on and off the mat? What is progression in yoga and how do we navigate the current of progress without crashing on the cliffs of ego? Marla Apt is a Senior Intermediate Iyengar teacher known for instructing in a very progressive, paced manner, skillfully layering intricacies, enabling amazing physical penetration and the feeling of going within. I had the opportunity to talk to Marla about progression, from an Iyengar perspective, and share it with you here. WHAT IS PROGRESSION IN YOGA? Marla: Mr Iyengar teaches: Yoga is Art and Art has to have progression otherwise it becomes stale. So progression is the life of our practice. There should be progress within an asana, progress in learning the different asana and progress within each sequence. Progressing within an asana is not just sheer flexibility; it has to be penetrative. Props can help to penetrate deeper. For progression in learning, Mr Iyengar laid the path before us by designing syllabi that take us from the most basic standing pose, Tadasana to the most complex pose. As for sequencing, it is the key to progression in our practice as it brings us deeper within, using each asana as a step for the next one. We need to build our sequences to create strong imprints (Samskara) in our body to carry the change through the days. HOW DO WE AVOID BEING EGOISTICAL IN OUR DESIRE TO PROGRESS? Marla: We need to watch our actions carefully and understand how they touch us. We can do the same sequence everyday of the week and yet it will be a different sequence, because the same asana will have a slightly different effect every time we perform it. This is why although we are looking for 22

progression in our practice, we should still approach it as a beginner every time. This does not mean forgetting everything we have learned and worked on previously. It means looking objectively at ourselves and recognizing the differences in level of energy, mood, and physical limitation. Mr Iyengar says the body is dull, tamasic. Every day the level of dullness is different, the place of dullness is different, so it is our mission to recognize and work accordingly. This is based on the founding principal of Iyengar yoga: observing, reflecting and acting upon the fruit of our reflection. We take into account the day-to-day variations and the progression of aging. We need to be sensitive to our changes so we do not practice from blinding ego and let these changes control us, but instead learn to work with them. This echoes Mr Iyengar words in Light on Life Chapter 4 – “We must be careful, however that the idea of progress does not project us into a future that never comes.” Progression is about revealing our true nature. We have to push ourselves to overcome the tamasic nature of the body but not be ego driven. There is a danger in wanting to progress. To avoid this danger we have to stay aware of our daily nature and use Samsakara with our intelligence not our ego. HOW DO WE WORK IN A PROGRESSIVE MANNER AND TAKE CARE OF OUR DAILY NATURE? Marla: We have to make it into a process. First decide what we want to achieve. Then look at what stands between us and our objective. Then design a practice plan, which over time, pushes us to overcome the obstacle(s). That creates an intelligent practice instead of an ego-driven one. In this process, we learn a lot about ourselves but also, for teachers, about how to lead our students’ progression. You have to be clear. It is a path. From the very first class, I teach with an idea of what they will have to know years from NAMASKAR

Marla Apt will be teaching again at Evolution, Asia Yoga Conference in Hong Kong, 6 - 9 June.

now. From the very standing poses I create a path for progression. You teach the syllabus you are certified for, but you practice several syllabi ahead so you start understanding the relationship between the asanas, what skills are needed and where they can be learned in the syllabi.

Marla’s Practical Progression Tips • Think about your goals in yoga and from these goals, design a several years long plan • Observe how you work with challenges and limitations • Let your goals evolve • Use your progresses as benchmarks. You have to have tapas but mindless effort will not make you progress. Only by enrolling intelligence will you progress so you need action and reflection • Get support from your teacher when you encounter obstacles. Enroll your teacher’s vision and knowledge to help remove obstacles instead of asking them to give you the full plan.


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YOGA STYLES

THE SEEDS OF POTENTIAL

Yoga helps us put aside our fears BY VALERIE FANECO

young we want the best for them. The problem is often what we perceive as being the best for them does not actually reflect their real temperament, personality or constitution. To complicate matters even further, there can be conflicts between individuals or within one’s self.

When my seven-year-old daughter told me she wanted to take Manga drawing lessons, my blood froze in my veins. The idea of Japanese Mangas conjured visions of pale teenagers clad in baggy clothes and hunched in a corner reading violent comic strips. My daughter loves drawing and has a passion for all things Japanese, so she simply put the two together and decided Manga was going to be her thing. I gave in, took her for a trial class, then signed her up. That was more than three years ago, she still loves drawing Mangas and she is very good at it. Whether or not her passion is sustained, she has had an opportunity to explore her potential in a field of her own choice! When we ask ourselves whether we have truly explored our potential, most of us observe that unfortunately we have not. As such, we have “invited death into our life at a young age”, to quote Kausthub Desikachar, the grandson of Krishnamacharya. We are all born with certain seeds of potential that we may not know of. In yoga, these potentials are called svabhava, meaning what is inherent to our nature, what we are born with. But obstacles in life mean often potential fails to develop. Dreams are crushed or talent goes unnoticed. If it is noticed it may not be nurtured. We could wonder how this happens, because when our children are

A wonderful aspect of the classical yoga tradition is the strong relationship with a teacher and mentor. A yoga teacher in the truest sense is one who helps the student on the journey to fulfill his or her potential, not to live someone else’s life or play someone else’s role. A good yoga teacher gives us the tools we need at a point in time so we may advance on a path to discover our Self; a path evolving from our own practice rather than leading to a goal set by the teacher. In ancient times having such a mentor would help a student to understand him or herself better, to make the right decisions in education, work and personal life. We are limited by boundaries and identifications, many of which are self-imposed. I am my children’s mother, my husband’s wife, a teacher for my students, and a student when I am with my teacher. Roles put us in boxes; they showcase aspects of our self, but not the Self as a whole. There are many life situations in which we try to be someone else: when we follow a teacher in the practice of the “perfect” form in a yoga posture, are we not trying to imitate someone else? The asana is put in a box and we try to squeeze ourselves into that box. What is true for asana is also true for our behaviour, habits and experiences in society. Most of the time we are responsible for erecting our own barriers which prevent our consciousness from expanding, and our true potential from being explored.

While the practice may work well, its effects are not always pleasant; growing can be painful! But if it does its job, then there should be a time when the practice is no longer needed. A classical definition of yoga says: apraptasya praptih yogah, “to go where we have not been before”: the realization of one’s potential during one’s lifetime. One of the reasons why most of us fail to reach our potential is fear. Fear takes many forms. There is the fear of oneself, fear of the unknown, fear of other people’s opinions, etc. Sadly, the list is long! The fear of what you might think of this article could have stopped me from writing it. My daughter’s fear of failure in a drawing competition could stop her. But we must not be too quick in dismissing fear. It is not wholly bad. If it were not for the fear of death, how could our ancestors have survived in the prehistoric jungles and savannahs? According to Patañjali a deeply ingrained fear is a common denominator in all human beings, an inborn survival mechanism, even for the most accomplished yogin-s. It is a part of our nature (svabhava). The problem is when fear becomes overblown and influences the way we act and respond to experiences. We can effectively become paralyzed, stopped in our tracks when we are prisoners of our own fears. Yet the awareness of fear is the first step towards being released from it. Once the awareness is there, the work of yoga can be done. Few things are more exhilarating than the feeling of being set free.

People who start yoga often ask themselves: “What is the right practice for me?” A yoga student may practice for years and go around in circles, hopping from style to style.

A path of yoga is always challenging. It makes us look at ourselves straight in the eyes; it makes us dig through our baggage of fear, identifications and self-imposed boundaries to reach our core, to unearth the jewels of our potential so that we may fulfill it. It is never too late to try, but it can be difficult and painful at times. It takes courage and humility, amongst other qualities.

The right practice is simply the one that helps the student to reach his or her potential.

Most people’s potential lies dormant. Yoga helps it to come to life.

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YOGA STYLES

MANTRA INITIATION

A personal mantra can help you through all the challenges life throws your way. BY HERSHA CHELLARAM

Initiation is a ceremony where a spiritual teacher gives the student a specific mantra to use for Japa meditation. A mantra is a cosmic sound vibration. This vibration hums, creating sounds like OM, Amen, or Ameen. A mantra allows the mind to tune into a higher wavelength, creating a connection with the Guru’s spiritual energy - something like a weak battery receiving current from a fully charged battery, in order to run again. The student makes a commitment to repeat the mantra, which allows the energy to set in physically and mentally, deepening the nature of one’s spiritual practice and taking it to the next level. I received a mantra from my Yoga Master, Sri Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev), when I was eight years old. He personally gave me, along with my parents and sisters, a particular mantra. His only instruction was to chant it as often as possible inside my head. Needless to say, as a child, I took those words of wisdom lightly. I had absolutely no idea what just happened. A year and a half later, my nanny, who arrived into my life when I was just ten days old, passed away with stomach cancer. I felt like I had lost a mother. Out of nowhere, the mantra entered my head. When I felt completely beside myself with emotion, I would hide under the blankets or in a closet and say the mantra to myself. It was the only thing I could do to escape the overwhelming grief I was feeling. Still no idea why I was using it or what the benefit of it was. All I knew was that my Gurudev gave it to me, so it must have had some value. Fast forward to age 22: I was at Yogaville, a young adult living a fast-paced corporate life in New York. I went on one of my regular trips to Sri Gurudev’s ashram, Yogaville in Virgina, USA. I went for a walk with one of my mentors, Swami Dayananda, around the tranquil setting of the Blue Ridge mountains and the Saint James river. During our walk, Swami Dayananda asked me if I ever received mantra initiation. I had absolutely no idea what that was and told her so. We spent the 26

entire walk trying to figure out if I had been initiated. I wasn’t even sure what the meaning of it was, but all of the sudden, I wanted it. I desperately wanted to be initiated by my beloved Sri Gurudev. So as luck would have it, I had the opportunity to see Sri Gurudev that evening. He was sitting in a large arm chair as I walked in, not quite sure what I was asking for. He asked me why I wanted to see him. I awkwardly murmured that I wanted to be initiated. He scowled and said, “Didn’t I already give you a mantra? What’s wrong with that mantra? Why do you want another one?” I panicked, “Actually, I don’t want another mantra. I’ve been using the one you gave me all this time. I love my mantra, I don’t need another one.” “So then why are you here?” Now I felt like a complete idiot for wasting Sri Gurudev’s time. “Um…Okay, actually I have no idea about initiation or whether I’ve been initiated. All I know is that I want it.” “Why do you want it?” “I can’t explain it. I just really want it. I want full confirmation that I am yours.” He was silent, then smiled his empowering, radiant smile and said, “Okay, if that’s what you want.” Then came the most beautiful experience of my life. I was initiated. I cannot begin to explain its wonder with words. It wasn’t a ceremony (like it often is with many yoga traditions). I didn’t prepare, nor did I fast, nor did I bring anything to offer. I just received it. I consider myself extremely blessed and I’ve never looked back.

Hersha’s beloved Swami Satchidananda

a mantra, stick to it. There is no need to collect mantras from different traditions, as it will not serve you. Your mantra is all you need to tap into your inner Guru. The mantra is your tool to steady your mind with the Guru’s guidance and energy. Initiation is a very subtle but effective spiritual technique, which is why it is only for those who are serious on the path and very interested to know the benefit of it. My beloved Gurudev used to say, “There’s no value in digging shallow wells in a hundred places. Decide on one place and dig deep. Even if you encounter a rock, use dynamite and keep going down. If you leave that to dig another well, all the effort is wasted and there is no proof you won’t hit rock again.”

The goal of all traditional yoga lineages is the same; to know the Universal Spirit. This Universal Spirit has various names and forms. A lineage will always guide you to rise above the limitations of the body and mind and realize the Self.

My mantra has been my dynamite. It has helped me through the most challenging and most beautiful moments of my life. It reminds me to keep my heart wide open even though it’s completely frightening to do so.

Receiving initiation from a lineage means that you have accepted that spiritual guide as your Guru. You become committed to the teachings of your lineage. If you already have

It gives me strength when I feel I have none. When I am filled with doubt, it reminds me to keep the faith. I have dug deep and reached the water that quenches my spiritual thirst. For that, I am forever grateful.

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TEACHER FEATURE

JULIA MCCABE

All styles take us to the same place. DO YOU PRACTICE SEVERAL STYLES OF YOGA, OR STICK TO ONE? I study many different styles. My passion and longevity as both a teacher and student commands of me that I keep learning, the bigger the palette - the better, is my theory. Ultimately, I believe all styles of yoga will take us to the same place: feeling free in our bodies and minds. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MAJOR CHALLENGE(S) TO THIS? At dinner parties for example, when someone asks me “What style of yoga do you teach/ practice?” I’ve had to learn how to articulate that how/what I teach is an infusion of all that I have learned from many different schools over the years. The nature/mood of the class, the students, their bodies, the weather, the time of year - there are so many variables to assess as a teacher, instantaneously and on

the spot- which is why I like to draw on tools from different schools to adapt. Not just one school of thought. This might be challenging for people whose brains needs a quick, categorical answer. Categories are limiting and boring to me. WHAT DO YOU ADVISE STUDENTS ON THIS SUBJECT? For new students, it might be to their advantage to begin with one style of yoga that they really love that has a set sequence. For example, Bikrams or Ashtanga. Confidence building is key. For some newcomers to yoga, set sequences might give them a chance to practice the same postures day after day to build confidence. Otherwise, I would advise for life long practitioners, that branching out and being a voracious learner keeps life interesting. Practicing the same thing every day can numb the spirit - and be too safe. HOW CAN STUDENTS AVOID GETTING CONFUSED BY DIFFERENT TEACHINGS? It can be very confusing as a student looking at any studio’s given class schedule. I would advise asking the studio directors or teachers themselves - catch them after class or in the lobby, to describe what they teach. Otherwise, I would advise taking a week and touring all of the different “styles’ of studios and classes in their community and experiencing it for themselves Make an adventure of it, rather than Googling “Jivamukti” or “Kundalini” - go and take a beginner class and have fun with it.

A yoga teacher and writer, Julia is based in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. She will be leading a Level One 200-hr Yoga Alliance TT, 20 May 20 - 9 June in Spain (www.spainyogaretreats.com), a Passion Project Workshop, 21 - 23 June 21 -23 in London, England (www.breezeyoga.co.uk), and a Level Two, 300-hr Yoga Alliance TT 15 October - 12 November 12 in Nicaragua (www.loscardones.com). www.juliamccabe.com / juliamariemccabe@gmail.com

KIDS YOGA

WHAT IS YOGA

And why it is good BY SHREYA PANDEY

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DRISTI - ONE PRACTICE OR SEVERAL

ONE PATH OR MANY? We get to water by digging deep in one place and not by shoveling a bunch of ditches. BY YOGESVARA BOYLE

ONE PRACTICE, MANY FORMS Finding space and comfort for two complementary practices............p33 30

BENEFITS OF DIVING DEEPLY INTO ONE PATH Nuturing a single path bears more fruit..................................................p34

ONE OR SEVERAL TEACHERS Finding the right teacher for the right time of your life....................p36

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WHAT DO TEACHERS DO? Four teachers share their thoughts on this dristi....................................p37


A tree grows underground in the MTR , Wai-Ling Tse by Adrian Au

Cassandra Kish in Urdhva Dhanurasana

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If we begin to mix methods born from different views, which naturally have different fruits, then we end up with indigestion.

I am definitely in the camp of one path, versus many. We get to water by digging deep in one place and not by shoveling a bunch of ditches. Eclecticism is nice, and it makes things interesting… but often times “interesting” is a distraction that keeps us from going through what is needed to experience mastery. My teacher’s guru, Paramahamsa Satyananda Sarasvati, said it best, “Only when we become completely bored with a practice and we continue to do it anyway can we really call ourselves a yogin.” However, there is an element to mixing traditions that is far more problematic than the distraction factor. We need to understand the relationship between view, method and fruit. The underlying philosophical basis of any tradition is its view. View informs the methods, the practices performed in that tradition. The methods produce the results (fruit). If we begin to mix methods born from different views, which naturally have different fruits, then we end up with indigestion. One common idea in the modern yoga scene is that we can read into a text or a tradition in whatever way we want to in order to fit it to our ideals and desires (our view). This way of mixing views and methods doesn’t bear good fruit. The methods of most ancient traditions are very good at accomplishing what they intend to accomplish (their view). Just because we have access to texts and traditions within the framework of our current, different view does not change the fruits of the methods because they are intrinsically one with their original view. For example, many people like to read Patanjali as if it were a life-embracing text of non-duality. Modern spiritual aspirants who are interested in lives of enjoyment think (mistakenly) that Patanjali is the father of authentic yoga. Therefore, they think that 32

they must bend his clearly dualistic and transcendental practices to fit their desires for a life that is both spiritual and imminent replete with nice food, entertainment, art, culture, sex, etc. The aim (view) of Patanjali’s yoga (and therefore all the forms of practice that stem from it) is transcendence. The practices are intended to enable the soul to escape the prison of the flesh and the kingdom of matter because the body, its desires, life, matter, etc. are all considered innately problematic – not in a way that can be transformed, but in a way that must be escaped, or “transcended.” With this view, the methods are well suited to dry up the body and its desires, and to eventually shed the body, allowing the soul to roam free from the shackles of earth and life. Transcendental methods actually work, so if we don’t agree with the view that gave rise to them we shouldn’t practice these methods. Doing so is one common way people practicing the “many paths” idea wind up without the fruit of practice they really desire - or worse yet physically and/or mentally ill. People who follow dualistic, transcendental practices born from transcendental views, while holding a life-embracing view and desiring a life-enhancing fruit are divided within themselves. This is dangerous. A serious problem arises, termed “spiritual schizophrenia” by Paramahamsa Satyananda, when we perform methods that are not compatible with view. When we unwittingly practice methods born from views we don’t share (even if we don’t know it) we can really pull ourselves apart with shame and guilt, not to mention frustration because the practices won’t really work. In Sauhu Therapy, a system of psychospiritual work derived from classical non-dual NAMASKAR

Tantra, we see far too many cases of spiritual schizophrenia due to the modern habit of eclectic spiritual practice. Troublesome symptoms often arise in sincere practitioners who don’t know the origins of the austerities, dietary restrictions, asana, bandha, kriya and meditation practices they perform and don’t realize these methods have an aim that is completely antithetical to the fruit they actually desire. There are many paths that are complete in their own view, method and fruit. We are far less likely to attain the fruits of a practice when we mix views and methods from different traditions, especially when those views stand in opposition. Complete paths are complete. They need not be mixed. More is not better. We should carefully consider the original context of the view that gave rise to any methods we practice. We should then ask ourselves, is this what I want? There are many paths and many fruits, enough so that we can all find what we really want. But, the idea of eclectic spiritual practice is at best less affective than digging deep in one path and at worse quite dangerous physically, mentally and emotionally.


DRISTI

ONE PRACTICE, MANY FORMS

Now I allow space for both practices in my life. BY KIM ROBERTS

I had the good fortune many years ago to attend my first yoga class with Richard Freeman. One week later, I entered graduate school at a Buddhist university, where part of our curriculum was to maintain a daily meditation practice. Many people—and many teachers—say you should focus on only one practice. And believe me: for years, I tried. I could never choose. I tried to give up Dharma. I became obsessed with yoga, compromised jobs and my social life to make time for daily practice. I went to Mysore and practiced intensively for a year; I studied yoga philosophy and led my life like a yogini. This allowed me to build a strong foundation, and had huge and beneficial impact on my life. But then at a certain point, while I was busy teaching and running a yoga studio, I hit a plateau. Something was missing; I needed a vaster view. I needed a perspective or a

Wai-Ling Tse by Adrian Au

context in which to place the yoga practices. As I got older and faced new challenges, I needed to know how the yoga practice fit into the larger context of my life. I veered away from yoga for a while. I went to Bodhgaya and Kathmandu, studied and practiced with Dharma teachers. Prostrated under the Bodhi tree and counted mantras on my yak bone mala. I studied obscure Tibetan texts on the nature of mind describing how bodhicitta is the seed of enlightenment. This stuff is the water of life for me—integral for my wellbeing. And yet, I notice that without a connection to the physical body, any meditative exercise risks becoming purely intellectual. So, what is my solution? Now I allow space for both practices in my life. Once I accepted that both lineages were here to stay, it has become simple to see how they fit together, how the practices complement each other. KEEP THE PRACTICE PURE That said, it has always felt important to me to keep each practice pure—not to mix them or April 2013

blend them like coffee roasts. Focusing on one practice at a time is good for developing the skills. It’s like learning to play music or be an artist—you have to learn the basics, the building blocks before you can begin to improvise with any insight. At least at the beginning, when you are learning a new practice, it is very important to stick to the traditional instructions—and to consult with a master to be sure you understand the instructions. Later, when you have some experience, you can improvise a bit. But like any good artist, technique is required before you have the skill to play your heart out. There are many different approaches to working with the mind. Yoga practice emphasizes steadying the breath by aligning the body—which will take you to awareness— and meditation practice emphasizes training awareness directly. Each practice can inform the other. In the end, however, the goal is not to perfect the form; the goal, if there is one, is to tune in to awareness that will lead you to wisdom, which is accessed through compassion. But you need the form as a sort of interim goal, a ruse to trick the mind into paying attention. The practice is just a tool. 33


You can spend your life crafting the perfect sword, but unless you put that sword to good use, it is not very helpful. Too often, I see people who have a lot of practice under their belts, and who can’t seem to get along with others or who become rigid in their approach. It makes me wonder why they continue to practice. If practice is serving only to turn you into an arrogant expert, or an obedient slave, dogmatically repeating the prescribed formula, then perhaps another approach is necessary. As Milarepa, Tibet’s great yogi observed, “The best signs of success [in practice] are a decrease in self-centeredness and the easing of mental afflictions.” BODY, SPEECH, AND MIND What seems important to me is to have a balanced approach to practice. Yoga asana is a wonderful practice to keep the body fit, and this is important to set the stage. It’s helpful to have a breath-based practice to help tame the mind, like pranayama or chanting. Meditation practice is necessary to tame the mind, but because it is difficult for some to immediately connect with meditation, following the breath is a wonderful and convenient way to begin. In order to keep perspective and intention pure, study is useful, either by reading sutras or meeting with a teacher. With these bases covered, chances are a balanced practice will evolve. A NOTE ON FUNDAMENTALISM Once you fixate on a point of view, you’ve backed yourself into a corner and have then obliged yourself to defend your point of view. It’s important to keep questioning your relationship to practice, not the practice itself. You can make anything dogmatic, even attempts to go beyond dogmatism. More important than the practice itself is the intention behind the practice. According to Shakyamuni Buddha, there are 84,000 paths to enlightenment. Different practices are appropriate for different people, and phases of life. If you need several practices to remind yourself to be aware throughout the span of your day—and your life—then use whatever helps you to tap into your innate source of wisdom. While negotiating the spiritual path, what’s made most sense to me is to let go of the cultural trappings that clothe these practices from the East. I see rather two wisdom traditions applicable to the modern era, with all its unique challenges. Rather than following a practice or tradition religiously, I try to rely on body, breath and awareness to return to the truth of the present moment— which is the only reality we can rely on. If you lose this freshness and attempt to rely on a trail someone else has broken, you might get lost. While it’s useful to develop relationships with and follow the examples of wise masters, ultimately, we all have to find our own way. 34

DRISTI

BENEFITS OF DIVING DEEPLY INTO ONE PATH

Pursuing one path with diligence is more likely to yield fruit. BY LORI DOYLE

In considering the question of whether to follow one practice or several, we may first need to clarify our personal goals with regard to yoga and spiritual practice. Why do we do what we do? Are we yogis because we wish to bring inner calmness to otherwise hectic or chaotic lives, because we wish to heal our livers or traumatic emotional wounds, or because we want to reach the supreme goal of spiritual life – enlightenment? Each individual’s response reveals the seed of his or her own motivations. For those whose primary intentions are specific or limited and related to health or lifestyle, it may be helpful to absorb and apply practices from various yoga styles or other spiritual traditions that have immediacy and relevance. Someone with Attention Deficit Disorder may be helped both by the yogic practices of trataka or Shambhavi Mudra as well as by Buddhist Vipassana meditation. One who recognizes her own need to open and unblock her heart might combine Bhakti Yoga with Anusara and also Tantra. Someone who mainly wishes to reduce the stress he experiences may focus on Nidra Yoga and deep relaxation, conscious breathwork, and TM meditation practices. However, if one hopes for great spiritual benefits – higher consciousness and realization – above all else, pursuing one path with diligence is more likely to yield fruit. There is no denying that we live in a world enriched by its myriad spiritual practices and paths, religions, and esoteric philosophies. We can acknowledge that beyond mere tradition, which attracts many to their spiritual callings, people are drawn by resonance to the various paths available today. What touches one deeply in the heart misses another, who must be highly engaged at the mental level. It’s also the case that even a committed yogi can learn a great deal from NAMASKAR

other traditions which deepen aspects of his own practice. For example, attending a Vipassana meditation retreat can bring a new level of insight or awareness to daily life or even to one’s asana practice. Participating in bhajans at a South Indian ashram can impart a devotional attitude of bhakti to our entire worldview. A visit to Jerusalem can bring us into attunement with the profound wisdom of the teachings of Jesus, the traditions of Judaism, or the truth of Islam…. However, in this way, we are only informing aspects of our practice. Agama Yoga, where I teach, is a school offering various practices of authentic integral yoga (Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga, etc.). We also synthesize this with other generally Tantric practices carefully introduced to supplement one’s knowledge in specialized areas. For example, we teach an introduction to the Bardo Thodol rites surrounding death from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to inform our ability to approach death spiritually and our ability to help others through this immensely important transition. We teach the prayer of the heart of the Christian mystics to help ourselves deepen our surrender into the realm of anahata, the heart chakra, and our communion with God. But we do this within the larger vision of plunging ourselves into yoga with fervor and diligence. By and large, we teach our students it is better to pursue one style of yoga, or one set of practices, to its depths, in order to discover its real potency and benefits. The great Dr. Swami Sivananda advised his disciples that perseverance was one of the most important qualities in a yogi. Similarly, Ramakrishna, the renowned Indian saint of the late 19th century, famously said: it is better to dig one well successfully than to dig 12 shallow holes…. What he implied by this is that we are better off diving into a practice fully – and sticking with it until we know it in our being – than in tasting it superficially and moving from practice to practice. Ramakrishna was perhaps the most authorized person to speak on this subject. In the course of his life, during which he burned with intense spiritual fervor, fanatically crazy for spirituality, he not only pursued the practices of all religions, he managed to reach the same place – samadhi, or spiritual oneness and ecstasy – through all of them. He said: “God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by [using] a bamboo pole.” At one time in the spiritual history of our planet, it was the norm to spend at least 12 years with a guru, situated in a deep sadhana until one surpassed the limitations of the ego and reached a level of spiritual transcen-


Why walk, when you can fly. Wai-Ling Tse by Adrian Au

dence. Today in our age of instant everything, we are more restless than ever, and maybe without the patience to stick with a practice until we realize its results. It has become more and more common to make a “soup” of one’s various spiritual practices, reflecting our increasing connectedness as people, our synthesizing nature, our broadening minds, horizons, and spiritual understanding. However, perhaps simultaneously, on a planetary level, we see fewer spiritual giants reaching the elevated consciousness or even peaks of practice achieved through immersion, diligence, and commitment. Yoga is sometimes called the great science experiment in which you are not only the scientist but also the subject. We have sutras born of millennia spelling out recipes for cosmic oneness, methods for dissolution of the self into the Absolute. Yoga even tells us exactly how long we need to relax into an asana to reach samadhi. (Three hours and 48 minutes!) We have been given a jeweled platter of secrets and there is only need for practice, practice, practice to realize their truths in our lives. As Ramakrishna said, any path can take you there. But first we need to actually follow the path, with one-pointed dedication, bent on discovering its depths for ourselves.

The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by [using] a bamboo pole

April 2013

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DRISTI

ONE OR SEVERAL TEACHERS?

A guide who knows our temperament & development can help. BY PAUL DALLAGHAN The confusion perhaps lies in the thought that there are several practices. This division may suit analytical purposes but it can only lead to a distraction in terms of genuine practice. The challenge is there are many elements to practice and several approaches that fit different individuals, and even the same individual at different points in time. One of my favorite teachings on this comes from a 16th century French mystic, Brother Lawrence: he claims he sees no difference when he is at prayer or when he is working in the kitchen, as his mind is always engrossed in the “practice of the presence of God”. You can change the word God to a mindful and aware state, or one of pure love, if that suits your disposition, but the point is that eventually it becomes part of your life and you cannot segment it or separate it. You, your character, what you say, do and think, when and how you practice, how you treat other people, are all part of one approach, one practice, living it. To further quote the good Brother above, he informs us it is a process and the inner tides take time to shift: “as difficult as it is in the beginning as easy as it is later”. The effort to shift from “difficult beginning” to “easy later” is the difference of starting a practice (or several practices), to knowing your practice, being in it, both when sitting as well as throughout the day. In one sense practice leads to a development of higher inner qualities that should eventually be spontaneous and part of your make-up such as genuine kindness, empathy, compassion, and the ability to really share and care. At another point one should be naturally living these qualities as it would be impossible to be anything other than “these”. There are techniques, or individual practice approaches, to focus on each one of these and then there is a practice approach that helps cultivate them in an overall, well-rounded way. One may start practice with varying degrees of these 36

qualities based on our karmic and inherited character, yet the start of practice will undoubtedly involve the learning of several techniques that ultimately unite and form a body of holistic personalized practice. It is not so much a question of several practices as it is of loyalty, commitment and sincerity. It is quite natural to be seduced by many approaches early on, just as one is in romantic endeavors when single. At a certain point there is a maturing and a connection. For that to go anywhere it requires these three qualities, both in practice and in a relationship. In my own experience, practice is actually a relationship with yourself. To keep integrity and for it to develop in the right direction such sincerity is needed. It is very easy to spend years focused on one practice method or recreationally sampling many and achieving very little from either approach because it lacked these three qualities. This is not a moral point, rather more of a practical one. Each person is free to follow their own nature and habit, yet without a level of genuine reflection and real connection the socalled one or many practices only yield fanaticism or fickleness. Neither are admirable qualities for a life and are counterproductive to the spiritual path and the practices it is prescribing. The challenge here is no one can tell you that this way or that way is correct. Really one needs a guide who can look at it based on your temperament and current level of development and timing in life. The same is true in romantic affairs. One cannot stand on the pulpit and tell you not to be with many lovers or not. It is really down to where you are at in your life at this moment, single or not, a time for many or a time to eventually follow that commitment with sincerity and loyalty. The challenge before this is being able to find, trust and rely on such a guide, we may even call a teacher, and others run off and even call a guru. Whatever it is, this person should know you well and also be an expert in the path of practice. So, as opposed to one or several practices it is more a question of one or several teachers. My own path has involved 19 years of practice (to date) with no two years being the same. This is due to changes in life and, at a certain point, directions from my teacher. It took me five years of playing with practices before I met my teacher. It took another two-plus years before that relationship became solid as a teacher-student one. Such a main relationship is often called a “diksha guru”. There is really only one who guides you on that inner journey. Yet, prior to or consecutively, there are numerous “shiksha gurus”, meaning a variety of other teachers of different levels who help you along the path.

NAMASKAR

I call my early years playing with practice as I was having fun, exploring, learning, getting to know different methods and approaches, feeling an urge to commit to something and so on. Having said that, these several practices were primarily just varying approaches to asana. I found I made my most profound progress when I committed to a particular approach to asana. But I had to find that. And I did. In so doing I can now say in hindsight that such a commitment made me “ready” for when I did meet my primary teacher, Tiwariji. Tiwariji has directed me fully on the path since yet never taught me asana. He did not need to. I was learning well with Pattabhi Jois and others and so need to interfere with that. However, Tiwariji did fill in the rest of the picture for me in terms of the meditative process. In so doing it involved many practices but all coming from a particular tradition but also being made suitable to me and where I was at. In addition, one needs to understand the purpose of practice. You can treat it as a recreational endeavor or something to help keep you healthy and fit. Then doing a variety of asana approaches really does not matter. If practice involves some cognitive development and heart opening process then what you do, how you do it, how it is learned, and from who, are all of vital importance. Asana can only reach so far in to the bag, so to speak. Eventually a student, or aspirant, needs to be taught more and practice more. At this stage one has to be even more careful in accepting practices and from whom. It is fully realistic to pursue some or one asana approach, have a guide for the meditative process, which in yogic terms has pranayama as its central vehicle coupled with further mantra and sitting techniques, and at the same time visit Buddhist, or even Christian, monasteries, for solitude and contemplation. This has been my own path. Yet I always knew my own practice. I have even brought Tiwariji with me to my favorite Thai monastery. While there we could embrace the place but knew what we would practice in our own time. So above all strive to be kind and compassionate and mature your practice along lines of loyalty, commitment and sincerity. This is love.


DRISTI

DO YOU FOLLOW ONE PRACTICE OR MORE?

We asked four teachers this question, here’s what they had to say.

LAURA SHORE, GREEN FROG YOGA, HONG KONG I practice several different styles because… I love them all! I love my Ashtanga practice because it allows me to focus on breath and mind whilst moving through the familiar asana. I love the ongoing challenge of the Ashtanga Primary series. I love the feeling of restoration and relaxation that I gain from Yin practice. Sometimes 5 breaths in an asana is not enough for me. Yin allows me to stay for longer. If I don’t have enough time for the full Ashtanga Primary series or a longer restorative Yin practice I enjoy a 30-60 minute self practice of hatha yoga and meditation. For fun and challenging arm balances I occasionally attend a loud-music, sweaty Vinyasa / Power class. www.facebook.com/ greenfrogyoga

CHRIS POON, PURE YOGA, HONG KONG I personally prefer to pursue several practices. Besides practices Ashtanga vinyasa, I also value the benefits of traditional Hatha yoga, Hot yoga, Yin yoga, yoga therapy as well as Pilates. Different forms of yoga practices, enlarge your perspective on ways to open the physical body and encourages mental diversity towards different ways and approaches. Especially as a yoga teacher, having a broad perspective on the diversity of approaches, enables you to help and guide different students with different physical conditions and needs. Pursuing a great diversity of practice can develop or cultivate one to be open minded and be able to look at things at different levels and factors in life. chris.poon@pureinternational.com

JANET LAU, THE YOGA ROOM, HONG KONG Power vinyasa has been my main practice for the last 11 years. I like this style for its adaptability and flexibility in taking care of the body’s needs. After practicing power vinyasa for over 6-7 years, I noticed I needed to cultivate a sense of softness and serenity in my personal practice, so I adopted Yin yoga. Yin yoga has helped me open my physical body and become present to mind, it allows me to learn to listen to the subtle messages that my body has for me. In the recent years, meditation has been the most important form of practice out of all three. It seems to be a bridge between my yoga practice and my life, also it gels all of my practices together beautifully. I gained much more understanding about myself and have much more compassion and understanding of others. The interesting thing I noticed about meditation practice is the more I learn to be still, the more my asana practice becomes much more stable and clear, and my life also becomes fuller and colorful.

INNA COSTANTINI , YOGA TEACHER, LONDON I am committed to a single practice because it works for me. But I also know it may not be the case for everyone. Focus, dedication and commitment are key in any areas of life - from work and relationships to a yoga practice. There is no certainty in life, so questioning is important, but when we lose ourselves into the endless inner debate (ie. Am I doing this right? Is this the right path for me? Should I be doing more Yin rather than another dynamic practice?) the focus gets lost. If you go to a dozen Ashtanga classes and get bored, then switch to Bikram, then Vinyasa Flow and drift back to another style, you are only feeding the monkey mind. We all need to try things out, in all aspects of our lives but at some point we need to pause and commit to one thing. Dedication, perseverance and consistency should be a priority. Staying open, curious and attentive should be another. innacostantini@hotmail.com

www.janet-lau.com April 2013

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Spirituality is a science of experience. It is also beyond the five senses, mind and the intellect. A seeker, who is truly seeking the answers to various questions like, Who am I? Where have I come from? Where will I go? etc. can be answered only by a Guru, Who is Himself an enlightened Soul, and He has experienced the Absolute Truth due to His Guru’s grace. So, when this is the situation, it is naturally difficult for a seeker to decide what path he should choose. In spirituality, there are some basic principles: 1. There are as many paths to God as people 2. Going from many to one 3. Progressing from gross (tangible) to subtle (intangible) 4. Undertaking spiritual practice as per the spiritual level or spiritual capacity 5. Doing spiritual practice relevant to the times 6. Offering your talent or capacity to God Let us understand how the basic principle ‘many to one’ applies in Spirituality. In our worldly life, there are many girls and many boys; but ultimately, we settle down with only one girl or boy. When we go to eat in restaurants, there are many dishes available in the Menu; but we order only a few; because practically we cannot eat all dishes. When we go to buy a car, we can buy only one car. When we are looking for a house to rent or buy, we choose one and rent it or buy it. Like this, there are many examples in our daily life, which confirms that ultimately, we move from ‘many to one’. There is a common misconception that we decide who will be our Guru. Let us under-

stand this with some examples. In our worldly life, we do not know many aspects like banking, retailing, running a business, etc. When we have to apply for a loan, we go the bank and seek their advice; and accordingly we decide whether to apply for loan or not. Similarly, we seek advice from mechanic, technicians, lawyers, accountants, etc. Here, the common factor is ‘we do not have enough knowledge, so we seek their advice. We leave it to the experts in that respective field to decide what will be best for us.’ In the same way, we do not know anything about Spirituality, as mentioned before, it is a science beyond the five senses, mind and the intellect. So, we do not have the ability to understand what is needed for us. In such a situation, how can we decide ‘Who is my Guru?’ But, the Guru is the one who knows who is his disciple, hence, he is the one who comes in our life once we reach a stage of becoming a disciple.

SPIRITUAL SCIENCE RESEARCH

FROM MANY TO ONE Often in life, we are faced with many options, but must make one choice. BY ANU PURSRAM

To become a disciple, one has to first become a seeker. To become a seeker, one has to first study spirituality and start doing correct spiritual practice. So, unlike our worldly life, instead of deciding on our own what spiritual practice I should do, it is always safe to do spiritual practice according to the basic principles of spirituality. Following the basic principles is similar to following a GPS system; one is guaranteed to reach their destination, that is, progress spiritually. If one does spiritual practice as per own intellect, there is a danger of choosing an incorrect path, ultimately, losing the opportunity to utilise this birth for spiritual progress.

QUOTES FROM THE INTERNET

TO MIX OR NOT TO MIX RICHARD FREEMAN ON MIXING OTHER STYLES WITH ASHTANGA PRACTICE It’s important to have one root style in which the practice allows you to face the raw experience of reality. Skipping from one style to another just when the practice begins to bring up difficulties (physical, mental, or emotional) is a way of avoiding yoga and indulging the habitual ego structure. However, some complimentary approaches to yoga can, and should be brought in to improve one’s alignment and meditative sharpness. Any approach to yoga uses impermanent sets of techniques to reveal the true nature of our mind. We shouldn’t miss out on yoga by mistakenly idolizing the superficial parts of a system of practice, nor should miss out by skimming the surface—jumping from one form to another without ever being rooted.

ELISSA JORDAN, THE BRITISH SCHOOL OF YOGA & THE SIVANANDA VEDANTA ASHRAM When I was recently in India a teacher commented to me that yoga is not just a practice it is a discipline. Yoga, as she sees it, is about withdrawing the senses from the material world and moving towards a higher state. Therefore, we should pick a path – whatever it may be, and stick to it. Taking the sun salute from Ashtanga but the breathing practices of Kundalini, mixing in some of the supported poses in the Iyengar teachings and calling it a practice is an indulgence of the senses. It is just another way of taking the good while cutting out the bad, which is no discipline at all.

April 2013

KRISHNAND M. , SIVANANDA TEACHER CHENNAI, INDIA Regarding mixing of styles there is no reference in scriptures as Yoga styles are a recent phenomenon. Previously, we had classification as Raja Yoga , Hatha Yoga , Tantra Yoga , Mantra Yoga etc but today we have classification based on the names of its founders like Sivananda Yoga , Iyengar Yoga , Bikram Yoga , Ashtanga Yoga ( Pattabhi Jois style ) etc . So my take is it is not wise to mix Yoga styles but to look at Yoga Asana from the larger Science called “Movement Science / Movement Therapy” of which Yoga is a Major part and Ashtanga Yoga represents the intensive form of Yoga , Iyengar represents the precision in Alignment and Hatha Yoga ( Sivananda Style ) is a good starting point for beginners to Yoga and suitable for most of busy working people. 39


The Ganga at Rishikesh in March, photo by Yogiuday

POETRY

GANGA

Three poems about the Ganges River through the seasons. BY YOGIUDAY I wrote this trilogy of poems for Sri Amodini Saraswati’s magazine Mahakumbh Mela, January 2013. She asked me for a testimonial about my experiences with Ganga during my bath there each morning. By way of background, Kumbh Mela are the largest gathering of humanity on earth, sometimes reaching 100 million people over the several weeks of the festival. It rotates through four cities, and each site has a Maha Kumbh Mela or Great Fair every 12 years. Everyone comes for spiritual practice and to bathe in the Ganga on certain dates which are particularly strong purifiers of karmic seeds, thus taking people more quickly to moksha (liberation). Two and a half years ago, it was the great great Mahakumb in Haridwar, close to Rishikesh where I live, and I went a few times. From a Western viewpoint, it is a crazy feast of colour. One day over 5 millions people came to the crush! The festival brings together a massive energy of spiritual practice. And it is known to bring many of the most advanced real gurus from around the world.

SUMMER

MONSOON

WINTER

Eyes closed, sitting perfectly still Ganga washes through me Cleansing Invigorating. The full moon sits just above the horizon Bathing Mother’s waters in soft light Cooling Mentally clarifying. She washes away the dross of my mind and body Purifies, prepares, pulses into my heart Uplifting Enchanting. Bhagavan dreams Ganga for all And She frees the mind with the kiss of Her touch. She is me. We are one.

Roaring past, altering the shore, turbulent, exciting, You are MahaShakti, Dear Ganga; Writing the story, creating magic.

The wind is howling Your shimmering turquoise waters are ruffled above But peaceful below.

You destroy the old and make space for the new; Washing away all the obstacles before me, Cleansing the prana surging through me.

My initial breaths tremble as I sit down for an icy, moonlit bath But then I surrender to your protective embrace And stay calm immersed in your sweet love. The cold disappears I disappear

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You bring great tides of healing minerals from the divine source Pounding them into fine sand that swirls all around me. You are the Great Creator, painting your canvas with infinite colours. From here to now, from me to we, Rafting through the drama of life and death You are eternal and free. NAMASKAR

All that remains is your crystal clarity Reflecting for me Your wise creation Your ever fresh joy. Your eternal truth and blissful love. Jai Ma


April 2013

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ASIA YOGA CONFERENCE 6 – 9 JUNE 2013 HONG KONG CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

A media sponsor of Asia Yoga Conference, Namaskar is pleased to be able to share three four-day, all-event passes with our readers. If you are interested, visit www.asiayogaconference.com and read this issue of Namaskar to find the answers to these three questions. The first correct answer to each question will receive a pass, one pass per winner and one winner per question. 1. HOW MANY TEACHERS ARE LISTED AS FACULTY ON THE AYC WEBSITE? 2. WHICH AYC FACULTY IS FAMOUS FOR HIS SELFPHOTOGRAPHED BOOK OF 608 YOGA POSES 3. WHICH NAMASKAR CONTRIBUTOR TO THIS APRIL ISSUE WAS A DIRECT STUDENT OF SRI SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA? AYC faculty (clockwise from top left) Mas Vidal, Eoin Finn, Martin Kirk & Bones, Giselle Mari,

Please email your answer to: fgairns@netvigator.com

Tiffany Cruikshank

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FESTIVAL

BHAKTI FEST Non-stop Kirtan, yoga classes & workshops outdoors at Joshua Tree, California. BY NATALIE MACAM Bhakti Fest is an annual kirtan event which takes place in the desert retreat center of Joshua Tree, California. For four days straight, 24-hours a day, there is continuous kirtan from 9 am on Thursday morning till midnight on Sunday. That’s 80 hours! The festival aims to bring Kirtan and Bhakti Yoga to the masses in the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western US. This 420acre retreat center provides camping for up to 5,000 people, and also provides dorms and shared accommodations. Joshua Tree Retreat Center is not only remarkable for its natural desert beauty, but it is also an architectural landmark designed by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The festival brings in the who’s who in the Global Kirtan community such as Deva Premal + Miten, Wah!, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das, Donna DeLory, Kirtanyas, and C.C. White. However, the amount of Kirtan artists featured at the festival has been exponentially growing so much so that a second stage was established and featured up and coming artists such as Kirtan Rabbi, and Arjun Baba. The inspiration for Bhakti Fest first emerged 40 years ago at the historical festival event, Woodstock, by Sridar Silberfein, Executive Producer of Bhakti Fest. Whilst Sridar was with Michael Lane and Artie Kornfeld, the Producers of Woodstock, Michael and Artie asked Sridhar what was missing from Woodstock. He felt the spiritual aspect needed to be integrated and went on to produce that segment. Sridhar contacted his teacher at the time, Swami Satchitananda, and arranged to have him flown to Woodstock by helicopter. Swami Satchitananda gave the invocation and it was at that moment that Sridhar was on stage and gazed upon 500,000 people that thought seed was planted, “wouldn’t it be wonderful for all of them to be chanting the divine names. Forty years later, Bhakti Fest emerged and has been a formative force in the rise and awareness of kirtan and bhakti yoga to the masses. “We wanted to bring Bhakti: devotion, love, compassion, the meaning of what this is all about. We have a little saying, ‘Be in the Bhav’ and we hope people can take it from the festival and to incorporate it into their everyday lives and into whatever they are doing” - Sridhar.

Shiva Rae at BhaktiFest photographed by Kristina Clemens

Not only was there nonstop Kirtan and music, but there was also over 70 yoga classes and workshops. And the kirtan and bhakti is literally infused in every experience. What I loved most was the combination of yoga with live music support from musical artists. Experiencing Saul David Raye’s class and additionally having Girish play music and lead us in Kirtan adds an entire new layer to the experience. Epic yogic moments such as practicing Prana Flow with Shiva Rea with C.C. White’s voice colored the background were a constant at Bhakti Fest. What I found was many of the yoga teachers also had their own live band and lead Kirtans such as Govin Das and Radha, Saul David Raye, Gigi Yogini and Mother Medicine, and Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus band. April 2013

Lastly, the Bhakti Fest organized lectures and workshops. Most notable workshop that best embodied intentions of Bhakti Fest was Yehoshua Brill’s Nada Yoga Workshop called, Tuning In to the 3rd Ear. Yehoshua discussed sound and the subtle body exploring the principals of yoga, tantra, and mysticism as it relates to sound and music. This captivating subject presented how to connect to sound, breath, and movement to hear and feel our own unique inner frequencies and rhythms. Lastly the most memorable part of the entire weekend ends with camping under the desert stars nightly and falling asleep to the chanting of the divine names. Haribol!

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A MONTH IN AUSTRIA The beautiful Austrain Alps are a perfect complement to this intensive Sivananda training. BY VICKY HILL The idea of a month with no meat, alcohol or coffee is not everyone’s idea of a restful retreat. When I told my sister this would be part of my yoga teacher training she said; “It sounds truly awful.” I didn’t tell her I would be sitting on the floor for six hours a day and doing four hours of yoga practice. But despite the austerity i loved every minute of it! I am the type of person who thrives on routine - I probably would have done well in the army. Don’t get me wrong I like a beer and a pizza as much as the next person but the intensity of the course meant I quickly forgot about all the things I was sacrificing. The Sivananda course is four intensive weeks with topics ranging from anatomy to the ancient Indian text of the Bhagavad Giva, as well as the planning and teaching of yoga lessons. The course organisers, the Swamis, made it very easy for us to immerse ourselves. The Ashram (yoga centre) set in the Austrian Tyrol must be one of the most beautiful places on earth with snow tipped mountains, bright green forests and meadows of pink and purple wild flowers. The air is clean and the tap water tastes like Evian. At the start of the course we were invited to explain why we had chosen to be there -the reasons varied. But as the course progressed, people became more honest with their answers and talked about yoga as a way of seeking support through illness or emotional upheaval; even as a way to work through sexual orientation. The Swamis, are a type of spiritual guide dressed in orange, who have learnt to stay at arm’s length from the students’ bubbling pot of emotions while supporting the collective. Their main teachings were that of unattachment to life, relationships and the future. They say by realising that the soul or the Self is part of the wider universe we will stop trying to control everything and let go. Balance and moderation in everything will help with clarity of thought and making choices. They explained that karma governed much of what has happened to us but the choices we make now will affect our future. The physical act of yoga is just one part of a 46

process for a healthy body and mind. Yoga teachers often start a lesson by asking students to relax and then set their intention or leave things that have been worrying them outside the room. While doing the postures, which take concentration, it is very difficult to think about bills and work targets.

The Sivananda Ashram in Austria, above. Walking meditation in the forest, below.

A 5:30am start is a bit of a shock to the system particularly when your day starts with chanting and meditation followed by two hours of yoga practice. Sivananda yoga is considered, by some, to be the best in the world focusing on 12 basic postures and their related health benefits. The main challenge when practicing advanced postures was to not get frustrated with ourselves but allow time for the small changes to take effect. Breakfast is a far away idea that doesn’t appear until 10:30am. In the first couple of days the rush to the restaurant buffet was pretty frantic, as just two meals a day are served and it was a long wait until dinner at 6:30pm. Serving spoons were being snatched to get the last bit of carrot salad. But the franticness at meal times fizzled out once the village bakery was discovered - selling some of the finest chocolate and almond cakes I have ever eaten. They were a real treat for our Friday afternoons off. Meditation is a major element of the course, the aim of which is to control the mind. However if you sit still and look at your thoughts you will notice that your mind is like a drunk monkey jumping from tree to tree. The process of meditation had a very powerful effect on some people as tears streamed down their perfectly still faces. Meditation was followed by chanting in Sanskrit. In the first few days everyone was fumbling over the words and giving each other sideways glances. This was in stark contrast to the end of the second week when everyone is swaying, clapping and singing their hearts out. Chanting is described as a mystical energy encased in a sound and a group of people singing certainly does have an energy. When that group is living, eating and studying NAMASKAR

together, the energy of singing is even more powerful and emotions were released again. At the end of the course all the students, now qualified yoga teachers, are full of questions; is there such a thing as good and bad karma or group karma, how can I rectify my mistakes? The depth of the yoga philosophy means it is an ongoing discovery which I will never stop learning from. It is this idea of never knowing enough and learning with students that makes me passionate about the practice.


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RECIPE

RAW LEMON & CACAO HALVA Super easy and packed with sweetness & nutrition. BY MOOSA AL-ISSA

When I was growing up, there were three desserts that were always around our house: big juicy dates with tahini; crisp and rich baklava and; the most common of middle eastern sweets, Halva. Before you start this recipe please be aware that you must have a spice or coffee grinder to be able to successfully grind the sesame seeds you will need. If you use a food processor the seeds will jump around with lots of grinding sounds but when you stop the processor unground seeds! Now that we have got that out of the way let’s move on to the recipe. This raw halva recipe is super easy to make and is packed with sweetness, richness and powerful nutrients. I hope you enjoy it! INGREDIENTS 1 cup Sesame Seeds 1/2 cup Organic Honey 2 tablespoons Organic Cocoa Powder 1 tablespoon minced Lemon Zest or 1/2 teaspoon Organic Lemon Extract

PROCEDURE 1. Grind the sesame seeds in three batches in the grinder till they are ground to a fine powder, then reserve in a small bowl. 2. In a medium bowl add the lemon zest or extract and the honey and stir with a spoon till mixed. 3. Add the cacao to the ground sesame seeds and mix thoroughly. 4. Add the sesame and cacao to the honey. 5. Stir the sesame, cacao, lemon & honey till completely mixed. 6. Shape portions into balls or bars or if you are keeping it casual, eat it out of the bowl will a spoon. Delicious! 7. Optional - roll balls in white or black sesame seeds. 8. Place the balls or bars in the fridge for a couple of hours and they will firm up nicely. 9. Store in a sealed container in the fridge and consume within 2 to 3 days.

Halva, which means sweet in Arabic, is the name of a wide variety of flour or nut-based, dense, sweet confection served in the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Malta and the Jewish world. This recipe calls for just the four ingredients pictured above sesame seeds, honey, cocoa powder and lemon.

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DIRECTORY

Guide to yoga studios & teachers

AGAMA YOGA SCHOOL 42/4 moo 8, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280, Thailand s: Tantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Workshops, Retreats, Meditation, Yogic Healing l: English t: (66) 892 330 217 e: info@agamayoga.com w: www.agamayoga.com ANAHATA YOGA 18/F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Yoga therapy, Yin and more. Groups & privates t: (852) 2905 1922 e: enquiry@anahatayoga.com.hk w: www.anahatayoga.com.hk Anna Ng Privates d: Hong Kong s: Hatha yoga l: Cantonese t: (852) 9483 1167 e: gazebofl@netvigator.com AUM YOGA AND PILATES STUDIO Room J1, 13/F, Kaiser Estate Phase 2, 47-53 Man Yuen Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong s: Ayurveda Massage, Detox Massage, Ayurveda Facial, Jovees Retail Hot Yoga, Pilates, Thai Massage Yoga t: (852) 3523 1332 e: info@aum.com.hk w: www.aum.com.hk AUMNIE YOGA WEAR Hong Kong - Room 1601, 99 Wellington Street, Central t: (852) 3188 0973 Shanghai - 60 Xinle Road, 3/F Xuhui District t: (86) 21 5404 3135 Retail, Wholesale, Shop Online Free Shipping Worldwide Yoga Clothing and Accessories e: info@aumnie.com w: www.aumnie.com 52

BODYWIZE YOGA & DAY SPA G/F & 2/F, 1 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong s: Private & small group classes, Yoga for stress management, Couple yoga, Ashtanga, Power, Yoga therapy, workshops, retreats, spa & wellness, holistic therapy, nutritional advice. l: English t:(852) 2838 5686 e: yoga@bodywize.com.hk w: www.bodywize.com.hk B.K.S. IYENGAR YOGA ASSOCIATION OF MACAU 174, Rua de Pequim, Edif Centro Com. Kong Fat, 7A, Macau s: Iyengar t:(853)2882 3210/6662 0386 e:yoga@macau.ctm.net w:www.iyengar-yoga-macauchina.com BRAIN & BODY YOGA 18/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong s: boutique yoga studio for holistic healing and mind body practice t: (852) 3104 1156 e: info@ibrainyoga.com.hk w: www.ibrainyoga.com.hk Dario Calvaruso Ltd / Holistic Wellness Flat A, 10th Floor, Winner House 15 Wong Nai Chung , Happy Valley, Hong Kong s: Hatha, Vinyasa, Detox, Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Stress Management, Partner Yoga, Tantra Yoga for couples l: English, Italian t: (852) 9247 3938 e: info@dariocalvaruso.com w: www.dariocalvaruso.com FLEX STUDIO 308 - 310 One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Street, Aberdeen, Hong Kong s: Vinyasa, Yin Yang, Restorative, Detox Flow, Kids Yoga

t: (852) 2813 2212 f: (852) 2813 2281 e: info@flexhk.com w: www.flexhk.com FLEXPRESS 801 - 802, 8/F Lansing House, 4147 Queen’s Road Central Central, Hong Kong s: Fusion Flow, Detox Flow, Core Flow, Pre Natal t: (852) 2813 2212 f: (852) 2813 2281 e: info@flexhk.com w: www.flexhk.com Kathy Cook Retreats, workshops, privates d: Hong Kong, Bali &Thailand s: Iyengar (Junior Intermediate 2) l: English t: (852) 6292 5440/(62) 811 387781 e: kcinasia@gmail.com w: www.yogawithkathy.com Kenneth Kum / Yoga with Kenneth 8/F, Toi Shan Association Building, 167-169 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Lunchtime classes every Tuesdays & Thursdays. pre-natal, power, group & privates l: Cantonese, English, Mandarin, Japanese t: (852) 9870 0393/9630 6770 e: yoga.with.kenneth@gmail.com w: www.facebook.com/pages/ Yoga-with-Kenneth/ 226857527370528 KUNDALINI AT SHAKTI 7/F Glenealy Tower, 1 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong. s: Kundalini, Qigong, Guided Kundalini meditation, Hatha, Restorative t: (852) 2521 5099 e: info@shaktihealingcircle.com w: www.shaktihealingcircle.com PURE YOGA Hong Kong

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16/F The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central t: (852) 2971 0055 25/F Soundwill Plaza, 38 Russell St, Causeway Bay t: (852) 2970 2299 14/F Peninsula Office Tower, 18 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon t: (852) 8129 8800 9/F Langham Place Office Tower, 8 Argyle Street, Kowloon t: (852) 3691 3691 4/F Lincoln House, TaiKoo Place, 979 King’s Rd, Quarry Bay t: (852) 8129 1188 Singapore 391A Orchard Road, #18-00 Ngee Ann City Tower A t: (65) 6733 8863 30 Raffles Place, 04-00 Chevron House t: (65) 6304 2257 Taiwan 151 Chung Hsiao East Road, Sec 4, Taipei t: (886) 02 8161 7888 SOL WELLNESS 16/F Tin On Sing Commercial Building, 41-43 Graham St. Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini Yoga, Detox, Medical Meditation, Living Food, Holographic Healing, Acupuncture, Sex/Relationship Counselling, Kinesiology, Chiropractic t: (852) 2581 9699 e: info@sol-wellness.com w: www.sol-wellness.com SOULMADE YOGA & TEAROOM 40, Soi Chareonjai (Ekamai 12), Klongton-Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110, Thailand s. Kripalu, Hatha, Prenatal,


Workshops, Healing Arts (AuraSoma, Bodytalk, EFT) l. English, Thai, French t. (66) 2 3814645 e. soulmadeyoga@gmail.com w: www.facebook.com/soulmade SPACE YOGA 16/F, 27 An-Ho Road, Section 1, Taipei 106, Taiwan s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Anusara Inspired, Flow, Yin, Restorative, Power, Hot, Meditation, Pranayama, Pilates, Sivananda, Jivamukti and Yoga Nidra l: English, Mandarin t: (886) 2 2773 8108 e: teachertraining@withinspace.com w: www.withinspace.com THE BREATHING ROOM 42A Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427766 s: Vinyasa, Yin, Hatha, Kids, AromaYoga, and specializing in Pre & Postnatal Yoga. Studio rental also available. t: (65) 8112 5827 e: ashley@sacredfunk.com w: www.sacredfunk.com THE YOGA ROOM 3, 4, 6/F (Studios) & 15/F (Office) Xiu Ping Commercial Bldg, 104 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong S: Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Candlelight Yin, Yoga Therapy, Baptist Inspired, Mindfulness Yoga, Detox Flow, Pre-natal Yoga, Pre-natal Pilates, Mat Pilates and Kids yoga t: (852) 25448398 e: info@yogaroomhk.com w: www.yogaroomhk.com TRUE YOGA Singapore 9 Scotts Road, Level 4, Pacific Plaza 228210 t: (65) 6733 9555 10 Collyer Quay, Level 4, Ocean Financial Centre 049315 t: (65) 6536 3390 Taiwan 563 Chung Hsiao East Road, Section 4, 1st & 2nd floor Taipei t :(886) 22764 8888 337 Nanking East Road Section 3, 9 & 10/F, Taipei t: (886) 22716 1234 68 Gongyi Road, West District 12 & 13 /F, Taichung t: (886) 43700 0000

Ursula Moser The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong d: Central s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate II) l: English t: (852) 2918 1798 / 9456 2149 e: uschi.moser51@gmail.com Wai-Ling Tse Privates and Groups d: Hong Kong s: Sivananda certified, Hatha, Svastha Yoga, Therapy, Yoga Nidra, Yin, Pranayama and Meditation l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 9465 6461 e: wailing.tse@gmail.com WISE LIVING YOGA ACADEMY 198 Moo 2, Luang Nuea, Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, Thailand s: Classical Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yoga Therapy t: (66) 8254 67995 e: info@wiselivingyoga.com w: www.wiselivingyoga.com YOGA CENTRAL 4/F Kai Kwong House, 13 Wyndham St, Hong Kong s: Hatha/Iyengar clases, yoga teacher training workshops, private group classes, corporate health programs. t: (852) 2982 4308 e: yogacentralhk@gmail.com w: www.yogacentral.com.hk YOGA on CAINE ROAD @ COSMO KIDS 138 Caine Road, 1/F, Jadestone Court, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong s: Studio Rental, Yoga & Therapy, Meditation & Healing t: (852) 2915 8138 e: ask@cosmokids.net w: www.cosmokids.net Yoga with YoYo Yoga Alliance ERYT200 and RYT200. Asana, pranayama, meditation and scripture study d: Sai Kung / San Po Kong s: small group and privates adapted to students with knowledges of YogaPrasad institute, Paramahamsa Nithyananda, Sivananda, Yoga limbs and more l: English, Cantonese t: (852)93023931 e: info@yoyoyoga.net w: www.yoyoyoga.net

namaskar reaches 4,500 yoga practitioners, across 26 countries, 4 times a year.

DISPLAY ADVERTISING RATES & SIZES Outside back cover HK$21,200 210 mm x 297 mm Inside front cover HK$2,880 210 mm x 297 mm Inside back cover HK$2,370 210 mm x 297 mm Full page HK$1,850 210 mm x 297 mm 1/2 page (horizontal)HK$1,100 180 mm x 133.5 mm 1/2 page (vertical) HK$1,100 88 mm x 275 mm 1/4 page HK$590 88 mm X 133.5 mm 1/8 page HK$380 88 mm x 66 mm

LISTINGS Can include name, address, telephone, email, website, style and certification, language of instruction. Individual listing HK$530 for full or partial year Studio listing HK$1,050 for full or partial year

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PAYMENT Payments should be made in Hong Kong dollars to Namaskar c/o Carol Adams, 1/F 46 Leung Fai Ting Lower Road, Clearwater Bay, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

s: Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Gentle, Flow, Yoga Dance, Pre-natal e: operations@trueyoga.com.sg w: www.trueyoga.com.sg / www.trueyoga.com.tw

INFORMATION Carol (852) 9137 9992 / carol@caroladams.hk Frances (852) 9460 1967 / fgairns@netvigator.com

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namaskar April 2013