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CLASSIC OR MODERN YOGA Does it matter if your yoga has been around forever, or just last week ........................................p20

SEQUENCING A PRACTICE Some thoughts about sequencing from different schools ......................................................................p30

June 2013 AYURVEDA TODAY The role this ancient science can play in our modern lives ............................................................p39





If you want to be happy, be around happy people, Cover photo of Paige Faraci, courtesy of Pure Yoga

Seek out your kula, your sangha, your support. Here in these pages, at AYC, wherever you can. This letter is always the last part of every issue to come together. I could say it’s because I take the time to reflect on the whole issue before summarizing it here. But really it’s because I procrastinate as much today as I did at university! At his recent public lecture in Hong Kong Thich Nhat Hanh said if we are working on being happier and more compassionate people, we should avoid watching violence on television and being around violent people. On the other side of the coin, I guess we should spend more time with loving people and watch programmes with kind messages, if we want to be kinder. I’m hoping after a few more years interacting with the amazing contributors to Namaskar, their hard work and timeliness will rub off on me. Due to my procrastination again, they only had a week to prepare their contributions, and yet, here we have another full magazine to share with you. Our dristi this time is “Sequencing,” which Andy, Barbara, Rebecca and Valerie share their perspectives on. Thanks also to Alyssa, Amy, Angela, Anu, Bobsy, Carol, Dona, Edward, Giselle, Helene, Joan, Marla, Paul, Rachel, Reenita and Wai-Ling for working so hard to make this happen. Please do offer


them a quiet thanks when you see their photos on the next pages. This June, as in the past seven, we’re very pleased to be distributing 800 copies at Evolution, Asia Yoga Conference, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 6 – 9 June. We are proud to be a media sponsor of this fantastic event, and grateful to Alda, Irene and their team for organizing it again. You have just to visit their website to see the variety of workshops and lectures on offer, and imagine all the hard work and heart behind this event. There are also loads of free classes and a terrific bazaar selling all things yogic. Even if you don’t want to take a class, it’s really fun to just be in the company of so many happy yogis! For new readers to Namaskar, if you would like to offer this magazine to your students or customers on a regular basis, just email to be added to our distribution list. It’s free!

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,

June 2013

In This Issue DRISTI - SEQUENCING WHY SEQUENCE? 32 Where do the sequences come from? KUNDALINI SEQUENCING 33 It’s important to follow the set sequences. ANATOMY OF SEQUENCING 34 One teacher’s sequence and rationale. FORREST YOGA SEQUENCING 35 How Forrest teachers are prepared to sequence. TEACHER FEEDBACK 36 Four teachers’ opinions on shoulderstand or headstand first.

SPECIAL FEATURES FREE BOOK TO WIN 13 EASING PMS WITH YIN 14 Focuses on Liver/Gall Bladder meridian ABOUT PMS 19 Embracing our Moon. CLASSICAL VS POPULAR YOGA 20 Why does yoga need a history? YOGA AT SCHOOL 22 A teenager’s journey with yoga. PRIVATE YOGA 25 What’s the point of having a personal yoga teacher?


6 27 39 43 43 44 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.


CONTRIBUTORS Originally from New York city, with a stint in Los Angeles, she has been practicing yoga for 9 years. She is currently teaching privately in Hong Kong.

ALYSSA PIMENTEL Alyssa is a Hispanic 17-year-old from New York City who is about to graduate from the James Baldwin School. Next year she is planning to attend Russell Sage College in Albany to study Psychology.

ANDY WILNER Andy is a yoga practitioner and teacher. As a student of Tantric philosophy, he looks to incorporate Tantric roots of yoga into the asana practice to give context to the postures.

ANGELA SUN Angela takes care of the distribution and circulation of Namaskar. 4

Kong resident building healthy and sustainable communities by providing ecologically viable food at destination vegetarian eateries.

FRANCES GAIRNS Editor of Namaskar since 2003, Frances teaches at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong.

ANU PURSRAM Any has been a volunteer member of Spiritual Science Research Foundation for 17 years. anu@spiritualscienceresearch

CAROL ADAMS Carol takes care of Namaskar administration and invoicing. She holds the accounts of a few multinational companies at her home office, which gives her the freedom to be a stay-at-home mum of a 7year-old son. She also teaches yoga regularly.

JOAN HYMAN Joan weaves her personal yogic journey into popular teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats around the world. She will be teaching at AYC this year.

BARBARA PASSY Barbara is a Certified Forrest Yoga Teacher and works in a bank in Chicago, Illinois.

DONA TUMACDER-ESTEBAN Dona is a Manila-based Yoga Therapist and Integrative Health and Nutrition Counsellor at St. Luke’s Medical Center (Global City) and Templa Wellness, a student of TCM, and Yin Yoga teacher. Her passion for the transformative and healing aspects of yoga has led her to further studies in the therapeutic applications of the practice with a focus on women’s health. PAUL DALLAGHAN Paul is director of Samahita Retreat and Yoga Thailand. He will be teaching at AYC again this year.

BOBSY Born in Beirut, Bobsy is a Hong NAMASKAR

RACHEL JACQUELINE Formerly a lawyer, Rachel is now a freelance journalist with a strong interest in health and fitness.

VALERIE FANECEO Valerie from Being in Yoga, Singapore, is a senior yoga teacher and teacher trainer certified by the Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation founded by TKV Desikachar. She has been studying and teaching Yoga Sutra and principles of yoga philosophy for many years. She recently translated a commentary of the Yoga Sutras into English, published in India.

REBECCA LOMBARDI Rebecca strongly believes in the healing abilities of Kundalini Yoga. She is an IKYTA certified teacher and shares Kundalini Yoga technology at Sol Wellness in Hong Kong. WAI-LING TSE A yoga teacher based in Hong Kong, Wai-Ling compiles and edits Kula Updates, Retreats, Workshops and Teacher Trainings.

REENITA MALHOTRA HORA Reenita is journalist and an Ayurveda Clinician and author of the recently-released book, Forever Young – Unleashing the Magic of Ayurveda.

June 2013




Relocation of Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong


Three Namaskar Readers win AYC passes We had a very strong response to the quiz in April issue, which asked: 1. How many teachers are listed as faculty on the AYC site? 58; 2. Which AYC faculty is famous for his self-photograhed book of 608 yoga poses? Sri Dharma Mittra; 3. Which Namaskar contributor to this April issue was a direct student of Sri Swami Satchidananda? Hersha Chelleram. The the three winners who each received an all-event pass to AYC this year, share a little about themselves here:

ERICA LAM I have been practicing yoga for around 6 years. What started as a physical activity to battle weight issues has grown into a very deep love of yoga. What I love most is the self-awareness during practice, it’s more than just physical practice but also mental, because we learn through regular practice nothing is impossible. Yoga is now a part of my life. 6

FANNY YEN I have worked in multinationals in a regional capacity for years and due to the demanding workload, excessive business travel, and relocations, I have not been able to maintain a regular workout routine until I moved back to Hong Kong several years ago to join the family business. After settling in, I incorporated fitness into my life, picking up aerobics and weight training. Since I have been suffering from mild scoliosis for many years, I go to physiotherapy on my bad days, and have been advised by my therapist to try yoga to relieve my discomfort. That was two years ago. I started my yoga journey with class once a week, and progressed to practicing daily even on Xmas day and New Year’s Day. For several months, yoga practice became the centre of my life. Unfortunately, the yoga studio I was practicing at closed down, and I had a short setback while I was finding another yoga home. These days, with increased family commitment, I can only manage three or four times a week, but yoga practice is still dominant in my life. My favorite yoga style is Ashtanga, followed by Hatha. And I do enjoy a session of yin or yoga therapy before or after cardio workouts.

KIM CHAMBERLAIN At age 7 I began working with different energies in my body on an intuitive level. These experiences became more involved and more intense as years went by and I continued to flow spontaneously. In my early twenties, I discovered these practices were ancient Tantric Kundalini yoga disciplines. And now with many years of living, learning and loving yoga, I feel I am only just getting started. Teachers from around the globe have gifted me with their great wisdom, knowledge and mentorship and to them I bow in love and gratitude every day. I am so excited about the Evolution Asia Yoga Conference. I’ve never been to anything of it’s kind before but I had been pouring over the website daydreaming about what it would be like to attend such an great event. We have just moved to Hong Kong and I have been practicing at home alone only so this is going to be an amazing experience.


A new chapter begins for The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong with a move to new premises in June to Pemberton Building in Sheung Wan. It is just one minute’s walk away from the existing location in Sheung Wan.The new space is custom designed for Iyengar Yoga with features that will facilitate and encourage practice. There will be one larger practice room for the main classes and a smaller practice room for specialty classes. For more information

Sangha Yoga Class with Wai-Ling Sangha (Community) Yoga on every Tuesdays in Mongkok with WaiLing. 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 pm, Cost HK$150. For more information / + 852 9465 6461

New Adult Classes with Laura Shore Bamboo Grove, Kennedy Road on Mondays 8.30 - 9.30 pm and Wednesdays 9 - 10 am (open to non-residents) Parkview, Repluse Bay on Tuesdays

9 - 10am (open to non-residents) Realty Gardens, Conduit Road on Thursdays 9 - 10am (residents only) For more information +852 9229 7785 / /

New Mum/ Baby & Parents/Kids Yoga Classes The Yoga Room Laura Shore is teaching a new 1hour class you can share with your baby (3 - 12 months old). You will practise gentle baby massage and baby yoga to strengthen and relax babies’ muscles; as well as gentle yoga for mums. Parent & Kid’s Yoga Classes 8 July - 12 August (Every Monday) This is a fun, interactive session that both parents and kids can enjoy. A great way to energize, and is healthy for the body and mind. Parent + 3-6 yrs, 9:30 - 10:30 am; Parent + 7-12 yrs, 11 am - noon Cost: Parent & child HK$280/class; extra child HK$120/class

Laura Shore starts some new classes around

For more information + 852 2544 8398 /

Hong Kong this month

New Kids Classes with Laura Shore Kids Yoga at Bamboo Grove, Kennedy Road on Tuesdays Kids Yoga 1 (2-4 yrs) 3 - 3:45pm Kids Yoga 2 (5-8 yrs) 4 - 4:45pm For more information +852 9229 7785 / /

Vinyasa/Prana Flow classes at The Yoga Room 10 June Come and experience how Adri Kyser can help you relax and release tension, strengthen your body, connect with your breath and much more. This class will explore how the movements of Prana can help deepen your practice, how to find freedom and ease within each movements and reconnect with your energetic body. Adri Kyser is a senior Vinyasa/Prana Flow teacher at the advanced level. She has over 8 years experience. She is also one of the Founders and Director of Maha Shakti Teacher training program. 7 – 8 pm & 8:30 - 9:30 pm (open to all levels). For more information + 852 2544 8398 /

Peter Scott Anniversary Classes

For more information /

Openings at The Yoga Room Seeking Yoga/Pilates instructors, send CV to The Yoga Room

Yoga Privates Hiring Yoga Privates has been providing private Yoga and Pilates sessions across Asia since 2008. They are looking for registered and experienced instructors to be based in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. Send CV to For more information

South side studio looking for

purpose studio at their new location in One Island South.

experienced, committed yoga instructor to lead in-house yoga programme. Flexible schedule, although must be committed to 1012 classes per week, and expected to help grow the studio’s Yoga programme. Experience in teaching a broad range of populations and yoga styles. Flex is also seeking experienced teachers to offer unique yoga workshops.

15 June Peter Scott, Senior Iyengar teacher from Melbourne celebrates his 10th year teaching in Hong Kong by offering free community classes at Chinese International School.

Flex seeks lead teacher

Looking for a venue to host your next workshop? Flex has a beautiful and spacious new multi-

Email CV and references to

Rally. Next month, the team is driving from London to Mongolia – more than 14,000 km, through 19 countries –to donate a vehicle to the Mongolia Ambulance Project and raise funds for the charity. Go Help is a UK-based charity that works with communities in Central Asia, primarily Mongolia, to improve access to health and education. They are involved in a number of projects including addressing the shortage of emergency vehicles in Mongolia by providing fully

Kundalini Yoga with Elena House of Light, Sheung Wan Kundalini Yoga is an ancient old yoga practice that blends the practice of breathing technics, meditations, Kriyas, mudras and chanting of mantras. It works on multiple facets of the body and mind by addressing specific meridian points, the glandular system of the body, and it detoxifies through the release of physical and emotional waste. Held every Friday 7-8:30pm.

Hair today, photo by Dean CK Cox

For more information / +852 3595 2134

Local Ashtangi goes Bald for a Good Cause Dylan Bernstein, an Ashtanga teacher at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong, raised HK$80,000 for charity by shaving his trademarks: moustache, goatee and ponytail recently. His Mongolian Moustache Project helped Team Rocinante to help Go Help and the Mongolian Charity

June 2013

Gone tomorrow, photo by Dean CK Cox





Yin/Insight Yoga Intensive with Sarah Powers 1-3 November Pure Yoga - Shanghai Join Sarah at Pure Yoga’s first studio in China, opening this summer. For more information Yoga Teacher, and now Fashion Designer, Paige Faraci models her hand dyed and hand made



equipped ambulances to hospitals and clinics; creating a mobile library that reaches children in remote western Mongolia; the creation and running of the Book House in Ulaanbaatar that targets children of nomadic families who’ve been displaced because of the recent harsh winters and who aren’t allowed into urban schools because they don’t have the proper paperwork; providing university scholarships; and even passing out riding helmets to child jockeys. Namaskar was pleased to contribute to this fun and worthwhile cause. For more information on Team Rocinante’s journey , for more information on Go Help and for photos of the Mongolia Moustache Project event in Hong Kong https:// ?set=a.406856662755331.1073741829 .391672567607074&type=3


Mindscape Stress Paige Faraci, Reduction Where is she now? Workshop The cover model of this issue, Paige Faraci was a very popular Hong Kong yoga teacher right up until she returned home to Canada a few years ago. After completing a degree in fiber arts, she went on to start her own clothing line, priestess + deer. Inspired by nature, yoga, dance and her desire to create, all her clothes are hand dyed and hand made from her home on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Paige still teaches privately and says she “thinks of Hong Kong often and all the students who were so dedicated and gracious.” For more information

15 – 16 June Body & Brain Yoga In this two-day workshop Angie Tourani, Hong Kong’s only Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practitioner and Certified MindScape Instructor will be teaching step-by-step visualising tools and techniques to access the under-used right side of the brain; the creative, intuitive and imaginative side. For more information / +852 6683 5755 /

Teacher Development with Peter Scott 16 – 19 June Yoga Central Dedicated Iyengar students who can do headstand independently for 5 minutes in the middle of the room NAMASKAR

and handstand against the wall are invited to join Peter Scott at this L3 workshop. For more information /

Full Moon in Capricorn 22 June Shakti Healing Circle Join Nihal Singh (Neil Irwin) for this workshop to build a firm foundation on the Saturn Principle. For more information /

Full Moon in Aquarius 20 July Shakti Healing Circle Nihal Singh (Neil Irwin) leads a workshop on the yogic technologies for health and happiness in the Information Age. For more information /

Know your Body; Know your Pose 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. Even if you are just starting your yoga practice, it is always good to

understand the body so you learn more about the potentials of your own body. Cost HK$1,288 Regular (Early bird HK$1,088 before 15 June). Suitable for all levels and limited to15 students.


For more information +852 2544 8398 /

16-17 November Spirit Yoga Studio - Osaka, Japan

For more information

Yoga Kids Summer Workshops

For more information


Yin/Insight Yoga Intensive with Sarah Powers

Meditation Made Simple

8, 10, 12 July & 12, 14, 16 August The Yoga Room Students will learn about different bones and muscles and will learn which parts are used in different poses to increase their awareness of the human body. Kids (3-6 ) 9:30 am 11 am; Kids (7-12) 11:30 am - 1pm. Regular HK$850, Early Bird HK$750, before 20 June.

14, 21, 28 September & 5 October Kate Porter Yoga, Laguna Park Meditation Made Simple is a unique, life-changing program created by Vikas Malkai, founder of Soul Centre. Join Gill Darbshire for 4 classes which teaches you how to train your mind. The course is nonreligious. 4-6"00pm; S$350 for 8hour course, including books.

For more information +852 2544 8398 /

For more information / / +65 9781 3403

Full Moon in Pisces 17 August Shakti Healing Circle How does yoga help you experience your own infinity? Let Nihal Singh (Neil Irwin) guide you.


Nidra Yoga / Lucid Dreaming Dona’s Yin workshop in the Philippines will

For more information /

focus on women’s health


Yin Yoga for Study with A. G. & Women’s Health with Dona Indra Mohan TumacderPracticing the Yogasutras of Patanjali: Esteban 4-8 November Module 1: Focus and INDIA

Flow of the Mind, Body, Breath, and Senses 11-15 November Module 2: Minding the Mind The Practice of Pranayama: 18-22 November Module 1: Asana to Pranayama—the Foundation 25-29 November Module 2: Pranayama and Bandhas, Mudras, Mantras 2-6 December The Role of Sound and Vedic Chanting – Svadhyaya in the Path of Yoga 9-13 December Yoga in the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita

discussion on the phases of a woman’s cycle based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and lead a Yin Yoga sequence that can harmonize and balance the body and mind during your cycle’s different phases.

17 August - Templa Wellness, Manila 24 August - Beyond Yoga, Manila This 2.5-hour workshop includes a sequence to harmonize the monthly cycle. Dona will facilitate an open

17-21 June Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Exploring amazing possibilities by the power of your mind. / +66 892 330 217

Tantra 2 9-13 September Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Follow-up to their popular Tantra 1 workshop. For more information / / +66 892 330 217

Ritual Temple Dancer 15-19 July Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan A new workshop for all the Shaktis to discover their inner Goddess. For more information / / +66 892 330 217 TAIWAN

Yin/Insight Yoga Intensive with Sarah Powers 6-8 December Space Yoga,Taipei For more information workshops.php?c=2013-sarahpowers

For more information / / +66 892 330 217

Tantra 1 12-16 August/16-20 December Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Explore your sexuality from a Tantric perspective. For more information /

For more information / Sarah Powers shares her beautiful teaching through workshops and teacher trainings at various locations around Asia

June 2013





Luxury Wellness Retreat

Janet Lau leads a Mindfulness & Yoga retreat in Bali


Cultivating the seed of Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Retreat with Janet Lau Desa Seni Village Resort, Bali 20-24 November This mindfulness retreat is a wellrounded programme in which you will be learning ways to apply a meditative practice into the way you do yoga, walk, sit, eat, talk, listen, and much more. It is a platform for you to expand your awareness off the mat, and continue to cultivate peace and happiness. This will be a wonderful opportunity for those who would like to know more about meditation, and to strengthen their seeds of mindfulness. For more information /

1 July – 31 August Amanpuri, Phuket This is an ideal antidote to stress and a sedentary lifestyle in the form of a five-night Wellness Retreat. Designed to enhance general wellbeing by integrating a personalised and holistic approach to fitness and detoxification. Amanpuri’s spa specialists will create tailored nutrition and movement programmes for each participant, with the aim of boosting circulation, removing toxins and imbuing a sense of vitality. Amanpuri is a serene setting for such a journey back to wellness. Situated on a peninsula overlooking the Andaman Sea, the resort offers space, privacy and the rejuvenative balm of sun and sea.

For more information / / +66 892 330 217

Awakening the Spirit Retreat 25-28 August Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan Enjoy satsang with Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. For more information / / +66 892 330 217

healthy eating, in the tropical and serene environment of Samahita Retreat. Regain your wellbeing with some basic tools to take home, tools that will help you embrace the everincreasing stresses of today’s world. For more information

Everyday Enlightenment 14 – 21 September Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui A week of yoga, fun and personal exploration, combining Dorien Israel’s indomitable flair for revealing a person’s true nature with Amy Sharpe’s passion for helping students find lasting connection and

For more information +66 76 324 333 / Dorien Israel teaches “Everyday Enlightenment” at Samahita Retreat

Serpent Power Intensive 30 June-7 July Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan A 8-Day intensive that explores the secrets of Kundalini Shakti, the dormant energy in our being. For more information / / + 66 892 330 217

Yoga of the Purpose 28 July – 4 August Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan


Everything is possible with the power of our mind. Find your purpose and make it happen.

Stress Management with Yoga with Rachel Grey & Andrea Mayer

love for a sustainable yoga practice, this retreat is about learning practical and realistic tools to support your life.

7 – 14 September Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui If you feel overwhelmed by the challenges of daily life or want to learn how to be better equipped to deal with everyday pressures, this de-stress & yoga retreat is for you. Learn how to manage stress with the help of yoga practice and

Thai Massage and Yoga with Ricardo Neuman and Rachel Grey


For more information

21 – 28 September Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Thai Massage and yoga are closely

enjoying nature and friends in a peaceful environment. For more information

Hatha Yoga Pradipika Retreat & In-Depth Certificate Program with Karina Bonansea & Vincent Lu 5 – 12 October Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui The second week of training with Karina and Vincent explore The Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Swami Svatmarama. Viewed as one of the most important Yoga texts, it is the light on the Yoga of Sun and Moon, an ancient and sacred practice every serious yoga practitioner and every yoga teacher should endeavour to understand.

manifesting transformation and you will learn practices that train you to do just that. We will explore the foundations of Ashtanga yoga: asana, pranayama, dristi and bandha - preparing you with a solid foundation for settling more and more deeply into meditation. In addition to daily yoga and sitting meditation practice, there will be time for discussion and optional private sessions for individual guidance on meditation practice. Open to all levels. For more information

For more information

Strengthen & Balance with You’re guaranteed of serenity when on retreat at the breathtaking Amanpuri in Phuket! Rachel Grey & linked in concept and practice, it is Yoga Sutra Retreat Amy Sharpe even called Thai Yoga Massage in & In-Depth the West. Here you can study this 12 – 19 October ancient art while working on your Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Certificate yoga practice and start to connect Learn how the practice trains, Program with the two practices in your life and fortifies, refines and balances the your career. In addition to Thai body and the nervous system so Karina Bonansea Massage, the morning sessions will that we can eventually overcome & Vincent Lu be breathwork-pranayama from the any mental and physical limitation, Kaivalyadhama Tradition followed by Asana/postures and vinyasa/ movement with breath from the Ashtanga Vinyasa Tradition. For more information

28 September – 5 October Join Karina and Vincent to study this essential book of yoga through theory and practice. Dedicating our precious time in life to discuss the most sacred ancient knowledge of yoga, whilst at the same time

Kim Roberts leads an Ashtanga & meditation retreat at Samahita Retreat

transcending the body and mind. The schedule includes morning intention work, followed by breath work and pranayama from the Kaivalyadhama/O.P. Tiwariji tradition and asana/poses and vinyasa/movement with breath based on a liberal approach to the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. For more information

Foundations of Ashtanga Yoga & the Path of Meditation with Kim Roberts Karina Bonansea teaches two programmes with VIncent Lu at Samahita Retreat

16 - 23 November Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Being fully present is the key to June 2013



Teacher Trainings


Radiant Child Yoga - Levels 1&2 28-30 June The Sanctuary Jenny Smith, RCYP Facilitator, RCYT and Founder of Gecko Yoga will lead this training. The course is designed to bring peace, creativity and joy into childrens lives through the ancient practice of yoga. Appropriate for anyone who is interested in teaching yoga to children. For more information

Integral Yoga Hatha 1 September 2013 – June 2014 The Sanctuary Based on the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda, this 200-hour classical yoga training is delivered part-time - one weekend each month. For more information Hersha Chellaram / +852 6103 9642

Yoga Therapy & Ayurveda 2 September - 23 November Anahata Yoga Yoga therapy and Ayurveda may be worlds apart, but through this specially-designed course, participants will be given a good introduction to the two sciences as well as a solid foundation on which to build their knowledge. The course is a good starting point for


those interested in learning more about these two subjects. Explore the principles of Yoga therapy and Ayurveda and their various applications in our daily lives. Understand the body, its functions and how to address common ailments through various yogic practice and Ayurvedic diet principles. For more information +852 2905 1822 /

Raja Yoga 16 September - June 2014 The Sanctuary This training takes you deep into understanding the nature of the mind and how to control it. 100+hours delivered part-time: Starting 16 September, 6:30-8:30pm and continuing weekly until June 2014. For more information Hersha Chellaram / +852 6103 9642

Yoga For Teens Intensive 4-6 October Taught by Erin Lila Wilson - E-RYT from San Francisco. This is 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. Early bird until 1 July. For more information

Birthlight – Baby Yoga Part 1 & 2 with Sally Lomas Part 1: 1-3 November Part 2: 4-5 November The Sanctuary Introduction to anatomy, physiology, infant development and infant psychology relevant to the application of yoga to babies. Indian baby massage through to adapted yoga for babies. Yoga for parent and baby together, integrating suitable postnatal stretches, deep relaxation, use of yoga breathing techniques, in-depth muscle toning, and creating a joyful interaction. Part 2 includes detailed tuition on yoga for mobile babies, babies with Special Needs, Tinies and more “advanced moves”. Open to all health practitioners working with babies, to yoga teachers with experience of babies and to mothers who are motivated to teach other mothers. It is not necessary to have a previous qualification in infant massage to enrol on this course or be a qualified yoga teacher. Early bird until 1 August. For more information

Birthlight Perinatal Yoga Part 1 with Sally Lomas 6-9 November The Sanctuary Designed for Yoga teachers who hold a recognised teaching Yoga qualification. Recommended for teachers who are motivated to develop a specialisation in yoga with


pregnant women and new mothers. This course intends to equip yoga teachers with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum as in relation to yoga, so they can teach safely and competently. Early bird until 1 August. For more information

200-hour Certificate Course 2 December 2013-8 March 2014 Anahata Yoga This course provides yoga practitioners, enthusiasts, and aspiring instructors the chance to deepen their self-knowledge of yoga philosophy and improve on various aspects of their practice. It is an open-level training programme, suitable for those who have never done yoga before as well as those who have put in years of practice. For more information +852 2905 1822 /

Advanced Hatha Yoga Level 1 & II 14 March-6 April 2014, Level 1 11 April-18 May 2014, Level 2 Anahata Yoga This training is for yoga practitioners interested in growing their knowledge of Hatha yoga and developing their techniques in executing various Hatha yoga poses. The aim of the course is to challenge practitioners to advance in their practice by exploring the limits of their body and overcoming them, as well as to develop their knowledge of the body in order to

better understand every joint and muscle nuance in the poses.

For more information

Yin/Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers

For more information +852 2905 1822 /


20 November-1 December Koh Samui, Thailand Join Sarah for this 100hr Yoga Alliance certified programme.


Insight Yoga/Yin with Sarah Powers 9-14 November Under the Light Yoga School Tokyo, Japan For more information

Therapeutic Yoga 16 September-9 November Agama Yoga, Koh Phangan The first time this training is offered at Agama Yoga. Learn how to apply Therapeutic Yoga for healing purposes. For more information / / +66 892 330 217


Centered Yoga

200-Hour Tatva Yoga

19 October – 16 November Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Led by Elonne Stockton, Adarsh Williams and Sara GranströmThorsson, this Centered Yoga Training take place at Samahita Retreat on the tropical island of Koh Samui, Thailand. It covers yoga, asana, pranayama, ayurveda, anatomy, philosophy, Sanskrit & chanting.

2 August 2014 One Wellness Fitness Club Whether you are interested in deepening your own practice or want to become a Yoga teacher, the program is committed to your personal success. You will embark on an adventure in the realm of teaching. On a personal level, this will hopefully be the first step on a lifelong path of personal and spiritual growth.

For more information

For more information


Name that City One free copy of Reenita Malhotra Hora’s recently-released book “Forever Young, Unleasing the Magic of Ayurveda” to the first person to correctly name the U.S. city where this Yoga in the Park event took place in the photo below. Please email your answer to

photo by Lucas Bojarowski

June 2013





A sequence for the Liver/Gall Bladder Meridian BY DONA TUMACDER-ESTEBAN

The Liver channel begins in the big toe and goes up the inner thighs, through the groin, up the torso into the head and ends in the eyes. The Gall Bladder channel begins in the outside corner of the eye, passing through the side of the face, neck, breasts, side body and runs all the way down the outer hip and the side of the leg. Hold each pose for 5-7 minutes, focusing on the exhalation to relax the body. Use props to ease unnecessary muscle contraction and tension. Coming into a mindful, meditative state throughout the practice is encouraged to further promote relaxation and flow of Qi.

This sequence can be done at any stage of the cycle. It is highly recommended during ovulation and the pre-menstrual phase as these are governed by the Liver/Gall Bladder channels. Begin in Sukhasana or Savasana to bring awareness into one’s present moment. (Download this guided audio practice at







The Sequence 1. Butterfly (opposite page top) 2. Sleeping Swan with right leg forward (opposite page bottom) 3. Modified Sleeping Swan with right leg forward (top left) 4. Cat Tail with right over left (top right) Rest in savasana or cradle the knees to the chest Repeat 2-5 on the left side 5. Supine Butterfly (above) 6. Savasana (right)


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June 2013






Embracing our Moon with Grace & Ease BYDONA TUMACDER-ESTEBAN

A woman’s period is a blessing. A healthy cycle, including the menses itself, is a reflection of good health and fertility. It is also a monthly detoxification for the toxins of modern life’s daily stresses. When we learn to observe and read our cycle, it also becomes a source of information and wisdom for the changes we need to make so we can move through life’s phases with grace and ease. For women who suffer monthly before and during their menses, the period as a blessing may be difficult to embrace. Information on the subject has become scarce or distorted. This monthly blessing has been downgraded to a monthly hassle that women have to begrudgingly go through and even control. The sacred regard of the indigenous people and ancient societies of the monthly cycle as a rite of passage worth celebrating has been replaced by incomplete information in primary school health education, misguided information by the media, and for some cultures, shame and silence. Perhaps one of the biggest distortions about the period is the expectation of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea. Women all over the world are now expect discomfort from simple bloating and slight breast tenderness to more severe symptoms like depression, cramping, migraines, and debilitating physical pain. Industries have built fortunes on promoting medicine to temporarily address these symptoms. PMS and menstrual pains, however, can be managed through nutrition, rest, a stressmanaged lifestyle, and therapeutic yoga – specifically Yin Yoga which focuses on the energetic meridian channels of the body from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM, MOON PHASES, AND THE LIVER/ GALL BLADDER MERIDIANS Just like the phases of the moon, our menses is cyclical with a consistent, rhythmic pattern through the follicular phase all the way to the

blood phase. To keep this rhythm, the vital life force or Qi and blood have to be balanced, flowing, and well nourished. For this to happen, the different meridian channels associated with organs in the body all work together, with some taking center stage during the different phases. During the ovulation and pre-menstrual phase, the Liver meridian and its partner, the Gall Bladder meridian are important because they govern transformations in our bodies. Dr. Francisco Navarro, head of the Complementary Medicine Services at Manila’s premier hospital St. Lukes Medical Center – Global City and also a Yin Yoga teacher, adds the Liver/Gall Bladder systems regulate the movement of Qi throughout the body. This includes energy, blood, hormones, and emotions flowing through time, rhythms, and cycles – including the menstrual cycle. Excess or deficiency in the energy of these systems can cause imbalances that lead to PMS and painful periods. MIGRAINES, MOOD SWINGS, CRAMPS, BLOATING: WHAT’S LIVER GOT TO DO WITH IT? As the regulator of the flow of vital life force, the Liver/Gall Bladder meridians play a central role in common PMS symptoms, together with the Kidney and Spleen meridians. For example, migraines (sometimes called liver headaches) at the top of the head or at the temples can indicate excessive Qi and heat trapped in the upper part of the body. Heating emotions such as stress, frustration and anger common in modern women who are expected to play multiple roles in society may have caused this excess Qi and heat. If the body’s Qi flow, specifically the Liver/Gall Bladder Qi, is smooth, these emotions or energies in motion just pass through. If there are blockages in Qi flow, the energy stagnates and blood does not flow smoothly, manifesting as painful symptoms and often strong emotions: depression, withdrawal, rage.

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The Liver/Gall Bladder systems also govern the contraction and expansion of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons leading to cramping and PMS pain. Other PMS symptoms related to these meridians include insomnia, breast tenderness and bloating. FROM WOMEN’S HELL TO WOMEN’S HEALTH: HARMONIZING THE FLOW It is natural to have a slight drop in physical energy and a shift in psycho-emotional energy from a creative state into a more reflective contemplative state during the pre-menstrual and blood phases of the cycle. Because of the hormonal changes in the body, extreme deviations from the natural, like PMS, are worth examining. These provide us with important information for assessing our health. These symptoms and the quality of the menstrual blood can clue us into the state of our overall health and the changes we have to make in our lifestyles. In addition, the intensity of our symptoms and their rate of recurrence also reflect the gravity of imbalance in our Qi and the time and effort needed to come back to our healthy state. Harmonizing the flow and bringing the Qi back to a natural, comfortable rhythm is pertinent to our long-term health. Because life is a continuum, imbalances, if not addressed, impact fertility and menopause. In TCM, fertility treatments begin with correcting the menstrual cycle. Moreover, it has been observed women with PMS also suffer from more intense menopausal symptoms. With the knowledge presented here and the Yin sequence on page 14, hopefully suffering will no longer be a given. By embracing our moon cycle with grace and ease, and consciously moving towards wellbeing through nutrition, lifestyle changes, and a therapeutic Yin Yoga practice intelligently sequenced to tap into the meridian lines of the body, we can transform this monthly bane into a monthly blessing.




What does it really matter if our yoga has deep or shallow roots? BY PAUL DALLAGHAN

What does it mean when we use the term “classical yoga”? And as opposed to what? “Popular yoga”? Is it the same meaning as “traditional yoga” or “yoga from the tradition”? Is it that big of an issue if our yoga is more modern, no traditional roots, or is it a problem? Many, including myself, try to use the term “classical yoga” to emphasize its deep roots and that it was not made up in the past few years. I, and others, tend to emphasize a tradition or a lineage. In light of this I would like to offer an explanation. Classical yoga withstands the cross-generational shift. To do so there needs a clear lineage of teachers who have learned, practiced, and then taught to their students, this unbroken tradition of teachings. To survive from one generation of teacher to the next generation requires a real dedication on the teacher and students’ part, one that cannot be covered in personal ambition and greed. It can only continue based on integrity and humility, a respect to the teacher before and the teachings learned. Many family dynasties or dictatorships barely survive three generations, with many teetering out after one generation. This is because they are based on greed, selfishness, personal ambition and tend to lack a certain equality for all members. Or if they do survive the message is so diluted that it barely resembles the original intent of its creation. This then begs the question: is the tradition untouchable, can nothing be done with it or would that be considered heresy? Any true tradition is able to move with the changing times and landscape. How the public in the US or Europe today approach and see yoga is quite different to 100 years ago, when it was in its infancy outside India. There is room for refinement, development and evolution, just as the sciences have evolved over time. Physics, for example, does not recognize one master but has taken the previous 20

generation’s work and built on it. It is similar with elements of yoga practice. The point is to keep the integrity of the tradition. To do so one must become very well practiced in its elements first. Out of that arises a greater understanding. One is then in a more qualified position to refine elements of the practice. So tradition is subject to evolution. In the 1920s the great yogi Swami Kuvalayananda helped to revolutionize the teaching and understanding of yoga. Some may even call that modern. Similar to the message of Swami Vivekananda, yoga and its practice should not be governed by hierarchy, dogma, superstition and one’s whims. If so it becomes a limiting force as opposed to its intended nature of release. Swami Kuvalayananda studied all the yoga practices with a scientific eye, helping to clear up many mistruths, misunderstandings and personalized hype. He also knew the limit of science as it approaches the personal experience. While keeping the tradition and integrity, he took an advanced asana, purna matsyendrasana, and modified it to ardha matsyendrasana and an even simpler version with the leg straight. There is a big difference between a “modification” and a “compromise”. The modification keeps the original integrity of the practice whereas a compromise will sacrifice much of the central tenets just to get what one wants, an example being to push one in to an asana. Without any judgment on the current yoga scene, we, the student looking in, need to assess it from these angles herein described. A lack of tradition usually reveals some key figurehead today expressing their name and approach, usually as better than others, cut off from the continuing lineage of true teaching. There will often be a compromise to just make things easier, better, simpler, diluted, just to get more people involved. If an accompanying bio is loaded with many teachers’ names it usually tells you this person has not really studied with anyone but has had short visits to many. This may be very NAMASKAR

In the 1920s Swami Kuvalayananda helped revolutionize the teaching and understanding of yoga

successful from a business model and marketing exercise but does not make up for its lack of depth. In our short human life it is not so easy for us to observe the generational shift in passing on the practice and instead get carried away with the color of the message. Classical yoga survives many generations of teaching, passed down through a lineage in a very personal way. It allows for evolution through refinement and modification, not compromise or dilution. Tradition, in another word, is scientific. This tells us the continuation of the teaching is not tainted with personal ambition, desire or confusion. Sometimes that exists under a large institution with a figurehead but very often it is a group of personal teachers in their own right who can stand tall purely on the shoulders of all those who have come before them.

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Yoga changed me and introduced me to myself. BY AYLSSA PIMENTAL

I was a senior at The James Baldwin School in New York when I was convinced to sign up for a summer yoga by my sister, her friend and even our school social worker, Rehana. Back in 2010, I was extremely shy and didn’t socialize much. I grew up in a tight-knit family with strict, over-protective parents. In my family, it wasn’t normal to just cry or articulate feelings. It was a sign of weakness. As I was moving from middle school to high school, I had many role models but I didn’t have one person to talk to about my transition. I had some middle school friends, but they didn’t understand because they stayed in the same school for high school. The reason I didn’t feel as lonely was because I could hide behind my sister, until she graduated. That first summer yoga class I didn’t get the meaning of yoga. It was mostly physical for me, about getting my body to loosen up and meet more students. The summer yoga programme was only one month; the workshops encouraged me to speak up a more. But the changes weren’t as noticeable. The second time I tried yoga, it was for a whole semester. I learned more about the concepts. But it still didn’t have as deep a meaning to me as it has now. I was still a bit

Whether you start as young as baby Gia Amirta, here with dad Yogaraj, as a teenager like Alyssa or as an adult, yoga offers tremendous benefits.


close-minded, which limited my understanding of things. I did start changing small things like drinking more water, breathing more deeply, participating in smaller groups and calming myself in arguments. I noticed the difference from when I wouldn’t do yoga, not only would my body tighten but also my mood and energy wouldn’t be as high. I was a work in progress and those minor changes opened me to myself and my mind to what yoga really is: a way of living. In 2011 I was in the middle of my junior year I was overwhelmed academically, medically and personally. I had believed crying was a weakness, but yoga taught me the opposite. I was trying to hamper my tears while opening up and letting go. I remember my yoga instructor, Erin said, “Let it go through and out your body.” She made an analogy of how feelings are a pond and you have to let the pond flow. One day while I was in yoga class, I felt myself trying to let go while holding in the tears – that wasn’t possible. It’s like trying to drink water with your mouth closed. I went to the dressing room and cried about every thing I was stressed about. A minute later Rehana came in. She saw me crying and just hugged me without asking “What’s wrong?” or “Are you okay?” The only thing she said was it was okay, and at that moment I felt myself let go, as though the pond was moving as slow as it could. I had someone hugging me and supporting me. It felt like I cried for hours, I was exhausted. After I stopped, Rehana, as if knowing how I felt, told me I didn’t have to speak to her about it now. But I did open up to her and I think that is when my relationship with myself started and my relationships with others improved. The next yoga courses I took deepened my perspective on life. I stopped seeing crying as a weakness; it takes a lot of inner strength to articulate your feelings. Not letting go can make you close-minded. Without letting those feelings go, you don’t allow any good ones to enter. After I became stronger about my perspective and beliefs, I brought it into my family. I still remind them of the normality of feelings and the process of NAMASKAR

letting go. I have created that space, so it is okay to speak of feelings even though I still struggle with them for being called ‘sensitive’ and ‘dramatic’, they’re still thinking about the concepts and ideas. Another thing I learned is you can’t force a person think your way, you can just present it to them and let them handle the information given. Meditation was new to me and a minute felt like five. As I kept meditating in class I noticed a difference and started meditating for a minute at home once and a while. Now I meditate every other day for five to 15 minutes. Five minutes now feels like one. Meditating allows me to keep calm during mornings that aren’t so great. I have influenced my surroundings including my mother. When I brought nutrition to my family, my mother supported it and we now buy organic, caged-free eggs, healthier chips, more fruits and much more veggies. I drink lots of more water. I like to find natural ways to relieve pain, leaving pills as a last resort, because I have also realized most of the medicine or vitamins you need are in foods or liquids. I noticed my immune system strengthen as well as my self-value. My surroundings have also improved. I have strengthened my relationship with my parents, and can express my feelings and allow them to enter my teenage world. I have strengthened my relationship with my sister, and created a space where she knows she can open up to me. I have made wonderful friendships and developed a strong bond with a significant other with whom we can speak about anything and not be judged. Yoga helped me develop into a happy, healthy me and will continue to do so as I transition to college where I hope to pursue a career as a Family and Couple Therapist with a Yoga Instructor Certificate. Alyssa’s yoga teacher and San Francisco’s Director for Yoga at School, Erin Wilson will be in Hong Kong for a Yoga for Teens Intensive 4 – 6 October 2013, White Lotus Centre.

June 2013






Personal trainers are common at gyms, but what about private yoga? BY RACHEL JACQUELINE

While most of Hong Kong still sleeps at 5am on a Monday, Danny McLellan is already setting an intention for the week through a one-on-one yoga practice with his teacher, Claudia Whitney. Once the indulgence of celebrities like Madonna, private yoga classes are fast becoming the norm for aspiring yogis to busy executives alike. Though the cost for a single class compares to a month’s worth of classes, the value gained is incomparable says Danny.

in practice with her Master Mooji and Hong Kong, finds her schedule is completely booked on her return to the city. Not surprisingly, she believes the reason for her increasingly busy schedule is the attention students receive in a private lesson. “The teacher can work with the student’s inability as well as abilities,” she says. However, it’s more than just about better technique says Tiana. “Private classes offer a deeper insight into yoga practice. There is less ego in the room, less competitive energy.”

Though he has been practising for 15 years, private classes with Claudia have taken his yoga to the next level. A trader at a large bank, initially the early morning practices were a way to keep yoga in his busy schedule, but the 33-year-old has since found greater benefits than just convenience.

“I teach so that my private students don’t need me all the time. In the beginning we work closely together and then we can see other other less and check in from time to time,” she says.

Claudia, who left Pure Yoga Hong Kong earlier this year after ten years of group classes in New York, Thailand, and Spain has found the experience of private teaching with students like Danny even more rewarding than expected.

“Many of my students take many classes when I am in town but then work on their practice at home and then email me or Skype me if they have a problem or I refer them to a substitute teacher when I am away.”

Hong Kong and Portugal-based private yoga instructor Tiana Harilela

A tailored yoga practice also helps those with injuries recover faster, says teacher KookHee Andersson, who teaches mainly private classes these days. In a city where having a personal trainer is commonplace, surprisingly private yoga teaching has taken longer to catch on. But in the last two to three years the demand for individual attention has increased, says yoga teacher Tiana Harilela.

Group classes are still an important part of the yoga formula according to Andersson. “You get the group’s energy and support,” she says. Mixing up group classes with private sessions is the best way to really immerse yourself in yoga practice says the teacher of 11 years. Both Danny and Devika include regular group sessions in their yoga routine. Ultimately, the aim of private yoga teaching is so that students no longer require the teacher or the group class says Tiana.

“The connection deepens between teacher and student in private sessions as there are far fewer people and distractions,” he says. “My flexibility, breath and overall practice have improved immensely in the last year.”

“It’s mind blowing just how quickly people improve,” she says. “They can go further in a way that’s safe for their body and with the right alignment.”

But Devika cautions anyone taking on private yoga to chose their teacher wisely. “Yoga is an art and a gift that cannot be mastered in just a few years,” she says. “Yoga can do damage to your body with an inexperienced yoga teacher. But a good private teacher will understand your body and know exactly how much to push you or not depending on your personality.”

Devika Virmani agrees. Like Danny, the 41 year old search consultant initially opted for private yoga as a way to fit yoga into her life, but the experience has completely changed her approach.

Though private lessons may be more burdensome on the hip pocket, it seems that the individual care, accelerated progress and deeper appreciation for yoga practice – not to mention the strong bonds formed – that make it a worthwhile investment in oneself. If you ask Danny, it’s ultimately a choice on where your dollars are spent. “I’d rather spend cash on things that benefit the body,” he says. If you agree, perhaps it’s time to consider the investment.

“I’ve grown in my appreciation of yoga more holistically and I’m in the process of deepening my understanding of yoga philosophy,” she says.

Tiana, who spends her time between Portugal June 2013






My practice is reflective rather than physical

Why do you prefer fixed sequence or varied sequences? I practice the Ashtanga style, so a fixed sequence. I personally don’t have anything against varied sequences, it works well for some people. I see my practice as a reflective practice rather than a physical practice (although obviously, there is a physical component to it), so the fixed sequence allows me to practice two important things: first the breath, knowing the routine allows me to fully focus on my breath. When I attend new yoga classes that follow a sequence I don’t know, I find that I spend a lot of mental effort on just following the instructions and it distracts me. Second, because there is a dimension of routine to the fixed practice, it also allows me to become aware of my own internal patterns. It is a bit like marriage, living with someone for years, loving them, hating them, and learning about your own mind in the process.

What sequencing theory do you follow? I am not sure I subscribe to any theory to say the truth. I just step on my mat, and start my practice. Practice. And practice. Forward bends, backbends, twists, standing poses, arm balances, inversions, pranayama, meditation – how do you typically sequence these in your practice? I follow the Ashtanga sequence, so I start with part of the first series, some standing poses, forward bends, twists, then I do the start of the second series, with more back bends, and I finish with inversions. I do the Ashtanga pranayama sequence after my physical practice. I could do it before (I used to do it before in fact), but it is just easier to sequence it that way right now. I do meditation before or after the physical practice and pranayama, depending on how my day is organised. I also take some time during the day to sit and observe my breath.

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Helene Liu founded The MasterMinds, a niche consulting organisation which mission was inspired by pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson who wrote in 1964: ‘The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature, but of ourselves’. She was introduced to Qi Gong and Tai Chi by her musician father at an early age. She is a student of yoga as well as internal and external martial arts. She will be teaching at Asia Yoga Conference 6 – 9 June at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information




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WHY SEQUENCE? Most of the sequences followed today by Western yoga stem from Krishnamacharya’s teachings. BY VALERIE FANECO

SEQUENCING KUNDALINI The experiences change, but the sequences stay the same............p33


ANATOMY OF SEQUENCING Does it make sense to do one group of poses before another..............p34

TO HEAL & TRANSFORM What’s the thinking behind a Forrest Yoga class.........................p35


HEADSTAND OR SHOULDERSTAND FIRST? Four teachers share their thoughts on this ............................................p36

Marcus Wong photo courtesy of Kat Kuok Photography

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a practice is a sequence of steps arranged in a certain order to produce certain effects

Nowhere in the classical texts of yoga do we find explicit information about sequencing. So where does the need for sequencing come from? Who championed the idea of sequencing and the famous series of postures known around the world today? It was none other than a five-foot Brahman from South India, T. Krishnamacharya, who has become widely acknowledged as the grand-father of modern yoga. He was the main teacher of BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi. In the 1940s, around the time Krishnamacharya came back from the Himalayas where he had spent seven years studying with his master, yoga as a healing system had declined and been replaced by the western approach to medicine which came along with the British Raj. Krishnamacharya began the work of teaching and promoting yoga by giving free lectures and presentations to demonstrate the power of yoga as a holistic method to maintain health and encourage healing. It is highly likely that sequences of postures were taught prior to Krishnamacharya’s time in various forms. Krishnamacharya structured them and put them together with indications about how to combine the breath with postures in a way that made them both safe and efficient. The practices which are now commonly known around the world as “vinyasa flow” derive largely from the way Krishnamacharya was teaching in his yoga school in the 1940s, to provide children and young adults with no responsibilities and no physical limitations with a strong foundation in this discipline. Many students and teachers are familiar with the word “vinyasa”. It is interesting to note that in ancient times this term was used in a military context to refer to the placement of troops on the battlefield: vinyasa means “special (vi) arrangement (nyasa)”. Therefore the general meaning of vinyasakrama is “a special arrangement of steps”. This is one of the most crucial aspects of Krishnamacharya’s teaching method. 32

Krishnamacharya taught the classical sequence surya-namaskar as the basis for all yoga postures - standing, seated, supine, prone, and inverted - provided the student was capable of doing it in this manner. Starting in samasthiti (which is the reference posture in a standing position) one goes through the complete sequence of postures with attention to the breathing until one arrives in the goal posture, stays in it for some time, counting the number of breaths and perhaps even measuring the duration of each breathing phase (inhalation, hold, exhalation, and hold again). The student then comes out of this main asana by usually doing the same sequence of postures in the reverse order. For example (as we can see in the diagrams below), to do sarvângâsana (shoulderstand) one begins in samasthiti, follows all the steps up to sarvângâsana, remains it in for some time and then comes back to the starting position (samasthiti) by doing the same postures and breathing phases in the other direction. This is how children and young adults were taught to do it classically, but we must remember Krishnamacharya always allowed room for modifications to make it safer for those who could not do it. According to Krishnamacharya’s method each posture is taught in combination with specific breathing indications into it and out of it, either inhalation or exhalation, or even sometimes whilst holding the breath after exhalation, such as when jumping is involved between some of these postures (as shown in the above diagrams). This implies that the student is not only competent in holding the posture itself, but also in the manner of taking it and coming out of it, mindfully. The way to breathe into it and out of it depends on the previous position (amongst other things). So each step becomes an important verification before moving on to the next one. We can link this idea with the word “atha ” (as in “atha yoga anushasanam”, the very first sutra in Patanjali’s Yoga-sutra), an auspicious word that marks a beginning. It also means “now”. How am I now, physically and mentally? How do I feel? Am I ready to do the next posture or NAMASKAR

take the next breath? If the body is shaking or shows any other signs of instability (angamejayatva, Yoga-sutra I.31), I am not ready. If the breath is short or irregular (shvasa-prashvasa, I.31), I am not ready. If the body is stable (sthira-sukha II.46), if the breath is long and smooth (dirgha-sukshma II.50), then I can proceed to the next step (krama), the next posture, the next breath. To practice asana in this way, physical and mental strength are both necessary. We must remain a constant witness of our connection with the practice. This self-enquiry is a cornerstone of our practice (svadhyaya II.1), it helps to give the word “asana” its true meaning in the Sanskrit language, which is “an attitude of the entire being” and elevates the yoga posture above and beyond simple gymnastics… The mind is clear, focused, and the sensory faculties are channeled. In short, asana practice becomes a samyama (Yogasutra chapter III), or, as it is sometimes said, a “meditation in action”. Yet we must keep in mind that this does not constitute a goal in itself but is merely another step towards liberation from suffering, which is the ultimate goal of yoga. The effort is unending, the work ongoing. So we can say that certain elements are of vital importance in sequencing a yoga practice: as far as the physical posture is concerned, each step (krama) is a reminder to cultivate a dual quality, sthira-sukha (II.46: “the posture is firm and comfortable”). These two aspects - sthira (firmness) and sukha (ease or comfort) - reinforce each other and should be equally present. As far as the breath in concerned, each step is a reminder to cultivate another dual quality, dirgha-sukshma (II.50: “the breath is long and smooth”). Here also, both complement each other: the breath is long, to a certain extent, because it is smooth; smooth, to a certain extent, because it is long. If we are to apply these principles in yoga practice, we must be prepared to see ourselves as we are, but also to recognize the need to modify the practice in case we are not ready for the next step.

Marcus Wong photo courtesy of Kat Kuok Photography



Following the teaching, and find your own experiences.

To better understand these questions, let’s first look at the word kriya, which means “complete action.” Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini yoga to the West, taught yogic postures in sets to create a desired affect or complete action. To change the order of asanas, take out the hard poses, or put in your favorite backbend, is to no longer follow the teachings the way they were delivered. To do this is to enter a gray area- you don’t know what affect you are creating, and it can no longer be considered Kundalini yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan), it becomes Kundalini Yoga as Taught by This Teacher, and his or her ego and identity become intertwined.

BY REBECCA LOMBARDI All kundalini yoga kriyas (sets of yogic postures) are taught in a set sequence. If you have ever attended a Kundalini yoga class, your teacher may have informed you three minutes into your invigorating alternate leglifts that you are beginning Nahbi kriyawhich resets, activates, and strengthens your navel center. If you have previous experience with this kriya, then you know you’ve got another seven minutes to go, and several minutes of leg lifts to come! Once you’ve practiced this kriya, the next time a teacher grins and announces Nahbi kriya, you know what you’re in for! Why are sets “set” and can’t be moved around? Why not put the leg lifts at the end, or switch back and forth between leg lifts and alternate leg lifts? Does this restrict the teacher from creating something new and fresh for a class, and couldn’t it get, well, boring?

Though Yogi Bhajan delivered thousands of kriyas, each was designed to have a certain affect, each breath, movement, and mantra building upon the last. The teachings range far and wide and include kriyas and meditations for most physical, mental, and emotional ailments one could imagine. It’s important to remember that it is not to be used in place of going to a physician, and, to alter the sequence is to compromise the significant healing and benefit one could gain from a kriya. Yogi Bhajan himself had this to say about staying in sequence: “Variations are not anything but going down a muddy road. You’ll have to take a very long route and use a lot more energy, so why go away from the original path, when it is straight and simple?” Follow the teachings the way they are taught, and find your own experience within them. Kundalini yoga is often explained as a yoga of angles and triangles (every angle we hold our June 2013

body in has a corresponding effect because the muscles are putting pressure on specific parts of the body” YB), but I think one could also assert that it is composed of sequences upon sequences. When an individual takes on a Kundalini practice, they are encouraged to select a kriya and practice it for 40, 90, 120, or 1,000 days. Sound intense? For many it is, and it is within this intensity and structure that practitioners develop physical strength, deeper mental awareness, and an experience of their unlimited Self. Just as musicians become masters through rehearsing the same musical piece over and over again, dedicating oneself to a kriya and the experience of it day in and day out can be a profound and liberating experience. Every time you tune in there is the opportunity to experience your discipline, to find something new in your body or thoughts—even though you are doing the same thing you did for the past 57 days—to simply be in the grace of the kundalini yoga lineage and persevere in your transformation of releasing old habits and creating new ways of being that serve you. Each time Kundalini yogis initiate a class or individual practice, we chant the Adi mantra, Ong Na Mo Guru Dev Na Mo. Also known as “tuning in,” this mantra means I call on Infinite Creative Consciousness, I call on the Divine wisdom. It connects the practitioner into his or her infinite self, as well as into the lineage of yogic masters who created this sacred science, also called the Golden Chain. By beginning each and every practice with this mantra we are invoking the wisdom of this profound practice and the essence of its original transmission. To close the class, teachers are encouraged to share the 33

Longtime Sunshine Song, and to always seal the session with “Sat nam”: I bow to the Infinite Wisdom, the teacher within. Acknowledging oneself, fellow students, and the practice itself. When I first learned that kriyas do not change, I was concerned classes could become repetitive: I like things to be fresh and new, to be surprised and delighted, to have different challenges and do something unpredictable! (I usually don’t like knowing I have 10 minutes of leg lifts ahead of me!) Through my personal practice and teaching, I’ve discovered the joy of perfecting a kriya, and also. Outside of the kriya, most classes incorporate breathe work, physical warm-ups, and a meditation, which often follows a long corpse pose. Whether in home practice or teaching a class, one can mix and match any of these variables. Creating a new and unique experience every time. And that is the aim- to have an experience. Through the thoughts that come up, “I like/ I don’t like/ I’m frustrated/ I’m tired, this is easy/ this is too hard” you begin to drop all the little conversations, and experience the relationship between you and yourself, connecting your finite and your infinite, and bow to the wisdom of the teachings, and the infinite wisdom of the teacher within.



Is there a right or wrong way to sequence a class? BY ANDY WILLNER

Do the different muscle groups in our bodies give us any clues as to which poses should follow which? Can we apply Patanjali’s yoga sutra: “sthira sukham asanam” (sitting postures should be stable and comfortable) (Ch2:46) to our modern day hatha yoga practice when we are not just sitting? Whether one’s style of yoga tends towards a great variety of postures or a fixed sequence such as Bikram or Ashtanga Vinyasa, I think most teachers would agree there should be a logic behind the sequencing (krama). Ultimately the modern forms of asana practice are seeking balanced action and optimal alignment so the practitioner can 34

Marcus Wong photo courtesy of Kat Kuok Photography

enjoy the fullest expression of their life force/ energy (prana). Whilst every teacher will have their own views on the appropriate order of postures within a class, I should like to offer some thoughts on the broader outline of a class sequence (based unashamedly on what I like). I am assuming for simplicity’s sake we are talking about a general group class whether for beginner, intermediate or advanced practitioners, rather than a specific yoga therapy class for an individual with specific needs, although many of the ideas might still be relevant in the latter situation. Stage 1: To start the class, I like to ground students by having them come into a comfortable seated position or child’s pose and begin to focus on their breathing, whilst releasing thoughts about their world beyond the yoga mat for the next 60-90 minutes. Depending on the style of the class I also like to theme the class so the students have something mental/spiritual to consider during their moving meditation. Stage 2: Then we enter the warm-up phase, during which I emphasize movement of the joints to warm up synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant secreted by the membrane lining joints and tendon sheaths. I like to spend some time on wrist mobilizations (I borrow this from New York teacher Nevine Michaan), as it can be an overlooked joint during the warm up and is heavily utilized in arm NAMASKAR

balances and inversions, like handstands. Stage 3: After the warm up, I follow with standing postures and sun salutations. Physiologically it makes sense to work the big muscle groups earlier in the practice. Isolating smaller muscles, which tire more easily, would inhibit the practitioner from being able to perform poses in which the primary muscle utilized is a big one supported by a small one. For example, with plank to chaturanga to plank the large pectoral muscles of the chest are supported by the smaller triceps. However if the triceps have already been exhausted, then completion of this movement would be impossible. Generally students have more energy at this point in the class so are best able to perform the standing postures that engage the large glut, quad and hamstring muscles whilst concentrating on optimal alignment. Stage 4: At this point, I might bring in some core work on the floor prior to inversion or arm balance poses. My own experience has been after the stomach routine, I can connect my upper and lower body together better, and hence my stability in poses such as Pinca Mayurasana (Feathered peacock pose) or Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) are greatly enhanced. Also for beginners, development of the core is vital in order to progress to more challenging asanas safely. Stage 5: After inversions which typically would be an apex of the practice, I gradually

move to floor-based postures in preparation for backbends. Poses like Salabhasana (locust), Dhanurasana (bow), Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana prep (pigeon) with backbend and Supta Virasana (supine hero) might be appropriate. Then this can be followed by more vigorous back bends such as Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel), which would constitute a second apex. Stage 6: Having worked the muscles of the back with vigorous muscular contraction in most of the stage 5 poses, I would now look to gently extend the spine with poses such as Pavanmuktasana (wind relieving pose) and Supta Padangustasana (reclining big toe pose) and Jathara Parivartanasana (revolved abdomen pose with bent knees) followed by symmetrical poses to complete the sequence such as Apanasana (knees to chest) and Ananda Balasana (happy baby). Stage 7: So now it’s time to dim the lights and enjoy Savasana (corpse pose). Finally I like to bring students back to a comfortable seated position to spend a brief moment reflecting on their practice and to reinforce the theme of the class again. The above attempts to give a general shape to a class and clearly there can be many adjustments to the sequence suggested, however, I believe a gentle start working up to a crescendo with one or two apexes and then back down to a diminuendo to finish. By following this general guideline, the sequence of the class should be safe as well as “sthira and sukham”!

practices woke me up to a slew of facts about myself and made me aware of, and more importantly, led me to take action on abolishing habits that I no longer needed. A very big earthquake shift changed my life —I learned how to transform my daily actions and to lose more than 100 pounds and I have kept it off for four years. Now, I share this gift of practice with others in studios and in the workplace. WHAT IS FORREST YOGA? Forrest Yoga was founded by American Yogi, Healer, Medicine Woman, and author of Fierce Medicine, Ana T. Forrest. It is a popular practice that keeps a sharp eye on modern life and its challenges. Native American traditions are part of its philosophical fabric and practices as well. Central to this practice is Ana’s development and use of breath and yoga as healing tools alongside her mission to “Mend the Hoop of the People.” In practice, Forrest Yoga recognizes mind and body as one unit. Rather than living in our heads, Forrest Yoga challenges us to track sensations through feeling. Whether it’s an emotion or a hip, its essential for us to be able to identify ourselves through feelings and breath in order to understand and manage our lives. This practice of feeling reunites mind and body in a way that can help generate personal growth. And it is physiologically friendly to how we live today. Rather than struggling with sensations or poses or breath, Forrest Yoga encourages us to practice with more ease. Meditation and chanting are often included. For many of us, tweaky necks from desk jobs are a common problem. Carpal tunnel is another frequent ailment.



Each Forrest class contains magic, beauty, & mystery BY BARBARA PASSY

Listen to the deeply resonant music of breath as it reverberates throughout the room and mingles with the wisdom and harmony of powerful sequencing. Thoughtful Forrest sequences provide access to all levels of students and generate and transport Forrest Yoga magic, healing and change. What snagged me early on about this practice was the fact Forrest Yoga sequences and practices guided me in how to get wiser younger. These

Forrest Yoga teachers learn to develop sequences that work by taking each class they prepare, before they teach it. Thus, each teacher knows how that class will feel in the students’ body and will also feel the entire practice in a visceral way that will make the teaching a compassionate and empathetic presentation. WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A FORREST YOGA SEQUENCE? Each Forrest Yoga teacher can move in whatever direction feels best for that day’s theme and can incorporate poses meet the students needs. In my personal experience as a teacher and a student, I can attest to the excitement of participating in a great class as well as the rewards of teaching a solidly built and well thought out sequence. The common denominators are the four basics of Forrest Yoga: 1-Deep Breathing 2-Tracking through Feeling 3-Active Feet and Hands 4- Relaxed Neck Interwoven with those basics, each class contains “Magic, Beauty, and Mystery” conveyed in the sequence of each teacher. June 2013

EXAMPLE OF A SEQUENCE FOR A FORREST YOGA CEREMONY Forrest Yoga sequences typically start in comfortable seated positions in order to get students breathing more deeply and to adjust their focus to practice. Pranayama begins each ceremony. Wrist stretches are one pose that can be inserted early on and that addresses and brings breath out into arms and hands. Ujjayi followed by alternate nostril breathing, sivananda breath, or kapalabati are examples of how things begin. Very important to this section is the setting of an intention. This intention will become the goal or theme for that days practice. An important aspect of Forrest Yoga is healing. Therefore, a teacher may ask students to each pick a spot that needs more attention that day. The teacher will then instruct her to direct breath into that spot. Understanding that emotional issues are lodged within cell tissue is another potential tool for healing. Each class sets a theme and focuses attention. This is followed by asanas that warm and lubricate joints such as side bends, neck releases, and spinal twists in seated positions. Next are typically abdominal asanas that heat the core. Forrest Yogas signature abdominal poses include Abs with a Roll , elbow to knee, and frog lifting through. Perhaps up next are inversions that change the pace and move the class to the wall. Ana is a big fan of inversions and notes, Handstand is exhilarating. As it activates your endorphins, it uplifts and washes your energy clean in a minute. Sun Salutations fit nicely into the next part of the sequence to keep growing the warmth and energy for the yoga ceremony. Forrest Yoga suns are B-series vignettes (which are combinations of poses that might include lunges, Warriors, Half Moon, and many others) continue the class theme and are constructed in order to delight as well as challenge students of all levels. Teachers will utilize the energy and heat generated to bring students safely to apex poses such as back bends or arm balances. After apex poses, there will be warm down poses or vignettes such as a standing twisting series if back bends were the apex. In order to cool down practitioners from a back bend class, poses such as happy baby, lying down spinal twist, or back release pose (or all three) might follow. Savasana ends every Forrest Yoga class.




We asked four AYC teachers, here’s what they said.

GISELLE MARI Even yogi’s can get mired down in what’s “right” when it comes to the order of these two asanas. As with most things in life, it depends. Knowing the intention/ aim of your practice will drive how you utilize these powerhouse asanas. If you want to stimulate your Chakras for example, Shoulderstand would come first followed by Headstand. Perhaps you want to build heat and then cool down, in which case start with Headstand and conclude with the cooling affects of Shoulderstand. What we can all agree on is these are essential asanas and when practiced mindfully and with regularity, can increase the health and wellbeing of the practitioner.

AMY IPPOLITI Everyone has their preference on what order in which to practice their Headstands and Shoulderstands. Nothing heats me up like a good Headstand - in fact it’s one of the only poses that makes me drip with sweat even though I am completely still. Shoulderstand on the other hand cools me down. I prefer to cool down after being hot, simple as that. Especially before savasana.

EDWARD CLARK In the past, the people I worked with accepted the convention that shoulderstand was used as a counterpose for headstand – the thinking being it relieved neck compression that might result from a lengthy headstand. However, we often had 10minute headstands in choreography with no counterpose after. Do you know what? It didn’t make any difference. Possibly the counterpose notion came about because people were doing headstands badly. I don’t think it makes much difference which comes first. How does a person know if they are doing a headstand badly? If you can breathe deeply and evenly, you’re probably okay. If there’s undue strain, are you sure you should remain there that long? An obsession with the order asanas should be done in is, unfortunately, often associated with people who have bought into the idea there is a single and correct formula to follow.



MARLA APT Sirsasana (Headstand) should precede Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) in practice because Sirsasana is a heating, stimulating asana while Sarvangasana is a cooling and calming asana. Sarvangasana stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and balances the effects of Sirsasana later in the practice. If practiced without Sarvangasasana, Sirsasana alone can be mentally agitating. Sarvangasana also balances the actions in the neck from Sirsasana, lengthening muscles that are contracted in the practice of Sirsasana. However when beginners are introduced to inversions, students should first learn to be uplifted and stable in Sarvangasana before attempting Sirsasana. If one doesn’t have time for both while practicing, Sarvangasana can be practiced alone, without Sirsasana.

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Natural remedies for stressful lives. BY REENITA MALHOTRA HORA

My late grandparents had a longevity mantra that was synonymous with the objective of Ayurveda, India’s ancient medicine: to live long you must live life to your full potential. Today, we lead more stressful lives than our grandparents did as we have consciously brought complexity into the framework of our life. While once upon a time, we patterned our habits according to the natural rhythm of seasons, today our existence is controlled through the flick of a switch. We have evolved as human beings but with this evolution comes ill health, disease and perhaps shorter life spans. Is it progress or simply a series of impediments to it? Ayurveda is believed to be the oldest medical science in existence. Sanskrit for the ‘science of life’, it is a set of self-care guidelines that will help any person stay healthy and feel good by understanding the needs of his or her own mind and body. The medicine offers us ways and means to disconnect from our remote controlled existence and follow a way of life that is simpler and attuned to the natural patterns of the universe. For most of us, our mind-body already has a natural tendency towards this but it has gotten suppressed by ‘modern living’. Perhaps the most unique thing about Ayurveda is that it recognizes that we are all different – that each of us has a unique mind and body. After all, we look and behave differently from one another, and we all have different reactions to everyday situations. Everything from the foods we eat to the emotions we experience affects us each in our own way. We all have our own personal definition of what it means to be happy, healthy and in balance – that is, feeling full of energy and life. And because we are each unique, we all require different treatments and remedies to help us be our best. Ayurveda as a system includes tools to help figure out what these customized treatments should be. Contrast this to the quick fix “aspirin” culture that most of us abide by today.

The young and not-so-young regenerate cells and tissues while sleeping

The mind and body are not two separate entities but are closely intertwined. We have all seen how our thinking affects our body (say, when we are worried or upset and our skin breaks out) and how our body affects our mind (like the way our self-esteem plummets when we do not get regular exercise). Ayurveda has two special terms to convey this idea. The physical or tangible body, Sthoola Sharira, is our skin, bones and muscles – everything we would find in a Western anatomy textbook. The energetic body, Sukshna Sharira, is that with which we feel, sense, spiritualize, emote and think. So happiness and joy, emotional pain, psyche, perceptions, hunches and intuition are all considered to form part of our energetic anatomy. Ayurveda works on healing both the energetic and the physical bodies, because one can never reach its full potential if the other is not strong. Because many of us experience so much stress these days, and because ‘feeling stressed’ is really just another way of saying our life is out of balance, Ayurveda is more useful and important now than ever before. It is the perfect antidote to stress because it addresses the whole person and how she is affected by her lifestyle. MY TOP 5 AYURVEDIC LONGEVITY TIPS 1. Know thy dosha (your Ayurvedic mind-body constitution). You don’t have to become an expert but understanding your dosha is like June 2013

understanding your own mind-body blueprint. If nothing else, it will equip you with better information about yourself for your next conversation with your doctor or healthcare provider. 2. Get your Zzz’s. The body’s cells and tissues regenerate during sleep so getting your rest is as vital as exercising and nutrition. 3. Drink plenty of water through the remainder of the year. This is one thing that all of us just don’t do enough. You need to drink as many glasses of water as the hours you are awake in a day. 4. Don’t over-eat. For most of us, our eyes are bigger than our stomach. Your stomach is designed to digest one anjali (i.e. two handfuls) of food in any one given meal. So don’t stress it by eating more. It’s far better to eat again, once your meal has been digested. 5. Make abhyanga a habit. Ayurveda has given us a wonderful legacy of abhyanga — oil application, which helps us detox and strengthen our immune system. Don’t shun the practice of oil and abhyanga in favour of creams, cosmetics and chemicals created in a lab. Get into the habit of having a regular abhyanga massage treatment with natural, unprocessed herbal oils. And if you cannot then learn the technique of self abhyanga. You’ll be doing your skin and your immune system a huge favour. 39

Remove undigested food should be removed by daily tongue scraping



Commitment is the key to longevity. BY JOAN HYMAN

Time sure does fly—I am about to turn the big 4-0 this year and feel better than ever! People often ask me my trick to defying age, and my answer is simple: daily yoga and an ayurvedic lifestyle. While yoga has firmly landed into mainstream Western culture, Ayurveda is just starting to gain traction. Literally meaning “the science of life” Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years and is designed to help people live longer, healthier and more and well-balanced lives. At its core is the idea that illnesses can be prevented and treated by maintaining balance in the body, mind and consciousness through proper hydration, diet and lifestyle, as well as certain herbal remedies. To help you get started, here are a few of my 40

daily ayurvedic rituals that I partake in every morning that are both easy on the budget and easy to integrate alongside my yoga practice. Remember, the key to maintaining good health is to keep the body and mind clean before sickness or disease manifests itself. If we can stay connected to our bodies, we can prevent disease down the line. First, scrape your tongue! The white stuff we see on our tongues in the morning is called ama. Ama is undigested food residue that lodges itself within the organs and channels of the body and blocks digestion. An accumulation of ama can cause sickness and disease by blocking digestive fires. We need to have a healthy digestive system to maintain good health. A tongue scraper costs about ten dollars and is one of the best investments you can make for yourself. Afterwards, I follow this with oil pulling, which involves rinsing the mouth with one tablespoon of oil for about ten minutes and spitting it out. This helps the body get rid of toxins and promotes self-healing from within. You can either use sunflower or sesame oil, both of which are usually used for cooking and readily available at most grocery stores. Now, it’s time to brush your skin—and yes, you read correctly, dry brushing. Our skin is the largest organ in the human body. It protects us from the elements and is the first place of contact when foreign substances enter the body. Using a loofah or natural fiber body brush, brush the skin with firm circular NAMASKAR

strokes before you step into the shower. Start from the feet and hands, move up the legs and toward the arms and avoid the delicate areas of the throat and face, as well as any rashes or sore spots. When I have the time, I will include an oil bath to my skin ritual and rub sesame or almond oil in circular motions from my head to feet—paying particular attention to the joints to help lubricate and increase circulation in those areas. Finally, jump in the shower and finish with a one-minute burst of cold water, which brings the blood circulation to the skin, helping it look fresh and smooth. Last, before getting involved in your day, take a few minutes to drink a glass of warm water with lemon, which helps evacuate the bowels and stimulate digestion. This is also great for alkalizing the body and boosting the immune system. I also recommend eating a light breakfast that is easy to digest and including a green smoothie or green drink high in minerals to keep your body glowing from the inside out. This may seem like a lot, but don’t fret—you don’t have to do everything every day. In the very least, start out with the tongue scraper and lemon water. Then, try adding another remedy to your daily routine each week or two and note if you feel a difference. Remember, commitment is the key to longevity and living a healthy and more fulfilled life. Good luck on your journey to health!

June 2013





GATHERING OF THE TRIBE, ONCE AGAIN BaliSpirit is a world-class event. BY BOBSY The tribe slowly gathered under the hot balmy Bali sun. They came from all over the world, all races, creeds and colours to gather in a lush and green corner on the outskirts of Ubud. They came for the sixth annual Bali Spirit Festival of Yoga, Dance & Music held from March 20 until the 24 at the picturesque Purnati Space for the Arts. They gathered under the banner of yoga and culture. Yogis and yoginis, musicians, healers, lovers, artists and performers, teachers and

lawns, friends new and old sitting under the palm trees enjoying their raw food lunches, sipping coconuts or downing fresh juices as they connect and recognize their common joy in this gathering. We nod and smile as we pass each other in a way that only kindred souls can do. We recognize our commonality and the greater purpose in coming to this festival. Floating around the grassy lawns, enjoying the lush tropical gardens full of laughing colourful flowers set to the background sound of the Gamalan musicians with their soothing tunes, the scene feels quite surreal. A plethora of yoga, music and culture, African dance, Balinese dance, Hip Hop and poi classes to chose from, fresh yummy healthy food and market stalls all seamlessly blend into one big happy scene where the days rich in quality fly by and meld into one big festive experience not to be forgotten soon. Mesmerizing and charming traditional Balinese dance troops with their detailed costumes and their exotic moves added a strong element of culture to this festival.

bins galore, an efficient media centre, a large fresh water swimming pool, clean showers, a first aid centre and helpful staff everywhere all helped to make this gathering such a pleasure to be part of and such a success for one and all. I salute the organizers for their efforts and their foresight and above all for their passion and commitment to leading the way in this beautiful land. The Bali Spirit Festival can proudly take its place amongst the many wonderful music and cultural festivals happening all over the world today and certainly claim its unique spot amongst the top yoga happenings globally. We will be back next year in larger numbers, for the word is spreading and the Hong Kong posse is putting in a good show, the tribe is ready, the time is right and our planet needs us more than ever. Until such time. Bali Spirit Festival will take place around the same time next year.


INTRO TO AYURVEDA Covers all the bases, focuses on beauty. REVIEWED BY FRANCES GAIRNS Forever Young, Unleashing the Magic of Ayurveda by Reenita Malhotra Hora A very big title for a nice little introduction to the basic concepts of Ayurveda. The language of the book is simple and clear. And at just 145 pages over seven chapters, you could finish it over two evenings. The author Reenita Malhotra Hora is a radio producer/presenter, financial journalist, as well as Ayurvedic practitioner. She starts with a little of her own background and her family’s commitment to Ayurveda and moves onto explaining what Ayurveda is. Most readers to Namaskar will probably find this a nice refresher.

Worlds apart, but of common mind

students, parents and children, hippies, hip and happy, travelers and tourists all came to live the spirit of our times, uniting for a greater purpose aligned to the healing of the planet. The spirit of Unity in Diversity was very much alive in the air and could be sensed throughout those five magical days. A sea of dreadlocks and funky people with beaming smiles, flowers in hair, long flowing dresses mixed with yoga tank-tops and tights, laughing children running free on the grassy

World class musicians like OKA, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Steve Gold, Sacred Earth, Rupa & the April Fishes, Afronisia, Kevin James & Dustin Thomas to name some came, well, from all over the world, and rocked the massive stage every night well into the late hours. As the tribe sat on the grass lawn opposite, under the clear starry nights sipping cold beers, fresh juices or dancing to the happy sounds, you could feel people’s joy permeate the balmy Bali nights. Well-kept and clean portable loos, recycling June 2013

In the second chapter, Reenita explains the qualities of each of the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha, and includes a simple dosha quiz. She also lists the Indian ingredients required for all the recipes to follow. The largest part of the book is devoted to Household Beauty Treatments, with recipes for dosha-specific massage oils, face masks, bath treatments, moisturizers, shampoo and hair oil. All of which readers can make with ingredients readily available from local Indian provisions stores.


In chapter 4, Yoga & Fitness, Reenita share some basic dosha-specific yoga asana, pranayama and kriya sequences.

of strife (Kaliyug). Chanting establishes a devotion centre in the sub-conscious mind. When the mind remains peaceful due to chanting, one is free from psychosomatic illnesses precipitated by stress and enjoys good health. When one chants with faith he/ she is taken to the next step of their spiritual journey - the company of Truth.

This follows with a short chapter on Ayurvedic principles for eating, such as Vatas should eat many small meals throughout the day, while Pittas should eat three meals a day and for Kaphas she recommends ensuring dinner is the lightest meal of the day and not to eat after sunset. Chapter 6 contains the outline for an at home three-day detox and in the book’s final chapter are explanations of additional body treatments and cleansing practices for which professional guidance is required. Fully embracing an Ayurvedic lifestyle specific to your dosha, requires the support of a qualified Ayurvedic consultant, and a significant life change for most Westerners. But if you’d like dip in your Q-tip, Forever Young is a great place to start. INDIAN PROVISIONS RESOURCES IN HONG KONG Spice Store – online Indian grocery store The Oriental Store - 49 Sharp Street East, G/F, Wanchai, Hong Kong +852 2891 9239 Indian Provision Stores - 34 Bowrington Road, G/F Wanchai, Hong Kong + 852 2891 8024 Indian Provision Store & Supermarket - Shop 6567, Chung King Mansion, G/F 36-44 Nathan Road, TST Kowloon +852 2368 2158

time to time for inspiration. It contains plenty of explanations about mindfulness, why to meditate and how to meditate. It is full of stories from teachers and children about children learning meditation. Interspersed in the book are talks by Thay (a term of endearment used by Thich Nhat Hanh’s students) on various topics such as “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” or “What do I need to do if I have a nightmare and am afraid to sleep again?” There are also songs, meditations, games, pictures, recipes and activities to do with children. There’s even a CD with songs and guided meditations at the back of the book which our kids enjoy, even though they have yet to sit still through a full minute yet. Ah well, they have a lifetime to practice!



SATSANG The company of the Truth is also known as satsang where ‘Sat’ means the Absolute Truth i.e. God and ‘sang’ refers to the company of seekers or Saints. Satsang refers to an environment which is conducive for experiencing the presence of God. There are many benefits from attending a satsang. One is able to ask questions about the science of spirituality and clear any doubts. One gets to share one’s spiritual experiences and to understand the spiritual significance behind them. At a subtle level, one benefits from Divine Consciousness present in abundance in a satsang. SERVICE TO TRUTH The next step in spiritual practice is to undertake service to the Truth (satseva). The best way is to assist in spreading this knowledge. This can be done in a number of ways. For example, telling other people about what we have learnt and experienced so they too can benefit from the positive changes in their lives. SACRIFICE If there is anything that helps us to truly make progress, it is sacrifice. Sacrifice helps to create the space within us to receive. Only when we let go of the sand in our hand, can God fill it with the diamonds that He has in store for us. Sacrifice can be of one’s mind, body or wealth.



An ordered journey.

Planting Seeds, Practicing Mindfulness with Children by Thich Nhat Hanh & the Plum Village Community


Thich Nhat Hanh and his sangha from Plum Village have just been in Hong Kong, leading a four-day retreat attended by 1,300 and a public lecture for 10,000 people at Hong Kong Coliseum. The visit prompted me to select this book to review. Though I first bought this book to help me introduce our children to the practices of mindfulness and meditation, I soon found it very useful myself. And it’s been a permanent fixture on my bedside table for over a year. It’s one of those books you can read cover to cover, or just pick up and flip through from 44

In most peoples’ lives there comes a time where one starts searching for the purpose of life. There are lots of unanswered questions iwhich one tries to find answers for. When the yearning is intense the search unfolds their spiritual journey. Once our intellect is convinced of the importance of practicing spirituality can we make concerted efforts to do spiritual practice regularly. CHANTING According to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, chanting the Name of God as per one’s religion of birth is the foundation of spiritual practice in the current era i.e. the era NAMASKAR

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Ordinarily when one loves there is some expectation attached and it is conditional. However spiritual love is unconditional, no matter what the circumstances are. It is based on the unchanging Soul. This form of love is Divine and only develops after a considerable amount of spiritual practice when one perceives God in everyone. We become happier individuals when our love is not adulterated or diluted by expectations. EGO Ego is pride about oneself. Thoughts such as body and mind, intellect, life, wealth, wife and children, I should acquire happiness, etc. arises from ego alone. From a spiritual perspective, ego means considering oneself to be distinct from others and God. As per the science of Spirituality, our true state of existence is identification with the Soul or God-principle within us and living our day to day life with this consciousness. This is the most important aspect of the spiritual journey and the final aim of self realisation.

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Three easy-to-make, dosha-specific face masks from Ayurvedic author Reenita Malhotra Hora.

Are you a driven Pitta, relaxed Vata or grounded Kapha? Here’s three weekly cleansing masks from Reenita Malhotra Hora’s recently-released book Forever Young, which you can make at home with ingredients from your local Indian market. VATA 1 egg white 1 tsp honey 1 tsp rose water 2 tsp malai PITTA 2 tsp sandalwood powder 1 pinch ground tumeric 1 tsp neem oik 2 tbsp multani mitti or natural clay ¼ c fresh orange juice KAPHA 2 tsp ground neem 1 pinch ground tumeric 4 tbsp ginger juice METHOD 1. Stir together the ingredients and set aside. 2. Prepare a steam bath by turning on a hot shower and letting it run for a few minutes until it begins to generate steam. 3. Point the shower head away so you can set into the shower without getting your face wet. 4. Apply the mask to your face and neck. 5. Set into the shower if not there already and stay for 15 minutes. 6. Rinse your face with water. All Ayurvedic prescription are dependant on knowing our own primary dosha. If you are not sure, there are lots online and they are surprisingly accurate. Here are three:

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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: w: 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: w: Anna Ng Privates d: Hong Kong s: Hatha yoga l: Cantonese t: (852) 9483 1167 e: 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: w: 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: w: 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: w: 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 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: w: 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: w: 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: w: 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: w: 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: w: 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: w: 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: w: PURE YOGA Hong Kong


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: w: 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. w:

d: Central s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate II) l: English t: (852) 2918 1798 / 9456 2149 e:

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: w:

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:

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: w: 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: w: 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 s: Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Gentle, Flow, Yoga Dance, Pre-natal e: w: / Ursula Moser The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong


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: w: Marcus Wong Donation-based classes for all levels at sports centres in Sheung Wan, Central, Wanchai and TST. Schedule and sign-ups on Facebook page below. s: Beginner’s yoga, Power, Ashtanga, Yin l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 9199 9907 e: w: marcuswongyoga (Facebook) 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: w: 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: w: 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: w:

June 2013

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

PUBLICATION DATES, BOOKING & MATERIAL DEADLINES Publication date Booking Deadline Material Deadline January December 1 December 15 April March 1 March 15 June May 1 May 15 October September 1 September 15

NOTES Advertising materials should be submitted as 300 dpi high resolution .tif files (no pdf or ai files please) Listings should be submitted as text only (35 words or less)

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

INFORMATION Carol (852) 9137 9992 / Frances (852) 9460 1967 /




June 2013




Namaskar june 2013  

Free Yoga Magaizine

Namaskar june 2013  

Free Yoga Magaizine