Page 1


KARMA YOGA Help a boy and some elephants you’ve never met and probably never will ...................................p17

SHAVASANA An important celebration of our yoga practice that everyone should make time for ..............p19

Ashtangi Kino MacGregor on the streets of Singapore, photo by Anwar Sadhana

July 2014 TEACHING YOGA Is it for me? Am I ready? What does it take to be really good at it? ...........................................p26





As the intensity of our practice increases, so too must the depth of our breath. On the cover is Kino MacGregor, certified Ashtanga yoga

So too in life, if the intensity of our lives mounts, so too must we be able to increase the positive energy coming in. As it is only us who can breathe for ourselves, it is each of our responsibilities to maintain our own balance. I’ve always thought myself a balanced person - physically, mentally and emotionally, ready to take on a myriad challenges. However this year’s offered many more challenges to me than usual, and I’ve become depleted. It’s only now, half way into the year, I realise I haven’t been replenishing my own reserves. Fortunately, in a few days we leave for two months in the beautiful mountains of Whistler, Canada, where I will take a two-month savasana! Azmi talks about the importance and beauty of this asana in this issue. I recently completed my first solo teacher training, a part-time hot yoga programme attended by 15 amazing women. For them, as well as the many thousands of other students considering taking one, we offer “Teaching Yoga” as our dristi. Does completing a 200- or even 500-hour course, automatically qualify you to go out and teach? On the other hand, might someone be an amazing teacher through the efforts of their own study and practice, without ever having taken a course at all? Articles by Cassandra, Kim and Chan look at who could teach and what it takes. While Nina and Melissa look at the subject from the perspective of a student and new teacher respectively. While we can learn a lot from traditional teachers, we can also learn so much from others as well. Louise Rogerson and Yogiuday are two people we can all learn from, been inspired by. Louise runs a charity for elephants aptly named EARS and Yogiuday is using his home-made sweets business in India to raise money for the education of underprivileged children there. Both have traded traditional lifestyles for causes bigger than themselves. After you have read about their efforts, I hope you will join Namaskar in supporting their worthwhile work. I hope you will take the time to read the many other articles herein, all represent the generous and selfless efforts of our contributors. Hope you too will enjoy your Summer-vasana!


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,

July 2014


In This Issue DRISTI - TEACHING YOGA KNOW THYSELF 26 Get to know yourself before you teach others BODY & SPIRIT 29 OTHER SIDE OF THE MAT 31 What a student thinks makes a good teacher TEACHER QUIZ 32 Are you cut out to teach yoga? SURVIVING YOUR FIRST YEAR 32 How to make it as a yoga teacher

SPECIAL FEATURES HELPING THE KARMA YOGIS 17 How we can help two people out there making a difference SHAVASANA 19 Deserves to be enjoyed, not rushed through YOGA ON THE GO 23 A teacher’s app for her travelling students


6 14 20 35 39 40 39 41 42 47 48

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, July and October. About 5,000 copies per issue are printed and distributed for free to yoga studios, teachers, fitness centres, retail outlets, restaurants & cafes and other yoga-friendly outlets. Mostly distributed in Hong Kong, with 1,500 copies mailed to readers in 25 other countries. A further 1,000 soft copies are distributed by email.


CONTRIBUTORS banker and management consultant, who today is a multidisciplinary holistic practitioner committed to finding the best healing solutions for her clients. She is also a Kundalini yoga teacher.

AZMI SAMDJAGA Although groomed to be an architect, Azmi changed his life course after a training in India. He has been teaching for 15 years in Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. He has studied under Sri Pattabhi Jois, Matthew Sweeney, Lance Schuler and Louisa Sears. An Ashtangi by training with a background in dance and massage, Azmi shares the grace of his practice and emphasizes stillness in the classes he teaches. He currently teaches at Sadhana Sanctuary in Singapore.

KIM ROBERTS Kim is on staff at New Life Foundation in Chiang Rai, Thailand, where she teaches and counsels.,

CAROL ADAMS Carol takes care of Namaskar administration and invoicing. She works from home which gives her the freedom to be a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old son. Carol teaches yoga regularly.

FRANCES GAIRNS Frances is the editor and publisher of Namaskar. She teaches at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong and has two children.

CASSANDRA KISH Cassandra, founder of Vidyaa Yoga, currently lives in Paris, France. She offers yoga/surf retreats in Baleal, Portugal - Yoga Surf Sleep Eat.

BARBARA PASSY Barbara is a certified Forrest Yoga teacher and works for a bank in Chicago, Illinois.

MELISSA MAK Based in Singapore, Melissa’s yoga journey started in 2007 when her good friend dragged her to her first yoga class. She completed her RYT200 training at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta in Kerala, India. Currently a physical educator, she is trying to start a yoga club in her school with her 118 willing students. Her public classes are available at the 1Fiesta Fitness studio in Tampines, Singapore.

CHAN CUDENNEC Chan is the founder of SOL Wellness. She was a stressed out 4


KRISHNAA KINKARIDAS Krishnaa lives in London. Her yoga and philosophy interest began in the 1960s in India. She had the privilege to study with B.K.S. Iyengar over several years in Mumbai and Pune. She runs classes in London and teaches ‘Sanskrit and Mudras for Yoga’ for Yoga Alliance and British wheel of Yoga trainee teachers. She is the author of nine books on Bhakti Yoga.

honour, the mind body and spirit provoking self awareness to be in the present moment.

MOOSA AL-ISSA Moosa is Executive Director of Life Café and Director of Just Green Organic Convenience Stores in HK.


current & past issues are at: TIA SINHA Tia spends a few months a year in solitary retreat at Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, Himachal, India and teaches Hatha Yoga to the nuns there. She also teaches Tibetean Buddhist philosophy and meditation, yoga asana and yoga philosophy elsewhere.

October’s dristi: The Branding of Yoga Some headlines to consider: • How branding helps and hinders yoga. • Branding yoga makes teachers/schools stand out and ensures better quality teaching. • Branding is consumerism, it has no place in yoga. • How to brand yourself in this crowded market. We hope this topic will prompt a lively debate. If you would like to contribute an article on this subject, or others, to Namaskar, please email Frances at with your thoughts first. That way we can let you know if another contributor is already covering that angle. Final articles are welcome before September 10.

NINA GASSAUER Originally from Munich, Germany, Nina is a devoted yoga student and journalist based in Hong Kong. Among other topics, Nina observes the Asian yoga scene and expresses her opinion in various magazines.

WAI-LING TSE Wai-Ling teaches and practises yoga, mindfulness, therapy and is News Editor of Namaskar. She loves connecting with people in everyday life through yoga, nature, food and music.

SUE YEN WAN Ying has been a freelance Yoga instructor since 1998. Striving to July 2014





SoulCentre Academy & SoulKids open in Sydney The Academy will open its doors in January 2015 and will offer SoulKids programs in addition to one-on-one coaching for children.Meditation programs will also be available from beginner to master level. For more information CHINA

2nd China-India Summit 7-12 July Dali City, Yunnan Province Organised by the Consulate General of the Republic of India in Guangzhou and supported by the government of Yunnan province. It is one of the core projectsfor China-India cultural and friendship exchange in 2014. Teachers and guests will include Geeta S Iyengar, HR Nagendra, Manivanna Ramachandran, Joseph H Pereira, Birjoo H. Mehta, Rajvi Mehta, Firooza Ali and many more. For more information / /(86) 2038863669 FRANCE

European Kundalini Yoga Festival 2-10 August Join Chan Cudennec and her friends at this transformational 8 days of Kundalini Yoga, meditation and cleansing ayurvedic diet in the countryside of central France. 6

For more information european-yoga-festival/ HONG KONG

Natural living directory welcomes members

in a neighbourhood full of independent art galleries, cafés and shops. No membership fees, just sign in to reserve your booking online and pay the teacher in cash after the class. For more information / /

Support positive ecological, personal and social change in Hong Kong and beyond. Get fresh content and connections for natural choices every day. Find what you’re looking for, even when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Register for a Yoga listing in Natural Hong Kong. Post your event on the heartbeat calendar. Subscribe to the free email newsletter and stay in touch with what’s new and what’s on in Hong Kong - naturally. Join now for prelaunch member rates and get connected with your local community. Visit the website at - a natural guide for life in the fast lane. Listen to your own heartbeat.

Free community classes and history of Iyengar Yoga with lucky draw and gifts to share. Charity organizations are most welcome to contact Karen at (852) 2982 4308; to arrange free classes for the underprivileged. For more information /

Healing Circle at SOL Wellness Central SOL Wellness offers 15-minute healing sessions between 1-2pm every Wednesday by donation.Therapies on offer are EFT, oracle card readings, ancient Thai massage, Tibetan singing bowl therapy, Reiki, NLP, Violet prayer therapy, Yuen method and Sekhem healing. 100% of donations collected will go towards helping victims of domestic violence at Bethane House or buying safety beepers for the elderly. Book your session in advance.

French fashion designer, Fé (left), collaborated with photographer Beatrice Lee to launch Fé yoga-inspired clothing

For more information / (852) 6628 6153

Opening of Yoga Bam Bam Sheung Wan The opening party of Yoga Bam Bam in May was 12-hours of non stop Yoga, dance, aerial silks, shopping, vegetarian food, reggae, live music, rapping and friendly smiles. Their vibe is earthy refined by minimalistic design and taste. The beautiful tiny studio is set on a pedestrian tree lined terrace with both an outdoor and indoor deck.The studio was created as a space for Yoga teachers, friends and artists to fully express themselves; and is a haven of calm

For more information (852) 2581 9699 /


Yoga Central Summer Treat

A Day of Fashion, Yoga and Art

Summer treat forstudents during July to August. Any class on their schedule under ‘general’ or ‘basics’ for HK$100 per class.Check out their schedule on their website or Facebook Page: Iyengar-Central

PMQ, Central On 22 MayFrench fashion designer Fé and photographer Beatrice Lee in collaboration with other partners held an exhibition based on the theme of ‘With Love from Hong Kong’ – The Yogi. Fé launched her new Yoga-inspired spring/summer collection, while Beatrice displayed her stunning images from a series of photoshoots done with a few of Hong Kong’s top yogis. Their mission being to bring together a collection of works that shows

For more information /

September Open House at Yoga Central


women at their best, all with very different journeys coming together to share this strong bond of Yoga. The images displayed the beauty of the female body and fluidity of movement in their home city of Hong Kong. For more information

Barbara Passy attended Wanderlust Chicago last month with a few of her friends!

Cancer expert Graham Player gives a talk in Hong Kong.

Cancer-free Living Talk by Dr. Graham Player 21 July, 15 September& 10 November (7-8:30pm) SOL Wellness, Central Learn about cancer from a holistic perspective and understand numerous options and strategies to take control of your life and how complementary therapies such as meditation, Yoga, emotional healing, raw food and moreare being used by thousands of people who are successfully reversing their cancer.Dr. Graham Player is a cancer researcher and coach and has researched the topic of cancer for over 30 years. With a Ph.D. in Health Sciences and a degree in traditional Chinese medicine, he has practiced traditional Chinese medicine in Australia, England and Hong Kong where he has lived since the mid 1980s. By donation only and registration is required. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Detox & Yoga New Classes at Talk on How Summer SOL Dental Toxins SOLWellness, Central Promotion at SOL Men’s Yoga, Mindfulness Yoga, Causes Cancer 13 October (7-8.30pm) Wellness Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yanga nd DeSOL Wellness, Central Central Reboot your health and slim down with a gentle yet highly effective SOL Green Detox without feeling hungry. This package includes: holistic health check, de-toxing ancient massage, natural supplements, 2 Yoga classes, and 2 far-infrared sauna. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Yoga in the Park with Ling This is a free Yoga community event organized by LING, Yoga and Wellbeing, to connect people, Yoga and nature in Hong Kong. Yoga classes will be held in various outdoor open areas such as public parks, beaches, playgrounds in order to practice Yoga with nature and with the community. Held every two weeks on a Saturday/ Sunday. Suitable for all levels including beginners, just BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat)! For more information yogainthepark; /

Stress Yin Yoga are available in a tranquil wellness Centre in the heart of Hong Kong. Small classes with personal attention and interaction with teachers and fellow practitioners. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Flex opening in Central Flex will open a second studio in mid-August on lower Wyndham Street. Flex Central will have a private Pilates apparatus room, and one group multi-purpose studio offering Pilates Allegro, XtendBarre, Yoga, and other fitness conditioning classes. It will be fully equipped with showers and lockers. For more

There is scientific evidence that dental toxins from amalgams, root canals and crowns may be the cause of severe health conditions such as cancer, heart diseases etc. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Seeking Yoga Teachers Inspire Yoga is looking for part time teachers who have at least 200 hours ofteacher training qualification and some teaching experience is preferred. They seek teachers to teach private classes with focus on Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Yoga Therapy. For more information SINGAPORE

SoulKids opens in Yoga on the Beach Singapore with Nora & The SoulKids opened in June with a talk by Vikas Malkani on 3 Secrets Yoga Room to inspire children. The Academy 14 September (5-6pm) Repulse Bay Beach Practise yoga on the beach with waves, sand, sea and music. Free. For more information (852) 25448398

July 2014

will offer SoulKids programs in addition to one-on-one coaching for children. For more information





Full Moon in Capricorn with Neil Irwin 12 July Shakti Healing Circle, Central Yoga for grounding and alignment. For more information

Light in Movement & Healing with Dr. Susan Jamieson 12 July, 9 August & 27 September – Pure Yoga Family physician, Dr Susan Jamieson leads experiential workshops where students will learn how to both feel and work with the body’s ‘light systems’ such as the heart energy, chakras and meridians. For more information /

Summer Kids workshop: Fire & Water 14, 16, 18 July The Yoga Room, Sheung Wan 4-7 years: 2-3:30pm; 7-13 years: 45:30pm Students will create energetic, fiery Yoga poses including sun salutations as well as calming, creative movements such as moon salutations to develop strong, flexible bodies and clear, focused minds. For more information (852) 25448398


Stephen has been biking around the world for 15 months, teaching yoga and filming as he goes. He stops at The Yoga Room in Hong Kong. 9 - 10 August he’ll be at Raja Yoga in Shanghai, then 16 - 17 August at Raja Yoga in Hangzhou.

Yoga Workshops with Stephen Ewashkiw 2 & 3 August The Yoga Room, Sheung Wan Stephen Ewashkiw from Los Angeles, who is in the final months of his 15-month world bicycle tour, is back in Hong Kong: 2 August - Get Up, Stand Up Standing Poses for all levels (10am-12:30pm) Straighten Up and Fly Right - Arm Balances and Inversions for intermediate/advanced (2 -5pm) 3 August - From Strength to Strength- 10am-12:30pm Hip Openers and Arm Balances (All levels). Backbending & Beyond for intermediate/advanced (2-5pm) For more information (852) 25448398

Summer Kids workshop: Space 11, 13, 15 August The Yoga Room, Sheung Wan 4-7 years: 9:30-11am; 7-13 years: 11:30am-1pm Students will develop

concentration, co-ordination and spatial awareness through playful yoga, creative body movements and visualizations based on space and the universe. For more information (852) 25448398

Curb Your Cravings with Falguni Mather 18 August SOL Wellness, Central Falguni Mather is a counsellor, EFT practitioner and energy therapist. Effectively manage stress around foods you crave. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

BodyTalk Access Seminar with Angie Tourani 23 August Five techniques in 10 minutes a day can lead to a healthy and balanced life. This one-day seminar teaches you tools to strengthen your immune system,enhance your child’s focus and memory, address your child’s


learning difficulties, peaceful sleep, reduce stress and keeping your family healthy, without medication. For more information

Vinyasa Conditioning with Dario Calvaruso 30 August Pure Yoga Float and Flow: Set your foundations for an advanced, energetic Vinyasa practice. For more information /

Fermented Foods Workshop with Chan Cudennec 1 September (7-9pm) SOL Wellness, Central Fermented Foods for a healthy gut. Learn how to make kim-chee, sauerkraut and dairy-free cheese. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Introduction to Sekhem Living Light Energy with Chan Cudennec

Pure Yoga This is a quick and simple detox programme to help you reconnect with yourself physically and mentally.

3 September (7-9pm) SOL Wellness, Central Learn about this ancient energetic system that originates from Egypt. Receive a temporary attunement and experience an energy session.

For more information /

For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Full Moon in Pisces with Neil Irwin 6 September Shakti Healing Circle Yoga for experiencing infinity and your true identity. For more information

Sekhem Level 1 Class with Chan Cudennec 12 September (4-9pm) & 14 September(9am-5pm) SOL Wellness, Central Learn about this high vibrational energy system. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

Raw & Living Food: Authentic Thai Flavours with Chan Cudennec 23 September (7-9pm) SOL Wellness, Central Learn how to make delicious classic Thai favourites; vegan fish cakes, green papaya pumpkin salad and Cocothaii dessert. For more information (852) 2581 9699 / /

9-day Awaken to Your Power with Tryphena Chia 19-27 September

Vinyasa Multilevel Series with Dario Calvaruso

Series Immersion with Adarsh Williams 12-13 and 19-20 July SPACE YOGA, Taipei For dedicated students and teachers detailing the alignments, adjustments and modifications of the 2nd Series of Ashtanga. For more information

Yin Yoga Weekend with Jo Phee

September Pure Yoga A full immersion in amulti-level Vinyasa series.

1-3 August True Yoga Taiwan

For more information /

Canadian teacher Basia Going will be at SPACE in Taiwan

For more information visit

Balance Your Nervous System Iyengar Workshop Therapeutic Yoga 5-day Immersion: with Hart Lazer 1 - 4 October Yoga Central Total Mind/Body 15-16 November Jawahar Bangera, senior Iyengar SPACE YOGA, Taipei make-over with has been a direct student of Mr. Be free from the common human BKS Iyengar for over three Basia Going conditions of chronic pain, anxiety, decades. For more information

25-29 August SPACE YOGA, Taipei Transform your habitual patterns inside and out in this unique immersion. Explore how to recognize and be free from your mindless patterns of thinking and resulting patterns of behaviour.

For more information / SINGAPORE

30-day Hot Yoga Challenge with Rene Ekeheien

depression, stress and trauma. For more information visit

5 July-3 August Pure Yoga Sweat. Smile. Shine - Harness the power of collective discipline and make hot yoga your newest habit for a lifetime of glowing health. For more information /

Yin/Insight Yoga Workshop with Sarah Powers 7 November True Yoga For more information TAIWAN

Ashtanga Intermediate Jo gets down to the bones in her Yin Yoga workshop

July 2014


Deepen & Refine Your Backbends with Hart Lazer 17-20 November SPACE YOGA, Taipei Gain a wealth of knowledge from master teacher of teachers, Hart Lazer, on this often misunderstood part of the practice.


Teacher Trainings

For more information visit CHINA Optimal The Energetics of Musculoskeletal Health with Steve Excellence - 100hr Advanced TT & Maxwell CET with Patrick 9-14 December SPACE YOGA, Taipei Creelman As one of the Top 100 trainers named by Men’s Journal, Steve has over four decades of experience in physical wellness, culminating in his unique synergy of various disciplines of Yoga and physical fitness. For more information visit THAILAND

Yin Yoga Weekend with Jo Phee 8-10 August True Yoga, Bangkok For more information /

6-15 August - Pure Yoga, Shanghai This training is designed to empower and educate experienced teachers to the next level of their teaching. Learn how to own the space of each classroom, empower your voice when speaking in front of an audience, and find your deeper purpose of being in the seat of the teacher. For more information /

Yin/Insight Yoga TT Intensive with Sarah Powers 30 October-2 November Yoga Yard, Beijing For more information GREECE

immersion includes 10 hours of on the mat Myofascial release, providing you with a powerful healing journey, full of selfdevelopment and self-discovery. For more information / HONG KONG

100-Hour Yin Fascial Yoga Immersion I TT 9-19 October Okreblue Seaside Retreat Center Spa, Paros Refine and strengthen your teaching skills, as you dive into the world of Yin Yoga. You will practise this meditative style of Yoga daily, learn all about selfmyofascial release using tennis balls and blocks, and gain a deeper understanding of Daoism and meridians, chakras and Mindfulness meditation. This 10

Ann Da Silva leads a pre-natal teacher training at The Yoga Room

Yoga Therapy TT with Chandrika Gibson & Garrett Lane 7-16 July - Pure Yoga This course brings together the therapeutic indications and techniques from classical Yoga texts with the latest in Yoga therapy research and evidencebased practices from other health professions. The course is coordinated by Dr Jean Byrne PhD and Chandrika Gibson.


For more information /

Yoga for the Special Child Basic 1 Certification Program with Sonia Sumar 25-31 August This method of Yogais safe and gentle for children with developmental ages from 0-12 with Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, ADD/ADHD and other developmental disabilities. Sonia Sumar is the founder and pioneer in the field of Yoga for children with special needs. For more information

85-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Prenatal TT with Ann da Silva September-November The Yoga Room, Sheung Wan This is suitable for Yoga teachers, midwives, doulas and other health professionals who are interested in teaching Yoga to mothers. All participants must have completed a 200-hour basic teacher training or at least three years of Yoga practice. Level I: Prenatal Yoga Fundamental Training (55 Hours) 20-21 & 27-28 September, 18-19 & 25-26 October Level II: Advanced Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training (30 Hours) 8-9 & 15-16 November For more information (852) 25448398

The Energetics of Excellence - 100hr Advanced TT & CET with Patrick Creelman 20-29 September Pure Yoga This training is designed to empower and educate experienced teachers to the next level ofteaching. Learn how to own the space of each classroom, empower your voice when speaking in front of an audience, and find your deeper purpose of being in the seat of the teacher. For more information /

200-hour Classical Hatha Yoga TT with Michelle Ricaille September 2014-May 2015 Flex Studio The training will consist of technique training and practice, anatomy andphysiology, Sanskrit training and general applications of Yoga in daily life. The schedule is structured to allow for busy work people and parents, during FridaySunday, one weekend per month.

Victor will offer a basic Yin training at

Leah Kim leads a full-time training at

Studio Bliss

Hom Yoga in Singapore

For more information (852) 28132212 / info@flexstudio the world and has proven to be a professional step towards being a fully accredited Yoga teacher and a huge leap into your own empowerment.

Evolve Yourself: 30-hour Continuing Education with Marcus Leung 23-31 September Pure Yoga Includes four-day morning intensive practice and workshops with focus on pelvic and spine; shoulders, elbows and wrists; hip, knee and ankle joints; energy flow as well as self-practice and homework assignments. For more information /

The Foundation – Preparing to Teach: 200-hr TT with Patrick Creelman 9-19 October and 15-25 January 2015 – Pure Yoga This training is a time tested program with graduates currently teaching in major studios all over

For more information /


30-Hours Yin Yoga TT with Jo Phee 16-20 July Spirit Yoga Osaka

50-Hour Basic Yin Yoga TT with Victor Chng

For more

1-6 November Studio Bliss Yin Yoga is a unique approach to Yoga practice that works on releasing fascia tensions in the body. Fascia is the basic fabric of our body. Studies have shown that fascia can contract which causes tightness, tension and pain to different body parts, particularly in our lower back, neck and shoulder. Healthy fascia is important for structure integrity as well as energy flow. Yin Yoga focuses on the pelvis by releasing tension and tightness around the hips and lower back, all other areas of your body will start to open.

200-hr Hot Yoga TT with Copper Crow

For more information


8-28 September Pure Yoga You will learn the skills needed to master the art and science of teaching, especially for those who wish to take their practice to another level.Gaining the skills required to effectively teach a wide array of students through the practice of Hot Yoga, as well as beginner Hatha and Vinyasa classes. For more information /

Sarah will be leading retreats and trainings at various venues around Asia

July 2014


TT with Leah Kim 7-27 November Hom Yoga Full time training course with Nike’s global Yoga ambassador, Leah Kim, certified by the Yoga Alliance. For more information TAIWAN

Evolve Yourself: 30-hour Continuing Education with Marcus Leung 9-17 September Pure Yoga, Taipei Includes four-day morning intensive practice and workshops with focus on pelvic and spine; shoulders, elbows and wrists; hip, knee and ankle joints; energy flow as well as self-practice and homework assignments. For more information /

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

Pre & Post-natal Yoga TT with Samantha Chan 13-22 October Pure Yoga, Taipei This training offers an in-depth review of the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, labour and birth. Trainees will gain extensive experience with asanas well suited to pregnant women and a thorough understanding of contra-indications during pregnancy. 12

For more information /

The Energetics of Excellence - 100hr Advanced TT & CET with Patrick Creelman 24 November-3 December – Pure Yoga, Taipei This training is designed to empower and educate experienced teachers to the next level of their teaching. Learn how to own the space of each classroom, empower your voice when speaking in front of an audience, and find your deeper purpose of being in the seat of the teacher.

physically and emotionally demanding. Aligning with their philosophy of awakening, healing and personal transformation, this course will not only develop your personal practice and refine your craft as a professional, skilled Yoga teacher, but also focus on breaking through limiting beliefs and igniting your personal power. For more information

100-Hour Yin/ Insight Yoga TT 12-23 November Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui For more information

100-hrs Vikasa Advanced Yoga TT 7-21 December Vikasa Yoga Retreat, Koh Samui This course is considered the third part of the full 700-hour Vikasa Yoga TT Program. With focus on advanced sequencing in HathaYoga, using rules and principles of Himalayan vinyasa and mandala sequencing. Different sub-styles of Yoga will also be introduced with practices that challenge experienced students and are accessible to all levels of practitioners. Students will be challenged to explore and expand upon their personal yoga practice in order to develop creative, conscious and intelligent teaching techniques. For more information advancedyogateachertraining/

For more information / THAILAND

200-Hour Vikasa Yoga TT 13 July-10 August; 9 November-7 December Vikasa Yoga, Koh Samui Key principles and rules of Yoga are taught, allowing the teachers and dedicated practitioners to become free from any routines by gaining understanding, knowledge and insight into the methodology and the effects of practice. This method will produce maximum results in the minimum amount of time, bringing your awareness and focus from external to internal, leading to meditative states and awakening of consciousness and creativity. The idea is to integrate and balance all aspects of the human body, such as physical, energetic, emotional, intellectual and karmic through systematic practice of Yoga. For more yoga-teacher-training-thailand/

300/500-Hour Jivani Yoga Advanced TT 7 September-17 October The Sanctuary, Koh Phangan Open for Yoga teachers and serious students of Yoga only. The schedule is intensive and both

Copper will be holding a Hot TT at Pure Yoga in Singapore




14-20 July Soulshing – Bali Villa and Retreat Oasis Treat yourself to a yogic lifestyle retreat on the beautiful island of Bali. For more information / SRI LANKA

Swami Gyan Dharma (left) is leading a retreat in Hong Kong.


Inner Awakening Through Yoga Retreat 1-5 October Salesian Retreat House, Cheung Chau Swami Gyan Dharma, a disciple of Swami Satyananda, is a profound yogi who has practiced yoga for 40 years and is an expert on Sanskrit and classic yoga scriptures. Based in the UK, he travels around the world spreading yoga knowledge and how to apply the yoga attitude into everyday life. For more information INDIA

Inner Awakening - Yoga & Meditation Retreat 15 July-4 August Haridwar This program works on shaking off the deeperlevel of patterns that have become part of our biomemory and behaviour that rapidly evolves our understanding of life.

The transformation is deepened through a series of direct initiations by Paramahamsa Nithyananda. For more information USA:Enriching Temple: (1) 800265-3386 / Ma Praba Swami: (1) 909-908-8080 India:Ma Jnanatma Swami (91) 7760980635

Empowerment & Transformation Yoga Retreat Rishikesh 9 September-7 October Immerse yourself in the spiritual nurturing that Rishikesh has to offer: daily Yoga classes, meditation, philosophy classes by guest lecturers and Indian cultural performances. For more information INDONESIA

Bali Bliss: A Yoga Retreat with Jacque Manalastas

Nourish Your Spirit and Enchant Your Soul with Wendy Wyvill 7-14 September Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Wendy invites you on a journey into the sacred. This week of Yoga and Ayurveda treatment will be an adventure of healing and selfpurification.Sign up before 31 July to catch the early-bird discount. For more information / THAILAND

Yoga and Meditation Retreat 10-16 August Vikasa Yoga Retreat, Koh Samui This is suitable for those searching for peace, harmony and serenity into their lives and reconnect with themselves and nature. For more information meditationretreat/

Jivamukti and Yin Yoga Retreat with Nora Lim &The

July 2014

Yoga Room 1-5 October Kaomai Lanna Resort, Chiang Mai A time of reflection and reconnection with the Self. Immerse yourself in mindful asana and develop insightful understanding of anatomy, Yoga philosophy, meditation, chanting and Kirtan as Nora shares her practice of yoga and life. For more information: corporate@ / (852) 25448398

5 Day Yin/Insight Yoga Silent Retreat with Sarah Powers 20-26 October The Spa Resort,Chiang Mai For more information

Yoga & Pilates Ayurvedic Retreat with Heather Thomas Shalabi and Michelle Ricaille 4-8 November Kamalaya Wellness Resort and Sanctuary Hosted by Flex with two hours of daily Yoga and 90 minutes of Pilates, in addition to specially selected Ayurvedic treatments from Kamalaya’s award-winning wellness centre. For more information (852) 28132212 / info@flexstudio



photo from Eco Nikko, Japan


PADMASANA IN PARADISE Up from the mud, the lotus blossoms.

The lotus flower’s unique ability to rise up from the murky depths by day to blossom, then retreat back down by night has inspired Hindus, Jainists, Buddhists and even ancient Egyptians. The benefits of lotus pose are said to be improved digestion and posture, relaxed mind, keeps lower limbs loose and limber. Although it has the reputation as being the ultimate sitting position, padmasana is not suitable for everybody. There are plenty of other sitting options for pranayama or meditation, which are preferable to forcing yourself in and risk damaging knees and hips. 14


photo from Clayton Horton

photo from Alex Medin

Paul Dallaghan by Anne-Sophie Maestracci

photo courtesy of Heather Bonker

July 2014





BE THE WIND BENEATH HIS WINGS Can you help this boy learn to fly?

Uday is 17 years old. When he was young he lived in the mountains of Mussoorie in a tiny shoebox of a concrete room with barely any light. His father carried stones on his back for a living. Any kind of future was bleak yet Uday was a happy and smiling young boy with giant eyes and joyful giggle. His family sent him to an NGO hostel in Rishikesh where he could get food, education, medical care and attention. Today Uday has just two years of school left and he dreams of being a commercial pilot however this costs about US$58,000! Far out of reach of the son of a stone carrier. And the story would end there except for a karma yogi and long-time Namaskar contributor Yogiuday. A Canadian who lived more many years in Hong Kong where he kick-started the city’s gelato craze with the first hand-make gelato shop in town - XTC on ICE Gelato. Yogiuday moved to Rishikesh after selling his business to devote himself to his practice. Ever since Yogiuday has been

volunteering at the orphanage where Uday was sent. He has known Uday for almost 10 years . “Not once have I seen him angry. He takes his studies seriously and is always in the 90s coming first or second in his class. He is a star amongst stars, helping others with their chores, never complaining. He is a superb cricket player, a natural leader who effortlessly receives great respect from his peers, younger children and adults alike. His natural wisdom, happiness and generosity denote his spiritual nature and the kindness and sensitivity he shows to his girlfriend make him a wonderful role model.” Yogiuday tells us, “I am hoping, with a little magic, we can help his dream come true. If any young man has it in him to make a positive change in our troubled world, it is Uday. When I told him it would cost some US$58,000 for the full training, his eyes and face dropped; a dream crashed.” Namaskar has pledged HK$1,500 to this effort which Yogiuday is spearheading. If you

Uday, 17, dreams of being a pilot

are interested to help, please email him on



Gentle giants deserve to be treated well

Kiri is a male (bull) elephant and has tusks, whereas Seila, who is a female, has no tusks (actually she has short tusks called tushes)

Inspired by Ganesha, the popular Hindu deity with the head of an elephant, we introduce readers to the work of Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival Foundation (EARS). Founded by Louise Rogerson in 2010 to promote the plight of Asian elephants used, often barbarically, for tourist entertainment such as rides, circus performances, picture painting, begging and at beachfronts and hotel. EARS also oversees the care of privately-owned elephants and works with sanctuaries and projects throughout Asia. EARS is currently seeking funding to continue caring for two teenage elephants, Kiri and Seila in Cambodia, which costs US$770 per month. The money will be used to keep the elephants July 2014

fed with a comprehensive and natural diet on a monthly basis, and their enclosure properly maintained. EARS also provides enrichment items within their enclosure such as scratching posts, tyres, and special strong elephant toys! Funds will also enable EARS to act quickly when they hear of emergency medical care needed for a specific elephant, rescue cases, or a project they have previously researched and worked with, which is in need of financial assistance. Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, and we encourage you to help remove obstacles to a decent life for these gentle and majestic giants. Namaskar has donated HK$10,000 to EARS. Please join us in contributing through their website or email 17





A Celebration of Life Through Yoga BY AZMI SAMDJAGA

If having a cigar or champagne denotes celebrating successful endeavors, then going into Shavasana is a celebration of each yoga practice. “During Shavasana, the body assimilates all the energies created during the practice and channels them through the entire system,” says noted-Ashtanga teacher David Swenson. Thus, we can fully acquire the benefits of yoga and truly enjoy its rewards. Shavasana means Corpse Pose where at the end of each yoga practice, one is to lie down, face up with legs apart, limply flop the feet to the sides, relax the arms and place them slightly away from the body, and softly open the palms up to the sky. A state of total relaxation, a plight of letting go of your discomforts and abdicating to utter stillness, where one allows the entire body to calm down and the mind to be quite. “The key word to this pose is dissolve.” says power yoga teacher Bryan Kest. It is in the state of repose that we permit our mind to function satisfactorily for us to be able to deal with our worldly issues. It is in that same state that allows us to attain equanimity, a balance in life and be in peaceful harmony with everything that is around us. To abstain from being in Shavasana is to be in an unnatural state of suffering. Not allowing the body to rest is denying its needs for rejuvenation and is akin to exhausting its energies inanely, thus inhibiting its role in us. The beautiful element about being in Shavasana is that it reduces anxiety, the most infamous of life’s many agonies. Therefore it is detrimental to ignore the importance of Shavasana. “The ugliest of all egos is the spiritual ego.” says Australian yogini Louisa Sears. At times we find ourselves battling with our egos by not fulfilling our bodies’ need for survival, i.e. replenishing it of oxygen, energy and rest, which are literally food for the soul and nutrients for the mind. Instead, we force ourselves to get into complicated and challenging postures even though we struggle in doing so. We end up worrying about what people perceive us as and thus, we want to do our best, or so we thought; not to let people think we are inadequate. Eventually we lose sight of our inabilities and push ourselves

Shavasana, the corpse pose

over the limitations of our abilities. Ultimately, something gives way and we get hurt. If it’s a minor issue, we are lucky, however irreparable damages may in due time leave ugly ramifications. Having said that, Shavasana becomes something of a necessity, something that is of prime importance to the practice of yoga and rest to the living of life, for that matter. We celebrate our successes by enjoying ourselves, going on holidays or simply by having a nice drink to show that we acknowledge our victory. Likewise, we celebrate our yoga practice with Shavasana to acknowledge our triumph in prevailing over its challenges. In Shavasana, the body is in an anabolic state where organ and muscle repair development occurs. Activities requiring the body to switch back to the highly active catabolic state of metabolism are therefore introduced sensitively, consequently preparing us to undertake the demands of life.

mild depression. It reduces headaches, fatigue and insomnia besides helping to lower the blood pressure. For these reasons alone, it would seem fatuous not to indulge in Shavasana when it proffers a world of benefits and well being, that consecutively turn out to be of paramount importance to having a happy and healthy life. In a nutshell, we cannot take Shavasana or rest uncaringly. It is part of what makes us alive, be human, have conscience and be compassionate. It allows us to sharpen our thoughts so we will not be confused, it teaches us patience so we avoid being indignant and in the fullness of time, it makes us a better person so we can live our lives as paradigms to others. So let’s not miss this celebration by taking it for granted. Let’s respect and honor our body, mind and spirit by rewarding them with a state of serenity that each of them deserves. After all, they are entities that define who we are and what we have become.

In the same way with our profession, the Shavasana we take may be in the form of going away for a holiday, not one of those busman’s holidays but a complete break from our jobs, unwinding in a peaceful environment. In such circumstances, Shavasana becomes mandatory to our health. On top of all the great things that have been mentioned above about Shavasana, the most significant is it helps in relieving stress and July 2014




Can Yoga ease stress for pregnant women? Practicing yoga during pregnancy can help you reap health benefits like stress reduction and a decrease in a woman’s fear of childbirth, according to researchers. A new report from Manchester University researchers finds that it can ease stress and reduce women’s fear of childbirth by a third. In addition to its many other health benefits for pregnant women, including reduced cortisol levels, less difficult birth plus more full term and healthy weight neonates, pregnancy yoga is a low cost intervention too. ‘Yoga is a wonderful exercise to try during pregnancy, when you naturally want to take it a bit easier. It’s ideal to ease many of the ailments that women suffer from when they’re pregnant such as backache, sciatica and general aches and pains. By maintaining a regular yoga practice during pregnancy the positions will become second nature with the aim being that the woman can have a more active labour with less intervention.

department’s many rehabilitation efforts. According to the department, the yoga classes will “help incarcerated individuals on their path to self-discovery, healing, and ultimately into living differently.”Officials say the other prisons systems are using yoga classes as a method for increasing inmate and public safety, and lowering rates of recidivism rates.

Yoga To Help ‘De-Stress’ Primary Students Children at a Primary School near Huntingdon, California, are having yoga sessions to help them relax before their SATs exams. “Obviously tests can be stressful for young children, so we do the yoga, to teach them life-skills. “It’s to help them be relaxed and ready for their SATs, and show them how to cope with stressful situations.” Children at the school also told us they thought it was really working, “I really calms you down and puts you in a good mood.”

Yoga finds a new home in Finland

Sleep helps learning & memory

Yoga is set to get a new home in Finland when a studio is opened at the airport of this capital of the Nordic country. Finavia, the operator of Finland’s airports and air navigation systems, has decided to open the studio based on passenger feeback on new services. ‘At a yoga studio set to be opened at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, passengers can limber up following their flights, either in guided sessions or independently,’ Good News Finland said. Ville Haapasaari, vicepresident of Finavia, said that the goal was to create genuine experiences and services for passengers, which would have a real impact on their travel experience.

The BBC Health reports that the way a good night’s sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by a team of scientist in China and the US.

New Mexico inmates to be offered yoga classes The New Mexico Department of Corrections is using a new method to prepare inmates for life outside prison - yoga.Corrections officials recently launched a “yoga and mindfulness” program as part of the 20

By using advanced microscopy, the team saw how new connections between brain cells in living brains formed during sleep. And that intense training could not make up for lost sleep. Their study showed that sleeping mice formed significantly more new connections between neurons - they were learning more. And by disrupting specific phases of sleep, the research group showed deep or slowwave sleep was necessary for memory formation. During this stage, the brain was “replaying” the activity from earlier in the day.


Cynicism may lead to Dementia A Finnish study suggests that people who are cynically distrustful of others could be twice as likely of developing dementia. Dementia is a syndrome characterised by declining memory, thinking speed, mental agility, language, understanding and judgement. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. About 10% of people over 65 and up to 50% of those over 85 develop dementia. The study was started in 1998 with 622 volunteers with an average age of 71 years. They were asked to rate their agreement with statements like “I think people lie to get ahead,” or “it is safer to trust nobody.” In the following decades, 46 of the volunteers developed dementia. Fourteen of the 164 people who had high distrust developed dementia, compared with just 9 of the 212 people with low levels of distrust.

Yoga may be the answer to infertility Too much stress may cause infertility among women, says a new research. An expert suggests that yoga and meditation could help in battling with the problem. Stress affects the normal hormone balance in women’s body and can be a contributor to infertility. Trying to become pregnant can add even more pressure to an already stressed women. In the modern world, women often switch into chronic stress, resulting in many possible imbalances, including adrenal depletion, thyroid over or under function and shifts in sexual hormone balance, resulting in sexual dysfunction. Yoga breathing combined with yoga postures are known not only to be an effective stress reliever but also a tool to habitually ease the symptoms of anxiety.”Yoga practice is wellknown for optimising the work of the endocrine system, thereby balancing the hormones. Practicing yoga will bring more blood to the pelvis, improving the sexual health, whilst mindful breathing will shut the constant chatter of the mind, decrease the heart rate and instantly relax.”

July 2014





YOGA ON THE GO How technology is helping yogis keep up their practice on the road BY BARBARA PASSY

Allison English, a Chicago-based yogi and senior teacher, has developed an app called Yoga + Travel to allow students to practice when out of town. An interview is excerpted: WHAT WAS YOUR INTENT IN CREATING YOGA+ TRAVEL? WHAT DID YOU LEARN WHILE CREATING IT? My intent for creating Yoga+Travel was to provide a simple, introductory app that people could easily take with them to practice when they were unable to make their regular classes. I wanted a product that could help people get in their practice no matter where they were. While creating it, I learned the importance of speaking even more clearly and concisely about yoga than ever before! If someone halfway around the world downloaded the app and needed to know how to get into a relatively easy pose or concept of the practice, I had to make sure they could easily understand what I was asking them to do. Creating the app has made me more aware of my own communication skills. It has heightened my sensitivity to and creativity with sequencing classes. WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS & DISADVANTAGES OF THIS TECHNOLOGY? The main benefits of app technology are the portability of the practice, the relative ease of reaching a much wider audience than a single person could ever meet, and steady content. The disadvantages of app technology are the limitations of space (if an app gets too big or too expensive no one will use it, and additional content means the app takes up more space). WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE NEXT STEP IN TECH EVOLUTION? WHERE ARE YOU PLANNING TO HEAD WITH THIS APP? The trends in technology are showing that portable content is here to stay! Users of tablets, cell phones and the like are only on the rise around the world. Content that is streaming or available on mobile devices will be an increasingly common way that communities separated by geography stay connected to each other.

Allison English, yoga teacher & yoga app developer

July 2014




July 2014



KNOW THYSELF Before you even think about teaching others, take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror. BY CASSANDRA KISH

BODY & SPIRIT Teachers are responsible for their students’ insides as well ...........29 26

FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MAT A student’s perspective of what makes a good teacher................31

PRE-TEACHER QUIZ Do you have what it takes to be a great yoga teacher?....................32


YOUR FIRST YEAR TEACHING Three tips for making the best of it.............................................................32

Dario Calvaruso Samrat teaches in the urban jungle, in Hong Kong at Pure Yoga

July 2014

photo by Siuman Yuen @ Siuman Photography


[teachers] never assume you have the most beautiful practice or are the most experienced person in the room

Teaching yoga can be a full time endeavour, and it can be a joy and the source of much happiness. The other side is it can be the bane of your experience, draining your energy and basically making you hate your life. It depends on what type of person you are, your level of self motivation, your ability to present ideas, theories and sequences in front of people, your own personal ability to find happiness, to have fun and most important your level of true self confidence. I bring up self confidence because if the teacher is not dependant on my feedback to identify who he or she is, then I enjoy the class much more. It is like a real life experience, we are really doing something together, an adventure an exploration. The other side of the issue is a teacher who is teaching as a means of self identification. Which is not quite as much fun as having a teacher who is passionate about their chosen work and has an opinion about it. One of the trappings of being a new teacher is the title of yoga teacher. I live in Paris and in French we are called professors of yoga, which carries some responsibility with it, the requirements here to be a yoga teacher are quite stringent, most have a degree in Exercise Science. In any case and at any level of education, I find new teachers have a base assumption about the students who show up at their class. It is a very wrong assumption that every student who shows up is at a lower level of training and experience than you. This belief leaves the newer teacher unprepared for all the possibilities. Consequently experienced inquisitive fun students pose a threat to a confidence lacking proof . A quick note here as a teacher, never assume you have the most beautiful practice or are the most experienced person in the room. Best course of action to identify “what you’ve got” (meaning an idea of the level of experience and emotional attitude of the crowd that has found their way to your 28

class), my opinion, is get “them in Down-dog then forward fold,” first two postures, and their level of experience will be screaming at you. Super experience people with good practices in your class, allow a door to open that would have remained closed without their presence. In general among the students who come regularly, a “Best Student” will emerge, someone who has a good practice and seems pretty happy. This student sets the bar for the highest level everyone in your class will be striving for, a new experienced student will raise the bar. A new student will force the teacher to change the parameters of their teaching style, because they should offer the next few variations in some of the postures so the experienced person also feels pushed a tiny bit. Consequently the teacher instantly becomes an all levels teacher. An experienced student forces us to adapt how we do physical adjustments, for example if a student has great balance a good split and a killer backbend, they should nail Dancer’s pose. But what if they are just shy of that full split? Advice - shuffle your bum over there and sort out how to make the adjustment, then revel in this beautiful pose. I like experienced students who have great lotus. After 27 years I am still not a pro Lotus-er, so the student with a great lotus allows me to play with lotus in all sorts of positions, a kind of vicarious lotus.. Teaching yoga is a joy, it has been a joy for me for 27 years, I love it. Teaching full time can be a harrowing experience if you are not prepared. The preparation I am referring to is self reflection, others might call it excruciating self examination. Whatever you call it, it is a good idea to know who you are. You should make a study of yourself, your likes, dislikes discover your own comfort level in different situations. Do this to see if you have the basic components necessary to NAMASKAR

be a successful teacher. I think personality characteristics are not taken into consideration to the extent they should be. Ask yourself: • Am I comfortable speaking and presenting in front of people? • Am I able to handle tough questions about the manner in which I do things? • Am I able to take something that can be repetitive and mundane and make it exciting? (Hint - look at your marriage) • Do you have an internal compass regarding the physical body? • Have you truly experienced the amazing feeling of meditation? • Are you process-oriented or resultoriented? So before taking on a teacher training, explore yourself and see if it is for you. It is a big endeavour that can make or break your happiness.

Kim teaches close to nature in Chiang Rai, Thailand at the New Life Foundation

The teacher is a spiritual guide rather than a controller DRISTI


A yoga teacher is a spiritual teacher as well BY CHAN CUDENNEC A true yoga teacher’s responsibility is to provide guidance and support to elevate students and to awaken the inner guru in them. Sadly, many teachers teach yoga as another form of exercise rather than a body and spirit connection. What is the purpose of yoga? Many people do not understand the goals and process of yoga. Some think it is physical exercise for vitality and health. Some think it is a religion. Some think it is psychological system that

that develops the potential of the psyche. Yoga is a relationship. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the word yoke, to join together or to unite. Yoga is the union of the individual’s consciousness with infinite consciousness In the Kundalini yoga tradition as taught by Yogi Bhajan, the teacher training is called the Aquarian teacher. The teacher is a spiritual guide rather than a controller. The teacher should have endurance, patience and hold the space for students to practice safely. In the age of Aquarius which we are immersed in, many people feel out of alignment, pain and emptiness and they would seek a spiritual teacher to help them transition to another level of consciousness and being. Kundalini yoga teachers are trained to help students to establish an aligned relationship between the body, mind and the soul to achieve transformation. Thus a yoga teacher’s is really that of a spiritual facilitator through physical discipline.

and being, i.e. when it becomes their personal experience. As Kundalini yoga teachers, we have the responsibility of passing the lineage of the mastery of both the inner dimension of the Self and the outer expression of the universe. Kundalini yoga is actually a transmission of this wisdom and as teachers, we are beholders of its integrity. In this tradition, meditation is part of the practice. Through meditation we can calm the mind and develop our intuition to recognize what is real and important for us. A responsible yoga teacher regardless of tradition should have the total wellness of the student in mind. Thus, when teaching, the teacher demonstrates and then observes the students rather than practices with the class. A great yoga teacher is one who has self mastery with a regular personal practice.

A yoga teacher’s role to help students to understand that knowledge becomes wisdom when they experience it with their own heart July 2014


Ana Forrest, photo by Kadri Kurgun

Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased. - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ana Forrest, photo by Kadri Kurgun





Being a yoga teacher is rewarding & hard work, just like being a student BY NINA GASSAUER Usually, students are impressed when Karen puts her head and hands on the floor and swings her legs up in the air. This Wednesday, things were different. What was supposed to be a graceful headstand - the king of all yoga poses - ends up as a belly landing. Having just recovered from the flu, Karen lost her usual control. The illness forces her to go back to the start - at least for a while. STUDENT & TEACHER - WORLD’S APART? “You definitely become humble,” Karen concludes at the end of the class. “Besides, you develop a deeper understanding of your

students. I always thought: What? How on earth are you not able to do this exercise? It‘s such an easy one! And all of a sudden I can’t do it either.” Karen’s understanding is a quality, students appreciate very much: She remembers what it feels like to be a beginner and is showing empathy. “With good yoga it is crucial that the exercises are adapt to the students and that the students don´t have to adapt to the exercise,” Martin Soder explains. The German physician and yoga therapist, author of the book The Yoga Art of Healing–Modern Yoga Therapy adds: “This means you have to vary the exercises and adapt them in a way that they are feasible and beneficial for the students.” In a yoga class, there should be no competition, superiority or ignorance. Yet in reality, teachers and advanced students often don’t seem to understand what new students are going through. And this ignorance, according to the Yoga Sutras and the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, is the cause for suffering. Only by appreciating others are we led to the third noble truth: the end of suffering itself. For a teacher this means seeing and acknowledging the individual abilities and efforts of all students. WAYS OF COMMUNICATION “Enjoying the classes and feeling good – that is what students want in the first place,” explains Hema Mirpuri, owner of the Yoga Room in Hong Kong. “Different students have different needs, especially at the beginners level. Some like to be corrected, others do not like to be in the centre of attention.” Before and after every class, Hema talks to her students; the delicate woman wants to know about their concerns. The interaction beyond verbal communication plays a vital role: Hema‘s sensitive antennas absorb the atmosphere in the room and are automatically interpreting gestures and facial expressions, providing her with the information for actual needs. After her Vinyasa class, Kim McMahon, teacher at local primary school, Hong Kong resident for five years and a dedicated yoga practitioner, adjusts her neon green headband, slowly rolls up the yoga mat and confirms: “Teachers have to know what the students in their class need. All good teachers will walk into their class with a plan, a set of poses in mind, but better teacher use their intuition to tweak the class and to meet the needs of the students at that moment. This can extend to things like the kind of music to play - or no music at all - and how much philosophy to insert into the practice as the class moves through the poses.” July 2014

The relationship between a teacher and a student works only if a student is able to rely on being accompanied according to his or her mood, abilities and energy level. Depending on the actual condition of the day, a class can be surprising, funny or exhausting. Thus it is important to communicate honestly. “I spoke in a very open manner to all of my teachers. I was never put under pressure or pushed to do anything,” Armin Klarsays, who started yoga at the age of 60. “Spiritual maturing is based on trust and inspiration – and of course on your own effort and understanding.” FOCUS ON A HOLISTIC APPROACH Armin refers to something that, especially in the Western world, is being neglected all too often: the holistic spirit of the yoga lesson. It is a distinct science, a philosophy and a path of life, consisting of eight limbs, altogether leading equally important to spiritual serenity and fulfilment. During the yoga lessons, each of those limbs should be considered. “Of course you need a sound body to develop a sound mind,” Joy Wang, architect, yoga teacher and devoted student explains. “But yoga is about achieving freedom on a physical and spiritual level!” A student who embarks on the journey by practicing yoga is – consciously or unconsciously – exactly looking for this: freedom on a physical and spiritual level. Only focussing on asana in a class makes progress more difficult, whereas information, clarification and mental stimulation act as catalysts. RESPECT, RESPECT! New-Zealand born Swami Govindananda has committed his life to spreading the yoga philosophy around the world. The yogi consistently points out that teachers should not restrain on teaching asanas to their students. At the Asia Yoga Conference 2014 he emphasizes that respect should stand above it all: “Regardless of whether you are a student or a teacher of yoga, you should always be humble and respectful towards all. To be humble is to be open, perceptive, aware, gentle, non egoistic, to nurture and give naturally. When you are respectful, you treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. It is to acknowledge the divine energy of the atma, the soul, within all of us. All sense of superiority vanishes when true respect manifests in the heart of the teacher!” Some weeks after her hard landing, Karen is dynamic and strong in her poses again. Headstand or side crow, she elegantly carries out her exercises like a dancer, weightless as a feather. But something has definitely changed: Karen meets her students with a knowing kind of respect - now more than ever! A great feeling for Karen and all those taking her classes. 31



Do you have what it takes to be a great yoga teacher? BY KIM ROBERTS So, you want to teach yoga. You do your teacher training. You learn how to sequence and adjust asanas, and how to lead a good yoga class. But what is the difference between leading a yoga class and inspiring your students? Take the quiz below to find out if you have what it takes to be a great yoga teacher. 1. DO YOU HAVE A DEDICATED COMMITTED DAILY SELF-PRACTICE? Taking classes is not the same as having your own practice. When you show up for yourself, whether or not anyone else is watching, your practice develops depth. People can see this. Great teachers have enough understanding of the tools of yoga to create and maintain their own practice that supports them through life’s ups and downs. 2. DO YOU HAVE A TEACHER? It’s so important to have someone you can go to when you need guidance. You’ve learned the foundations of yoga practice with a wise and compassionate teacher who has devoted years to the practice, someone who has been there before you. 3. DO YOU HAVE A MEDITATION PRACTICE? The Yoga Sutra names one asana, which is the most important one—that of sitting for meditation. Speaking of which. 4. HAVE YOU STUDIED(OR AT LEAST READ) THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI? And perhaps the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Shiva Samhita, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads. Practice is important. So is study. 5. HAVE YOU ADDRESSED YOUR OWN PSYCHOLOGICAL GARBAGE? I cannot stress this enough. Obviously you don’t have to wait until you are completely neurosis-free (goodluck with that!) but please, don’t burden your students or fellow teachers with unfinished psychological business. You are responsible for your own state of mind, but in this situation, as a yoga teacher, you are also responsible for guiding, 32

protecting and expanding the state of mind of your student as well. It’s a big responsibility. Please take care. 6. DO YOU HAVE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES? Do I need to say this? Please recognize the power differential and the position you hold as a yoga teacher. Don’t make a habit of sleeping with your students, and understand the difference between a student and a friend. 7. CAN YOU ACCEPT WHERE YOUR STUDENTS ARE? Allowing is the first step to working with any habitual pattern. Can you have “bad” students without trying to change them?If you as a teacher cannot accept a student’s weakness, how do you expect them to? It’s about the student, not you. 8. ARE YOU STILL (AND ALWAYS) A STUDENT? If you always continue to be a student, you will retain what SuzukiRoshi called, Beginner’s Mind. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind, there are few.” Keep evolving through regular intensive practice and study, retreats and continuing education. 9. DO YOU LIVE WHAT YOU TEACH? Practice what you preach, not because it’s expected of you, or out of a sense of duty, but out of joy from experiencing the fruits of practice. 10. DO YOU SHARE FROM YOUR HEART? Trust your inner wisdom and experience to guide you. 11. ARE YOU ABLE TO SAY “I DON’T KNOW?” My first teacher Richard Freeman gave me great advice when I first started teaching. He said, “Teach from your heart and teach only what you know.”Words of wisdom that I still follow. 12. CAN YOUACCEPT OTHER TEACHERS AND TRADITIONS? Please don’t badmouth other styles of yoga, or other teachers; it’s just not good practice. We are all making our own way through this treacherous terrain called life, doing the best we can. If you have found a spiritual path that helps you, that is wonderful. Please respect my path as being valid, for me. 13. CAN YOU LAUGH AT YOURSELF? This may be the most important qualification to be a great teacher. Relax and enjoy! You’ve discovered a practice that you love enough to teach, and you get to help people at the same time! Lucky you! If you make a mistake, use it as material to prove to your students how yoga can make you a flexible, compassionate and wise human being.


SURVIVING YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A TEACHER Top three tips BY MELISSA MAK Congratulations on becoming a yoga teacher! As interest for yoga picks up globally, there are more aspiring yoga teachers. Finding work is challenging, especially for the newer teachers. It seems every studio and gym hires the experienced. While you can work on your practice or send the universe positive intent to find work, realistic issues like bills, food and rental have to be taken care of. Thus, finding work is important. There are many different pathways to making yoga your career and lifestyle. No magic formula. Just sheer hard work, with a small dose of luck. “Teaching yoga is different from doing yoga. Being good at doing yoga doesn’t mean that you will be good at teaching it. Be prepared to have things go wrong and to make mistakes. Understand that it is part of the process of learning how to teach. Like yoga, the more you practice teaching, the better you’ll get.” Neil Keleher (Taichung, Taiwan), Yoga Teacher for 15 years I was among 250 graduates from the RYT200 programme of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Kerala India in February 2013. Everyone at the ashram talked about being a yoga teacher when they returned home. Most yoga schools provide substantive teaching in anatomy, alignment and philosophy. But nobody taught us how to find work. In my first year, I spent hours figuring how to make yoga work out as a career. Today, I have yet to roll out my first yoga retreat or open my own studio. However, I had the opportunity to teach yoga as physical education in a school, taught private lessons, got a permanent studio slot and even signed my own corporate yoga class. This article is the culmination of my experience and from the many yogis I had connected with for it. Thank you all for taking time to be interviewed and providing valuable insights. TIP ONE: TALK.


Talk to everyone and anyone on your yoga journey. Most new teachers lack the confidence in their newly minted teacher status. There is nothing to be shy about. If you had been a yoga practitioner prior, that time actually counts. If you had been a teacher in another capacity, that time also counts – your mode of delivery will be smoother and more confident than someone who had never had the opportunity to teach. To help you do the talking while you are sleeping, set up a website! Megan Macgregor of The Core Factory (Sydney, Australia) qualified in 2011 and ran some classes for friends. She soon realised she needed to actively marketing herself to studios. Megan set up a Facebook page and got friends to like her page. She also commented actively on local studios’ Facebook pages. Her online presence allowed studio directors to know her. When Megan visited, she easily landed her first teaching gig. That became other classes from networking with fellow teachers at workshops. Talk about your karma yoga classes too. In 2012, Nancy Siy of Manila Jiva (Philippines)offered “Free-for-all” classes in the park as part of her karma yoga. The attendance was dismal till she talked about the classes on her website. On top of her current privates and studio classes, Nancy continues to offer “Free-for-all” on Sundays between 9:30 - 11 am at Legazi Active Park, Manila. TIP TWO: MOVE & SEEK YOUR COMMUNITY Elizabeth Gay first completed her training in San Diego, United States in April 2013. There was little opportunity to teach as there were existing teachers. Even the rotating donation class for recent graduates had a long waitlist. Competition is stiff. Hoping to gather her courage to start teaching, Elizabeth worked at the front desk of a yoga studio. Yet something stopped her from taking the first step into teaching. An awakening came finally when she realised she wanted to leave San Diego. By December 2013, Elizabeth found herself in Seoul, Korea teaching English and yoga. She now works in a great little yoga community, where she is at home. Her teaching voice and courage blossomed. Answer that call of wanderlust. You might just find what you are looking for. “Use your yoga passport to move around!” Elizabeth Gay, Yoga Lizard ( TIP THREE: TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY Ashley Lou, owner of the newly-opened Yoga, Inc studio (Singapore), suggested new

photo by Siuman Yuen @ Siuman Photography

In learning you will teach & in teaching you will learn. - Phil Collins teachers should take every opportunity given to them. Every bit of practice and class given to you teaches you so much more about yourself and your clients. However, it is important to be realistic to know how much resources you have, when you take the plunge to become a full-time yoga teacher. Ashley pointed out how it takes time to transit whilethere are bills to be paid. Her first year insights included – distance from studio to home; the number of back-toback lessons; waiting time in between lessons; amount of guaranteed classes; and the no-show or one-student-in-class studio policy. These questions are tough, yet important to ensure that your financial survival. Studios will arrange for mock classes to try out the potential teacher. Sometimes, these involve teaching an actual scheduled class with paying clients. If the owner feels July 2014

comfortable letting you teach a real class, you are good enough and should be duly paid. Trust yourself and ask to be paid for the mock class. Do not be shortchanged because you are new. Ashley shared her perspective as a studio owner. New studios need time to grow its business. Thus, they are usually open to exploring new talents. If you are a new teacher, take that brave step to approach a new studio. If you provide an open schedule, the studio director will thank you for making their rostering easy. Be understanding and respect the studio’s house-rules. There is a reason why each studio has its own unique vibe. You have to find a studio whose culture you fit into. A yoga teacher’s job is very much a job like every other, except you are now contributing to the well-being of your fellow man and woman. 33




SPREADING THE YOGA MESSAGE A guide for aspiring yoga teachers

Dr Jayadeva is the president of The Yoga Institute,

Ana Forrest is an American teacher, whose trainings are

Angela Sun is a Hong Kong-based part-time yoga

Santacruz in Mumbai. Established in 1918, the institute

well-known for their transformative effect.

teacher and full-time accountant. She is also the circulation manager of Namaskar.

started offering teacher trainings 50 years ago.

If you’re a seasoned practitioner, you’ve probably considered teaching at some point in your life. To help you decide if now’s the time, or if you have what it takes to be a teacher, we asked three yoga teachers, from quite different backgrounds, for their advice. HOW DOES ONE KNOW THAT ONE IS READY TO TEACH? Dr Jayadeva Jayadeva: Yoga is not something that can be learnt solely by reading a book. It is aexperiential science of life. Hence when you practice yourself you understand how it helps you. When one keeps practicing the time comes your instinct becomes strong to spread what you know and how it has benefitted you so the society at large is benefitted too. The purpose should be to serve the community.It is an important you only teach those yoga techniques that you have yourself practised. WHAT SHOULD NEW TEACHERS CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING TO TEACH? Dr Jayadeva Jayadeva: Firstly, the teacher should be physically healthy and mentally balanced. Secondly, the motive behind teaching yoga should not be just to earn money. The prime motive should be to share yoga awareness for sharing is caring. The idea behind teaching

yoga should be to teach different type of people in different ways according to their age, health, their circumstances and atmosphere in their lifeas the doctor diagnoses each patient. For every student is at different level of physical, mental, spiritual and spiritual fitness. Thus yoga is individual. Ana Forrest Forrest: Here are my top seven things yogis should know or do before starting out a yoga career: 1. Do a daily yoga practice that builds your passion. Schedule it in like you would a private class. That time is booked! Keep your commitments to yourself and your profession. Be on time and show up as you agreed. Stop indulging in recreational drugs and alcohol. 2. Make part of your intent to learn something new each day. 3. Deliberately cultivate and grow your love — love needs tending. 4. At first, take as many different teaching opportunities as possible - with as many different kinds of people - to get versatile and flexible in your problem-solving with your students. As your student body grows, then weed out the classes that aren’t working for July 2014

you, i.e. the enrollment numbers are constantly low or the venue is consistently difficult to work with. 5. I recommend at least for the first year (maybe 2 years) to keep your regular-paying job as well as teach. This gives your baby yoga teacher some time to get seasoned and grow up. It’s an unnecessary hardship to put all of your living expenses on this newly burgeoning teacher. It’s easy to suffocate inspiration by giving your young yoga teacher too much financial responsibility too fast, i.e. paying the mortgage. 6. When you go to work with someone, get a contract. Have the agreements in writing, keep a copy — advocate for yourself. 7. Breathe deeply as you practice and live. Risk perceiving as much of the truth as you can encompass each day. Deliberately create experiences and moments where Beauty dances in your heart. HOW IS TEACHING YOGA DIFFERENT FROM TEACHING IN AN EXERCISE CLASS? Dr Jayadeva Jayadeva: The major focus of any exercise class is on various forms of workout regimes to give maximum physical training. Yoga, however, is quite different. Even the 35

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. - William Arthur Ward

Asanas and Pranayams are designed to train the mind. The physical benefits being only the bye-products and bonus.There is deep philosophy and various other effective techniques like kriyasthat constitute yoga. Yoga is holistic and teaches an entire way of life - how to breathe right to how to concentrate better and how to develop a positive attitude towards circumstances. It helps the individual transcends the material ideology and reach a blissful state of mind. Angela Sun Sun: The intention of a personal training client and yoga student is always different, however there are some general similarities for most of the people I have taught: obtaining relaxation for stress-relief, challenging their physical body, at the same time connecting to something else other than their physical body. Like an “out of body” experience, ironic isn’t it? One needs to get IN to their body, in order to get OUT of their body. The difference is in the delivery. With weight training, I focus more on challenging a client’s particular muscle group until its fatigued and/or obtain a certain heart rate range to train their cardiovascular capacity. For yoga, I focus more on keeping the student’s awareness in the present moment as they flow from pose to pose, as well as challenging their flexibility and strength. For both activities, physical and mental results do matter, i.e. decrease in body fat, increase in strength and flexibility, having peace of mind, etc, however, I consider it a success if I can get the student out of their head and into their body, even for a brief moment. IS THERE ANY RECOMMENDED TEACHING APPROACH? Dr Jayadeva Jayadeva: the first step is to be a good teacher certified by an authentic yoga training institute. Teachers should go from physical to interpersonal relations then to 36

breathing techniques, then to meditative techniques then to time table and routines, food, diet and so on. They should very systematically move from one step to the next. Ana Forrest Forrest: My Foundation and Advanced Teacher Trainings are specifically designed to get trainees to work through the internal chatter that often plays out in life as a lack of confidence or arrogance, for example. I equip my teachers with some fantastic tools for life as well as for teaching. These tools help them to become their brilliant, authentic selves. Teaching from that place is much more exciting for the teacher and inspiring for their students. One of the best ways for me to help teacher trainees to become extraordinary teachers is to coach them to stop indulging in their bullshit. Next, re-deploy their focus on what matters most. For example, breathing deeply while they teach and getting their students to breathe deeply and feel. From there, the journey begins... Part of what my trainees learn is how to recognize and honor their wins every day and that’s very encouraging. As they get more skillful at being nourished by their wins, they begin to heal the neediness within. That also makes them a more whole human being and therefore a more powerful teacher. IS TEACHING YOGA FINANCIALLY VIABLE? Dr Jayadeva Jayadeva: Yes, if you are honest. If you lead a simple, truthful and meaningful life then yoga can provide you everything that you may possibly need - name, fame, money, health, etc. It will fulfil all your needs not the wants for the wants are infinite and yoga teacher needs to restrain on unnecessary worldly desires. You can then live a very satisfied and peaceful life. Most importantly NAMASKAR

you can contribute your bit to the society and that may give you great pride and selfsatisfaction in life. Ana Forrest Forrest: I feel yoga teachers deserve to be financially comfortable. Here are some tips: 1. Be as impeccable with your money flow of energy as you are with flows of energy through your body and in your class. It’s not wrong to make a profit out of teaching yoga. When we have those beliefs of it being wrong, we get set up for pain and failure. 2. Rewrite your principles so they embrace you thriving. I have been poor and starving and I am prosperous now... I much prefer prosperous. I use the money I now have to reach more people and fulfill my Spirit pledge, and fund my adventures. 3. Create business ethics that make your proud of the way you do your yoga business. Angela Sun Sun: This is a difficult question to answer. There are many people in the world who earn their living around yoga. Some have been more successful than others and earn more than some people in a corporate profession. There is no doubt that building a successful yoga practice is challenging, however that is similar to many professions. I guess it boils down to what stage you are at in life, what your expectations are and the type of lifestyle you want. For me personally, I love teaching yoga and see it as a hugely important part of my life, however being an accountant enables me a certain amount of financial stability that, at this stage, I’m grateful for. Life, as we all know, is full of surprises. So, who knows what my future will hold, but as long as it includes yoga, that’s fine by me!

July 2014





MUDRAS Practice makes permanent BY KRISHAA KINKARIDAS There is a lovely quote “Correct practice fuels its own motivation.” A large part of a yoga teacher’s duty is to motivate students and help them sustain their practice until it begins to teach them from inside their heart. Therefore it is essential a yoga teacher practices everything they teach and the practice arises from the very basis of yoga the Yamas and Niyamas. Whilst a good asana practice will undoubtedly train the mind of the sadhaka in the qualities necessary to attain the goal, the fundamental attitudes need to be intact, and, as we read last time, the appropriate renunciations should have been achieved and brought into the living consciousness. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras lead to the correct understanding of the internal transformations the process of yoga facilitates. Teachers need to take time to study (svadhyayaha)I have met more than a few yoga teachers who have not even looked at these guides ,the knowledge revealed within is the eternal and ever-present Guru.

This is why Mudra is key in modern day practice, a switch of consciousness readily accessed, an integral method of ‘nice and quickly’ tangible transformation.

Relaxing the shoulders, interlink the fingers of both hands making sure that the sensitive parts of the skin in between the fingers can be felt.

Anyway, let’s look at three Mudra practices: one which helps clear the mind, creating the heart space; a Mudra to generate solid enthusiasm and; then one to sustain the consciousness in a satvic state, ready to receive and observe and positively charged with the tapas (burning zeal) which sustains the process until satisfaction (santosam) is reached.

It is, in essence, pulling yourself together. Self and self. The big ‘I’ of the ego stands in between. The joining of the hands and thus the yin/yang aspects of the brain summons the awareness to the centre of the being, the Agnya chakra awakes, clarity and vitality ensue and the ego has to quieten as the divine energy commands. Combine with Ujjaiy Pranayama, hold for as long as you like, building up the depth of breath and shakti as you hold.

USHA MUDRA, THE DAWN Just as the rising sun awakens and inspires, this Mudra knits the distracted consciousness back together and allows very clear and relaxed vision. Best in Tadasana or start in Samasthitasana and then loosen the arms. Adjust the posture with the usual awareness between heels/ crown of head.

July 2014

VAJRA MUDRA Vajra Mudra can be nicely done in Vajrasana although as per the general rule, sitting any which way that is comfortable and sustainable for the practitioner, is suitable. With both hands at the same time align the


middle, ring and little finger nails, all touching together. Place the tip of the thumb at the corner of the middle finger and press it at the same time pushing back in against that force with the little finger. Sustain this press from both sides whilst pointing out the index finger. Palms can face up or in. This dynamic juxtaposition stimulates the gross and subtle elements of our “vessel of enlightenment� and releases the air which can sometimes build up and distract the mind and senses when in excess. Determination solidifies and we climb up to the next level!

concentration of the vision and the breath into that area. Hakini ,as a shakti, is the doorkeeper of the 6th chakra and energy thus experienced in between the hands indicates enlightenment, thought control, undivided attention, perfect concentration, and unobstructed meditation .This is a Mudra which is easily felt. Afterwards you can rub your palms together , palm the eyes and breath in the energy from between the palms. Like a splash of water on the face it refreshes the whole being. It is a space which the sadhaka can readily visit ,a source of pure and delightful mood. It is much simpler than going on holiday and much cheaper as well as much more regenerating!


VAISHNO DEVI HAKINI MUDRA Put the hands together in prayer position. Part the fingers slightly with the tips firmly but sensitively touching. Open the palms away from each other too. A enclosed space is created between the palms into which one can centre all ones energy and , almost like a small greenhouse. Cherish and nourish that precious jewel of heart energy through the


Pilgrims come by foot, horseback or helicopter BY TIA SINHA Nestled in a cave atop a mountain in Jammu, Northern India, Vaishno Devi is a pilgrimage spot for Hindus. Pilgrims brave 12 hours of an often arduous climb to catch a glimpse of


the three headed statue of Devi in this cave. The pilgrimage can also be undertaken on horseback, in a palanquin or by helicopter. Legend has it that once when anarchy and lawlessness reigned on earth, the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva threw up their hands in despair. Their consorts, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati came to their rescue. With their collective energy, the three goddesses created a powerful young woman called Vaishnavi. Vaishnavi was endowed with indomitable derring do and power. She vanquished demons left, right and centre, quickly restoring order to the earth. Vaishnavi then reincarnated as the only daughter of humble parents. Drawn to spiritual practice, she shunned worldly life. When still a young woman, she left home to meditate by herself in lonely places by the sea and in mountain caves. She was devoted to Lord Vishnu. As

the story goes, she met Lord Rama when he was looking for Sita. Vaishnavi wanted to marry him. Rama asked her to wait. Soon, Vaishnavi’s powers of healing began to draw many to her. Struck by her fame and curious about her, a yogi called Gorak Nath sent his disciple Bhairo Nath to meet Vaishnavi and to find out more about her. When Bhairo saw the young woman, he was smitten by her beauty, proposed to her and when rejected, began to stalk her. Vaishnavi hid in a cave for nine months. When a persistent Bhairo stumbled upon her hideout, Vaishnavi fled to another cave higher up, assumed the wrathful form of Kali and cut his head off with a sword. So powerful was the blow struck by the enraged Vaishnavi that Bhairo’s head fell at a considerable distance.



Venerable Thubten Chodron , a well-known, well-loved American born Tibetan Buddhist nun has written several books on Buddhism and teaches worldwide. Don’t Believe Everything You Think explains a Buddhist text called the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. This text belongs to a class of Tibetan Buddhist texts called lojong or mind training, composed by the Kadampa masters in medieval Tibet. Like

by Thubten Chodron REVIEWED BY TIA SINHA

Bhairo the yogi was humbled as he was dying. He confessed to Vaishnavi he had been blinded by arrogance and lust and begged her forgiveness. Vaishnavi forgave him. She returned to her cave, assumed the form of a rock with three heads, signifying Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali. Two temples sprang up, the Vaishno Devi temple around this rock and cave and the Bhairo Nath temple where his head had fallen. As Vaishnavi promised the repentant and accomplished yogi, the pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi is complete only when one has also visited Bhairo Nath’s temple.

Don’t Believe Everything You Think is a book that suggests ways to help us banish feelings of hopelessness, self-deprecating thoughts and rigid and mistaken ideas about ourselves and about the world. Don’t Believe Everything You Think suggests ways in which we can reprogram our mind, replacing our habitual harmful reactive patterns with wholesome ways of thinking and behaving so that we can live meaningful lives by making a valuable positive contribution to the world.

July 2014


other lojong texts, the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas presents various difficult situations we humans typically face in our lives and advice on how to deal with them, propelled not by habitual disturbing emotions like anger, jealousy, pride or greed, but guided by wisdom and compassion. The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas was composed by the monk, Gyelsay Togmay Zangpo. The text presents each of the thirty seven practices in four verses each. For example, ‘All forms of suffering are like a child’s death in a dream. Holding illusory appearances to be true makes you weary. Therefore, when you meet with disagreeable circumstances, Seeing them as illusory - This is the practice of bodhisattvas.’ And another, ‘When you encounter attractive objects, Though they seem beautiful Like a rainbow in summer, don’t regard them as real And give up attachment - This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.’

apart from other commentaries of the text is that she has included in the book, anecdotes of her students who tried to apply these verses to deal with difficult situations in their lives, without creating further misery for themselves. With the help of these verses, they were able to stop old, harmful and painful ways of thinking and replace them with positive ways of thinking. Whether it was dealing with lack of support from a colleague, surviving cancer, averting abuse from an inmate in prison, dealing with betrayal in a business deal, overcoming loneliness and addictions, and many other everyday difficulties, Venerable Chodron’s students’ accounts of how these verses gave them the wisdom and courage to change their habitual negative reactions are inspiring. We live in a world that bombards us with images and messages promising us happiness from things, other people and pleasant situations. Seduced by sense objects, mesmerized by mere mirages, chasing chimeras, we are lost, settling for a life of temporary pleasure that is really pain masquerading as pleasure. We are lost, looking for happiness where it just cannot be found. Don’t Believe Everything You Think is a clear and heartfelt presentation of how to apply

What sets Venerable Chodron’s commentary



the timeless wisdom of the sages in the restless, times we live in. Instead of drowning our sorrows with superficial distractions or with addictions, this book shows us how we can learn to live with grace and dignity, develop genuine concern for others and thus find genuine happiness ourselves. Don’t Believe Everything You Think is a must-read, and not just because of its catchy title!


THIRUMOOLAR’S ASHTANGA YOGA Presented by Yogananth Andiappan REVIEWED BY FRANCES GAIRNS Thirumoolar’s Ashtanga Yoga is a completely separate and unrelated practice to the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga popularized by the late K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Though both are comprehensive and progressive.

which are intended to take the practitioner through a three-month period. So the 30minute sequence for the first month, the 60minute sequence for the second month and the 90-minute sequence from the third month. Probably more suited to those with some yoga experience as opposed to complete beginners. Those from an Ashtanga Vinyasa background might find the sequences quite unusual, for example surya namaskar is at the end of the sequence, after savasana. However, those who are open to something different should find this enjoyable and beneficial. In addition to the asana, all sequences include several pranayama techniques and some time for sitting.

Thirumoolar’s Ashtanga Yoga was created by Dr Asana Andiappan, based on his research and study into the life and teaching of the Siddha master Thirumoolar. This DVD is presented by Dr. Andiappan’s son and founder of the Hong Kong studio Anahata Yoga, Yogananath Andiappan. It include three sequences for home practice - 30-minutes, 60-minutes and 90-minutes,

A nice point is during many of the postures, practitioners are reminded about which chakra to focus on. And for other postures, there is an on-screen symbol denoting which dosha the pose is supposed to support. Some modifications are mentioned and demonstrated for beginners. However I would have liked to have heard more cautions and reminders of individual differences. Yogananth, the teacher demonstrating in the video has an exceptionally strong and flexible body, the result of practicing from aged 2 and

July 2014

being genetically blessed. However few practitioners could hope to perform the asana as he does, after 30 years, let alone 3 months. Accompanying the DVD is a small booklet which in addition to introducing Dr. Andiappan, Yogananth and Thirumoolar, also offers various different sequences for back pain, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia, stress, asthma, constipation, nervous disorders and sexual disorders. All in all though a nice DVD to include in your library, and a nice to have something from a local teacher. The DVD costs HK$128 and can be purchased at Anahata Yoga Studio, HMV and also online productsnew.php or http:// ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392794210&sr=81&keywords=yogananth+dvd




July 2014






Vegan Tempeh Tostadas BY MOOSA AL-ISSA

Mexican food is really popular and with good reason; fresh ingredients, nice textures and deliciously spicy seasonings. Here’s a healthy vegan and low fat recipe to help you satisfy your Mexican fix at home!

INGREDIENTS 1 lbs fresh tempeh, crumbled 1/4 head cauliflower, finely diced 1 cup grated vegan jack cheese 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, diced small 1 small red onion, finely diced 1 avocado, pitted and diced small 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped 1 cup rocket leaves 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 2 teaspoon sea salt 2 tablespoon cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 1 small red chili pepper, finely diced with seeds removed 6 inch wheat or corn tortilla, if gluten free


METHOD - SALSA In a medium bowl combine the tomato, avocado, 1/2 of the coriander, red chili pepper, 2 tbs chopped onion, 1/2 of the lime juice, 1/4 tablespoon minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Place in the refrigerator till ready to serve. METHOD - TEMPEH Bring frying pan to medium high heat. Add add one tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, onions and fry for two minutes. Add the remaining salt, cumin, paprika and cayenne and fry for 30 seconds then add two more tablespoons of olive oil and the tempeh and fry for two more minutes. Mix in the juice of one lime and the nutritional yeast, remove from heat and reserve.

Originally an Indonesian dish, tempeh is fermented whole soybeans. While obviously similar to tofu in its main ingredient, the two products have quite different taste, texture and even nutritional content. Because tempeh starts from the whole bean, its fibre, protein and vitamin content is higher than tofu. However tempeh is also higer in calorie and fat content to tofu. 3 OZ. SERVING Calories Fat (g) Sodium (mg) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Protein (g)

FIRM TOFU 70 3.5 20 2 <1 8

TEMPEH 173 6 8 12 9 16.6

METHOD - TORTILLA Heat a frying pan to high heat and fry the tortillas in a little oil for 30 seconds each side. ASSEMBLY Place the tortillas in the centre of four plates. Place the tempeh mixture, cheese, cauliflower, and salsa on top of the tortillas in equal portions, then garnish with rocket and the remaining chopped coriander. Serves four as an appetiser.

July 2014



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(0)892 330 217 e: w: ANAHATA VILLAS & SPA RESORT Ubud, Bali, Indonesia s: group retreats, yoga for private & corporates. Yoga studio available for rent. l: Indonesian & English t: +62 361 8987 991/ 8987 992 / +62 21 70743366 f: (62) 361 8987 804 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: ANANDA YOGA 33 & 34/F, 69 Jervois Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong s: Private and Group Classes : Yoga Therapy (neck, shoulder, back, hip, knee and joints), Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Detox, Yin Yang, Kundalini, Chakra Balancing, Pranayama, Meditation l: English t: (825)35639371 e: w: Anna Ng Privates d: Hong Kong s: Hatha yoga l: Cantonese 48

t: (852) 9483 1167 e: 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 Korea - 533-16 Sinsa-Dong Gangham-Gu, Seoul t: +82 26959 2558 Retail, Wholesale, Shop Online Free Shipping Worldwide Yoga Clothing and Accessories e: w: BEING IN YOGA 2 Turf Club Rd # 02-01(Turf Ciy, Singapore s: Yoga therapy (customized personal practice), teacher training (Yoga Alliance RYS 500 hours+), in-depth yoga studies, small group classes for children and adults, pre & post natal yoga, sound meditation, Vedic chanting, evening sanga, community programs. t: +65 9830 3808 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 1503 Keen Hung Commercial Building, 80 - 86 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong (next to LUXHOME) s: boutique yoga studio for holistic healing and mind body practice t: +852 3104 1156 f: +852 3104 1157 e: w:

BREATHING SPACE WITH DAVID WHITTON d: Hong Kong s: Meditation, Buddhist and Yogic. Traditional Hatha and Raja Yoga, Meditation. Pranayama & Meditation. Groups, privates and corporate. Full and half-day retreats. l: English t: +852 5594 5111 e: w: FLEX STUDIO 308 - 310 One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Street, Aberdeen, Hong Kong s: Vinyasa, Power, Detox, Hatha, Therapy, Kids Yoga t: +852 2813 2212 f: +852 2813 2281 e: w: GLEE YOGA Privates, Groups, for Companies, Schools & Communities d: Hong Kong, China s: Yoga for Professional Swimmers, Professional Runners, Pre-natal, Post-natal, Hatha, Vinyasa, Hot, Babies Massage Workshops l: English, Cantonese, Mandarin t: +852 93343303 e: Kathy Cook Retreats, workshops, privates d: Hong Kong, Bali & Thailand s: Iyengar (Junior Intermediate 2) l: English t: +852 6292 5440 / +62 811 387781 w: KUNDALINI AT SHAKTI 7/F Glenealy Tower, 1 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong. s: Kundalini Yoga, Guided Kundalini Meditation, Reiki Healing, Angel Cards. Studio rental by day or hour


t: +852 2521 5099 e: w: KUNDALINI @ SOL 16/F Tin On Sing Commercial Building, 41-43 Graham St. Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini, Yin-Yang, Hatha, Men’s, Mindfulness, Yin destress yoga, meditation, holographic healing, cancer coaching, stress/insomnia relief, detox/weight management, complete mind-body-soul services. t: +852 2581 9699 e: w: Ling Yoga and Wellbeing Private Yoga Teacher Privates, Groups, Corporates, Free Yoga Community Event: Yoga in the Park with Ling yogaintheparkhk d: Hong Kong, China s: Yoga Therapy, Sivananda, Hatha, Svastha, Mindfulness, Yin, Breathing (Pranayama), Guided Meditation, Total Relaxation (Yoga Nidra) l: English, Cantonese, Mandarin t: +852 9465 6461 e: w: yogawithling 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 2/F Asia Standard Tower, 59 Queen’s Road, Central t: + 852 3524 7108 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 4/f Urban One, 1 Qingcheng St, Taipei t: +886 02 8161 7868 SADHANA SANCTUARY YOGA STUDIO 103 Penang Road Visioncrest Commercial, #05-01 / 03 Singapore 238467 t: +65 6238 9320 e: w: SadhanaSanctuaryYogaStudio/ 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: SPACE YOGA s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Advanced, Flow, Yin, Yin Yang, Restorative, Hot, Yin/Meditation, Pranayama, Mat Pilates, Jivamukti, Universal, Myo-fascial Release Yoga and Yoga Nidra l: English, Mandarin w: An-Ho Studio 16 /f, 27 An-Ho Road, Section 1 Taipei, Taiwan t: +886 2 2773 8108 Tien-Mu Studio 5 Lane 43, Tian-Mu E. Road, Taipei, Taiwan t: +886 2 2877 2108 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 d: Central s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate III) l: English t: +852 2918 1798 / 9456 2149 e: 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:

namaskar reaches 6,000 yoga practitioners, across 32countries, 4 times a year.

DISPLAY ADVERTISING RATES & SIZES Outside back cover HK$21,800 210 mm x 297 mm Inside front cover HK$3,000 210 mm x 297 mm Inside back cover HK$2,400 210 mm x 297 mm Full page HK$1,900 210 mm x 297 mm 1/2 page (horizontal)HK$1,200 180 mm x 133.5 mm 1/2 page (vertical) HK$1,200 88 mm x 275 mm 1/4 page HK$620 88 mm X 133.5 mm 1/8 page HK$390 88 mm x 66 mm

LISTINGS Can include name, address, telephone, email, website, style and certification, language of instruction. Approx. 35 words Individual listing HK$550 for full or partial year Studio listing HK$1,100 for full or partial year

YOGA CENTRAL - IYENGAR CENTRAL 2C Welley Bldg. 97 Wellington St. Central, Hong kong s: Iyengar Yoga studio for small groups, corporate wellness & workshops. t: +852 2982 4308 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 9302 3931 e: w:

PUBLICATION DATES, BOOKING & MATERIAL DEADLINES Publication date Booking Deadline Material Deadline January December 1 December 10 April March 1 March 10 July June 1 June 10 October September 1 September 10

NOTES Advertising materials should in black & white and 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, 72C Yung Shue O Village, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

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

July 2014




July 2014




Namaskar July 2014  

Free Yoga Magazine news and events of Yoga in Asia and worldwide

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you