namaskar A VOICE FOR THE YOGA COMMUNITY OF ASIA
Purity Yin Swadhisthana
Inside JUNE 2011
Why w e Pr actic e, 10 we Practic actice
Second Chakra issues, 18
Lois tell us why purity is important in a yoga practice
Purity for What, 11 Keep in mind why you’re striving for purity, advises Don
More than Good Grooming, 13 Frank explains the difference between internal and external purity
Yogesvara explains the psychological importance of eog, emotion, sex & kundalini
Sanskrit for Teachers, 23 Lucas interviews Sanskrit teacher Joshua
Yoga in Beijing, 26 China-based Ansuara teacher reports on the yoga scene in China’s captial city
Food & Mood Management, 29
Personal & Planetary Cleanliness, 14
Ayurvedic practitioner Vinod explains the basics of food for different doshas
Pig Pen could do with some Saucha, says Clayton
Yoga in my Life 31 Julie’s personal
Pur e & Nat ur al, 15 Pure Natur ural, Paul tells us that clean does not equal pure
Plac e ffor or Purit y, 17 Place Purity
Homeopathy & Yoga 42 Sonal’s work has been enhanced through the practice of yoga
Purity lies in the intention explains James
Regular Contributions NEWS, WORKSHOPS, RETREATS & TEACHER TRAININGS, 5 TEACHER’S VOICE, 18 MYTHOLOGY IN A MINUTE, 22 TEACHER TRAINING REVIEW, 32 DIET, 39 RECIPE, 40 BOOK REVIEW, 41 HATHI YOGI, 43 CROSSWORD, 44 TEACHER & STUDIO LISTINGS, 45
SOMETHING TO SHARE? If you have something to share with the yoga community in Asia and elsewhere (we distribute around the World), please email email@example.com
Who reads Namaskar? Of the 5,000 copies printed, 4,000 are distributed in Hong Kong. The rest are sent to yogis and studios in: Australia China Czech Republic Germany Hungary India Indonesia Japan Bhutan Macau Malaysia Netherlands Philippines Singapore South Korea Taiwan Turkey UK USA Vietnam If you would like to offer Namaskar to your students or customers, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Namaskar Namaskar provides a voice for the yoga community around Asia. The publication is a vehicle for practitioners on a yogic path to share their own knowledge, learnings and experiences with others. Namaskar, is published quarterly in January, April, June and October. We welcome unsolicited submissions, therefore the opinions expressed within these pages are not necessarily those of Namaskar or its staff. Namaskar is distributed at no charge through yoga studios, fitness centres, retail outlets, food & beverage outlets and other yoga-friendly locations throughout Hong Kong and elsewhere. For more information, to contribute or to order Namaskar, please contact:: Carol, Administration email@example.com Wai-Ling, News Editor & Copy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Frances, Editor & Publisher email@example.com /+ 852 9460 1967
Deadline for October 2011 issue: 15 September 2011 3
What could be more pure than a newborn? That was the reasoning behind our fluffy cover image of a Tern chick courtesy of wildlife photographer Paul MacKenzie. Purity is the common translation of Saucha, our dristi for this early summer issue. For the past two years we have published in June instead of July so an extra 1,000 copies can be printed and distributed at the Asia Yoga Conference. Asia, and some say the worldâ€™s biggest yoga event takes place 9 â€“ 12 June at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, and Namaskar is pleased to be a media sponsor this year. Welcome to all the teachers and students attending. And thank you to the organizers, Alda and her team for their enthusiasm and energy.
Namaskar is a yoga magazine in which practitioners share their experiences and learning with others. For those who choose to, Namaskar is also a yoga practice, an extension of the yoga mat. Here is an opportunity to practice the non-asana related teachings of yoga. Through Namaskar volunteer contributors can practice seva (selfless service) to the spirit and community of yoga. We do not have advertising contracts, nor do we collect payment in advance. Instead we trust if an advertiser says they will pay, they will practice satya (honesty). Apart from the news section, which is by nature self-promoting, we endeavour to select articles with purity (saucha) of intention. Opportunities to practice asteya (non-stealing) are apparent when writers are confronted by the temptation to borrow the words of others. Even aparigraha (non attachment) can be practiced by people who send in their contributions with no expectation of when or if it will be published. And for readers, you have the opportunity to practice ahimsa (non-violence) of thoughts and words when reading Namaskar. The cynical amongst you may think this an excuse on our part, but the benefits to you will be enormous if you can be open and gracious to this offering. Namaskar may not be 100% correct or even your truth, but it is all of our best efforts. As you read the articles herein, I hope you will enjoy the different perspectives on saucha from Clayton, Don, Frank, James, Lois and Paul. We have tried to present a balance of easy reads and thought-provoking material. And for this I extend my thanks to Benjamin, Claudia, Janet, Jo, Julie, Lucas, Moosa, Sonal, Tia, Vinod and Yogi and for their regular and ad hoc contributions. If upon reading, you find there is something youâ€™d like to read about in the future, please do let me know. FRANCES GAIRNS Editor
NEWS INDIAN ASHRAM SEEKS NURSE Located just a few kilometers outside of Najibabad, in Uttar Pradesh State, North India, is a very well run ashram and school for children and young people living with the effects of polio and other childhood illnesses. Here the children all have a bed and three meals each day. They are offered a decent education, a chance to make crafts, play and learn many of the skills they will need as they grow older. There are also 35 cows at the ashram, a small, new hospital, a seniors retirement area and beautiful gardens. The hospital has no resident doctor, though one passes through on schedule. The ashram is looking for a volunteer nurse to live on site and take care of any medical needs that arise. Ashram standard room and meals would be offered to the nurse. This is a wonderful opportunity to serve a very special and friendly community. Those practicing yoga will understand the great rewards of karma yoga and as well appreciate the chance to practice tapas in the more austere environment of an ashram. For more information www.aryasugsans.com/ index.html or write to meera: firstname.lastname@example.org or yogiuday: email@example.com
Yoga, Pilates and fitness instructors. TRX suspension training is also available. For more information www.inmotion.hk or email firstname.lastname@example.org OM YOGA & WELLNESS CENTRE OPENS IN HONG KONG Om Yoga & Wellness Centre opened its doors with free group and introductory talks all day on 14 May. The centre provides group and personalized one-on-one coaching for yoga, pilates, dance, meditation, massage therapy, holistic healing bodywork, and holistic nutrition consultation services. For more information www.omyoga.com.hk or contact Eve Chan on +852 2851 9684/6449 3455; email: email@example.com STUDIO IN T.S.T. AVAILABLE FOR RENT 1,500sqft studio fully equipped with yoga props, Hiâ€“fi system (audio/video), Projector/ screen, chairs, etc. Ideal for yoga and educational purposes. For more information firstname.lastname@example.org FLEX STUDIO EXPANDS ITS YOGA CLASS SCHEDULE Flex welcomes Sanju Sharma to its team of talented instructors.
Focusing on breath work and alignment, Sanju guides her students using these key principles in her class. Sanju offers Hatha Yoga on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm. KookHee Andersson also brings a new class to Flex - Yin Yang Yoga, offered on Wednesdays at 8:45am. Yin Yang is a balanced class combining strong vinyasa flow and deep stretches. For more information www.flexhk.com; call +852 2813 2212 or email email@example.com NEW CLASSES AT THE YOGA ROOM, HONG KONG Yoga For Runners with Sandy Fridays 11:30am-12:30pm and Candlelight Yin Yoga with Wai-Ling Tuesdays 8-9pm. They will also be offering a free yoga class on Repulse Bay beach starting July on Sundays 5:306:30pm on 31 July, 28 August and 25 September. To register call +852 2544 8398. YOGA PLUS LIFE OPENS IN HONG KONG Yoga PLUS Life started in May by Wanda Hewitt and several of her yoga teachers from Yoga Limbs. There will be a limit of 350 yoga students in the school, paying a flat fee of HK$500 per month on a
Sanju joins the teaching team at Flex in Hong Kong
month-to-month basis. For more information www.yogapluslife.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org OM YOGA TAIWAN OPENS OM Yoga is run by a team of devoted yoga practitioners, and is dedicated to bringing happiness and peacefulness to all, through a diversity of classes in traditional style. Diverse yoga classes are offered, from traditional Hatha and Ashtanga, to fun classes like Shoulders and Back, Yoga on Hands, and the spiritual practice of meditation. Group and private classes are taught by experienced Indian masters from the Himalayan tradition. For more information www.omyoga.com.tw/
IN-MOTION STUDIO OPENS IN TST, HONG KONG In-Motion opened in July 2010 offering Yoga, Pilates and Gyrotonics. It is currently the only fully equipped studio in Kowloon to offer these three disciplines under one roof. They provide a comprehensive mind-body workout taught by Building a new community - Om Yoga offers yoga, pilates, dance, meditation, bodywork & more
WORKSHOPS www.facebook.com/ OmYogaTaiwan or call +886 2 2314 5000 to attend a free trial class. STUDIES IN INDIA WITH A.G. & INDRA MOHAN Yogasutras - sutra-by-sutra study of Chapters 1 & 2 28 November-9 December (Saturdays half-day, Sundays holiday) Sound for Sound Health and Vedic Chanting lead by Nitya Mohan 12-16 December This program will explore sound and Vedic chanting in various ways to quiet the mind. Cost: US$400 per person For more information www.svastha.net or email email@example.com STUDIO AVAILABLE FOR RENT Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 1,000 square feet space ideal for dance, yoga and music. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Eunice on +852 2544 8398. NAMASTE FESTIVAL Jakarta, Indonesia 1-4 December Namaste Festival is an annual Yoga, healing and wellbeing Festival held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Festival aims to introduce a healthy and balanced lifestyle, as well as creating a sanctuary of peace. The Festival will introduce Green living through various green activities, cultural immersion through artistic performance and exhibitions from regions of Indonesia. For more information visit www.namastefestival.com or email email@example.com
YOGA IN THE PARK Singapore One Sunday each month KatePorterYoga holds a morning yoga session 7 - 8:30 am in Katong Park under the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. For more information www.KatePorterYoga.com NEW AT YOGA CENTRAL, HONG KONG Iyengar Level 3 classes by Peter Scott will start in October for those craving methods to practice more advanced poses like Peacock, Scorpion and numerous inversion variations.
MAYA YOGA WITH NICKI DOANE True Yoga Singapore 8-10 June 1. Intro to Maya Yoga Vinyasa Fusion 2. Surya Namasakar C 3. Arm balances : Learn to Stand on your own two hands For more information visit www.trueyoga.com.sg or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PREPARING TO PUSH PRE-NATAL PROGRAMME WITH NEALY FISCHER Pure Yoga Hong Kong, Central 15-20 June Pregnancy and motherhood afford women the unique opportunity for a deep and Introducing a 1-hour Lunchtime transformative experience. In Yoga series for busy executives this training, deepen your to refresh body/mind for understanding of your prenatal increased clarity and efficiency in body and be inspired by a July. Special 1st timer coupon supportive group to recognise with the studio’s class flyers. your limitless potential. New Iyengar Level 2-certified teacher, Annisa Tong, starts Saturday bi-lingual classes in Cantonese and English supplemented with Mandarin.
For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com
BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY WITH AYURVEDA AND YOGA For more information call Karen The Yoga Room, Hong Kong +852 2982 4308. 18 June The timeless science of Ayurveda and yoga can guide you to optimum well-being. In this workshop Vinod Sharma will teach you: 1. What lifestyle and eating habits/practices to adopt to gain maximum benefit and balance in your system. 2. How to awaken your body’s natural, innate intelligence to protect you from infections. 3. Immunity-enhancing foods to create radiant good health, stable emotions, and strong immunity. 4. Yoga practices to improve digestion and assimilation, so you are truly nourished by the food that you eat.
For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 AYURVEDA WEEKEND WITH DRS. SANJAY & ANJANI KULKARNI Pure Yoga Taiwan, Pure Tower 16-26 June In today’s world there is a great need for a perfect system of healthcare without harmful side effects. The timeless wisdom of Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to fulfilling this necessity. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org FULL MOON KUNDALINI SERIES: FULL MOON IN SAGGITARIUS with KRI certified yoga instructor - NEIL IRWIN The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 19 June; 2-6pm; Cost: HK$500 For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 BACKWARD AND FORWARD BEND WORKSHOP WITH AMARJIT KUMAR KARMA Yoga, Hong Kong 25-26 June Be guided through fundamental techniques and progressive practice from basic to advance postures. Amarjit will share knowledge about how backward and forward bends help boost
Time: 3:30-6:30pm; cost: HK$500 Amarjit will offer a workshop at Karma Yoga, Hong Kong
energy, relieve tension and stress stored in the muscles and improve blood circulation. Suitable for all.
or in an arm balance, challenging gravity and using your roots to find wings. This workshop is suitable for all levels.
For more information www.karma-asia.com or call +852 2525 3525
For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com
ACTIVE BIRTH WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS WITH PEGGY CHIU The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 25 June 3:30-6pm HK$500 regular, Early Bird (before 11 June) HK$400
COUPLES BIRTH PREPARATION WORKSHOP WITH PEGGY CHIU The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 16 July and 17 September 3:30-6:30pm HK$600 regular, Early Bird (two weeks before the workshop) HK$500
For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 ASHTANGA WORKSHOP WITH CLAYTON HORTON Amsterdam Astanga Yoga School, Netherlands 26 June-10 July Continuing Education Workshop Series For more information www.astanga.nl/ 16-HOUR YOGA AND ANATOMY WORKSHOP Yoga Central, Hong Kong July Learn the basics of anatomy prior to taking a yoga class for postural alignment and healthy spine.
For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 FULL MOON KUNDALINI SERIES: FULL MOON IN CAPRICORN with KRI certified yoga instructor - NEIL IRWIN The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 17 July; 2-6pm; Regular HK$500, Early Bird (before 2 July) HK$400 For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398
SUMMER YOGA KIDS WORKSHOP The Yoga Room, Hong Kong First Course - 18, 20 and 22 July Second Course -25, 27 and 29 July 9-10:30am (ages 3 to 6) For more information call Karen 11am-12:30pm (ages 7 and above) +852 2982 4308. HK$900 regular, Early bird (before 1 July) HK$750 IFLY WITH BROCK AND KRISTA CAHILL For more information Pure Yoga Singapore, Ngee Ann www.yogaroomhk.com or call City - 1-3 July +852 2544 8398 Pure Yoga Hong Kong, Causeway Bay - 8-10 July YOGA SELF-REALIZATION (Bala)nce yoga is Brock and IMMERSION WITH ANDREI RAM-OM Krista’s blend of inversional Pure Yoga Taipei, Urban One - 5vinyasa flow - Bala is a Sanskrit 7 August word meaning strength. Pure Yoga Hong Kong, Tsim Therefore, in this practice, we Sha Tsui - 10-14 August use our strength to create balance. Expect to spend a good Pure Yoga Singapore, Ngee Ann deal of your time upside-down City - 17-21 August
This immersion offers an integral and practical approach to the yoga practice and its ultimate goal: Supreme SelfRealisation. Who you really are? What’s your higher purpose? What does the yoga practice have to offer you to find answers to these questions? How is the yoga vision facing the current time of radical planetary challenge? Sign up before 10 July to catch the early-bird discount.
Anusara teacher, Lois will be teaching at several studios in China
For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
instructor - Neil Irwin The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 11 September 2-6pm Regular HK$500, Early Bird (before 27 August) HK$400
FULL MOON KUNDALINI SERIES: FULL MOON IN AQUARIUS with KRI certified yoga instructor - Neil Irwin The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 14 August 2-6pm Regular HK$500, Early Bird (before 30 July) HK$400 For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 UNDERSTANDING BIRTH PAIN: MIND-BODY APPROACH WITH PEGGY CHIU The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 3:30-6pm HK$500 regular, Early Bird (before 28 August) HK$400 For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 ASHTANGA WORKSHOP WITH CLAYTON HORTON Pure Yoga, Hong Kong 10-11 September Ashtanga Yoga Workshops For more information www.pure-yoga.com FULL MOON KUNDALINI SERIES: FULL MOON IN PISCES with KRI certified yoga
For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 THAI MASSAGE AT YOGA CENTRAL 14-18 September Join Chiang Mai-based Rinraya ‘Ohm’ Pankosol for a 20-hour Traditional Thai Massage Course . Maximum of 8 students for this workshop. No previous experience is necessary. Cost: HKD3,800 For information email email@example.com ANUSARA YOGA IMMERSION: PART TWO WITH LOIS NESBITT Karma Yoga, Shanghai 18-24 September This 50-hour course introduces the heart of Anusara Yoga practice, philosophy, breathwork, and meditation. Learn about the world’s fastestgrowing yoga from one of Anusara’s most experienced and beloved teachers. Students may can take Part Two before Part One, as we cover different material and review the rest. For registration email Richard Baimbridge 7
RETREATS firstname.lastname@example.org; www.karmayoga.com.cn ANUSARA YOGA IMMERSION: PART TWO WITH LOIS NESBITT Fine Yoga, Beijing 26 September-2 October This 50-hour course introduces the heart of Anusara Yoga practice, philosophy, breathwork, and meditation. For registration Email Sherri Rao email@example.com; www.fine-yoga.com ANUSARA YOGA IMMERSION: PART ONE WITH LOIS NESBITT XingYa Yoga 4-10 October Get the Big Picture in this 5hour course, which maps out Anusara alignment, unpacks Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, unfolds Tantra’s life-affirming vision of the Universe, and sets you on the path to transformation! Open to students of all levels. For registration call Chen Ya (Yana) +86 13719045150 or Email Xingyaxingya@163.com; www.xy-yoga.com/ ANUSARA WEEKEND WITH TODD NORIAN Pure Yoga Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui - 14-16 October Pure Yoga Singapore, Ngee Ann City - 21-23 October In this weekend workshop, you will learn how alignment, attention to subtlety, and mindfulness cultivates greater depth in your flow practice. Todd will help you deepen your practice—teaching you to expand your edge, refine your knowledge, and cultivate mindfulness in your flow practice. Registration opens in September. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or Email firstname.lastname@example.org ASHTANGA INTENSIVE WITH 8
CLAYTON HORTON Mandala Spa & Villas, Boracay Island, Philippines 16-28 October Ashtanga Practitioner Intensive For more information www.greenpathyoga.org AGAMAYOGA WORKSHOPS Koh Phangan, Thailand Intro to Tantric Rituals 9-11 June Go deeper into the amazing subject of Tantric Rituals. Art of Dying 13-17 June One of their most popular workshops, the Yogic approach towards Death and Dying. Kashmiri Shaivism 5 -9 July Explore the depths of this almost extinct philosophy. Yogic Healing 11-15 July A Yogic approach to the vast topic of Healing. Tantra 1 15-19 August Their most popular workshop. Explore your sexuality from a Tantric perspective. Tantra 2 12-16 September Follow-up to their popular Tantra 1 workshop. For more information visit www.agamayoga.com, email email@example.com or call +66 892 330 217.
WEEKEND MEDITATION RETREAT WITH JULES B. LEVINSON Pure Yoga Taipei, Pure Tower 2-10 July Over the course of these two weekends, Jules will introduce students to the practice of meditation he has learned from his own teachers. It will provide the foundation for earnest and effective engagement in the Buddhist traditions of personal and social action, education into an understanding of reality, and contemplative profundity. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
RELAX INTO THE TRUE YOU Discover the Hidden Treasures of Mental Wellbeing Villa Bali, Mae Phim, Thailand 10-14/18 March 2012 Discover, transform and release hidden or difficult mental, emotional and behavioral barriers to knowing and being the True You. Energy of Mind uses yoga, meditation and Ayurveda methods that yield profound psychological insights. These will be integrated through practical application to your situation. Enjoy the beach or pool, daily massage, yoga & meditation, seafood, brick-oven pizzas, Thai & European cuisine.
KUCHIPUDI INDIAN CLASSICAL RETREAT WITH HARI OM 10-20 August Hari Om invites you to join him on a 10-day cultural retreat to the birth place of Kuchipudi dance (the quaint town of Kuchipudi), the beautiful beach town of Visakhapatnam, and the shopper’s paradise Chennai in the wonderful south Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com AGAMAYOGA RETREATS Koh Phangan, Thailand Hridaya Retreat 27 May-5 June; 24 June-3 July; 22-31 July 10-Day-Silent Meditation Retreat with beloved retreat leader Sahajananda. Third Eye Retreat 21-30 August A 10-Day-Silent Meditation Retreat consecrated to the ‘Third Eye’ – Ajna Chakra. For more information visit www.agamayoga.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +66 892 330 217.
Dharmanidhi Sarasvati will be sharing his 30 plus years of meditation experience at the True You retreat in Thailand
This retreat will be led by the experienced team of Yogi (Michael Boyle) (Masters in Transpersonal Psychology from JFK graduate school of Psychology, Graduate of the 7 year Advanced Yoga Studies Program, Trika Institute) and by Dharmanidhi Sarasvati (30 year teacher of Tantrik Yoga & Meditation and the Founder of The Sauhu method of Tantrik Psychology). For more information www.energyofmindtherapy.com
TEACHER TRAININGS BEGINNER’S HATHA YOGA TEACHER TRAINING WITH MICHELLE ANN RICAILLE & HEE BOON 250-hr Yoga Alliance Certified Part-time Programme Pure Yoga Singapore, Ngee Ann City 4 June-18 September This training is an in-depth study of Hatha Yoga traditions based on the teachings from the Yoga Vidya Dham Ashram in India, which comes from the lineage of Swami Satyananda and Swami Niranjanananda, gurus of the Bihar School of Yoga. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com UNIVERSAL® YOGA TEACHER TRAINING WITH ANDREY LAPPA Pure Yoga Singapore, Ngee Ann City 18-29 June Join Master Andrey Lappa in this special 12-day programme that explores the deeper and lesser -known practices of yoga - pranayam, yantra, mantra, & meditation. This is a 100-hr Yoga Alliance Certified Programme. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or Email firstname.lastname@example.org VISION OF YOGA - THE ART OF TEACHING WITH SUDHAKAR DHEESAN 200-hr Yoga Alliance Certified Programme Pure Yoga Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui 11-30 July VISION OF YOGA - THE ART OF TEACHING WITH SUDHAKAR DHEESAN AND PRATHAP SANKARALINGA Pure Yoga Taipei, Urban One 6-29 August The Art of Teaching is an 18-
day foundation in Hatha Yogainspired (Dheesan Yoga) training and is Yoga Alliance certified. This course is the first step in equipping yourself with the essential knowledge of yogic traditions, the history of yoga and the know-how of designing a class and a sequence. It will open students to a greater depth in the spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga, and in understanding their challenges in life, their practice and the path of growth.
integrate yoga in the classroom, PE, and start a Yoga Club that will foster beautiful minds, healthy bodies and compassionate students. This teacher training is perfect for parents, school teachers, yoga teachers, nurses, OTs, PTs, and child-focused professionals.
Sign up before 17 June in Hong Kong and 3 July in Taipei for the early-bird discount.
To register visit kidzyogaasia.com/training/itt/ or email email@example.com
For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org THE FOUNDATION: PREPARING TO TEACH WITH PATRICK CREELMAN 200-hr Yoga Alliance Accredited Teacher Training Programme Pure Yoga Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui 18 June-10 July essence of Anusara Yoga Methodology, the Universal Principles of Alignment, the life-shifting Tantric Philosophy, Physical Anatomy for Yoga Teachers, and practical skills that will leave you feeling confident and ready to teach yoga. For more information www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com 4-DAY INTENSIVE KIDS YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, Kowloon, HK 1-4 October The KidzYoga way, 4-day intensive experiential training will equip anyone who wants to bring yoga to students of all ages in schools! With educational-based yoga tools and techniques, participants will learn how to seamlessly
Yoga experience is beneficial, but not a requirement for this training. Early Bird tuition until 30 August HK$7,500 only!
TRAININGS AT ABSOLUTE YOGA THAILAND Hot Yoga Teacher Training in October 200-hour Yoga Alliance course in Koh Samui Thailand. Asia’s longest-running Hot Yoga certification with Absolute Yoga. For more information visit www.TeachHotYoga.com Hot Yoga Immersion in November Beyond the standard 26 & 2 Hot Yoga poses... experience the Evolution of Hot Yoga with Tomasz Goetel in Koh Samui, Thailand.
Marie Martine will be at The Yoga Room in Hong Kong
50-HOUR PRENATAL AND POSTNATAL YOGA TRAINING WITH MARIE MARTIN (YTAA Member, E-RYT 200 & Childbirth Educator) The Yoga Room, Hong Kong September For more information www.yogaroomhk.com or call +852 2544 8398 200-HOUR ASHTANGA BASED TEACHER TRAINING WITH CLAYTON HORTON 7-30 November Boracay Island, Philippines For more information www.greenpathyoga.org
For more information visit www.HotYogaImmersion.com 500-hour Yoga Alliance Course in November & December Professional training for career teachers. Advanced anatomy, history & adjustments. Learn to teach workshops, business skills and leadership. For more information visit www.500HourYogaTraining.com Wai-Ling Tse compiles and edits this section of yoga news, workshops, retreats & teacher trainings. Please email her firstname.lastname@example.org with your or your studio’s news.
PURE, IMPURE & WHY WE PR ACTICE PRA Lois Nesbitt
LOTS OF US COME TO yoga with the zeal to become better humans. We seek a clean slate, we want to erase old, bad karma, we want to unshackle ourselves from samskaras, those insidious ruts we fall into out of habit and ignorance, from moving through the world half-asleep. The early scriptures, which shape most yoga practiced today, state we are impure, imperfect, in need of some
we practice to rid our bodies of toxins and our minds and hearts of selfish, lustful, vengeful urges serious house-cleaning. Saucha, or purity, is the first of the personal principles known as the niyamas, and yoga offers the tools for burning off impurities. The idea being we arrive at yoga stained by years of hard living, wine, women and song—the seven deadly sins, original sin, whatever. So, we practice to rid our bodies of toxins and our minds and hearts of selfish, lustful, vengeful urges. We clean the slate and emerge pure as the driven snow. Americans (of which I am one) gravitate to purity models— our culture was founded by Puritans, after all! We make amends for indulging in unhealthy diets with the recent trends toward organic and raw foods and rigorous cleanses and fasts, where we refuse to let anything in, a kind of spiritual anorexia. Later yoga, rooted in Tantra, discards the notion that we are 10
“impure,” but salvages the notion of austerities. Which is where it all gets a little murky. If we are essentially Divine in all aspects of our nature, as Tantra tells us, why would we need to rid ourselves of anything? The answer lies in another of the niyamas, which is tapas, the friction generated by going against the grain of habit, of complacency, of doing what’s easiest, of getting away with things. Tapas is the fervor or striving to be the best you can, which may mean shifting what you do and how you do it. Swami Satchidananda said tapas is self-discipline, not self-torture. Which raises the question of why you are practicing yoga at all, of intention. The Buddhists talk about right thinking and right action. Right effort is not the same as more effort. You don’t become a better yogi by doing more yoga or harder yoga; you become a better yogi by raising the bar of your intention to encompass something along the lines of enabling you to better serve the greater whole. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, saucha appears right before santosha (contentment), reminding us to step back and see the good and the pure in ourselves and our lives, to ease up on the struggle. Santosha is followed by tapas, again urging us to turn up the internal heat. Then comes svadhyaya, introspection—taking an honest look at who and what we are, followed by ishvara pranidhana, surrender to the Divine. In this pulsation, this yin and yang, this oscillation between seeking change and abiding in what/who is, lies balanced yoga to carry you through a lifetime. Like all of the yamas and niyamas, saucha is a powerful tool for transformation on all levels. So go ahead, clean house! But don’t, as we say in the States, throw the baby out with the bathwater. Do not rub yourself so clean that you no longer shine with the radiance of the Divine that lies within. Lois Nesbitt, Ph.D., has practiced and taught yoga internationally for two decades, first vinyasa and Ashtanga then Anusara (certified 2000). Based in New York City and the Hamptons, she travels to China several times a year to offer intensives and teacher trainings. Before devoting herself to yoga, Lois was a widely-published writer and internationally-exhibited visual artist. www.blueskyyoga.com.
PURITY FOR WHAT? Don Peers
A STUDENT ON RETREAT ONCE went to his Guru and asked how his practice was progressing. “Do the most difficult asana you can, said the Guru, “and hold the pose for 3 minutes.” The student centred himself and performed his most difficult pose. In the midst of it, the Guru left the room. The next day the student again approached his teacher. “So how is my practice going?” “Mmmm... do Bhastrika Pranayama and hold the Kumbhaka for the longest possible time” replied the Guru. Again the student complied; holding and holding the retention until he felt he was about to burst. He finally gasped and let go. Opening his eyes he saw once more the Guru had left the room. By the third day, the student was getting agitated with the Guru’s disappearance and the avoidance to his question. He approached his teacher more assertively: “How is my practice?” “Sit in mediation and find the stillness of body, mind and breath.” The dutiful student sat, after many hours of leg cramps, sore back muscles and angry mind (from the events of the last few days), the student finally opened his eyes. The Guru had gone. Totally exasperated, the student ran out of the room and up to the Guru demanding “Well? How is my practice going?” “Aah,” the Guru replied, “How is your life going?” The student finally saw the grasping impurity in his practice. Gil Fronsdal’s story tells us practice is an aid to finding our true Self and the purity within and without. Practice loses its point if it is not reflected in how we live our life. Our entire practice contains elements of Saucha (purity) or to phrase it another way “the discovering of the impurity of our ego perceptions.” The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the seminal work on the physical practice of yoga, offers many techniques to purify the body and
prana, before it advises meditation or Raja Yoga be used to purify the mind. There are many practices to purify aspects of ourselves. The Yama and Niyama bring awareness of our relationship to the world, aiding in discovery of the “Self ” and finding an individual purity in living in this world. Asana opens and purifies the body, assisting in the breaking of Samskaras. The six traditional practices of Kriya balance and cleanse the body’s doshas. Pranayama purifies the 10 Vayu (Chi, winds or energy systems) opening the nadis (meridians) and helps balance the doshas. Mudra and Bandha purge and seal the nine gates (orifices) of the body. And meditation, which stills and brings clarity to the mind, deepening purification of the defilements or distractions that affect the “Self ”. These are some of the traditional yoga methods to bring purity to body, energy and mind.
Sit in mediation and find the stillness of body, mind and breath
This understanding leads us to Patanjali’s definition of Yoga: “Yoga is the restraint of fluctuations of the mind” (YS: 1.2) But what is the cause of these impurities? I argue it is our interaction with the world and our false perception of the world. To quote Swami Vivekananda: “The purpose of Yoga is not to make your life better but you better in your life” The world will always have impurities and be the cause of suffering if we allow our interaction be one of false ego. The Buddha, who understood this and overcame the monkey mind, died of dysentery from eating impure food. Even when the mind and spirit are pure, our bodies are affected by the causal nature of the world. While we cannot mould the world into the image we want and cannot control how others react, we do have control of how we see and react.
Practice loses its point if it is not reflected in how we live our life
“Purification also brings about clarity (Sattva), happiness, concentration, mastery of the senses, and capacity for self awareness (YS2:41). 11
Dristi Saucha This Sutra gives us a clue as we start our quest for purity of body, prana and mind; this is not a puritanical quest for perfection but a quest to find Sattva or balance, clarity and harmony in body, mind and energy and accepting the tribulations of living in our world.
When we see with the purity of a clear mind we obtain contentment
The vast majority of modern days Yogis are “householders” not the samnyasin or renunciate of past eras. We often live in polluted cities, feed on geneticallymodified, fructose-filled and antibioticridden produce, bombarded by the noise of media and machine. The concept of living in a forest or a cave in the Himalayas is difficult if not impossible in a resource hungry world. The answer does not lay in withdrawal for many of us. In essence the phenomenal world exists to reveal the truth. “Pure awareness is just seeing itself; although pure, it usually appears to operate though the perceiving mind” (YS 2:20-21) Another way of understanding this is from the Soto Zen master Dogen: “To study Buddhism is to study the self; to study the self is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be confirmed by all things.” The world is not suffering but a teaching aid to allow us how to find ourselves and the purity of life (the divine in Tantra).When we have the vision to finally see the magic we understand all life is a reflection of our Self.
We strive to reveal our innate purity and contentment
Studying in India, an old Sadhu once told me a story of how he had walked in the Himalayan rainforest and saw the world though new eyes: the freshness and wonder of the trees, the magic in the song of the birds, the joy of the insects at play, floating clouds and cool breeze, the harmony of life. As he saw this wonder he suddenly realized the insects, birds, trees, crystal blue sky, cool refreshing breeze all of nature also looked at him with joy and wonder. For all is one reflected in each other . To emphasise this point I would like to share another story by Gil Fronsdal. A disciple for many years practised his meditation and dharma moving inward, ever inward, finding stillness, silence and dwelling in the bliss of perfect peace.
Perfecting the art of great silence, he arrived at the door of a living master. After prostrating himself he conversed with the master on the inward journey. The disciple soon understood the master had perfected a deeper serenity and calmness than any he had ever found. He enquired about the nature of this great silence and stillness embodied in the master’s presence. “It is indeed difficult to find the great silence within but the great truth is to find silence without.” It is interesting to note the next line in the yoga sutras (2:42): “From contentment, unsurpassed happiness is obtained” When we see with the purity of a clear mind we obtain contentment, the state of Sattva. This purity brings us to surrender and to the divine within and without. Our practise is just the practice to live in harmony in the world. Pure in our own mind and actions, we see the divinity in all. Don Peers has been practicing Yoga since 1993 and teaching from 1995. Don has lived in India, studying, Pranayama, Kriya, Meditation, Vedanta , Samkhya and Yoga Darshana, with Swami Anubhavanda, Sri O.P. Tiwari and Sraddhalu Rande and Meditation with Theravada teacher Moonsoiroon in Cambodia . Don currently runs Yoga Teacher Training programs and Yoga Retreats in Asia and can be found at www.akashayoga.asia
Mor e than Good Gr ooming More Grooming Frank Jude Boccio
THE FIVE NIYAMAS CAN BE THOUGHT OF AS “PRINCIPLES OF SELFawareness,” generally understood as self-directed lifestyle practices. Traditionally, sauca, coming from the Sanskrit root “shuc,” meaning “to shine/be bright, clean,” is placed as Patanjali’s first niyama, but the Darshana-Upanishad lists it as the tenth yama. Considered strictly, it’s meaning is clear. For example, Sivananda yogis take this as an injunction to bathe every morning, and to wear loose, simple, clean clothes every day. B.K.S. Iyengar himself advises yoga practitioners to take a hot, scented bath before and after yoga practice. (Any system of philosophy that mandates aromatherapy baths is definitely speaking to me!) Teachers in the Iyengar tradition are urged to dress neatly and wear their hair in a clean, natural, and attractive style when appearing before students. Of course, sauca means more than just good grooming! Iyengar also extends this to the avoidance of drugs and alcohol, a wholesome diet, plenty of rest, and the practice of brahmacarya, pranayama, and yoga asana. Further, some writers argue this niyama, combined with ahimsa, is the mandate for vegetarianism. So you can see this niyama sets up a series of external practices, the outward relationship of the yoga practitioner toward her or his body. These practices are respectful ones; it appears as if the tradition is not one of body hatred. Contrast this with our present social norms. Multi-national food conglomerates spend tens of billions of dollars to convince us to eat more and more junk food. Movies and television constantly show that eating junk food is fun, and it’s still common to hear people deride healthy eating practices, saying “you only live once anyway,” or making derisive comments about “rabbit food.” Yet at the same time, of course, these same cultural sources fetishsize an unhealthy anorexic thinness! People are urged in two completely contradictory directions, both of which are harmful to the body and self-esteem. Further, contemporary culture makes it clear to us that the body has worth only if it appears “fashionable,” is the correct shape, size, color, etc. A too-large body or one markedly different from what the culture salesmen peddle is not only demeaned, but actually ignored. This leads to eating disorders and the distressing trend towards pro-anorexic websites, many of which strangely claim that anorexia is “purifying.” However, as we can clearly see, this kind of self-destruction is the very opposite of sauca. While we often think our culture celebrates the body recognizing the beauty and dignity of the human body, we can see how in fact, our body is marketed back to us as an opportunity for self-harm and self-hatred. Thus the practice of sauca offers us an opportunity to reclaim our bodies so we can forge an authentic relationship with them, to rescue them from commodification, and learn to value them as they are.
some writers argue this niyama, combined with ahimsa, is the mandate for vegetarianism
However, there is also an internal aspect to sauca — the tradition makes clear we should strive towards a purity of the mind as well, avoiding what our grandmothers priggishly called “bad influences.” This doesn’t mean you have to snooze out to a boring nature show instead of watching the Simpsons. Rather, it’s an invitation to question what we are seeing, talking about, listening to, buying. And it also doesn’t mean we have to beat ourselves up, criticize others, and feel guilt for our perceived shortcomings! The tradition says we are to show compassion to ourselves and others, not blame and judge. “When the body is cleansed, the mind is purified, and the senses controlled, the joyful awareness needed to realize the inner self also comes,” says Iyengar in his Light on the Yoga Sutras. Obviously a judging, harsh, and critical person feels little joy! The joyful awareness here is the one-pointed mind, the state of mindfulness. In this state, the mind is filled with sattva, the luminous, subtle aspect of prakriti.
Dristi Saucha The external practices and internal ones are not equal. “Internal purity is more important than external purity. Internal purity makes the mind one-pointed; it bestows serenity, cheerfulness, joy, strength, harmony, poise and happiness; it instills love, patience and magnanimity,” Swami Sivananda teaches. “Therefore develop internal purity through diligent and vigilant effort.” Overall, sauca isn’t some set of prim habits, but an active outlook that embraces all life compassionately, mindfully, and in the present moment.
Internal purity is more important than external purity
British yoga teacher Godfrey Devereux perhaps has the best summary of the idea: “Sauca is not a moral precept, but a pragmatic one. Undiluted purity means commitment, without compromise. Total commitment, total action, total being. Purity of thought, word and deed means to be completely authentic in one’s expression of what one actually is without regard to idealised preferences. To undertake any action without holding anything back. When putting the foot on the floor, putting it completely on the floor. When talking to someone to not be doing anything else. Pure gold contains no other elements. A pure action leaves no trace. Pure love brooks no conditions, no ifs, no buts, no maybes.” In Buddhism there is also the concept of purity, the Pure Land. This the place where our innate blissful nature is more easily realized, and it is traditionally described in Buddhist writings as a country where everything is perfect, where even the trees have leaves made of precious jewels. Yet, somewhat paradoxically, the Heart of the Prajnaparamita Sutra says “No immaculate, no defilement.” What does this mean in the context of sauca, of purity? In Zen, we say “pure practice” neither adds on or takes away from the suchness that is ever present. “Pure joy” is a joy that lacks even the slightest hint of clinging, grasping attachment. But, in order to experience such “pure joy,” we must be able to experience “pure pain;” that is, pain free of all aversive resistance. We practice purity when we refrain from adulterating experience with conditioned reactivity. The insight of emptiness reveals to us that all phenomena, empty of any essentialist ‘selfnature,’ are neither pure nor impure. Sauca is indeed only a pragmatic precept, a walkingstick idea we take up to help us over the rocky parts of our path, not an end in itself. And while it’s just a tool, it’s powerful if used correctly. “Pure love brooks no conditions” — not even those of pure or impure. Is our challenge then to treat ourselves and others with this compassionate love born from sauca? Can you find and extend this love to yourself or someone you know today? Frank is an interfaith minister, yoga dharma teacher and author of Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body and Mind. email@example.com
Personal and Planetary Cleanliness Clayton Horton
REMEMBER PIG PEN, FROM Charles Schultz’ Snoopy? Pig Pen always had a dark cloud of dirt and negative thoughts around him. Pig Pen is someone who could benefit from Saucha. It is one of the niyamas from the Patanjalim Yoga Sutras and is usually defined as purity or cleanliness. Saucha comes in two basic categories, external and internal. External cleanliness refers to keeping the body and environment clean. This includes skin, hair, yoga mat, clothes, office desk, car, clean air, rivers and oceans. Bad personal hygiene can be unhealthy and a distraction for yourself and others.
I will never forget the time I was having trouble concentrating in a yoga class because the person next to me had terrible body odour. It was halfway through my practice that I noticed this stinky person was me! Did you know there is a mass of plastic trash in the Northern Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas? It’s called the Plastic Vortex. Using bio-degradable products, minimizing plastic consumption, eating a plant-based diet, recycling, buying organic produce, using solar and wind power are a few ways we can make a contribution towards Planetary Saucha. Internal cleanliness involves detoxifying the
PURE & NA TUR AL NATUR TURAL Paul Dallaghan
THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOMETHING CLEAN AND something pure. If you hold out both hands and have a flower placed in each hand, one plastic and totally clean, the other real but with some dirt on it, could you tell the difference? You can tell just by feeling. Automatically you know which is artificial and which is natural. You know instinctively because it is your essential nature. This is the difference between pure and clean. This is the heart of shaucha. Don’t be artificial, be natural. Cleanliness is part of shaucha. But to think only of cleansing the body as part of shaucha is ignorant, according to the Darshanopanishad. It states since the Self is pure, the knowledge “I am the Self ” is said to be the true shaucha, purity itself. Many other sources consider an internal and external shaucha. According to the Shandilyopanishad, cleansing the body with earth and water is external shaucha whereas purification of the mind is internal shaucha, attainable only by training the mind. The Vashishta Samhita states something similar - mental purity is achieved through right action and spiritual knowledge.
Clean water is critical to physical purification
Patanjali introduces shaucha as the first niyama in the second chapter of the Yoga Sutra (II.32). Vyasa, the primary commentator of the Yoga Sutra also emphasizes here the difference between external and internal cleanliness – “for cleansing the body a purifcatory wash is needed and pure food should be consumed.” This introduces two key principles in the practice and living of yoga. One is the basis for the Shat Karma Kriyas, or simply kriyas, meaning the six cleansing acts recommended by Hatha Yoga. Two is the fifth Buddhist principle, not consuming any intoxicants. Everyday we wash our outer body – showering and brushing our teeth, but the inner (physical) body is rarely cleaned, despite with the onslaught of pollutants. Excess mucus is produced, circulation deteriorates, lymph movement reduces, acidity rises, bowels slow down, constipation arises – all primarily due to poor lifestyle habits. We are so obsessed with our physical body yet when we see what comes out of it, we are completely repulsed. Hatha yoga says for energy to flow, our internal structure needs to be kept very clean. In so doing energy (prana) flows appropriately and activities of mind and heart flow more harmoniously, an important element in one’s refinement and growth.
body and purifying the mind. Eating a healthy plant-based diet with regular physical exercise is best for cleaning and detoxifying the physical body. Heavy, oily, spicy foods should be avoided. Pure diet allows the mind to be alert, cheerful, clear and fit for concentration. If the body is not healthy, and one of our internal organs is out of balance, meditation is not possible. Buddhism and Yoga both refer to six poisons that negatively affect our spiritual heart. These poisons afflict our mind and create suffering and negative karma. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois lists these six poisons in his book Yoga Mala as: kama (lust), krodha (anger), moha (delision), lobha (greed),
matsarya (jealousy) and mada (laziness). These afflictions can be minimized by practicing for a long time with dedication and non-attachment to results. Ultimately they can be removed from one’s personal field of cause-and-effect only by deep and skillful meditation.
To be honest and kind, to care – this is purity in action upekshanam (equanimity / indifference) and generosity. These qualities allow us to break the chain of negativity that persists here on planet Earth. Be the change. Cleanse and purify, rise and shine Clayton is director of Greenpath Yoga www.greenpathyoga.org
These six poisons can be symbolized as dirt that surrounds the spiritual or causal heart. As spiritual practice deepens and evolves, this dirt is slowly washed away and the light of our true eternal Self shines forth. Fruit of successful yogic practice are qualities such as maitri (friendliness), karuna (compassion), sukkha (happiness) 15
Dristi Saucha Taking impure food is one of the main perpetrators of the above described condition. Today we consume many artificial ingredients, drugs and pollutants. Alcohol and drugs are impure, not so much for polluting the body as the effect they have on the state of mind, diluting concentration. , According to Charaka the great Ayurvedic author, “people lose sight of what is best for them”. The Buddha emphasized not taking intoxicants as the fifth principle and here we find its yogic equivalent. It is not prudish but to value purity and inner concentration, which can easily be overshadowed by delusion. One with any slight addiction to a drug or alcohol can quite easily justify taking it and say they are not affected. The reality is different and ultimately as obvious as the difference between the plastic and the organic flower. This sense nicely bridges external shaucha to internal shaucha. Yoga requires mental control. How else can one see their actions, words, know their effects on others and have the nervous power to override these pattern? So anything causing a loss of this inner state of awareness is counter productive.
Only a clean, clear, unpolluted lake can reflect the beauty which surrounds it
Shaucha stands on the shoulders of the five yamas. With the inner and outer body purified, what really matters is to behave and conduct ourselves with integrity. To strive to not hurt, be honest, to earn rightfully, to respect the senses and sexual energy, to abandon greed and focus on need, is a powerful practice of inner purification. A tall standard perhaps, but a good set of values for us to live by. Therefore we are asked in working on ourselves to look to purification. Be pure, have integrity. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN TERMS OF EVERYDAY LIFE? One, do I keep my outer body, garments, food and living space clean? Two, do I periodically clean the inner linings of the body? Three, do I watch my conditioned patterns which cause others and myself pain? Four, how natural do I behave? Do I often wear a mask for different people and situations? Am I comfortable with myself, can I just be myself, be natural?
inner joy exists naturally as mind and heart are not burdened with greed, anger or selfishness
To be honest and kind, to care – this is purity in action. Watch what comes from your heart. Every bad word, every corrupt thought you indulge in, every unrighteous action, they all spring from the heart. Our practice is to purify this. We need to be aware, gain mindfulness. Then we need to shift the pattern. Kindness, caring, charity, selflessness, honesty, all come from the heart too. The purer the heart the more natural these qualities flow. It does not come from imagining it, though positive as that may be. It comes from directly being aware and taking action to catch each impure stray thought and action. It is not easy and it’s a lifelong process. But what is our alternative? Patanjali refers to this when he continues to discuss the outcome of shaucha: Sattva-suddhi-saumanasyaikagryendriya-jayatma-darsana-yogatvani ca Purification of the mind, pleasantness of feeling, one-pointedness, subjugation of the senses and ability for self-realization are acquired. (PYS II.41)
Swami Hariharananda, a realized master from the last century and one of the highest minds on sankhya and yoga philosophy, explains: “The evils of arrogance, pride, attachment (meaning selfishness), etc. being wholly removed, a sense of cleanliness of the mind arises and a spirit of aloofness from one’s own body as well as from others’ grows. This state, uncontaminated by the body-sense, is called internal purification. It brings about purification of the mind, and lessening of impurities in the form of worldly obsession. This leads to the development of mental bliss or a feeling of gladness and the body acquires a Sattvika form of easiness. Without such a feeling of gladness, one-pointedness of mind is not possible, without which it is not possible to realize the soul beyond the senses.” 16
From my perspective, real inner joy is a result of purification. It exists naturally as the mind and heart are not burdened with thoughts and pressures built from greed, anger or selfishness. There is a natural ability to be kind, honest and caring. With this joy the mind can concentrate. The pranic current can pass beyond the pull of the senses and gather at the base of the spine, eventually moving within where the experience of total mental concentration or onepointedness is felt. This is the beginning of internal yoga and the path to self-realization. In a sense all yoga is included within this one word shaucha. It provides a formula and incorporates all the key elements of yoga. It also highlights that an over-emphasis on cleaning the body, or attachment to it through over-indulged asana practice, can be futile.
shaucha incorporates all the key elements of yoga
Be natural, be yourself, be comfortable in all situations. To develop this take care of your body, food and living arrangement. Be aware of and deal with your own irregular thoughts. Don’t condemn yourself and become more unnatural through guilt, instead focus on not letting traits of pride, dishonesty and arrogance dominate. Ask yourself if you can be caring, kind and honest in this situation. To care is the essence of us, the essence of yoga practice. It means we have to do that little bit extra, always. Gradually see your heart and subsequently your actions change. Purify. You become more natural, pure, as you are you in the moment. Now the base for yoga is laid. Joy and caring, true to yourself – this is the purity. This is shaucha. Work on it in your life. Paul is director of Samahita Yoga Thailand www.yoga-thailand.com
East West Culture Project
A Place for Purity James Edwards
WHEN THINKING OF PURITY THE first thought that arose was how is this simple notion possible in today’s industrialised, commercialised, computerised and polluted world. Granted we may be able to find a few remaining outposts of untouched natural beauty but that would most likely be pure because we humans haven’t arrived there en masse as is our proclivity.
motivation can free us of some of our less attractive behaviours as we allow whatever arises to just be and ultimately self-liberate, whether it be a tendency towards a particular emotional reaction like impatience or anger or a more deep-rooted complex, such as an addiction to a certain way of life or choice of action. Techniques such as meditation prove very useful in clearing out the basements of our minds and allowing purity the chance to thrive.
So is it possible to find purity within the impure? The great Eastern traditions talk of body, speech and mind – to be pure in all three would be a task. What we do to our body, what we say, and what we think constitute our whole being and how we interact with each other and with the environment. The root of these lie in our intention. How much time do we actually take to stop and think about the intention behind the manifestation – be it an action, a word or a thought?
As we look around our environment we can simply ask why we are here and what our purpose is – this awakening can lead us to understand more about what we are resisting and the reasons that underlie that resistance. This line of questioning can drive even the most open of us to feel various degrees of insanity as we struggle to find a balance for our fragile egos. But it is a process towards purity and liberation as we finally come to realise what our ultimate intention is, one that leaves no doubt in our mind as to how pure it is, one that cannot be questioned – that is selfless service to others.
It seems the place for purity lies in this intention and the first step is becoming more aware of this intention. Recognising
It was once said within the act of giving there should be no concept of giver, gift and receiver. While this may cause some
confusion, a simpler and more practical way of expressing this might be – when leaving a place, leave it in a better condition than when you found it. So next time you leave a room or a mountain path or indeed any space just check in with yourself and ask “how can I improve this in some way?” and whether it be picking up some small piece of litter, straightening up some papers or giving a smile to a stranger, this most simple of rules gets at the core of all our life practice – an act of unnoticed, selfless service that can leave the world a little more pure. To find out more about meditation or other techniques to bring a greater degree of awareness into life, please visit EWCP – an organisation set up to promote health and Eastern culture to expats in Taiwan – at www.eastwestcultureproject.org. James, originally from the UK, has been living and teaching in Asia for over nine years. His interests include meditation, reading and freeing himself from his own story. He has been a member of EWCP since its inception.
Sec ond Chakr a: E go tions ex & K undalini econd Chakra: Ego go,, Emo Emotions tions,, S Se Kundalini Yogesvara Saravati
IF YOU ARE ABLE TO CATCH THE CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE, IT SHOULD be hugely revelatory if you don’t know this already. I credit my teacher, Dharmanidhi Sarasvati, for opening my eyes to the intertwining functions of the second chakra (Swadhisthana) and its practical application in life, as a sadhaka (yogic practitioner on the path of liberation) and as a counselor of yogic psychology. Allow me to set a brief context: 1. The chakras are real. I apologize for the new-age decimation of this word and the faulty understandings conveyed by its now common associations. But, that doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water.
Swadhisthana chakra has six petals, with the Sanskrit letters ba, bha, ma, ya, ra, and la. The seed sound in the centre is vam. The tattwa for the element of water is shown as a silver crescent. Image & information source: Wikipedia
2. The chakras are responsible for mediating our entire reality. Everyone has chakra functioning to some degree. Without it, we would die. Chakra theory could easily be an entire PhD course. But here’s a summary: Source is Energy (Shiva is Shakti). As Source comes into being as an individual (Nara), Energy is filtered through “step-up/step down” converters/transformers called chakras. This energy then expresses as the infinite combinations and permutations of the five elements, a.k.a. our lives. Thus chakras are kind of like portals between our experience of life and Source. The more open the portal, the more Source expresses as us, a.k.a. jivanamukti (living liberation/enlightenment). The more closed the portal, the more we express the Energy of Source in a cramped or tense fashion – i.e. ego and samsara (the flowing together of karmic suffering we call life). This is a very basic overview of this incredibly sophisticated view of existence. For an accessible and authentic book on the chakras, please see Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati’s, “Kundalini Tantra.”
Teacher’s Voice Jo Phee WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING ASANA & WHY? It took me so long to think of one because there are many asanas I find challenging and I am still working on. But I think of yoga as a process where the inability to yet be in the full pose is the “Yoga” itself. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THIS? I learn so much getting there rather than being there. Often, once we are there, we get complacent and that’s where the learning stops. Not being able to do a full pose now only means I keep practicing. It keeps me focused and humble at the same time. I always remind myself to never struggle in poses because at the end of the day, the purpose of doing asanas is to prepare the body for a quiet sit rather than accomplishing a specific result. We often
forget that vairagya (non-attachment) to any specific outcome is one of the most important tenets of Yoga. WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR PRACTICE To constantly practise my Yamas and Niyamas. Living in a city is stressful. Everything and everyone around you try to push your buttons. To stay grounded and mindful all the time is a challenge. Our real yoga starts when we step out of the classroom. We cannot change the external environment nor the way people behave. But we can change our attitude and reaction towards them. To not react and to stay composed at all times is the challenge. Jo is an E-RYT 500 teacher and the Director of Teacher Training at True Yoga Singapore . One of the first certified Yin Yoga teachers in Asia , she devotes her teachings primarily to the mindfulness practice of Yin Yoga.
THE SECOND CHAKRA The second chakra, located in the spinal area behind the pubic symphysis, is responsible for a number of different functions – too many to list here. But, there is a connection between four of the main second chakra functions that is imperative to understand if we wish to get free from our suffering.
we are turned on by emoting and are using sexual energy to recreate our ego, which is the source of human suffering This very same chakra is responsible for: a) Emotional reactivity – reactive facilitation based on projections/fantasies of the limited individual self as dictated by karma/conditioning. b) Sexual pleasure, lust, conditioned desire. c) Water element, which is responsible for our enjoyment, taste, nourishment, contentment, ease and sense of cohesiveness/connection. d) Ego formation – ahamkara, or the “‘I am maker” This probably speaks volumes to your sense of intuition even if you have never heard this… but we are actually getting off on our emotional reactions! Not only are we literally turned on by emoting but we are using that sexual energy – every moment – to recreate/conceive/birth our self-image (ego), which is the source of human suffering. The fact this emotional reactivity is all tied up with our ego formation and our sexual pleasure is why it is so hard to “just drop it.” Sexual energy is the most potent force we know. It is Kundalini Shakti herself. We are literally using our free will to strangle our otherwise unlimited Energy and cramp it into this limited form of our ideas about who we think we are. Creative force is alive and well in each of us, all the time. Yet, we squander it on recreating our ego, momentby-moment…and we love it! It titillates us and it makes us feel alive. So much so, we may have no experience of a life other than one of constant emotional facilitation. Our ego becomes so identified 20
with our reactions to stimulus we actually just assume that is what life is. When I first broke through this pattern for a moment and glimpsed something beyond I was shocked! I really thought I was engaged in life, but it was actually a near constant reaction to the self-image formation dream world I was creating with my own sexual force and free will. It was wonderful and terrifying to see, exhilarating and depressing all at once. I had a peek at freedom, but recognized how entrenched and even addicted I was to the pleasure I was getting in self-indulging my egostories. I realized even in negative situations I was getting off on the drama. From here, if this recognition really sets in, there is a lot we can do – the disciplines of tantra are practically infinite. Classical tantra (not the new age ilk which justifies hedonism as spirituality – major second chakra issues) was designed to understand this relationship between projections, emotions, sexual pleasure, ego-samsara, unconditioned enjoyment, and to utilize it as the fuel for our transformation. Stopping the emotional flow of our creative juices from spilling out through anything that has to do with our ego, and using that very same force to nourish the higher chakras of cosmic awareness, love, and bliss is called “turning the light.” But this is not just an intellectual decision or a matter of will. And it is not just asana practice that will make this turn. There is a current trend in thinking that understanding this philosophy and leading a pretty healthy life with some consistent yoga classes and a fairly regular meditation practice is sufficient to transform ego energy (ahamkara) to enlightenment energy (Kundalini). Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. But, it is possible! And, that, my friends is a beautiful thing. First we must recognize the huge pay-off we get by staying limited. We must admit we love to suffer – otherwise we wouldn’t keep it up! Then, once we see the predicament we are in we can consciously decide: “Okay, I need to starve out the hungry ghost (the insatiable appetite of the ego’s desire is often depicted as a hungry ghost in classical dharma teachings) by no longer indulging in the stories of my limited self.”
According to these dharma teachings the ghost realm (preta loka) fixation cannot be given into because feeding the ego only creates more hunger and never results in lasting satisfaction. In refusing to feed the ego, by legitimizing its interpretation of reality, an entire universe of the most potent energy available, our sexual power, will be unleashed in the interest of enlightenment rather than suffering. We can exercise all we want, eat as healthily as possible, refrain from alcohol and drugs – we can even be celibate yogis – but we will
still be drained of energy if we maintain our emotional masturbation. And without sufficient energy it is impossible to be consistently content and happy, let alone radically enlightened as the texts of the yoga traditions say we can be. Yogi, co-founder of Energy of Mind Therapy (www.energyofmindtherapy.com) works with clients online and at Kailash Askhara retreat (www.adiyoga.com) in Northeast Thailand.
Mythology in a Minute
Prahlad Tia Sinha
PRAHLAD WAS THE SON OF HIRANYAKASHYAPU, THE MIGHTY, NEAR invincible king of the Asuras (demi-gods who were arch rivals of the gods and liked to trouble them). While Hiranyakashyapu went around plundering and pillaging and troubling the gods and doing the stuff that mighty asura kings are wont to do, Prahlad was a secret, ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyapu, through the power of penance, had pleased Lord Brahma and asked him for the boon of immortality. When Brahma refused, Hiranyakashyapu managed to wrest from him the boon of near immortality. Thanks to this boon, Hiranyakashyapu could be killed neither by man nor by beast, neither during the day nor at night, neither inside nor outside, neither in the sky nor on the earth and by no weapon. This was the secret of his near invincibility that allowed him to wreak havoc on all and sundry. So one can well imagine Hiranyakashyapu’s shock when he discovered that his son was devoted to Lord Vishnu. A traitor in the family! Hiranyakashyapu tried all sorts of tortuous tricks to shatter Prahlad’s faith, but to no avail. He tried to kill his own son, but neither elephants could trample Prahlad who remained secure in his faith, nor could venomous snakes poison him, nor the pyre burn him alive. Fearing Prahlad was immortal, Hiranyakashyapu asked his son, ‘What is the source of your power?’ To which Prahlad replied, ‘It’s Vishnu. He is present everywhere and protects all who believe in Him’. An enraged Hiranyakashyapu, with sword raised, asked Prahlad, ‘Is Vishnu present in this pillar? Let’s see how he protects you!’ Threatening to kill Prahlad, the asura king first kicked the pillar to prove him wrong. Lo and behold, the pillar burst open and from its cracks appeared a terrifying creature, half man, half lion. This creature, neither man nor beast, dragged Hiranyakashyapu to the threshold of the hall, neither inside nor outside, and laying him across his thigh, neither in the sky nor on the earth, tore him to shreds with his claws, which were not weapons, just before sunset, neither day nor night. Prahla’s terrifying saviour was none other than Lord Vishnu in his fourth avatar or incarnation, Narasimha or man-lion. Prahlad’s story shows us the futility of desiring power over others and the strength of God’s protection over his fully surrendered devotees. In particular, Prahlad’s story shows us the power of devotion and faith in the midst of those who scoff at us or try to discourage or deter us from the path. Could those who try to turn us away from the path be mere reflections of the limiting voices of our own lower mind? Tia, who studies Buddhist philosophy and practice and teaches Hatha Yoga privately and to the nuns of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s DGL nunnery in Himachal, India, has of late been spending some time in silent, solitary retreat at DGL.
Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers: Why it Matters? Lucas Rockwood
SOME YOGA TEACHERS OBSESS OVER GETTING THE PRONUNCIATION OF EVERY POSE EXACTLY RIGHT, WHILE others just skip it and use the English name—or just make up a name. Ultimately, each teacher needs to decide what feels natural and appropriate for them, but when a teacher does take the time to learn the fundamentals, it can add a richness of tradition and dimension to both their teaching and the student experience in class. Joshua Michaell (JM) is a yoga student and teacher who has studied Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy with Vyaas Houston since 1997; and he now helps aspiring yoga teachers dig deep into the ancient traditions of India. LR: As a yoga student and teacher, how important is Sanskrit to you? JM: Sanskrit is an integral part of yoga practice. As my teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois told me, “knowing Sanskrit, it is possible to know all of yoga.” Sanskrit is important for several reasons. First, âsana prepares the body for meditation, Sanskrit prepares the mind for meditation. Its beautiful sounds naturally draw the mind inward towards the Self. In knowing Sanskrit (even just a little bit), the philosophy of yoga begins to make a great deal more sense. The profound truths of yoga philosophy are undiluted when approached in Sanskrit and that makes them much more understandable and transformational. When a student understands the philosophy and make it personal, then it can come alive in daily life. On a practical level, when students and teachers can learn to pronounce and chant with precision, every sound becomes joyous. Just saying the names of the poses and learning traditional chants becomes a very pleasurable practice. LR: What do you think of yoga teachers who avoid Sanskrit? Is that disrespectful or less true to the tradition? JM: Sanskrit is often avoided because there is the
misperception that it is difficult to learn. From over a decade of experience teaching all around the world, I can confidently say this is completely untrue. The way that I teach makes Sanskrit not only easy to learn, but also a lot of fun. Anyone can learn it. You do not need to have any talent with language. The joy of learning starts right from the beginning and, even knowing just a little Sanskrit, will help tremendously.
Joshua gives teachers the freedom to use Sanskrit
Of course, one can certainly teach without knowing any Sanskrit, but there is a risk that the deeper understanding of yoga can be missed. Yoga is so much more than just âsana and Sanskrit opens the door, not only to âsana, but to what is beyond. LR: You’ve been working for over a decade directly with yoga teachers, helping them master âsana names, pronunciation, and chants… what kind of
Sanskrit ... beautiful sounds naturally draw the mind inward towards the Self response have you seen from yoga teachers? Do they find it helps in their teaching? JM: The response that I get from teachers and students all around the world has been amazingly positive. Many have said learning Sanskrit has radically deepened their personal practice, their confidence in teaching, and their understanding of yoga. LR: I find every teacher has something they are most passionate about, something that really lights them up. Is there one thing that really makes it all worth it for you? JM: I am most passionate about witnessing students discover profound truths, not only about yoga, but about themselves. Yoga is about many things, but at the core is freedom. As a teacher, it is especially gratifying when I see my students open themselves up to freedom—the freedom to chant, the freedom to experience the sacred in language, to let go of old patterns; and ultimately, to accept themselves. As a teacher, there is no greater gift.
Yoga Scene SANSKRIT POSE NAME – QUICK PRONUNCIATION GUIDE One of the most important aspects of Sanskrit pronunciation is the length of each sound. There are two choices: short, “one beat” sounds, and long, “two beat” sounds. Whenever you see a horizontal line above a letter (example â, û), the sound is long and should be held for two beats. so, “âsana” is pronounced “aa-sana”. “kûrma” is pronounced “kuur-ma.” Try pronouncing the âsana names below paying attention to short and long sounds. Half-Moon Pose Ardha Candrâsana (ardha=half, candra=moon, âsana=pose/ posture)
Cow Face Pose Gomukhâsana (go=cow, mukha=face, âsana=pose/ posture)
Child Pose Balâsana (bala=child, âsana=pose/posture)
Plow Pose Halâsana (hala=plow, âsana=pose/posture)
Four Limb Staff Pose CaturaEga DaG „âsana (catur=four, aEga=limb, daG „a=staff, âsana=pose/posture)
Head to Knee Pose Jânu Úircâsana (jânu=knee) úirsa=head, âsana=pose/ posture)
Bow Pose Dhanurâsana (dhanur=bow, âsana=pose/posture) One Leg King Pigeon Pose Ekapâda Râja Kapotâsana (eka=one, pâda=leg/foot, râja=king, kapota=pigeon, âsana=pose/posture)
Tortoise Pose Kûrmâsana (kûrma=tortoise, âsana=pose/posture) Light-Weighted Thunderbolt Pose Laghu Vajrâsana (laghu=light (weight), vajra=thunderbolt, âsana=pose/posture)
Joshua Michaell teaches Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy. He leads workshops and teacher trainings both in the U.S. and in Asia. He’s been a student of Ashtanga Yoga since 1993 and has studied Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy with Vyaas Houston since 1997. Josh will come to Asia in Nov/Dec 2011 to lead a 5-day Sanskrit and Yoga History course for teachers as part of Absolute Yoga Thailand’s 500hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training in Koh Samui. For more informaiton www.500HourYogaTraining.com. and mahaprana.wordpress.com Lucas Rockwood is a yoga teacher trainer and nutritional coach. He’s the founder and director of YogaBody Naturals, providing nutritional and educational products for yoga students; and co-founder of the Absolute Yoga Teacher Training Programs (100, 200 & 500hr Yoga Alliance Courses). For information www.AbsoluteYogaSamui.com
Nor thern C apit al o oga Northern Capit apital off Y Yoga Benjamin Finnerty
BEIJING HAS SEEN A LOT OF CHANGES OVER THE centuries. The name translates as Northern Capital, and over the centuries has been called many other names such as the Central Capital, Great Capital, and even Southern Capital. Encyclopedia Britannica calls it one of the world’s great cities. Beijing is only one of the many capitals of the Chinese Empire throughout history, and has become recognized through the world as a major business hub, as well as the cultural and educational center China. Beginning in 2002, Beijing has become a leader in the yoga movement in China, and in the last few years has brought such amazing growth in the country as yoga continues its return eastward. In 2002 there was not much yoga in Bejing. Robyn Wexler and Mimi Kuo Deemer were teaching yoga at Gyms in Beijing before then, and often had conversations about how amazing it would be to enjoy a yoga studio in Beijing. After some time they came up with a plan to manifest a quiet, clean, and professional yoga studio which is one of the oldest studios in Beijing today. Visiting what is now known as Yoga Yard (www.yogayard.com) is a great idea in this busy metropolis. When you first walk inside, there is a feeling of friendliness and community, as well as a delightful warmth which has unfolded and flowered over the past nine years. The intention of the founders lies in “wanting to have a space in Beijing where people can come back to themselves, where people can find a space that promotes wellness, in the physical sense but also mental and spiritual as well. We would like to bring opportunities for students to find a daily practice as well as give the space to deepen that practice by offering in depth training by teachers who have well developed specialties who can help to deepen and broaden a students experience in yoga.” A wonderful part of the experience here is the multidimensional teacher-student relationship.
The teachers are very personable If you come early enough, you might enjoy a cup of tea with the down-to-earth teaching staff before they lead you through class. Over the years Yoga Yard has grown to 15 teachers and holds 50 yoga classes a week, with teachers from Singapore, the USA, Australia, Canada, England, Germany, and a few Chinese teachers as well. With rooms that can accommodate 25 students, the classes are big enough to enjoy a group atmosphere, but are never overcrowded. At Yoga Yard, the focus is mainly Vinyasa, but there are also teachers who have studied Iyengar, Anusara, and pre/post natal-classes. You can even bring your children to Yoga Yard, for kids yoga. Over the years Yoga Yard has invited such internationally recognized teachers as Donna Farhi, Sarah Powers, Max Stron, Matthew Cohen, and Sherry Brourman. Another gem of a studio is Fine Yoga (www.fine-yoga.com). The current incarnation of this studio was opened by Sherri Rao in 2005. Before that the roots of Fine Yoga were grown in the outskirts of Beijing in the Shunyi district as early as 2002. Today’s
Fine Yoga is located on the 16th floor of an office building overlooking the Chaoyang district. The center is very conveniently located near to the subway and is across the street from one of Beijing’s big shopping centers Shin Guang Tian Di.
Fine Yoga’s specialty has been training Chinese yoga teachers In fact Fine Yoga presents Yoga Alliance 200 hour teacher trainings on a monthly basis to students from all over China looking for their first education in teaching yoga. The main focus of the trainings at Fine Yoga is Ashtanga and Hatha yoga. Founder and owner Sherri spent many months studying Ashtanga in Mysore India, and still travels there regularly to pay her respects to Guruji, who directed her for so many years. Even though the focus has been training teachers, you can also take classes most of the day at any of the centers Fine Yoga operates. With four rooms, of which two can open up to a big room that holds 50+ students, Fine Yoga’s main location is truly a gem in Beijing Yoga. If you are a teacher you too may find something happening to further your yoga education. Chuck Miller will be teaching in 2011 for 10 days, and last year he taught with his partner
Maty Ezraty. Many other great teachers, including Seane Corne, Bryan Kest, Ken Harakuma, Clayton Horton, and John Scott, have taught at Fine Yoga and in the past Anusara-certified teachers Lois Nesbitt, Zhenja LaRosa and Bo Srey have all taught there. With Beijing Yoga growing and the continued movement of China in the world, Beijing is a great place to add to your list of places to go. When you make it to this Northern Capital, you may find yourself in need of some great yoga. These two wonderful studios will give you a great base from which to find a little inner peace and get your sweat on! Benjamin is 35 years old, and for more than four years has being teaching Anusara yoga at The Orange Room and Yoga Space in Shanghai, China. His inspiration comes in the amazing students, from the sun that always shines, and from his teacher John Friend. firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Management = Mood Management Vinod Sharma
AYURVEDA SAYS THERE ARE THREE main pillars – Vata (Air + Space), Pitta (Fire + Air+water) & Kapha (Water + Earth), and three sub pillars - Food, Sleep & Celibacy which sustain our health. In this article, we’ll discuss one of the three sub pillars, food – and how it affects our well being. Specifically, we’ll explore how the food we eat affects our mood. Generally, mood can be defined as our state of mind or how we feel at any given time. Due to various reasons, either due to an internal trigger or external circumstances, we experience low/negative moods - this is a normal phenomena of human life. Our moods are influenced by several factors – weather conditions, biological influences, and most importantly, our own eating habits/diet and lifestyle pattern. According to Ayurveda, the main cause of low moods is the imbalance of any of the doshas - Vata (air and space elements), Pitta (mainly fire element) and Kapha (water & earth elements). For example, air imbalance can cause irritability, impatience and even depression. Pitta (fire) imbalance can cause anger, frustration etc., while imbalance of Kapha can cause a person to be insecure and have low self esteem. In general, Vata and Pitta imbalances are the main culprits in causing low moods. The good news is it is possible to uplift our moods when we are feeling down. Eating the right food according to our body constitution has a direct effect on balancing the elements in our system, and therefore food has a strong influence on our moods. There is a saying in Ayurveda, “As the ahar (food), so the vichar (thinking)”. This implies food directly affects the mind and mood. For example, generally raw salad is considered to be healthy, but for a person whose air element is aggravated and fire element is weak, salad will cause further dryness in the body. Thus the person’s mood can become very irritable and impatient. So in such a situation, what can
the person do to reduce his irritability and impatience, and correct his mood?
Herbs and spices can be used to positively transform one’s mood
Honey is very helpful in this instance. If the person drinks one glass of room temperature water with a tablespoon of honey, the natural sweet taste of honey will help to pacify the aggravated air element, thereby reducing irritability and impatience. Honey also contains copper and iron, which will help to boost the fire element – this can make the person feel stronger and more confident. As a result, his mood will become more positive and cheerful. Ayurveda is such a wonderful science – it teaches how to eat according to the different seasons. As well Ayurveda guides us to plan our eating habits according to the different times of the day. Following these guidelines will help us maintain a calm and positive frame of mind. According to Ayurveda, different doshas are strong at different times of the day. Generally, from 6 am to 10 am, Kapha is very strong in the environment; from 10 am to 2 pm, Pitta is very strong, and from 2 pm to 6 pm; Vata predominates. This cycle repeats itself from 6 pm to 6 am. According to the element that is dominant in the environment at any given point, one should eat the food containing the opposite elements to induce a balancing 29
effect. For example, at breakfast time (i.e. Kapha period) one should consume more food with strong fire & air elements. Therefore, breakfast should be light eg. a slice of whole wheat toast with honey, and a little black pepper powder sprinkled on it. In Ayurveda there are certain herbs and spices which work as positive mood boosters, like cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper powder, honey etc. These herbs/spices can be used in different combinations, to deal with specific imbalances, and thereby help to positively transform one’s mood. Another example is for the women who suffer from PMS related problems due to hormonal changes. From an Ayurvedic perspective, women are easily affected by Vata (air) imbalance during menstruation (or even a few days prior to starting menstruation). As a result, they often go through drastic mood swings. To help control these mood swings, cumin, fennel and liquorice can be very helpful – just add 1 teaspoon each of cumin seed powder, fennel seed powder & liquorice powder to one glass of hot water, mix it well and take this drink twice a day. One can begin to take this drink 7 days before the due date of menstruation, to help maintain balance within the system. Mother Nature has also provided us with many natural mood boosters – we just need to understand nature’s gifts and use them accordingly. Take oatmeal for instance. Oatmeal is rich in earth element, thereby aiding in calming the nervous system and helping the person to feel more grounded. Oatmeal is also full of soluble fiber that helps control blood sugar levels, and therefore aids in relieving feelings of anger and irritability. The rich fiber content of oatmeal also creates a feeling of fullness and helps prevent hunger pangs (commonly caused by air aggravation), which is why one does not feel hungry too quickly after eating oatmeal. Other foods having strong earth and water elements (high soluble fiber contents) are barley, sweet and ripe fruits, strawberries and apples, figs, prunes, large raisins – all these foods are effective in reducing acidity (fire element) in the body, which in turn helps to control feelings of anger and frustration.
Asia Yoga Conference In the June issue of Namaskar, we called for readers to submit a short essay on “Yoga in My Life”. Our editorial committee was most moved by this essay from Hong Kong-based Julie Choi. Julie has received a free four-day, all-conference pass to Asia Yoga Conference 2011, courtesy of the organisers. Thank you to all the other readers who made the time to share their stories.
Yoga in My Lif e Life Julie Choi
Yoga is still a fairly new practice in my life. In the past, bingeing on a pint of ice cream was the usual “don’t-deal-with-stress-or-negative-feelings” distraction tool of choice. More recently, I have learned how to incorporate more productive stress alleviating strategies like yoga. Yoga provides an avenue to become more mindful of limiting thought patterns. Change can only occur when there is awareness. I still have perfectionist tendencies and would get upset at myself for missing out on yoga practicing opportunities. Thankfully, I understand that self-compassion and persistence will help me get to a better place. Everyone’s journey to an optimal yoga practice is unique. I choose to focus on the process rather than the results. I will get there. One mindful pose and breath at a time. Julie is a certified health coach. When she isn’t practicing yoga at Om Yoga & Wellness, she conducts lectures and workshops on mindful eating, weight management, stress reduction, effective communication, changing limiting thought patterns, law of attraction, and evidence-based health coaching.
Save the Date: 7 - 10 June 2012 Asia Yoga Conference www.asiayogaconference.com
generally raw salad is healthy, but for a person whose air element is aggravated, salad will cause dryness Walnut, almonds and coriander seeds are also great mood enhancers. Walnuts and almonds contain natural oils that pacify excess air and fire elements within the system – these are needed for brain cells and neurotransmitters to function properly, effectively acting as mood-lifters. They are especially useful for people who are prone to anxiety, nervousness and depression. Coriander seeds improve air circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, making a person more alert, enthusiastic and motivated. Roots/tubers like carrots, sweet potatoes, taro, yam, etc. are good to consume in winter, (especially during the early part of winter) because winter is generally dry (strong air element) and one can easily
become disoriented, out of focus, etc. Therefore one needs to consume more roots in winter to have a grounding effect and stabilise the mood. So pay attention to the food you eat, and with a little effort, you can do much to maintain a positive, balanced and happy mood. In other words, by managing your food, you can also manage your moods. With 30 years of experience in yoga and Ayurveda, Vinod is an Ayurvedic practitioner in private practice in Hong Kong. +852 2771 1405 or at email@example.com
Teacher Training Review
The in as & Meridians intter erssection o off Chakr Chakras Janet Lau
PAUL AND SUZEE GRILLEY HELD THEIR CHAKRAS AND MERIDIANS YIN YOGA TEACHER TRAINING AT TRUE Yoga in Singapore earlier this year, and I attended. Their unique perspective of anatomy is gleened from countless hours of cadaver research and finds each of us have different shape bones which determines much of our asana ability. The training also explained the relationship between the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory of meridians and chi and the yoga/Ayurvedic concept of nadis and prana. In addition, they introduced us to meridian meditation. This article, however, focuses on their teaching of chi/prana flow and Yin yoga. I expect most readers believe our minds and bodies are inter-connected. So if the body is sick, it affects emotions and the mind becomes dull or unpleasant. Conversely if the mind has negative emotions, it stresses various organs causing heart disease, liver problem, digestive issues and so on. Eastern practices understand how wrong thinking leads to wrong emotions, which eventually leads to physical illness and a vicious cycle. To gain some control over our emotions, the Eastern way would begin by working on the physical body. By moving the life force (the Chinese system calls it Chi, Japanese calls it Qi, and the Ayuvedic system calls it prana), we deviate from an emotional vicious cycle, or samskara in Sanskrit. With consistent practice, we strive towards a healthy body and peaceful mind. Only recently have Western scientists started to be more receptive towards these Eastern theories. And while they acknowledge that stimulating chi/prana seems to work, they donâ€™t know why. And this is because, Paul says, Western scientists having been trying to see chi/ prana in dead bodies. Obviously they have not been successful, as chi/prana can only be found in living tissue.
chi meridians are created by hyaluronic acid
Janet, Suzee, Paul & event organiser Jo Phee at True Yoga in Singapore
The channels for the chi/prana, are called meridians or nadis, and are actually everywhere in the living body. They are created by the presence of hyaluronic acid (HA) in our body. HA is a molecule which is extremely effective at attracting and holding water to it. It is also critical to the healing process In fact it is now used by cosemetic companies in skin care products for its moisturising qualities. In our bodies, HA is created by fibroblasts in our connective tissue. Fibroblasts are the most prolific cells in our connective tissues, the collective term for ligaments, tendons and fascia.
While these three structures can be seen seperately, they are also one. Wrapped around every muscle, muscle bundle and muscle fiber is a tube of fascia. This fascia extends to the end of the muscle where it comes together to form the tendon. And wraps around our bones, coming together to form ligaments. In fact fascia is ubiquitous, meaning it is everywhere in our body. Fascia provides the structure for all our blood vessels, lines and wraps around our organs, holds our organs firmly in place and covers all our bones. If you would like to see what fascia looks like, examine a piece of raw chicken. You
will see a very thin and translucent sheet of whiteish material around the muscle, which comes together at the tendon. The same exists in our body. Understanding fascia is vital to unlocking the mystery of the meridians. In between each sheet of fascia, is a very thin layer of water. And it is the water held here which makes up most of our body. In fact of the 75-80% water content of our bodies, only 20% is in our blood. Most of the rest is in the connective tissues, the fascia. As mentioned earlier, fascia contains cells called fibroblasts, which produce HA. This HA attracts water molecules to it, creating long pathways for chi/prana to flow, and these are our meridians or nadis. When there is not enough water around, or when there is no chi/prana flow, the HA molecules get all coiled up on themselves. So while these little clumps of HA are visible on inspection of a cadaver, they do not exhibit any kind of meridian structure. However in a live and well-hydrated being,
the HA forms long the meridian/nadi pathways through which chi/prana flows. There are 14 main meridians (small intestines & heart; triple heater & pericardium; large intestines & lung; urinary bladder & kidneys; gall bladder & liver; spleen & stomach; governor vessel & conception vessel) which exist in pairs. Those at the front of our body and inside of our arms and legs are called yin pairs. Yang pairs are on the outside of our limbs and the backside of our body. Traditional Chinese medicine theory says sickness, mental or emotional discomfort is caused by either too much chi or too little chi. Most chi stagnation takes place at the joints. And as there are more fibroblasts produced at the joint capsules, if we stimulate our joints, we stimulate the production of more HA, which in turn stimulates the flow our chi/prana.
SIGNS OF A GOOD YIN PRACTICE: 1. A feeling of fragility and vulnerability after releasing from the pose. This means the body feels very reluctant to quick movements during and soon after the releasing of the pose. 2. The breath starts to slow down to the very minimum. Slowly, we lose our urge to breath, a sign the parasympathetic system is kicking in. 3. There is almost no urge to move. Again, when we are calm, we lose the habit of fidgeting and we can be happy where we are. 4. There is a sense of goodness or pleasantness. When the chi/prana flows, we feel good; when chi does not flow well, we do not feel good.
Through practicing yoga in a Yin way, focussing on the connective tissues, we can stimulate chi/prana flow without someone elseâ€™s (like an accupuncturistâ€™s) help.
There are only a handful of Yin poses and most target the hips and the spine. This is because chi/prana tends to stagnate at the joints, which are the intersecting points of the meridians.
when chi/prana runs smoothly, it moves to the spine
Unlike muscles, which respond to quick and dynamic movements, fascia only responds to slow stimulation. Training our connective tissues the same way as our muscles will only lead to injury. Musclesâ€™ responsibility is to protect the joints, so if we engage our muscles during a Yin practice, we can not direct the stretch to the joints, and the stretch will stay at the muscular level. These are two reasons to stay still and try to relax the muscles (at least around the target area of the Yin pose) for a period of the Yin practice. When we stay in a Yin pose, we put pressure on a joint and when we release the pose, there is a rush of blood and chi/ prana along the joints and meridians, thereby stimulating the production of HA.
According to the Chinese system, when the chi/prana runs smoothly, it moves to the spine. And here is the connection to the yogic / Ayurvedic system. In both systems, when chi/prana flows to the central channel, we are blessed with a sense of calm and peace. Janet is a Zen Buddhist who teaches various forms of yoga, with a special interest in power vinyasa flow, yin, and meditation. Her teachings are inspired by Baron Baptiste, Thich Nhat Hanh, Paul and Suzee Grilley, Sarah Powers, David Swenson, Stephen Thomas and Frank Jude Boccio.
BECOME A YOGA TEACHER 200 & 500hr Yoga Alliance Certification Courses Teach Yoga, Inspire Students, Change Lives!
If you're a passionate yoga student ready to take the next step and become a Yoga Alliance certified teacher, then Absolute Yoga in Thailand would like to welcome you to apply for one of our up-coming, 1-month teacher training courses on Koh Samui Island.
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Up-Coming Yoga Teacher Training Courses Hot Yoga Teacher Training – Join John Anderson, Harreson Martell, Pim Swatewacharkul, Jeanne Chung, Rachel Tsai, Michelle Lam, and Lucas Rockwood for a 1-month intensive, Yoga Alliance Certification. This course is hot, sweaty, and extremely effective. You'll show up as a student and leave as a teacher! DATES: June & October REQUIREMENTS: 6-12 months regular practice CERTIFICATION: Yoga Alliance 200-Hour (internationally recognized) INFO: www.TeachHotYoga.com Vinyasa "Flow" Teacher Training – Join Michel Besnard, Carlos Pomeda, Michelle Lam, and Roslyn Ying for a 1-month training. This is one of Asia's longest-running teacher training programs and gives students a rock-solid foundation in Vinyasa Flow yoga teaching. Learn hands-on adjustments, sequencing, and all the tools needed to be a truly effective instructor. DATES: March REQUIREMENTS: 6-12 months regular practice CERTIFICATION: Yoga Alliance 200-Hour (internationally recognized) INFO: www.TeachFlowYoga.com 36
500hr Advanced Teacher Training – Join Michel Besnard, Josh Michaell, Nora Mangiamele, Kimberly Johnson, Lucas Rockwood, Michelle Lam, Roslyn Ying, and Akash Karia for a 5-week, professional course designed for teachers ready to advance their careers. This course is the equivalent to a Ph.D in yoga and includes advanced anatomy, adjustments, history & philosophy, how to teach workshops and retreats, yoga business and marketing, and public speaking. If you are currently teaching and wondering, "What's next?" then this course is for you. Take your career to the next level... DATES: Nov/Dec & Aug/Sept REQUIREMENTS: for current yoga teachers CERTIFICATION: Yoga Alliance 500 Hour (internationally recognized) INFO: www.500HourYogaTraining.com
Student Reviews “The Best Yoga Teacher Training that You Will Ever Receive in Your Lifetime!” This is the best yoga teacher training that you will ever receive in your lifetime. The experiences and the given attention from all the teachers are so great and the ambiance of the location is impeccable. By the time you finish the course, you will have a very strong foundation in practicing yoga, teaching yourself and also teaching others. The best part of it is, you become very strong and happy spiritually, mentally and physically. – Alisa Asavabhokhin (Bangkok, Thailand)
“Enjoy Every Moment of Our Practice!” The 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Michel was very challenging, but very rewarding... Michel’s teaching is highly emphasized on body awareness by applying alignment through asana, kriya and meditation to observe your breath and mind. Michel makes me understand my own practice and difficulties ... we must listen to our body while practicing! – Winky Chan (Hong Kong)
"A Life-Changing Experience!" Training to become a teacher has been a life-changing experience for me in so many ways. It has helped me understand my own practice and difficulties as well as those of other students. We are all unique with different bodies and life theories, but yoga unites us... - Joanne (U.K.)
Want to Learn More? INFO: www.AbsoluteYogaSamui.com EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org TEL: +1.310.878.4829
Fact at actss about F Fat Claudia Jones
TRANS FATS, OMEGA 3’S, HYDROGENATED, monounsaturated…..Are you confused about which fats are safe to eat and which are to be avoided? This article aims to uncover some of the facts about fat; which fats to include in your diet and which fats to avoid at all costs. First let’s be clear about one thing, our bodies need fat to keep us healthy, it’s good for us! Why? Fat makes up 60% of your brain, helps the body to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, is a back-up source of energy, is part of the cell membrane of every cell in your body, and plays a vital role in hormone and immune function. However, some fats are harmful to the body so we have to be selective about the type of fats we consume and of course the amounts. HOW MUCH FAT SHOULD WE BE EATING? Well, an optimal amount would be up to 20% of our daily calorie intake but no more. In nations like the U.S. and the U.K. where the percentage of fat increases above 20% we see an increase in both obesity and cardiovascular disease. However, some nations take more than 20% of their calories from fat yet remain healthy such as the Inuit people, or Eskimos, with a diet rich in essential fatty acids, we can see that the type of fat that is being consumed is very important. FROM WHICH SOURCE? The body needs a regular intake of essential fatty acids which it cannot produce itself. These come from polyunsaturated oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin for Omega 6’s and flax, pumpkin and walnut for Omega 3’s. The health benefits of these oils are numerous including the lowering of fat and cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing the risk of cancer, minimizing symptoms of PMS, reducing inflammation and pain in the body and lowering blood pressure. However, these oils need to be consumed in their cold pressed, unrefined form. Once exposed to heat they oxidize creating free
radicals, far better to use a saturated fat for cooking purposes. Safe fats for cooking are coconut oil, sesame oil, ghee and butter. Olive oil, a monounsaturated oil, is also safe for cooking over a medium heat, (no oil should ever be heated to smoking point). Olive oil used in large quantities in the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in these countries. Although not rich in essential fatty acids, olive oil is usually cold pressed and unrefined which is far better for your health than refined vegetable oils. Saturated fat found in meat and dairy products has always been isolated as a ‘baddie’ linked to high cholesterol and heart disease, however, more recent research shows it is far more likely that these dangers are attributable to a diet high in trans fat and sugars from processed foods rather than from moderate amounts of saturated fat in the diet. Not only is saturated fat essential for the body, some types of saturated fat actually help lower blood cholesterol levels, coconut oil is a particularly healthful source. WHICH FATS SHOULD BE AVOIDED? All heated fats (except the heat stable ones mentioned above) and all trans fats. Once an oil has been refined its structure changes so it no longer has the same effect on the body when eaten as when taken in its cold pressed, unrefined form. Polyunsaturated oils become trans fats when hydrogenated to turn them into a hard fat. Once an oil has been transformed to a trans fat it becomes harmful to our health. Trans fats block the use of healthy polyunsaturated fats in the body and are of no use nutritionally. These fats are found in many processed foods, highlighting the importance of eating a whole foods diet for health. Another notable fact about the Mediterranean diet is it tends to be high in fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains and relatively free of refined and processed foods which contain unhealthful fats and sugars.
HOW DO WE ENSURE WE GET ENOUGH OF THE RIGHT OILS IN OUR DIET? By eating a blend of nuts and seeds daily we can ensure our intake of Essential Fatty Acids. For Omega 6 choose from pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp or walnut oils; for Omega 3’s choose from flax, hemp and pumpkin seed oils. One to two tablespoons per day should be adequate, the oil can be used as a dressing or taken directly from the spoon. For those who eat fish, oily fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 oils; salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are especially rich sources. Two servings of oily fish per week is beneficial. Another option is to make a blend of freshly ground seeds and take 2-3 heaped tablespoons per day. The ratio should be ½ flax and ½ equal parts of sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. WHAT ABOUT SUPPLEMENTATION? If you find it easier to ensure your essential fatty acid intake by taking supplements, the best sources are a fish or flax seed oil for the Omega 3’s and evening primrose or borage oil (starflower) for the Omega 6’s. A FEW HELPFUL TIPS: • Eat a diet rich in whole foods and avoid processed and refined foods and you will automatically avoid deadly trans fats • Avoid cooking with oils as far as possible. If you need to cook with a fat choose a saturated fat such as coconut oil or butter. Olive oil can be heated safely to a medium heat. • Eat foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as seeds and oily fish • Take supplements of fish or flax seed oil for Omega 3 fatty acids and evening primrose or borage oil for Omega 6 fatty acids • Ensure your diet contains enough fat, up to 20% of your daily calorie intake. Claudia is Wellness Director at Samahita Yoga Thailand. She offers support and advice to guests on detox programs and teaches detox & wellness retreats throughout the year.
Recipe Beach F ood Food Moosa Al-Issa
WHEN THE SUMMER COMES AROUND I ALWAYS THINK about beach BBQ’s; swimming, sunning, ice cold drinks, crispy snacks, tofu, meat & seafood and delicious summer salads. While you might not be heading to the beach, (more likely a rooftop, patio or kitchen) when you show up with this salad you are sure to make a lot of people happy.
Black bean, pineapple & avocado salad with organic quinoa INGREDIENTS 2 cups Black Beans 2 Avocado 1 Pineapple 3 cups Quinoa 1 Small Red Onion 1 bunch Fresh Coriander 2 Thai Red Chilis 2 Tbsp Ginger 4 Tbsp Honey 4 Limes ½ cup Olive Oil Sea Salt To Taste
PROCEDURE In a medium saucepan combine organic black beans with a pinch of sea salt and water to a level two inches above the beans. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to medium low and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours till cooked but firm. Drain beans and let cool Cook the quinoa in a steamer or boil till cooked but still
Book Review The Door tto oS atis Satis atisffaction Lama Zopa Rinpoche Reviewed by Tia Sinha
firm. Remove from heat and allow to cook. Remove exterior & inner core of pineapple and chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut avocados in half, remove pit then using a spoon, remove the flesh from each half. Cut the avocado flesh into 1/2 inch cubes, place in a bowl, squeeze the juice of half a lime over the avocado and reserve. Finely chop the red onion. Mince or finely chop the ginger. Loosely chop the cilantro leaves Split and remove the seeds from two red thai chilis and finely slice the chili halves. (Use gloves if possible and wash your hands thoroughly after handling chilis) Make a dressing by combining the chilies, ginger, honey and lime juice olive oil and sea salt and stir till thoroughly mixed. In a large bowl combine the pineapple and black beans with the dressing and allow to sit for 30-40 minutes. Add the onions and quinoa to the bowl and toss. Add the avocado and cilantro to the bowl and lightly toss. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and cover with wrap and refrigerate till you are ready to serve. Moosa is Executive Director of Life Cafe and Director of Just Green Organic Convenience Stores in Hong Kong
RENOWNED FOR HIS INDEFATIGABLE zeal in spreading Buddha Dharma in the West, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, at the age of 29, had an extraordinary realization. He was meditating in a cave at Lawudo, near Everest base camp, when he came upon a Tibetan text that made him realize so far, his spiritual practices had been worldly practices rather than sacred practices. Lama Zopa later translated this text into English, calling it The Door to Satisfaction. Easy reading even for non-Buddhists, the book highlights the importance of the motivation for spiritual practices. We are often propelled to take up spiritual practices by a crisis in our lives, like a debilitating disease, the death of someone dear to us, divorce, the list is endless. Our unhappiness often draws us to spiritual practices with the hope these will bring us that relationship we always dreamt of, good health or dream job. In short, we are using spiritual practices to fulfill our mundane dreams, like driving a Rolls Royce only as far as the local Park N’ Shop and no further. What a waste. We may often find if our goals for spiritual practice are worldly, even if we manage to attain some or all of these worldly goals, genuine happiness still eludes us. So what went wrong? Did we pick the wrong practices or the wrong teachers? Instead of passing the buck, it may be healthier to examine one’s motivation for spiritual practice. As the text says: “Seeking to go beyond samsara, will increase the happiness of this life’s samsara” In other words, if one aims for the stars, one might reach the summit of Mount Everest in one lifetime, but if one aims for Mount Everest, one might only reach the top of a palm tree on the next island. The purpose of spiritual practice is to lift us from the mundane, illusory world created by the false, illusory ‘I’, at the same time, miraculously, making the mundane sacred. The purpose of spiritual practice is not to profane the sacred. Spiritual practices carried out with the intention of becoming rich or famous are not valid spiritual practices and these worldly motives keep genuine happiness at bay. It is critical, as Lama Zopa points out, to constantly examine and correct one’s motives for spiritual practice. Wealth or fame may bring us a modicum of happiness, but as long as our happiness is based on external factors, it is subject to change, and therefore, not at all reliable. Moreover, wealth and fame are not true causes of happiness. Thirsting for wealth and fame or bemoaning poverty and obscurity is part of the eight worldly concerns that create obstacles for us on the spiritual path. The eight worldly concerns in this text are 1. being happy when acquiring material things 2. being unhappy when not acquiring material things 3. wanting to be happy 4. not wanting to be unhappy 5. wanting to hear interesting sounds 6. not wanting to hear uninteresting sounds 7. wanting praise 8. not wanting criticism The usual goals of wanting approval, fame and wealth, chasing other desires, chasing 41
Yoga Styles temporary happiness and even craving blissful spiritual experiences or the peace that could come from meditation interfere with our spiritual practices, diluting their effect, and making them inauthentic. Therefore, it is worthwhile to constantly examine one’s motivation for spiritual practice. These eight worldly concerns are creations of the false, illusory ‘I’ that deludes us into believing they show us the path to genuine happiness. And these worldly concerns are usually so deeply ingrained in our mind they don’t just vanish on their own. We have to recognize them whenever they come up and constantly correct our motivation. According to the text, the main remedy to the thought of the worldly concerns is meditation on impermanence and death. Lama Zopa deals with this topic in detail. If one meditates on the impermanence of all phenomena and on three main points: death is certain; the time of death is uncertain and; at the time of death, only the virtuous seeds in one’s mind can be of any help, things can be put into perspective. This book, written in Lama Zopa’s clear, hard-hitting, often funky style, was an eye-opener for me and I hope it will shift something for you as well. As I pen this, Lama Zopa Rinpoche is in Australia, recuperating from a stroke suffered last month. He suffered the stroke when teaching in Australia, and true to character, continued to teach for three hours! Tia, studies Buddhist philosophy and practice and teaches Hatha Yoga privately and to the nuns of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s DGL nunnery.
Homeop ath y&Y oga Homeopath athy Yoga Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas
LIKE YOGA, HOMEOPATHY HAS ITS FOUNDATIONS rooted in the connection of the mind- body-spirit relationship. A holistic medical art, Homeopathy heals at all levels, taking into consideration a person’s individual physical issues and emotional state. Homeopathic case taking involves in-depth analysis. Immediate symptoms, past medical history, family medical history, food, sleep, bowel habits and emotions are taken into consideration. An acquired skill, good Homeopathic-history taking skills are integral to the first prescription and further treatment. I’ve been studying Homeopathy for 20 years and from day one I’ve been taught to be an unprejudiced observer. A term coined by founder Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in his book ‘The Organon of Medicine’. This term is the state used to describe a situation where the Homeopath, while listening to the patient, has to have a mind free from prejudice or pre-conceived notion. Switching to this state of non-opinion takes self- discipline and guidance. With time and practice, over the five years of Homeopathic medical study, I was able to attain this state of nonjudgment during homeopathic case taking. As the years passed, with more experience and a busy Homeopathic practice, I realized it was not enough to just be an un-opinionated observer. With my work with people of all ages, young children and children with communication issues, came the realization that the change would have to be much deeper. To help and understand the patient completely, the healer needs to be in a calm tranquil state within. It is only when at peace with oneself, can we tune-in to the disturbance within another. If our own mind is restless or in disarray, we miss the subtle signs of discomfort or overtures of communication from the other person. From early on, I found the combination of exercise and meditation very effective. The concept of ‘Walking Meditation’ described by Eknath Easwaran’s writing was just right for an active person as myself. Moving to Hong Kong and Causeway Bay, the tranquility of walking meditation was challenging to say the least. Thankfully, the universe always sends you alternatives. And for me it came in the form of yoga teacher Iris Klein and the Svastha Yoga she introduced me to. I’m not much of a contortionist and have a few painful experiences from clubhouse yoga classes, so I attended the first class out of respect to Iris more than enthusiasm for yoga. From the first class it has been a magical experience. The ujaayi breathing and focus on the practice seems to bring the tranquil state required for my work much faster than anything I have done before. I would go back to the clinic after the sessions with a sense of inner peace that enhanced my listening and learning skills. Recurrent neck pain from an accident in 2000 virtually disappeared
Svastha literally means, â€œto stay as yourself â€? and refers to the state of complete health and balance in body and mind. Svastha Yoga is yoga in its complete authentic form, a system which helps increase overall strength and flexibility, mental balance, concentration and inner peace. Relaxing and restorative Svastha Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and yoga level, physical or mental emotional condition. Hence with practice and confidence, I began to recommend it to my patients who wanted to de-stress and stay in shape without sweating it out. This holistic individualistic yoga focuses on the needs of the individual, rather than a fixed style or form. Like Homeopathy it caters to the individualâ€™s needs. This nonforceful, non-stressful technique has facilitated my progress in the yoga practice with calm confidence and enthusiasm. As this wonderful system of yoga continues to help me, now under the guidance of WaiLing Tse, I find the gentle movements synchronized with Ujjayi breathing have helped increase core strength, flexibility, stamina and breath capacity.
With emphasis on breath-based rather than a posture-based (asana) practice, moving with and within the breath, the practice integrates the body, breath and mind. In combination, they contribute to total health and wellbeing, and promote a peaceful and tranquil mind. The mental steadiness attained through regular practice has helped me balance my professional and home life. Svastha Yoga is a boon for professionals, healers who need to listen as a large part of their work - Psychologists, Teachers, Psychiatrists, Counselors, and Therapists working with young children. Sonal has been in private practice for the past 14 years and is at Integrative Medicine Institute in Hong Kong for the past 4 years.
Tia’s Crossword After years of complex crossword puzzles to fry your brains, here comes a quick, coffee-time no-brainer! This crossword pays tribute to seven sinners turned saints, proving that anyone can attain their highest potential, irrespective of anything horrible one may have done or how terrible one may believe oneself to be.
ACROSS 4. Bandit who killed 999 people and wore their fingers in a necklace. He was pacified by his 1000th intended victim, Gautama Buddha, and attained arhatship in that very life. (10) 5. King who repented when he saw the bloodshed at the battle of Kalinga, becoming one of the greatest patrons of the Buddhist faith India has ever known, embracing and propagating a nonviolent way of life, building innumerable stupas and inscribing edicts on pillars. (6) 6. Beautiful woman from Basra, sold into slavery as a child, who nevertheless became a great mystic, penning these words, among others – O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty. (6) DOWN 1. Sorceror with a troubled childhood who wreaked vengeance on several members of his extended family, repented, studied the Dharma under Marpa, meditated in caves often surviving only on nettles and became Tibet’s greatest poet-saint. (8) 2. Highway robber and murderer turned poet saint who composed the Ramayana in Sanskrit. His name is derived from the Sanskrit word for anthill as anthills formed around him as he meditated! (7) 3. Pleasure-loving youth whose disillusionment with the charms of this world led to a gradual awakening and eventual canonization. Famous for his words, ‘Make me a channel of your peace…’ . (7) 4. Beautiful courtesan who embraced Buddhism, becoming a great patron of the faith at the time of Gautama Buddha. (8) Answers on page 46 44
Yoga Teachers & Studios AGAMA YOGA SCHOOL @ ANANDA WELLNESS RESORT 16/3 moo 6, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280, Thailand s: Tantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Workshops, Retreats, Meditation l: English t: (66) 892 330 217 e: email@example.com w: www.agamayoga.com
AMICO STUDIO 2-4/F, 167-169 Hennessy Rd Wanchai, Hong Kong s: Hot, Hatha, Ashtanga l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 2827 9233 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.amico.com.hk
ANAHATA VILLA & SPA RESORT Ubud, Bali, Indonesia s: various styles, group retreats, yoga for privates & corporates. Studio rental available. l: Indonesian and English t: (62) 361 745 3267 f: (62) 361 989 7804 e: promo@ anahataresort.com w: www.anahataresort.com
George Dovas The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong d: Sheung Wan s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate I) t: (852) 2541 0401 e: george@ iyengaryogahongkong.com
FLEX 1/F Regency Centre (Phase II), 43 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aerdeen, Hong Kong s: Iyengar, Ashtanga, Hatha Vinyasa t: (852) 2813 2212 f: (852) 2813 2281 e: email@example.com w: www.flexhk.com Timy Hui Private & Group Classes d: Hong Kong, KLN, & NT s: Hatha, Ashtanga,Yoga Therapy & Vipassana Meditation, Yoga Alliance 200hr Certified l: English,Cantonese & Putonghua t: (852) 9032 3382 e: Timy99@gmail.com Facebook: Timy Yoga http://Timy.mfYoga.org
IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE INDONESIA
18F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong t: (852) 2905 1822 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.anahatayoga.com.hk
Jl. Kemang Raya 18D, Jakarta, 12730, Indonesia s: Iyengar t:(62) 21 739 3101 e:email@example.com w: www.iyengaryogaindonesia.com
Michel Besnard Yogasana s: Hatha Vinyasa l: English t: (852)2511 8892 / 9527 6691 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE OF HONG KONG
Chris Broad Yo Yoga s: private, corporate Anusara influenced, yin & Ubuntu flow t: (852) 9307 1086 e: email@example.com Kathy Cook Retreats, workshops, privates d: Hong Kong, Bali &Thailand s: Iyengar (Junior Intermediate) l: English t: (852) 6292 5440 / (62) 811 387781 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.yogawithkathy.com
Room 406 New Victory House, 93- 103 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, Hong Kong s: Iyengar t: (852) 2541 0401 e: info@iyengaryoga hongkong.com w: www.iyengaryoga hongkong.com
IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE SINGAPORE 149B Neil Road, Singapore s: Iyengar t:(65) 9052 3102 & 6220 4048 e:email@example.com w: iyengaryogasingapore.com
Hari Amrit Kaur (Kaldora) Privates, workshops d: Central, Discovery Bay s: Kundalini, Radiant Child yoga l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 6428 5168 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.kundaliniyogahk.com
KATE PORTER YOGA Yoga for normal people Small public classes & luxury yoga holidays 5000G Marine Parade Road, 0429 Laguna Park, Singapore s: fusion of Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar and Yin classes l: English t: (65) 9781 3403 e: kate@KatePorterYoga.com w: www.KatePorterYoga.com Ming Lee Privates, workshops s: Iyengar Certified teacher l: English, Cantonese, Putonghua t: (852) 9188 1277 e: email@example.com Kate Leung Privates d:Hong Kong s:Hatha, Yoga Therapy, Pre-natal & more l: Cantonese t: (852) 6696 1802 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE MANAGEMENT YOGA CENTRE Non-profit Classical Yoga School d: Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong s: Patanjali yoga, Kids, Seniors, Corporates l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 2191 9651 t: (852) 6349 0639 (Chinese) e: email@example.com w: www.yoga.org.hk Master Luke s: yoga therapist for chronic diseases, M.Sc.(Yoga therapy), P.T.D.N.Y.S.D.Y.SC.ED.,Y.I.C., Experienced Hatha yoga therapist &instructor in Basics, Intermediate, Advance, Privates l: English t: (852) 9763 4105 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.namaste-yoga.com.hk
d: Central s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate I) l: English t: (852) 2918 1798 / 9456 2149 e: email@example.com
NAMASTE YOGA STUDIO 8A, Minden House, 13 - 15 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong s: privates, Hatha, Iyengar, Sivananda, Satyananda, Kriya yoga t: (852) 9763 4105 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.namaste-yoga.com.hk Anna Ng Privates d: Hong Kong s: Hatha yoga l: Cantonese t: (852) 9483 1167 e: email@example.com
PURE YOGA Hong Kong 16/F The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street 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 Kingâ€™s Road, Quarry Bay t: (852) 8129 1188 Singapore 391A Orchard Road, #18-00 Ngee Ann City Tower A t: (65) 6733 8863 30 Raffles Place, 04-00 Chevron House t: (65) 6304 2257 Taiwan 151 Chung Hsiao East Road, Sec 4, Taipei t: (886) 02 8161 7888
Ursula Moser The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong, LRC 45
176 Orchard Road #06-016/07 The Centrepoint, Singapore s: Hatha, Power, Ashtanga and Gentle Yoga l: English t: (65) 6734 2853 w: www.realyoga.com.sg
Singapore 9 Scotts Road, Level 4, Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228210 t: (65) 6733 9555
SOL WELLNESS 16/F Tin On Sing Commercial Building, 41-43 Graham St, Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini Yoga, SOL Kundalini Kids, Hatha Yoga, Menâ€™s Only Yoga, Qi Gong Group classes, private classes, Workplace Movement Exercise, Raw Food, Detox t: (852) 2581 9699 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.sol-wellness.com
SPACE YOGA 26 / F, 27 An-Ho Road, Section 1, Taipei 106, Taiwan s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Anusara Inspired, Flow, Yin, Restorative, Power, Hot, Meditation, Pranayama, Virya Sadhana, and Yoga Dance l: English, Mandarin t: (886) 2 2773.8108 e: email@example.com w: www.withinspace.com
KUNDALINI YOGA @ SHAKTI 3/F 34 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini Yoga, Qigong, Guided Kundalini Meditation, Pilates (privates), Energy Healing, Life Coaching. Also Studio & Healing rooms for rental t: (852) 2521 5099 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.shaktihealingcircle.com
THE YOGA ROOM 3 & 4 /F Xiu Ping Commercial Bldg, 104 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Yin Yang, Hot Yoga, Vinyasa, Asana & Pranayama, Svastha Yoga, Pilates, Pre-natal, Post-natal, Mom & Baby, Yoga kids, Belly dance and more. t: (852) 2544 8398 e: email@example.com w: www.yogaroomhk.com
10 Collyer Quay, Level 4, Ocean Financial Centre, Singapore 049315 t: (65) 6536 3390 Taiwan 563 Chung Hsiao East Road, Section 4, 1st & 2nd floor Taipei, Taiwan t :(886) 22764 8888 No. 337 Nanking East Road Section 3, 9th & 10th Floor Taipei, Taiwan t: (886) 22716 1234 s: Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Gentle, Flow, Yoga Dance, Pre-natal e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.trueyoga.com.sg / www.trueyoga.com.tw Wai-Ling Tse Freelance, Privates and Groups d: Hong Kong s: Sivananda certified, Hatha, Svastha Yoga, Power, Hot, Yin, Pranayama and Meditation l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 9465 6461 e: email@example.com
YOGA CENTRAL 4/F Kai Kwong House, 13 Wyndham Street, Central, HK s: Hatha/Iyengar Yoga classes, yoga teacher training workshops, mat-based Pilates; suitable for private group classes and corporate health programs t: (852) 2982 4308 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.yogacentral.com.hk
YOGA on CAINE ROAD @ COSMO KIDS 1/F, Jadestone Court, 138 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, HK s: Pre-natal, Kids yoga, Family yoga, Private yoga, Yoga studio rental t: (852) 2915-8138 e: email@example.com w: www.cosmokids.net
HK$500 for individual teacher & HK$1,000 for studio for the remaining one issue of 2011, firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
NAMASKAR DISPLAY & LISTING ADVERTISING RATES FOR 2011 (IN HONG KONG DOLLARS) Outside back cover Inside front cover Inside back cover Full page 1/2 page horizontal 1/2 page vertical 1/4 page 1/8 page
(210 mm x 297 mm) (210 mm x 297 mm) (210 mm x 297 mm) (210 mm x 297 mm) (188 mm x 137.5 mm) (90 mm x 275 mm) (90 mm x 137.5 mm) (90 mm x 63 mm)
Teacher listing Studio listing
(January - October 2011) (January - October 2011)
$20,000 $2,700 $2,200 $1,700 $1,000 $1,000 $550 $350 $500 $1,000
Advertisements should be submitted as high resolution (300 dpi) .tif files (no pdf or ai files please). Advertising fees are payable in Hong Kong dollars only to: Namaskar c/o Carol Adams, 1/F 46 Leung Fai Ting Lower Road, Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong For more information contact: Carol (852) 9137 9992 /email@example.com or Frances (852) 9460 1967 / firstname.lastname@example.org Crossword Answers: ACROSS 4. Angulimala, 5. Ashoka, 6. Rabia DOWN 1. Milarepa, 2. Valmiki, 3. Francis, 4. Amrapali