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namaskar

Handstand by Chris Chavez, photo by Eli Castson

A VOICE FOR THE YOGA COMMUNITY OF ASIA

OCTOBER 2012

Death

How to Om

Happiness


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Inside OCTOBER 2012

Dristi Death

Special Features

Regular Contributions

At the time of Death, 12

Om: What’s all the Fuss, 18

NEWS, WORKSHOPS, RETREATS & TEACHER TRAININGS, 5 TEACHER’S VOICE, 16 MYTHOLOGY IN A MINUTE, 20 POETRY, 20 RETREAT REVIEW, 26 CONFERENCE REVIEW, 31 LECTURE REVIEW, 32 FESTIVAL REVIEW, 35 BOOK REVIEW, 36 & 39 RECIPE, 40 SSRF, 42 TEACHER & STUDIO LISTINGS, 45

What we are thinking when we die is most important, explains Clayton.

Andy explains Om and how to chant it.

Serenity or Serendipty 13

history of kriya yoga.

Danny shares the lesson he learned from a cemetery and his dogs.

Kriya Yoga, 22 Allen traces a brief Yin Yoga, 25 Dona watches some parts of her die in her Yin practice.

Death & Dying, 14 How we live is vital to how we’ll die, says Yogi.

Postponing Death, 15 Mihaiela says practicing Pratyahara can help us prepare for death.

Teaching v ealit y, 16 vss R Re ality Nitai found what he learned about death had little bearing when he actually faced it.

On the Cover CHRIS CHAVEZ

photo by Eli Castson

Chris Chavez first began practicing Iyengar Yoga in Ireland, where he was touring as a professional musician in the mid 1990’s. In 2001, he landed in Los Angeles, California, where he submerged himself into yoga and began to teach. He was certified as an Anusara Instructor between 2006 and 2012. In addition to teaching yoga around the world, Chris maintains a music career. www.chrischavez.com

Who reads Namaskar?

About Namaskar

4,500 copies are distributed for free to teachers and studios in: 1. Australia 2. Cambodia 3. China 4. Czech Republic 5. France 6. Finland 7. Germany 8. Hong Kong 9. Iceland 10. India 11. Indonesia 12. Ireland 13. Israel 14. Japan 15. Macau 16. Malaysia 17. Netherlands 18. Philippines 19. Singapore 20. South Korea 21. Taiwan 22. Thailand 23. Turkey 24. UK 25. USA 26. Vietnam

Namaskar provides a voice for the yoga community around the world. The publication is a vehicle for practitioners on a yogic path to share their knowledge, learnings and experiences with others.

If you would like to offer Namaskar to your students or customers, email fgairns@netvigator.com

Namaskar, is published quarterly in January, April, June (coinciding with Asia Yoga Conference) and October. We welcome unsolicited submissions, therefore the opinions expressed within these pages are not necessarily those of Namaskar or its volunteers. Namaskar is distributed at no charge through yoga studios, fitness centres, retail outlets, food & beverage outlets and other yoga-friendly locations. For more information, to contribute or to order Namaskar, please contact:: Carol, Administration carol@caroladams.hk Wai-Ling, News Editor & Copy Editor wailing.tse@gmail.com Frances, Editor & Publisher fgairns@netvigator.com /+ 852 9460 1967

Deadline for January 2013 issue: December 15, 2012 3


namaskar

As we go to print with this issue, Hong Kong mourns the death of 38 people in the worst maritime disaster in over 40 years. What started out as cruise to watch the fireworks, ended in tragedy as two ferries collided. We dedicate the energy of this issue to those who lost their lives, their families, friends and to the staff of the two boats involved. Perhaps as you read this, you will respect a minute’s silence for those less fortunate. Regardless of our fortune, death is something all of us are destined to face. When it will come is less certain, as is how each of us will face it. The articles here by Clayton, Danny, Mihaiela, Nita and Yogi offer different perspectives on preparing for this certainty. The dristi also influenced Tia’s choice of book for review, Dona’s choice of style of yoga in comparing Yin and death, as well as Spiritual Science Research Foundation’s Dr. Zubin’s article. Even the cover image of Chris Chavez, taken by Eli Caston, speaks to this dristi. Its ethereal quality prompts me to ask ‘what’s the light on the other side?’ There are also many life affirming articles here too: Andy’s on Om is a must-read and a great lesson in yoga basics; Allen offers an outline of how Kriya yoga has been past down over the generations, I found the photos of the old yogis really interesting; Amy recounts her experience at the 10-day silent Vipassana retreat; Vicky shares her notes on Lama Marut’s Hong Kong happiness talk; Rachel reviews this year’s Asia Yoga Conference; Inna introduces us to a new yoga coffee table book and; Moosa makes our life a bit sweeter with his recipe for raw apple crisp. On a less sweet note, I want to tell you our advertising rates will increase just under 3% from January 2013. Our advertising principle remains the same - to provide individual teachers and small studios with an affordable avenue for communicating with the yoga community. Let me assure you Namaskar remains a volunteer-run magazine and operates on a break-even basis. All contributors, including Carol, Wai-Ling and I, donate our time and efforts freely. Frances Gairns Editor

SOMETHING TO SHARE? If you have something to share with the yoga community, please email fgairns@netvigator.com

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NEWS YOGA TEACHERS WANTED Hong Kong Inspire Yoga is expanding its team of teachers. They are looking for certified instructors on a part time and full time basis, particularly those experienced in Yoga therapy and Iyengar Yoga. To apply, email your resume and teacher training certificate to info@inspire-yoga.com. For more information www.inspire-yoga.com GREEN FROG YOGA CLASSES FOR KIDS & FAMILIES Hong Kong Green Frog Kid’s Yoga 1 (Age 2-3) Hong Kong Cricket Club 20 September - 20 November Thursdays 10:45 - 11:15am HK$1,500 for members; HK$1,650 for non-members For more information contact Samson Lam on +852 3511 8614/ 3511 8668. Green Frog Mummy and Me Yoga (Age 1 - 2) Bodywize Yoga, Hong Kong Fridays 11:30am-12:30pm For more information +852 2838 5686; yoga@bodywize.com.hk Green Frog Family Yoga (Age 4 and up)

Yoko joins the Anahata team

Parkview Spa / Clubhouse, Hong Kong Saturdays 9:30-10:15am Members: HK$250 per class; Non-Members HK$325 per class (up to 4 family members) For more information +852 2812 3945 For more information on Green Frog Yoga www.facebook.com/ greenfrogyoga; laura @greenfrog.com.hk; +852 9229 7785 BUMP 4 JOY PREGNANCY PROGRAMME Maternity services expert A Mother’s Touch and health coaching provider Inspire Health have teamed up to create a new and unique pregnancy programme called Bump 4 Joy. The programme, suitable for any stage of pregnancy, includes a 2.5 hour interactive workshop held at White Lotus Centre in Central, Hong Kong which will teach expectant mothers how to manage, enjoy and thrive from conception through to birth. Loaded with tips, tools and ideas, Bump 4 Joy will empower mothers to gain confidence around the process of pregnancy, and support them in enjoying the pregnancy they have always envisioned – or never thought they could have. The first workshop took place on 22 September.

Felix brings a wealth of knowledge to Anahata

For more information www.bump4joy.com; program @bump4joy.com; +852 9769 2701/ 6341 3858 COMPLIMENTARY CLASSES WITH LULULEMON lululemon, a yoga-inspired apparel company, offers Saturday complimentary class and bi-weekly run club. In addition, they hold events for all types of fitness lovers. In September, they hosted an 8 km Bowen Road Fun Run for all running fans as well as a post workout yoga session to stretch out racers’ muscles. In October the lululemon Hong Kong Showroom will enter its four year in Hong Kong. For more information www.lululemon.com.hk NEW INSTRUCTORS JOIN ANAHATA YOGA TEAM Four new instructors Mariappan, Yoko Kikuchi, Felix and Melissa joined Anahata Yoga, Central, Hong Kong. Mariappan started his yoga journey at the age of 5. He completed his Bachelor and Master in Yogic Science from Asana Andiappan College of Yoga and Naturopathy, studying under worldrenowned yoga masters Dr. Asana Andiappan, Swami Gitananda Giri, S. Sanmugasundaram, Yogacharya B. Dinagaran, and Yogacharya Kumaran, among others.

Practicing since 5, Mariappan is now at Anahata

Yoko Kikuchi moved from Tokyo, Japan to Hong Kong in 1999. It was in 2009 that Yoko started doing yoga as training for a full marathon.Yoko has accomplished the 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training Certificate Course accredited by India’s Tami Nadu Physical Education & Sport University, as well as Yogananth Andiappan’s 300 Hours Advanced Hatha Yoga Teacher Training. She won the International Yoga Gala 2012. Felix has 500 hours of teacher training experience under the guidance of Yogananth, he also completed the MSc in Yoga and Naturopathy from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University of India and training with Dharma Mittra in New York and Swami Vidyanand in Hong Kong. Melissa began practicing Yoga while attending university in the US in 2005. She underwent 200 hours of foundation teacher training and another 200 hours of advanced training at Anahata Yoga. For more information www.anahatayoga.com.hk BUMP-2-BUMP White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 5 October An evening for bumps of all sizes to meet! Enjoy yummy healthy snacks and massage tasters, learn about different techniques to support yourself

New at Anahata is Melissa

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throughout pregnancy and birth and ask our supportive team of doula’s, coaches, and therapists all the questions you have had since your pregnancy test showed up positive! Cost: HK$100 For more information: info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com FREE TALK ON SOMATIC MOVEMENT EXPLORATION White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 15 October What is Somatic Movement? The word “somatic” means “of the body”. In Somatic Movement Education, a practitioner guides you to a deeper, lived experience of your posture, your organs, the flow of fluid, breath and energy in your body, how your body moves the mind and how your mind moves the body. For more information: info@whitelotuscentre.com CLASSES AT SOL WELLNESS Hong Kong Kundalini yoga class Tuesdays 7-8:30 pm by donation; Saturdays 10-11:30 am HK$180 drop-in class; HK$1,500 for 10 classes. Medical Meditation on the first Wednesday of every month 7-8 pm by donation. “The tremendous power of medical meditation can heal not only the body but also the mind and soul. I strongly recommend it.” Deepak Chopra, MD. For more information +852 2581 9699; info@solwellness.com YOGA ON THE BEACH Repulse Bay, Hong Kong 21 October Organised by The Yoga Room, this free class is suitable for all ages (Members and nonmembers welcome). 5-6 pm. Deadline for registration: 19 October. 6

For more information +852 2544 8398; www.yogaroomhk.com; info @yogaroomhk.com THE YOGA ROOM EXPANDS The Yoga Room will expand in October with the addition of a new studio on the 6/F, Xiu Ping Commercial Building, 104 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan. For more information +852 2544 8398; www.yogaroomhk.com; info @yogaroomhk.com INFANT MASSAGE COURSE WITH LING-YEE LIU The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 10 October-7 November Infant massage is an enjoyable way to help parents communicate and bonds with their baby. It promotes health and well being for the baby and the parents. This class is based on IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage) technique and is suitable for parents with infants below one year or mums to be. Held on every Wednesday 2:30-3:30pm; Cost: HK$1,600 for 5 classes. For more information +852 2544 8398; www.yogaroomhk.com SOUND HEALING ENLIVENS BALI YOGA COMMUNITY An alternative method of supporting physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, the practice of sound healing is growing in popularity worldwide, notably in Bali. One of the island’s yoga and healing arts center, Yoga Barn, recently unveiled a new Bali Sound Healers Collective to its list of offerings. Instruments for sound healing incllude: Tibetan bowls, sacred instrument journeys, mantra chants, Naad and Japa yoga, Zen flute, and multiinstrumental harmonizations. Daphne Tse, a member of the new Sound Healers team

considers sound and music’s universal appeal to be key to its broader acceptance among yoga lovers, “We’re already familiar with the transformational power of Kirtan and mantras. Sound healing widens the scope.” For more information www.soundhealingbali.com NAMASTE – INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL The Sultan Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia 23-25 November Join the bazaar, music, and cultural performances, healing clinic, kids and family program, special yoga, healing & well being classes. There will be 12 yoga classes, 8 healing classes, 4 wellness classes, and 5 community classes per day. As well as daily music and cultural performances, green living talk shows, Yoga demos, healing and wellness sessions. Plus an array of healthy food merchandises at the Bazaar. Private healing consultations by Indonesian master healers will be available for general public. Kids activities – kids yoga & meditation, kids martial arts, story readings and mappings, arts and crafts. For more information www.namastefestival.com; info @namastefestival.com COMMUNITY KIRTAN TO SUPPORT YOGA CLASSICS INPUT PROJECT Cloud 9 Studio, Hong Kong 16 November Join Natalie Macam, accompanied with percussionist, composer, producer, Mitu Tupas, and Jason Canoy in an exploration of passionate art, rhythm and chanting the divine names from the Bhakti Tradition. By donation only, proceeds collected will support the Yoga Classics Input Project whose goal is to identify, document, digitize, and freely distribute,

Punnu Wasu, Bali Sound Healers Collective co-creator

Natalie Mcam leads a kirtan in support of the Yoga Classics Input Project in Hong Kong

the rapidly disappearing Sanskrit manuscripts of Yoga’s ancient Indian heritage. For more information www.tigerwaveyoga.com; natrageous@gmail.com; +852 6408 4248 FAMILY YOGA COMMUNITY CLASS Lullaby Yoga, Bangkok, Thailand 1 December Open to all kids aged 3-9 with a parent or caregiver. From 45pm, an exciting hour of Yoga poses, games and adventures. By donation. All proceeds go to a local charity. For more information www.lullaby-yoga.com; info@lullaby-yoga.com; +66 22525824-5


WORKSHOPS KUNDALINI WORKSHOP SERIES WITH AMIR JAAN OF I-SKY UK SOL Wellness 26-30 October Amir will explain the subtle, sophisticated but potent way Kundalini Yoga opens you up to the potential for deep physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformation. 1. Take a Deep Breath (26 October 6:30-8:30pm) 2. Channel Zero (27 October 10am-1pm, ) 3. Just Be “You’tiful! (27 October 10am-5pm for Young adults Tentative venue: Island School hall, Borrett School 4. The Time is NOW (28 October 10-noon) 5. The Divine Romance (29 October 6:30-8:30pm) 6. Samadhi Now (30 October 6:30-8:30pm)

make this your best pregnancy ever, we have developed this unique 2.5 hour workshop to empower you to take your pregnancy into your own hands, and to support you in enjoying a pregnancy you have always envisioned – or never thought you could have. Cost: HK$800 (early bird HK$750 one week before / bring a friend HK$700). For more information: info @whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com YIN YOGA & MEDITATION WORKSHOP WITH SEBASTIAN PUCELLE Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 19-20 October The practice of Yin Yoga is naturally evolving toward meditation, as our effort on the path tends to go toward an understanding of the nature of the mind. Yin Yoga bring us closer to this understanding. The asanas are designed mainly to open the lower body which enable one to sit for longer time and lessen discomfort. Early Bird: MYR550 For more information www.yogshakti.com; shilpa@yogshakti.com; yogawithsebastian@gmail.com; www.sebastianpucelle.com

Sebastian Pucelle offers a Yin & Meditation workshop in KL

Cost: 1 workshop HK$400; for 2 workshops HK$752; for 3 workshops HK$1,116; for 4 workshops $1,472; for 5 workshops HK$1,820 and; for 6 workshops HK$2,160 For more information +852 2581 9699; info@solwellness.com BUMP 4 JOY WORKSHOP 8 & 12 October White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong Bump 4 Joy presents a new interactive workshop for pregnant mums. Loaded with tips, tools and ideas so you can

FULL MOON KUNDALINI YOGA WORKSHOPS WITH NEIL IRWIN Shakti Healing Circle, Central, Hong Kong 27 October - Full Moon in Taurus - Green Energy & Opportunity - the Yoga of abundance and prosperity. 24 November - Full Moon in Gemini - Mind & Communication 22 December - Full Moon in Cancer - Lunar Wisdom - yoga sets for the 2nd and 6th chakras All workshops 2-6pm; Cost: HK$500

For more information www.shaktihealingcircle; +852 2521 5099

sufficiency. A sense of being at home with your body. Cost: HK$2,400

PRASANA PRACTICE: CREATIVE APPROACHES TO VINYASA YOGA WITH ERIC SHAW Pure Yoga Singapore – Ngee Ann City 26-28 October Prasana has two meanings: The “fulfilment” (pra) of asana, and “to throw” (prasana). Asana’s potential is fulfilled through creative exploration of poses and the “throws’” that link them. Prasana Yoga workshops provide principles for creating new asanas, transitions, and sequences in flow yoga.

For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com

For more information www.pure-yoga.com; events@pure-yoga.com INFANT MASSAGE COURSE White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 9, 16 & 30 October Learning infant massage is a parenting skill that not only enriches the life of your baby, but also enriches the lives of your whole family. This course is ideal soon to be parents, for parents, grandparents and/or carers. Cost: HK$1,750 For more information: info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com SOMATIC MOVEMENT EXPLORATION White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 10, 17 & 24 October – 7, 14, 21 November Somatic means of the body. In Somatic Movement Education, a practitioner guides you to a deeper, lived experience of your posture, your organs, the flow of fluid, breath and energy in your body, how your body moves the mind and how your mind moves the body. The result is long-lasting improvements in your physical function, health, selfunderstanding and self-

TOOLBOX FOR BIRTH BY A MOTHER’S TOUCH White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 12 October & 9 November This class focuses making labour and birth as easy and safe as possible, and gives you plenty of time to explore ways of responding positively to the body’s urges using a variety of positions, movement and breathing, and other strategies such as acupressure, reflexology and massage, Homeopathy and Aromatherapy for coping with contractions with less reliance on drugs. You will learn about the part the baby plays in its own birth, and how to avoid the things that can be a hindrance. Cost: HK$1,000 For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com COMPLETE CHILD BIRTH EDUCATION BY A MOTHER’S TOUCH White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 14 & 21 October A childbirth class is a great way to prepare for labor and birth. These interactive and practical 5x 2.5 hr antenatal sessions for you and your partner, will empower you to go through birth calmly and with confidence. The ideal time is from 22 to 34 weeks, though later is okay. Cost: HK$2,800 For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; w ww.whitelotuscentre.com INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE COURSE White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 4, 11 & 25 October Traditional Indian Head 7


MORE WORKSHOPS massage is a wonderful relaxing therapy based on the ancient Ayurvedic healing system. Cost: HK$1,750 (group discount for 2 people, HK$1,500 per person) For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com THERAPEUTIC YOGA SERIES WITH MELISSA VALENTINE White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong every Wednesday 10 October-28 November, 7:00-8:30pm Enjoy this “hands-on” Yoga class where you will be able to learn more about your strengths, your weaknesses and how to improve your postural alignment for healthy and safe participation in Yoga and other recreational activities. Cost: HK$250 per 90 minute session, or HK$900 for 4 sessions

Secrets of Happiness (8-12 years) – supporting the selfconfidence of your child This 8 week program presents age-old wisdom about happiness and is introduced to children in a playful and creative manner. Cost: HK$2,500 For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com

11 November Cost: HK$900 For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com INSIGHT YOGA INTENSIVE WITH SARAH POWERS Spirit Yoga Studio - Osaka, Japan 3-4 November

HOT YOGA IMMERSION WITH COPPER CROW Pure Yoga Hong Kong – Tsim Sha Tsui 3-11 November Hot Yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga being practised and offered in studios today. Having the skills necessary to lead solid Hot classes will not only create new possibilities for teaching, but will also empower you with proven techniques to make a difference in the lives of others.

For more information spirityogastudio.com/en/ event/workshop/post.html

For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com

For more information www.pure-yoga.com; events@pure-yoga.com

PERSONAL POWER WORKSHOP WITH LINDA FANCY White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 13 October (Part 1); 20 October (Part 2) The Personal Power workshop is designed to awaken people to their power of choice in how they respond to life. Linda Fancy introduces the heightened state of awareness called “MetaMind” that enables you to understand the foundations of your behaviour from a disassociated state. Cost: HK$3,300

ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY OF THE GROWING CHILD WITH GECKO YOGA White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong 10, 13 & 17 November Introduction to the motor development, anatomy and physiology of children. Taught by Helen Binge, a chartered physiotherapist and developmental specialist from the UK. There are 3 courses: Course I: Development of the Child from Birth to Walking; Course II: Development of the Child from 1 to 7 years; Course III: Development of the Child from 8 to Teens.

Module 1: Yin Yoga, Yin Yang Theory and the Physical Body (3 November) Module 2: De-Stress, Rest and Renew (10 November) Module 3: Exploring the Energy Body (17 November)

For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com THE SECRETS OF HAPPINESS WITH VALERIE ARPEAU White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong every Thursday 1 November– 20 December 8

For more information info@whitelotuscentre.com; www.whitelotuscentre.com CAESARIAN SECTION COURSE WITH A MOTHER’S TOUCH White Lotus Centre, Hong Kong

GO DEEP WITH YIN WORKSHOP SERIES Beyond Yoga, Manila, Philippines 3, 10 & 17 November A 3-part series that allows us to experience a counterpoint to our active lifestyles and our regular dynamic practices through Yin Yoga. Led by Dona Tumacder-Esteban.

For more information: www.igobeyondyoga.com ASHTANGA YOGA WORKSHOP WITH JOHN SCOTT Yoga Mala, Hong Kong 6-9 November 99% Practice 1 % Theory, Is Asana alone Yoga? Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is more than exercise and producing more than a feel good factor. When practiced as per the teachings of Shri K Pattaabhi Jois, it is a transformative practice. Space will be secured upon first come first serve basis. For more information www.yogamala.com.hk; info@yogamala.com.hk; +852 2116-0894

A wealth of knowledge & compassion - Ganesh Mohan will be at Pure Yoga in November

INSIGHT YOGA WORKSHOP Under the Light Yoga School Tokyo, Japan 8-11 November Insight Yoga: The four jewels of an enduring practice: Asana, Pranayama, Insight Meditation and Compassion Meditation For more information www.underthelight.jp/news/ 2012/05/1811_201216.html INTRODUCTION TO BHAKTI YOGA WORKSHOP WITH NATALIE The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 10 November Natalie will lead a Bhakti Yoga Workshop and Bhakti Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class. 9:30-12.30pm Morning; or 2-5pm afternoon. Cost: Regular HK$688 (Early bird HK$588 before 27 October) For more information +852 2544 8398; www.yogaroomhk.com SVASTHA YOGA THERAPY WITH DR GANESH MOHAN Pure Yoga Hong Kong – Tsim Sha Tsui 16-25 November In this professional programme on yoga therapy, the aim is to bring you the most effective aspects of traditional Yoga and Ayurveda


combined with the discoveries of modern science. This programme is designed especially for Yoga teachers. Sign up before 15 October to catch the early-bird discount! For more information www.pureyoga.com; events@pureyoga.com ENJOYING THE THERAPEUTIC USES OF YOGA WITH CHRIS KUMMER Pure Yoga Hong Kong – Tsim Sha Tsui - 24-25 November Pure Yoga Taipei – Pure Tower - 30 November-2 December In this series of workshops Chris will look from an integrated perspective at posture, yoga asana, movements and myofascial connections. Examining their component muscle action, bone, joint, nerve and ligament positions, and fascia directions. As well as how the different ways of utilising these components affect other functions of the body (digestive, neurological) and general health. Sign up before 27 October to catch the earlybird discount! For more information www.pureyoga.com; events@pureyoga.com

DEATH AND DYING: TANTRIK TEACHINGS ON DEATH 26 November – 2 December Kailash Akhara, Phu Ruea, Thailand It is said in Tantra that you will die as you have lived. Any spiritual practice should practically prepare us for the only certainty that we all must face. Death is a powerful and mysterious force but it need not be such a great unknown. Fear of death is one of the main roots of suffering in its myriad forms. Yet, the yogin considers Death her greatest ally. Why? By going into our fear of Death we can unleash infinite amounts of power and energy previously bound up in this fear. When we encounter our fear of death through the practical, methodic and proven teachings and practices of Tantrik Yoga we become fearless in all aspects of life. Come learn how to navigate the death and dying process and how to empower your life to the fullest so you can die with peace and contentment. This training will give you a map of the territory of the dying process plus the realistic tools to traverse this territory for yourself. Through these teachings and practices you will also learn invaluable skills for assisting others in their dying process and become a grounded source of love and compassion for others. Cost: 24,000 THB For more information: contact@dharmainc.org ; www.dharmainc.org ALIGNMENT & THERAPY WORKSHOP WITH KELLY HAAS Pure Yoga Hong Kong – Central 27–29 November; 1–2 December

Sarah Powers is holding various workshops around Asia

In each of the Mixed Level weekday classes, Kelly will explore how to use your yoga

practice as a tool to create deeper connection, and clear out old seeds and patterns to positively manifest your highest intentions for the new cycle. This course is based on Anusara Yoga’s Universal Principles of Alignment geared for teachers and/or dedicated students who want to go deeper in their understanding of healthy alignment of bones and muscles, and/or to heal from injuries through applying this knowledge to their yoga practice. Sign up before 27 October for early-bird discount! For more information www.pureyoga.com; events@pureyoga.com YOGA FOR THE SPINE WORKSHOP WITH ANN DA SILVA The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 15 December Come and learn how to obtain relief from pain and nurture your spine to better health. Cost: HK$599 regular, (Early Bird HK$499 before 1 December) For more information +852 2544 8398; www.yogaroomhk.com INSIGHT YOGA INTENSIVE WITH SARAH POWERS Jivamukti Yoga, Sydney, Australia 16-20 January 2013 For more information mindfullifeyoga.com.au/ insight-yoga-workshop-withsarah-powers/ INSIGHT YOGA: A YOGA AND MEDITATION INTENSIVE WITH SARAH POWERS Pure Yoga Hong Kong – Tsim Sha Tsui 25-27 January 2013 This weekend intensive will incorporate Sarah Powers’ unique approach: a practice of passive Yin poses balanced by

an active or Yang flow practice, followed by Mindfulness and Loving-kindness meditations. Drawing from Buddhist teachings, Sarah will give brief talks before the sequences to encourage a greater capacity for emotional maturity and open awareness. We will also practice present moment awareness meditation, both with instruction and in silence throughout the weekend. Sign up before 2 January to catch the early-bird discount! For more information www.pure-yoga.com; events@pure-yoga.com WORKSHOPS AT AGAMA YOGA Koh Phangan, Thailand Tantra 1 - 17-21 December. Their most popular workshop exploring the basics of Tantric sexuality. Kashimiri Shaivism - 11-15 January 2013. Enjoy these very rare to come by teachings about this almost extinct spiritual philosophy. Tantra 2 - 28 January-1 February 2013. Reach a profound level of spiritual sexuality. Vira Training - 25 February-1 March 2013. A training for men only. Become a real vira (spiritual hero)! Complete Femininity - 25 February-1 March 2013. A training for women only. Explore the divine Shakti aspect! Art of Dying - 25-29 March 2013. The spiritual preparation for death, one of life’s greatest passages. For more information www.agamayoga.com; info@agamayoga.com; +66 892 330 217

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RETREATS YIN & YANG OF LIFE Lombok, Indonesia 11-15 October Join Kate and Donna as the sole guests at the beautiful Sepoi Villa in Lombok. Enjoy the beach side villa complex and stunning pool area. Staff will attend to every request and prepare meals based on the freshest food available locally every day. A combination of yin/yang classes, taught by Kate and Donna around the beautiful pool. Experience the deepening of your yoga practice as we increase your flexibility, strengthen your core. For more information www.KatePorterYoga.com; MyMat@KatePorterYoga.com; +65 9781 3403 PO LIN RETREAT FOR CHARITY 20-21 October A fund-raising charity Retreat will be held at the famous Po Lin Temple (Lantau Big Buddha) to benefit children requiring treatment for lifethreatening congenital heart disease (CHD). In recognition of this urgent need, Po Lin Temple, in cooperation with China Star Light Charity Fund Association, will for the first time ever, open its doors to host a weekend retreat providing accommodation and offering special activities such as teacher-led Yoga and meditation class at sunrise at the Big Buddha podium;

lectures on special topics related to Buddhism and Society; plus a special sponsored fundraising nature walk (pledge per distance walked - $10/km). All funds raised from this weekend event will be whollyused to provide financial assistance to needy children with CHD. Your participation in the Po Lin Retreat or donation in any amount can provide a lifeline. Fee for Retreat: HK$888 per participant (accommodation and vegetarian meals provided). Any amount will be welcome for the Sponsored Fund Raising Walk. For more information www.chinastarlight.org.hk/ home.php; Emmy +852 9877 0099; Mr Yau +852 2868 5399; emmysfchan@yahoo.com.hk MASTERS OF MEDITATION WITH VIKAS MALKANI Soul Centre, Singapore 22 October-15 November This training is for everyone who wishes to live a life of freedom, inner power and celebration. Vikas will take you on a journey of wisdom that will reveal truths like never before. You will understand how we create our own reality, how thoughts affect our whole lives and how to effectively create change in any aspect of your life. Effective techniques

Mosquito-free practice shala at Kamalaya

to create your own reality will be taught. You will enjoy a sense of inner power, freedom and celebration. The training will involve 10 weekly meetings for 2.5 hours each. Vikas Malkani is an internationally renowned meditation teacher with students worldwide. He has been trained in the ancient wisdom lineage of the elusive Himalayan Masters that involves the disciplines of meditation, spiritual philosophy and learning based on actual experience. He is an expert at maximizing inner potential, and teaching people how to live lives of happiness, joy and fulfilment. For more information www.soulcentre.org; soulcentresingapore @yahoo.com.sg; +65-98752372; +65-81287418 WOMEN’S ZEN RETREAT Avani Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka 23-28 October Daily Yin Yoga and meditation, workshops, kayaking, hiking, visit to caves and temples. For more information jules@mountainhighme.com

Historic Po Lin Temple, Hong Kong opens it doors for a rare weekend retreat with yoga practice in front of the Big Buddha

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THAILAND YOGA RETREAT Kamalaya Koh Samui 27 October-2 November Join teachers David Kim and Jo Phee for a week’s long retreat

in award winning spa resort, Kamalaya. Retreat includes twice daily Yoga - Vinyasa Flow and Yin and lots of free time to explore Koh Samui. Open to practitioners of all levels. Cost is USD1,625 per person. For more information www.davidkimyoga.com; info@yinspiration.org YOGA FUSION RETREAT Chiang Mai, Thailand 10-17 November An Immersion into a fullspectrum of yoga practices including Anusara, Philosophy, Tantra, Pranayama, Meditation, Ritual, Mandala, Kirtan, Music, Voice, Touch and more with Jonas Westring, Emil Wendel and Geoffrey Gordon. For more information www.shantaya.org YOGA RETREAT WITH HEIDI CHEN Pure Yoga Taipei 12-16 November Join this 5-day yoga retreat in Buluowan, Hualien City. It will provide an escape from life’s hustle and bustle, immersing you in the musical harmony of nature. With each breath, regain tranquility of mind and body. For more information www.pureyoga.com; retreats@pureyoga.com


TEACHER TRAININGS KUNDALINI YOGA TT KRI - LEVEL ONE (I-SKY, UK) Cheng Chau, Hong Kong 1-6 November This training is open for everybody. It is an adventure in personal consciousness and for those seeking personal development and growth. This level 1 training imparts everything needed for practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga. Cost: HK$24,800; or before 21 October HK$22,000. For more information +852 2581 9699/ 9189 8050; info@sol-wellness.com HOM YOGA 200-HOUR TT Singapore 3-23 November Hom Yoga, Singapore This is a comprehensive course which will transform your practice and deepen your understanding of yoga. The program is ideal for students looking to further their knowledge of yoga, aspiring teachers and curious practitioners. The training is a foundational program, which comprises 5 areas of study: Yoga Philosophy, Anatomy and Physiology, Teaching Methodology, Teaching Techniques and Practical. Cost: S$4,990 For more information training.homyoga.sg; Training@homyoga.sg RAINBOW KIDS YOGA (RKY) TTC Lullaby Yoga, Bangkok, Thailand 30 November-2 December This RKY TT is a comprehensive, intensive and practical certification course. The course is for

anyone who loves working with kids, and loves Yoga. It is for Yoga teachers wanting to specialize, and educators wanting to bring the benefits of Yoga to their classrooms. It’s also great for parents to find new ways to connect with their children and family, and share a healthy, fun, and noncompetitive movement-based activity. It is also for anyone who wants to expand a current related profession, or learn a new one! You do not need to be a Yoga teacher to take the course. The training is led by Lei Sadakari, a senior RKY trainer. The RKY certificate is recognized by the UK Yoga Alliance and is eligible for continuous education credits by the US Yoga Alliance. Cost: THB18,000 early bird before 9 November; regular THB21,000 For more information www.lullaby-yoga.com; info@lullaby-yoga.com; +66 22525824/5 UNIVERSAL YOGA TT WITH ANDREY LAPPA Pure Yoga Taipei – Pure Tower - 4-19 January 2013 Pure Yoga Hong Kong – Langham Place - 20-31 January 2013 This TT is the second 100 hours (Part 2) of the full 200hour RYT Universal Yoga Teacher Training Programme. Through daily yoga asana classes, Shiva Nata practice and lectures, we will explore yogic concepts and methods to create a new approach to this ancient practice. Students will be challenged to explore & expand upon their personal yoga practice and encouraged to develop creative, conscious & intelligent teaching techniques. Sign up before 23 December for the early-bird discount! For more information www.pure-yoga.com; events@pure-yoga.com

Yogananth teaches advanced asana TT in Hong Kong

ADVANCED HATHA YOGA TT WITH YOGANANTH Hong Kong Level 1: 11 January-3 February 2013 Level 2: 22 February-24 March 2013 This intensive training takes teaching yoga postures to new limits. Practice, explore and learn to teach some of the most advanced Hata Yoga postures. For more information +852 2905 1822; www.anahatayoga.com.hk/ course.htm

Dance classes in this 6-week long, immersive training with Shakti, Monika Nataraj. Tantra Instructor Training 22 April-25 May 2013 Get certified to teach Agama Yoga’s Tantra 1+2 workshops. Training for Yoga Therapist 16 September-9 November 2013 Become a certified Yoga Therapist in this intensive 8week long training. For more information www.agamayoga.com; info@agamayoga.com; +66 892 330 217

TT WITH CLAYTON HORTON 29 April-24 May 2013 Ashtanga Based 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Boracay Island, Philippines For more information: www.greenpathyoga.org TRAININGS AT AGAMA YOGA Koh Phangan, Thailand 500-Hour TT 7 January-30 March & 27 May17 August 2013 Learn how to teach Yoga in this very intensive, 500 hrs.+ TT on a tropical island paradise! Mystical Dance TT 4 March-13 April 2013 Become a teacher of Mystical

Wai-Ling compiles and edits this section of news, workshops, retreats & teacher trainings. Email her directly on wailing.tse@gmail.com

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Dristi Death

What tto o Do at the T ime o ath ? Time off De Death ath? Clayton Horton

Yoga teaches us to be present, non-attached, awake, clear, conscious, aware of the results of our actions and aware of the eternal Self within. A lifetime of yoga practice prepares us for the moment we leave our physical body. Many spiritual traditions and sacred texts say the content of our consciousness at the time of death determines our fate in the afterlife. What happens when we die? Do we have a choice to be born again or can we be liberated from the cycle of birth and death? We can look to many Eastern traditions for instructions, teachings and advice on what to do at this auspicious time. The Tibetan Book of the Dead encourages a fearless, clear and calm mind as one travels through the trials and tribulations of the afterlife. Instruction is given for skillful navigation through different lokas (celestial landscapes) and encounters with demonic and divine beings in the afterlife. Positive attributes learned and gained through spiritual practice could be forgotten in this transition if one is distracted by earthly attachments, has fear of the unknown or is numbed by pharmaceutical medication. The Vipassana meditation tradition of S. N. Goenka teaches the practitioner to reduce and thin their personal attachments and aversions (samskaras) by letting go of and not reacting to the content the mind that arises during the waking state of consciousness. Goenka explains in his teachings that this reservoir of samskaras can rise to the surface of the conscious mind, and is no different than someone’s “life flashing before their eyes” at the time of death or near death. If one has worked adequately to reduce their personal collection of attachments and aversions, this paves the way for a calm, clear, and peaceful mind at the time of death. An individual with an equanimous and peaceful mind is capable of focusing their awareness towards the divine, and consciously directing their soul in the afterlife without distraction or interruption.

mind completely stilled, free of selfish passions and concentration fixed at the third eye, you will realise the supreme Lord

The Bhagavad Gita’s eighth chapter is perhaps one of the most popular and well-read instructions on ascension. Here, Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna on what to do at the time of death, before he goes to war on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Krishna tells Arjuna, “Those who remember me at the time of death will always come to me. Whatever occupies the mind at the time of death determines the destination of the dying. Therefore, remember me at all times. When you make the mind one-pointed through the practice of meditation, you will find the supreme glory of the Lord. With your mind completely stilled, free of selfish passions and your concentration fixed at the third eye between your eyebrows, you will realize the supreme Lord. Close down the doors of the senses and place your mind in the heart. “Then, while absorbed in meditation, focus all energy upwards to the head, repeating the sacred sound of OM, the sound of the eternal Godhead. You will go forth from the body and attain the supreme goal, union with me. At the time of death, there are two paths the soul may follow Arjuna. One, the path of darkness and rebirth, the other is of light and liberation. Attain this knowledge through perseverance in Yoga and you will never be deluded again.” In a similar tale of divine instruction from the Katha Upanishad, a young man by the name of Nachiketa asks Yama (the lord of death) what happens when one leaves the physical body. Yama explains the mystery of death. He tells Nachiketa, “Eternal peace and freedom from rebirth is attainable to those who recognize the Self in their own hearts. The wise, who still the mind and senses no longer chase after the objects of the senses and the world of change. Established in the Self, they enter the unitive state, never to be separate from divine source again. When all desires of the heart are renounced, mortals become immortal, free from the wheel of birth and death.” Yama continues, “the Self abides in the human heart in a form about the size of a human thumb and from this heart area, there are 101 energetic pathways (nadis) leading from the heart. One leads to the crown of the head. This pathway leads to immortality. The other pathways lead to death and rebirth. At the time of death, draw the Self up towards the crown of the head and out of the physical sheath. Know thyself to be pure and immortal!” The time of death is a great mystery. Spiritual traditions suggest we stay awake and alert, with our awareness in the unitive state and our mind focused on the divine. We must be prepared to let go of a lifetime of attachments and desires as our life could end at any moment. Such a task is ultimately challenging and could be considered the spadework of our soul. The Winter solstice (December 21) is a time for rebirth, a celebration of the days getting longer, symbolizing coming out of darkness and moving into light. Looking ahead to this years’ solstice, it is said to be an end or death of a larger time cycle in our planet’s evolution. We have the opportunity to create a new and

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SERENITY OR SERENDIPITY? Danny Pui-Lung Lau

I have been living in this neighbourhood for five years. In the Summer, birds chirp from 5 in the morning till 9 at night. In the Fall, they start slightly later and finish an hour earlier. And all Winter and Spring it rains like a Banshee. This is Vancouver, BC afterall! Between the rain there’s the fog, which can make things spooky. But even more spooky, my neighbourhood is next to a cemetery. Vancouver has a huge Chinese population but my neighbourhood has only a handful of Chinese or Asian families. I guess it is because of its proximity to the cemetery. Chinese people prefer not to live close to the dead. When I first moved here with my partner, I was a little apprehensive of going to the cemetery. I felt I was disturbing them when I walked around their territory. But my dogs, possibly the most intuitive beings on the planet, love going into the cemetery. They play and run like wild animals, like the coyotes we hear howling at night. So I thought ‘dogs are intuitive and have heightened senses, so they would sense any negative energy. There is nothing to be scared about.’ Soon I learned to appreciate the serenity of this cemetery, and realized the people laying here were really good souls. In fact most of them sacrificed their lives during the wars, they were heroes. In the Bhagavad Gita death is portrayed as a process of rebirth. A soul does not just

go away after the physical body is gone. That soul may have unfinished business which needs to be dealt with on his/her journey. Hence the soul may influence the journey to the next life. As a yogi, I learn to be aware of the presence of other being. I am also learning how to channel spirit guides when I need to communicate with others. Every time I am in the cemetery, I speak to “them”. I say hello when I come across a name on the stone. And sometimes, I sense their presence. I watch my dogs and how they behave when they are here. They stop to pee of course, thankfully mostly on the grass! I do my best to stop them peeing on tombstones, as I find it disrespectful. However, sometimes I sense a spirit saying “it’s okay. They are just being dogs”. In my heart, I apologize and thank them for letting us pass through. From this I have learned something of coexistence. Just like the co-existence of wild lives and humans in the city of Vancouver. The role of yogis with regard to death, as described in Bhagavad Gita, is to be mindful of the process of dying. Our mind can direct our consciousness to move from our physical bodies back to our souls. In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali says “yogis die at will”. (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Eight). So we have the control. It is serendipity I ended up in this neighbourhood to discover the meaning of death and to realize it is a controlled passage. I have learned to appreciate the serenity in death. I have also learned to walk my path with an open mind and to be present with my mind. I have some control

beautiful world by focusing our attention on that which is centered in harmony, peace and unconditional love. The content of our minds during this period of transition is incredibly important: with our collective thoughts, we have the ability to co-create a mass evolution of planetary love, peace, unity and happiness for all beings. A verse from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad is an appropriate prayer for our times: Om Asato Ma Sad Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya Om Shantih Shantih Shantih

Danny’s dogs are at ease in the cemetery

of my consciousness and can direct my mind to walk different paths. As long as my intention is directed by my heart, it’s all okay. Danny (E-RYT 200, Studio Owner, Local Radio Personality, Dog Lover) was born and raised in Hong Kong; educated in Hong Kong, China and Canada; and has been in radio broadcasting for almost 20 years, in Hong Kong and Vancouver. He owns SpiRe Wellness Yoga Studio in Vancouver. He has a Puggle, a German Shorthaired Pointer and a husband.

Oh Lord, Lead me From the unreal to the real From the darkness to the light From death to immortality OM Peace Peace Peace Clayton is director of Green Path Yoga. He teaches workshops and teacher trainings around the world. clayton@greenpathyoga.org

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Dristi Death

DEA TH & D YING DEATH DYING Yogesvara Boyle

My grandmother just died. So this issue’s topic is near and dear to me right now. Speaking with my mom during my grandmother’s passing she perfectly encapsulated the essence of the dharma teachings on death by saying, “You know, your Nonna is dying like she lived… hard. She’s fighting. And your Papa, he died like he lived: open and surrendered.” And there you have it. This is the key to the death and dying teachings from the yoga perspective: as you live, so shall you die. Death, personified as Lord Yama in the yoga tradition, teaches us the value of sobriety. It is very useful to re-evaluate our life through this lens. What are our priorities? Why do we do what we do? Where are we going? Where did we come from? Who are we? What do we really want out of life? Yogins of the Sakta-Saiva Dharma keep “remembrance of death” as a daily, living precept. The intent of this practice is not drudgery, nor is it’s fruit contrived guilt and darkness. Rather, this practice of remembering enriches and enlivens life, while lending us the courage to detach from the aspects of ourselves that are not congruent with our purpose and direction. One of the hallmarks of authentic spiritual practice is “practicing where we are at” and not where some highbrow philosophy says we should be. Where most of us “are at” in regards to death is scared shitless. Being real with this fear and preparing for what is inevitable is not a drag. It is practical and honest. Or at least I think so, because I really don’t want to panic when my time comes – and I don’t know when my time is coming. I don’t want to be flailing in terror like my Nonna has been. I don’t want my face to wear a look of horror that scares my loved ones, who are hopefully by my side. Forget what the teachings say about what happens after death. Before it, I don’t want to live my life with an undercurrent of anxiety about something so natural and certain. So, then, there are things I need to

I don’t want my face to wear a look of horror [at my time of death] that scares my loved ones, who are hopefully by my side confront, accept and perhaps transform about my situation right here and now. There are things I need to deal with. I cannot run away from any aspect of life… because I know… as I live, so I shall die. How do I show up in life? At the moment of death will I be relaxed, surrendered, and at peace? Am I going to be at ease? Am I going to be in a state of love and grace? All of that depends. Am I in that state now? How often have I been in that state recently? How about as a habit throughout most of my life? What about in stressful situations when the shit hits the fan? Do I crumble in fear, freeze in panic, run away, deny, avoid, look for something to not feel the pain, to buffer the discomfort? Or, do I remain in state of peace and love even when things are hard? I have to ask myself these questions because, frankly, I don’t always like the answers. I have to keep it real. Because if I am not so surrendered when I can’t pay my bills, or when my child’s fever spikes, or when I am filled with regret for things I did, or didn’t do… then how can I expect the measure of contentment I hope to die with? How can I hope to not be as terrified as I think I might be? These are questions the yogin ponders as she must. This is why the “Cremation Ground Siva” is an Icon of Essence we look to with reverence. This is why the practice of living fully in every moment, or realizing our ultimate human creative potential is the same thing as saying every moment is a practice for death and dying. I am so grateful every Autumn our school of Sakta-Saiva Dharma makes it a priority

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to revisit the teachings on death and dying. We can never answer all our rational questions about something as mysterious as death. But, there are a lot more answers than most people think. We can learn about how we dissolve - body, mind and spirit - and how to best prepare for and navigate that process. There are tools for practicing now, which simultaneously enhance living and serve as trial runs for the moment of dying. There are even very practical views and methods we can learn to better assist others, our loved ones, who are living their final moments and might otherwise suffer in a state of confusion and fear. Certainly, we can never control a force such as death and any conscious efforts to work with it are best practiced with humility. But there are things we can do. We are not helpless. We are empowered beings endowed with greatness and responsibility. What good is a spiritual practice if it is not giving us the best chance we’ve got to experience everything about life, most especially death, with a masterful touch? I am grateful for the taste of sobriety reawakened in me in the wake of my grandmother’s death. May all beings be free from the fear of death and in so becoming, be truly and fully alive. And may my Nonna rest in peace. Yogi is co-founder of Energy of Mind Therapy (www.energyofmind therapy.com), works with clients online and at Kailash Askhara retreat (www.adiyoga.com) in Northeast Thailand.


Postponing De ath Death Dr. Mihaiela Pentiuc

It may seem as if we can write easily about our passions, hopes, dreams, expectations, life. But when it comes to death, words escape us and inspiration seems beyond reach. It does not matter how certain death is, we keep on postponing its reality in our minds. It does not matter how often we have met death – through loved ones who have left, or even events in the news – we keep thinking: It’s not about me. In order to live happily we build an entire coping system that takes the mind away from the frightening certitude of our own deadline. Medical books describe a very rare disease that causes people to think they are dead or that parts of their body are missing or rotten. It is called Walking Corpse Syndrome (Cotard’s Syndrome) and its source can be partially found in a disconnection between the areas in the brain that process information from the sense organs and the site of their emotional processing. It is like seeing, feeling, tasting the body, but being unable to appreciate this is me, mine, or normal. What does the mind do when confronted with this odd separation? Usually it makes up a story, an explanation that will solve the dilemma, but most commonly does not match reality. Generally speaking, when our sense of identity is not associated with our sensory perceptions, we feel as if we are dead.

to live happily we build a coping system to take the mind away from our own deadline In Yoga, pratyahara, the fifth of the eight stages of Patanjali’s traditional system, advises the sadhaka to train in the “withdrawal of the senses,” the voluntary separation of the internal activity of the mind from external disturbances. In this practice smell, taste, sight, touch, and hearing are not processed anymore in their respective centers in the brain; the sense organs are totally functional while the brain does not acknowledge their activity. Pratyahara is the essential turning point that takes the practitioner to the superior levels of yoga – dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi. Stretching the analogy a little, we can say before reaching samadhi the yogi must change the habitudes of his brain activity, which is in a way like undergoing death. It is very common before entering samadhi to experience a certain amount of fear – either a fear of death or fear of insanity. Many practitioners stop at this point, while others spend a lot of time roaming to the edge of this range, which reveals the extinction of the ego. Unfortunately there is no other way to gain passage to greater depths but by passing through this gateway, a necessary step that changes the psychological focus but also imprints on our biology. The brain has to be trained; our body has to face what will normally be translated as death and destruction in order to accommodate the higher stages of sadhana.

It is a common procedure in neuroscience to observe pathological conditions in order to understand the function of the normal brain. For a yogi it is even more fascinating to recognize the effects of yoga practice in what science describes. Yoga and meditation change both our body and brain. Pathology and disease are also based on sometimes similar changes of the brain. Why does one lead to bliss while the other to misery? Are there signs that tell us clearly in which direction we are heading? If I want to taste the exquisiteness of infinity I have to accept the need to courageously look into the face of death. On the verge of extinction’s abyss, is there something that can reassure me of an afterlife of samadhi? Unfortunately the answer is no. Facing death means facing no compromises, no half-doses, and no selfcomforting. From outside, the guru or teacher can appreciate the signs but inside it is just that: a solitary confrontation with the dark night. The only real, reliable, guiding light is gradual consistent practice: pratyahara – withdrawal from the ongoing processing of external sensory stimulation – and one-pointed concentration of the mind leading to deep levels of meditation. This is no easy step and dreaming about bliss without the courage to confront death is like suffering from thirst while being averse to drinking. Speaking about abhinivesha – the fear of death, or the excessive attachment to life – Patanjali himself acknowledged this describing it as being “deeply rooted even in the sages.” All those who hold the ambition to reach the highest yogic achievements are bound to bear witness to the very deep transformation brought about by one’s confrontation with death. It starts with the effort of the mind to redirect its attention and concludes with physiological changes of the brain. Meanwhile a wide range of emotional and philosophical challenges can surge up. We do need to apply new processing terms, to learn new translation skills or new emotional values. Seeing must be replaced by inner vision, external consistency exchanged for the certainty of internal perceptions, permanent sensorial bombardment easily turned into awakened calmness. This is how the advanced stages of yoga become the realm of heroes, men and women with determination and real longing for truth and freedom. From this perspective we can understand why Shiva, the archetypal image of the yoga guru, also received the name Bhairava, the terrible one. Some who initially feel an enthusiastic attraction to yoga may feel discouraged at this point. Isn’t there an escape, a shortcut, a “happy-go-lucky” path to samadhi? We want the bliss but not the confrontation. Let’s look around: Is there a place where death can be avoided? Is it possible by facing it courageously we can stop fearing it and understand death as transformation? Yogic wisdom provides answers and practical solutions, showing again how this ancient system is reliable for much more than healthy stretching or relaxation. Mihaiela is a senior yoga teacher at Agama Yoga, Thailand. mihaiela@agamayoga.com Agama Yoga offers its ‘Art of Dying’ workshop 25-29 March 2013 www.agamayoga.com

How does the yogi know he or she is not going mad, is not damaging the brain, and won’t become a zombie like the severe sufferers of Cotard’s Syndrome? 15


Dristi Death

Death: Teachings vs Reality Nityananda Rama Das

Pot Pot was showing signs of pain, she became less active and no longer had an appetite. We took her to our veterinarian and her test results were not good. I knew this day would come since the first time she snuggled up on my chest purring and resting her paw on my chin, she always reached out to touch people.

of the emotions did not mix with the teaching of scriptures and knowledge of the Spirit Self, Higher Self as well as the Afterlife did not matter. The intellectual philosophy and cold detachment had no weight next to the heart and my sadness in witnessing the departure of a loved one, or gratitude for all we shared.

She was a rescue cat, along with her two siblings. We offered her a life of love and affection, and given the chance I would do it all over again. The vet gave us her options - to prolong her life with surgery and medication, or accept that she lived a full life.

According to Krsna within the Bhagavad Gita “ the Self or Spirit Soul is consciousness, bliss and truth, unchanging, eternal, present everywhere, immovable and can not be harmed in any way, it is not bound to the material world”. Karma being action-reaction, is limited to the material world and is impartial. So according to these teachings the Eternal Self is not of this world, whereas karma is the guiding principle of this material world. Since karma and the experience of pleasure and pain do not change the Self, karma is not important in the context of the Self. So perhaps we could allow the mind and body to live out its biological purpose, fulfilling our family and cultural evolution by fully embracing each aspect of this existence, instead of hiding behind detached spiritual-afterlife concepts as a method of avoiding the unpleasant times.

According to my upbringing as a yogi I should have never become involved in the first place, yet the act of kindness many years ago felt right. In Gurukula I was taught to detach from worldly life

intellectual philosophy had no weight next to the heart forms to avoid becoming karmicly entangled and thus limit or even halt spiritual progress. It seems the teachings I learned were mostly to avoid suffering through detachment or simply by avoiding involvement all together to prepare for transcending the material plain of existence. Yet, building and maintaining awareness of the divinity within all is our main goal. Thus involvement, connection, love and affection to all is the recommended conduct of a yogi, and what feels right in the heart. The vet gave me some time to be with Pot Pot as she passed away. I prayed for her, offered Mantras and blessings only to realize none were needed. What comes to be is what’s meant to be. The intensity

Embracing the fullness of the emotions and experience, honoring and cherishing in my heart, feels right. Being conscious of the divinity within all, in truth, in life and death I allowed the fullness of emotions to wash over me and the tears of sadness mixed with joy flowed freely. Nitai is a second generation Vaishnava and Yoga Teacher. He grew up following the Vedic teachings and later found the balance of Veda and Tantra. Now as a family man he draws his inspiration from loved ones and life’s lessons. Nitai teaches at Pure Yoga. richard@pure-yoga.com

Teacher’s Voice Ar dash W illiams Ardash Williams

WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING ASANA AND WHY? The asanas that have given me the most challenge have to be balancing postures, especially 16

Sirsasana (headstand). Sirsasana took two years for me to become proficient in (i.e. not fall over) and was the source of so much frustration as a yoga beginner. Unlike some postures, headstand does not require a huge amount of flexibility but it does require a successful organization of the various body parts - especially an awareness of the center (dan tian). My challenge was in finding my center and “putting in all together.” WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THIS?

The process of learning headstand taught me many of the yoga lessons I remind myself of everyday; themes like patience and perseverance, concentration and the balancing of opposing forces. The biggest thing related to asana is the idea of mastering small things. For example, moving into headstand requires many of the same techniques found in Tadasana (mountain pose). The trick is to put it all together while upside down. WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR PRACTICE? The most challenging part of

my practice is finding time to get it all in. I really enjoy practicing yoga and want my session to go on forever! However, I always have to finish on time, even if that means cutting it short. So, I wake up very early every morning to get everything in asana, pranayama, meditation then I need to finish up and begin teaching early Mysore class. On top of that, my two small children keep me on my toes, so life is always busy. Adarsh is a faculty teacher at Samahita Yoga Thailand, Space Yoga Taipei and director of the Monterey Yoga Shala in California. www.smartstretch.com


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Yoga 101

OM: W hat us ? What hat’’s all the F Fus usss about about? Andrew Willner

“Aum iti evam dhyayat atmanam….Svasti va paraya tamasah parastat” Meditate on the Aum as your inner self….may you cross over the darkness to the other side. Mandukya Upanishad Your Om is too loud, your Om is too soft, your Om is too short on the ‘mmmmm’, in fact your Om really sucks! So is there a right way to chant Om? Will I be a more enlightened being if I can just get my Om spot om? Let’s start by going back in time to identify the roots of this mantra and then try to comprehend its meaning and determine whether there is any basis of argument on how an Om should sound.

Aum is the sound of creation...quantum physicists are now confirming...as all things are energy vibrating

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SOME HISTORY Om or Aum, as I shall henceforth refer to it being more correct, does not appear in the Vedas other than indirectly in the Yajur Veda. Also there have been no examples found from the Indus civilization of the Aum symbol on any seals or cave drawings. (Some scholars have argued that, just as the ancient Hebrews would never express the word “Yahweh” as it was too holy to speak, similarly maybe Aum was too sacred to be spoken of or written about). So the first direct reference is found in the Upanishads (800BCE-200CE) and in particular the Mandukya Upanishad which

is devoted to this one topic! Thereafter we find plenty of references in the Puranas, in the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita and other Vedantic texts. WHAT IS IT? Aum is called the Mahat (great) Mantra. It symbolizes everything. It is the sound of creation and ultimate reality. It is the cosmic vibration behind all of the manifest universe, which quantum physicists and super string theorists are now confirming… as all ‘things’ are just energy vibrating . It is Brahman i.e. it’s a pretty important and far out concept.


commence our Aum japa. The first syllable is the “A” and is pronounced as ‘ahhh’ somewhat like the sound made when the doctor wishes to inspect your tonsils! It should come from the back of the throat with the lips in a quite wide horizontal elliptical shape akin to a wide-mouthed frog (if you ever happen to have spotted one)! It refers to the gross world i.e. the physical world.

the point above the crescent moon represents pure consciousness Unlike all other sounds, which require air movement to create their sound, in the case of Aum the fourth syllable is silent, the unstruck sound (anahat nada), and we shall come back to this when we examine how to chant Aum. The pictograph of Aum, which is familiar to most yogis (and anyone who happens to have seen the tattoo on my back) also symbolizes different aspects of our consciousness a) the waking state : jagrathaavastha “A”, b) the subconscious dream state: svapna-avastha “U” and c) the unconscious state: susupta-avastha “M’ and these states are represented by the three curves that combined look a bit like the number 30. Now for the really interesting bit - the point (bindu – which in metaphysics represents the point where multiplicity merges back into unity) above the crescent moon represents the unstruck sound I referred to earlier in this article. It represents the fourth state of consciousness called Turiya which is pure consciousness and transcends the other three states. In Turiya there are no thoughts and no “I” and no relative existence. The crescent moon below the bindu represents maya, (which in Vedanta is the illusion of the ‘reality’ of the manifest and in Tantra is the veil that cloaks the absolute from the relative). But let’s move on to consider how to chant. HOW TO CHANT AUM So once we are sitting comfortably we can

Then comes the “U” as the second syllable and is pronounced somewhere between an ‘oo’ and an ‘or’ with the lips closing slightly into an oval shape and resembles the sound you might make if the doctor then took your temperature using a very cold rectoral thermometer! It refers to the subtle astral world. Then comes the third syllable, the “M”, pronounced ‘mmm’ with the lips gently closed (which intensifies the vibratory resonance in the brain per Sri Dharma Mittra, whom many readers will know as a remarkable teacher of yoga with over half a century of experience). The sound is similar to that made after your first sip of hot coffee on a cold winter’s day. It refers to the causal realm and can be imagined as the canvas on which the subtle and gross realms are painted. Finally, last but by no means least, we arrive at the fourth syllable referred to earlier, which is the unstruck sound of silence, which does not sound like any other sound in the manifest world, wherein the practitioner may experience absolute reality which encompasses all three of the prior realms above. This last realm is the most esoteric and probably the one most students will take time to fully appreciate, but during the silence the practitioner can still experience the vibration of the mantra in the higher chakras, particularly in ajna (third eye) and sahasrara (crown) chakras. RATIOS There does not appear to be any scriptural text that defines the ratio of time of each syllable of the mantra, but typically most gurus and swamis (e.g. Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati), who have commented on this topic, suggest the “M” should be longer than the “A” and “U” but to varying degrees. Personally I think after practicing for a while, one develops a sense of what feels right for you, although in a class situation it is respectful to follow the lead of the teacher. Typically beginners with limited lung capacity may find their “M” is

too short because they run out of breath, so unless you are an ex-deep sea pearl diver then try not to get carried away with the “AU” parts. DECIBELS So is there any guidance on how loud the Aum should be? Again, different traditions seem to have different approaches from soft to loud. In Sanskrit the word japa (repetition) derives from the root ‘jap’ which means ‘to utter in a low voice, repeat internally or mutter’, so that would suggest a softer Aum is appropriate. However, a louder chant can be invigorating and (per Omved) gives the practitioner a sense of the omnipotence of the Supreme. I would also add that chanting silently does not give me the physical experience of feeling the vibration of the sounds, not to mention in a group setting it would seem a bit solitary! So the only conclusion I can draw on this point is that the fourth syllable, the unstruck sound, should be silent, no matter which tradition you follow. FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT: In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna highlights the importance of chanting Aum at the time of one’s death: “Repeating in this state (of meditation) the divine name, the syllable Om that represents the changeless Brahman, you will go forth from the body and attain the supreme goal.” (Ch 8.13) But for those of you in more of a hurry to reach samadhi, I should like to refer you to the Shiva Purana which apparently states 1,080,000,000 recitations of Aum purify our mind and lead us automatically to salvation. By my calculations, assuming 30 seconds per Aum, if you chant 12 hours a day uninterruptedly for just over 2,000 years you will have reached the requisite number of recitations! Off I go….1,2,3….oh darn, there goes my Blackberry again! Andy is an enthusiastic yoga practitioner and now teacher too with a background in aerobics and martial arts. Outside work as a headhunter and practising yoga, he plays the saxophone for pleasure...his, rather than the neighbours’!

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Mythology in a Minute Pleased with all of Yudhishthir’s answers, the Yaksha revealed himself to be none other than Yudhishthir’s father, Dharmaraja, Yama, the Lord of Death. Yama restored the four brothers to life. He then granted three boons to Yudhishthir. The brahmin’s implements were returned. The five Pandavas princes were granted the boon of a safe year in exile when no one would be able to recognize them. And finally, Yudhishtir was granted his wish of victory over greed, anger and delusion and constant abidance in generosity, austerity and truth. This story comes from Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata. Tia, a yoga teacher, writes from India.

Poetry of Yoga

Flying At Night Krishna Das

From up here, I can see clearly.

Questions from a Crane Tia Sinha

Yudhishtir, the just king, was thirsty. He and his four Pandava brothers had been chasing, in vain, a deer that had run away with implements stuck on its antlers. The brahmin ascetic to whom those implements belonged had appealed to the Pandava brothers to retrieve them. The youngest brother, Nakula, spotted some cranes from the top of a tree in the forest and went towards them in search of water. Upon reaching a beautiful lake adorned with lotus blossoms, Nakula ventured close to quench his own thirst and fetch some water for his brothers. Suddenly, a voice rang out, asking him to stop and answer some questions before drinking from the lake. There were only cranes in the lake. Overcome with thirst, Nakula disobeyed the command and promptly died. Soon after, one by one, Yudhishtir sent his three other brothers to investigate the delay and to fetch water. The same fate befell each of the brothers. When Yudhishthir himself reached the lake, he was distraught to find his four valiant brothers lying dead on the shore. Realizing that this was the handiwork of no ordinary creature, Yudhishthir pleaded that the murderer reveal himself. Then, a crane asked Yudhishthir to answer some questions. The crane then revealed itself to be a gigantic and frightening Yaksha whose questions Yudhishthir was prepared to answer before quenching his thirst. The Yaksha asked dozens of philosophical questions. When he asked what was surprising, Yudhishthir replied that everyday people die, but everyone believes they will live forever. In short, no one is prepared to die. No one is prepared for death. 20

Faint flickering lights hint at the path of a winding road That stretches out across the land. Dice thrown on the table of the night. The light of a town glares in the distance, A burning ember held in the black palm of the night. People are drawn to this cold fire to live near others of their kind. I can see their lives from here. Another faint spark flickers in the dark distance. An outpost at the edge of what men know... Let me live there, on that edge that swallows men and their electricity. Embracing all in silent wonder. Fearless. Gigantic. Invisible. From Poetry of Yoga, A Contemporary Anthology, Volume 1 Edited by HawaH, 2011 Reproduced with permission


Steve Merkley

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Yoga Styles

God-R ealiz ation thr ough Kriy aY oga God-Re alization through Kriya Yoga Allen Yao

“You are walking on the earth as in a dream. Our world is a dream within a dream; you must realize that to find God is the only goal, the only purpose, for which you are here. For Him alone you exist. Him you must find.” Paramahansa Yogananda In the Katha Upanishad (one of India’s most widely read ancient scriptures), Yama, the Lord of Death, explained to Nachiketa, the teenage spiritual aspirant, that the Self (God) cannot be known through the

Kriya Yoga takes one to God by the universal highway: the spine study of scriptures nor through the intellect, nor through hearing discourses about it. He asserted, “The Self cannot be known by anyone who desists not from unrighteous ways, controls not his senses, stills not his mind, and practises not meditation.” Paramahansa Yogananda, the famed author of the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi”, described meditation as the science of God Realization. He said, “It is the most practical science in the world, and most people would want to meditate if they understood its value and experienced its beneficial effects. The ultimate object of meditation is to attain conscious awareness of God, and the soul’s eternal oneness with Him.” He once explained, “You can be in a room 20 years, trying to get out through the walls, the ceiling, the floor. It is when you finally discover the door that you find your way out. That’s how it is with the soul. The average devotee may struggle his whole life trying to escape the bodily limitations by unscientific means, and by the paths only of devotion or discrimination. By Kriya Yoga, however, if he is sincere, he can 22

The Direct Lineage of Kriya Yoga Gurus

escape quickly. Kriya Yoga takes one to God by the universal highway: the spine.” Kriya Yoga is a powerful and scientific meditation technique for spiritual evolution. Yogananda said the Sanskrit word Kriya derives from the root “Kri”—”to do, act and react”. Yoga derives from “yuj”—”to unite, join, connect”. Yogananda stated Kriya Yoga is the supreme yoga science for the attainment of union or oneness with God. This technique focuses on the growth of inner awareness and the experiencing of the indwelling Divinity, and leads ultimately to God-realization. Sri Yukteswar (1855-1936), Yogananda’s guru, asserted human evolution could be accelerated through the practice of Kriya Yoga. He said the ancient yogis discovered the secret of cosmic consciousness to be intimately linked with breath mastery. By this method of calming and stilling the ceaseless demands of the breath, the life force ordinarily absorbed in maintaining heart action, would be freed for higher activities.

Mahavatar Babaji, date of birth and death unknown

Lahiri Mahasaya 1828 -1895

Its roots go back to antiquity, as saints and sages had been practising this technique since time immemorial. The ageless Mahavatar Babaji reintroduced it in 1861 to the illustrious sage Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895) with instructions to disseminate it for the benefit of mankind. He told the sage, “The Kriya Yoga I am giving to the world through you in this nineteenth century, is a revival of the same science that Krishna gave

Shriyukteshwarji 1855 - 1936


Paramahamsa Prajnanananda 1960 - present Sanyal Mahasaya 1877 - 1962

millenniums ago to Arjuna, and was later known to Patanjali, to Christ, St. John, St. Paul, and other disciples.� Kriya Yoga was transmitted directly from guru to disciple, and passed down to practitioners through the Kriya Yoga lineage of masters. It is taught in this manner by properly trained and authorised teachers to pupils to this day.

Yoganandaji 1893 -1952

Swami Satyananda 1896-1971

Kriya Yoga is particularly suitable for householders or laypersons with worldly duties and responsibilities. The technique does not involve any forced or unnatural withholding of breath, or putting the practitioner through torturous or uncomfortable bodily postures. It teaches a simple and easy method of breath control based on natural inhalation and exhalation, for purifying the body’s internal mechanism, bringing thought under control and attaining stillness of the mind and inner peace. Regular practice enhances health through the increase of oxygen flow to vital organs and better blood circulation, resulting in more efficient bodily functions of assimilation and digestion. This technique also prevents the accumulation of venous blood thereby lessening the decay of tissues.

Hariharananda 1907- 2002

Allen is a member of Kriya Yoga HK www.kriya.org

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Yoga Styles

Dying fr om the from Yin-side Dona Tumacder-Esteban

As a child, part of my fervent prayers was to die ahead of everyone else in my family. I didn’t fear dying as much as I feared being left alone dealing with the remnants and the changes that came with it. When I began to explore the spiritual path through dance, yoga, and meditation, I found myself praying for death once again – this time as an escape from the mundane daily grind into “something more” that I thought existed only when the physical body dies. One day, after months of taking sanctuary in the dynamic silence that followed meditative dance and asana practice, an energy seized my belly and grew from there into a spontaneous explosion I could not contain. I got out of my bed, ran to my mother’s room and exclaimed, “I close my eyes and I see God. I open my eyes and I still see God. Am I going insane?” It was a glimpse of “something more.” I knew right there, heart pumping and all, that something inside me had died. And something inside me had also been born again. Since then, life has been a constant stream of deaths and rebirths. Sometimes death is painful like broken hearts, lost friendships, and unfulfilled dreams. Sometimes death is a welcome refuge – the death of each and every moment which, just as inevitable as death itself, gives way for a new and hopefully better moment to be born. Without a doubt, each “death” was transformative. GOING DEEP WITH YIN The idea of death as a transformative force became more concrete when I dove deeply into the practice of Yin Yoga, a healing and calming practice where we come into asanas with relaxed muscles and stay in stillness for 3-5 minutes. Through Yin Yoga which fuses both yoga and Taoist philosophy with the practice of mindfulness, I witness the process of death and birth happening in the different layers of my being.

The Taoists were great observers of nature and its birth and death cycles – from seasonal changes, to the movement from day to night and back to day, to the sprouting of a seed and the falling of its fruit. They noticed how each phase reflected the forces they called Yin and Yang. Moreover, these ancient sages noticed that rather than absolutes, yin and yang energies are contained in each other in varying degrees depending on where they are within the cycle. Eventually, one gives way seamlessly to the other. Human beings, as part of nature, go through the same birth and death cycles. The word Yin by itself is closely linked with death. As the counterbalance to the more active, dynamic, and creative Yang energy, Yin is contracting, passive, dead still. But to say that Yin is death is incomplete. Professor Mac Cueto, a therapeutic consultant and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner from Manila, explains “death of the physical body can be seen as the separation of yin and yang. The yang gets liberated as shen or spirit, and the yin is consumed and begins to consolidate, getting ready for the next cycle of embodiment and rebirth, hopefully this time more refined.” Victor Chng, Asia’s leading Yin Yoga teacher and teacher trainer, states it clearly. “Yin is not only about death. Yin is about renewal. It is an opportunity for the old to die and the new to be born. This is how we heal and how we obtain new energy.” In the Yin state, energy is conserved and preserved in a state of pure potentiality, ready for new growth. This is most apparent in the physical body, for example, which renews itself fully every seven years. The deep connective tissues which are the focus areas of the Yin practice are no exception. As we stress the tendons and the ligaments through Yin Yoga’s passive stretches with relaxed muscles, we create micro tears which allow the connective tissues to continuously regenerate and remain young resulting in more suppleness and flexibility in the body. According to Dr. JP Prado, a medical doctor and osteopath in Manila who advises his patients to cultivate a Yin practice to complement dynamic exercise and help heal the body, these micro tears are akin to cells dying giving space for new cells to be born.

He adds no two cells can occupy the same space so the old has to die to give birth to the new. Even in the living body, death is necessary for life to flourish. Although in the beginning of a Yin Yoga practice, physical sensations are the most noticeable, these sensations subside and other layers of our being take center stage. Yin Yoga done in the spirit of Svadhyaya or self-inquiry allows us to keenly observe our thoughts and emotional reactions within the inherent stillness and silence of the asana. Just as our cells die and renew, thoughts and emotions also come and go. Through this witnessing, we are able to authenticate our experiences and cultivate awareness of habitual thinking and feeling caused by impressions deep in our consciousness. Without the distraction of movement, we are confronted with the truth of who we are at this moment, giving us a blessed opportunity to let go of habits that no longer serve us, to make space for new and better impressions. Yin Yoga has helped me drop my tendency towards reactivity. In its place came responsiveness. Again, death and rebirth. YANG BECOMES YIN, YIN BECOMES YANG Yin and Yang is a cycle without a beginning and an end. As we move through Yang, we consume and eventually destroy leading us towards death. As we move through Yin, we repair, renew, regenerate, and prepare the ground for new embodiment. While Yin is death, it is also a passage so that life can start anew. Everything changes is the inherent promise of this cycle. Yet even with this promise, we so desperately hold on to that which are transient in life, that which are continuously changing. As a teacher and practitioner of Yin Yoga, I perceive this desperation as muscles refusing to yield, almost as if the validation of its existence only happens the tighter it grips the bones. I feel it in practice each time I latch onto a thought and follow its story until I am entangled in events that have been, or stories that have yet to be. For this reason, I find solace in chanting this mantra as I surrender into a Yin asana. Asato ma sat gamaya (From the unreal to the real) Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya (From darkness to light) Mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya (From death to immortality) 25


Just as death of the physical body is inevitable, coming into the light of truth is also unavoidable with abhyasa - devoted, consistent practice. Yin Yoga has helped me examine myself and the different layers of my being, courageously shedding off untruths, embracing shadows with compassion, shattering continuously, dying constantly unto my own self so I can, in this lifetime, constantly transform and be born again.

The cultivation of awareness that comes with the yoga practice, both Yin and Yang, ultimately allows us to observe the impermanence of life and its contents. And with this knowledge comes the death of ignorance, a movement from the unreal and constantly changing to the real and unchanging. And when this ignorance – avidya – dies taking with it the fear of death itself – abhinivesah – we are closer to resting in peace with that which is unchanging and immortal, that elusive something more.

Dona is a Manila-based stress management consultant, yoga instructor, student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, volunteer for the Art of Living Foundation, a wife and a hands-on mom. She co-founded OneSpark,Co., the holistic partner of organizations in igniting and aligning their human capital through integrated, innovative, and fun wellbeing and team development programs. dtesteban@yahoo.com

Retreat

The P ower o e Po off Silenc Silence Amy Doffegnies

The technique you are learning here is called the art of living, and life can only really be lived in the present. S.N Goekna The word Vipassana has become synonymous with a mysterious vow of silence and an intensive 10-day schedule of disciplined meditation. This 10-day course has proven to be the experience people find most unimaginable about my year spent in Asia. Amused whispers ripple throughout my friends as the first question people seemed to ask upon my return became ‘How did you not speak for 10 days?’ Funny, I thought, and touching in a way- that 10 days without communication strikes such universal fear in people’s hearts. Perhaps it is surprising then; that I came out of Vipassana feeling more responsive to the power of communion with others than ever, even in relationships that were nurtured in silence. I will not attempt to detail what Vipassana course entails here, as it is in its very nature an experiential practice, structured over a 10-day period. I entered it with a vague understanding of what I was undertaking …I knew I would not be able to speak for 10 days, or read, or write, or do anything but meditate. I was pledging to get up at 4 am every day for hours of meditation. And I also knew several of my most trusted friends had done Vipassana, and hated every minute. Still, Vipassana, as taught by S.N. Goenka, draw in a steady flow of anybodies, from hippies to high flyers, year round, in 90 countries the world over. With trepidation I entered it seeking a bit of an antidote to the mania of the city. Frenzied but happy, at the start of Vipassana, I was more than ready for an injection of peace and mindfulness. For what a friend once described as a heavy handed grounding and a boatload of peace. My journey to the Centre in New Territories of Hong Kong comprised the strangest taxi ride of my time here. The driver spoke animated English through a massive smile…until I told him specifically where I was going. Unsuccessfully, he tried to mask his alarm. Upon arrival my new friend avidly helped me out with my bags and kissed me on the cheek…as if a blessing. His worry was at once affecting and absolutely alarming. Suspicion of the course seems oddly widespread. 26

Ominous? Life changing? Stunning? Excruciating? So did it live up to expectations? I found its message essentially affirmative, helpful and loving. I came away believing the technique is a real tool to enhance one’s ability to encounter everyday life. Vipassana blew open up my faculty for awareness and responsiveness - to myself, the world around and other human beings. ‘The participant learns how to free the mind of the tensions and prejudices that disturb the flow of daily life. By doing so one begins to discover how to live each moment peacefully, productively, happily.’


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To give one example, the root teaching of anicca strives to instil the truth that everything, good or bad is impermanent. Rather than freak out in the face of duress, Vipassana encourages you to calmly remember it will pass, and remain more level, competent and able to deal with situations of stress. A few gems of understanding such as this seem to have remained with me, resurfacing at odd and unanticipated moments. Goenka’s technique is held up as the way in which the Buddha attained enlightenment, but is determinedly stripped of any religious doctrine or ‘ism’ to offer a universal path to happiness.

photos of our families. Such a strange and beautiful circumstance. I am massively grateful for the chance I got to do Vipassana and although its trial should not be underestimated, it sent me back out into life feeling recharged and reawakened and reaffirmed. Vipassana is free, it is made possible entirely by students who have such an experience they choose to dedicate money or time to the food and care of strangers for the duration of the course. Every person’s response seems to be different, and I am certainly happy I did.

the root teaching of anicca strives to instil the truth that everything, good or bad is impermanent

Essentially, I’m not sure if the course left me feeling wonderful because I spent 10 days in the quiet appreciating and reflecting, or because the magic of Vippassana brings old students back to the course time and time again. One of the most incredible outcomes of the experience was the family of strangers it forged. The end of the course involves time to reconnect with people before being let loose on the outside world. This metta day (loving kindness) is most vivid to me now. The laughter and humanity were almost tangible in the air, such mass relief that 10 days were over, but so grateful they had happened. Hours upon hours of meditation left me especially sensitive to sounds, tastes, touch and people. Retrospectively, I think the basis for connection occurred surreptitiously throughout the course.

I want to finish with a little anecdote about a lovely Hong Kong lady on my course. The bond was first forged when a spider bit me on the leg in the meditation hall. Sitting down for what felt like the millionth time, I flinched at a sharp pin in my leg. Looking around, the lady sat behind me, about 20 years my senior, was brushing away the spider. I smiled. This began a conspiracy of smiles and I was met with a huge grin every time our eyes met over breakfast.

Vipassana is free, made possible by students who have such an experience they dedicate money or time to strangers for the course Although any communication is forbidden, I reasoned to myself that these few tiny gestures of warmth, surely, cannot be detrimental to the aims of the course. The lady took on a motherly role, when on the last day over breakfast she took the plate out of my hands- to my bemusement, and washed it for me. After nine days of no human contact, this small gesture of kindness reduced me to the brink of tears. When the silence ended I eagerly wandered over and was received in her huge embrace, but we didn’t speak a word of each-others languages. Later, with our possessions returned, I offered her a little key chain of a Buddha which someone had given me once…The ripples seemed to be felt around the camp…suddenly a cackle of Cantonese greeted me as ladies congregated and looked at me as I bumbled to the bathroom. Later she came to me with a red packet and a new friend translated some sentiments between us. We showed each other 28

Amy has just moved back to Edinburgh from Hong Kong to complete a degree in International Relations. She is loving being back in sunny Scotland and continues to practice Ashtanga Yoga. amydoffegnies@gmail.com Vipassana Information in Hong Kong G.P.O. Box 5185, Hong Kong t: +852 2671 7031 f: + 852 8147 3312 e: info@hk.dhamma.org w: www.hk.dhamma.org


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Conference

A Reminder on Yoga & Happiness at Asia Yoga Conference Rachel Jacqueline

“Am I happy with what I am doing? Is what I’m doing contributing to confusion, to happiness, to peace? What will I be remembered for when I die?” questions Danny Paradise to a group of budding yogis on a Saturday afternoon during the Asia Yoga Conference in June. His long, greying hair - pulled forward over his blue tie-dyed shirt and swept off his face with a fading bandana – is the only physical sign he’s been practicing yoga for over 36 years. He speaks and moves with a childlike energy of someone half his age.

practice, philosophy and psychology in Hong Kong each year. One may choose to attend single days or indulge in a full weekend emersion into everything yoga. This year 46 yoga teachers gathered from around the globe to share their love, passion and insights over 7 - 10 June. The brilliance of the AYC is it brings the world of yoga in its differing forms and interpretations together in one place over one weekend: Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Sivananda, Bikram, Anusara, Vini, Kundalini – the list goes on. The frustration, however, is the volume on offer, forcing choices and sacrifices. In some ways, it also seems like the world of yoga has become divided, commercial and, well, at times a little confusing.

Danny Paradise

Along with 40 other students sitting on odd yoga mats – splashes of colour against the gray of Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre – I quietly contemplate the words of the vibrant yogi. To be honest, happiness was not my first reaction to the inconceivable number of yoga offerings in the AYC schedule. Instead, I was overwhelmed. How was I going to make the most out of the weekend of yoga from the mind-boggling selection on offer?

Reading the AYC schedule also reinforced just how little I seemed to know. Yoga has always been in my life since the age of ten when my mother (now an Iyengar yoga teacher) started practicing, but I hadn’t even heard of or contemplated some of the classes and teachings. I was curious, but at the same time, there was a silly, ego-led anxiousness in my stomach: would I be out of my depth amongst a sea of yoginis on another plane of consciousness? My worries had quickly dissipated during my first session: a talk on Yoga Philosophy by Carlos Pomeda. No knowledge was assumed – only one’s passion for yoga - as

And Cindy Lee’s Om Yoga, which lead me through a very mindful yoga practice, brought me back to the fundamentals: the breathe and remaining ever in the present. The AYC unifies the many possibilities of yoga in one forum, allowing for play and discovery. While it may seem that there are a myriad of teachers, teachings and practices on offer, each practice I attended was another way to unlock and tap into another layer of myself. Though the mediums may be different, the messages were universal. Danny’s parting words that afternoon were full of encouragement and gentle reminders:

Happiness is something that you create within yourself But, leaving the weekend equipped with new yogic chants, balls of energy in my palms to tap into at any time, the feeling of lifting from prasarita into a handstand (assisted, thanks Danny!) and a smile, I was also reminded of the importance of having yoga along for that inner journey. Yoga – whichever way you like it – is always there to lead a helping hand towards the creation of happiness and, ultimately, a better you.

Bernie Clark’s Yin Yoga, or Scott Blossom’s Shadow Yoga? Or listen to Bo Forbes speak on Yoga Therapy? What is Jivamukti Yoga, Karma Yoga, OM yoga, or the Kaivalya Method? And how could I miss Shri Rajpal’s final lecture outside of India? For those of you not in the know, the AYC offers four days of inspirational yoga

Carlos led us playfully through the world of yogic Gods. He explained everything in an engaging and insightful way, with a humour and approachability entwined into his teaching like his neatly folded legs. Bernie Clark’s session on Yin Yoga further melted my concerns. Bernie took us through the most inspiring and soothing two hour journey through the world of Yin Yoga – the opposite of the more intense yoga our busy lives tend to gravitate towards. We created balls of energy with our hands and relaxed into a calm space not often possible when practicing higher energy Yang forms of yoga.

Cindy Lee

Rachel threw in the life of a lawyer earlier this year to pursue her passion for writing, the outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, which she believes includes a regular yoga practice. www.hkadventurebaby.com

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Lecture

Can ’t B uy Happine an’t Buy Happinesss Vicky Wong

Lama Marut’s book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life a blueprint for creating and sustaining happiness in this modern age of consumerism, selfabsorption, and stress. He recently came to Hong Kong and gave a talk on the subject of happiness. “Hong Kong is full of talented, educated, driven accomplishment-oriented people who are depleted and often depressed,” Lama Marut says. “Because there is no correlation between money and happiness.” If happiness cannot be found in a good job and money, nor in exotic holidays, nights out or expensive dinners, then without having to look far, happiness lies in satisfaction. “We achieve contentment only when we stop being discontent,” he says. “Who is not content with contentment?”

Only you have the power to make yourself happy. Real happiness is not a series of ethereal pleasures connected to the five senses. We cannot find it in consumer capitalism which is the mainstream ideology that rules the world: the heart and soul of capitalism is to keep you dissatisfied and miserable. Lama Marut described the YouTube clips, “Will it Blend?” as consumer capitalist pornography in which Tom, the presenter, blends the latest iPad and iPhone. He basically speeds time up because every gadget will eventually become a piece of junk anyhow, so why are people so crazy about them? He claims renunciation is the key to happiness. “Let go of things that hurt you and that can’t deliver. Nothing lasts forever. Get wiser and hipper and don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” he says. Happiness comes from generosity. The essence of a spiritual life is to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about what you can do for someone else. The real causes of things are: if you want something, make sure someone else gets it first. Nothing goes around, nothing comes around. Work for others and their happiness; don’t do harm to others. Selfishness has been hardwired in human beings and is exacerbated by consumerism; if you want to keep something, share it, give it away and keep it in circulation. If there is less selfishness, there will be more selflessness. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stop thinking about yourself, stop thinking about your own happiness, which is the opposite of capitalism. True love is possessive, i.e. “you’re mine!” but, real love means “I just want everyone to be happy.” Lama Marut, and many others believe, the secret to happiness is loving kindness. Both misery and happiness love company. We must achieve that state first in order to help others. Some of the top regrets people have when they die are: having worked too hard and lived the life others expected them to. Love and compassion is the morphine to our suffering because we are focusing on others’ happiness and not our own. “Actions done for others have a momentum when done with enlightened self-interest.”

As a spiritual goal, we desire the end of desire, as opposed to making happiness a condition of ‘if only I have XYZ, then I’ll be content’ because we will always want more. Lama Marut offers us a mantra, “Om, I have enough (______).” He claims we have no excuse to not say we have enough when billions of people are illiterate and starving. “No one is bombing us, so what’s your problem?” he asks.

LAMA MARUT’S 10 THINGS TO BRING HAPPINESS 1. Do at least one good thing and keep track of it. For example, be a secret agent and sneak money into someone’s purse if you know they need it, but don’t wait around for acknowledgement as it undercuts the virtues. 2. Every night, get a good night sleep or you will wake up cranky. 3. Wake up without an alarm clock. 4. Lull around in bed upon waking and think of things that you are grateful for: your prosperity, friends and education. Log onto www.globalrichlist.com, punch in your salary and you will realize you are better off than most people in the world. 5. Remember your own mortality: we don’t know when and how we are going to die, so what is going to matter when we die? Live as though it is your last day everyday, and one day you will be right. This way it saves you stress and makes you happy. 6. Meditate for 15-20 minutes a day. 7. Spend some quiet time alone – no phone, no music. 8. Every three hours or 6-times-a-day book, write down the negative and positive actions you have taken and what actions you could take to neutralize the karmic effect. 9. Do ‘coffee meditation’ – think about what it would feel like when you are completely happy – with your heart open, wishing all beings well. Visualize your own utopia. 10. Study a sacred text everyday, be it the Bible, the Koran or Dharma.

When we look for happiness externally like, money, jobs, relationships and someone who would make you happy, you are setting yourself and others up for failure.

Vicky has been a journalist since 2003. She specialised in travel and lifestyle journalism, then she shifted her focus on social and environmental issues. Since she started practising yoga in 2008, she documents teachings on Tibetan buddhism and yoga as she attends the classes. wickyvong@gmail.com

Lama Marut says we can start to be happy when we can say ‘I have enough’

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Festival

Yoga, Music & Magic in the Mountains Frances Gairns

By winter Whistler is one of the top ski resorts in North America. By summer, it’s a wilderness adventure playground for mountain bikers, runners, climbers, with just enough spas, restaurants and shops to keep the less active partners very happy. The permanent population is 10,000, but with its proximity to Vancouver, this number can increase tenfold for special events or 15 cm plus powder days.

Krishna Das at Wanderlust Festival Whistler

YYoga Northshore Elements’ Nico Luce

There are just four small yoga studios in Whistler. The oldest, NeoAlpine Yoga (now part of the YYoga group) was founded about 13 years ago by Patrick Creelman and Stephen Thomas. Initially Whistler seems an unlikely venue for a Wanderlust Festival, but with the large and enthusiastic yoga community of Vancouver just two hours down the road, it becomes an obvious choice for the first Wanderlust Festival outside the US. Wanderlust was created by husband and wife Jeff Krasno and Schuyler Grant, and Jeff ’s business partner Sean Hoess. It aims to bring together yoga teachers, musical acts and DJs, speakers, chefs and winemakers, in settings of natural beauty. left Chris Chavez below Eoin Finn’s workshop is a big bliss party

There are already Wanderlust Festivals in Vermont, Colorado and California. As well as Wanderlust in the City events in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The Greater Vancouver area has a population of about 2 million people, is home to ubiquitous yoga brand lululemon, at least 100 yoga studios and an estimated 20,000 regular yoga practitioners. Combine that with all the fitness centres offering yoga classes and freelance teachers, and you’ve got a sizeable market of aspiring yogis close by. Teachers at the Whistler event (23 – 26 August 2012) were mostly North American - headliners like Krishna Das, Baron Baptiste, Sean Corne and local yoga teachers, like Whistlerite and former Hong Kong-teacher Julia McCabe. While yoga asana classes are the definitely the mainstay of the Festival, there’s also lots of fun and alternative classes like hoola hoop, paddle board and slack line balancing, mountain walks, live music, DJ music, lectures, debates, meditation, food and wine! For such a wide offering, I was surprised to find the ticketing options quite limited - one, three or four-day passes only. Great for single festival goers, but not so for a mother-of-two. It’s priced at US$160 a day which includes up to three classes or activities, and US$475 for all four days, which is about half the price of an average Yoga Journal three-day conference pass. And compared with Asia Yoga Conference, it’s a little bit less than their early bird price. I started off at 8 am to the dulcet tones of Nico Luce. An Argentinian who teaches at YYoga Northshore Elements in Vancouver with wife Chloe. It was a mellow class, with music and inspiring readings interspersed in the asana sequence. Nico’s assistants were very attentive and generous to the needs of the class. Immediately after, I attended Chris Chavez’ intermediate/advanced class. A striking contrast to Nico’s gentle approach, but just as rewarding. There was a live cellist on hand to accompany the intense practice. We did a fun assisted handstand exercise which focussed on pushing down through our arms to lift up to handstand from Prasarita, rather than hopping up. A good reminder how much strength that transition requires. And the third class I took was with surfer/yogi Eoin Finn. A very well known and loved British Columbia teacher. His class started with lots of free form movement around the hall. He took us off our mats (shock, horror) connecting with nature, imitating animals and water, before segueing into a more traditional vinyasa practice. I thoroughly enjoyed all three classes and would recommend all three teachers. That connection to nature and the best of all things yogic continued into the evening for me at an outdoor Krishna Das concert. Sitting with Philippe on real grass under a clear night sky, filled with more stars than you could count, our children running around freely and happily, a community of like-minded people chanting and swaying to the beautiful music – a magical moment which I hope to hold in my heart long after I return to the city. Frances is editor of Namaskar.

photo by Ali Kaukas

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Book Review

Dialogue with Death by Eknath Easwaran Reviewed by Tia Sinha

We begin to take life seriously when we take death seriously. Otherwise, as Thoreau said, we run the risk of discovering, when we come to die, that we have never lived. Eknath Easwaran Dialogue with Death is not really a book on death and dying. It is a book about life and living: what life is for, who we are as human beings, why we are here. Easwaran says the first part of our lives merely sets the stage for the drama we were born to play. This is the time for experimentation, when we play with life’s toys – money, pleasure, power, possessions, prestige – and learn for ourselves what they are worth.

When the gods want to punish us, they grant us our desires

Many never go beyond this phase. Nothing in modern civilization, with its cult of youth, encourages us to look further. But it is only when we throw these toys away and begin to search for answers to those essential questions – Who am I? Why am I here? What is life for? – that we really begin to live. For these are the years in which each of us is meant to grow to our full stature as a human being. These are the years when profound personal discoveries and great contributions are made, which can only come when a person turns inward. For those who take up this challenge, life holds unique promise - the fulfillment of living for a lofty goal, and of finally discovering within themselves, a deathless presence. Dialogue with Death is a commentary on the Katha Upanishad. It also carries the late Eknath Easwaran’s translation of the Katha Upanishad into English.

Tia, a yoga teacher, writes from India.

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to liberation in a way that is easy to relate to and often humorous. Only by learning to meditate can we actually get inside the mind and begin to clean things up. On the other hand, when we live in a world of appearances, we think appearance is the whole of living. Easwaran also touches upon the pitfalls encountered in meditation and discusses ingenious ways to overcome them. Easwaran points out that we live in a sea of media conditioning that reflects back to us what we value, and the false message we are saturated with is: “You are your body. The human being is a purely physical creature whose needs can be satisfied on the physical level.” The Katha Upanishad talks of the struggle between preya (worldly desires stemming from the false self) and shreya (aspiration to discover our true divine nature). Modern civilization believes the purpose of the body is to enjoy pleasure. The idea pleasure brings security is a cruel illusion. The ancient Greeks had a saying: “When the gods want to punish us, they grant us our desires.” Where has the religion of pleasure taken us? Has there ever been a time in history when it was followed with greater fervor? Yet there has never been a time such as now when human beings felt more alienated, more desolate, more cut off from those around them. For the same force that fulfills man’s desires, points out Easwaran, brings also all the fruits of selfish craving: loneliness, alienation, broken relationships, the inability to love. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that we have some control over what we desire, and the key to desire is will.

The dialogue is between a teenager in ancient India called Nachiketa, and the King of Death, Yama, whom he approaches to learn the meaning of life. Nachiketa was a seeker of tremendous courage, keen intellect and rare discernment. He could see right through superficial behavior and the passing pleasures of this world that promised satisfaction but only brought pain. He was willing to go all the way in search of truth.

Real higher education, according to Easwaran, should develop the higher mind. It should teach us how to choose, how to master desires and strengthen the will, how to protect the mind from insecurity and the body from stress. Instead, the young still leave universities essentially the same as they were when they arrived – the will no stronger, vision no clearer and no better idea of how to transform anger into compassion and hatred into love.

Peppered with examples from modern living, this book lays down the entire path

Dialogue with Death is eminently readable and thought provoking.


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Book Review

Yoga In India A Journe y tto o the T op 2 4Y oga Plac es Journey Top 24 Yoga Place by Otto Stricker & Coni Horler Reviewed by Inna Constantini

In a market flooded by an array of books on yoga – from practice based guides to philosophy and anatomy books – Yoga in India has found its niche. Photographed over the course of six months in India, the book is an up to date, comprehensive and informative overview of some of the ‘top places to practice in India’. Whilst it can obviously not include every single retreat or ashram in the sub continent, the authors selected a wide range of locations (both in terms of geography and traditions), to offer a fairly honest insight into the many methods of yoga in India. In a further jest of authenticity they designed a website (free to access) associated with the book, where many more places for quality yoga courses, retreats or workshops are listed in detail. This is a wonderful source of information for yoga enthusiasts and those curious about the practice in India. With a foreword from BKS Iyengar himself, Yoga in India starts on a high note. The master himself says of the book: “It is heartening to note that the authors are in touch with almost all yoga ashrams and yoga institutes in order to present Yoga in India to the rest of the world. As yoga is taking people like a gale, lots of people call themselves ‘yogacharyas’. In this environment maintaining the purity, clarity and sanctity of the subject of yoga is essential. Herein, the authors present genuine yoga centres of India…” This is a beautiful coffee table book that honours the traditions of yoga at its very source. Going beyond the aesthetic imagery, travellers and seekers alike will find some useful information to guide them through their journeys. More practiced yogis will most likely value the non-dogmatic and open-minded vision this book provides. After all, we are all on the same path, the methods may differ, but the minds are in unison. As BKS Iyengar re-iterates, ‘the trunk (of a tree) is one but the branches are many, bending and moulding in different directions. It is the same with yoga. The root of yoga is the same as the trunk but

One of the top 24 yoga places in India - the Iyengar Centre in Pune, India. Shown above, a class being taught by Geeta Iyengar

the branches have grown in different directions. Today this is how yoga has been understood: to have many diverse branches.” So whether one simply wants to discover more on the various branches of yoga in India or find the ‘right’ place to learn or practice, this book tackles both. As a visually stunning guide to the some of the best places to study yoga, the book includes all the key travel information for visitors, as well as an honest and accurate view on each center.

Inna is a yoga teacher and freelance writer currently based in London. With a background in media and PR, she experimented with a variety of yoga paths, before deciding to trade her desk for a yoga mat, and embark on an intensive Yoga & Ayurveda teacher training course in India. innayoga@gmail.com

‘Yoga in India - A Journey to the Top 24 Yoga places’ is indeed a must for any dreamer who seeks spiritual truth and a taste of a truly Indian experience. It is available as an e-book or as a paperback via amazon.com

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Recipe

Raw Apple Crisp Moosa Al-Issa

Raw, gluten free, sugar free and delicious! INGREDIENTS 2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and peeled 3 Gala Apples, cored and peeled ½ cup Dates, chopped and soaked in warm water 1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds reserved 1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder 1 cup Almonds, coarsely ground 1 cup Walnuts, coarsely ground 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar 1 cup Raisins 1 pinch of Sea Salt PROCEDURE Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor or blender and process till coarsely ground. Add raisins, two to three tablespoons of water and salt and process further until mixture comes together into a firm dough, remove and reserve on a plate. Fill a medium bowl with water and one tsp of apple cider vinegar. Thinly slice apples and place in water so they don’t discolor. In a blender combine half of one Gala apple, the cinnamon, dates, vanilla bean seeds and four tablespoons of the water the dates soaked in and process till the mixture is a smooth puree. Drain the water from the apples and return to the bowl. Add the puree to the apples in the bowl and carefully toss the apple slices with the puree till evenly coated Moosa is Executive Director of Life Cafe and Director of Just Green Convenience Stores in Hong Kong

In a square-baking pan lay down the apple slices in overlapping rows When all the apple slices are in the pan, spread the nut mixture evenly over the apples and then lightly press the mixture down to create the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours so the crust sets and the flavors come together. Enough for 6. Store refrigerated for up to two days.

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Spiritual Science Research Foundation

Lif e aft er De ath Life after Death Dr Zubin Nalladaru

Most humans are so busy with their everyday they fail to address a very important question ‘What happens after one sheds this physical body?’ Scriptures and traditions have something to say. They prescribe rituals or prayers for departed family members. For example, Parsees offer prayers for their ancestors for a fortnight in the month of August and Catholics celebrate All Souls Day when they pray for their departed loved ones. But the inquiring and doubting mind requires proof of the type of existence after death. If one contemplates the issue, one realizes the way one lives today, determines one’s tomorrow. If we are good students, we will most probably have good careers; if we are good to people they will likely be good to us. The Divine created the laws of nature which operate irrespective of our faith in them. We are part of nature and nature’s laws also apply to us. However what baffles the mind is when doing good leads to bad consequences, which is when good people suffer. The only answer is there are accounts from previous lives that have to be settled. That is why we see good people suffering in this life. SUBTLE BODY AND REGIONS OF EXISTENCE Members of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation who have an activated sixth sense have found when a person dies, only the physical body ceases to exist. However, the rest of his existence or consciousness continues. The existence of the person minus the physical body is known as the subtle body (linga deha) and comprises of the mental, causal (intellect) and supra-causal (subtle ego) bodies. (These bodies are similar to the layers of an onion.) After death, this subtle body goes to one of 13 subtle planes of existence, other than the Earth plane, and depending on the deeds and desires of the individual during their lifetime. There are seven negative planes and seven positive planes. The Earth plane is the only physical plane of existence and also the first plane in the hierarchy of positive planes. The subtle bodies of individuals who have done righteous deeds and engaged in spiritual practice for God-realisation go to one of the positive planes of existence. On the other hand individuals who’ve indulged in unrighteous acts or spiritual practice for the control or detriment of others, go to one of the seven negative planes of existence. Subtle bodies that go to any of the negative become ghosts. The importance of the Earth plane of existence Earth is the only plane where we can make rapid spiritual growth and settle our give-and-take account of previous births, because having a physical body enhances our spiritual growth. WHAT DECIDES WHERE WE GO AFTER DEATH? At the time of death the physical body becomes inactive and the vital energy used for the functioning of the physical body is liberated into the Universe. This vital energy at the time of death propels the subtle body away from the Earth. Just as the weight of a projectile decides how far a rocket will propel it, similarly the weight of the subtle body decides which plane of existence it goes 42

to after death. The following characteristics add to our weight and increase the probability of our going to one of the lower regions of existence: • Excessive attachment to worldly things and selfishness • Abundance of unfulfilled desires • Feelings of revenge • Too many personality defects such as anger, greed, fear, etc. • A large ego wherein a person identifies himself with his body, mind and intellect as opposed to the soul within. These characteristics can be reduced with sustained spiritual practice according to six basic laws of spiritual practice. Psychological improvements with self-help books or trying to be nice are temporary. Acts to attain positive planes of existence are those done with the objective of God-realisation. They are acts done: • Without doer-ship, i.e. doing activities in life with belief that God Himself is getting it done for me and hence I cannot claim any credit. • Without expectation of appreciation. • Without expectation of results. • More than the acts themselves, it is the attitude or outlook behind the acts that count. • The mental state at the time of death If a person is actually doing spiritual practice such as chanting the name of God at the time of death, then the influence of desires, attachments, ghosts, etc. are minimal compared to his state when not chanting. This makes his subtle body lighter. Hence, if he passes away while chanting, he attains a higher plane of existence. Also, if at the time of death the person is in a state of surrender to God’s will, then he attains higher plane of existence. This is because the person who is in a state of surrender on earth is less likely to increase his ego after death. Also, the responsibility of his well-being in his life after death is undertaken by his spiritual guide or Guru. Due to lack of spiritual practice, most people in the current era go to either the Nether world or one of the lower planes of existence after death because the proportion of demerits (incurred due to wrong doings on Earth) is approximately 30%. Demerits typically include malice towards others and an over abundance of desires. Hence following a path shown by an evolved spiritual guide removes or reduces suffering in this life and ensures we go to a plane conducive to continuing spiritual practice until we reach the final goal of merging with our Creator. As we go further into the current Era of Strife (Kaliyug), there is less likelihood of people going to the higher planes of existence. Once we go to the lower planes, we stay there and experience severe unhappiness for centuries until we completely pay for our demerits and get a chance to be reincarnated on Earth. Dr Zubin is a member of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation in the US and Australia which aims to educate society on the spiritual dimension and how it affects our lives. dr.zubin@spiritualresearchfoundation.org/ www.SpiritualResearchFoundation.org


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Yoga Teachers & Studios AGAMA YOGA SCHOOL & ANANDA WELLNESS RESORT 42/4, Moo 8, Srithanu, Koh Phangan, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand s: Tantra, Kundalini, workshops, retreats, meditation l: English t: (66) 892 330 217 e: info@agamayoga.com w: www.agamayayoga.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: studio@amico.com.hk w: www.amico.com.hk

ANAHATA VILLAS & SPA RESORT Ubud, Bali, Indonesia s: group retreats, yoga for privates & corporates. Studio rental available. l: Indonesian & English t: (62) 361 8987 991 / 8987 992 f: (62) 361 8987 804 e: sm@anahataresort.com / info@anahataresort.com w: www.anahataresort.com

ANAHATA YOGA 18/F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Yoga therapy, Yin and more. Groups & privates t: (852) 2905 1922 e: enquiry@anahatayoga.com.hk w: www.anahatayoga.com.hk

B.K.S. IYENGAR YOGA INSTITUTE OF MACAU 174 Rua de Pequim, Edif. Centro Com. Kong Fat, 7A, Macau s:Iyengar t:(853) 2882 3210 / 6662 0386 e:yoga@macau.ctm.netw: www.iyengar-yoga-macauchina.com

BEING IN YOGA 4 Turf Club Road, Singapore s: tradition of Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar (Chennai, India). Accredited by KHYF (Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation). Offers yoga therapy (customized home programs), teacher training, yoga studies, group classes for children

and adults, family program, pre & post natal yoga, sound meditation, Vedic chanting, free lectures, evening sanga. t: (65) 9830 3808 e: valerie@beinginyoga.com w: www.beinginyoga.com

BODYWIZE YOGA & DAY SPA G/F & 2/F, 1 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong s: Private and group classes, Yoga for stress management, Couple yoga, Tantra yoga for couple, Jivamukti, workshops, retreats, spa, wellness consulting, holistic therapy, nutritional advice. l: English t: (852) 2838 5686 e: yoga@bodywize.com.hk w: www.bodywize.com.hk Dario Calvaruso d: Hong Kong, Bali, Thailand, Europe s: Hatha, Vinyasa, Detox, Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Stress Management, Partner Yoga, Tantra Yoga for couples l: English, Italian t: (852) 9247 3938 e: info@dariocalvaruso.com w: www.dariocalvaruso.com Kathy Cook Retreats, workshops, privates d: Hong Kong, Bali &Thailand s: Iyengar (Junior Intermediate 2) l: English t: (852) 6292 5440/(62) 811 387781 e: kcinasia@gmail.com w: www.yogawithkathy.com Misa Derhy Yoga teacher and life coach in Dublin & worlwide Classes, retreats, workshops s: Hatha, Yin l: English, French, Czech, Spanish t: (353) 427 9117 e: freehugyoga@yahoo.fr w: www.freehugyoga.com / fhytimes.com

FLEX 1/F Regency Centre (Phase II), 43 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong s: Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin Yang, Core Power Flow, Kids Yoga, Yoga for special needs t: (852) 2813 2212 f: (852) 2813 2281 e: info@flexhk.com w: www.flexhk.com

IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE INDONESIA Kemang Centre, Jl Kemang Raya No. 18 D, Jakarta 12730, Indonesia s: Iyengar t:(62) 21 739 3101 / (62) 21 3582 1000 e:info@iyengaryogaindonesia.com w: www.iyengaryogaindonesia.com

IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE OF HONG KONG 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 088875 s: Iyengar t:(65) 9052 3102 & 6220 4048 e:info@iyengaryogasingapore.com w: iyengaryogasingapore.com

KUNDALINI YOGA @ SOL WELLNESS 16/F Tin On Sing Commercial Building, 41-43 Graham St, Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini Yoga, Detox, Raw & Living Food Nutrition, Holographic Health Scan, Ultrasonic Acupuncture, Corporate Wellness, Children’s Health, Body treatments, Homeopathy, Counselling, Kinesiology t: (852) 2581 9699 e: info@sol-wellness.com w: www.sol-wellness.com Ming Lee Privates, workshops s: Iyengar Certified teacher l: English, Cantonese, Putonghua t: (852) 9188 1277 e: minglee@yogawithming.com

LIFE MANAGEMENT YOGA CENTRE HK Non-profit Classical Yoga School d: Tsim Sha Tsui s: Patanjali yoga, Kids yoga, Seniors yoga, Corporates l: English, Cantonese

t: (852) 2191 9651 t: (852) 6349 0639 (Chinese) e: life@yoga.org.hk w: www.yoga.org.hk Ursula Moser The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong d: Central s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate II) l: English t: (852) 2918 1798 / 9456 2149 e: uschi.moser51@gmail.com Anna Ng Privates d: Hong Kong s: Hatha yoga l: Cantonese t: (852) 9483 1167 e: gazebofl@netvigator.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 King’s Rd, Quarry Bay t: (852) 8129 1188 Singapore 391A Orchard Road, #18-00 Ngee Ann City Tower A t: (65) 6733 8863 30 Raffles Place, 04-00 Chevron House t: (65) 6304 2257 Taiwan 151 Chung Hsiao East Road, Sec 4, Taipei t: (886) 02 8161 7888 Jenny Rockowitz Group and privates at Flex d: Wong Chuk Hang s:Yin Yang, Vinyasa, Hatha l: English e: info@flexhk.com w: www.flexhk.com Jenny Smith s:Children’s Yoga teacher: Hatha RYT200 & Radiant Child Yoga Program (RCYP) FacilitatorKundalini l: English t: +852 6973 1792 45


e: info@geckogyoga.com w: www.geckoyoga.com

SHAKTI HEALING CIRCLE 3/F 34 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini, Qigong, Guided Kundalini meditation, Yoga for beginners, Restorative t: (852) 2521 5099 e: info@shaktihealingcircle.com w: www.shaktihealingcircle.com

SPACE YOGA 16/F, 27 An-Ho Road, Section 1, Taipei 106, Taiwan s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Anusara Inspired, Flow, Yin, Restorative, Power, Hot, Meditation, Pranayama, Pilates, Sivananda, Jivamukti and Yoga Nidra l: English, Mandarin t: (886) 2 2773 8108 e: teachertraining@withinspace.com w: www.withinspace.com

THE BREATHING ROOM 42A Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427766 s: Prenatal, Vinyasa, Yin, Kids, and AromaYoga. t: (65) 8112 5827 e: ashley@sacredfunk.com w: www.sacredfunk.com

THE YOGA ROOM 3 & 4/F Xiu Ping Commercial Bld, 104 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong s:Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Yin Yang, Hota, Vinyasa, Asana & Pranayama, Yoga Therapy, Pilate, Pre- & Post-natal, Mom & Baby, Yoga Kids, Belly dance & more t: (852) 2544 8398 e: info@yogaroomhk.com w: www.yogaroomhk.com

TRUE YOGA Singapore 9 Scotts Road, Level 4, Pacific Plaza 228210 t: (65) 6733 9555 10 Collyer Quay, Level 4, Ocean Financial Centre 049315 t: (65) 6536 3390

Taiwan 563 Chung Hsiao East Road, Section 4, 1st & 2nd floor Taipei t :(886) 22764 8888 337 Nanking East Road Section 3, 9/ & 10/F, Taipei t: (886) 22716 1234 s: Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Gentle, Flow, Yoga Dance, Pre-natal e: operations@trueyoga.com.sg w: www.trueyoga.com.sg / www.trueyoga.com.tw Wai-Ling Tse Privates and Groups d: Hong Kong s: Sivananda certified, Hatha, Svastha Yoga, Therapy, Yoga Nidra, Yin, Pranayama and Meditation l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 9465 6461 e: wltse11@yahoo.com

YOGA CENTRAL 4/F Kai Kwong House, 13 Wyndham St, Hong Kong

s: Hatha/Iyengar clases, yoga teacher training workshops, private group classes, corporate health programs. t: (852) 2982 4308 e: yogacentralhk@yahoo.com w: www.yogacentral.com.hk

YOGA on CAINE ROAD @ COSMO KIDS 1/F Jadestone Court, 138 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong s: Kids, Privates, Meditation & healing, studio rental t: (852) 2915 8138 e: ask@cosmokids.net w: www.cosmokids.nets Yoga with YoYo Yoga Alliance ERYT200 & RYT200. Offering asana, pranayama, meditation and scripture study. d: Sai Kung, San Po Kong s: Sivananda and YogaPrasadinfluenced asana, pranayama, meditation and scripture study for small groups and privates l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 9302 3931 e: info@yoyoyoga.net w: www.yoyoyoga.net

To lis our de e ffor or all ffour our is sue s o 013 ((January January ober ), listt y your dett ails her here issue sues off 2 2013 January,, April, June & Oct October ober), as e email F e s on ffgairns@ne gairns@ne or Cost is unchanged HK$530 for individual teacher & HK$1,050 for studio. ple pleas ase Frranc ance gairns@nettvigat vigator or..com

NAMA SKAR LIS TING AND DISPLA Y AD VER TISING RA TE OR 22013 013 NAMASKAR LISTING DISPLAY ADVER VERTISING RATE TESS FFOR (IN HK DOLLARS) Sizes & Prices Outside back cover Inside front cover Inside back cover Full page 1/2 page

$21,200 $2,880 $2,370 $1,850 $1,100

1/4 page 1/8 page Teacher listing Studio listing

$590 $380 $530 $1,050

210 mm x 297 mm 210 mm x 297 mm 210 mm x 297 mm 210 mm x 297 mm horizontal - 188 mm x 137.5 mm vertical - 90 mm x 275 mm vertical 90 mm x 137.5 mm 90 mm x 63 mm (January - October 2013) (January - October 2013)

Notes Advertisements should be submitted as high resolution (300 dpi) tif files (no pdf or ai files please). Payment 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 Information Carol (852) 9137 9992 /carol@caroladams.hk Frances (852) 9460 1967 / fgairns@netvigator.com 46


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Namaskar Oct 2012  

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