namaskar A VOICE FOR THE YOGA COMMUNITY OF ASIA
Ishvara Pranidhana Yoga in Shanghai Food Cravings
Inside JANUARY 2011
Dristi Ishvara Pranidhana
Art of what is Needed, 10
Planting Dreams, 17 Angelo leads a
Paul explains aparigraha and how to practice and apply it in our lives.
team of volunteers helping minority Chinese children realise their dreams.
Supersize me down, 10
My Naga Sadhu, 19 Sanjukta meets
Clayton explains this yama in simple terms.
her extreme yogi in India.
Feeding the Hungry Hungry,, 12
Designer Yoga, 21 Kim wonders if
For new yoga teachers in Cambodia, dealing with greed is one of the biggest challenges of yoga.
brand names and fashion lines are detracting from the essence of yoga.
In La w, 43 Law Inge, a yogin and lawyer, shares her own challenge against greed in a greed-filled field.
Regular Contributions NEWS, WORKSHOPS, RETREATS & TEACHER TRAININGS, 5 PRACTICE SPACE, 22 TEACHERâ€™S VOICE, 27 SPIRITUAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION, 38 RETREAT REVIEW, 41 TEACHER TRAINING REVIEW, 42 RECIPE, 45 CROSSWORD, 46 HATHI YOGI, 46 TEACHER & STUDIO LISTINGS, 47
Dedication, 23 How does yoga enliven you? For Daniel itâ€™s dedication, devotion and discipline. Anusara Yoga, 28 Long-time Anusara yogi, Jonas, introduces his preferred style of yoga.
Dharma Mittra, 33 Leah met and interviewed (albeit nervously) this light of modern yoga.
to a five-day programme at Samahita Wellness.
Namaskar provides a voice for the yoga community around Asia. The publication is a vehicle for practitioners on a yogic path to share their own knowledge, learnings and experiences with others.
Lady Niguma Series, 38
Namaskar, is published quarterly in January, April, July and October.
The oldest written yoga asana sequence discovered is being taught in Hong Kong, thanks to Geshe Michael Roach.
We welcome unsolicited submissions, therefore the opinions expressed within these pages are not necessarily those of Namaskar or its staff.
Detox, 35 Tiana is Candida-free thanks
Namaskar is distributed at no charge through yoga studios, fitness centres, retail outlets, food & beverage outlets and other yoga-friendly locations throughout Hong Kong and elsewhere. For more information, to contribute or to order Namaskar, please contact:: Carol, Administration firstname.lastname@example.org Wai-Ling, News Editor & Copy Editor email@example.com Frances, Editor & Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org /+ 852 9460 1967
Deadline for April 2011 issue: March 15, 2011 3
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MONTHLY KIRTAN AT PURE YOGA, HONG KONG Kirtan is a Bhakti Yoga practice of chanting Sanskrit mantras with music. Mantras carry sound vibrations that have a powerful healing effect on all levels of our being. Chanting Kirtan is like an active, effortless meditation that helps you dissolve thoughts and releasing you from the preoccupations of everyday life. It is wonderful for stress release, mental relaxation, creating inner peace and calm, and cultivating joy and bliss. Chant and unite with others in yoga for the heart - a musical meditation journey held on every last Friday evening of the month. It’s a complimentary event that is open to all.
with full facilities in the East Coast area. The 5,000sqft space was specially selected to cater to activities for the entire family and active individuals alike. Located at 902 East Coast Parkway, Block B, #02-05A Playground@Big Splash. For more information visit www.updog-studio.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org / +65 64400282. DIWALI CELEBRATION AT KARMA YOGA, HONG KONG On 6 November Karma Yoga held a party for members and guests to celebrate Diwali; the festival of lights, with up to 200 participants. It was a funfilled evening with lively performances by members and teachers.
For more information call +852 2971 0055. AWARDS FOR KAMALAYA KOH SAMUI, THAILAND The Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, Koh Samui was honoured in five separate spa awards worldwide for 2010. They were named one of five winners of the “Favourite Destination Spas International’ category of the Spa Magazine 2010 Silver Sage Readers’ Choice Awards in the U.S. The other four awards were SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards; The 7th Annual Crystal Awards Asia Pacific. The 4th Annual TATLER UK Spa Awards; and the 8th Annual Thailand Tourism Awards. Kamalaya is located amid a lush, tropical landscape in the southern coast of Koh Samui. For more information visit www.kamalaya.com NEW HOT YOGA STUDIO, SINGAPORE Updog Studio is the first and only hot yoga studio fitted
learning, collaboration and the celebration of our creative and spiritual diversity. Featuring top notch yoga and dance instructors alongside incredible world musicians, BaliSpirit is one of the most comprehensive and dynamic Festivals of yoga, dance and music known internationally. Some of this year’s international headliners include: Spiritual Leader Pujiya Swami Chidanandj Mark Whitwell (Heart of Yoga) Yogaswari and cat alip douglas (Jiivamukti Yoga) Danny Paradise (Ashtanga Yoga and Shaminism) Uma Inder (Tantra Yoga and Ayurveda) Tara Judelle (Anusara Yoga) Early bird tickets are available online. For more information visit www.balispiritfestival.com STUDIO AVAILABLE FOR HIRE, HONG KONG Studio Bliss is a newly decorated practice room, conveniently located in Tsim Sha Tsui. A comfortable and quiet space of approximately 500 sqft with wooden floors, large mirrors and music facilities.
Karma Yoga students & teachers perform at the studio’s Diwali celebration
4TH ANNUAL BALISPIRIT FESTIVAL 23-27 March The BaliSpirit Festival is a spiritually charged event that celebrates yoga, dance and music and the synergy of global cultural collaboration through the arts. This annual celebration brings to Bali a wealth of talented and respected creative masters from around the world, merging the indigenous and rich cultures of Indonesia in the spirit of
For more information call +852 9196 0395 or visit www.studio-bliss-hk.com HONG KONG U MASTER OF BUDDHIST STUDIES 2011-12 – HAPPINESS IS… In the process of acquiring proper understanding of fundamental Buddhist teachings and their relevance in contemporary society, do not be surprised to discover that you are also learning to know more about yourself and the path to true happiness. Programme Objectives: • to offer quality teaching on
the fundamental understanding and in-depth analysis of Buddhism. • to elucidate on the application of Buddhist teachings in modern societies Areas of Study: • history and doctrines of various Buddhist traditions • contemporary Buddhism • Buddhism as applied in counselling, palliative care and psychotherapy • scriptural languages and textual studies Closing Date of Application: 1 March 2011 Course Commencement: September 2011 For more information visit www.buddhism.hku.hk, call +852 2859 2847 or email email@example.com B.K.S. IYENGAR’S 92ND BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION On 14 December 2010, world renowned Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar celebrated his 92nd birthday. A puja ceremony (ritual) was conducted at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune where over 400 of his students from around the world attended. Following the puja, some of Mr. Iyengar’s first students shared stories from the early years of his life as a teacher. Some of these students have been practicing with him for over 40 years. One student, now in his 90’s, highlighted his genius; and another long time student shared some stories of Mr. Iyengar as a family man. Mr. Iyengar addressed the students at the birthday celebration, speaking about the practice of asana. In his talk, he said, whilst he did asanas at one stage for his health, asanas were to be practiced for more 5
WORKSHOPS FULL MOON KUNDALINI SERIES The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 27 February Full Moon in Virgo - Yoga for Purification and Healing with KRI certified yoga instructor, Neil Irwin Held from 2 - 6 pm on 27 February. Cost: HK$450 for Yoga Room members; HK$500 for non-members. For more information call +852 2544 8398 or visit www.yogaroomhk.com
B.K.S. Iyengar at his 92nd birthday celebration in Pune, India
than only health. Elaborating on the meaning of brahmacarya, Mr. Iyengar said that brahmacarya was making the Soul, the Self, to flow in the body. He said that “asanas have the beauty, the grace of awakening the dormant being to becoming something so that you experience the illuminative quality of the Seer”. The key being how the asanas were practiced. THE YOGA RAJ - NEW YOGA STUDIO BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA The Yoga Raj is a new yoga studio in Brisbane which teaches Sakshin Ghatastha Yoga classes at the Brisbane Powerhouse and New Farm State School.
FAMILY WARRIOR FLOW WITH KOOKHEE ANDERSSON FLEX, HONG KONG 9am Saturdays Led by talented KookHee Andersson, this unique class allows parents to bond with their child(ren) in a fun and dynamic class. Kids as young as 6 years old can join parents (at half-price) in this 75 minute Vinyasa flow class, to get the weekend off to a great start. Sweat, giggle, stretch, flow and relax with your loved ones! To sign-up for this class, call +2813-2212; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or sign-up online www.flexhk.com on the Schedule page.
For more information visit www.theyogaraj.com or www.facebook.com/ event.php?eid= 173486309333805&index=1
COUPLES BIRTH PREPARATION WORKSHOP The Yoga Room, Hong Kong 22 January, 26 February & 19 March Workshop with childbirth specialist, Peggy Chiu Held from 3 - 6 pm on 22 January; 26 February; and 19 March. Cost: HK$500 for yoga room members; HK$550 for non-members per workshop. For more information call +852 2544 8398 or visit www.yogaroomhk.com
Kook Hee leads family yoga at Flex in Hong Kong
Peggy prepares couples for childbirth at The Yoga Room, Hong Kong
THE HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA WITH SUMATI MARUT, CINDY LEE AND CASSANDRA DELARIOS Pure Yoga Singapore - Ngee Ann City 7 - 9 January The most famous book on yoga ever written is the Yoga Sutra; but there is nothing in the text about how to do the specific poses or asanas of yoga. The source for all the systems of yoga followed in the world today is called Light on the Yoga of Sun and Moon, or Hatha Yoga Pradipika in Sanskrit. The Indian yogi Swatmarama wrote this comprehensive explanation of the entire physical and spiritual path of yoga about 500 years ago. For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com JOURNEY OF YOGA CHAPTER 1 – GROUNDING YOUR SELFPRACTICE Pure Yoga Hong Kong Central Master Sudhakar Dheenan 13-27 February & 28 February-14 March Celebrate the new year with a new concept in yoga practice. Building onto the foundation of Dheesan Yoga, Journey of Yoga is a Continuous Education for Students (CES). Its a series of courses and a period of self-practice that provide powerful learning opportunities for aspiring students who want to further improve and refine their yoga practice and comprehension. Students will learn the fundamental classic yoga principles and Dheesan yoga techniques and how to apply them to their practice, gaining true benefit from yoga.
For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick offers a three-part Anusara immersion at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong & Singapore
A WILD LOTUS EVENT: THE 108HOUR ANUSARA IMMERSION WITH PATRICK CREELMAN Pure Yoga Singapore - Ngee Ann City 24-27 February Pure Yoga Hong Kong Central 2-6 March Pure Yoga Singapore - Ngee Ann City 18-22 May Time to grow...Patrick Creelman, a certified Anusara yoga teacher and yoga programme director for Pure Yoga across Asia, is currently offering a 108-hour, three-part immersion into Anusara yoga, an in-depth journey into the study of Anusara yoga intended to help students reach new heights in their own practice. All dedicated and deeply curious yoga students, teachers, and aspiring yoga teachers are welcome! For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com
YOGA SUTRA INTENSIVE WITH GESHE MICHAEL ROACH Pure Yoga Hong Kong - Tsim Sha Tsui 15-17 March This 3-day intensive covers all the main ideas of the Yoga Sutra, and teaches you how to apply them in real life. It will be taught by Geshe Michael Roach, who is the first American to be awarded the degree of “Geshe” or “Master” in a Tibetan monastery, after more than 20 years of study— including many spent on both inner and outer yoga. Geshe Michael is the author of a new translation called The Essential Yoga Sutra (Random House, 2005), as well as How Yoga Works (2005), a detailed explanation of the text, and The Tibetan Book of Yoga (Three Leaves Doubleday, 2005). For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org YOGA AND ANATOMY WITH CHRIS KUMMER Pure Yoga Singapore - Ngee Ann City 23-24 April Learn tools and receive powerful knowledge that enables you to lead an active life that improves with time. The refinement of movement and yoga practices can transform your yoga from exercise to therapy, self-improvement and health insurance. Yoga anatomy is about exploring your body and taking more ownership of it. The workshop will be very interactive with movement to understand the relationship with yoga and anatomy. The workshop will be posture-clinic centered. For more information, enquiries, or to register visit
www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com MEDITATION COURSES WITH VIKAS MALKANI SoulCentre Academy, Singapore 18, 19 , 25, 26 January Vikas Malkani is the author of “The Little Manual of Meditation” and “The Little Manual of Happiness” Benefits of Meditation practice include a calm mind, stress-free living, regulated blood pressure, stable emotions, control of anger and freedom from depression and anxiety just to name a few. Improved focus and concentration as a result of meditation create a stronger immune system. This leads to complete relaxation of the nervous system and an improved flow of life energy in the body. ‘Meditation Made Simple’ Everything you need to know to be happy and stress-free 18, 19, 25 and 26 January Learn how to stay positive in a negative time, and bring out the best from within yourself. Learning meditation from Vikas will give you the solid foundation and tools you need to stay positive everyday of your life and to become strong and stable within regardless of external changes.
Morning Sessions - 10 am to noon Evening Sessions - 7 - 9 pm Meditation taught at SoulCentre Academy is totally non-religious. For more information call +6598752372; +65-81287418; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.soulcentre.org, www.soulkids.org WINGS OF THE HEART: SHOULDER THERAPEUTICS Guangzhou, China 17 March Led by Ansuara teacher Lois Nesbitt. For more information email email@example.com
China-based Anusara teacher Lois Nesbitt
‘Meditation in Action’ - Make meditation practice an integral part of your daily life 10, 12, 24 and 26 May This course will make the practice of meditation an essential and integral part of your daily life. You will feel strong and stable on the mental and emotional levels, and your body will benefit too. For both workshops you can choose either morning or evening sessions: 7
ANUSARA® YOGA IMMERSION I & II WITH JONAS WESTRING Kaomai Lanna Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand 9 - 26 February
TRAINING IN KATHMANDU, NEPAL Join a team of highly experienced, qualified and dedicated teachers on a unique program held in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal in a beautiful retreat centre located in the sacred mountains of Himalaya.
Through the practice of Anusara® Yoga students progress rapidly and powerfully. In this residential retreat format, you will have the opportunity to dive deeply into practice without the hustle and bustle of city life. Students will expand their personal yoga practice, deepen their studentship, and enjoy a retreat setting where there’s also time to slow things down and enjoy connecting with like-minded yogins on the path. Dates: Immersion I 9-16 Feb; Immersion II 18-25 Feb For more information visit www.shantaya.org SACRED WATER YOGA RETREAT WITH WENDY WYVILL Desa Seni Village Resort - Bali, Indonesia 5-11 February Wendy invites you to a playful retreat where she will share techniques of pranayama breathing, and chakra tuning…demystifying meditation and deepening your yoga asana practice. Then step outside your comfort zone and learn to surf! A surf yoga retreat unites people with the universal language of nature, the ocean and yoga in a tropical paradise. Practise yoga in a beautiful open sala, welcome the morning with a silent walk on the beach, while deepening your self-connection. For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org 8
This is a 300-hour/6 week Yoga Teacher Training Course which includes a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Training program. In the additional two weeks, you will: • Get certified in Thai Massage • Benefit from an introduction study of Ayurveda and Nutrition “Yoga and the Sacred Fire - the Science of Agni” • Build 50 hours of Teaching Experience For more information visit www.yogi-nomad.org YIN YOGA TRAINING AND MERIDIAN WORKSHOP WITH PAUL & SUZEE GRILLEY True Yoga, Singapore 12 - 17 February Yin Yoga Teacher Training Energetic Anatomy & Theory (Chakras & Meridians) 12–17 February This is a 30-hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training course is suitable for anyone who wishes to practice or teach yoga from a scientific and energetic perspective. The weekend workshop outlines the anatomy of meridians and is an excellent introduction for those new to the subject. The remaining four days expand on these basics and include chakra theory, pranayama practice and meditation. This course on “Chakras and Meridians” is a complement to the course “Anatomy of Yoga”. They can be taken in any sequence. Yoga Asana, Anatomy & Meridians Workshop 12-13 February (12–5:30pm)
12 Feb - Yoga Asana & Anatomy; 13 Feb - Yoga Asana & Meridians Each day includes asana sessions and lecture presentations about bones, muscles and meridians. Yin Yoga Teacher Training : Energetic Anatomy & Theory (Chakras & Meridians) 12–17 Feb (12-5:30pm daily, inclusive of both weekend workshops) Key topics include: Pranayama and Meditation Physiology, medicine, psychology and human spirituality Chakras, Meridians and Chi Two traditions of the energetic anatomy Learning model: Shravana, Manana, Nididhyasa Chi/prana Fasica and Meridians Meridian pathways Chakras and the physical body Chakras and emotions Chakras and thoughts Breath and Concentration Mantra practice Certificate of Completion A certificate of completion will be awarded only to those who participate in the full 6 days Yin Yoga Teacher Training. Cost: Yoga Asana & Anatomy (12 Feb) S$235 Yoga Asana & Meridians (13 Feb) S$235 Yin Yoga Teacher Training (12 17 Feb) S$1,435 For more information and registration call +(65) 6733 9555 or email email@example.com KIDZYOGA IN SCHOOLS INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAINING (ITT) Hong Kong 28-31 March The KidzYoga way, 4-day intensive experiential training
will equip anyone who wants to bring yoga to students of all ages in schools. With educational-based yoga tools and techniques, participants will learn how to seamlessly integrate yoga in the classroom, PE, and start a Yoga Club, that will foster beautiful minds, healthy bodies and compassionate students. This teacher training is perfect for parents, school teachers, yoga teachers, nurses, OTs, PTs, and child-focused professionals. Yoga experience is beneficial, but not a requirement for this training. Course fee is HK$ 7,500 (Early Bird paid before 15 February midnight) or HK$8,500. Held at the Prince Hotel, Gateway, TST, Hong Kong. For more information contact Grace Hetherington +852 9861 6227/ firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kidzyoga-asia.com ASHTANGA TEACHER TRAINING WITH PAUL DALLAGHAN Samahita Yoga Thailand 18 June-16 July Led by Paul Dallaghan since 2000, Centered Yoga is Asia’s most respected and longest running Yoga Alliance Registered Program at both 200 and 500 levels. Now accepting applications for the Foundation level. For more information visit www.centeredyoga.com 200-HOUR ANUSARA YOGA TRAINING TheOrangeRoom Yoga & Pilates Center, Shanghai, China 14 February-31 May Uniquely designed class schedule (Mon, Wed & Fri, 9 am - 2:30 pm) ideal for those who need to take care of the household and allow them to strike a balance between family
commitments and personal advancement. Spread-out learning (Feb-May): gives ample time to absorb knowledge. Faculty are all experienced in therapeutic works: Benjamin Finnerty, Chris Kummer, Wayne Mateski, Dr. Sylvie Hu and Patricia Liao. Cost: Pay by 20 January: RMB20,000 or RMB22,000 after 21 January. For more information visit www.theorangeroom.cn 200-HOUR ASHTANGA VINYASA AND PRE-NATAL YOGA TRAINING COURSES The Yoga Room, Hong Kong Ashtanga Vinyasa training with registered teachers Master Paalu and Satya from Singapore Program 1: Intensive Weekday Classes 28 February-25 March Program 2: Part-time Intensive Weekend Classes 26 February-4 April Cost: HK$30,000 25-hour Pre-natal Yoga Teacher Training with Ashtanga Vinyasa training with renowned teacher trainer Marie Martin from Australia Dates: 15-17 March Time: 9-5pm (Fri to Sat); 96pm (Sun) Cost: Early Bird HK$4,000 (before 15 March); Regular HK$4,500 For more information call +852 2544 8398 or visit www.yogaroomhk.com YOGA ANATOMY TRAINING WITH PAUL & SUZEE GRILLEY Pure Yoga Hong Kong - Tsim Sha Tsui 20 - 24 February
In an effort to meet the growing demand for training in yin yoga and anatomy Suzee and Paul have developed a 30hour, non-residential program that is presented all over the world. This course introduces the 20 basic poses of yin yoga and how they are practiced. All the fundamental anatomical and philosophical concepts are covered. It transforms the way teachers see a roomful of bodies practicing asanas. For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email email@example.com ASHTANGA YOGA TEACHER TRAINING WITH DAVID SWENSON Pure Yoga Hong Kong - Tsim Sha Tsui 25 March-3 April Pure Yoga Singapore - Ngee Ann City 25-30 April As in all courses run by David Swenson there is sure to be plenty of laughter and fun as well as an incredible depth of knowledge shared. Participants are certain to learn more than they ever imagined possible in a weeklong course and have a great time in the process. Donâ€™t miss this opportunity. For more information, enquiries, or to register visit www.pure-yoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org ANUSARA YOGA TEACHER TRAINING: PART ONE Yamayoga, Xian, China 22-29 March Be part of the first Anusara Yoga Teacher Training in China. For more information email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
ANUSARA YOGA IMMERSION: PART TWO Ningbo, China 31 March - 6 April Curious to visit China? Expand your horizons both on and off the mat! This 100hour Anusara Yoga Immersion is divided into two parts of 50 hours each, takes you deeper into Anusara practice and philosophy.
Credited with popularising Yin yoga in the West, Paul & Suzee teachers will be leading workshops and trainings at True Yoga in Singapore & Pure Yoga Hong Kong this February. Amazing opportunity to learn from the source.
For more information email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org TEACHER TRAINING WITH CLAYTON HORTON Boracay, Philippines 1-31 May 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Finding strength in his Ashtanga Vinyasa background, Clayton is modern green warrior. He teaches students and studios how to practice and teach with an ecoconscious. For more information visit www.greenpathyoga.org
Dristi Ishvara Pranidhana
De votion T o Dev To The L or d Lor ord Poep Sa Frank Jude Boccio
the practice of opening to what is greater than oneself
ÎSHVARA-PRANIDHANA HAS LED to much confusion, misunderstanding, controversy and even antipathy among many yoga students. And it all begins with the way this concept is introduced by Patanjali in YS: I:23: îshvara-pranidhânâd vâ translated into English as “Or samadhi is attained through dedication to the Lord.” It’s primarily that word “Lord” that pushes some people’s buttons! But this aphorism has generated controversy throughout history because the word “or” seems to suggest dedication to the Lord is an alternative to the other approaches of taming the mind Patanjali offers. Unfortunately, most traditional Yoga authorities reject this interpretation, considering dedication to the Lord as fundamental to all forms of Yoga, but the fact remains there have always been schools of anîshvara-yoga, with Buddhism being perhaps the most popular. What compounds the confusion and aversion is the mistranslating of the term îshvara as “God,” which is truly unfortunate and inappropriate since the Lord (îshvara) is neither the creator, nor the sustainer, nor the destroyer of the Cosmos (prakriti). Indeed, the Cosmos is entirely independent of the Lord’s existence. For Patanjali, the primary function of the Lord seems to balance his emphasis on effort by injecting the notion of grace into Yoga practice. The medieval commentator, Shankara Bhagavatpâda asserts this sûtra refers to, and introduces Bhakti-Yoga into The Yoga-Sûtra. In the Bhagavad-Gîtâ (4.11), Krishna implies in whatever yogic practice one may partake, Krishna understands it as a form of worshipping the Divine. This explanation goes beyond the concern of Patanjali, but does allow for the possibility of a theistic approach, and I wish to make clear I am not denying the possibility of such an approach, but merely saying this does not seem to be the intent of Patanjali. When we look at this “Lord” that Patanjali postulates, we see it is nothing like what we are generally inclined to think of when we think of “God.” As Georg Feustein points out, Patanjali’s conception of the Lord is most “peculiar and problematic.” Patanjali tells us îshvara is a “special self ” (purusha). What makes îshvara “special?” Ishavara is a purusha that has at no time ever been caught in the activity of prakriti, specifically defined
as being untouched by the “causes of affliction” (kleshas) whereas all other purushas somehow do become “ensnared.”(YS: 1:24: klesha-karma-vipâkaâshayair aparâmrishtah purusha-vishesha îshvarah. “The Lord is a special Spirit [who is] untouched by the causes of affliction, action, [action’s] fruition and the [karmic] deposit.”) The next two aphorisms say further aspects of Ishvara’s “specialness,” making him a unique purusha among all other purushas, is that tatra niratishayam sarvajna-bîjam (In Him the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed) and pûrveshâm api guruh kâlena-anavacchedât (“[The Lord] was the teacher even of the earlier [Yoga masters] because of [His] nonlimitation by time). Patanjali is saying in these two aphorisms that the Lord, unlike other purushas, is never subject to ignorance, and thus is intrinsically omniscient. Before liberation, all other purushas are afflicted with ignorance, though containing the potential ‘seed’ for omniscience. Of course, this is where logic breaks down in Patanjali’s teachings, for when one finally realizes the transcendent purusha, Patanjali says one realizes it was never really “bound!” Thus, if our transcendental Self/purusha is always free, the entire drama of suffering and liberation occurs only on the stage of the mind. Each of our purushas are naturally omniscient as is îshvara! In the following aphorism, Patanjali says the Lord, being eternal, is the guru of the first yoga teachers. Traditionally, this has been understood as the revelation of yogic truth in the purified minds of the first great yogis. We needn’t believe in divine revelation, nor in the notion of îshvara as synonymous with “God,” to practice Yoga, and we needn’t avoid or throw away the concept of ishvara-pranidhana. In fact, the concept of ishvara-pranidhana can still be a valuable one, and even a central one, for the successful practice of Yoga even for the most secular of yogis among us. The word pranidhâna has been translated as “application,” “exertion,” “respectful behavior toward,” “submission to,” “orientation to” and “dedication.” Chip Hartranft, in his translation and commentary on The Yoga-Sûtra speaks of
îshvara as “pure awareness” untainted by the afflictions of ignorance and selfidentity, and the yoga-practitioner orients herself to this pure awareness beyond all egoic mental formations: Îœvara . . . is neither god nor puruºa in the usual sense but rather a divine mirror toward which people throughout the ages might turn in order to catch a glimpse of their own true nature and its possibility of complete freedom from prakrtic entrapment. (p. 12) If we take the purpose of Yoga practice to be the transformation of the “individual personality,” and for the deluded identification with the ego to be seen through and transcended, then we can see ishvara-pranidhana as the practice of opening oneself to what is sensed or understood to be greater than oneself. What this “something greater” is certainly need not be conceptualized as a Higher Being, God or Self. Again, as Feurstein notes, even atheists can “embark upon this opening-up” by “appreciating their own relative insignificance and dependence on the cosmos itself.”
poverty, ignorance or oppression of any kind. Dedicate your practice to the liberation of all these being. Hold back nothing. Give it all away! Frank is an interfaith minister, yoga-dharma teacher and author of Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body and Mind. email@example.com
Even atheists can embark on this opening by appreciating their own dependence on the cosmos
While Vyasa explains ishvara-pranidhana as the practice of a special kind of love or intention by which the Lord becomes inclined to favor the yogin, I like to focus on the Mahayana Buddhist conceptualization and practice of pranidhana as specifically the taking of the Bodhisattva Vow, which is the first step on the path of the Bodhisattva. WIth this vow, the yogin and yogini make the firm, determined resolution to attain enlightenment, not merely for oneself, but for all beings. Thus, one’s whole life and practice becomes “othercentered,” rather than focused on oneself. This is a wonderful way to devote one’s life to something larger or greater. In doing so, one is honoring the spirit of the practice of ishvara-pranidhana, in offering up all the fruits of our actions and efforts for the liberation of all beings. The next time you begin your Yoga practice, whether it is to sit in meditation, practice asanas, cook a chocolate cake or chant a mantra, take a few moments to visualize all those throughout the world who suffer (which truly includes all of us), and perhaps especially those who haven’t the good fortune to be able to practice any real spiritual path, whether as a result of 11
Dristi Ishvara Pranidhana
Surrender to God Clayton Horton
WITHOUT IT, OUR YOGA PRACTICE is said to be only “half baked”. But what is ishvarapranidhana? Ishvarapranidhana is one of the five Niyamas (observances) listed in Patanjali’s eight limbed path of Ashtanga Yoga. Ishvarapranidhana is a part of our practice that can be discussed and investigated to better understand the nature of our true eternal Self. Commonly regarded as “Surrendering to God”, this Niyama deserves a bit more explanation. Ishvarapranidhana is more than just bowing to an icon on the altar. It is an attitude and a way of being which allows one to identify with the eternal aspects of one’s own self, rather than identifying with the everchanging mind and body. Ishvara is known as divine awareness, absolute consciousness, the eternal witness that lies within each of us. Pranidhna indicates aligning with, applying one’s self to, surrender, devotion and dedication. Ishvarapranidhana can be regarded as orientating and aligning ourselves with our own internal eternal divinity. An example of this is surrendering our mind and ego to witness our true self. Patanjali states this surrendering of the active mind with dedication and devotion allows one to attain and perfect Samadhi; union with the divine. Advanced practitioners of yoga and meditation will agree surrendering the activities of the mind is crucial in attaining deep states of
taking direction is a humble way to surrender
meditation and beyond. Patanjali begins the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras by defining what a real yoga practice is. He states along with Tapas, (discipline) and Svadyaya (self study), ishvarapranidhana is necessary for a grounded and complete yoga practice. Surrendering has the capacity to reduce our own personal suffering, improve our quality of life and our yoga practice. Yoga practitioners can integrate this niyama into their lives in a multitude of ways. One is to surrender our own individual needs and desires to serve and accommodate our immediate community. Taking direction from a guru, teacher, or someone with greater knowledge than ourselves is a humble way to surrender and show respect. Letting go of your plans, projections, agendas and opening up your mind and heart and asking or praying for direction is also a form of isvarapranidhana. “Not my will, but Thy will” is a common phrase that demonstrates humility and surrender. Relinquishing desires of the senses and accepting one’s fate / following personal destiny (dharma) is a noble example. Not being attached to the results or fruits of your labor is a classic form of ishvarapranidhana that is helpful in reducing stress and suffering in the workplace. Quieting the chatter of the mind during meditation and witnessing the beauty and silence within, known as the “peace that passeth all understanding” is perhaps one of the greatest examples of all. Clayton is director of Greenpath Yoga. www.greenpathyoga.com
Wher ew e ffind ind T rue Jo y here we True Joy Don Peers
calmness, stillness and openness within that brings you into a vacuum of fullness (sunyata).
Approaching the little girl, she offered money and kind words, “You poor dear not having a home to live in,” to which the little girl replied, “I do have a home, just not a house,” and continued her joyful play.
SURRENDER For the majority of us, the asmita (‘I’ness or Ego) is the motivator of our world creating the perception and actions in it. The ego manufactures our life story and our story becomes our view of life. Our story is our life. To quote Eckhart Tolle: “We do not have a life, we are life.” Here lies the distinction and the Avidya.
When we are alienated from our true home or Nature, we are in the state of anxiety or suffering (Duhkha). Ishvara Pranidhana is coming home: here we truly stop worrying about the house and its trappings. It is impossible to underrate the importance of Ishvara Pranidhana; Patanjali uses it three times verbatim and refers to its qualities six more times in the Yoga Sutras, more than any other concept or practice.
Surrender of our ego is difficult as many of us find it hard to separate truth and ego. Fear is the motivating and controlling factor of this ego, playing an important part of our life.
DEFINING ISHVARA (GOD) Many of us have an automated memory response to the word God, which links to a positive or negative relationship we each have had. Our definition is made from memories, education, experiences, culture and many other influencing social factors.
The fear of “not fitting in”, of “not measuring up” of “not being liked”, needing “xyz “ to be cool, means we move to the beat of another’s drum. What we believe will make us safe and happy needs to be protected, or we believe we will be empty or nothing. The fear is established by a strong sense of ego.
There is a story about a joyful little girl playing in the concourse of a railway station, running between the benches and a mountain of bags which contained her family’s possessions. Walking through the station, a kindhearted woman, watching the child at play, felt overwhelming sorrow for the poor child, not having a home, just a bench to call a bed and a bag of used toys.
In the last two centuries, God has become a term mainly associated with the adherents and dogma of religion - usually the most unattractive face of religion. The essence of God is not found in the outward face of God (the house); this is but the mental conjuring of our mind to spiritual experience. Others see God as the mother, the father, universal energy, soul, consciousness, or pure awareness (Sat-Cit-Ananda). All are the faces of God, reflected in the world around us (the home). A home is not found in four walls or a facade but within an accepting, peaceful, nurturing love that allows us to grow and our wonder and joy to flourish. In yoga, this home is called the Self or we may call it a higher purpose in life, the human movement of selfactualization that Abraham Maslow noted in his ‘Hierarchy of needs’. Chip Hartranft in his transliteration of the Yoga Sutras, tells us “Ishvara is a divine mirror... allowing one to catch a glimpse of one’s own true nature.” Our true nature is the reflection of our personal Ishvara, when we establish an honest relationship with Ishvara; we start to explore Pranidhana, a relationship based in attention, honesty, trust and love. DEFINING PRANIDHANA The Cologne Sanskrit lexicon defines Pranidhana as: attention, respectful conduct, profound religious meditation, abstract contemplation of; vehement desire; prayer. More modern translators use the word surrender. To pay true attention to our Ishvara brings the process of stillness. If we stop in our busy lives and pay true attention, our world also slows, creating a deeper awareness in every action and moment. This attention brings stillness and silence to the mind, and we truly start to see the seer in his/her own nature (YS 3:1) If we are truly attentive in our practice, the stillness will allow awareness to grow. Clarity and acceptance in the now develops. In bringing contentment and surrender, fear is stilled and joy blossoms. Stop, and pay attention to a flower or your loved one. Notice the
Surrendering this ego is a fear we all face in our practice: losing the identity we have created in Ishvara. The problem with many of us is we don’t know how to surrender nor want to, as the cost seems too high. Letting go takes us to a place where the ego serves no purpose, a falsely perceived place of the unknown. But the unknown is just the home we have forgotten. Surrender is a difficult term for many of us, with connotations of defeat or giving up. The motivation behind surrender must be clear (not for the fruits). Surrender is not passive as Krishna teaches us in the Gita: “Be active but not attached to outcome”. Active surrender is found in practice. From the theory to the practice; for what is Yoga but practise: 1. Give attention to sensation during asana, respect the sensation, let go of tension and deepen the awareness, allowing silence to come. 2. Give attention to breath in pranayama. It is the breath that shows us the intelligence and subtlety of energy. Learning the soft acceptance and surrender in Kumbhaka, deepening this art into Kaivalya. 13
Dristi Ishvara Pranidhana 3. Pay attention in meditation, letting it grow into concentration and deeper awareness. Stillness and silence becoming our friends and accepting the distractions and letting them go. As we sit in stillness and silence, the presence of Ishvara reveals itself. “The voice of God can only be heard in silence” - Bede Griffiths. The very nature of the stillness will deepen within, silencing the ravenous ego and allowing the mind to settle into deeper realms of silent consciousness. The more awareness we develop, the more reality is unveiled (samyama) and we become present in every moment of living, compassionate to ourselves and others (who are but extensions of ourselves and of Ishvara). In this attentiveness we surrender to Ishvara, allowing our ego to fall away and the fear that protects this ego. As we develop compassion, we find it disassembles the ego.
Active surrender is found in practice
For what is true compassion? “Do not unto others which would cause pain if done to you” – Mahabharata. “Consider others as yourself ” – Buddha “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” – Confucius “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you” - Rabi Hillel “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – Jesus. “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you” - Mohammed. In all the great traditions, we see the Golden Rule of equality and oneness. Acceptance of life allows the beginning of growth. We are not spiritual seekers looking for fulfilment in the future but divine in the present, waiting to wake up. The practice is in the moment of awareness, with us in the here and now. Ishvara pranidhana is realising home is always with us. It is here we find true joy. Don has been practicing since 1993. He completed a 3-year teacher training at Yoga Synergy in Australia with Simon Borg-Oliver. Don teaches at Yoga Space Singapore. www.akashayoga.asia
De votion, T rus Dev Trus rustt & Paul Dallaghan
“COMPLETE SURRENDER IS LIKE falling from a tall tree without flinching a muscle,” said the great sage Ramakrishna about 150 years ago. His point was clear, how much you cling to life, possessions, agenda or try to control the uncontrollable, exhibit patterns of fear and selfishness. Surrender implies complete trust, opening to the Divine plan of where, and how, life takes you. More than letting go or going with the flow, it is pure trust that carries you, raising something within through your heart. It is mostly explained as devotion par excellence. Such devotion gives rise to grace, which is the lift within. This is Ishvara Pranidhana. Ishvara Pranidhana is the most frequent statement in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This element is essential to a yoga practice, to life, to anyone working on themselves. The philosophy of yoga as presented by Patanjali accepts the theory of Samkhya as an explanation of evolution. But for it all to make sense and work in practical life terms this element of Ishvara is introduced.
Surrender implies pure trust, it carries you, raising something within your heart Often Ishvara is taken to mean “God”. If this were the case, yoga would be like other religions which tell you to follow a God. Which if you don’t, you could not call yourself a follower of this religion. This is not yoga. Yoga offers a philosophy for life and provides us with a practice and means to understand ourselves within this changing world. There is no dogma, no statement saying you must believe or do this. In fact Patanjali freely uses “va” which means “or”. Ishvara is your personal approach to the Divine. You choose what is personal for you: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna or your experience in nature.
Humilit y Humility What could help you understand is pranidhana, devotion, or rather its effect, that inner rise to grace. Ishvara resides in your own heart, usually blocked by the dirt of prejudice, selfishness and fear. A connection with it causes a rise, an opening you could not make happen. Ishvara has a personal meaning for you that may not register with someone else. Though the human ego wants everyone to accept their way of belief because “it is correct and the only way”. The fact is the journey within, the effect from working on yourself, is an extremely personal, intimate affair. Think of the trust and love a baby has for its mother. To that baby its mother is Ishvara. The baby is crying and frustrated, but when Mama comes and picks it up it changes, relaxes and completely trusts how mother will carry it. As we grow up we come against many similar frustrations, doubts and fears. These trap us even with all the yoga we do. Our heart cannot sprout. When you find your connection, when you can trust and be free, the love in the heart grows and grows. This is Ishvara Pranidhana. Apply it when you are not sure what is happening next in your life, if you doubt the change coming to you, if you are resisting it. You can’t help but worry about the future, become a little negative and insecure. Pause. Manage yourself and trust the process. Put faith in your belief through the connection you are establishing to the Divine. It’s ok. There is an element of unknown. Hand over your fear and worries to your belief. And do appropriate action at the same time.
For Patanjali the best expression of Ishvara is the Pranava. This is OM. It is the ultimate purusha, above all others, untainted by time, never bound, eternally free, unlimited. Through realization one may become like Ishvara but Ishvara differs as it was never bound to prakrti in the first place.
See the Divine in all, be open, humble, gracious and respectful
Ishvara Pranidhana comes up under kriya yoga and as one of the niyamas. As a kriya it emphasizes something devotional for you to do. Perhaps a ritual each day or some form of mental recitative practice. Ceremonies, rituals, practices can be learnt along with mantras that serve as a vehicle for you to offer to “your Ishvara” and thus connect. This process is to reveal the seed of it in the heart. Our arrogance will tell us it is rubbish or I can sit and open my heart. Be careful here as the ego is deceptive. No matter who we are a medium is needed to initiate a connection with grace. If you want to meet a good friend today, you will contact them through a “medium” of phone or email. Then using the appropriate “vehicle” you travel to where they are. After a period of time employing the vehicle to bring you to them you are finally together. This feeling is hard to describe as it is more in your heart. Yet it came from an effort, a doing and you employed mediums and vehicles to bring about this “union”. Ishvara Pranidhana as a niyama is more of the attitude of devotion you carry with you and live your life with. See the Divine in all, be open, humble, gracious and respectful. Let go, let be, trust. Do you try to force a situation because it must be your way or you are afraid for it to go another way? Sometimes we don’t even realize when we do this. This does not suggest complacency, however, where whatever happens. There are times when you have to stand up and be firm. Even then ready to accept the outcome. Put this into practice next time you are on the train feeling tense about whether you will be on time. Or when you are on a plane and there is a bout of turbulence. How do you feel then or can you ‘trust’?
To receive the grace, the pranidhana, you need to repeatedly chant this sound of Ishvara, Om, chant and feel it within you, without the mind wandering here and there. Then your consciousness merges with the sound, intensifying the inner experience. In the Sadhana Pada of Yoga Sutra Patanjali highlights this by explaining that from Ishvara Pranidhana samadhi is attained: “Samadhi-siddhir ishvara pranidhanat” (PYS II.44) This devotion means surrendering all thoughts to the Divine, merging with the Divine. But it is dependent on the other yamas and niyamas. The different practices of yoga need devotion and true trust to bear fruit. When you practice aim to merge your attention into what you are doing. Add an element of mantra repetition to your practice and do it wholeheartedly, mindfully. Grace comes, the process of yoga deepens. One of my favorite sutras offers the approach: “Tajjapas tadartha bhavanam” (PYS I.28) Repeat, repeat, repeat, whether it be the mantra or another form of practice, and with feeling, a connection, never mechanical. This feeling, connection through repetitive practice is the process of Ishvara Pranidhana. Paul is the director of Yoga Thailand and Centered Yoga. www.yoga-thailand.com www.centered-yoga.com
Dristi Ishvara Pranidhana
The Ultimat e Go al o ogic Pr actic e Ultimate Goal off Y Yogic Practic actice Jeremy Maine
In sutra 1.23, Patanjali presents Isvara pranidhana, surrender to God, as a means for attaining samadhi. Who is this Isvara? What does Patanjali mean by surrender? Why surrender to God? What results from surrender to Isvara? refers to an “Isvarizing” of the mind and WHO IS ISVARA? personality of the practitioner of Sutra 1.24 describes Isvara as a special soul devotional bhakti yoga, parallel to the (purusa visesa) who is untouched by the gradual “sattvicizing” of the yogi’s body obstacles to the practice of yoga (listed later and lifestyle through constant practice of in 2.3 as ignorance, ego, attachment, the eight limbs of kriya yoga. aversion, and the will to live), karma, the fructification of karma, and subsconscious How then does one practice this devotion predispositions. to Isvara? Sutras 1.27-28 indicate Isvara is represented by the mystical syllable om, and Edwin Bryant traces the word Isvara to the repetition of this syllable should be root is, to have extraordinary power and performed while contemplating its sovereignty. In the Atharvaveda (c. 1000 meaning. Om can be repeated audibly, B.C.E.), Isvara refers to a personal but softly, or silently. The bhakti traditions of unnamed god. In contrast to the word India have incorporated om into the japa bhagavan, which would seem to refer to a mantras directed to different definite, personal divine being such as Siva, manifestations of Isvara; thus while Visnu or Krsna, Isvara seems to be more of devotees of Siva, Visnu, or Krishna might a philosophical category – undefined as to repeat om namah Sivaya, om nama Narayanaya, particulars to encompass whatever divine or om namo bhagavate Vasudevaya respectively, being the yoga practitioner might prefer. all these mantras include, and are perhaps Sutra 1.25 describes Isvara as all-knowing. In even generated by the syllable om. sutra 1.26 we read he was the teacher of the Traditionally, the energy of sound vibration ancients, because he is not limited by Time is considered to be a powerful force, which – thus Isvara is also eternal. Isvara would can penetrate, mould, and change also seem, then, to be actively involved in seemingly solid matter. In addition, the the world as a communicator of sound of a word is considered to contain knowledge (teacher of the ancients) and as the energy of the person or thing it a dispenser of grace in assisting his represents. Thus, repeating the name of devotees in their yogic practice towards God, whether or not the practitioner samadhi. According to sutras 1.27-28, Isvara understands or believes the power makes himself available in the sound om. contained in the words, has an effect on the practitioner’s body and mind. WHAT DOES PATANJALI MEAN BY SURRENDER?
Isvara, a special soul untouched by the obstacles to the practice of yoga
Bryant translates pranidhanat as devotion, dedication. For Ramamurti S. Mishra it is surrender of individuality and identification, and goes on to relate this sutra to the practice of meditation on Isvara: Perfection is attained positively by directing the force of attention, chittam, to Ishvara, Saguna Brahman, by means of self-surrender of the individual personality and identity with the properties of Ishvara. By meditation on Ishvara with devotion, love, and knowledge, self-consciousness is elevated and in the light of Ishvara, mindstuff of a meditator is enlightened. Bryant’s commentary on the Sutras also 16
The commentators on the Sutras understood this as a “sattvicizing” of the practitioner’s mindstuff, making her or him more receptive to God, and thus creating conditions conducive to a face-to-face encounter with God. Ramamurti S. Mishra has this to say about om, the sonic representation of God: “This sentient Absolute Teacher, Ishvara, is an Absolute Principle of Consciousness without name and form. It is radiating and shining everywhere. Symbolically it is called Om … Ishvara is Om, supreme music … The entire universe is penetrated by this supreme music. In an individual it is manifested as a ringing sound in one’s head. By meditating on it, yogins feel
increase in intensity and volume and ultimately they realize that the entire universe is vibrating in nadam … As in the relative world there is no distinction between the name and the substance which is named, so there is no distinction between nadam and Ishvara. The relationship between sunlight and sun is analogous to that between nadam and Ishvara ... Ishvara is like the sun. Pranava, nadam, Om is like the sunlight.” It would seem meditation on om, both as the sonic representation of the Divine and as the constant hum of the physical universe, is an invitation to a personal encounter with the common underlying Source – the basic mystical experience found (often hidden) at the core of religious practice: whether Sufism in Islam, Kabbala in Judaism, or prayer of silence in the Christian tradition. The practice of japa, mantra repetition, appears again in sutra 2.44, where Patanjali states svadhyaya (study of scripture and devotional repetition of om) leads to the revelation of one’s personal deity (istadevata). Gregor Maehle comments: “Which deity that is [ista-devata] is not specified. The practice of yoga is open to
and inclusive of whatever manifestation of the Divine the individual practitioner’s cultural-karmic-prakrtic makeup and conditioning might indicate. Devotional surrender to Isvara parallels the message of the Bhagavad Gita and its path of bhakti, devotion. In the Gita, Krishna enjoins Arjuna to act in the world while giving up all desire for the fruits of his actions. By surrendering his expectations of reward or punishment, Arjuna has the opportunity to freely do what he knows is his duty without getting caught up in thoughts of attachment or aversion. This “giving up” is surely an element of Isvara pranidhana – the practitioner of yoga, seeing the road towards samadhi fraught with difficulty, gives up trying to get there on his or her own power, and seeks the assistance of Isvara, the Supreme Teacher. WHY SURRENDER TO GOD? This path of devotion and total dedication to Isvara seems, at the outset, to be an optional one, as indicated in sutra 1.23 by the concluding va, meaning “or,” as if the practitioner of yoga could either meditate on Isvara or on something else. Indeed, according to sutra 1.39, “Or [one can attain samadhi] from meditation upon anything of one’s inclination.” However, Patanjali
practicing devotional submission to God results in the perfection of samadhi all faiths. According to yogic teachings, all deities are but representations of the one Supreme Being. Because there is only one, they cannot be representations of somebody else. The Supreme Being is a projection of the formless absolute. Because that is difficult to comprehend, it is acceptable to project an image onto the Supreme Being. This image is one’s ishtadevata, one’s meditational deity. The meditation deity will enable us to develop a close personal relationship with the Supreme Being. However, as the Bhagavad Gita states, “Whatever deity you worship, you always worship me.” In the Indic context of Patanjali’s place and time, ista-devata refers most likely to Siva, Visnu or one of his avatars such as Krishna. However, Patanjali’s description the yoga of devotion is far-sightedly open
seems to indicate devotional meditation on Isvara, as opposed to meditation on another object, can accelerate the devotee’s progress towards samadhi. Isvara pranidhana seems then to be the most expedient path; this sentiment is echoed in Bhagavad Gita 12.1-4, where Krishna tells Arjuna the best devotee is the one engaged in (bhakti) yoga, although the practitioner who is focused on the individual self will also attain Krishna in the end (Bryant 85).
samadhis outlined in the first chapter. Kriyayoga, the path of action, consists of selfdiscipline, study, and dedication to God (sutra 2.1); Isvara pranidhana is therefore a necessary, non-optional ingredient in kriyayoga, whereas it would appear to be optional in the meditative path described in chapter one. Isvara pranidhana appears again in sutra 2.32, listed along with cleanliness, contentment, austerity, and study of scripture as one of the five observances (niyamas) describing the yogi’s moral practice. Here again, devotional submission to God seems to be a non-optional element in the practice of kriya-yoga. WHAT RESULTS FROM SURRENDER TO ISVARA? As discussed above, the practitioner of yoga, repeating om and fixing his mind on God, surrenders the work of treading the yogic path to God, and in time attains a clear vision of his own soul (individual purusa) in light of his experiencing the nature of God (the supreme purusa) in meditation. In sutras 35-45, Patanjali lists the benefits the practitioner attains from the practice of the moral restraints and observances (yamas and niyamas); sutra 2.45 states practicing devotional submission to God results in the perfection of samadhi. Of all the moral practices, only Isvara pranidhana promises a non-material benefit – and one that is after all the ultimate goal of yogic practice. A native of the United States, Jeremy lives in Trondheim, Norway, where he is exploring the overlap between the practices of classical piano, music education and Ashtanga yoga. He studies yoga with Alex Medin in Oslo.
Whereas the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras, Samadhi pada, focuses on meditative practice towards the attainment of samadhi, the second chapter, Sadhana pada, describes a more action-based practice – kriya-yoga – which is perhaps intended for practitioners whose minds are not yet refined enough to distinguish the subtleties of the various 17
Dristi Ishvara Pranidhana Éçv ar a-pr aëidhänäni: As under om the Bhaga vad-git a Éçvar ara-pr a-praëidhänäni: undersstood fr from Bhagav ad-gita Sankirtana Dasa
EIGHT PROGRESSIVE STEPS LEAD to the attainment of samädhi, the ultimate goal of yoga. The first and second steps both have five subdivisions. Here we discuss the fifth subdivision of the second step, niyamah: çauca-santoña-tapaùsvädhyäyeçvara-praëidhänäni (Sutra 2.32). The previous subdivisions we discussed were cleanliness, satisfaction, austerity, and self-study. The fifth is perhaps the most puzzling directive. It evokes the notion of the Éçvara (controller) and suggests submission (praëidhänäni).
the tiny controllers are still controlled by others in various ways. There is, however, a controller who is the ultimate controller and beyond any control: Éçvaraù paramaù. He is the controller of everything (sarva-käraëa-käraëam). It is not correct to assess all Éçvaras as equal, when in fact the difference is huge. In my study of different yoga teachings I regularly encounter this misconception. When Patanjali says one should focus on the Éçvara, some readers conclude they must focus on themselves. But does he really instruct this? We can understand samädhi as a union between two; a link, expressed by the word yoga, whose English derivative is “yoke”. In this version the tiny Éçvara links with the Éçvarah paramah. One reason many misunderstand the proper meaning is they assume dismantling the false ego results in an absence of ego. They think when Patanjali describes the two stages of samädhi (sabija and nirbija) – one with and the other without “seeds,” or desires – he is indicating there is a state of existence without any sense of individuality.
Bhagavad-gita compares yoga systems and concludes the devotional approach is the best Patanjali already used the word Éçvara in texts 1.23-27 and said the syllable OM is the Éçvara and by mediation on the sound OM one will achieve enhanced concentration. He reassured in text 2.45 that perfection in meditation (samädhi) comes from resolute devotion to the Éçvara (samädhi-siddhir éçvara-praëidhänät). To better comprehend this fifth directive, let us look at the goal of yoga practice: samädhi. The word is closely related to the word samähitam, which means “the state in which all questions are answered,” or “the state in which one is established in one’s true nature.” In samädhi one casts off all limitations and causations; one enjoys eternal bliss and happiness. Yogis know samädhi as a mystical fulfilment of individuality and existence. What function does the Éçvara have in the attainment of samädhi? Éçvara means controller. The Bhagavad-gita often uses the word Éçvara in combination with another word to qualify the extent or type of control: mahä-éçvaram (5.29; 10.3; 13.23); parama-éçvara (11.3; 13.28); yoga–éçvara (11.4); mahä-yoga-éçvaraù (11.9); viçva-éçvara (11.16). In contrast, in text 15.8, Éçvara refers to the individual living entity. He is described as Éçvara in the sense he has the free will to direct his destiny. Therefore, everyone can be considered an Éçvara, or controller, but 18
However, sabija can also mean the sense of individual interest separate from the Éçvara is retained and the seeds of desire and attachment still remain, but in a latent form. In contrast, in nirbija, or seedless samädhi, the individual’s consciousness is completely united with the Éçvara. Individuality is not absent, but there is no more separate interest from the Éçvara. The yogi surrenders all separate interests to serve only the interests of the Éçvara. In this way he is nirbija and gains entry into the eternal spiritual realm (Vaikuntha). If the yogi identifies the Éçvara with his own self, there is a chance to merge into the spiritual effulgence, the Éçvara-sayuja. This type of samädhi is the desired destiny for many. We discover a devotional union with the Éçvara and a non-devotional one. The Bhagavadgita compares different yoga systems and concludes the devotional approach is the best (6.47). Persons who practise devotional yoga, approach the Éçvara in the mood of service: praëipatya - offering obeisances; praëipätena - by approaching a spiritual master (Bg 4.34). The Gita further declares (4.11): ye yathä mäà prapadyante täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham: “As they approach Me (the Éçvarah-paramah), I reward them accordingly.” Those who desire to merge into the spiritual effulgence are awarded that impersonal status, and those who aspire for loving friendship and exchanges attain that state. In any case, éçvara-praëidhänät, surrender to the Éçvara, is a method for protecting oneself from the dangers of attachment, false identification, and the idea of “I am the doer.” In my practise, I listen carefully to the sound of the Maha-Mantra. It is a transcendental reality like the syllable OM, and I do not allow my attention to wander. If it happens I think of something else while vibrating the spiritual sound, I essentially deem these thoughts as more real and important, and this amounts to self-deception. The benefit from this distracted type of meditation is meager. However, if the practise of éçvara-praëidhänät is done attentively, if I chant attentively, I’m spiritually surcharged to face my daily work without the risk of getting entangled in or attached to any mundane situation. Thus temporary existence becomes a happy samädhi experience ending in eternity.
Sankirtana holds a degree as yoga teacher from the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education. He works with a travel agent in Beijing to take Chinese yoga students to Risikesh, Bodhgaya and other holy places in India. Sankirtana.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kundalini and Cancer Cure Vicky Wong
EVE CHARANPAL KAUR CHAN OFFERS FREE KUNDALINI yoga to cancer patients, survivors and their families in Hong Kong every Saturday 8 – 9 am at Shakti Healing Circle in Central. “I have always wanted to practise seva [selfless service] but working in finance, there’s nothing much I can do in that area,” Eve says. Kundalini may not be the most popular form of yoga but it is very transformative and healing. Two of Eve’s aunts succumbed to cancer after conventional treatment, but her father has recovered after a regime of super food concentrates, detoxing and alkalinzing his system. “I also forgave him without him knowing it,” Eve smiles. That is the power of healing which does not necessarily lie in surgery, chemo or radioscopics which can ruin the entire body system afterwards. Eve offers Kundalini yoga classes to all affected by cancer: patients, families, doctors and nurses. She teaches them meditation to help them be emotionally stable to cope with stress. Kundalini yoga can support cancer patients’ immune system and detoxify their bodies by building up inner heat which increases blood circulation. It is proposed that cancer is related to repressed issues, and through meditation people can explore this often unknown territory to
look at what is really going on and unlock their unconscious mind. It also helps balance the chakras. For example, breast cancer is supposedly related to energy blockages at the heart chakra which is about passion, compassion, unconditional love, openness and acceptance. Healing power and awareness lie within ourselves - yoga and meditation is the doorway to the greater awareness about ourselves, our relationship with ourselves and the world. Scientific research of mantras and meditation at Harvard has seen patients recovering from depression and diabetes through Ayervedic diet and Kundalini yoga. Everyone is a teacher with universal wisdom within our heart, says Eve. Kundalini is the door to the potential every human being has at the bottom of their spine; it is like a telephone line that connects to the universe. Once you have awakened this, you will be one with all and be submerged in a total sense of bliss and peace where the ego dissolves. There will be no more separation; it makes your heart sing and you feel love, blessed and grateful. http://kundaliniyogaiam.wordpress.com/2010/ 09/05/free-healing-kundalini-yoga-classes-forcancer-patients-survivors/ Vicky has been a travel and lifestyle journalist and is now focusing more on dharma and social consciousness. She started her journey on the path of yoga two years ago after meeting Geshe Michael Roach.
Health & Happiness: Harmonizing the Five Elements Yogesvara Sarasvati
THE WORLD’S MOST CHERISHED spiritual traditions are concerned most with practical results. Teachers and students alike want to know: does the practice work? Do the methods reveal the fruits of the view? Is it possible to experience radical transformation in the span of one life? Of the traditions that prioritize in this way all are in agreement on the foundation of life: the Five Elements. And, despite the culture of origin and minor semantic differences, each of these traditions emphasize practices that harmonize and balance the gross and subtle experience of earth, water, fire, wind and space. As stated by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, in Healing with Form, Energy and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen, “An understanding of the elements forms the basis of medicine, astrology, the calendar, and psychology, and it underlies the spiritual traditions of shamanism, tantra, and Dzogchen” (along with Indian Tantra, Vajrayana Buddhism, Daoism, etc). But, what if we are not so intent on the awesome promises of these traditions – full and radical enlightenment in one lifetime? What if we are not interested in an all-consuming spiritual path? If these “enlightenment-systems” are really so great what can they do for us, the people in the middle? How can these practices improve the lives of those who hold down 9-to-5s, have a few kids, and might like to do things with our free time other than meditate? How about the regular, sincere, hard-working folk of the world who simply want to be healthy and happy? Can the technologies of enlightenment that have been developed, refined and perfected for millennia help us, too? Absolutely. Thankfully, this adept wisdom is perfectly applicable to our every-day lives. In fact, it is suited just for us – every single one of us. All of our experience, whether we know it or not, is an aggregate of the Five Elements. When we view life through this lens things get a lot easier to work with. The beauty of this view is that we don’t need to take things too personally - because
they’re not personal! We beat ourselves up thinking, “Damn, I’m such an ass for losing my temper like that.” But, we are not asses and there is nothing wrong with who we are – we simply have imbalanced elements. In this case of anger, I have too much of the principle energy of fire in my system. It is 100% inevitable that this excess will express as anger. It’s a simple reality. We complicate things with our stories of “he said, she said” and “this happened because of that.” This principled, supra-personal view is not an excuse to shirk personal responsibility for the lives we live. In fact, it empowers us Steve Merkley with more responsibility. This way is not going to make us perfect, but it is going to result in the confidence that our situation is workable. We no longer need to be
wind I am anxious. When there is not enough wind I am tired and afraid. When space is balanced I am accepting of things as they are, I am accommodating, a good host for all. When there is too much space I am ungrounded, confused – “spaced out.” When there is not enough space I am claustrophobic, stubborn and have a closed mind. Living this view is liberating. By doing so, we are really able to work our situation, moment-to-moment. We become our own doctor, our own shrink, and our own mentor. We can create and choose our external environment in order to balance our inner world. We can eat the right foods that will increase one element and decrease another. We can exercise in a way that will
each of these traditions emphasize practices that balance earth, water, fire, wind and space overwhelmed by life and our sincere yearning for a measure of peace is within reach. Before, we were like dogs chasing our tails trying to figure out, “why?” Or, we were like rats on a wheel spinning the same old story of shame and guilt. But, now, we have a wider view of reality. When earth element is balanced I am stable. When there is too much earth I am stubborn. When there is not enough earth I am a flake. When water is balanced I am content. When there is too much water I am too attached and over-emotional. When there is not enough water I am needy and malcontent. When fire is balanced I am clear, enthusiastic and jovial. When there is too much fire I am critical, judgmental and easy to anger. When there is not enough fire I am lackluster and dull. When wind is balanced I am calm, energetic and powerful. When there is too much 21
give us what we really want and need, a sense of equanimity and dynamic energy. And we can, if we are so inspired, deepen our experience of the subtle aspects of life by meditating on these five great principles of existence. We can learn to recognize everything as a matrix of these five energies and ourselves as an interconnected part of the web. We are in a constant reciprocal relationship between our experience of inner and outer. And if we follow our spirit into the subtleties of this practice we can realize the ultimate promise of these traditions – that there is no inner and outer. Eventually the borders fade and we realize we are One our apparent differences are just shimmering permutations of the Five Element lights. And, best of all, because the origins of this view come from traditions that are most concerned with practical results, along with the philosophy comes countless practical methods. We don’t need to take the book’s word for it.
excess fire will always come out as anger, balanced elements always express as health and happiness It is such a relief to know there are real, concrete, and even simple things we can do each day to cultivate harmony and balance of the Five Elements. Doing so is synonymous with saying we, ourselves, have some measure of control concerning our own sense of health and happiness. Remember, it is not personal. Just as much as excess fire will always come out as anger, so too, will balanced elements always express as an overall experience of health and happiness unruffled by the inevitable difficulties we all face in life. This view does not claim to eliminate life’s inherent “problems,” but it will likely reduce them according to the principle “like attracts like.” When we are balanced, whole
and healthy we will attract and seek environments, people and situations that are likewise. And, for those sticky situations that will always still arise in our lives we will have the composure and energy to deal with them appropriately. In life, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” The practice of harmonizing the Five Elements yields that capacity to opt out of suffering while becoming more alive than we have ever been. Yogi is the co-founder of Energy of MInd Therapy (energyofmindtherapy.com). He works with clients both online and at Kailash Akhara, Adi Yoga’s (adiyoga.com) residential retreat center in Northeast Thailand.
The Orange Room in Shanghai
Yoga in Shanghai Benjamin Finnerty
Shanghai - A word packed full of meaning around the world today. This city on the delta of one of the mightiest rivers in the world has seen its fair share of Spanda (the power of expansion and contraction) over the centuries. As history goes, it is usually thought of as one city unconnected to China’s great and ancient past. According to Wikipedia.org Shanghai was not even a city until 1292. The first wall Shanghai had was not even until 1554 (a mere 400 years before my mother was born). According to most reading that you can do on Shanghai, it was a relatively unimportant fishing village prior to 1842 when the British took their ships up the Yangtze and forced a treaty creating the British concession which was quickly followed by the French, American, and Japanese. Less than 100 years later the notorious Shanghai of the 1930’s was one of the most important ports in the world. In fact in 1939 the first yoga studio in Shanghai was opened by a Russian woman named Eugenie Peterson. Indra Devi (as she was later named) who was married to a Czechoslovakian diplomat was truly a powerful feminine force of Yoga in the world from then until her passing in 2002 at the wonderfully experienced age of 102. So what happened in the world of Yoga in the last 70 years since its first foreign yoga teacher started? Let’s fast forward to the current decade, as yoga had a bit of a disappearing act shortly after The First Lady of Yoga’s (as Ms. Devi was often called) studio was in business. Currently the yoga scene in Shanghai is abundant with choices and styles of yoga from teachers all over the world. Although, some of
my favorite teachers in this city are Chinese, this article is going to focus on the English speaking teachers. The Orange Room is a studio that has been serving greater Shanghai since early 2006, and is a beautiful space about 15 minutes cab ride from the center of Shanghai in the Hongqiao district near the Hongmei road. This road has some of Shanghai’s greatest restaurants, and this writer enjoys these restaurants often. There are two wonderfully sunlit studios at the Orange Room, and after class you can very often get yourself some fresh home made cookies by Patricia Liao, one of the three owners as well as the primary teacher at the Orange Room. Originally Patricia started practicing yoga as a mean to relieve her sciatica pain. After beginning yoga practice Pat learned Pilates could also be a great way to feel good, and so she began her Pilates practice. After the joy and freedom Pat found she followed the path to become certified for teaching both Yoga and Mat Pilates. “In my class, I encourage practitioners to seek the possibilities. I strive to help them appreciate the unique beauty inside each of them, realizing that everyone may have a different body condition. I see that each yoga or Pilates class is an opportunity for me to share with others. I attribute this notion to my teacher Steve Dodd, who had taught me the beauty of sharing.” Patricia’s style of teaching brings as much joy to her students as her amazing cookies bring to the writer of this article. Her personality shows a true depth of wisdom as she guides her students through both Yoga and Pilates classes, with a smile, never pushing her students beyond their limits. Her style reflects the mission statement of the Orange room in general as “a place that welcomes people of all sizes, shapes and abilities to practice yoga and pilates.” In addition to Pat’s Pilates, and Hatha Yoga styles, the studio offers classes that are taught by teachers who have studied Anusara, 27
Vinyasa, and many different modalities of Pilates. Teachers come from the greater Asia region, North America, and even from down the road in Shanghai, and all the teachers speak English, and some Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese, and even a little Shanghainese. Another delightful Gem of a yoga studio in Shanghai, is Yoga 109. About two years ago Yoga 109 opened up in one of Shanghaiâ€™s historic buildings at the corner of Changshu road and Huaihai road. Since then they have relocated to Fuxing Road in the heart of the deeply beautiful and tree lined French concession. Nestled away from the street, this gorgeous space has two beautiful rooms that have trees outside the windows, and if the windows are open your yoga practice is likely to be serenaded by the local songbirds. With an international teaching team ranging from all over the world, this studio is an amazing retreat from the hustling and bustling city just a few blocks away. This studio is host to some of the most beautiful and peaceful yoga classes in Shanghai. It is so rare in this city that one can find classes that are a mixture of good yoga with a truly peaceful atmosphere, and as you may expect in such a serene space, you can enjoy a wonderful cup of tea before, after, or during your practice. Of course you can surely find a powerful workout at Yoga 109 as well, teachers Lorraine and John both teach powerful styles of Flow yoga that have been influenced by Anusara, Ashtanga, and
Pranavashya. There is also offerings of Anusara Inspired yoga at the studio, and certified Anusara teacher Patrick Creelman comes every so often to take students to the next level of their practice. Both The Orange Room, and Yoga 109 have 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training programs lined up for the year Pat, one of the owners of the 2011 and can be found at Orange Room www.theorangeroom.cn, and http://www.yoga109.com. If you have any questions please send them through the contact form on the website www.jayarasa.com, and I will be happy to introduce you to my favorite Chinese speaking Yoga studios and/or teachers in Shanghai and many other cities in mainland China. Benjamin is 34-years-old and teaches at the Orange Room and Yoga Space. His inspiration comes from amazing students, the sun that always shines and his teacher John Friend. email@example.com
Ujjayi at Bristo - Antedote to Freezing in Edinburgh Amy Doffegnies
I LOVE HONG KONG AND THE WAY LIFE HERE SURGES with energy and electricity, though one thing I sorely miss about home is the Bristo Yoga School in Edinburgh. Practicing yoga in Hong Kong is the ultimate antidote when nothing else has kept my mind in the present and my feet on the ground. Living amongst the pace and frenzy of Hong Kong, I have most urgently needed and most keenly felt the deeply soothing power of Ashtanga yoga. But even so, my most favorite practice space is a far cry from the high rise studios of this buzzing city. Two years ago I was a first-year university student with no experience of yoga whatsoever. I wandered into Bristo’s humble starting place. I experienced my first practice in a dimly-lit basement room, underneath a care home for the homeless, a space rented from an organization of monks. Its old heating system struggled to starve off the biting Scottish cold, but the amazing energy of my first teacher together with the Ashtanga practice quickly warmed me up and brought about the beginning of my yoga practice. From this unlikely origin Bristo grew into something wonderful. Due entirely to the creativity and dedication of a partnership of teachers, Bristo drew in more and more people from across Edinburgh. A small but very special city, Edinburgh is deserving of its reputation as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, dubbed the Athens of the North. Its ancient grandeur is set against a backdrop of rocky crags overlooking the sea. Bristo Yoga School is nested in the very centre of this, located across the road from the venerated Edinburgh University,
which every summer becomes the hub of the International Fringe Festival. Bristo’s major clientele of students make for an everflowing stream of fresh and excitable newbie yogis who quickly become a part of its regular make-up. What feels like a real life sangha has grown up in this unlikely Scottish setting. Amongst my favourite memories of the practice space are taking refuge from the freezing dawn and opening the clunky door to join the 7 am Mysore class. A reluctant body quickly getting drawn into the practice, encouraged by a fleeting smile of recognition of familiar faces, an enveloping warmth, and the sound of soft music and of strong ujjayi breathing. Thinking of the balmy calm of the studio after a jammed packed night class as students rustle past each other on home and the lights are turned out, makes me yearn to get back. In the past year Bristo has blossomed. The studio is unrecognizable; glowing lights illuminate the dark corners and a fuchsia pick mural of intricate Indian art has taken over the largest wall. An extended reception area and a lovely lounge and work space for the staff have been reclaimed from the big abandoned unused back rooms. In an exciting recent development before I left for Hong Kong in August, Bristo expanded to include holistic therapies such as massage and reflexology. In August Edinburgh is home to the most vibrant, eclectic and exuberant arts festival in the world, the International Fringe Festival. It lures crowds and performers from all over the globe, and in 2010 Bristo with the rest of the city embraced all the people and opportunity it brings. For the month of August Bristo became The Yoga Garden, and was filled with flowers and plants which brought a burst of vitality. Bristro has helped to breathe yoga into the ancient city and is an immense asset which locals and vistors have discovered. Along with visiting the majestic castle and strolling the infamous Royal Mile, next time you visit Edinburgh stop by at Bristo for a class. It has come to be a feature of the city which for many is cherished equally as dearly. Bristo Yoga School 1 Bristo Place EH1 1EY Edinburgh e: firstname.lastname@example.org t +44 (0) 7904 390 546 Amy is spending one year in Hong Kong as part of her degree in International Relations. She is enjoying taking advantage of all the wonderful learning and travel experiences that Asia has to offer. She continues as a student of Ashtanga Yoga to feel the benefits of regular practice in her life.
Scottish Scorpion, one of Bristo Yoga School’s primary teachers - Karen
Mythology in a Minute How Hanuman got his name Tia Sinha
A HUNGRY CHILD, ALL ALONE AT HOME LOOKED OUT the window and spotted an enticing watermelon hanging seemingly within reach. Or so he thought. He darted out of the widow like an arrow intent on its target, lunging at the luscious watermelon. No waxen wings like Icarus had he, no wings whatsoever yet higher and higher flew he. And when the ravenous child reached the sun, for that’s what the red fruit really was, he grabbed it and hungrily gobbled it up. Gobbling up the sun and the moon was Rahu the demon’s job. This is how Rahu created solar and lunar eclipses. How dare a mere infant trespass on Rahu’s territory? An enraged Rahu decided to hunt down the little culprit. When the child, who was none other than Hanuman, saw Rahu approach, he mistook him for another fruit, lunging at Rahu and making him flee in terror. The world was enveloped in darkness and Rahu was on the run. Indra, chief of the gods, mounted his elephant and set out to intervene. Little Hanuman, in his feeding frenzy, mistook Indra’s elephant to be yet another fruit and charged at him. A hapless Indra struck Hanuman down with his powerful weapon, the thunderbolt. Hanuman crashed to the earth, disfiguring his jaw. Jaw in Sanskrit is ‘Hanu’, thus the name, Hanuman. When little Hanuman broke his jaw, his father, the powerful Wind God, Vayu stopped blowing in fury, paralyzing life on earth. Vayu finally relented when Indra and other such gods granted boons to the already powerful Hanuman, making him mightier than ever. To prevent the mighty Hanuman from wreaking further havoc on the planet, ascetics whose meditation had been disturbed by Hanuman’s innocent antics, made him blind to his own powers. Years later, Hanuman’s latent powers were to be reawakened when Lord Rama needed his help in locating and rescuing Sita from the clutches of the demon, Ravana. Hanuman, who was part monkey, part man, thus played a critical role in the epic, the Ramayana. He also appears briefly in the Mahabharata. Another meaning of the word Hanuman is one who has vanquished his ego. Hanuman’s character in the Ramayana symbolizes devotion. The Hanuman Chaleesa or Forty Verses to Hanuman, a popular praise to Hanuman composed by Tulsidas, can be found on the lips and in the hearts of many a Hindu even today. Tia, a student of Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamshala, teaches Hatha Yoga to the nuns of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s nunnery.
Happine ong Happinesss in Hong K Kong Frances Gairns
He explained “Mindfulness is always of something. For example, if you breathe in and you know you are breathing in, then that is Mindful Breathing.” The benefit of Mindfulness is it helps us “To be established in the here and now. And then you can get in touch with the wonderful life you are living.” Several times during his talk, Thay reminded the audience that anyone and everyone can learn Mindfulness. From the Buddhist perspective, the energy of Mindfulness contains within it the energy of Concentration and Insight. While Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways – while walking, chanting or even cooking – it seems the easiest is through breathing. “When you breathe in, you touch the miracle of being alive. When you breathe out, you celebrate life.” This practice, he says, helps us realise the Insight “Life is only in the here and now. And in fact you don’t need to die to go to the Kingdom of God or Pureland of the Buddha. In fact you have to be really alive.” As we become stronger at our Mindfulness practice, just one breath is enough to release us from running into the future. And only when we can be in the here and now, Thay says, can we give our loved ones the most precious gift – our presence. Thay offered the audience three mantras.
Thay explains pebble meditation
EVEN BEFORE THICT NHAT HANH started talking, his profound effect was apparent. There was total silence, heavy with respect, from the 8,000 Hong Kongers and their mobile phones, as he entered the hall and seemed to glide towards the stage. Zen Master Thict Nhat Hanh, 84, is a poet, scholar and peace activist. Since taking his vows at 16, he has dedicated his life to promoting mindful practice, humanitarian aid and world peace. So much so that in 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts during the Vietnam War. 32
Since 1982 he has lived in France at Plum Village, a Buddhist community he established to promote “The Art of Mindful Living.” His talk at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 15 November entitled “Happiness in the Here and Now” started with tale of the Buddha teaching a group of businessmen to be happy simply by practicing it. According to Thay, as Thict Nhat Hanh is affectionately called, there are three elements to happiness – Mindfulness, Concentration and, Insight.
The first “You look at your beloved in their eyes and say, ‘I am here for you’.” This is important because he “You can not say you love them, if you are always absent.” The second mantra he offered was “I know you are there and I am very happy.” This is important because for Thay, “To love someone is to recognise their presence. To be loved is to be recognised as existing.” The third mantra to be practiced when you notice someone is suffering was “Darling I know you suffer, that’s why I am here.” Thay observed “If you are suffering and your beloved ignores your suffering, you suffer more. So before even doing anything, the person suffers less because you are there.”
Thay then introduced the audience to a practice taught at his centre to young practitioners – the pebble meditation. The young practitioners are instructed to look for four pebbles, clean them and put them in a bag. He further explained “After breathing in and out, with three sounds of the bell, use your right hand to pick up the first pebble. It represents a flower. Then you call it a flower, then place it in your left hand. Breathing in I see myself as a flower, Breathing out, I feel fresh. Breathe in and out three times.” “When you look at the face of a child, you see a flower,” Thay observed, “whether they are awake or asleep. Human beings are like flowers in the garden or humanity. We allow anger, fear and despair to destroy us and we are less beautiful than before. This practice of flower fresh is to help us restore our freshness, our flowerness. Just one minute of practice can help restore us, and your presence becomes more enjoyable to your beloved.” “Pick up the second pebble, the name is mountain. Breathing in I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out I feel solid.” Thay explained “A person without solidity or stability can not be happy. You can not count on him or her.” The third pebble represents still water. “Breathing in I see myself as still water. Breathing out I reflect thing just as they are. This helps to cultivate calmness.” “When we know how to restore our own peace and tranquillity, we can reflect things as they are, we don’t distort things anymore. However when we are jealous, angry or fearful, we loose our calm. What we see becomes a distorted image of the truth. When we have wrong views, we make those around us suffer as well.” The fourth pebble represents space. “Breathing in I see myself as space. Breathing out I am free.” Space means freedom. He said “True happiness is only possible with space and freedom in our heart. Those filled with fears and worries don’t have space in their hearts. We are filled with our ideas and we want to impose our ideas. Without space in our heart, we can’t help anyone. If you love someone, offer them freedom and let them be themselves.” Thay ended the talk on the subject of suffering: “If you are able to take care of your suffering, you can find happiness.” He likened suffering to the mud that nourishes a lotus flower, without it, there can be no flower. “Many believe to find happiness, you have to run from suffering. But we have to hold it close and look at it. This,” he says, “will reduce it. And when you can do this, you can then help others.” “And if you are a good gardener, you can look in the mud and see the flower.” Frances is a mother of two, teaches at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong and publishes Namaskar.
Workshop Review Iy engar Y oga W ork shop Iyengar Yoga Work orkshop With F ather Joe P er eir a Father Per ereir eira
area and needed to be released and opened using appropriate poses.
The softening of the heart area was also necessary and this entailed supported and unsupported backbends.
FATHER JOE’S ARRIVAL IN HONG Kong earlier this year was fortuitous for me. His workshop was one week before my assessment for Iyengar yoga certification - a demanding process that came at the end of three years of training. It might have initially seemed a rough deal, but it turned out to be just what was needed to calm my mind of its nerves while working the body as required. Father Joe, a Catholic priest and a senior Iyengar yoga teacher from Mumbai, was in Hong Kong for three days. Father Joe, having worked with Mr. Iyengar and Mother Theresa, told us stories of these times and made it a humbling experience to be with him. Some of the main points of this workshop, “An Inward Journey,” were: Create a yoga practice more female/motherbound and less aggressive in nature. This rajasic tendency raises blood pressure and puts more a stress on the body. A lot of work was done on the sacral area. Father Joe said our thoughts and actions throughout our life accumulated in this
The affects of the poses were felt with the deepening of the pose through long holds. The timer was used for each long hold. The face had to be relaxed and throat softened. There was a more meditative affect in the long holds. I actually monitored a change in my pulse in our five-minute Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, after a combination of chest openings. I measured a decrease in my pulse, to below 60 beats per minute, showing a real calming of the heart and nervous system. Father Joe said loving your body and being faithful to the cause is a sign of loving yourself. These poses were more meditative in nature using the breath. Chatushpadasana, Dwi pada Viparita Dandasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana were taken successively for seven minutes in total. The pain one felt had to be overcome with the breath. One evening Father Joe gave a talk on “Yoga and healing”, and showed a film. He talked of his charitable organisation called the KRIPA Foundation. We learned about recovering addicts and alcoholics and their success. KRIPA uses Iyengar Yoga
Father Joe, Catholic priest and Iyengar yoga teacher, was in Hong Kong leading a workshop
and other systems to bring people from very low points in their life to being active members of the community. We were happy to make a donation to this worthy cause. And with warm hearts we bid him farewell, till the next time. Ushie received her Introductory II Iyengar Yoga teaching certificate after completing the three year training at The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong. She is spending January at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute.
Voice WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR PRACTICE? The most challenging aspect of my practice is reminding
Lawrence Pradhan WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING ASANA AND WHY? There are many challenging asanas I want to get and Ardha Matsyendrasana lll is one of the challenging one for me. This asana has got a mix of all elements (eg. balance, hip opener, twist, back bend leading to an open heart). WHAT HAVE YOUR LEARNED FROM THIS ASANA? Ardha Matsyendrasana lll is an intense
asana. In the intensity, I tell myself to stay open and connect with the breath (as the Source) before putting myself in a strangely beautiful position.
myself to go back to the basics. By basic I mean having a steady breath and a good alignment. When I remember, I soften. This softening allows me to open up to my practice or any pose. Lawrence Pradhan teaches at Pure Yoga.
Health Sugar and F ood Cr avings – W hat Food Cra What Causes Them, How to Beat Them
and finally an allergic reaction to the food. This demonstrates the need for a varied diet, not only to prevent allergies but to ensure we take in a broad variety of nutrients.
HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO SEE WHERE YOUR cravings for particular foods are coming from? Most of us are used to following up a food craving by eating the desired food without even questioning if it’s what we really want or what our body really needs. But what is the impact on our health? Today’s fast food world means a lot more people are eating on the go, making do with what is available and slotting meals into spare pockets of time. This often results in a poor diet of processed foods, lacking in nutrients, but rich in fats and sugar. By switching to a whole foods diet free from refined and processed foods and eliminating sugar one can easily beat the cravings. WHAT CAUSES FOOD CRAVINGS? Eating a diet high in processed foods containing lots of salt, sugar and fats will create a desire to eat more, not just because of the taste, but because they are low in essential nutrients. By eating convenience foods we are neglecting our body’s vital need for vitamins and minerals so the body will naturally ask for more foods in order to meet its nutritional needs. Eating sweet foods cause a spike in the blood sugar level which is swiftly followed by a crash, creating a desire to eat more unhealthful foods and thus the vicious cycle has begun. If we regularly choose to consume processed foods over whole, natural foods we cause the body to become overly acidic, creating an imbalance in the intestinal microflora which ultimately depresses our immune system leaving us open to disease. To change this cycle we need to return to a whole foods diet, low in sugar and unhealthy fats and rich in fresh, organic, natural produce. An imbalanced intestinal ecology can lead to conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption of nutrients and Candida, an overgrowth of yeast in the gut which left untreated can give rise to many health problems. Another source of food cravings may be food allergies that cause us to crave the very foods we are allergic to. When we continue to eat these foods, we avoid the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms which arise when we cut that food out of our diet. By repeatedly eating the same food we can cause a sensitivity
Regular dieting and restriction of caloric intake can also affect your body’s desires for certain foods. During a crash diet, the body is deprived of essential nutrients and calories needed to sustain normal functioning. When these needs are not met, the body will crave the missing calories and nourishment. This supports the premise that a steady transition to a healthy, balanced diet is preferable for long term health over a quick fix, diet option. SUGAR CRAVINGS Consumption of refined sugars leads to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels followed by a dip. To metabolize sugar, your body uses your supply of vitamins and minerals which is why overconsumption of sugar leads to the leaching of these vital nutrients from your teeth, tissues and bones, resulting in further health problems. Refined sugar sources include white and brown sugar, sucrose and perhaps the less obvious fructose, maltose, lactose, dextrose and corn syrup among others. To successfully reduce intake of these foods we need to become aware of the many guises of refined sugar and carefully scrutinize ingredients in any pre-packaged foods to check for ‘hidden’ sugar sources. A healthy alternative is Stevia, a herb grown in South America which is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has been shown to help reduce sugar cravings with no negative side effects. IN CONCLUSION • Eat a diet low in sugars and fats. • Eliminate processed foods. as they are high in fats and sugar and of little nutritional value. • To prevent cravings and food sensitivities, eat a varied, whole foods diet to ensure you take in a broad spectrum of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. • Avoid nutritionally unsupported diet programs which will only increase cravings for missing nutrients. • Be aware of sugar as a hidden ingredient in many foods and choose the herb stevia to naturally sweeten your foods and drinks. Claudia is a committed student of Ashtanga yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. She is Samahita Wellness’ Director at Yoga Thailand.
Meditating with Mandalas by David Fontana Reviewed by Tia Sinha
MANDALAS ARE PROBABLY AS OLD as humankind. In rudimentary form they appear in some of the earliest marks made by humans and are present again in some of the first scribbles of young children.
could easily make one fall into the trap of mistaking this tome for a coffee table book that merely titillates the eyes. However, David Fontana’s book is not a superficial study of the subject.
Mandalas are symbolic pictures used in meditation. Important in most Eastern traditions, mandalas arise from the depths of the unconscious, taking the meditator on a wordless journey into the mysterious recesses of his mind.
Fontana draws upon mandalas from different traditions, eastern as well as western, making the foray into the mind a truly eclectic journey. Apart from Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism, mandalas are presented from the Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Judaic, Celtic, Christian, Native American and Sufi traditions. Some mandalas are inspired by nature, with sunflowers, butterflies and dolphins at play. Innovative and fun!
The most basic of all mandalas is the circle, an intriguing symbol without beginning or end. The circle is also the form upon which all mandalas are made. There can be no mandala without a circle, but once the circle has been drawn, other elements can be added to it. Meditating on mandalas can help still and purify the modern mind that is full of images from advertising, newspapers, etc., created by the gross, common, thinking mind. In a world bombarded by such disturbing images, meditating on mandalas can bring an element of serenity and purity. Mandalas are archetypes that help us connect with our higher mind, the mind that is true and is therefore the source of all genuine happiness. What makes David Fontana’s book special? For one, the mandalas presented in this book are just beautiful, some even breathtakingly so, with striking, vivid colours. The gorgeousness on every page
What lifts this book from a mere delight for the eyes are the clear instructions, both general and specific to each mandala, on how to meditate on these mandalas. Fontana suggests we begin with just five minutes of mandala meditation a day. Surely this is doable even for the busiest and the most harried? An inspiring, thought-provoking or insightful quote accompanying each gem of a mandala imbues each painting with new layers of meaning. As does the grouping of mandalas in themes such as sacred patterns, nature, self and acceptance, kindness and love, inner strength and the cosmos. As the cover suggests, there are 52 mandalas here, one for each week of the year if one wishes to follow Fontana’s suggested plan.
In a nutshell, David Fontana’s Meditating with Mandalas is deep, beautiful, joyful. Tia, a student of Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamshala, teaches Hatha Yoga to the nuns of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s nunnery.
With tempeh on the menu who needs meat?
Beer Battered Tempeh with Asian Coleslaw
TEMPEH INGREDIENTS 450 grams organic tempeh 3 cups organic flour 350 ml organic beer 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. sea salt 1 teaspoon paprika 10 turns of fresh ground pepper 2 litres of safflower oil
FIRST A WARNING: DO NOT TRY TO EAT TEMPEH RAW! Yes, it’s made from soy beans, but unlike tofu it definitely needs to be cooked. Of Indonesian origin, tempeh has a unique texture and a depth of flavour often compared to meat and fish. Nutritionally it is a complete protein and can be cut into a variety of shapes then stir fried, pan fried or deep-fried. Tempeh is available in a several Asian grocery stores and a number of organic stores.
MARINADE FOR TEMPEH INGREDIENTS ½ cup lemon juice ¼ cup Olive oil 2 cloves fresh garlic minced 1 tsp kelp powder Chili flakes to taste Salt to taste COLESLAW INGREDIENTS 1 lbs red cabbage finely sliced
1 bunch green onions sliced 3 tbsp ginger minced ¼ cup raw cane sugar ¼ cup fresh lime juice ½ cup olive oil 2 tbsp soy sauce 3 tbsp sesame oil COLESLAW PROCEDURE Combine the all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl till thoroughly mixed. Add the cabbage and onion to the bowl and toss till completely coated with the dressing. Reserve. MARINADE PROCEDURE Combine the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Reserve. TEMPEH PROCEDURE Cut the tempeh into 1centimeter thick slices, place in a shallow container or bowl in a single layer and pour over the marinade. Refrigerate for 4 hours turning the slices once after 2 hours.
Spiritual Research Foundation Remove the tempeh from the marinate. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat add a little olive oil and cook the tempeh slices till brown on each side. Remove from pan and cool. Reserve. In a medium bowl combine 2 cups of flour with the baking soda, salt, chili flakes and paprika and mix thoroughly. Add the beer to the flour and mix just enough to combine. Don’t worry about small bits of flour not combined with the beer; to get the batter light and crispy it is very important not to over process the batter. Heat the 2 litres of oil to 350 degrees. In a shallow bowl place the remaining 1 cup of flour. Coat the tempeh slices in the flour and then dip in the batter and carefully place the slices a few at
a time into the oil. Cook for 4 minutes till golden brown.
What is important?
Place even portions of the coleslaw on the center of 4 dinner plates and place two pieces of the fried tempeh on top. Garnish with a sprig of coriander and a quarter of lime and serve.
Moosa is Executive Director of Life Cafe and Director of Just Green Organic Convenience Stores.
I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS AN ARTICLE ON LUXURY homes in the US, and it made me wonder if people who are extremely wealthy were truly happy. Lasting happiness is the underlying reason why we want to be rich right? I have some very close family friends who are extremely wealthy. They own several aircrafts for personal use. In fact, when their daughter got married, they spent over US$3,000 per guest just on accommodations, without breaking a sweat. This did not include the favors and gifts bestowed upon those close enough to be considered family. But then I reflected - could their wealth ensure their daughter’s happiness in her future married life? And the answer was a definite no. If wealth cannot ensure this basic need in our lives then why is there a fascination for the lifestyles of the rich and famous? For us common folk too materialism permeates our lives in one way or the other. In fact for most people I know, their value system and purpose in life revolves around making money, getting rid of debt or looking for some luxury that they think would make them happy. And until I came in touch with spiritual science concepts I have to say I shared these same values and purpose in life. Study of Spirituality under the Spiritual Science Research Foundation has shaped my opinions about what is actually important in life – from an absolute perspective. At the end of the day, when my time has come to leave this world, will it really have mattered how much money or debt I had? The only debt I should worry about is my spiritual debt or give-and-take account, because that will follow me from lifetime to lifetime. It will determine the level of happiness or unhappiness I will have to undergo in this lifetime and subsequent lifetimes. Spiritual practice is the only thing that helps to burn our spiritual debt or give-and-take account or give us the strength to bear it. With this perspective, all our efforts in acquiring a livelihood and various luxuries if at all need to be geared to our true purpose of life which is liberation from the cycle of birth and death and Godrealization. Maya has been doing spiritual practice under the guidance of SSRF since 2001. She works in banking, as well as is very actively involved as chair of the Fort Collins city (USA) Human Relations Commission. For more information on the science of spirituality, please visit www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org
Solution to Tia’s crossword on page 43 ACROSS 1. Aparigraha, 5. Satya, 7. Shaucha, 10. Brahmacharya, 11. Dhyana, 13. Samadhi, 15. Santosha, 17. Svadhyaya, 18. Pranayama DOWN 1. Ahimsa, 2. Asana, 3. Asteya, 4. Pratyahara, 6. Dharana, 8. Pranidhana, 9. Tapas, 12. Yama, 14. Ishwara, 16. Niyama 41
Tia’s Crossword Here’s a crossword puzzle on the eight limbs of yoga. ACROSS 1. Non-coveting or nonhoarding, a yama. (10) 5. Truth, a yama. (5) 7. Cleanliness or purity, a niyama. (7) 10. Celibacy or moderation, a yama from jumbling ‘A Chamba Harry’. (12) 11. The seventh limb of yoga, meditation. (6) 13. The eighth limb of yoga, liberation. (7) 15. Contentment, a niyama. (8) 17. Self-study, a niyama. (9) 18. The fourth limb of yoga, control of energy through breath. (9)
DOWN 1. Non-violence, a yama. (6) 2. The third limb of yoga, physical postures. (5) 3. Non-stealing, a yama. (6) 4. The fifth limb of yoga, sense control. (10) 6. The sixth limb of yoga, concentration. (7) 8. See 14 DOWN. 9. Austerity, a niyama. (5) 12. The first limb of yoga, social don’ts. (4) 14 & 8 DOWN. Devotion or surrender to God, a niyama. (7, 10) 16. The second limb of yoga, personal do’s. (6) Solution on page 41
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Yoga Teachers & Studios AMICO STUDIO
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Jl. Kemang Raya 18D, Jakarta, 12730, Indonesia s: Iyengar t:(62) 21 739 3101 e:firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.iyengaryogaindonesia.com
ANAHATA VILLA & SPA RESORT Ubud, Bali, Indonesia s: various styles, group retreats, yoga for privates & corporates. Studio rental available. l: Indonesian and English t: (62) 361 745 3267 f: (62) 361 989 7804 e: promo@ anahataresort.com w: www.anahataresort.com Michel Besnard Yogasana s: Hatha Vinyasa l: English t: (852)2511 8892 / 9527 6691 e: email@example.com Chris Broad Yo Yoga s: private, corporate Anusara influenced, yin & Ubuntu flow t: (852) 9307 1086 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Kathy Cook Retreats, workshops, privates d: Hong Kong, Bali &Thailand s: Iyengar (Junior Intermediate) l: English t: (852) 6292 5440 / (62) 811 387781 e: email@example.com w: www.yogawithkathy.com George Dovas The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong d: Sheung Wan s: Iyengar Certified (Junior Intermediate I) t: (852) 2541 0401 e: george@ iyengaryogahongkong.com
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IYENGAR YOGA 46
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:email@example.com w: iyengaryogasingapore.com Ming Lee Privates, workshops s: Iyengar Certified teacher l: English, Cantonese, Putonghua t: (852) 9188 1277 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE MANAGEMENT YOGA CENTRE Non-profit Classical Yoga School d: Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong s: Patanjali yoga, Kids yoga, Seniors yoga, Corporates l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 2191 9651 t: (852) 6349 0639 (Chinese) e: email@example.com w: www.yoga.org.hk Master Luke s: yoga therapist for chronic diseases, M.Sc.(Yoga therapy), P.T.D.N.Y.S.D.Y.SC.ED.,Y.I.C., Experienced Hatha yoga therapist &instructor in Basics, Intermediate, Advance, Privates l: English t: (852) 9763 4105 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.namaste-yoga.com.hk Ursula Moser The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong, Yoga Central, LRC
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NAMASTE YOGA STUDIO 8A, Minden House, 13 - 15 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong s: privates, Hatha, Iyengar, Sivananda, Satyananda, Kriya yoga t: (852) 9763 4105 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.namaste-yoga.com.hk Anna Ng Privates d: Hong Kong s: Hatha yoga l: Cantonese t: (852) 9483 1167 e: email@example.com
PURE YOGA Hong Kong 16/F The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street t: (852) 2971 0055 25/F Soundwill Plaza, 38 Russell St, Causeway Bay t: (852) 2970 2299 14/F Peninsula Office Tower, 18 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon t: (852) 8129 8800 9/F Langham Place Office Tower, 8 Argyle Street, Kowloon t: (852) 3691 3691 4/F Lincoln House, TaiKoo Place, 979 Kingâ€™s Road, Quarry Bay t: (852) 8129 1188 Singapore 391A Orchard Road, #18-00 Ngee Ann City Tower A t: (65) 6733 8863 30 Raffles Place, 04-00 Chevron House t: (65) 6304 2257 Taiwan 151 Chung Hsiao East Road, Sec 4, Taipei t: (886) 02 8161 7888
REAL YOGA 176 Orchard Road #06-016/07 The Centrepoint, Singapore s: Hatha, Power, Ashtanga and Gentle Yoga l: English t: (65) 6734 2853 w: www.realyoga.com.sg
SPACE YOGA 26 / F, 27 An-Ho Road, Section
1, Taipei 106, Taiwan s: Hatha, Ashtanga, Anusara Inspired, Flow, Yin, Restorative, Power, Hot, Meditation, Pranayama, Virya Sadhana, and Yoga Dance l: English, Mandarin t: (886) 2 2773.8108 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.withinspace.com
KUNDALINI YOGA @ SHAKTI 3/F 34 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong s: Kundalini Yoga, Qigong, Guided Kundalini Meditation, Pilates (privates), Energy Healing, Life Coaching. Also Studio & Healing rooms for rental t: (852) 2521 5099 e: email@example.com w: www.shaktihealingcircle.com
THE YOGA ROOM 3, 4 & 15/F Xiu Ping Commercial Bld, 104 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong s:Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Kundalini, Yoga Therapy, Pilates, Pre-natal, Mom & Baby, Yoga Kids, Belly dance & more t: (852) 2544 8398 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.yogaroomhk.com Wai-Ling Tse Freelance, Privates and Groups d: Hong Kong s: Sivananda certified, Hatha, Svastha Yoga, Anusara-inspired, Power, Hot, Yin, Pranayama and Meditation l: English, Cantonese t: (852) 9465 6461 e: email@example.com
YOGA CENTRAL 4/F Kai Kwong House, 13 Wyndham Street, Central, HK s: Iyengar, Hatha Vinyasa, Acroyoga, Mat-based Pilates, Privates, Corporate and Studio rental available. t: (852) 2982 4308 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.yogacentral.com.hk
YOGA on CAINE ROAD @ COSMO KIDS 1/F, Jadestone Court, 134-8 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, HK s: family yoga, private yoga t: (852) 2915-8138 t: (852) 2915-8138 e: email@example.com w: www.cosmokids.net