The Yoga Pioneers - B.K.S Iyengar 1918-2014

BKS Iyengar on the Evolution of his practise. Prologue I didn't get to meet B.K.S Iyengar. My last visit to India was in the early part of 1999. This was to watch Pakistan vs India in the cricket. The first meeting between these two giants of the game for many years. It was a birthday treat for myself. At that time aged 20 I had no interest in Yoga. If I had the maturity to appreciate the science of Yoga back then as I do now (the appreciation, not the maturity😏 ), I would have gladly walked the nearly 2000km from Eden Gardens, Kolkata (or Calcutta as it was known back then) to Pune to visit him. Over the last 5 years as I have become more and more hypnotised by asana (the physical aspect o

The Yoga Pioneers - Śrī T Krishnamacharya 1888-1989

Learning about Krishnamacharya's life was a hard task until his son Kausthub Desikachar wrote a book on the legacy of his legendary father. The book was not as revealing as I would have hoped but still gave a fascinating insight into the man behind the resurrection of physical yoga. At the time of his birth in late 1888, Yoga as a philosophy was being dragged out of the wilderness by the great Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda, but the physical side of Yoga was still overlooked. The physical side of yoga, the asanas, were not a common practise. If you did asana you where considered a mad man or as B.K.S Iyengar says, "In the early days, Yoga was an alien subject to the Indians also. It was not re

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in Nepal

Some snaps of my Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga week in Nepal. Arranged by Mahalaya Yoga. Above: Real men do Yoga 😉 Above: Lying down in the back. Taking a break 😐 Above: Laura as graceful as ever. Above: Laura getting assistance from John Scott. Above: The workshops with John Scott where always fascinating. Above: Concentration guy. The gang 🙏

The Origins of Surya Namaskar

"Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise" "This body is a piece of earth powered by the sun. You are a solar powered life. If the sun does not come up tomorrow, the scientific data says in eighteen hours’ time, all the water in the oceans, your blood, your brain – everything – will be frozen solid". "So this morning, the sun came up – that is not a small thing; it is everything. You may not be conscious of this, but your life is very directly connected to what happens with the sun and the relationship between the planet and the sun" - Mystics Musings Our primary source of light is the sun. When we look at our closest star, we may see nothing more than a big yellow ball. But fo

Idâ, Pingalâ & Sushumnâ

There are three fundamental nadis or energy channels in the human system according to yogic philosophy, the Idâ, Pingalâ and Sushumna. The 72,000 nadis in the body spring from these three basic nadis – the left, the right and the central – the Idâ, Pingalâ, and Sushumna. The word “nadi” shouldn't be confused with nerves. Nadis are pathways or channels of Prāṇa. Prāṇa means vitality, aliveness. Prāṇa is the subtle life force/breathe. The 72,000 nadis in the human system don’t however have a physical manifestation. This means if you cut the body and look inside, you will not find them. They are in the Prāṇamaya kośa, the vital sheath in the subtle body. As you become more aware, you will start

From Nepal with Love - A Yoga Journey (Updated 10/10/2017)

My Yoga journey in Nepal started with a 7 day Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga retreat at the Neydo Buddhist Monastery in Kathmandu. The retreat was organised by Mahalaya-Nepal. Although familiar with most of the poses that make up the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, I was not familiar with the sequence itself. I had never done an Ashtanga Vinyasa class before despite the fact that Claire Berghorst teaches at Akram Yoga every friday morning. What makes this even more odd is that Claire is a student of John Scott. John Scott was leading the retreat. John Scott is one of the students of the late Patabhi Jois. I hadn't done Ashtanga before due to being overloaded with work on friday mornings, even though Claire

Yoga & Depression

In a recent study (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2017) assessing the effect of yoga classes on participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder found the practice reduced symptoms by at least 50 percent. As noted by study author Dr. Chris Streeter, (Associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine), yoga has the clear advantage of avoiding side effects from drug treatments. Prior studies using other forms of yoga for treatment of depression have also recorded positive results. As noted by Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City: "The mechanism of action is similar to other exercise tec

Love - The Yogis Perspective

The creative minds of the east gave us an image of Śhiva and Pārvatī as one person. One being. The image is Śhiva as Ardhanārīśvara - half man, half woman. On first seeing this image, its looks rather odd, especially as Śhiva is considered as the symbol of ultimate masculinity. There are many interpretations of this image, one of them is that Ardhanārīśvara is just a symbol. A symbol of pure love. These lovers joined together and became as one, but on the surface, they always remained two. An example that was given by Osho Rajneesh to explain Ardhanārīśvara is as follows; Look at it in this way: if the room is dark, you bring two lamps into it. Those two lamps remain two, but their light has

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