Wednesday through Sunday (7/5- 7/9) a few of the Mysore sessions will be “open practice” or without the support of a teacher. If you need help accessing your practice, please come to the led classes offered Monday and Wednesday at 7pm and Friday morning at 7am. If you need help accessing the studio please text me at 503-890-2212 for information. Saturday (7/8) is a full moon and Near East Yoga will be closed.
This Saturdays full moon is a special one being the traditional day in July celebrating the birth of all Gurus. Ashtanga Yoga’s founding guru, Sri K Pattabhi Jois was born on Guru Purnima, July 26th, 1915. He lived 93 years and his life and work became a bridge between the ages, where he left behind a powerful legacy to carry the classical yoga tradition forward, long after his passing.
In the present age, encountering the classical Guru is not an easily revealed reality. While there are many teachers, only a few uphold a classical lineage transmission, where the heart of the ancient guru can be found along with the means to reveal the spirit of “self and things”, through studying and practicing the methods codified and offered during ancient times. Ashtanga Yoga is for sure a transformative and gratifying process for which there is much to be grateful for and a place where the guru lingers. If we take the initiative offered by the karma of process, we gain insight that can aid us as we grow and change through the process.
Like all entities born of “things”, our minds and egos will change as our body changes, leaving the soul as constant and unchanging observer, abiding in svarupe- vasthu or the self-form, in its place. We can witness a new form of our body, individually, simultaneously and collectively, arise in every moment if we have the “bandhas” to pay attention and we do not look away.
In this continuum the long practice of vinyasa, pranayama, drishti reveals the intermediary stillness, silence that lingers, as we go off the mat and about our lives, with the spacious bubble of a self-created environment that cant be bought or taught. Pretty cool stuff if one can get that going.
So, If you are wondering how to celebrate guru purmima, a simple “Thanks Guruji!” is a good place to begin as our thoughts around this time of year turn toward the great teachers we have known, whoever that Guru is for you. It’s part of the process to work for a good and beneficial life, with right action and intention. For our teachers, who help us everyday, we are most grateful.
As a teacher it is imperative that I both hold close the working tradition of Ashtanga Yoga and support the inquiry of foundational, sacred texts and practices, the ones where we find the inspiration of the Guru and connect with and reflect our own inner teacher. This mission of Near East Yoga has always been to hold a space for physical expression, spiritual inquiry and personal revelation. This reveal constantly unfolds and supports us, as a group and as individuals, as we continue our life and karma.
With practice and inquiry we have all we need to “get ripe on the vine”, for the time when the guru we have been moving toward all along arrives in our life. Maybe this ripening will simply be knowing ourselves as a wordless understanding that we can not be taught but only choose to abide. This state is always within us, well within our reach if we know how to see it and take the steps to cultivate it. May there be no limits or hierarchy regarding who achieves this state.
As 15 years opens up to a beautiful future I say; thank you all for bringing your intention and energy to Near East Yoga and supporting the legacy of Pattabhi Jois and those that came before him. We souls are each a part of a long continuum with yoga as the theme- blessings to you everyone this Guru Purnima 2017!!
Casey, July 4th, 2017