Here are a few paragraphs describing whats going on at Near East Yoga. They include descriptions of special classes I am offering, my upcoming vacation times and in general, how to best utilize what I am offering here at NEY
On Friday the 12th, after the led class, I am departing to Southern Oregon for a week. I will return for the following Friday led class. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Morning Mysore starts at 8AM and goes till 9:30AM for this week only. The evening and weekend classes are the same as usual. Thanks Meadow, Liza, Melissa and Johnny for helping out while am away.
In addition to regular Mysore classes and the Friday Yoga Sutra Study, I have been experimenting by adding 2 weekly pranayama classes, 8am on Saturday and 9am on Monday. So far they have been well attended and folks are making solid inroads with the practice, so I am going to add them to the regular schedule starting next Saturday , the 20th of July. Some weeks I won’t be able to support them but, like the Sutra Study, they will become permanent classes. There is no special pre-rec for attendance or extra fee, but the practice does require giving it some time to see the benefit. So, if its your time, take it on. If not, stick to the vinyasa krama until a more suitable time arrises.
Guided Ashtanga is a new time and offering and basically an invitation to practice with me at 10AM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For the past 2 months I have been practicing with a video of Guruji leading both the 1st and 2nd Series and sometimes Richard Freeman’s 2nd Series or Sharath’s 1st series. They are not classes for new people or for people who like a slow ride. They are not about indulging our limitations or hoping to bodily improve for the sake of the ego. It’s hard work to keep up a count with a master teacher and participation requires that we dig deep and surrender that part of us that wants yoga to be what we want it to be. There is an entirely different result in the offing if we take the trouble to leave our ego at the door. So, i am loving doing these classes with Gurujis counting, or Richard Freeman’s quirky but so helpful pointers and Sharath’s mastery of the no-friction approach to the krama. For the record, I tried John Scotts DVD and it fell short. David Swenson 1,2, and 3 is next. Come join me.
The Yoga Sutra Study is a comprehensive event that also takes time and something I’d like to offer more of as it goes. As far as I know there are no yoga studios offering a Yoga Sutra exploration except for the cursory glance or maybe a private study group. Here at NEY, to me anyway, they are the deeper aspect of a chronic yoga practice. Without them, over time, we end up simply indulging a personal construct around yoga rather than employing the tried and true method set down 2 millennia ago. The Yoga Sutra stands the test of time for a reason, it ca’t be added to or taken away from. This makes it perfect. As a yogi, it’s my duty to inform you that Yoga Sutras are important and useful. And interesting and fruitful when put into action. We chant them regularly and try to understand the stated logic, then put them to practice. And we get results.
In late summer/ early fall, I’ll be offering a 4 part seminar on them titled “Putting the Result of Asana Practice to Work via the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali”. I say it like this because I know people put a great deal of work into asana and there are tangible results. In the greater experiment though, without knowing what it is we are looking for, we might grow weary of our own devices and run the risk of abandoning the practice before implementing the technology offered by Patanjali. I don’t think this is what Guruji had in mind when he said “99% practice, 1% theory”. At one time prior, he had said “98% practice, 2% theory”. Either way, it’s certainly not 0% theory and if it were, then maybe yoga becomes 99% practice of the wrong thing, a fantasy or simply what we want it to be. It’s better to know some theory rather than none and not short change ourselves in the long run. The yoga has many benefits. The main one is developing the ability to “constantly practice”. It states how in the Yoga Sutra.
You might be wondering what qualifies me to offer this type of work? Frankly, I have balked at listing my qualifications because accumulating them was a deep, painful, precious and personal process, one that required me to go places in myself that does translate well to a blog post. I had to first learn, the hard way, that I needed the strategies listed in the yoga sutra, exemplified in the yoga vinyasa krama (sequence) and then to constantly re-established them in my life. This took the better part of the past 15 years, but truly encompasses my entire life. It’s an exciting place to be and over-all I am very enthusiastic about sharing insights. My desire over-all is to help you find a better teacher. For my part I want to be a servant, it easier because the stakes are not so high and allow for my ongoing limitations while still alloing me to share what I am passionate about. Besides, the better teacher I am talking about, is the one inside yourself. This was the goal of Guruji too, to turn us toward Patanjali, who in turn shared the same goal, to introduce us to our deepest self. It’s the inner teacher we are abiding as, equipped with the tried and true methods of ages past, who makes good on this human endowment.
One day soon I’ll write about my inner journey with all of this but that story is not yet complete.
Thanks for all the support. I look forward to seeing you all in class or elsewhere. Cheers for you summer.