Thursday, 19 April 2018

Practice with Damien de Bastier and Andréa

I left Ubud for Canggu. We are conducting with Trupta a Yoga Retreat at Samadi Bali, therefore I took advantage of being there to practice with Damien and Andréa.

The Mysore Classes are not fully packed, which is really enjoyable, Damien was there for the first week then Andréa is now taking it.

I never practiced with a woman Ashtangi before, and she is absolutely wonderful. I love her adjustments in Marychasana D, the way she is pressing her foot on mine to make my spine twisted slightly deeper is just amazing.



I did work my backbend with Damien, a different approach from Ian and Steven, therefore I am learning a lot, and specially I understood that my legs were too weak.

Right now I stopped the drop back and work in depth the backbend from my mat, getting closer to my feet day by day.

The jump back from Bakasana to Chaturanga came back, I was happy.

My jump front are really really improving, actually I can do it easily without touching the mat, uncrossing my leg directly to Dandasana with the tiny lift before bringing my sitbone on the mat. I would never imagine that one day I would have done it, but yes !

However jump back from sitting pose are still in process.

Mark Robberds and Deepika are coming from time to time for their practices. It was nice to see them and awesome to have Mark practicing next to me. From Mark I am still learning how to jump back using Lolasana, one day I did one successfully however this day never happened again.

Ashtanga Yoga Practice is definitely a path, a full dedication, progress is coming in and out.... the all idea is to accept both way. One day it will be great, the next day it will not.

Once you accept it, then you can move forward easily wether in your practice or even with yourself.

The relationship between the practitioner and the yoga mat and the practice is always in evolution, we think we know while we don't and finally we acknowledge fully that we do not know anything ;-)

Enjoy your practice !

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Interview with Iain Grysak - Ashtanga Yoga Ubud

The first time I practiced with Iain Grysak was on February 2017. I attended the immersion Ashtanga Pranayama Course.

I was reading his articles since 2015. The first article I read was Reflections on Mysore 6 Weeks. I become instantly hooked to his writing.

2016 is the year I really jumped into the Ashtanga Yoga Method. I practiced with Ramesh from BNS Iyengar, John Scott, Sarawasthi and Sharat on the same year. It was easy for me as I was living in Srirangnapatna at that time.

On June 2016 I met Marie and David, students of Iain. They both told me: "In Ubud there is one Ashtangi, his name is Iain and you should go and practice with him".

On November 2016 while waiting on the bench facing the main shala entry for Sharat Conference I saw Iain outside of the crowed patiently waiting while others people where ready to kill to be first entering into the main shala.

Exactly the day before I was on his website wondering should I register for his immersion course. And then he was there right in front of me. I took it as a sign.

So here it is, "my" interview with Iain Grysak.

(c) Photo Credit: Iain Grysak


Enjoy the reading!

***

1. The discipline of the Ashtanga Yoga practice really helps me to manage OCD issues. Why does this particular practice "heal" the body and the human being?
The Ashtanga practice is a powerful tool. Like any powerful tool, it can be used for good or for harm. It truly depends on how we use it. It would be wrong to expect that simply by performing these sequences of asana and breathing, that we will automatically obtain healthy or healing results. 
The asana and breathing sequences must also be practiced with the right intention and awareness.
I feel that if we are using the practice as a vehicle for bringing about improved relationship and clearer communication between the conscious mind and the feeling body, then we are going to obtain good results in the long term.
Much of our lack of wellness in the modern world – both on the individual level and the planetary level – has its origins in the disconnection between the moment to moment awareness of the conscious mind and the experiential reality of the feeling body. 

We have become lost in the world of disembodied human abstraction and our actions and decisions increasingly ignore the felt reality of our biological human organism as well as that of the planetary organism.

If we practice with the intention of allowing ourselves to engage with the experience of the feeling body, we soon encounter many of our habitual patterns of reaction within the feeling body. Everything we are is actually contained within this quality of embodied feeling. 
If we can simply give space for these aspects of who and what we are to express themselves in the practice - without diving in and deepening them, nor running away from and avoiding them – then we open up the possibility of authentic and sustainable personal transformation. 
This is not an easy process, but those who practice this as a long term process will almost certainly experience positive self-transformation and healing.
Unfortunately, it can also happen that we use the practice as a destructive tool. This happens when we use the practice as a way to deepen or strengthen our habitual patterns of reaction.
When the practice brings up these aspects of ourselves, we can fall into the habitual grooves of reaction while we are practicing. One who practices in this way as a long term process can become a dangerous person, and the many public cases of teachers who have abused their students are examples of this.

2. While practicing sometimes we are "winning" one posture and after a couple of months of regular practice we are "loosing" it. Have you ever experienced it?

This is a natural aspect of the long term dynamics of the restructuring process of the practice.


Our beings are held in a stable, but malleable state of balance. This applies to all levels of our being – physical, emotional, energetic, psychological, etc. The postures and sequences of the practice are daily inputs which shift and change the tensions patterns which hold us in this stable state. As we continue to practice long term, the effect of the inputs of the practice on the tension patters of our being percolate deeper and deeper and the very structure of our being changes.

If we make a “breakthrough” and attain a bind, or some form of completion in a difficult posture, this represents the culmination of a shifting in the internal tension patters.

For some time we might continue to be able to perform this action in our practice, but eventually the system shifts again, possibly due to accommodating another form of movement we are working on, or perhaps just due to a phase in the process of deeper integration.

Then, we can lose the ability to perform that action. This is usually a temporary phase. It can last anywhere from a day to a year or more. In nearly all cases, the ability to perform this action will eventually come back with regular long term practice.

It is important to understand that there is no permanence inside. Practice should give us an experiential understanding of this phenomena of constant internal change and flux. We can then cultivate less attachment to certain internal states which we might judge as being favourable.

Every moment there are so many influences which our being is responding to and shifting to accommodate. We are stable, yet we are also fluid and constantly changing.

Learning to accept this dynamic of eternal flux and shift with grace and stability is one of the deeper lessons we should glean from long term practice.



3. Is it the normal assimilation process of the Method?

Yes, as explained in my explanation above.


4. How much time it will take to get mastery over the Drishti?

Drishti is an aspect of focus and concentration. It also has important physiological effects, but the ability to maintain the gaze in one place represents the ability to stay focussed.

I like to say that the main drishti is the breath.


When I am practicing, I don’t place much important on external gazing points. I tend to “watch” my breath as continuously as possible. 

This means being with the phenomenological experience of the breath moving inside. This also connects back to my answer to your first question where I said the main goal of practice should be to improve the relationship between the conscious mind and the feeling body.

When we are able to stay focused and absorbed in the phenomenological experience of the feeling body (and breath) as we move through the practice, then drishti is automatically engaged. In its true essence, drishti is an internal gazing practice.

As for “mastery”, concentration will wax and wane like everything else. 

Our goal should be to remain as absorbed as possible in the phenomenological experience of body and breath, but we should also expect that this will never be perfect.

Concentration is as impermanent a phenomena as everything else that we experience. Nonetheless, over time and with regularity of practice, we should see a gradual improvement in the ability to attend to what we are experiencing inside at the feeling based level.

Photo Credit: Iain Grysak


5. Is real Uddiyana and Jalandhara Bandha happening in Asanas (means without any Kumbhakas)

Bandha is simply a state of balanced alignment around the major joints and lock of the body.

If proper alignment and breathing are in place, then bandha will be there. Bandha represents the most balanced state that our being can exist in at any given moment. If we are practicing well, all of the bandhas will be engaged to some degree.

The specific intentional locks that occur in khumbaka pranayama are slightly different, and should not be engaged in the asana practice.


Photo Credit: Iain Grysak


6. Do you think that it is easy to follow the "parampara" when in Mysore there are more than 200 students to practice for one teacher?

Sharath’s instructions to each individual in Mysore are very clear.

He has the ability to understand each student’s strengths and weaknesses within a very short period of time and he then works with each individual accordingly.

If one trusts Sharath and applies his instructions, one can make a lot of progress in the practice under Sharath’s guidance.


My practice deepens immensely when I practice with him in Mysore. I think problems for others arise when they bring their own expectations for what they hope to experience there, and because of that they fail to surrender to learning what it is that Sharath can teach them.


7. At what time is your morning practice and are you still practicing the Primary Series?

I practice from 2:30 – 4:30 am when I am teaching, which is most of the year. I always do primary series on Friday mornings or whatever the last day of the practice week is.

I also sometimes practice primary series on the day before travelling, and possibly for several days after travelling if it has been disruptive to my state of balance.

Other times that I practice primary include times where I am going through deeper restructuring and need to pull back to stabilize myself, or in the rare cases where I become very sick or fatigued.

For example, I climbed a 6500 m mountain in Nepal in December of last year. It was extremely difficult and even traumatic to my being, especially on summit day when I suffered from altitude sickness, but pushed on to reach the summit.

Due to various factors, I was not able to practice asana at all for the second half of the expedition. When I returned home to Bali, I became very sick with pneumonia, which also prevented me from practicing asana for about a week. When I finally was able to start practice again, I felt very weak, and so did primary series only for several weeks, until I felt strong enough to start other series again.


8. Is there any series in the Ashtanga Yoga Practice that have been harder, longer to learn for You?

All of the series are difficult, if we learn them properly!


The aspects of the practice that we most need to develop are often the most difficult things to learn. There have been many things that were difficult for me to learn.

There is no one who learns everything about this practice easily and quickly.

People who say they learned primary, or any other series quickly often have a very weak practice which is full of holes. Full integration of any series takes time. For everyone.


9. From time to time are you still practicing Iyengar Yoga?

No. In my opinion, the two systems are not compatible and should not be practiced together.

They give very different types of inputs to the being and the internal intelligence would be very confused by attempting to integrate both types of inputs. It is best to choose one system or the other and practice it diligently.

There are valuable things that I learned from practicing Iyengar yoga which are still with me and which inform the way that I practice Ashtanga, but as far as using the Iyengar method of practice, no, I don’t.


10. What is the advice you will give to someone who want to start Ashtanga Yoga? Is there any proper diet that suits better the practice?

I consider diet to be a practice in itself.


For me, all practices – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, meditation, diet, etc - are just different methods to improve the relationship between the conscious mind and the feeling body.

I do intend to write a longer article about my experiences and views on diet. I personally follow a vegan diet based on nutrient dense, whole foods. My dietary choices have been a gradual exploration and evolution which continues to this day.


I think the most important thing I can say about diet is that it is important to base one’s choices in food consumption on the authentic needs of the feeling body.

We can only truly feel the needs of the feeling body when the conscious mind learns how to communicate with it.


For most of us in the modern world, this is a long term process.

Exposing oneself to different dietary philosophies and systems is a very good thing to do. It is helpful to understand the claims of each system and to try out those things that make some sense to us.

But, then the real test is to feel the response of the feeling body to trying out different ways of eating. The body understands what is and isn’t good for it.

As long as we give ultimate authority to the feeling body and NOT to an external dietary dogma, we will learn how to make better and better dietary choices. I generally recommend against making drastic dietary changes in a short period of time.

Even if one’s dietary habits are not the healthiest or most efficient ways of eating, they do become a source of stability once we have adapted to them. Too much change too quickly is like pulling the carpet out from underneath someone’s feet.

It usually results in shock and a painful experience. Diet is no exception to this rule. I definitely encourage experimentation with different dietary choices, but to implement them gradually and to pay attention to the response of the feeling body with each dietary shift. We can then to make further decisions based on the feedback of the feeling body to each small change.

***

Iain Grysak is Level 2 authorised from the KPJAYI teaching all year long in Ubud, Bali.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Last day in Thaïland, last practice with Steve Hyland

These last two months (including end of December) my practice has been messy.

I was moving backward, maybe my expectations were too high.

I lost my jump back from Kakasana to Chaturanga, then suddenly I lost all kind of backbends, even a "simple" Urdhva Mukha Svanasana was painful, my upper back did not want to open, my lower back was squeezing and compressing.

I did not want to do any drop back and after winning Pasasana I lost it.

Was slightly down though. The practice was not enjoyable anymore, I was in pain all day long, left shoulder was painful like hell and my wound from my left hamstrings stop allowing me to do any forward fold correctly.

Then I felt in Kukutasana, pretty badly....

As well my mind was playing with me, a lot of anger came out without any warning. I started to be angry at everything that happened in my life, hating myself, hating my body and felt prisoner of it.

As my Ashtanga practice was not satisfying me anymore but really frustrating me I then add another practice in the afternoon and came back to my first love which was Pilates.

Also instead of practicing 25 minutes of pranayama I decided to practice it twice a day for a total of one hour.

I am following the blog of Anthony Hall (honestly speaking I am addicted to it) and found on Youtube one video where he is doing the Vinyasa Krama sequence from Simon Borg. I started considering it very seriously, therefore I added it the sequence as well into my evening practice.

Slowly (very slowly) I started noticing change in my body and during the morning practice.

Steve Hyland lent me the book of Richard Freeman "The Art of Vinyasa - Awakening Body and Mind through the Practice of Ashtanga Yoga".



In one part of the book Richard Freeman ask the question "Who am I?" and his answer to it was: "Everything".

My point is WE ARE NOT ALONE on the Ashtanga Yoga Path. And that is very important to understand that concept.

Each dedicated practitioner at one point of his/her Life will be facing his/her own demons which most of the time come from the Past.

There is this sentence that in some way is bothering me "One guru, one Student". I don't think so.

Personally I think it is very important to open our mind and to be able to meet, learn, speak, talk with all dedicated Ashtangis that have been paving that road for us. Without their experience, their knowledge we won't be able to move forward.

Our personal life and personal feelings are printed into our body and as practitioner we are not the only one struggling by following that path.

Today my practice was awesome. I don't have anymore burden on my shoulders and as a result I did the most beautiful drop-back I ever done.

Still I lost Pasasana and jump back from Kakasana but from a general point of view my all practice has drastically changed and evolved in many ways.

Thank you to Steve Hyland, Anthony Hall, Richard Freeman and Simon Borg. By sharing your experiences you helped me into my practice.

Next stop is Bali, Ubud where I will be practicing with Iain Grysak. No need to mention again and again how much I love to practice under his guidance.

From now and then I am planning my calendar in accordance with his schedule and hopefully I will be able to practice with him in 2019.

Have a good practice!

Enjoy Life :-)

Respect Yourself!

- Namaste -

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Interview with Steve Hyland - Ashtanga Yoga Pattaya, Thailand

Interview with a long time practitioner - Steven Hyland

Ashtanga Yoga in Thailand



1. What guided you to the Ashtanga Yoga Practice?

It was quite a long time ago now; about 4 or 5 years BC (before computers) I think.

I had been on a kind of search for a yoga class that would be likely to hold my interest. I had tried a couple of classes at a local sports facility and they didn’t seem to be very interesting or challenging. Back then it was purely a physical practice; I had no idea at all how much depth there could be to it. 

Anyway, by chance I was in the sports department of a large store, and there was a dvd running of two people practicing first series. One was accomplished, and the other was doing beginners variations, which, although is a different approach to KPJAYI teaching methods, it did make it appealing to try. 

There was something about what they were practicing that triggered a deep connection, but I was a long way from being physically capable of 80% of the asanas. I had a desk job back then, and had not been fit as a kid. I had a LOT of work to do but I was up for the challenge. 

After a few weeks of stretching and struggling at home, I knew I had to find a teacher and found one, just 40kms from home. That was my seed point really. It was about 1997.
 

2. Do you think that this practice is for everyone ? Even for a full complete beginner?

It really is down to attitude. Of course these days there’s been a massive increase in awareness, so with a bit of research, not so many go into it like a blank sheet of paper (as I had).

What is needed is discipline, patience, acceptance, compassion and many other qualities that can be left behind in the fast-paced and ever changing lives that most of us seem to have these days.

Many people seem to be over-stimulated these days, without a minute to call their own, so it is a highly appropriate time to start. “I didn’t have time” is probably the most common reason for not taking practice, or going to class, but we overlook that we are in control of what we actually do with our time.

We all have the opportunity to arrange our lives to include a bit of ‘me-time’, and in that window we can take practice. 

In the beginning, we don’t have to do too much. It’s much nicer, and sustainable, if we taper into a practice, while making sure that we don’t just play to our strengths. 

Many of us have to progress very carefully though, because our joints and our ranges of movement in our day to day life are not ready for many of the asanas.

We’ve allowed ourselves quite sedentary life in most cases, or been driven that way by work and short term opportunities to be comfortable. So, we have to learn how to lean into it, and not push. Guruji always said that it’s a listening practice.

It can be painful when we don’t listen, or when we rush! As a teacher, I don’t like to see people setting themselves up for the mistakes that I’ve made in the past.

All of my injuries occurred in the first year or so, and were entirely caused by me trying to do things I wasn’t ready for; my beginners naivety. The bottom line though IMHO, is attitude.

Anyone with the right attitude can patiently begin their quest. Yamas and Niyamas strongly support correct attitude, but many of us don’t place too much interest there for a while. Odd really, because later on they can become one of your biggest challenges. 


3. From your personal point of view, is it really necessary to stop student when they can not bind in Marychasana D or grab in Supta Kurmasana for instance?

There are advantages in both scenarios, so the relationship with your teacher is what really matters to me.

If the student and teacher know each other, and work together for a meaningful period of time, they can work together applying the brakes,  or pushing if a push is required. A good teacher isn’t looking at the place, he’s looking at the face. If somebody is really making a mess, or conking out, it’s better for them to rest up at that point.


4. There is this sentence that said "One teacher (or one guru) for one student". Do you consider Pattabhis Jois or Sharath as your Guru?

Most of us think about this at some point, and maybe some of us over think it. I’m kind of at peace with it, in that the Guru system is Indian. 

As I’m not (Indian), I don’t use the term Guru. I have enormous respect for Guruji’s work and of course for Sharath, as well as my principal teacher, Hamish.

I deeply respect other teachers that have shed a bit of light on stuff over the years too. Even just one tip that supports me gets remembered at source as I practice, and keeps in evolving and interesting. We are all one voice in the fullness of time, and all here to support and help each other; that’s my feeling anyway.


5. Do you think that it is easy to follow the "parampara" when in Mysore there are more than 200 students to practice with one teacher?

Remaining within a lineage really helps to control confusion and doubt that can set in by hopping around and doing different practices/methods.

Conversely though, staying open to ideas and inspiration is very helpful and healthy, without unbalancing your energy.

If confusion and doubt set in, it can really bugger up my practice, so for me parampara is internal, not external. I hope that makes sense.

Being in Gokulam, really helped me to see a bigger picture, or maybe it was just that my mind was free of work and all other commitments.

The number of people there had no bearing at all on what I came away with. The large numbers of people did make the domestic stuff challenging though; accommodation etc., and of course these days, it has become more difficult to get a place in the Shala. 

6. What does the practice bring you on a daily basis or just into your Life?

Once I had accepted that it was going to be quite different every time, and stopped really striving for progress, it became a really special time.

In all those years, it has hardly ever felt like a chore or like I just have to go through the motions. It’s very colourful. From the opening mantra though, everything else goes on hold and all of the support mechanisms that the practice offers, start to show up.

At the end, whether it’s felt heavy, light, spacious or tight, after taking some rest, theres a lovely feeling of settlement, peace and accomplishment etc. I love the way Guruji summed that up in his limited English; “everywhere looking, only God seeing”.

7. What advice will you give to a brand new practitioner? 

Be patient and don't have too many expectations or demands. Let it happen, because it will. There will be hundreds of "ahaha" moments that will show up when you are ready. Practice with healthy curiosity and practice with an artful intelligence, while keeping sight of the incredible intelligence that the sequencing of the asanas has built inside of it.

What needs to change, deepen or evolve in you will be supported by each respective asana and vinyasa.

Just trust it.

It works.

*
*    *

Steven Hyland is teaching Mysore Classes all year long in Pattaya, Thailand.


- Namaste -


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Ashtanga Yoga Practice - Improving the core

Since I don't have anything else to do while I am in Thailand I am starting to practice 4 hours per day. After my morning practice I usually go for a swim to relaxe my muscle and in the afternoon I start exploring other path outside of Ashtanga.

For instance I am now practicing Pilates, I really missed that practice, I used to practice and teach Pilates when I was living in Paris 5 years ago. I do miss it a lot but I am getting back to it which is a very good news.

Steve Hyland let me borrowing the Yoga Wheel from the studio, and I am discovering how can I use it instead of a Ball or instead of a Reformer for instance. It is pretty intense practice and I am realising that I kind of lost my core by only practicing Ashtanga Yoga.

Or maybe it is because I do not practice well, but Pilates moves are essentially for the core muscle. The passage from lying down to the Teaser is slightly difficult with this manduka travel yoga mat.

Very thin and my sacrum does not like it, therefore I am not stable because of the pain it occurs to my sacrum.





And as a result this morning I did my first "baby lolasana, I was very happy about it but was unable to reproduce it ;-)

So now I am looking forward to the next morning practice.

Have a good day!

Friday, 2 February 2018

Ashtanga Yoga Thailande - Steven Hyland

There are a lot of advantages of not having a proper home, you are free. I like to travel, even thought I now tend to dislike taking flight, but I what I do love after all is to travel for a purpose such as practicing Ashtanga Yoga.

Pattaya is not the paradisiac place that we could imagine when we are travelling to Thailand. Pattaya is well-known for its nightlife, bar and girls. However there is one hidden secret, Steven Hyland a wonderful Ashtanga Yoga Teacher.

When I was in Mysore I was looking for another place to practice and after google it I finally find Steven Hyland. He has been authorised by Sharat and is now dedicating his time teaching in Pattaya. His shala is located in a resort a very quiet place.

The first contact I had with Steven was through messenger, he has been very reactive and even arranged my accommodation at the Mind Resort.



Steve is very quiet, shy, humble. He does not advertise himself, if you want to find him you really have to look for him, he does not organise any intensive.

He just do what he likes, he teaches to everyone and anyone who wish to practice. His students are most of it Thai people, sometimes beginners are coming but the regular students are practitioners. In his shala everyone has his attention.

There are between 4 to 8 students that come for the practice which is just perfect, no one will sweat on your mat except yourself and no risk of being hit by a foot while coming back from Uttanasana.
At Steve's shala everyone has his attention.

Personally I never liked to be adjusted during the standing sequence. I am subject to pressure drop which make my ears "buzzing", therefore I need more break and take more breathing in between asana such as all Prasaritta series.

However when I receive an adjustment from Steve I do not resist, his hands are talking to my spine and I can feel it lengthening instead of resisting.

The sitting adjustment postures are my favorite. He is never pushy and just guiding me to a better extensions, rotations, deepening softly my practice.

I find in Steve the same qualities as with Iain Grysak (with who I will be practicing next month).

I think you can not compare the Asthanga practice with any other yoga style. There is a real community in the Ashtanga world, everyone practice the same series, the same asanas, we all have more or less the same obstacles and having the opportunity to practice with several teachers (which is contrary to what we hear I know) is for me a huge privilege as they are all complimentary to each others.

Also it is very interesting to see how our body and bone structure are changing through the practice. For instance I am in the period where I lost all my backbends.

Therefore I am now practicing in the afternoon not the Ashtanga but exercices inspired by the work of Simon Borg-Olivier focused on the spine mobility. I also add to my matwork the Pilates Method as well swimming.

So yes Pattaya is not a hub of Yoga, neither a paradisiac place in Thailand to visit but in a strange way I feel good here.

If you are looking for a place to practice in Thailand, in a shala where you will have enough space to unroll your mat I can not stop to recommend you Steven Hyland.

Have a Good Practice !
Original article published on www.xandrayoga.com

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

200 Hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Course is wrong

Why we should not teach 200 Hour Ashtanga Yoga


The same way there is no 200 Hour Iyengar Teacher Training Course.

1. Dedication to the Ashtanga Yoga System


When you start practicing the Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa, respecting the series and respecting the order of the asanas, wether it is with Sharat, Sarawasthi or any another teachers following that system you will soon realised that it takes a lot of commitment to achieve the Primary Series.

The Primary Series can not be learn in one month.

The Primary Series should not be teach by non practitioner.

2. Teaching a 200 Hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Course is disrespectful


First toward all practitioners in the world who wake up early morning to practice.

Second toward senior teachers who have a bigger knowledge than any other so call Yoga School in the world teaching that method into a one month format.

Third: you can teach something else, call it as Vinyasa Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Flow Yoga but using the pretext that you have been watching videos on Youtube, knowing the sanskrit counting for all vinyasas does not make you a practitioner.

Or if you really want to teach it then PRACTICE IT!

That is at least the last thing you can do.

Be honest with yourself and with your students and wake up every early morning, unfold your mat and go and sweat on your mat each day of your life, not only 3 weeks, not only 1 week, no do it regularly, try to understand the concept of Tapas if you are calling yourself a "Yogi" or a Yoga teacher.

3. Selling a 200 Hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Course is lying to students


Yes that is a big lie.

Because most of the time students who register to this kind of course have absolutely no clue about Ashtanga Yoga, some of them does not even know who was Sri Krishnamacharya, some of them does not even know what is the "Mysore" Style..... they are fully beginners, and in one month they will become certified in "Ashtanga Yoga" as for most us it takes at least 18 months just to assimilate the Primary Series!

I was one of them, in 2012 I attend a 200 Hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Course. And it took me 4 years to understand that it was wrong.

In the West we have the conception that India is the source of Yoga.

Therefore we tend to believe any yoga teachers who will wear a dhoti, a dot on the forehead and speak in Sanskrit.

From our point of view we will be completely amazed by it.

Then when we come back to our country we will be proud to say "My Indian Teacher", it will give more weight to our resume and to our yogic experience. Because we trust.

The reality is slightly different. Some Indians Teachers know it even thought they have a very limited understanding of the West, but who cares, they start surfing on the wave of Yoga and start making so much money that they won't stop.

They are not even practicing what they are teaching. But under the pretext that they know all sanskrit name of all asanas, that they "know" the Primary Series and the vinyasa counting it is sufficient for them to declare themselves as practitioner of the Ashtanga.

Same for westerners, they come to Mysore because that is the "place to be", take a picture with Sharat or just sit at the entrance of the main shala for the picture and then when they come back home they are claiming to have learned yoga from the source..... after one or three months practice.....

I met a girl in Gokulam who was practicing with Sarawasthi. She then become friend with Sharmilla and told me that after 6 months she wanted to get her authorisation from Sarawasti.

I told her it is not gonna happened. She did not believe me. Not to mention that she was a beginner and a Zumba teacher....

A teacher capable to jump back and jump front does not mean that he/she is practicing. Watch their practice when they are showing asana, if at all they can show.

In two seconds you can see that Mark Robberds, Iain Grysak, Steve Hyland or John Scott are practitioners because they are carrying their practice into their body.

Actually their practices are printed into their body. The body don't lie!

As soon as they move to show one simple asana you notice it.

Catching, not catching?


Some people might say "It is not because you bind in Marychasana D or catch in Supta Kurmasana that you are a yogi". I fully agreed with that!

However, in order to be able to catch or bind take commitment, regularity, dedication, practice.

Because anyone with a regular practice can do it, that is the powerful message of the Ashtanga Yoga Practice.

You can do whatever you want with your mind and your body if only you have the dedication for it.

The same way some people without any practice might be able to lift up in Mayurasana, just by the strength of their arms but certainly not because of a regular practice.

Unfortunately this little circus trick might be sufficient enough to impress beginners students.

Do not become an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher but do become a Practitioner.

Enjoy your practice!


Here are few Ashtanga Yoga Teachers that deserve more than a look:

Iain Grysak (Ubud)
Steve Hyland (Pattaya, Thailand)
Mark Robberds (Australia, or Bali or everywhere else in the world)
John Scott (everywhere in the world)
Manju Jois
David Swenson
Richard Freeman
Mary Taylor
Laruga Glaser (Sweden)
Nicola Legrez (Paris, France)
Arnaud Kancel (Montpellier, France)
Caroline Bourlinguez (Paris, France)
Ajay Tokas (India)

All of theses brillant teachers are having intensive workshops, training courses. Just have a look, if you want to start your journey with the Ashtanga start it on a good way!

- Namaste -