As I may have mentioned before, Ashtanga and its teachers can be strict... Strictly Come Yogering. Some teachers get very militant about teaching Ashtanga the-way-it-is-taught-in -Mysore. However, there have been many changes over the years. David Swenson tells of how, during Pattabhi Jois’ second visit to America, he found students had added a posture and liked it... so it became part of the Primary Series.
In Greece, teachers Kiros Tzanne and Kristina Karitinou Ireland add extra postures to the standing sequence: after the four standing wide leg forward folds (Prasaritta Padottanasana) there’s a hip-flexor stretch (Anjaneyasana) and a splits-like pose (Ardha Hanumanasna). After that it’s back to a wide leg forward fold but this time, much, much wider. (Samakonasana .For some people this is box splits! For most of us, no!).
I asked Kristina about these additional postures. She said that the postures were given to Derek Ireland by Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, as he had a very stiff lower back. Today these extras are not found in Mysore but, Kristina said, ‘we practice them in Greece’. Tim Miller also adds these postures for advanced students. Carol Miller tells me: ‘Tim says he adds them because he enjoys doing them’.
Hallelujah! Enjoy what you do!
Come on our magical yoga retreat, starting September 21st! I‘ve been visiting Kapsali Bay since 2004, first when I played violin with an amateur orchestra, and then on my own yoga retreats. Every year I discover more that I love about Kapsali. Kiros Tzannes told our first retreat yogis that Kapsali Bay is shaped like an ‘Om’ and has healing properties. It feels true when you look up to see the Ioannis chapel carved into the cliff, and the Chora Castle lit up at night, and the little church of Agios Geogios is on the tiny peninsular separating the two bays. The smaller, quieter bay is called Piso Gialos and is a harbour for local fishermen who return with their catch in the rising sun as we practice our Sun Salutations overlooking the bay. It’s the perfect place for relaxing and recharging, reclaiming the person that you could be. Come with us!
Classes have gone from being packed to having availability. And have a look at the latest availability in my Home Studio classes on my website.
It’s the big Decathlon opening weekend in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. I’ll be teaching tonight and tomorrow in the Sports HUB of the new Ealing Broadway Decathlon. The whole weekend is full of free classes. I’ll be teaching at: Friday 18:00 - 18:45 and Saturday 12:00 - 12:45. You can sign up here. You have to add ‘yoga’ as a filter and take the ‘radius’ down to zero.
Yoga in the News
The Huffington Post has: Why Are You Still Doing Bikram Yoga? The sub heading is ‘While disgraced yoga guru Bikram Choudhury hides out in Mexico amid allegations of rape and harassment, women all over the world are still giving him their money.’ Mr Bikram decamped to Mexico after several lawsuits, an arrest warrant and rape allegations. His current teacher training is apparently between $12,500 and $16,600. ‘The cost of this recertification is between $750 and $1,200, and it must be repeated every three years.’ ‘Certified instructors are required to teach “The Dialogue,” a word-for-word replica of Choudhury teaching a class.’ (If you’re interested, there’s a 2016 HBO Documentary on him)