10 Ways to Practice Yoga Authentically: Lessons of Yamas and Niyamas

Amy Walker 13-Nov-2014

Many of us will have similar reasons for why we practice yoga – it helps us to release our stress, to come back to our center and remember that we are separate from all the chaos of daily life. On a deeper level it helps us to discover the most authentic version of ourselves.

Ashtanga yoga, as we may or may not know is an eight-limbed system of which asana or physical practice is simply one component. Traditionally, we are taught asana first because we can more easily relate to the physical benefits of the practice before we delve deeper. The physical is tangible, we can see and feel the effects of the practice on our bodies.

Once we have developed commitment on a physical plane, we are then ready to take a step back into the other elements of the Ashtanga yoga system. The first two of these elements are Yamas and Niyamas, otherwise known as codes for how we conduct ourselves both internally and how we interact with the world around us. The Yamas and Niyamas give us guidance for how we can discover that authenticity that is the essence of yoga.

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New Moon & Full Moon Dates in 2014

Joumana Saber 15-Jan-2014

Many of you are probably wondering why we do not have a Mysore class at the Yoga Room on new and full moon days. Instead, we tell you to "take rest" (from your asana practice). Simple - Ashtanga yoga is a traditional system, and resting on moon days is an observance that is part of the traditional approach. Moreover, the Indian astrological belief is that it is not auspicious to do certain things on moon days. We are a community of Ashtanga yoga practitioners. Our intention is to honour tradition. Observing moon days is one way to do so, and there are various explanations as to why practicing on a moon day is not recommended

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Dec. 8 Conference Notes

Joumana Saber 08-Dec-2013

Sharath, and many many many students, have been sick for the last few days. It is getting chilly in Mysore, we're all walking around with sweaters and wrapping scarves around our necks. Sharath always starts conference with a mantra, which he recites so quickly that I can never make up what he's saying (not that I speak Sanskrit fluently, but I could recognize mantras). This time, I was lucky enough to sit so close to him that the recording was super clear. I googled the mantra and so here it is.

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Dec. 1 Conference Notes

Joumana Saber 02-Dec-2013

The shala was so packed yesterday during conference and there were so many people stranding in line to register. Most of them were visiting Mysore for the first time! How exciting... except, this means the shala is going to be very busy during practice and some people will be starting at 9:00am and 9:15am! Yesterday's conference was wonderful - I enjoyed every bit of it and was so happy to sit in the front row. I got to record the whole conference and the audio file was very clear, so I didn't struggle to listen to it and type down most (if not all) of what Sharath-ji said. The reason I want to write down what was said in conference as was said is so that I can give you, beautiful readers, the same beautiful experience I had when attending conference.

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November 2013 Conference Notes, part 1

Joumana Saber 27-Nov-2013

Greetings from Mysore! I have been here for already 3 weeks, and just 3 more to go before I return to Dubai! My time here has been so great that it's kept me away from posting this sooner ;). Also, poor internet connection and regular power cuts are great reasons for taking some time to update everyone on how this trip has been so far. Many people travel to countries, like India, to disconnect. Well, there you go! No internet = disconnect. This, unfortunately, is not going to be a post about what my days are like here in the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga. Instead, and fortunately, this is a very special post. I'd like to share with you notes from my first conference this season.

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Nand's Journey

Joumana Saber 02-Nov-2013

A gentleman who goes by the name Nand Lal made his way into the Yoga Room in the beginning of October to immerse himself in one full month of practice. I was told that his plan was to travel to Mysore to study at the shala. Since the shala was fully booked at the time he intended to go, he searched the web for plan B. The result: traveling to Dubai. Needless to say, I was overcome with many feelings - curiosity, happiness, and admiration. Nand lives and works in Saudi Arabia. This is his story - happy reading!

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