I read 21 Things to know before starting an Ashtanga Practice by Claudia Altucher over and over. It is a fun read and every time I come across a different tip or fact/truth/wisdom that I need at that moment.
Here are my most favorite.
"Yoga means to yoke, to unite. We unite body, mind and spirit. But what does that mean?
Pattabhi Jois says that yoga is: 'A path we follow by which we can attain something'. And that something we are trying to attain is the SELF.
This Self is the part of us that is always at peace, the part that was never born and will never die, the part that is timeless, eternal, always flowing in this moment, free of compulsive thinking.
Patanjali gave a very clear three point description of how we can all achieve the state of yoga. He said we can gain it by doing these three things:
- accepting pain as help for purification
- studying of spiritual books
- surrendering to the Supreme being
With regular practice it is possible to attain a healthy body and mind, and to realize the Self, our innermost soul, which in its nature is eternal peace, limitless freedom and happiness.
It is important for students to practice asana (yoga postures) in the correct order and to follow the exact vinyasa method. It is in this way that the body, mind and spirit can develop intelligence and harmony.
Ashtanga Yoga s a practice and philosophy that develops one's psychological and spiritual health. This yoga tradition connects us to the life-force that flows through all beings, and most importantly, remains grounded in a deep sense of respect for the gurus, for it is they who uphold and form the knowledge made accessible to us through practice.
• Ashtanga Yoga, Petri Räisänen
• Yoga Mala, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
• Ashtanga Yoga As It Is, Matthew Sweeney
• The Key Muscles of Yoga, Ray Long
• Yoga Makaranda, the nectar of Yoga, revised edition, by T. Krishnamacharya (Media Garuda, Chennai)
• Liberating Isolation, The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali, Frans Moors, (MGC)
• Health, Healing, and Beyond: Yoga and the Living Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya - T.K.V. Desikachar
• Yoga als Levenskunst -B.K.S. Iyengar
• Autobiography of a Yogi - P. Yogananda of de Nederlandse vertaling
• Ashtanga Yoga Manual - David Swenson of de Nederlandse vertaling
• Astanga Yoga Anusthana - Sharath Jois
• The Key Poses of Yoga, Ray Long
• Zien door Yoga, Patañjali’s Sutras - Joghum Dijkstra en Salvatore Cantore of de Engelse versie:
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali - Georg Feuerstein
• Moola Bandha: The Master Key - Swami Buddhananda
• The Heart of Yoga - T.K.V. Desikachar (met vertaling van Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
• Ashtanga Yoga - Lino Miele
• De Bhagavad Gita - William Quan Judge, vertaling Rob Pullen
• Atlas of the human body - F Netter, (Barron’s)
• Yoga Anatomy - L Kaminoff & A Matthews
• Yoga Sadhana for mothers - S Desai & A Wise
• Refining the Breath - Doug Keller
• The complete book of Vinyasa Yoga -Sviratsa Ramaswami
• Practical Yoga Psychology - dr. Rishi Vivekananda - Bihar School of Yoga
• The Power of Ashtanga Yoga -Kino MacGregor
• Art of Adjusting - Brian Cooper
Patanjali: vader van de yoga, hij schreef de Yoga Sutra's. 'Met het verschijnen van deze waarheid zal een nieuw leven beginnen. Oude ongewenste indrukken worden terzijde gelegd en we zijn beschermd tegen de schadelijke effecten van nieuwe ervaringen."
(Yoga Sutra's, hoofdstuk 1 vers 50)
Het menselijk leven heeft altijd dezelfde strubbelingen en uitdagingen gekend:
- de kost verdienen
- een gezin opvoeden
- zin en een doel in het leven vinden
Doel van yoga: integriteit van een-zijn verkrijgen, een-zijn met onszelf en als gevolg daarvan een-zijn met alles dat voorbij onszelf ligt.
" Nishkama karma (nish = without - kama = desire, karma=action) An action performed without a wish or desire for the 'fruits' or results of such action. The ultimate yogic ideal is to perform all actions without desire for personal gain, and to offer instead the fruits of all actions to God.
Performing actions with the mind directed toward results increases ego and keeps us bonded to the idea of I and Mine, while offering the fruits of actions to God leads toward surrender to the divine will and liberation from the idea of a separate self."
"The phrase Universal Self is a translation of the word Atman. According to Vedanta, the Atman is the soul of man, and all souls are part of an infinite, all-pervading Supreme Spirit.
The Supreme Self/Universal Self/Indwelling Spirit or just Self refers to our higher, unchanging, eternal nature of pure consciousness, truth and bliss."
"The way of establishing the mind in the Self should be known as yoga.
Yoga chitta vritti nirodhaha Yoga is the process of ending the definitions of the field of consciousness."
"By the strength gained through this practice, we can come to know the method for bringing the mind and sense organs under control. Thus can we achieve yoga. For it is only through the control of the mind and sense organs that we come to know our true nature, and not through intellectual knowledge, or by putting on the garb of a yogi."
"How can we make the mind one-pointed so that we may see the Universal Self? This is what Ashtanga Yoga teaches. The word Ashtanga means eight limbs, or steps, and these comprise:
The original teachings of Ashtanga Yoga Master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
It's aim is the purification of the mind and body. It's a perfect way of life. It is an ethic, discipline, and path of spiritual life.
This book is a must for students of Ayurveda. In addition, modern physicians specializing in the treatment of mental illness will undoubtly find it useful.
The parampara of Rama Mohan Brahmachari and Sri T. Krishnamacharya carried on with Patthabi Jois (Guruji).
Beyond asanas, there are the observances of yama and niyama - how we conduct ourselves with the world in a kind and aware manner, and how we abide by our own code of morality.
The unique aspect of Krishnamacharya's teaching was vinyasa karma, the systematic method of linking breath and movement.
In the sacret text of the yogis, the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna proclaims that one comes to yoga in this life only by having practiced it in a previous life, and is pulled toward it against one's will, as toward a magnet.
Guruji taught without hesitation, neither for fame nor money, although these things may have come to him. Pattabhi Jois was a shining example of pure dedication, of what it takes to keep the light of an ancient tradition burning brightly.
Some people even have a fear of practicing it altogether. But this is little different from the opinion of those who look for the faults of sugar without knowing its sweetness. Once they taste it, its sweetness becomes apparant. Similarly, once we practice yoga, we come to realize its ananda (bliss).
And yet the practice of yoga still leaves us subject to doubts and misconceptions, which weaken our minds and sense organs.
If we practice the science of yoga, which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter - if we practice without fail, we will then attain physical, mental and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood toward the Self.
(K. Pattabhi Jois).