Sanskrit, is it important?

Why do we need to know this ancient language name in this modern Yoga era? Why not just using the translated name?

The Sanskrit term for poses or chants are often difficult to remember and pronounce. However, by knowing the Sanskrit word for the common yoga poses or the philosophical terms leads me to understanding yoga practice deeper. Yoga is not only about poses, but there are more such as the Sanskrit ancient language, philosophy, health, and etc.

Honestly, it took me awhile to remember the names for each poses even though I had been attending classes quite regular ha ha!. Well, I still try to remember some of the asanas in Sanskrit. But somehow, it feels authentic to me, to insert some Sanskrit during my teaching practice and use the English as well. It is believed that this style creates classes that brings more students while also bringing the original context of yoga.

Here are a few of the Sanskrit words that We basically already recognise:

1. Asana – It means the physical practice of the yoga poses; either sit, stand or relax poses. It is also the ending of each poses’ names, like Trikonasana – Triangle Pose or Bakasana – Crow Pose.

2. Supta – This word means reclined where we lie on our back, such as Supta Padangusthasana – Sleeping Thumb to Foot Stretch Pose.

3. Ardha – This refers to half (half lift or half fold), like Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose or Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Half Lotus Standing Forward Bend.

My study in Tirisula which taught by very generous yet traditional masters made me realise that yoga is more than just an exercise with poses to do. I realise that yoga is something that people have to respect and truly know what is the meaning and purpose. By studying Sanskrit, I realise yoga is one of the most historical activities ever in the existence of human kind and perhaps religion since I have learnt some of buddhism.

I feel it is quite important not just exercising, but paying tribute to yoga in other words, respecting the ancient activities in any way possible in this modern world. I am grateful that the masters have shown an example of what yoga truly is and I hope me and other yogis can spread the existence of yoga now and in the future.

 

– A. Natalia

Yoga as a career

Just in two more weeks, I will be graduating from my YTT course! Well, I guess that is my first step into exploring few options that I might consider. My passion for yoga is unexpected. Sometimes, a random thought comes across my mind when I’m in the studio bonding with the teachers & friends and feeling the energy that drives me happy; I feel deeply drawn to pursuing a career in yoga.

Of course, the journey is not easy and smooth. However, would I be considering yoga as my main career in my life? Hmm well, my mind still wanders. Yes I love practicing yoga; yes I would like to teach and serve others. Why not, right?

I THINK yoga as a career is a commitment. Doing yoga everyday as a full-time job surely plays a big impact in my lifestyle. I think yoga career lifestyle is widely categorised not only as a teacher, but also can be something else such as a studio owner, or probably building a yoga community. If I take this path, I would have a different life and different focal point of goals as a yogini. Now, still in wander if this is the path or purpose that I shall decide. But I believe at this very second, everything can just change and I will just go with the flow where it leads me to!

I believe to become a Yogini is a very beneficial thing to do in my life; not only for me, but also for other people who want to study or acknowledge the importance of yoga. I hope I can help or guide others, and for sure myself to practice more to be better.

I am convinced that anyone with the willingness to stick through the tough moments can build the yoga career of their dreams!

 

– A. Natalia

Why yoga?

Why yoga in my life?

I always wanted to learn yoga since small, maybe because I’m attracted to all different kinds of asanas performed. It’s kind a cool to see people doing all the extreme poses and I always wanted to be part of it. But my actually journey of yoga started when I fall into depression. I know my dark experience keep dragging me into it, and I keep fighting to come out of it….. I try to seek help from friends and family but no one seems to understand the situation that I was going through. I was lucky enough, when I found a mentor online who actually help direct my mind out of my mess, that is the moments in my life I realised all this while I was busy doing so much for other and I have done nothing for myself…

Then I decided, I’m going to start doing everything that I’m interested, and yoga was top on the list. I done a lot research online and finally I decided Tirisula is the best place for me. I was inspired by many Teachers here, including Sree, Evelyn and James. Today here I am attending my first yoga teacher training.

How yoga change my life?

Yoga always make me happy, even though I was tortured by my teachers in the class, it was a good torture I will say and it’s a good pain, I love it.My Teachers really help me a lot in improving my postures. My life got more focused on yoga and slowly I learn mediation too, it helps me focus in my daily life and definitely it helps in getting my way out of the depression and trauma that I have faced. I also found yoga can help to cure many health issues, and this become my strong WHY to choose yoga as my career in future.

I’m  not sure if I can be a good teacher, but I’m strong and dedicated in spreading the benefits of yoga to many others out there.

– Darshini Ramachandran

 

 

Bhakti Yoga

I come a across an article that was published in Himalayan Heritage magazine, it was an interesting article about Bhakti Yoga, so I thought of sharing it here…

Bhakti Yoga according to Sri Anandamayi Ma.

Bhakti Yoga is the beautiful, joyous and divinely revealed path that takes the human awareness from the suffering of ego created bondage to the freedom and bliss of Divine experience.

Bhakti Yoga uses the very elements within our human nature as tools for freeing ourself, love, longing, restlessness, and the desire for happiness and fulfillment by taking our focus off the small self of the ego created and focusing on a greater reality of a loving being who longs for our union, we move inward to source of our own consciousness.

Sri Anandamayi Ma stated a very important principle “ when you find God you find yourself, and when  you find yourself, you find God”.

Bhakti Yoga takes us to this experience of the ultimate love and truth.

– Darshini Ramachandran

Asana Abhyasa ( Asana practice)

According to the Vinyasa Krama teaching of the great Himalayan Yogi, Thirumalai Krishnamachary.

Asana Abhyasa also knwon as Asana practice is like a garland of rudraksha beads. The beads represent as asanas and the thread represent the vinyasa that connects one asana to another. Beads will be scattered around without the thread. Thread connects the beads so that it becomes a beautiful garland which benefits the owner incredibly.

So what we can learn from this? Practicing asanas with the flow of vinyasa makes the asanas become lively, majestic and practitioners earns maximum benefits from it.

– Darshini Ramachandran

The important of mantras in yoga practice

Tirisula was my very first yoga studio that I stepped in to learn yoga. The thing that amaze me the most as a beginner when I first here was the chanting of ‘om’ or mantras. Something attracts and connect me with those mantras as I felt I was at the right place to begin my journey in yoga.

So let’s see, why mantras is important in yoga practice?

Om is one of the mantras which is chanted at the start of a yoga class because it facilitates a connection between the self and the universe. The mantra is a unique collection of words where each word has it’s own power and significance. Together they work towards centering the brain and creating more space in the body, mind and spirit.

The chanting of mantras has been an intrinsic part of yoga and meditation in India, when you repeat a particular mantra, the vibrations of the sound influences our physiological and psychological being. On a deeper level, the sound of mantra attunes the vibrations of the mind with the cosmos.

– Darshini Ramachandran

 

 

Quality time on your own

“24 hours a day is not enough.” —— My colleague always told me this. In this fast-paced society that we live in, we are constantly on the move to complete as many things as possible in the shortest time. We have multiple deadlines to complete our work, to pay bills, and to achieve our goals. Apart from work, which already takes up 8 to 10 hours a day, we also need to take care of our family and do household chores. Occasionally, we also take the time to catch up with friends. Our thoughts are always being occupied by many things, like what we need to do, where we need to go and who we need to meet. Accounting for all of these, there really is not enough time for us, especially for those working moms.

Have you ever thought of setting aside some personal time for your self? How often do you have the luxury to sit down quietly, space out and just breathe, clearing all thoughts in your mind. How many people actually do this regularly?

No matter how busy we are, we should always try to set aside a few moments of our day for ourselves, put aside all thoughts in our minds and just hear yourself breathe. Be it only for 5 minutes.

My Whys for Yoga TTC

I believe most people follow some principles in their lives. So do I. These are my life principles and how they led me to the Yoga TCC:

 

Principle 1: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, because every thing can be replaced, but not your body.

Medicine made huge progress over the past decades, but medicine is just like fixing a broken jar—once broken, a jar can be repaired, but it’ll never be as beautiful and functional as it was before. Taking care of the body is not just protecting it from injuries, it’s about all activities which keep it functioning properly and naturally beautiful—giving it good food, cleansing it, keeping it physically fit, relaxing it…

Yoga is mostly known for its physical practice.  Generally, a balanced physical exercise should develop four elements: strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. A yoga practice can be structured to include them all. It is a great training for the body.

Another known yoga practice is dhyana (meditation). It’s good not only for the stress reduction, but it also improves the immune system and overall well-being.

Yoga also includes various cleansing practices called kriyas. Some of them are almost unimaginable to do, but some of the simpler ones are easy to practice. For example neti (nose cleansing) is very helpful in preventing cold and other respiratory issues. Kapalbhati and bhastrika (forceful breathing techniques), or agnisar (rolling the abdominal muscles) are other examples of relatively easy kriya techniques.

Conclusion: Yoga offers a very broad set of methods and techniques to take a good care about our bodies.

 

Principle 2: USE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN, because that’s the only thing you will be able to take with you

Every learning broadens our horizons. A Yoga TTC requires quite a comprehensive learning. Poses and their names, alignments, muscles, philosophy… The basic course packs all these in 10 weeks. Although getting a deeper understanding definitely requires much more studying than just that, the Yoga TCC provides a great opportunity to broaden the knowledge in many areas and adds a lot of learning for the physical practice.

 

Principle 3: SERVE OTHERS, making their lives better, because that makes your life valuable (especially when contributing to the above 2 principles)

Serving others is one of the fundamental principles on which a functioning human society is based. Many people provide for us and we provide back to others, whether it’s our family, our community, mentors/mentees, or the humanity as a whole.

The Yoga TTC was supposed to be my last activity before returning back home. I wished to make use of it to bring yoga to people who are as busy in their professional life as myself. The plans have changed and we’re staying in Singapore for a few more years. But the wish stays, and I hope to use the remaining time to improve my own knowledge and skills to bring back home more than what just the basic course is able to provide…

3 more weeks !!

Its kinda happy and sad that the YTT will be coming to a end soon. From this course, I have made 16 more new female friends. From this course, I have learnt a lot on Yoga and the philosophy behind it. Being a teacher is not easy. Lots of preparation to be done for an hour class. During the hour, there is so much to look out for. Besides the LEFT and RIGHT, the eagle eyes need to look out of alignments, incorrect postures. After this course, this is not the end of learning. Lots of practises and learning from other yogis and importantly be humble !!

I can’t wait for the long weekend sleep.

Ego vs Alignment

As someone who is very into yoga, I realised one thing that most people do but they don’t realise it; that is the application of proper alignment and being truth (Satya) in practicing our yoga rather than having this sense of competition. Having the correct alignment, it allows us to feel our body in non-violence (Ahimsa) as per Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

Comparison creates obstruction to our individual progress. It somehow creates mind happiness of self-fulfilment but the body doesn’t. From there, soon you will realise that the foundation is not stable and solid just like a poorly built house. Comparison is natural and unsurprising. As in our daily lives, either work or leisure we tend to have this sense of competition among another. It makes sense that we carry it during our practice. But isn’t it better be truthful to ourselves and use yoga to drop the ego?

Being truth to ourselves; yoga and life are already within ourselves. By keeping our practice correctly and consistently, the fear of not performing good can appear lesser. Practice with a quiet mind, keep our breath powerful and consistent, and be mindful of our movements. Use our heart to listen to our inner self and focus on our personal practice with purpose. It’s us that witness and experience our own individual yoga journey. There will always be a new pose to learn, a new sequence to try, or a new class to experience. This is the beauty of yoga.

 

– A. Natalia