Mysore Phoenix Blog
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why I practice. It’s been so long that it’s hard to remember why I practiced at the beginning. I know I loved the poses. I loved the physical practice. And I still do.
The first sutra says asanas should be still and comfortable. Here are some other words for stillness: steady, stable, motionless. And here are some other words for comfort: sweet, enjoyable, relaxed, ease.
Changing Your Mind. Literally.
The second yoga sutra says, “Citta vrtti nirodha.” This is commonly interpreted as meaning that yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind.
Shala etiquette: Shhh!
Today I want to talk about talking. Or, rather, not talking. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika mentions six things that destroy practice…
How Does Yoga Arise?
Does yoga arise because you get adjusted in a posture? Does yoga arise because you can make a bind or balance on your head or hands? Does yoga arise because you read about or know a lot about yoga? Nope. It takes ongoing daily practice.
When Practicing alone, practice as if practicing with others.
When you practice alone (if you’re traveling, for example), you want to bring the same sense of commitment that you have when you practice at the shala with other people.
Moon Day Note to Mysore Phoenix Practitioners
I am so pleased and proud of how hard everyone is working. One of the things I love about this practice, which is demonstrated to me by Sharath in Mysore year after year after year, is a strong work ethic. Humble, honest, hardworking. These aren't characteristics that...
Letter to New Practitioners: Challenge Yourself!
When I was first learning Ashtanga yoga, I often challenged myself to focus on different aspects of the practice. Sometimes it was a one-day challenge, sometimes a weekly challenge. I might focus on breath or bandhas or a certain transition. The first challenge...
What Yoga *Really* Is
We live in a fast-paced, capitalist society, where we are encouraged to consume goods and services and experiences and -- yup! -- spiritual practices. If you think yoga is about poses or adjustments or alignment or bliss, there's a good chance you've been sold a bill...
ASHTANGA: PARAMPARA – KAREN KELLEY
Karen, what was your life before finding yoga? Life before yoga involved the arts -- drawing, drawing, and more drawing, all through childhood and high school, visual art as an undergraduate (sculpture, specifically) and creative writing (poetry) in graduate school....
Mysore Phoenix Scholarship Program
I suppose I can't rail about daily practice without recognizing that an obstacle to practice with an authorized instructor might be lack of funds. If a student sees value in instruction and practice, I want to make that available. The Mysore Phoenix Scholarship...
First rule of Ashtanga Yoga
You know how there’s the first rule of Fight Club? There’s also a first rule of Ashtanga yoga. No, it’s not “Don’t talk about Ashtanga yoga.” It’s “Ashtanga is a daily practice.” Yeah, that sounds daunting. Who in the world would start off a yoga practice with a...