Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ashtanga Led2 on Thursday - My Favourite Night of the Week

This beautiful poem by John Martin from Poetry for Your Soul put into words how I feel going to my yoga class on Thursdays; practicing along side my Ashtanga buddies  with our teacher, Azmi Samdjaga leading the class. Namaste.

Work has finished for yet another day
And I set off home, but not to stay
Tonight is my favourite night of the week
The night I always look forward to, and seek
Ninety minutes of yoga movement, and quiet meditation
All combined to create a beautiful feeling of deep relaxation
As the class slowly moves along, from the start to the end
The worries and concerns from the past week, do gradually mend
A feeling of joy and lightness fills my body, mind and soul
And I am overcome with a feeling of being expansive, open and whole
The whole world around me seems so clear and bright
And everything I cast my eyes on, is such a beautiful sight
By the finish of the session, I am happy and invigorated
And my need for calm and inner peace is pleasantly sated.
As I leave the classroom feeling healthy and content, not sore
I eagerly look forward to next week, and coming back once more.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

5 Facts The Students Don't Tell Their Yoga Teacher

I just finished reading the article 15 Facts That Your Yoga Teacher Won’t Tell You on the Business & Health website and it led me thinking about what some facts the students don’t tell the yoga teacher.  Here are 5 facts that I remember hearing from my fellow practitioners.

1.  I can’t get what you are saying…..
This is because your voice is too soft or your accent is too strong or I am not familiar with the name of the pose in Sanskrit.

2.  Why I am at the back of the class…

I am not familiar with the poses, so I need to copy what the person in front is doing.

3.  I need you to demonstrate the pose…

As everyone is doing the pose and I am too shy to ask, I will just fake it.

4.  Can you just give instructions on how to do the pose instead of doing all the poses throughout the class?

I have problem in having to keep looking up to see what you are doing as I can’t hear your instructions clearly.   Can't you just demonstrate those difficult poses or when you want to introduce a new pose? 

5.  Your sequence sucks…

There is no flow from one pose to the other and having to do eight standing poses in a row for the right side before doing the left side is too much.

So, dear teachers, we hope that you will look around and pay more attention. If you see us struggling in your class or if you don’t see the student come to your class again, you know what happened.

"The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach" - Paulo Freire

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inspiring Yoga Teacher

Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are 
- Jason Crandell

I had the opportunity to attend Jason Crandell's class during the Asia Evolution Conference 2011 in Hong Kong this year and I enjoyed his teaching which was filled with passion and dedication.  He emphazized on wanting us to feel what was happening to our body when we were in the pose and using the breath to help us go deeper.   His way of teaching with creative sequencing and attention to details encouraged us to move slowly, deeply and mindfully into our bodies.  

Jason Crandell was recently named "one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga's future" by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga.  

You can visit Jason's website for more information about his classes and also read articles written by him. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yoga Off The Mat

I decided to write this post since I am still feeling some pain from the burn which I got while doing some ironing yesterday.

We often hear our teachers reminding us about awareness as well as keeping our focus when we are doing the yoga poses.

But do we realize that it is just as important to practice awareness as well as keeping our focus when we are off the mat.

Often, we injure ourselves when we are not focused on the task at hand as it is often in the case where we are doing one thing while our mind is thinking about something else. We also tend to make more mistakes in our work due to lack of awareness and staying present. 

Even though when we are on the mat, we have learned to be mindful, once we are off the mat, how many of us really practice this mindfulness? It is because when we are off the mat, we forget the real meaning of yoga.

“I love the asanas but the Real Yoga comes when I flow off the mat.”

Sunday, September 4, 2011

National Yoga Month - The Time for Yoga

September is the official National Yoga Month (a national observance designated by the Department of Health & Human Services of USA) designed to build awareness of yoga's proven health benefits and provide people with actionable guidance and tools to enhance their own well-being. (from Yoga Month website). During National Yoga Month participating yoga studios in USA offer ONE WEEK FREE YOGA to new students.  

National Yoga Month is going global this year by unifying the entire yoga community with The Time for Yoga, a global community yoga practice. Yoga Month invites all yoga studios, teachers and students to unite on September 30 for a worldwide yoga practice.  

At 7 p.m. local time on September 30, yoga students of all experience levels are encouraged to practice yoga as an international observance and the culmination of Yoga Month. A one-hour yoga practice will be followed by savasana beginning at 8 p.m., and a 15 minute meditation for universal peace and well-being at 8:15 p.m. By participating during your own local time, a wave of yoga will take place around the globe.

Calling all yoga studios in Malaysia, be part of the first annual Time for Yoga Global Community Practice by organizing a free yoga practice on 30 September 2011 at 7 pm in your studio.  You can register your event with Yoga Month at and also post your event here.