Nov 16, 2014

The Story of Krishnamacharya and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

In this video Sonima founder Sonia Jones sits down with yoga master Sharath Jois to talk about his grandfather, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and his teacher, Krishnamacharya, who is often called the father of modern yoga. Through these stories and recollections, we gain insight into the importance of tradition and lineage.

Oct 28, 2014

Interview with Harmony Lichty

Harmony Lichty

Favorite food:  Avocado
Hometown:  Calgary AB Canada
# of trips to India:  12 
Current Location:  Mysore, India
Shala: Ashtanga Yoga Victoria
Established:  2009

What was your first impression of Mysore practice?  
This is the way that Yoga was meant to be practiced.  It is incredible, deep, transformative, independent, and authentic in its approach and methodology.

What inspired you to get started?
Guruji and Sharath.  It was upon hearing stories about Guruji from old students that made me want to come and meet him, and practice with him in Mysore, India.

What did you like about it?
I liked that it was independently directed.  I liked the direct student to teacher relationship.  I liked that it was about uniting the mind and body through the breath, and that I could see and feel something transformative happening within myself. 

What was hard about it?
Practicing daily was very challenging, the discipline that the practice demanded, and the routine of getting up every morning. 

How did you move past those challenges?
Dedication, devotion, drive, and determination.  I found that the benefits far outweighed the difficulties for me, so I was motivated to keep doing it, as I felt such a deeply positive effect on my body and mind through the practice. 

What keeps you inspired?
My annual visits to Mysore keep me inspired.  As well as thinking about Guruji and his devotion to transmitting this practice, and Sharath and his continued dedication to practice and teaching and his lineage. 

What do you keep with you from your time with Guruji?
I see can still see the sparkle in his eyes, and often I can hear his voice in my mind.  I can sometimes feel the memory of an adjustment he gave me during practice, and I can still feel the warmth of his smile whenever I think of him, and my heart feels very full.  There is a deep love for this practice and for the entire tradition and philosophy of yoga because of my connection to him, and his passion for the Yoga Shastra. 

What do you keep with you from your studies with Sharath?
Sharath has shown me that I am stronger then I originally thought I was.  He somehow sees my capabilities and helps me to believe in them myself. He has a very tough and yet gentle way about how he teaches me, and his guidance and teachings are present in my own practice, as well as in the way I teach students.  I feel his clear direction being transmitted through me when I teach. 

With Guruji (Mysore, India)

How do you balance family, practice, and running your own business?
This is a big challenge for sure, as there are many demands when you have a family, practice, teach, and run a yoga school.  The practice helps me to maintain a sense of calm and balance throughout a very busy and hectic day.  I’m not sure you can balance it every day, all the time, some days I have more emphasis on my family, other days business, but the thread of my practice I try to maintain as consistently as I can throughout it all.  I find that this at least helps to keep me connected to some aspect of myself that is deeper and more true then all the changing external situations that I have to handle on any given day.

What advice do you have for beginners?
Jump in with your whole heart and don’t look back.  Remember this is not a sprint to some finishing point.  Yoga is not a box you can check off on some to-do list.  Yoga is a life-long practice, and something that you will never reach the end of.  When you set out to explore the depths of the infinite within yourself, be prepared to face many challenges and difficulties.  Don’t give up. 

What is your favorite thing about this practice?
As David Swenson once said: “If at first you find this practice easy, don’t worry it will get more difficult; and if at first you find this practice very difficult, don’t worry it will get easier.”  It is so balancing in every way, and there is something for everyone held within it.  There are many secrets and surprises that come up along the way if you just keep going.  I’m always amazed.  

What books do you recommend people read?
Yoga Sutras
Bhagavad Gita
Hatha Pradipika
These are just a few to start off with...

Anything else you'd like to add?
Yoga and specifically Guruji’s tradition of Ashtanga Yoga has given me my life as it is today.  I feel that this practice really saved me, and without it there is a very good chance I might not be alive.  It has given me everything good in my life.  

Prior to learning this practice I struggled with addictions, eating disorders, and in general a huge lack of self-esteem, which resulted in many self-destructive behaviors and choices.  Upon finding this practice I started feeling better about myself, and I began to start living inside my own skin for the first time in as long as I could remember.  

Jeff, Sharath, & Harmony (Mysore, India)
I began to feel more compassion and love towards myself, which was an entirely new experience.  This allowed me to feel my connection to others more deeply, which helped me to make more positive life choices, to forgive myself, and release the past.  

Through this practice I met my now husband, and love of my life, Jeff Lichty.  We traveled the world together, taught together, started a Yoga School together, and had a son, who lights up my whole universe.  For the first time I really know what selfless service means, and the feeling of unconditional love.  

Thus, it is with the deepest gratitude that I dedicate my practice and how I teach to Guruji and his lineage, and will do my best to continue on in a way that would make him both happy and proud.

About Harmony: 
Harmony Lichty spent many years training as a ballet dancer, and consequently, struggling with eating disorders and addiction. Her search for meaning, spirituality, and a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, brought her to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. During her years of practice, she also began to study Sanskrit at the University of Calgary, and now holds double degrees in Philosophy and Eastern Religious Studies. In 2002, she traveled to China to research Buddhist Meditation, and practiced in several monasteries. These experiences encouraged her to pursue the path of Ashtanga Yoga in conjunction with a meditation practice. As a teacher, she integrates a deep understanding of movement, body awareness, along with the philosophy of the practice. She encourages students to listen deeply and follow the inner voice that comes from of the heart. Victoria was always a place that held a great deal of magic for Harmony, and it is with immense joy that she lives here now, and is able to share the teachings and practices that have changed her life.

Harmony Lichty and Ashtanga Yoga Victoria

Oct 11, 2014

Sun Salutations Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet features twelve wonderful students who were willing to be photographed practicing the sun salutations. They range from experienced practitioners to very new; they range in age, height, appearance, and in ways too numerous to list. Each one of them is a daily practitioner, a devoted student, and a wonderful person. It is our hope that they demonstrate on this little sheet so much more than how to properly practice the forms of the two sun salutations. We believe the presentation of their differing forms demonstrate how to properly practice in spirit.
-Ashtanga Yoga San Diego

Oct 10, 2014

5-minute yoga class with Eddie Stern

Your first yoga class is
About 5 minutes. You have 5 minutes.
With KPJAYI Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Eddie Stern of Ashtanga Yoga New York.
On demand.
Right now.

Boom, you have a practice. Now do it every day.

Oct 3, 2014

Mary Jo Mulligan in Albuquerque

Ashtanga Yoga with Mary Jo Mulligan, Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher
Saturday, November 8
9:00 - 11:00am 

We will explore Ashtanga yoga in detail through both theory and practice. The theory portion of this workshop will help us understand how to honor and listen to the body in order to develop further awareness through the practice. Awareness developed through consistent Ashtanga practice helps free the mind in order to calm and connect with the inner self. 

All levels welcome and Ashtanga yoga experience is not required. 

Mary Jo Mulligan is one of a small number of India certified Ashtanga yoga teachers worldwide through the of Mysore, India. She has been teaching Ashtanga since 1997 and began practicing yoga in 1990. Mary Jo’s yoga background includes teacher trainings & workshops with several world-recognized teachers from the Ashtanga, Iyengar and Viniyoga/Desikachar traditions, including yoga sutra study, Vedic chanting and Sanskrit. Her other accomplishments include: Therapeutic Teacher Training for Seniors, Duke Integrative Health, Durham, NC; Master of Arts in Eastern Philosophy from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM; Yoga Works Teacher Training Program, Santa Monica, CA; Certificate of Instruction in Exercise Science from University of California, San Diego; Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 and CPR/First Aid Certification. For further information about Mary Jo, including unsolicited testimonials, check out her website at

Early registration is strongly encouraged.
$45 by 11/4, $50 day of.
Register online now.

Sep 30, 2014

Yoga is a tool

Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher Harmony Lichty of Ashtanga Yoga Victoria speaks about how Yoga helps one reflect ones day to day life patterns and fears, and helps become a tool to self reflect and evolve.

Jul 24, 2014

Ashtanga Yoga Drishti 101

"Dṛṣṭi means gazing point. There are nine dṛṣṭis in the āsana practice. If the dṛṣṭi indicated for the āsana is too difficult, one may always revert to nāsāgra dṛṣṭi. With time and practice, the proper dṛṣṭi for each posture will be possible. Dṛṣṭi improves concentration and brings about a realization of oneness during the practice. With the gaze focused in one place during our practice, we can be more present in the postures. This focus and awareness can carry over into our daily life."
~ Sharath Jois

"By practicing these drishti (dṛṣṭi) points the mind no longer looks around, observing or judging, but instead becomes focused and soft. In the vinyasa system, drishti is one of the vital components to draw prana inwards. Prana follows awareness. If our awareness is scattered then our prana will mirror those same qualities and it will be evident in our behavior and life choices on and off the mat."
~ Magnolia Zuniga

The 9 Drishtis
1 - Tip of the nose - Nasagra Drishti
2 - Up to space - Urdva Drishti
3 - Third Eye - Brumadya Drishti
4 - Tip of the middle finger - Hastagra Drishti
5 - Tip of the thumb - Angushta Drishti
6 - Right Side - Parshva Drishti
7 - Left Side - Parshva Drishti
8 - Navel - Nabi Drishti
9 - Tip of the big toe - Padagra Drishti

Guruji: "Yoga is an internal practice, the rest is just a circus".

Credits, References, Notes:
Please consult your teacher regarding correct drishti. For ease in reading for non-Sanskrit speakers, we have chosen to spell sanskrit words phonetically rather than using diacritic marks.

Magnolia Zuniga (KPJAYI Authorized, Mysore SF)

Awesome Editor: Jessica Walden (KPJAYI Authorized) and Elise Espat (KPJAYI Authorized, Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala)
Cartoon guy: Boonchu Tanti (KPJAYI Authorized, AYBKK)

Jul 22, 2014

Moon Day Friday, July 25

No asana, just rest!

Why? Read this post with explanations and commentaries from:
-Shri K. Pattabhi Jois
-Richard Freeman
-Tim Miller
-Eddie Stern
-David Miliotis
-and The Yoga Comics

Jul 13, 2014

Practical Guide: Your First Month of Practice

1. Just show up.

2. Don't worry about memorizing anything.  Your aim is to show up every day. The rest will come automatically. No one in the class cares if you know what you are doing. The teacher doesn't expect you to know anything.  Just show up. (And remember to take off your shoes.)

3. Each morning you will wake up and some days you will feel good and some days you'll feel bad and the thing is to get past the ups and downs of the mind and just show up anyway.  This isn't the kind of thing where you think to yourself "oh, I feel nice today I think I will go to yoga".  Nope.  The yoga bit is showing up regardless of how you feel because feelings are always changing. Philosophically, this is the identifying with the unchanging Yoga Sutra thing. Try to get right away that it ain't about the asanas. Just show up.

4. Or maybe think about the asanas as where your body is located in space.  So rather than your body being at home, take it to the shala.

5. Build up your daily practice with the mantra of "slow and steady".  There is no rush.  There is no finish line.

6.  The first month (actually, the first few years) is all about trying to establish a habit.  That is one of the reasons why you start with a small amount of time.  It is much easier to show up for perhaps twenty minutes each day than 90.  This is different than going to a 90 minute yoga class.  This is about a daily practice as part of the rest of your life.  Start small.  A little each day. This is the traditional method for learning and practicing Ashtanga yoga.  We aren't changing a thing because this really does work.

7. It is ok to know nothing. It is ok to feel uncomfortable. It is ok if your ego gets bruised.  Be willing to learn.  Just be a student.

8. Yoga is not friendship time. Yoga goes beyond that. You can leave all that at the door.  You don't have to say good morning or be in a nice mood.  It really isn't about that. Your teacher isn't supposed to be your friend. Your fellow students are busy learning and practicing just like you are.  Let the space be more.  Let the energy be raised.

9. Just show up.

10. Keep showing up.

YYMysoreProgram (1920 x 1080).m4v from Yogayama on Vimeo.

Jul 11, 2014

Guru Purnima

Saturday, July 12 is Guru Purnima.

"Yogacharaya Shri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) was born on the full moon of July 1915, in Kowshika, a small hamlet located 150 kilometers from Mysore in the southern state of Karnataka..."

Chant the Guru Stotram.

Practice with Sharath in the US.

"They thought that the boys and men that would come to my class would be a bit shy because I’m a woman. But I was determined; this was something I wanted to do. So I did it! The decision was all mine..."

Guruji's teacher: Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Mary Flinn was one of my first serious teachers

Guy Donahaye was my first Mysore teacher

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya 
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

Jul 10, 2014

Interview with Tonya Ruddick

Tonya Ruddick


Favorite food: 

Mainly Iowa and Colorado. I have been a bit of a vagabond.

# of trips to India: 
4 to India, 3 to Mysore

Current Location: 
Albuquerque, NM. Based in southern California.

What was your first impression of Mysore practice? 
The first Mysore class I attended was with Richard Freeman. I had been practicing other styles of yoga for several years and thought I was hot stuff. That first Mysore class was intimidating and extremely humbling.

What inspired you to get started? 
When I was introduced to Ashtanga I felt I was ready to make more of a commitment to myself and Ashtanga definitely asks you to step up and commit!

What did you like about it? 
I liked the intensity of the practice, the discipline and that it was connected to a lineage.

What was hard about it? 
Kicking my ego to the curb, being humbled every day and some of the lifestyle changes.

How did you move past those challenges? 
I just kept practicing, kept showing up and doing the work.

What keeps you inspired? 
The improvements I've noticed in my life-- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. It keeps me connected and helps me to be a better version of myself.

What do you keep with you from your studies with Sharath? 
That it's not about the asana.

What is your daily schedule like? 
Wake up at 3:45am, practice, teach, coffee, writing, errands, eating, maybe a hike or some time in nature, spend some time with my love, early to bed.

What advice do you have for beginners? 
Breathe, take it slow and stay with it. There's no rush to get anywhere. Practice, practice, practice. 

What is your favorite thing about this practice? 
It continually challenges you and shows you where you're at, keeps you in check. It truly is a transformative practice.

Tonya Ruddick has been a student of yoga for more than ten years. She studied many different styles of yoga until being introduced to Ashtanga yoga by David Garrigues in 2008 at the Vibrant Living yoga teacher training program in Bali. She connected to the practice immediately and has been a dedicated student ever since. Tonya has spent the majority of the last ten years traveling and has spent significant time studying yoga and meditation in Asia. She has shared the gift of Ashtanga yoga with students in Seoul and Dubai where she assisted Nea Ferrier (authorized level II). She travels to Mysore every year to study with her teacher, R. Sharath Jois, and is a KPJAYI level I authorized teacher.

Jul 7, 2014

Positively Ashtanga by Silvia

[One person's personal account originally published in 2008 in my magazine, Living Mysore.]

As you all know, Ashtanga yoga is a highly dynamic form of yoga requiring a good dose of stamina, strength and sweat. So why do I: a middle age woman living with two life-threatening viruses (hepatitis C and HIV) and taking a heavy cocktail of anti-retrovirals, practice ashtanga yoga? Why am I attracted to and greatly benefiting from such a demanding and strenuous form of yoga?

Let me tell you: When I was diagnosed with HIV, my life felt completely broken. I thought all I had ahead of me was disease and death. I had never felt so lonely and disconnected from myself and the world. Looking at death as a reality and not just as a remote possibility made me feel an urgency to act and do something with my life that was meaningful. All of a sudden, all I had was the present. The future looked too uncertain. The diagnosis gave me such an intense shock that the only way was to find a new way: change. HIV was going to be my first yoga teacher.

My life was quite a mess before HIV's arrival. I had been working on and off as an independent film/documentary writer since I left college, but at the moment of my diagnosis I didn't have job. I had also been suffering from depression and chronic low self-esteem since my teens: taking drugs, being wild, and getting involved in harmful and impossible relationships.

After the initial paralysis and despair, I set myself on a healing path. My first step was to act upon my external world. I made a short-term plan. I decided that I wanted a socially valuable job, which would make me feel I was living a worthwhile life, something that was of service to others. Because of my extensive travel both in Africa and India, I knew that even as an HIV positive person I was in a privileged position having access to high quality health care. After not much thought, I decided that my aim was to work for an NGO that supported people living with HIV in Africa and I found a postgraduate course in Development Studies, which would give me the qualifications to do such a job.

I started to work harder at improving my relationship with my family. Since my mother had died when I was 20, there was only my father – who was very ill with Alzheimer's – and my brother who I had a very difficult relationship with. It took me a long time and also a lot of counselling, but this was definitely an essential part of becoming a healthier me!

Fast-forward a few years and in 2001 my dream of working for a voluntary organisation supporting people with HIV had finally come true. I started working in the case work team here at Positively Women. It wasn't an NGO in Africa, as per my initial plan, but I realised that there were a lot of needy HIV positive people on my door-step.

Starting work full-time was a real challenge. The job was emotionally demanding: providing support to other positive women, including women in prison and drug-users. It was my first 9 to 5 job ever and I had been through some difficult years struggling to pay for my degree and moving to London. I was also bereaved by the death of my father. On top of all of this I had started antiviral therapy in 1998: my first regime included nearly 20 tablets a day and some pretty weird side effects! It has improved a lot over the years and nowadays I am 'only' taking 7 pills a day.

It's not a surprise that my energy levels were getting lower and lower. I was often so fatigued I didn't even want to talk to my friends on the phone. My doctors thought that the culprit was the hepatitis C virus which I had also been living with for several years. At the time of my HIV diagnosis, I had been told not to worry about it, because hepatitis C would have not had the time to affect me. Generally it takes 20 or 30 years for the liver to be severely damaged by this virus. I was told that HIV would kill me first.

With the advent of successful anti-retroviral therapy my liver had fast become my most important organ. It was my liver which processed my HIV medication and stored energy and nutrients from my food. Research was showing that the leading cause of death for HIV positive people in the West had become liver-related disease. Fatigue and lack of energy are typical symptoms of a poor liver.

My doctors started suggesting that I considered treatment for hepatitis C. One year on Pegylated Interferon. I knew that this treatment could potentially clear the hepatitis C virus. I also knew that it had some awful side effects (including severe depression) and because of my personal struggles with mental health I was terrified by the idea.

It was at this time that I started Ashtanga Yoga. I am not sure it was love at first sight. Initially I just thought that most of the postures were out of my reach. I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees (unlike most people in my class). I would look around and think: I will never in a million years be able to do any of this! The initial sun salutations were so hard for me that by the end of them I was in a pool of sweat and catching my breath, thinking of a way of leaving the class without being noticed, but I always felt so much better after a class than before.

Something kept me going back to the classes: the sound of the breath; my body awakening. My body that had been under the shadow of imminent illness and death since my diagnosis but now was getting stronger and more supple.

I started attending self-practice sessions. I had to wake up before 6 in order to fit my yoga practice before work. My morning practice has become very special to me. It is a moment of freedom in which I try to totally focus in the present, experience my internal world. It connects me to the 'source'. My practice is a moving prayer for health and stability. It starts my day with a positive intention.

A side effect of yoga has also been that my diet started changing. If I eat too much heavy food or drink too much alcohol, I feel it immediately while I practice: I am heavier and sluggish. So eating, fresh nutritious foods and not over-indulging supports my yoga practice and makes me feel more energetic. Though I still fall for chocolate and a glass of wine now and then, overall my good diet has also really supports my health.

Six years have passed and I am now practicing Ashtanga yoga 6 days a week. I am amazed at how healthy and strong I feel. I cannot believe that, in spite of all the viruses I have, all the tablets I swallow, I have never felt so healthy in my life. I feel healthier then when I was HIV and HCV negative, and I can do things with my body now at 41 then I didn't dream of doing in my 20's. Most of the time I am full of energy. Sometimes I am also knackered, but who isn't in London?!
I have been refusing treatment for HCV. Few weeks ago I went for a liver check up at my hospital. The woman doing the liver scan was surprised – knowing my diagnosis – how good my liver was: 'Very good shape and size … excellent blood supply' she kept saying with her eyebrows raised. My liver exams have been getting better and better. Even my doctor – who has been trying to convince me to go on Interferon for the past 6 years – told me: 'Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!'

The moral of my story is that to live healthily with HIV it is vital to have a deep connection with the internal and external world. I express my connection to the external, especially in the work I do. My work now focuses on healing our society: aiming to make it more accepting of people living with HIV. On the other side my practice heals me and strengthens my 'Inner World', therefore allowing me to do my work with passion. Ashtanga yoga allows me to experience – maybe only for a few moments – that no matter what happens in the 'Outer World' deep within me there is a place of peace where I can just 'be', where HIV, pain, disappointment and the limitations and conditioning I daily experience can all disappear.

Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute
Ashtanga Yoga London

Silvia is an Italian HIV+ woman and activist. She has been involved with Positively Women, a UK based, national charity offering support to women with HIV by women living with HIV since 2000 and she is also a member of the International Community of Women Living with HIV. She is committed to challenge stigma and discrimination directed towards women living with HIV and has contributed by speaking at national and international conferences. Silvia's work and health have been supported by a committed Ashtanga practice since 2001.

Silvia would really love to meet other HIV positive people who practice Ashtanga. Thunderlightnow at yahoo dot co dot uk.

Good Morning from Mysore

Jul 5, 2014

History of Sanskrit Language

Sanskrit. While it is the language of yoga, you don't need to be a scholar in order to practice. However, if you are interested in broadening your knowledge, getting familiar with Sanskrit is a great place to start. Here's a quick overview of the history of the language and all you need is two minutes.

Jul 2, 2014

{Local} Free Intro to Mysore

Free Intro to Mysore
with Tonya Ruddick

Dates: Sunday, July 13th 10:30-11:30am 
and Sunday, August 3rd 10:30-11:30am
Introduction to basic concepts of asana practice (breathing, surya namaskar, finishing, rest) plus key etiquette (how to be a good student and get the most from your practice).

Who it is for: Anyone interested in starting a Mysore practice. 
All are welcome. 
Yoga mats are available for purchase or bring your own.

Jun 27, 2014

Sights and sounds

Tomorrow is our first day of classes at the KPJAYI. 

 In the background you can hear the same sounds that I heard this morning just outside my window.

Moon Day Cometh

Friday, June 27 is a moon day.
No practice, just rest!
The next moon day is Friday, July 11.

Jun 21, 2014

Ashtanga Yoga [Local]

9am by donation #Ashtanga yoga Q & A today at the Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala with visiting Authorized teacher Pj Heffernan. All are welcome.

Sunday self practice. Drop-ins with a current Ashtanga practice welcome.

Monday Mysore with new resident Authorized teacher Tonya Ruddick. Here's a video featuring Authorized teacher Nea Ferrier. (Tonya assisted Nea in Dubai.)

Jun 16, 2014

Food Inspiration

Some meatless recipes from around the web to inspire and enjoy...

1. Veggie breakfast basic -- scrambled tofu via the Post Punk Kitchen.


2. The nourish and glow miracle bowl via Oh She Glows.


3. Vegan Sushi Rolls via This Rawesome Vegan Life.

Jun 12, 2014

Moon Day Tomorrow and Some Inspiration

The week in review: 

Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala resident teacher, Elise Espat, is teaching this week at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida.  More information and registration here. Heffernan is the current teacher in Albuquerque. PJ comes to us from Wisconsin where he teaches at his shala just west of Milwaukee in Waukesha.  Yes, that is the same guy from the documentary "Mysore Magic".  He'll be here through next week so be sure to get ye to practice. View schedule and register here.

Tomorrow is a moon day.  All classes are cancelled and do take rest from asana practice. 

Some moon day reading from around the web:

“Through practicing asanas, your mind should change.  That is the transformation that happens within you….Then you are a true Ashtanga practitioner, not just bending your body…Practice should not be just two hours, this practice must be for the whole day, whole life…Then there will be meaning to your practice.” 
- Sharath Jois, Krista Shirley's conference notes"Don’t hurry, this practice take time, the more you try to rush it, the more you will miss what it is actually about.... Everything has its own time."
- Saraswathi

"It is very important to understand yoga philosophy: without philosophy, practice is not good, and yoga practice is the starting place for yoga philosophy. Mixing both is actually the best."
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, "An Interview with K Pattabhi Jois: Practice Makes Perfect"

"Yoga teachers say: Practice once a week, and you’ll get sore. Practice three times a week, and you’ll get FIT. Practice every day and you will transform your life."
- The Purple Mat Blog

"[Mysore] provides the space to be learn directly and almost privately from a teacher, but within the context of a group environment. A student is introduced to the practice at the appropriate pace for them. Poses are taught in a way that is right for that specific body, with its own limitations and strengths. It’s a very individualized process, yet firmly rooted in a tradition and a community. Mysore offers the opportunity to be inspired by other practitioners, of all levels, without practice becoming a competition, since everyone is practicing the poses that were given to them, at their own pace."
- Frances Harjeet

"It was harder NOT to practice actually. I realized then that you could chop off my arm or leg and I would still practice. I don't do it because I should. I do it irrationally because I love it.
- PJ Heffernan


Jun 9, 2014

PJ Heffernan in Albuquerque

Visiting Teacher: Pj Heffernan
June 11-22, 2014
PJ will be leading the shala's ongoing morning Mysore practice.

View Schedule.
Not a current student? Register now.

Beginners and new students are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Book a private session:

PJ is a KPJAYI Level 2 Authorized ashtanga yoga teacher from Wisconsin.

Jun 6, 2014

Incredible India {Documentary}

Welcome to India
"Learning how to survive on an increasingly crowded planet is probably our ultimate challenge. But there is one place, home to over a sixth of the world's population, which is already making a good shot at adapting: welcome to India. This extraordinary observational series casts aside the usual preconceptions about the sub-continent, and lets a few of India's 1.2 billion show how their world really works. With astonishing access into the densest districts of Kolkata and Mumbai, it celebrates the impressive resourcefulness, resilience and absolute pragmatism of those living and working there, and reveals the psyche needed to get ahead in the biggest of crowds. This follows two main characters as they employ all their ingenuity to carve out a home. With more people moving to cities in India than anywhere else on Earth, securing that place you can call home is vital for nurturing your family's future. Kaale has come to Kolkata in search of gold - incredibly, he earns a living by sweeping the streets of the jewellery district for stray gold dust. But to fulfil his business ambitions, he must escape his landlord and rent a room of his own. His plan pushes even his resourcefulness to the limit: dredging for gold in Kolkata's drains. Rajesh and his wife Sevita have created their home on a Mumbai beach after their controversial love marriage. They support their kids' future with some impressive improvisation, including running their house as a makeshift beach pub selling cane liquor. But then eviction by the Mumbai council threatens their home for good."

Jun 5, 2014

Trouble Sleeping & Intermediate Practice

Via: Mysore SF's Magnolia Zuniga 


Since I’ve started practicing intermediate series I’ve had trouble falling asleep. I also wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time falling back to sleep. Do you have any tips?


The intermediate series is a stimulating and dynamic practice. It is not uncommon for students to experience many changes in their lives as the postures begin to weave themselves into the subtle body. Before we go into this, let’s look at the primary series and go from there...  continue reading at Mysore SF

Jun 3, 2014

A glimpse of Mysore

New video documenting moments from led primary, led intermediate, and mysore practice at the KPJAYI (Mysore, India).

Jun 2, 2014

Inspiration: Krista Shirley

Success cannot be attained by adopting a particular dress (Veṣa). It cannot be gained by telling tales. Practice alone is the means to success. This is true, there is no doubt. -2.68 Hatha Yoga Pradipika

KPJAYI Authorized teacher Krista Shirley practicing third series before teaching her workshop in Panama. May 24, 2014. The video demonstrates Bhairavasana through Galavasana in Advanced A series of Ashtanga Yoga.

May 30, 2014

Summer schedule, how to get back in the game, and a short video intro with David Robson

Q: I haven't been practicing... With the holidays, and work, and life, and the cold weather I just stopped. Now I dread coming back because I think it will be too hard and also I am a little embarrassed and disappointed in myself. Should I come back?

A: Yes, of course you should come back to practice! Practice is effort toward steadiness of mind. Don't worry about completing some acrobatic feat. What is really interesting, really what it is about is just showing up. So okay, you got a little distracted. You can have a fresh start tomorrow. In terms of asanas, just start small and slowly do a little bit more each day, couple of days, weeks, or even months. It depends on how long you took off... No matter. It will probably take some time for things to feel natural again and to get into the daily rhythm and that is okay. While time off is not recommended, the good thing about it is that when you start practicing again you'll quickly realize why you missed it so much and it will probably be more difficult to let it go again when life gets stressful. No fearing, you come!  (Original post here)

Read David's post on "ujjayi".

And learn more about initiating your practice.

May 27, 2014

Moon Day

Wednesday, May 28.
No asana practice, just rest!

Upcoming moon days:
Fri 6/13, Fri 6/27, Fri 7/11, Fri 7/25, Sun 8/10, Sun 8/24

May 18, 2014

Shri K. Pattabhi Jois - 5 years ago today

We created this week's comic in deepest gratitude and loving memory of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Happy birthday Guruji and may your story continue to inspire!

Please visit this link to the KPJAYI website to read more about Guruji's life and legacy:

The quote is from "Yoga Mala" by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

About The Yoga Comics
Editors: Jessica Walden and Elise Espat
Illustrator: Boonchu Tanti

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