Showing posts from February, 2007

The final day of Aadil's workshop

The final day in Aadil’s weekend workshop had two sessions. The first was a pranayama class and the second focused on maintaining a healthy back. Pranayama is the fourth limb of Patanjali’s system of yoga and is all about the breath. The word “pranayama” is composed of two other Sanskrit words: prana, which means breath of life or energy flow and yama, which means control or to hold. Thus pranayama is the control of the breath of life. Aadil said there is another way to interpret the word. It could also be seen as “pran” and “ayama.” Pran is “to breathe”, while ayama means “to free.” So pranayama could also be seen as “freedom of the breath force.” Pranayama requires the use of focused, unswerving intelligence. By doing this it also cultivates a focused mind. Aadil said that by requiring focus, pranayama cultivates focus. The first step in learning pranayama is to learn ujaiyi breathing. To breathe in this way, you breathe in through your nose, mouth closed and make an “s”

Aadil, day 2

We had two asana sessions today, well, more like one and a half. The first session began at 9:30 this morning. As is his wont, Aadil began with a lecture. Much of it covered ground that he went over last night. He focused especially on the importance of dharma, one's life purpose and mission. Dharma is the reason why we're on the earth; it's what brings us joy in life. To be successful, we each need to figure out what our dharma is. Aadil had us do an exercise to try to get in touch with our dharma. We sat in Baddha Konasana, with our gaze fixed a few inches in front of our legs and let our minds range over our dharma and the things that bring us joy. Aadil encouraged us to treat today's practice as a time to explore and discover more about ourselves. That is what yoga is all about. It's not learning how to do a pose perfectly because fulfillment of purpose is far more important than a perfect pose. LIfe should be a joyous exploration of the spirit and yoga helps u

Yoga weekend with Aadil

Aadil Palkhivala is in East Lansing this weekend for a 3-day yoga workshop. It started at noon today with a three hour asana practice and concluded with a 2.5 hour talk and discussion about yoga philosophy. Aadil began the afternoon session with a short introduction. He talked about the necessity of finding joy in the practice. The best way to do that is to stop focusing on achieving perfection in the pose. Forget about thinking it all through and just feel the actions in the pose. Aadil said too many people take asana way too seriously. Asana is a necessity to learn yoga but it's not important. Asana is best used to train the body for yoga. At one point in the middle of the practice, Aadil commented that there are three requirements for growth to happen: joy, health, and wealth. Without them, it's impossible to progress in yoga or life. The practice we did started out with Aadil's morning sequence then moved into Surya Namaskar, which we did 3 times. Here are the rest of