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Ashtanga Yoga

Matsya - A Fish Will Guide Us

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Matsya - A Fish Will Guide Us

The “Fish” in all three of these postures is referring to the first avatar of Lord Vishnu. This myth first appears in the Shatapatha Brahmana (700-300 BCE). This story is one that we might be more familiar with than we realize…

Matsya keeps growing and growing, and Satyavrata continues moving him from one jar into another, always needing larger and larger containers, until he has no choice but to move him into the ocean…

This is possibly where we get the progressions of these postures. Each referring to a different period of Vishnu's transformation from a simple little fish, to the size of a 'half-king-fish' and finally into the form of a 'full-King' fish!

Matsyendra warns Satyavrata about the coming dissolution of the world…

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All is coming... All is going...

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All is coming... All is going...

Somewhere along the way, I realized that “All is coming” meant ALL of it: the good, the bad, the ugly, the miserable, the beautiful, the exquisite, the pain unbearable, the joy insurmountable, the laughter and tears, new friendships and the loss of others, children, lovers, enemies, sickness, hours of being stuck in traffic, the feeling of lightness and oppressive heaviness, unbelievably good fortune as well as terrible hardships... ALL of it.

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Guru Purnima 2018

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Guru Purnima 2018

“Today, while thinking of all the many times that I had the good fortune to be in Mysore, India to celebrate Sri. K Pattabhi Jois’s birthday (which coincides with Guru Purnima) I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of appreciation for all the days of practice and learning that I had with him and Sri R. Sharath Jois.  Almost immediately, I felt disheartened that not everyone was able to think back and remember Guruji with the fondness I had.  These two mixed emotions brought me back to thinking more about the idea of what it is to have a Guru, and how this connection is formed, and then transformed, and how we can honor each other within this context.”

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Shayanasana - Taking a more "relaxed stance"

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Shayanasana - Taking a more "relaxed stance"

This posture is called Śhayanāsana. Shayana means "resting" “reclined” or “lying down” and when combined with asana it translates as something like a "relaxed stance."

Now, if you have ever tried this posture, you will know it is anything but relaxing! ...

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Guru Purnima

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Guru Purnima

 There was power in his look and at the same time a sense of penetrating peace. Most of all I miss the all-encompassing sense of surrender I experienced when in his presence. Not only surrender to him as a guide, but more then that, it was a sense of letting go into God, something greater then any one individual. He was like the finger pointing at the moon. 

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Pranayama: Expansion of Energy

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Pranayama: Expansion of Energy

The mind and the breath are said to arise from the same Source, and so to learn specific methods for controlling the breath can lead directly back to this Source. Thus, gaining control over the breath is a means to achieve mastery over the mind.

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