#MythMonday : Rāmāyaṇa Series Part 1 – How the Demon Rāvaṇa Turned Evil

Excited to announce that in the next 14 episodes or so of #mythmonday I’ll be telling the great Indian epic The Rāmāyaṇa – the epic tale of Rāma, Sīta, Lakṣmaṇa and Hanumān and their battle against the evil demon Rāvaṇa (and sooooooo many more characters that you are familiar with!)

We start with a prequel…Rāvaṇa wasn’t always evil! He was just a yoga nerd with lofty yoga goals! And then his 10 heads got a little too big…

The re-telling of the story of Rāvaṇa is based on the one told in The Ramayana: Divine Loophole, written by Pixar animator Sanjay Patel!

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#MythMonday :Narasiṃha

So far we’ve heard stories of 4 of Vishnu’s avatars – Matsya the Fish( 1), Kūrma the Tortoise (2), Rāma (7), and Kṛṣṇa (8). This week’s story is about Vishnu’s 4th avatar Narasiṃha, a part man part lion, with mention of his 3rd avatar Varāha, the Boar.

The story of Narasiṃha is also the reason for the Indian celebration of Holi – a celebration of good triumphing over evil.

The āsana associated with this story is siṃhāsana – lion’s seat.

Eyes crossed a la Iyengar 😉
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#MythMonday : Mercury is in Retrograde 🤦🏽‍♀️

Last week while in Rockaway I walked past a stone statue/lawn ornament of a lion with Mardi Gras beads on its head and took a picture of it thinking maybe it will come in handy when I post the video of Narasiṃha (the part lion/part man 4th avatar of Vishnu.)

Little did I know that Mercury in Retrograde would throw modern technology into the Stone Age this week…thus we do not yet have a video, and this photo came in handy…

New video coming as soon as possible!

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UPDATE #MythMonday : The Goddess Ganga (Viparita Karani)

Sorry for the delay! I’m back from Aloha-land and back to regularly scheduled programming! Here is the Myths of the Asanas video about how the Goddess Ganga came down to Earth as the Ganges River.

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#MythMonday : Goddess Ganga

Hey everyone! I’m currently in Maui on vacation, but filmed a special Myths of the Asanas video on location! The intro was filmed at Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakalā National Park, and the story was filmed on the top of the Waihe’e Trail. For right now you’ll have to watch the video via the Jivamukti NYC IGTV channel (link below), until I’m back on the mainland…

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B4L8Ra4DLDE/?igshid=1drh2aar3zfs0

The asana (or mudra) associated with this story is Viparita Karani (because it looks like a waterfall, but also see below…)

Viparita Karani translates to “reversed attitude”. In the story you will hear how the urge to obtain more and more land and take over the Earth causes King Sagara’s sons to be burnt to ashes. Unless the human race reversed their attitude, we will also all be burnt to a crisp! Global warming is a real threat, but we can do something about it!⁣

Viparita Karani
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#MythMonday : Bhairava

If you need a scary story to tell the kids on Halloween, here you go! Bhairava is the scariest form of Shiva! And if it isn’t scary enough to put your leg behind your head in a yoga class, that leg represents the nail of Bhairava chopping off the head of the ego.

Supta Bhairavasana
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#MythMonday : Ram and Shiva’s Bow (Akarna Dhanurasana)

First…I know it’s Tuesday! I was traveling from Chicago (where this video was filmed! Cloud Gate aka “The Bean”) and couldn’t get to posting until today. Forgive me!

Ākarṇa Dhanurāsana translates as “to the ear bow seat,” and looks like an archer stringing a bow and arrow. The perfect asana to tie to the story of Ram & Shiva’s Bow!

When Vishvamitra first introduced Ram to Sita, they locked eyes over a sacrificial fire and there was an immediate spark! Not just from the crackling fire! But there was still some courting to do…

Over the course of time, Vishvamitra became more and more excited about his match-making skills, and how perfect Sita and Ram were for each other.

Sita was proving to be extremely knowledgeable about the Vedas, as well as a really good cook, which doesn’t hurt 😉 She also has super strength and was able to pick up the bow of shiva – which was so heavy that 12 men together couldn’t pick it up!

Ram was also extremely knowledgeable about the vedas and was proving to be king worthy. He was smart, extremely proficient with a bow and arrow, and understood social constructs.

But Sita, as the daughter of King Janaka, was only allowed to marry the man who could string Shiva’s bow. When it was Ram’s turn she was extremely anxious as he already had her heart. 

As Ram began to string the bow, he caught Sita’s eye and lost his concentration. All of a sudden the bow broke in two with a loud thunderous crack!  Everyone heard it – the devas in the sky and the nagas under the earth! There was complete stillness in the room as everyone watching was waiting to hear from Janaka. This was completely unexpected, as no one else, aside from Sita, could even pick it up! But Ram broke it! What was to happen??!!

Finally, Janaka announced that from then on Ram would be the beloved of Sita, and thus began the start of their relationship.

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#MythMonday : Balarama

Krishna’s older brother Balarāma is sometimes referred to as Haladhara because he carries a plow. While I’m not so thrilled with how he came to plow the Yamuna River, he is considered the “patron saint” of farmers across India.

The asana associated with Balarāma is halasana

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#MythMonday : Nataraja

Shiva in the form of Nataraja is the Lord of Dance. His Tandava dance is said to represent the universe being created, maintained, and dissolved, and for those watching it a veil of ignorance and arrogance is lifted. So find your Atman and get your dance on!

Naṭarājāsana
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#MythMonday : Ganesh & Chandra

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi – Ganesha’s birthday! And he has a huuuuuuuge sweet tooth! He also has a bit of a temper – just like his dad, Shiva. So much so that he broke off his own tusk!

Ganesh is also the reason the moon (chandra) has phases, and one of the asanas associated with him is Ardha Chandrasana (Half moon).

Parivritta Ardha Chandrasana & Ardha Chandrasana

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