Posts Tagged With: Jivamukti Yoga

#MythMonday : Ramayana Series Part 2 – The Education and Childhood of Rama and Sita

From Devdutt Pattanaik’s retelling of the Ramayana:

The education of Rama, Bharata, Shratrughna and Lakshman:

When Dashratha had asked the rishi Vasishtha to teach his four sons the ways of kings, Vasishtha had said, ‘I will try my best to make them brahmin.’

‘But I am a king, my sons are princes, they must be trained to be rulers, not priests,’ Dashratha responded in alarm.

‘You confuse brahmin-jati with brahmin-varna,’ Vasishtha had clarified. ‘He of brahmin-jati is a priest, transmitter of hymns and rituals of the Veda. He of brahmin-varna is one who inspires the Brahma of limited mind to move towards being brahman of limitless mind. Whether priest or warrior, farmer, herder or trader, man or woman, everyone must expand their minds, rise from the mindset of a follower to the mindset of a trader to the mindset of a master to the mindset of a seer.

‘How can a king be a servant or trader or a master of a seer?’ wondered Dashratha.

Vasishtha said, ‘A king is a servant when he mimics other kings without understanding. A king is a trader when he uses rules to get all the things that he desires. A king is a master when he uses rules to impose his thoughts on those around him. A king is a seer when he understands the thought behind the rules and so appreciates the many reasons why a rule is followed and why another rule is not. For the king with a mind of a brahmin, rules are merely functional, they are never right or wrong, and like all actions they have consequences. For him rules are not tools or power to dominate or control. For him rules are merely instruments of society that enable even the weakest to have what is otherwise cornered by the strongest.’

‘May you make my sons brahmin,’ said Dashratha on being enlightened so.

The education of Sita:

Sita’s father never knew the world that was the kitchen. Sita’s mother never knew the world that was the court. But Sita realized she knew both. This is how the mind expands, she thought to herself. This is how Brahma becomes the brahman. She was a brahmin, she realized, seeker of wisdom as well as transmitter of wisdom. And that thought made her smile.

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#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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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 : 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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#MythMonday : Arjuna

Arjuna was the greatest archer in the world, but not always! It took a lot of hard work, persistence, deep listening, reflection. Overall he was a really great student! (And a little bit annoying – he was always underfoot! But if he weren’t then he wouldn’t have been able to save Drona!)

Dhanurasana (Bow pose) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward facing bow – sometimes incorrectly called full wheel) are meant to be the shape of an archer’s bow.

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#MythMonday : Kurma

I went to to turtle pond in Central Park just to film Kūrma with Kūrma!!!

Vishnu, the sustainer of the earth, appears in various forms to save the planet when necessary. There are 10 avatars of Vishnu, whose appearances seem to coincide with evolution. Kurma, the tortoise, was the 2nd avatar.

  1. Matsya (The Fish)
  2. Kurma (The Tortoise)
  3. Varaha (The Boar)
  4. Narasimha (The Lion Man)
  5. Vamana (The Dwarf)
  6. Parashurama (A Warrior/Saint, bound by codes of honor)
  7. Rama (The Perfect Man)
  8. Krishna
  9. Buddha
  10. Kalki (The Horseman – has not yet appeared)
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#MythMonday : Tittibhasana

I learned recently while doing research for #mythmonday that in the etymology for Ṭiṭṭibhāsana, Ṭiṭṭibha actually means “small insect” and has nothing to do with a firefly other than that it happens to be a small insect, and is the one the yoga world chose (I’m guessing because they are pretty.) In fact this asana could very well be called “gnat pose!”⁣

An alternative etymology is from the story of a pair of Tittibha birds that nested by the sea; the ocean swept away their eggs, and the birds complained to Vishnu, asking for the eggs to be returned. The god gave the order, and the sea gave the eggs back.

According to the Ashtanga Yoga website: “The story is often used as a symbol of yoga. The sea with its might and power represents the power of illusion, ignorance and prejudice or the general Chitta (चित्त, Citta), i.e. all aspects of human existence subject to change. The small Tittibha (टिट्टिभ, Ṭiṭṭibha)-bird stands for the effort of the yogi, an effort which seems ineffectual when compared with the challenge. But just as the little Tittibha (टिट्टिभ, Ṭiṭṭibha)-bird succeeds in spite of seeming superiority, the yogi can calm Chitta (चित्त, Citta) through practice and shatter illusion.”

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