Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yoga with the Yogis

Yoga with the Yogis meaning: Connecting (Yoga) to Yoga people (Yogis)
I am taking classes at BKS Iyengar Yoga school here in Dallas
and they are going quite nicely. I am training to become a teacher.
There is a great demand for yoga classes here at the temple. 100% of
the yogis at the classes either love Kalachandji's or long very much to
visit. Many, after the class, come up to me to request cards for the
temple and restaurant. One such a person came up to me today and told
me that she was just simply fascinated with Krishna. She told me about
how she went to India and learned that Krishna is greater than any of
'them' even 'the three' (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva) and about how she
interested in the Bhagavan feature. She also explained that she enjoyed
reading the Bhagavad Gita. I responded that I also enjoy reading the
Bhagavad Gita and I that I regularly give classes on the Bhagavad Gita.
She said, "Oh you should teach classes here." It was nice to hear that
from one of the teachers in training. We are actually going to be
hosting a Kirtan concert at the studio with Temple Bhajan Band and Amala
Kirtan Das. I am always now since the classes, running into on a
regular basis, students from my classes. Mostly business people in
their 40's and up and knowing them from the classes makes for a nice way
to connect with them again at the temple. The following is a shloka
that we chant before class followed an excerpt from the explanation
given by BKS Iyengar's daughter Geeta S. Iyengar perhaps you will like it:
Yogena cittasya padena vacam

Malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena

Yopakarottam pravaram muninam

Patanjalim pranjalir anato'smi

Abahu purusakaram

sankha cakrasi dharinam

sahasra sirasam svetam

pranamami patanjalim

Hari Om

"Let us bow before the noblest of sages Patanjali, who gave yoga for
serenity and sanctity of mind, grammar for clarity and purity of speech
and medicine for perfection of health. Let us prostrate before
Patanjali, an incarnation of Adisesa, whose upper body has a human form,
whose arms hold a conch and a disc, and who is crowned by a
thousand-headed cobra."

From the explanation:

"The two slokas (verses) that we chant to invoke Lord Patanjali begin the Bhojavritti, Bhoj’s commentary on the Yoga Sutras. It says, first of all, that Lord Patanjali is considered to be the incarnation of Adhishesha, the cobra, which is the seat for the Lord Vishnu, the very creator of this world. It is said he took birth three different times, giving three different sciences for people to improve themselves. The first is yoga.....
...We chant so that at the very beginning that feeling of sanctification
comes from inside, with the feeling of surrendering oneself, because
nothing can be learned in this world unless you have the humility to
learn. So the moment you think of the Lord at the beginning of doing a
practice, you know that you are very small in front of that greatest
Hare Krishna
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das

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