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11
General Discussion / Re: SMF upgrade
« Last post by lutherm1 on May 28, 2011, 10:59:59 AM »
The SMF message board has again been upgraded to apply security fixes.  Please let me know if you have any difficulties.
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Workshop Feedback / LA workshop, May, 2011
« Last post by David Williams on May 23, 2011, 01:17:53 PM »
Dear David,

Thank you for coming to LA. Your visit and teachings really helped me more than you can imagine. I taught myself some yoga after seriously hurting my back, and healed it. Since finding Ashtanga while I had a great desire to practice it, many teachers really made it not so fun. Somehow I lost my way and it became painful and after some minor injuries really doused the flame of desire to practice. I thank you for giving me the perspective to practice the rest of my life....much respect and thanks!

David
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Ask a Yogi! / Re: Krishnamacharya and jalandhara bandha
« Last post by David Williams on December 13, 2010, 10:52:25 PM »
Dear Alessandro,
Nice that you have written.  I am glad that you liked my workshop.
Your question is not difficult and you are not boring me.
The book that I showed you was a photocopy of Yoga Makaranda, by T. Krishnamacharya, first published in 1934.  In it, on pages 25-26, Krishnamacharya states, "Where head position is not specified jalandhara bandha (chin lock) is to be practiced."  This book is not easy to find, but some people have photo copies and I was given one.  As you noticed, there were numerous photos of Krishnamacharya demonstrating forward bending postures and doing jalandhara bandha in every one.
(Also, if you recall seeing any photos of Pattabhi Jois demonstrating forward bending asanas, he is doing jalandhara bandha in every one, without exception.)
However, for your research, in Krishnamacharya, His Life and Teachings, by A.G. Mohan, the statement, "Where head position is not specified jalandhara bandha (chin lock) is to be practiced," is quoted on page 146, line 6, in an appendix giving excerpts from the Yoga Makaranda, offering advice for success in the practice of asanas.  This book is available from Amazon.com.
I will be teaching at Triopetra, on the beach on Crete, for 2 weeks this summer, from July 23 until August 6, if you want to continue your practice of asanas and pranayama with me.
Before the practice of yoga, the theory is useless.  After the practice of yoga, the theory is obvious.
Aloha,
d
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Ask a Yogi! / Krishnamacharya and jalandhara bandha
« Last post by David Williams on December 13, 2010, 10:47:55 PM »
Dear Mr Williams,

My name is Alessandro.  i had the privilege to attend your workshop in Italy in Salento.
First, i would like to apologize for writing to you and wasting your time; secondly, i would like to thank you for all the things you shared with us in those few days.

In a few words: after your workshop my journey in yoga carried on and went through many many differrent approaches on the subject...
It seems like every teacher has something different to say about the practice and especially about asana practice, but it is also evident the they have sort of dogma to deal with.

The result is that i became more and more skeptical about what they teach, what they say, and the way they relate to the "subject" of Yoga.

So i started to investigate on my own, trying to get out of the chaos of informations, and also trying to have a clear picture about the "history" of Yoga in order to better understand
who is T.Krishanamacharya, who is P.Jois and the following lineage...unfortunately the only things i can rely on are books.
I'm actually collecting all the informations and the books about T.Krishnamacharya, trying to trace back the practice of ashtanga.
It is a hard duty, especially because i have to rely on the translation of these books which sometimes is not very clear, even if my knowledge of sanskrit is very little.

Because of this reason i ask for your help.
I can remember that you showed us a copy of a book from Krishnamacharya himself where it was written clearly about the use of Jalandhara bandha.  I remember on that book there were pictures of K. doing asanas.  But i don't remember exactely the name of the book....was it Yoga Makaranda? or Yoga Granthamala?
Yoga Makaranda is no more available, and Granthamala has no indications like that...

Hope to have been not boring.

best regards,

Alessandro
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Asana, Pranayama, Mudra & Bandhas / Advice to a 16 year old yogi
« Last post by David Williams on September 11, 2010, 02:06:33 PM »
Hello,
I study mysore-style yoga in Miami and love to practice yoga. I took a workshop with Nancy Gilgoff (and she told us you went to India with her to study with Guruji) and said that you were an amazing teacher. I am sixteen years old and have been practicing since I was twelve. I try to maintain a daily practice to keep my body, mind, and spirit constantly refreshed. I also teach yoga (with a certification) with an emphasis on instilling a love for yoga with basic asana technique and breath. I am a full-time student at school and I've always wanted to study yoga with a teacher one-on-one the way it was originally taught even for a short time. That's why when I saw that you teach individually, I was wondering if you travelled to teach during the winter. (You don't have any scheduled workshops then.) I have 16 days off from school and am curious if you would be interested in coming down to Miami to teach during the winter. (I'm also trying to get my family to do it too!) I love my practice and want to go deeper but I'm no allowed to go to Mysore until I'm a bit older. If you are interested, please contact me.
Yours,
A
 
Dear Andrew,
Thanks for writing.  I encourage you to enjoy daily yoga practice for the rest of your life.  Since you have taken the time to write such a nice, sincere letter, I will give you some energy in return. 
After 40 years of uninterrupted daily practice, I have this to share with you:
Don't ever do anything that hurts or is even uncomfortable.  This is not yoga, it is masochism. 
Yoga is a method to get naturally high. 
You are one injury away from destroying one of the most precious thing in your life, your painfree yoga practice. 
Know thyself...listen to your body, don't ignore it if something hurts.  If it hurts, you are hurting yourself.  One millimeter beyond stretching is tearing. Tearing causes scar tissue. You do not want to sculpt your body with scar tissue. 
Reaching your flexibility potential will come from stretching and breathing with the first focus being the continuous strong bandhas.  Find the position in each asana where your body feels the best.  That's where it is the most energizing.  By feeling good, your body is telling you what it wants and the result is, it will produce endorphins and seratonin, getting you naturally high.  Pain has nothing to do with this.  Pain is not to be ignored.  It indicates injury and is to be avoided; don't let an inexperienced person convince you otherwise. 
I am taking the time to say this to you, because you are young and will get conflicting advice.  Print this letter, save it, and read it again in 10 years.  Then you can write and tell me if I was correct or not.
If you want to practice with me, I will be in Florida in the near future.  I look forward to meeting you.
Aloha,
d




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16
Ask a Yogi! / Jalandhara bandha
« Last post by David Williams on August 10, 2010, 08:57:43 AM »
Dear David,

Thank you for your workshop in Chicago. I so enjoyed your teachings and insights. In particular, I am grateful to learn about the practice of engaging Jalandhara Bandha during forward bends. I started practicing yoga years ago to relieve chronic upper back and neck pain, and have been so frustrated to find that, at times, yoga has actually seemed to make this problem worse. After just five days of utilizing this new form--chin lock during forward bends--I am amazed at how much better my back and neck feel already. I also really notice a difference in my meditative focus and energy by keeping all three bandhas engaged.

You are a wonderful teacher. Thank you so very much.

-Jamie
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Workshop Feedback / Chicago workshop, August, 2010
« Last post by David Williams on August 10, 2010, 08:56:25 AM »
Dear David,
Thank you for your workshop in Chicago. I so enjoyed your teachings and insights. In particular, I am grateful to learn about the practice of engaging Jalandhara Bandha during forward bends. I started practicing yoga years ago to relieve chronic upper back and neck pain, and have been so frustrated to find that, at times, yoga has actually seemed to make this problem worse. After just five days of utilizing this new form--chin lock during forward bends--I am amazed at how much better my back and neck feel already. I also really notice a difference in my meditative focus and energy by keeping all three bandhas engaged.

You are a wonderful teacher. Thank you so very much.

Jamie
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Workshop Feedback / Re: Birmingham, Alabama workshop, May 2010
« Last post by Ganesh on July 14, 2010, 01:44:19 PM »
David, I enjoyed the Ashtanga Yoga for Life workshop in birmingham AL, as well as being in same class as Jeanne.
Thanks for doing workshops close to where we live, and please continue doing these workshops.  We really enjoy.

I am using Ashtanga Yoga for Life as a guide in leading 4 classes per week at the community center where I am a volunteer yoga teacher.

Thanks again and thanks to the Birmingham Ashtanga yogis hosting.
Quentin
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Workshop Feedback / Birmingham, Alabama workshop, May 2010
« Last post by David Williams on May 18, 2010, 01:03:12 PM »
David,
I attended your workshop in Birmingham last weekend with my daughter, Laura, and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the experience. As a 67 year old newcomer to yoga, I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive, but your method and the message helped put me at ease.
Thank you,
Jeanne
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Workshop Feedback / feedback after a Jivanmukti workshop
« Last post by David Williams on May 18, 2010, 12:43:59 PM »

Hola David,

I think that all of us here have taken you for granted.

We were having a Jivamukti event this past week, today is the last day.  V (a student who came to your workshop) and I were talking about you last night, the way you teach us to practice, the nonharming attitude and the understanding of it.  The practice that is being taught now at this Jivanmukti workshop has been very hard for me to deal with.  It is brutal on the body and her adjustments are very VERY aggressive.  I have felt throughout the whole week that I am promoting something I am against and I have not enjoyed it.  My back is hurt and my heart is hurt by the whole dynamics of it.  I am happy it is over.  I am not sure if it is the system or the teacher or maybe both.  I guess it is a reminder of what I really want from my practice and to be loyal to it.

I miss your classes.

A
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