Monthly Archives: June 2006

Another Interview with R. Sharath

Just in case you haven’t seen this, No Sleep Til Mysore, a popular Ashtangi blog, recently published translated portions of an interview with R. Sharath from the Times of India.

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Seat of Wisdom
from Govinda Kai

In the article, Sharath says that he plans to “always stay in Mysore” and that

Yoga is an integral part of my life and it takes up 85 percent of my time. I love every moment of it and feel blessed because not everyone finds their vocation in life and not everyone is privileged enough to make their passion their primary activity in life.

He intends to build a yoga retreat center in the near future.

I have also started a charitable trust in the name of my grandfather and we are involved in assisting the local community in various causes such as providing artificial limbs to handicapped and helping mentally-challenged children.

He also says that Pattabhis Jois and his family travel 4 months of the year to “spread the message of yoga”. They stay with Sting in London and with Mike D. of the Beastie Boys in New York. The only person to ever get a private lesson from Sharath was Madonna (and that was only for the free t-shirts she gave him). Hmmm.

I couldn’t find the full article online. According to No Sleep Til Mysore, it seems that the article may have only been published in India. Thank you for the translation!

[If you want to read more about Sharath and his thoughts on yoga, we recently highlighted an interview with him published by Lime. -Ed.]

Ashtanga Makes My Blood Boil: Health Benefits of Yoga (part 1)

According to AYRI:

The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, boils the blood.

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Sharath & Guruji looking especially healthy

The benefits of boiled blood are numerous. Thinner (boiled) blood circulates more freely, so it’s better able to remove pain, impurities and disease.

The sweat generated by Ashtanga practice is also beneficial, because it removes the toxins brought out by the boiling blood.

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John Berlinsky helps a student
(photo courtesy of Govinda Kai)

In Yoga Mala, Sri K. Pattabhis Jois discusses in great depth the benefits of Ashtanga in general as well as the benefits of each asana. For example, for Prasarita Padottanasana (A-D), Pattabhis Jois writes:

[If learned from a Guru], the anal canal will be purified, the bad fat in the lower abdomen will dissolve, the waist will become thin and strong, and the body will become light and beautiful. This asana also cures constipation, and purifies the top part of the spinal column and the waist.

I think anyone who’s practiced Ashtanga (or any yoga) for a while would say that practice has numerous physical, emotional and mental benefits. My friends who do not practice yoga express interest primarily because of the “stretching” and “relaxation” benefits they perceive yoga will provide. So there’s this general, yet anecdotal, perception that yoga, including Ashtanga yoga, is beneficial.

However, being a curious, analytical type of person with an interest in health and science, I was wondering what kind of medical or scientific research exists about yoga, particularly Ashtanga?

So, in a brief series of upcoming posts, I’ll be highlighting some of what I’ve learned.

With that, I invite you all to please comment freely and include any resources you have about the benefits of yoga.

From Yoga Mala:

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Turbinado sugar. Yum.

Some people even have of fear of practicing it [yoga] altogether. But this is little different from the opinion of those who look for the faults of sugar without knowing its sweetness. Once they taste it, its sweetness becomes apparent. Similarly, once we practice yoga, we come to realize its ananda [bliss].

Despite my analytical bent, I fully endorse tasting the sugar.