Category Archives: Online Ashtanga Resources

Get Wiki With It: Ompedia

Ompedia welcomes you to Web 2.0.

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Wiki wiki in the nonvirtual world

Wendy Spies, author of one of our most popular posts – Ashtanga During Pregnancy: One Ashtangi’s Experience – recently started a wiki about yoga.

(Yes, that’s a link to Wikipedia, which you can reach easiest by typing “wiki wiki” into Google, which is kind of funny if you’ve taken an interisland flight out of Honolulu.)

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The logo on Ompedia says it all.

Back to Wendy’s project, it’s called Ompedia. The idea is that people – like us – contribute to it. So, take a look, write something and let’s see if we can help Ompedia gain some traction. There isn’t going to be much there unless you put it there.

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Sunrise in Hawaii
from YogaSurf

For something sort of funny, check out the Shhhh link on Ompedia. The other pages (so far) on Ompedia are:

  • Blogs: a place to list blogs of interest (or comment on the blogs listed).
  • Discussions: answer some questions about yoga, like “Why do you practice?” I think this could be the most interesting section.
  • History
  • People: teachers, but could be any people.
  • Postures
  • Research: have you done any or know of any good yoga-related research?
  • Travel: talk about your travel experiences related to yoga, maybe typical retreat locations

The thing about a wiki is that the contributors determine the structure. Maybe there is a page you think is missing? You can add it. And even though Wendy’s made suggestions as to what each page should cover, what it actually covers depends on what you, the writers, write on there.

So rather than wading through a million responses on EZBoard (which is great for public discussion), on Ompedia, all the information about a subject would be in one spot.

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Bhavani Maki of Ashtanga Yoga Kauai
She also studies Sanskrit.

Another thing is that with Ompedia (or any wiki, for that matter) you can see the changes that have been made to that page using the History tab. Say, you make a change and then it disappears. You can see what replaced it and when. You can even register, so people can see what you’ve said and contact you (if you and they like).

I think what differentiates Ompedia from Wikipedia is that Ompedia is more personal and opinion-oriented while Wikipedia tends to be more Encyclopia Britannica-like.

But neither Ompedia or Wikipedia would be useful without contributions from readers like you. :)

This makes me feel that I should write a page about how to use a wiki on Ompedia…

Photos of the Ashtanga Series on the Web

Arjuna, an Ashtanga yoga student & teacher in Germany, has a wonderful website with photos of each posture of Series 1 through 4 (!) plus Surya Namaskara A, Surya Namaskara B, and the Finishing Postures. He even includes details of the vinyasa count for each posture.

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Arjuna demonstrates Vishwamitrasana from the 3rd series.

This is the only site we know of that has a systematic listing of photos of the 3rd and 4th series. Note that Arjuna says:

However, because I only did the primary and intermediate series under Pattabhis guidance, when I practice the advanced series I use the counting and method I have learned from some senior students of Pattabhi Jois.

The official site AYRI.org has photos of the Primary Series, but they are all on one page so:

  • You cannot link to a unique posture directly to illustrate a posture name
  • No transitions are shown
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Vasisthasana

Arjuna has also posted PDF files with these photos by section, along with other useful information, like suggested adjustments (also with photos).

Warning: don’t try those advanced series at at home. There’s a reason why this stuff is only taught under the close supervision of an authorized teacher.

Arjuna leaves us with an interesting thought:

The “most traditional” form of Ashtanga Yoga still differs quite a bit from teacher to teacher.
Maybe Ashtanga Yoga is like yeast. If you put a bit of curd in milk, the yeast will transform the milk into curd. You can take your curd to any country, put it into milk and it will happen. – But the curd will always taste a bit different. The yeast is the same, but the milk changes. Likewise, Ashtanga Yoga has a different flavour everywhere, but it is still Ashtanga Yoga.