I’m a bit behind the curve this week and there’s been so much going on.
The week started with Manju’s workshop here in Brighton. The workshop included a led primary pratice in the morning, a led 2nd series practice in the afternoon followed by pranayama, chanting and a Q&A session.
In the break there was also a demo by the London AcroYoga crew which was awesome. I did some AcroYoga at a recent yoga festival near Glastonbury, so I was keen to do a bit more “flying” which was pretty cool. AcroYoga is so much fun and is actually easier than it looks. There’s a workshop at BNHC in early September so be sure to check it out!
On Sunday I only did the afternoon sessions so if anyone has any comment on how they found the led primary lets hear it! Judging from the damp patches on the ceiling I’ll bet it was a good one!
The most interesting bit for me was the Q&A session and hearing Manju talk about Yoga and practice in general. He spoke about the need to relax, breathe and enjoy practice. He also said that if you don’t want to practice then don’t, saying that forcing yourself to practice asana is not yoga. My interpretation of this is that forcing yourself to practice can be regarded as himsa (harm) and we’re supposed to be practicing ahimsa (non-violence). Bringing awareness of how we are in the moment will determine what action would be harmful or not. Basically, chill out!
Manju also spoke about it being acceptable to mix asana from different series and have a more varied practice. Again my interpretation on this is that you need a sufficiently developed practice and relationship with your teacher to gain the most benefit.
Manju didn’t learn asana in any set series but started out copying his father when he was about 7 or 8 years old. His father then gave personal tuition to him and his sister. Most of us don’t have the advantage of learning yoga in this way. To me it really points again to the importance of the relationship between student and teacher which in Manju’s case was father and son too.
Manju also emphasised a balanced approach to practice. Asana is only one of the limbs of yoga. He said pranayama, chanting and scriptures should also be practiced these would then naturally lead to the development of the other limbs of yoga: Yama, Niyama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana leading ultimately to Samadhi.
Another interesting statement was “mantra is more powerful than asana.”
The question: “What should I eat after practice” which was met with the rather sensible “Your body will tell you”.
There was lots more that I can’t recall at the moment but in the interest of getting this blog up I’m going ot post now and add comment later as stuff comes to mind.
I also interviewed Manju this week and part of the interview will be available for download next week some time.
In the meantime here’s a couple of links to interviews that I read before I interviewed Manju:
And another excellent interview by Richard Clark, Australia 2005 available as a PDF.