A few people have asked me to post about the Conference at AYL last Sunday, it was a long conference and these are the parts that resonated for me, there was a lot more.
Hamish has just returned from Sharath’s TT in Mysore, a holiday as he described it, getting up 3 hours later than usual! H talked about the days in Gokulam and the time he spent drinking coffee with Sharath and discussing the practice.
He began by talking about Digestion, as Sharath had been asked about diet, we are just a food processor with legs and arms. Every “diet” aims to achieve something different, so there is no “right diet”, it’s an individual choice. Making ethical choices doesn’t just apply to food, Using less of everything means less stuff ending up in the sea.
Sharath had the students making sure they know primary and intermediate Posture names, reciting them forward and backwards and also learning the Sanskrit numbers from 1-30. We should all do this.
H talked about how many TT students decided to take a break from being on social media, though H acknowledged that it’s something of a necessary evil in order to advertise yoga classes.
If we practice in the mornings he said it’s good to do something aligned to the practice in the afternoon, while in Mysore small groups would get together to discuss yoga and bounce ideas and thoughts around with their peers. AYL is a community and he encouraged those who live near each other to occasionally form these groups. If that’s not possible then he encouraged to study the texts like the Gita or the Mahabarata, do meditation or just “Sit”. All of this makes us better able to deal with life off the mat.
Sharath also taught the TT students pranayama. This has usually only been formally taught to students who have finished intermediate , although he seemed to make an exception for long time practitioners who haven’t yet finished second. I asked H if there is any appropriate pranayama for those of us who who will never finish second, he said alternate nostril breathing is ok.
H gave a small whoop of joy at Sharath saying that once students hit 50 (H gets there soon) , that asana practice should be less intense. I’m now 52 and seem to be working harder than ever!
Hamish said he once asked Guruji the meaning of Dharma, his answer was it means “giving”. We may not all be teachers, but in our own way we are all teachers and end up sharing the practice, with family, friends or work colleagues, telling people about our practice and answering the inevitable “why” question, sharing is giving.