Saturday, 11 May 2013

Going to Manju Jois' TT in Rethymno, Crete August 2013

I came across a post from last year in which I was trying to decide between Richard Freeman's workshop in London and Manju's TT in Crete. Last year financial responsibility won out and I went to Richard's workshop which was excellent, you can read about it in this post.

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/richard-freeman-five-day-intensive.html

and this Guest post

http://grimmly2007.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/guest-post-three-attendees-of-richard.html

This year I had a similar dilemma, the same TT in Crete with Manju or a slightly shorter four day version in Manchester or an even shorter three day workshop in London. This time financial responsibility went straight out the window, flight and hotel are booked and I'm on my way to sunny Crete in August.


M. is coming too. The workshop starts early and finishes early so M. and I can have the rest of the day. This is our first period of time away together ( other than the odd mini break) for years, found a reasonable hotel close enough to the shala for a pre and post practice swim, it even has a little balcony looking out over the sea, perfect.


A big thank you though to Andrea Everingham for sending me information about the course in Manchester as well as transport and accommodation links etc.

Andrea Everingham
Here's some details about the Manchester TT course with Manju at OneYoga in manchester in case your tempted.

And some details about the Manju workshop at Stillpoint yoga in London. I just heard from Scott that this looks like being five days not three, four Mysore, one led.

More on Stillpoint here

And while on the topic of Ashtanga in London, there's this coming up


which relates to this

Ashtanga Yoga in London Victoria (moving to City of London in May) with Adam Keen

The Light Centre is opening a new location in the City at 168 London Wall between Moorgate and Liverpool St Stations.  Adam will be teaching early morning Mysore Monday to Thursday with a led class on Friday in the bright new studio, there are showers and a cafe serving breakfast, coffee, smoothies etc.
Susan Bysh will also be teaching Ashtanga Led Classes Monday and Thursday evenings.  For more information see The Light Centre Moorgate.
Special Intro Offer £15 for 5 Classes

New students take advantage of 5 classes for only £15, contact the Light Centre for details.

-----------------

But back to Crete.......

Intensive Teacher Training Course
with Manju P. Jois
12-18 August 2013


The Crete course is a little longer than those above, seven days ( or is that six and a half ) and creeps in just before things pick up again at work and we get another embargo on taking holidays. The length of the course was pretty much the deciding factor.

I was asked earlier today on fb why I had chosen a TT with Manju and if I had taken any course with him before, this was my off the top of my head reply.

'No never have but read several interviews with him and workshop reports, some friends have. 
He seems to stress an integrated practice, asana, pranayama, meditation and within the Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga context that I find appealing, also there seems to be more a '...this is how I learned from my father' rather than this is correct or not correct. Ramaswami is like that too. He's not telling you this is the right way necessarily but just that this was how his teacher taught him. I like that. 
Also as with this quote about the Sury's (below), Manju was taught by his father in the 50's and 60's, before the American students came, I find that an interesting period. 
It's not so much about the TT aspect either but rather the chance of spending a week rather than 3, 4 or 5 days. Same with Ramaswami most of us were there to study with him for a month rather than to get a piece of paper. 
And of course if Manju had wanted to return to India this is how everyone would practice in Mysore now, that's an interesting thought, slightly different focus to the practice perhaps, not necessarily better but differentt'.

from this interview

And it's Crete, I used to live in a cave in Crete, in old Falasarnia back in my twenties (thirties too actually), be like going home.


Crete  
Now to the dry hillside,
Terraced with crumbling limestone,
Where there were vineyards long ago,
Evening comes cool and violet
Under the olive trees, and only
The almond blossoms and the first stars 
Are alight. 
Your fine lean hand
Like a spindle of light
Moves as you talk, as if
You were conducting a slow music.
What are you talking about?
You are explaining everything to me – 
The abandoned olive grove,
The walls older than the Romans,
The flowering almond tree, 
And the twilight darkening 
Around the stars and around
Your speaking lips and moving hand.
Kenneth Rexroth
(actually the poem is called  Education but somebody gave it to me and it always reminds me of Crete and my cave).

The Crete workshop is Organised by Kristina Karitinou and is in the beautiful old town of Rethymno





I have three months to tighten up my Primary, immerse myself in it, dwell in it. Recently I've been practicing 2nd series in the morning and some Asymmetric Vinyasa Krama subroutines in the evening leading into my main pranayama and meditation practice. This week I switched them back around again, hot sweaty Primary in the morning with the first half of 2nd in the evening in it's Vinyasa Krama manifestation of Bow and Meditative (vajrasana) subroutines.
I'm now alternating practicing with Manju's DVD ( the led class where everybody repeats the Sanskrit count along with the names of the asana and drishti), one morning practicing along with that, the next without and so on through the week.

My Primary is still OK, less flashy, simple, I'm enjoying it. Manju doesn't give a count while your in the posture so I can get three long slow breaths in. But Ashtanga, it's like a steamroller and 'though my breath and heart stay steady I'm sweating like crazy, buckets, kilo's. Now I'm up in Nietzsche's old room I can keep the heat in and I'm feeling it, first time in ages I've been wanting to take a Saturday off and this morning I was checking to see if it might just happen to be a moon day today, no such luck.

Loving it.

Perhaps some posts to come on revisiting Primary. I've never really stopped practicing it of course (on Friday's at least) but it's morphed somewhat into my own version of it, influenced by my Vinyasa Krama practice and reading of Krishnamacharya's Yoga makaranda and Yogasanagalu. Here though I'm kind of going back to straight 'by the book' (but Manju's book) Primary for the next four to six months at least and perhaps seeing the Vinyasa Krama etc. already in it as well as those echoes of Krishnamacharya's Yoga makaranda.

I think I've always sought to find a consistency in these two periods of Krishnamacharya's teaching as reflected in Vinyasa krama and Ashtanga, never liked the idea of one or the other, or that one is better or worse than the other. Manju seems to be a good lead for finding that.

The outline of the course below is from a different place but seems to be pretty standard for Manju's TT course, the one in Crete is a little longer though, Six to Seven days.

"This five training will present the Ashtanga yoga series and traditions in their purest form, providing a rare and privileged opportunity for beginners and experienced practitioners alike to learn from a genuine Indian master.

Manju Jois uses only the ancient practices, offering truly authentic guidance for all who wish to follow Ashtanga's life enriching path to Enlightenment.

In this intensive, Manju will introduce and teach the powerful healing elements and techniques that make up the Ashtanga system, including:

The traditional Ashtanga yoga practice, a series of asanas (postures) known as The Primary Series or Yoga Chikista (Yoga Healing), followed by the Intermediate Series entitled Nadi Shodhana (Nerve Cleansing).

Daily practice of the asanas purifies the mind and body while healing the nervous system.

Manju, using the original Sanskrit so that students will benefit from the traditional form, will then teach the Nadi Shodhana Pranayamas breathing exercises.

After this the students will practice Vedic peace chants (Shanti Mantras).

Each day will conclude with meditation practice.

Manju Jois's dedicated life-long mission is to provide training for students and teachers in the traditions of authentic Indian yoga. He is honored therefore to be able to offer guidance to all who wish to learn and benefit from Ashtanga yoga's ancient and time-honored practices.

By the end of the week, students should be able to present the Primary Series in the traditional way (using Sanskrit commands) as well as teach some fundamental pranayamas and chants.

A certificate of participation will be issued after the completion of the course(s)".

Course outline from here http://www.yogamind.com/workshop-manju_jois-teacher.shtml

I found a  couple of videos online of the course in Crete from a year or two ago







And here's a cut and paste from a previous post on Manju's TT from an earlier post.

Manju Jois interviews and Teacher Training videos

I came across a nice interview with Manju Jois last night on the Aspiring Yogi blog.
I particularly liked these questions

KPJ: Describe your usual yoga practice/routine?
MJ: I practice yoga in the morning every day except Saturday. My routine is to get up at 4am, have a shower and practice for 1 hour, picking a few postures from the primary and intermediate series, then four or five postures from the advanced series. The asana practice is followed by chanting for ½ an hour.

KPJ: You have been teaching for 47 years. What changes have you noticed over that time, either in your own approach to teaching, or more generally in terms of Ashtanga yoga?
MJ: I teach in the traditional style that I learnt from my father. My aim is to keep the teaching pure and simple. Unfortunately the teaching is often not the same as when I learnt. I don’t know if it is because of a shortage of time, or they don’t know the traditional style or don’t want to teach it.

KPJ: What do you think is the most common mistake that people make when practicing yoga?
MJ: The biggest mistake that students make is overdoing their practice and not knowing when to stop. Yoga is supposed to be relaxing!  It is better to do fewer asanas perfectly with correct breathing, rather than lots of poses if you have forgotten about the breath and bandhas. Keep up your practice everyday. You don’t have to do 100 postures. Listen to your body, stop when it tells you it is stretched enough. People get hurt when they continue.

KPJ: In led classes, we hold each pose for five breaths. Is it appropriate to hold the pose for longer, especially if you have one side stiffer than another?
MJ: In Mysore style practice you can take as many breaths as you want. In fact, usually the body reacts after the fifth breath, so you need to stay longer to get the complete benefit. The Yoga Sutras say Sthira sukham asanam – meaning asana is a meditation and you have to stay in poses and breathe properly.

A couple of  Videos from Youtube of Manju's Teacher training workshop




While on the topic of Manju, here's the excellent video from Warsaw that I posed last year, Hooked on Yoga


here's the link to where the video was posted http://vimeo.com/19598795
and a link to manju's own website http://www.manjujois.com/

So that's me, what are you up to? Any Workshops this year?

7 comments:

  1. Congrats Grimmly! I hope you enjoy Manju's TT in Crete. The hotel looks nice too ;-)

    As for me, you probably know that I went to Randa's Chehab workshop in Bozeman in February, and to Kino's workshop in LA in March. Right now, I feel that I have done my fair share of workshops for this year; the only thing is to go to Mysore. But I don't think that's going to happen this year. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Noble, looking forward to it. Be a bit strange though, this will be my first 'mysore workshop. Richard's workshop was more five leds than anything else. This one is probably five Mysore and two led (call and repeat of the count/names and drishti). plus the pranayama, chanting, meditation and Q and A.
      Shame you can't make it to Mysore this year looking forward to hearing your take on it.

      oh I was described as cerebral in relation to my blog today ( she may have got me mixed up with the other place) anyway was trying to stress that I'm certainly not like that on the mat, but rather just wrapped up with the breath. Great image flashed into my mind that I thought you'd appreciate. Imagine the cybershala as a regular shala of philosphical bloggers along the line of Monty Python's philosophers football team.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2TicMbH4OY
      Still amused by the idea.

      Delete
  2. Crete! Oh the color of the water in the pictures breaks my heart! Too cool, can't wait to hear about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feel bad now, broke your heart last time with Santorini, sorry. Do love Crete though, hoping to take M. up to see my old cave, has one of the best and little known beaches on the Island.
      http://www.magnolia-apartments.gr/main/images/stories/falasarna-kolpos.jpg

      Delete
  3. Oh, it's all right, I'll live vicariously through you. Maybe you can take a picture of turquoise waters for me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks again for the mention!
    Hope you have a great workshop. Good that it's Mysore style :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome, hope the opening goes well.
      Thanks re workshop and Mysore practice, looking forward to it, may have to pop over to your place to acclimatise before I go.

      Delete

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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