schedule October 2014

schedule for October 2014, at the Gedong Gandhi Ashram, Candidasa, East-Bali, Indonesia.

after Friday October 11th, no more classes at the ashram by Ahimsaka, till the start of April 2014.

sun salutations; everyday 07 am to 08 am

hatha yoga asana; monday & wednesday 4 pm to 5.30 pm.

hatha yoga pratyahara; friday & sunday 4 pm to 5.30 pm.

(other afternoons from 4pm to 5.30pm, hatha yoga asana by Kawi Dana)

suggested, minimum donation 50.000 Irp

see ashram for more information

take a sarong or towel with you, it can be windy especially in the afternoons.

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schedule update October 2013

From Friday October 20th up to Saturday October 28th, 2013, the sun salutations classes in the morning are closed to off-site guests as the Ashram is hosting a yoga retreat.,

For more information about the 1 week yoga retreat, see the ashram websites.

The classes re-open again on Sunday October 29th, from 7am to 8am.

The afternoon classes are still open to off-site guests during the retreat.

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surya namaskara

>>>to receive an audio file of the yoga surya namaskara puja at the Gedong Gandhi Ashram, please send a request to;

The audiofile is a live recording of a class of the sun salutations at an outdoor yoga shala. It contains a short warming up, and 20 rounds of the surya namaskara; the classical and a variation>>>

surya namaskara
salutations to the sun
classical sun salutations;
In line with the ashram tradition, started by the founder Ibu Gedong her self, every morning the ashram members would do a certain amount of sun salutations on the beach. Unfortunately the beach disappeared, but the sun is still shining, and the salutations are happening in the bale yoga now. Ahimsaka is leading this session every morning between 7 and 8 am, for the ashram members, the guests and everyone who wants to join.
In yoga the sun is represented by the pingala nadi or surya nadi, the pranic channel which carries the vital life giving force. This dynamic group of asana’s is not regarded as being a traditional part of hatha yoga practice as it was added to the original group at a later time. The surya namaskara has been handed down from the enlightened sages of the Vedic Age, and is more ancient then the yoga practice. It is an effective way of loosening up, stretching, massaging and toning all the joints, muscles and internal organs of the body. Its versatility and application make it one of the most useful methods of inducing a healthy, vigorous and active life while, at the same time, preparing for spiritual awakening and expansion of awareness.
The surya namaskara is regulating the solar energy of the body creating balanced energy in the body at both mental and physical levels. Its composition is of three elements; form, energy and rhythm. The twelve asana’s are the physical matrix around which the form of the practice is woven.The asana’s generate prana, life force the subtle energy. With the dynamic movement of the asana’s the prana is transformed into pattern for the body/mind and generates a transforming force which gives rise to a more dynamic, healthier, balanced life.
The surya namaskara makes the body/mind ready for a new day, capable of dealing with all the surprises (the good ones and the lesser good ones) of life. The combination of breath, focus, asana and mantra this system is a good representation of what yoga is in a nutshell. With 12 poses it tells the story of the path of yoga.
Ahimsaka teaches the classical sun salutations according the Bihar School of Yoga, and is similar to the sivananda tradition, and most yoga styles. Finding your own comfortable and natural pose is for ahimsaka more important then setting the student into a fixed pose. During class personal modifications are encouraged. Exploration, body/mind/breath awareness, keeping an open mind and observation or most important. From there the student can reflect, learn and if desired change physical and mental habits. The class consists of a warming up and 12 sets of sun salutations and relaxation, and take about an hour. The 12 sets consists of 6 classical sets, and 6 with added (optional) variations.

classical surya namaskara asana and most commonly used names*;

  1. pranamasana/tadasana/samastihi (mountain pose, prayer pose)
  2. hasta utthanasana (raised hands pose)
  3. padahastasana/utthanasana (forward bend/hand to foot pose)
  4. ashwa sanchalanasana/anjenyasana (low lunge, equestrian pose)
  5. parvatasana/adho-mukha-savasana-(mountain pose,downward dog)
  6. ashtanga namaskara (8 points prostrating pose)
  7. bhujangasana (cobra pose)
  8. parvatasana/adho-mukha-savasana-(mountainpose,downward dog)
  9. ashwa sanchalanasana/anjenyasana (low lunge, equestrian pose)
  10. padahastasana/utthanasana (forward bend)
  11. hasta utthanasana  (raised hands pose)
  12. pranamasana/tadasana/samastihi (mountainpose, prayer pose)

The variations added are modifying pose 5 into ardha chandrasana, half moon pose and pose 9 into a standing twist.
Mantra’s accompanying the movements

  1. om mitraya namaha  (salutations to the friend of all)
  2. om ravaye namaha (salutations to the shining one)
  3. om surya namaha (salutations to he who induces activity)
  4. om bhanave namaha (salutations to he who illumines)
  5. om khagaya namaha (salutations to he who moves quickly in the sky)
  6. om pushne namaha (salutations to the giver of strength)
  7. om hiranya garbhaya namaha (salutations to the golden cosmic self)
  8. om marichaye namaha (salutations to the lord of dawn)
  9. om adityaya namaha (salutations to the son of aditi, the cosmic mother)
  10. om savitre namaha (salutations to the lord of creation)
  11. om arkaya namaha  (salutations to he who is fit to be praised)
  12. om bhaskaraya namaha (salutations to he who leads to enlightenment)

the mantra (sanskrit for that what protects the mind) creates a back ground sound (noise), preventing other thoughts to rise, they create a vibration for the breath, a rhythm for the mind and a pattern for the body together with the movements.  The effect is a calming almost hypnotizing for the mind, making the movements go with ease and seemingly without effort.
*often different asana’s have the same name, the same asana’s different names and translations into english made it even more confusing

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pratyahara yoga

pratyahara yoga
no gain, no pain
Commercially known as “yin-yoga”, which is a branded name of saying “passive-stretching” or “staying longer in the pose”, is a practice to target the connective tissue in the body, especially the hip joints, the knee joints, the shoulders joints and the spine. With that, it also works on the meridians within the body, as they are related to the connective tissue. Easily said, connective tissue is everything that cannot be directly labeled as something else, and what is holding the whole body together. Visualizing the yang-yin symbol; the black area has a white dot, the white area has a black dot, everything is relative. Muscles are labeled more “yang”, as they create heat and movement, but they contain connective tissue (more yin) too, and at one point a muscle is named “tendon”. From the tendon the muscle connects to the joint (more yin), and wrapped around it to create firmness are the ligaments (yin). Joints have to be flexible but not to flexible, they create movement and at the same time they hold two connecting parts strongly together. There we have yoga. To stretch connective tissue it is necessary to stay longer in a pose, it is like braces slowly molding the teeth into a better form. A passive stretch molds the body into form. B.K.S. Iyengar uses the passive stretch (often with help of props; when the body is supported, the pose can be longer hold, at the same relax more, which takes the stretch more into the connective tissue rather then into the muslce) for the therapeutic benefits, (re) aligning the body into its natural and designed posture. The passive stretch also works on the brain and mind, by keeping longer in the pose, especially in combination with calm deep breathing, there is time to relax & reflect, calming the mind. Giving time to the mind to digest all the mental impressions of the day. Here the name “yin” comes in; the relaxation (which is yin), is counteracting the effects of the physical and mental activity of our everyday life (yang). It is still yoga though, finding balance, union and walking the middle path; meaning it is not that you just “collapse” into  pose, or can just fall a sleep (actually while sleeping the mind isn’t really resting, it is still working to digest all those impressions). The relaxation is being used to find that balance, with means of breath awareness and active relaxation. Actively the student is asked to relax body & mind, and ‘work’ the pose. This ‘active relaxation’ has multiple effects; as the body is relaxing, it has time to re-direct the energy first used for being active (working the sympathetic nervous system), it can use the energy now for other tasks that could not be done while active (working the parasympathetic nervous system). It gives time for the body to grow, heal, clean, repair, rebuild and strengthen. Active relaxation and passive & long stretching have great impact on the immune system and endocrine system,  targeting the body and mind, and gives better physical and mental health.
Prolonged periods of activity is stress, there are about 80 diseases directed related to stress. Prolonged periods of non-activity is sloth, many diseases are related to this too. Finding the balance between those is what yoga can do. A “yin” practice can be complimentary to a “yang” practice, and actually give more “results” in “gaining” mobility (flexibility). (if that is something you want to ‘achieve’) Active relaxation is actively letting go, Actively letting go of tension, actively emptying the mind. Saying active, does not mean “pushing”, neither forcing, it is again about finding the balance. It is like walking on a razor edge, the edge is so thin that you cannot see it.
Contemporary society tends into the yang mode of living; telling us to always go for the max, give 100% ( 200%?), to be in control etc. Multiple stimuli 24/7 outdoors and in doors. Fast food. Connecting and using all kinds of devices and machines, creating bad posture and using the body in ways it wasn’t design to do. All these factors creating high level of stress, with all it effects on the our total body. The “yin” approach is a very effective way to counteract the stress, it is not easy though.
Ahimsaka is taking the 8 limbs of yoga together into one asana practice, naming it after the “middle” step of the 8 limbs; pratyahara. Pratyahara is the cross road of that path, where we go from the outward and physically focused, into the inner and mental body. Turning the senses with in, we are calming the breath. Slowing down the breath, we are calming the mind. Taking longer time in the poses will gives us time to reflect and digest. Trying to get rid of the tendencies society is pressing on us; always gaining, always wanting, always needing more, reflecting “aparigraha”, the 5th yama, non-collectiveness, non-grasping. Trying the student to let go and to surrender to the present moment, taking time to heal, recharge and strengthen. Instead of wanting to gain something from this yoga practice, try to loose something.  Become lighter.
When you don’t gain now, you won’t be in pain later.
more information;

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Ashtanga Hatha Immersion 2014

3 day ashtanga hatha immersion 2014 dates (3 days, 4 nights)

6 – 10 April 2014

5 – 9 July 2014

23 – 27 Aug 2014

2 – 5 Nov 2014

at Gedong Gandhi Ashram, Candidasa, Bali, Indonesia.

more information soon,

An immersion into ashtanga hatha yoga for beginners, for the curious and also for the ashtanga
practitioners who wish to explore and deepen their self practice. Inspired by, but not limited to,
the ashtanga vinyasa sequence of Sri Patthabi Jois.
Focus of these 3 days is to establish or fine-tune your own practice based on the ashtanga
primary sequence. Depending on where you are with your body and mind the sequence can be
modified, adding or skipping asana’s (or vinyasa’s), and with additional classes especially in
hip-opening, back-bending, vinyasa, and yin-yoga for ashtangi’s (weaving the limbs of the 8
astau/limbs of the yoga practice into the physical asana practice). There will be self practice
classes (working on your own pace and asana’s, the so called mysore style) and classes
practicing together with the group (Led classes). The special classes are to help you further in
your practice, supply you with additional information and asana’s, and a better understanding
of the ashtanga yoga, and going beyond the merely physical aspect. The ashtanga practice is
definitely a more strenuous and intensive practice, as it is meant to be a purifying practice.
However, the first guideline is always to work within the limits of your own body. Learning to
listen to your own body (and breath). From there we explore these limits, taking them as
frontiers rather than limitations, and going beyond the set expectations you have of your body
and mind.
Ashtanga Format*:
*for this immersion course you can decide which classes you wish to attend, depending on what
you want or think would work best for you. This can be discussed in advance/at the retreat.
1. Pre Breakfast Class: mysore style or Led class
2. Post Breakfast Class: mysore style or Led class
3. Early Afternoon Class: Special class. Hip-opening, back-bending, vinyassa
4. Late Afternoon Class: Yin-yoga for Ashtangi’s: targeting connective tissue, sense-withdrawal,
breath-work, meditation.

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ashtanga hatha yoga sadhana

ashtanga hatha yoga sadhana
“yoga changed my life; ashtanga changed my yoga”
There is lots of misunderstanding around all these terms, maybe “sadhana” is the most straight forward one; Sanskrit for practice. A sadhaka is a practitioner. The other terms have different meanings depending on who is asked. Ahimsaka is not interested in categorizing or labeling any of these words. Next to the yama & niyama’s there is only one more “rule” in yoga; no dogma’s! Yoga is more going against traditions, rather to establish them, it is learning about your tendencies, your habits. Same applies for society and its tendencies. Yoga is honoring the diversity of nature. It is about body (mind & breath) awareness and karma. We are all different yet the same. That is yoga (sanskrit for “to yoke, or union”). Hatha, coming from Ha and Tha, meaning Sun and Moon, the two opposite energies of the body, the pingala and the ida nadi’s (energy lines in the body). Hatha yoga’s purpose is to join those 2 forces, creating synergy and a stronger more balanced (kundalini) energy. The system it uses is based on the 8 folded path set out by Pantanjalim.  Asthanga referring to the eight fold path of yoga, is in that way the same as Hatha yoga, using both the same foundation.
Pattabhi Jois created a beautiful asana (Sanskrit for “to sit, or to take a seat”) sequence, linked together with vinyasa (sanskrit for” to place in a certain way”) and the breath (calm deep breathing) from his own experience and his knowledge from his teacher Krishnamacharya (who also taught B.K.S. Iyengar). The sequence is a system (a system in a system), and developed into what is now know as the primary series, intermediate series (2nd ) and advanced A, B,C, D. The Sanskrit name for primary series is “yoga chikitsa”, meaning “to purify’. The main purpose of this sequence is to purify the body & mind and prepare it for- and developing a yoga practice. The 2nd series is named; “nadi shodhana”; and its purpose is to strengthen the body. The next series are called Sthira Bhaga (sublime serenity) from where the sadhaka (practitioner) enters into realms of being a yogi..and receiving the benefits it brings with it. It are not only the asana’s that are linked together here, all the different limbs of yoga are joined together within the sequence. The breath is opening up the body, is calming the mind, is working on the focus, the yama’s & niyama’s are contemplated, and within all this intensity the ego drops away. The great thing about  practicing a sequence is that the students can do it on his or her own, developing a home based practice. Centuries ago a yogi used to seclude him or her self, completely devoting to the yoga practice. A set sequence enables the student to this again.
Ahimsaka’s own morning practice is the Ashtanga Series  taught by his teacher Balu Thevar. Which is slightly different from the sequence taught at the  KPJAYI institute. The classes Ahimsaka conducts are inspired on the Ashtanga sequence and Hatha yoga. They can be complimentary to a practice, or go more into depth of certain aspects of the practice. The 3-days “ashtanga immersions”, are much more focused on the ashtanga primary series. Please refer to the schedule for the focus and content of the classes.
the following information is a guide line for the more ashtanga primary series focused classes;
Modifications in the primary sequence;

  • variation on utthita hasta padangustasana A; not bringing head to knee.
  • variation on utthita hasta padangustasana C; bringing knee to head, leg higher.
  • added vrksasana (inbetween utthita hasta padangustasana D and ardha baddha padmottanasana).
  • added janu sirsasana D, or parivritta janu sirsasana, after janu sirsasana C.
  • added variation on supta padangustasana after supta janu sirsanana C.

Do the poses for yourself for a couple of times, become aware of their effects, their benefits and then decide for yourself if you think you want to keep it into your own practice.
Options in practice;

  • Complete vinyasa; doing complete vinyasa back to samathihi. (standing pose)
  • Full vinyasa; after each half asana, doing a vinyasa back to downward dog and back into the asana again (in to the pose vinyasa – right side – vinyasa – left side – vinyasa out of the pose)
  • Half vinyasa; after each complete asana doing a vinyasa back to downward dog and into the following asana.
  • No vinyasa

When and where to stop;
Ahimsaka encourage the student to listen to his or her own body; the body will tell you when to stop. The ego is the one that often forces the body into an asana. The sequence can be learned by asana apart or as a sequence together. With the first option the students masters one asana first and then moving to the following on. The later option, taking the sequence as a whole, the student works on mastering the whole sequence, doing the asana’s he or she is able to do, and for the ones that are not possible yet; doing alternatives asana’s or leaving them out.
Personal modifications and variations;
Depending where the student is in his or her practice, Ahimsaka can give modifications, variations and suggestions, to enable the student practice and tailor the set sequence to the student.
Props or not;
Props can be very useful, they can teach a student a lot about the asana and about his or her own body and mind. The guide line Ahimsaka uses is not to get depended on the prop. Use a prop on alternate days for example. A prop can be anything that supports the student with the asana; a block, a belt, but also a mat, a hot room, a mirror and also a teacher.
LED class and Mysore style class;
Led class; a teacher is leading a class, and the students follow uniformly.
Mysore style; the student practices on his or her own pace, a teacher will assist (adjust) were necessary.
for more information; ,
“And do not forget; do not make the method an end in it self!”

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current teaching schedule september 2013

  • every day; 7 am to 8 am; classical surya namaskara , sun salutations
  • mon, wed; 4.30 pm to 6 pm; hatha yoga asana*
  • fri, sun; 4.30 pm to 6 pm; pratyahara yoga (silencing the mind)*

Location; Gandhi Gedong Ashram, Candidasa, Bali, Indonesia

minimum donation; rph 50.000

*for the afternoon sessions bring something warm, it can be windy

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