Mysore style practice

Mysore style

The Mysore style of yoga teaching is unique to the Ashthanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition designed by Sri K Pattabhi Jois last century. It enables the student to practice (explore) a fixed sequence of yoga asana on her/his on pace by following external as well as internal guidance. External guidance would be a teacher, who assist with mostly hands-on adjustments and fewer verbal instructions, and the inspiration of the fellow students around. Internal guidance would be foremost the breathe, the internal dialogue and body intuition / intelligence.
The student is not blindly following the instructions of the teacher but is activley present with the yoga sequence that is happening. The mind aswell as the body are involved in the sequence. Some days the body isn’t moving at all, other days the mind just seems totally out of it. It is here that observation of both body and mind takes place. Concentration, focus, preparation, calculation and observation are all qualities of the brain that need to be trained too. To remember which pose comes next requires some mental effort, and prevents the brain of zoning out into oblivion. It keeps the brain connected to the present, what is happening here and now. Mysore style of teaching puts more responsibility with the student and allows more space for the internal observation. It honors the diversity of the body, and let the student work with that diversity.
The teacher is not instructing the student with which asana comes next; but allows the student to move through her/his practice and adjusting where necessary. The adjustment are mostly physically and directed directly to the body, to prevent ego involvement. Though the teacher will observe both body and mind, and will work on both to create space, strength and ultimately balance and harmony.
The Mysore style of teaching goes hand in hand with the Ashthanga vinyasa sequences, though the style of teaching could be extended to any kind of sequence. As long as the student and teacher know which sequence is being followed, the Mysore style class could be functioning. Different sequences for different students to honor the diversity of the students. It requires intimate involvement of the teacher which her/his student practice and it asks from the student a commitment to the practice and an independent attitude. As a student you have to follow your inner guidance, using your internal devises to navigate yourself through the practice (and eventually life). The teacher is not there to tell you which pose is next and what to do, though will tell you when you forget. The teacher will guide you through the practice where it is necessary by letting you do your own practice.
The body remembers by repetition, its the mind that’s label’s repetition as boredom. The mind likes to spin, to move in between opposites. When the body remembers stillness, it will ask for more. That is where the asana and vinyasa comes in, the effect of the asana plus the sequence is one of inducing stillness (how stimulating, energizing, aggravating or heating it may seem at first glance ). The body and eventually the mind will long for that stillness. From there chance will happen.
Ahimsaka is offering every weekday the possibility of Mysore style classes from 6 a.m. to 7.45 a.m., at Dili Ashthanga Yoga, hosted at Dili Wellness / The upstairs Studio , Comoro road (opposite Leader, next to Harish and Dili Club). Please contact Ahimsaka first if you like to practice Mysore style.

ahimsaka satya banner 01

yoga class and workshop schedule december 2014 into 2015

ahimsaka satya hatha 2 ashtanga vinyasa workshop flyer 4 2015

class schedule from December 2014 and onwards (2015)

Ahimsaka extended his stay at the Gedong Gandhi Ashram in Candidasa, Bali-east and will dedicate his time to teaching according the following schedule at this ocean front location.

-every Monday* & Wednesday ; 4pm – 5.30pm hatha yoga

-every Friday & Sunday ; 4pm – 530pm yin/pratyahara yoga

-every morning 7am ; sun salutations and variations, yoga-puja for and with the ashram members, more than occasionally open to ashram guests and visitors. Designed to support a self-practice and to enkindle the inner-fire or our solar energy.

(please inquire if classes are open before hand with Ahimsaka)

hatha2ashtanga workshop (long weekend)

every first and third friday of the month
(see information below)

ashtanga vinyasa immerison workshops
(see information and dates below)

for more information & inquiry about the workshops @ or

– for additional (private) yoga sessions at the ashram please inquire with ahimsaka; available time slots 10am to 11.30am
(or other slots maybe created depending on the situation/ not available during workshop and retreat).

additional (private) yoga sessions can be personally catered to your body-mind needs, using yoga (asana, pranayama, meditation) as therapeutic skills, or to create some more time to explore the different aspects of yoga or target different parts of your complete body**. The classes can be shaped onto a focus on asana (classical-, vinyasa- or yin-style), pranayama and/or meditation. The classes can be for one person or more, and can be used for the ashram guests if they desire more yoga.  

* if workshops are happening these afternoon sessions will be tuned in with the workshop and focused on yin/pratyahara yoga
**Alternatively the classes can be aimed to assist with different activities as diving, surfing or a mysore-style format.

>>> hatha2asthanga workshop >>>
twice a month, every 1st and 3rd friday of the month***
(***except when dynamic hatha retreats and asthanga vinyasa immersion workshops are scheduled)
This twenty hours workshop is a middle path between the dynamic hatha yoga retreats and the asthanga vinyasa yoga workshop. It follows the same structure as the ashtanga vinyasa workshop but allows for more openness and diversity in the classes. Depending on the participant preference and needs it can be individually catered towards a more strengthening ashtanga vinyasa practice (set out by Sri Patthabi Jois), or personal designed sequence to (re-) establish a yoga self-practice for in depth exploration of the practice. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga has it roots in hatha yoga, and both share the same source, the 8 (astau) folded path of yoga written down in the yoga sutras by Patanjali. This exploration will cover all the limbs of the 8 folded path of hatha yoga. The yoga practice has been designed to awaken the inner fire of yoga, which is the thread that weaves through the classes of yoga offered in this workshop. To bring out positive changes in our body,mind and life we must enkindle our inner fire. The workshop is hosted at the Gedong Gandhi Ashram and offers a sublime space for self-reflection and self-realization. This exploration workshop is for anyone who likes to move a bit deeper within, to builld a foundation for a yoga self-practice or just wants to immerse into three full days of yoga to balance body/mind.

Hatha yoga creates an understanding of our solar (ha), and lunar (tha) energy in our body and mind and to use both in our (asana) yoga practice and beyond. The Ashtanga Vinyasa sequence has an equal focus on lengthening and strengthening the body. In the hatha into ashtanga workshop we take both angles and join them together as a starting point into our own personal practice. The Ashtanga Primary sequence is used as inspiration for the on going journey into yoga and working our complete body/mind.
The early morning classes will establish a set sequence of yoga asana for you to take up as a self practice. This sequence will have the same structure as the primary series and can be used as a preliminary into the primary sequence, it could also be used as a therapeutic alternative depending on the current body/mind needs, or as a complimentary sequence targeting specific areas of the body/mind that need more attention and development to help facilitate the primary sequence. The mid morning classes will target specific area’s of yoga asana as back bending, inversions, hip-opening, core-strengthening and vinyasa. The mid afternoon session is questions and answers and could cover more the theoretical aspects of yoga. The late afternoon session will be focused on pratyahara yoga; sense-withdrawal, concentration and meditation techniques integrated with the breath and yoga asana. This workshop can be used as in introduction, preparation or exploration into the ashtanga vinyasa yoga as well.

Ashtanga vinyasa is a more strenuous yoga practice, and meant to be heating and purifying the body/mind. Both hatha and vinyasa yoga have many therapeutic aspects in them and are meant to be a (w)holistic practice, targeting the complete body and mental body. The first guide line is always to move 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 then limitations, and going beyond any set expectations you maybe have of your body/mind.

>>> Hatha2Ashtanga >>>

Format: (meals and puja times etc are according the ashram schedule)
” 6.30 am to 8.15 am: Ashtanga inspired Led class
” 10.15 am to 12 noon: special class
” 3 pm to 4 pm: Q&A Discussion
” 4 pm to 5.30: Yin-yoga/Pratyahara yoga- targeting connective tissue, sense-withdrawal,
breath-work, meditation. (open to non retreat’s participants)

Ashtanga Vinyasa Immersion workshop

An immersion into ashtanga (-vinyasa-) yoga for beginners, the curious and the ashtanga
practitioner who wants to explore and deepen their self practice. Inspired on; but not limited to, the ashtanga vinyasa sequence of Sri Patthabi Jois

dates 2015
23-27 April
4-8 July
15-19 July
24-28 October

(can be combined with the dynamic hatha yoga retreats happening prior to these dates)

A full yoga program covering all the 8 limbs (Ashtanga) of yoga according to the yoga sutras. 3 days of exploration and with the focus of establishing, or fine-tuning, your own yoga practice. Not only the yoga asana, but as a whole (holistic) life style. Depending on where you are with your body and mind the sequence can be modified, adding or skipping asana (or vinyasa), and with additional classes specialized 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) to supply you with more technique, information and practice. Early morning classes are built around the “primary ashtanga sequence”, sun salutations, the primary asana sequence working the whole body/mind. The late morning classes are more of a workshop based class, which target specific parts of the body and mind and go deeper in some of the hatha/ashtanga yoga technique and asana. The late afternoon classes are “lunar-energy” style asana (3rd limb) classes, based of sense-withdrawal “pratyahara”(5th limb), breath exercises (4th limb), concentration techniques (6th limb), elements of yoga nidra and meditation (7th limb). The afternoon session center around the “sukham” part (ease/joy) of the yoga asana, and to apply that into the morning classes, creating sthira (steady/balanced) and sukha within the asana. Making Self-expression part of the whole.

The ashtanga practice is definitely a more strenuous practice, and meant to be a “purifying” practice, the first guide line is always to work within the limits of your own body. Learning to listing 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 maybe have of your body and mind.

Ashtanga Format: (meals and puja times etc are according the ashram schedule)
” 6.30 am to 8.15 am: Ashtanga primary Led class
” 10.15 am to 12 noon: special class
” 3 pm to 4 pm: Q&A Discussion
” 4 pm to 5.30: Yin-yoga for Ashtangi’s – targeting connective tissue, sense-withdrawal,
breath-work, meditation. (open to non retreat’s participants)

commends on the previous ashtanga vinyasa immersion workshops and dynamic hatha retreat 2014, at the Gedong Gandhi Ashram.

Alison Worthington (Australia)

I felt truly blessed to have found the Gedong Gandhi Ashram and this retreat during my visit to Indonesia this year. The retreat and the peaceful location provided me with so much inspiration for my yoga practice. The Ashtanga practice was very challenging but was delivered so capably and with such generosity of spirit by Ahimsaka. I wish I could stay longer in his company to mine more of the riches of Ashtanga yoga with his guidance. Everything else in the retreat was just a bonus on top for me. The beautiful community meals, being invited to join in puja, and the afternoon Yin practice filled my days so wonderfully. I want to congratulate Ahimsaka, Rudi, Jackson and all of the Ashram crew and members for welcoming us retreat guests so warmly. Huge thanks also to my fellow yoga students Naomi, Lissette, Rudi, Olivia and Nico (and Elke!). We shared some very special times in our practice, the warmest and friendliest I have ever been part of. I felt very comfortable and encouraged by you all.. thank you for the smiles.. and thanks in advance for all the photos!

Naomi Koster (Hatha) from the Netherlands

Let me start by saying that I had an amazing time in the ashram during the yoga retreat! First of all, the ashram itself was wonderful. Its location next to the ocean, the wide set-up, with several bungalows not too close to each other and the yoga place in the middle make this a very peaceful place to stay. Since my bungalow was near the sea,  I woke up every morning with the sound of the waves, which is a good way to wake up! Also the ashram members made me feel very welcome from the beginning. Everyone seems very relaxed and open to other people. I liked the ‘communal’ meals, with all the guests of the ashram together and besides that the food itself was delicious. I really liked to taste real Indonesian food. In total I stayed for three weeks in Indonesia, but the food at the ashram was the best food I had! The bungalow itself was also nice. I especially liked the hammock outside and the fact that we got tea or coffee at 3 each day to enjoy on our terrace. The only (minor) point of improvement (yes, I promised I would give a few!) is that the mattress was very thin, which made the bed not the most comfortable one I’ve been in. Related to that, one more thing to make it reaaaally comfortable would be to have hot water to shower. However, I hardly had that anywhere on Bali and the temperature outside is warm, so it is not a very important point.
Then of course, the yoga retreat. As a yoga beginner, beforehand I was a little bit scared the level would be too high for me. However, immediately during the first class I found out that level didn’t matter. Since Ahimsaka is such a good teacher and the yoga group was small, everyone could do the class at their own ‘capacity’. I really liked that we just did the whole sequence in once instead of taking one part each day, because this way, I could see improvements much better and I could get used to the sequence so I could practice it at home as well. Ahimsaka had adjustments to the sequences for every level, which means for me that I now know some variations to poses that I’m not flexible enough for. The programme of the ashtanga retreat was also very well balanced. I liked the fact that it was quite intensive, with three classes each day starting at 6.30, and I really liked the midmorning ‘workshops’ where we got into much more depth on specific elements.I think the small group size was a big advantage, because that makes it easier to connect with the other people in the group and also to help each other during the yoga classes I also appreciated the ‘question and answer’ hour a lot! I found it very useful (30 minutes practice to do at home) and inspirational (background and mindset of yoga).
So overall judgement is a 9 out of 10 I would say! I really enjoyed my stay and if I want some time for myself, to do yoga and relax, I will definitely come back. Also, I’ve been continuing the yoga practice at home, alternating between the whole sequence and the 30 minute one, feels great!

Olivia and Nico (France)

“It was a great experience. The Gandhi Ashram is a wonderful place where you can feel spirituality and quietness. The members of the Ashram are lovely. Ahimsaka is a amazing teacher, living according his practice, enthusiastic, careful, generous, always guiding us to go further than our limits. He has an ideal balance between physical practice and interiority. A great teacher !!!
The Schedule was great, a lot of practice, that was perfect.
We really appreciated a lot than you finally find the arrangement with Kelapa Mas, letting us having this wonderful experience despite the fact we couldn’t stay at the ashram. {Due to Ashram’s strict married couples requirement. -Ed}
The class in the water palace was great, it was lovely to take us there. Thank you also for taking me to the healer who was helpful for my foot.
Just a few ideas to make this stay really perfect :
Maybe a week of practice or 5 full days could be better and a  vegetarian diet as it is written in the wall (Gandhi’s words) and according the yogic rules of non violence
Thanks you to all of you, Take care and go on with this peaceful and compassion spirit of the Ashram, We hope meeting you again

Kinds regards, Olivia and Nico
ahimsaka satya banner 01

108 benefits of meditation

Physical Benefits:
1. It increases blood flow while slowing the heart rate
2. It decreases, normalizes respiratory rate
3. It lowers, normalizes oxygen consumption
4. Increases exercise tolerance
5. Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation
6. Reduces high blood pressure
7. Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate
8. Decreases muscle tension
9. Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis, etc.
10. Reduces pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms
11. Helps in post-operative healing
12. Enhances the immune system
13. Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
14. Enhances energy, strength and vigor
15. Helps with weight loss
16. Helps reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
17. Improves higher skin resistance
18. Decreases cholesterol levels, lowers risk of heart diseases
19. Improves flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing
20. Decreases the aging process
21. Promotes higher levels of DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone)
22. Prevents, slows or controls pain of chronic diseases
23. Makes you sweat less
24. Cures, alleviates headaches & migraines
25. Promotes greater orderliness of brain functioning
26. Reduces need for medical care
27. Minimizes energy wasted
28. Promotes inclination to an active lifestyle
29. Helps relief from asthma
30. improves performance in athletic events
31. Helps with normalization to your ideal weight
32. Harmonizes the endocrine system
33. Relaxes our nervous system
34. Produces lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
35. Enhances fertility (reduces the stresses of infertility which can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation)
Psychological Benefits:
36. Builds self-confidence
37. Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behavior
38. Helps to resolve phobias & fears
39. Helps control with our own thoughts
40. Helps with focus & concentration
41. Increases creativity
42. Increases brain wave coherence.
43. Improves learning ability and memory
44. Increases feelings of vitality and rejuvenation
45. Increases emotional stability
46. improves relationships
47. Slows mental aging
48. Helps to eliminate addictions and bad habits
49. Enhances intuition
50. Increases productivity, minimizing procrastination
51. Improves relations at home & at work
52. Improves the ability to see the larger picture in a given situation
53. Helps with letting go of petty issues
54. Increases ability to solve complex problems
55. Improves your character
56. Develops will power
57. Improves greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
58. Promotes faster and effective reaction time to a stressful event
59. Increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
60. Promotes higher intelligence growth rate
61. Promotes increased job satisfaction
62. Increases in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
63. Decreases in potential mental illness
64. Promotes better, more sociable behavior
65. Promotes less aggressiveness
66. Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol and other forms of addiction
67. Reduces need for and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
68. Helps with faster recovery from little sleep or sleep deprivation
69. Helps promote less time to fall asleep, helps with insomnia
70. Increases sense of responsibility
71. Reduces road rage and violence in general
72. Decreases restless thinking
73. Decreases tendency to worry
74. Increases listening skills and empathy
75. Helps make more accurate judgements
76. Promotes greater tolerance
77. Gives composure to act in considerate & constructive ways
78. Promotes a stable, more balanced personality
79. Helps to develop emotional maturity
Spiritual Benefits:
80. Helps keep things in perspective
81. Provides peace of mind, happiness
82. Helps you discover your purpose
83. Increases self-actualization
84. Increases compassion
85. Promotes growing in wisdom and awareness
86. Enhances deeper understanding of yourself and others
87. Helps brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
88. Promotes deeper levels of spiritual connection
89. Increases acceptance of oneself
90. Helps learn forgiveness
91. Changes inflexible attitudes toward life
92. Creates a deeper relationship with your God
93. Promotes enlightened states of being
94. Promotes greater inner directed-ness
95. Helps living in the present moment
96. Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
97. Promotes discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
98. Enhances experience of the inner sense of “knowingness”
99. Enhances experience of “oneness”
100. Increases the synchronicity in your life
101. Enhances a deeper appreciation for nature
102. Promotes greater connection with others
103. Promotes greater contentment and peace
104. Helps with living in the “now”
105. Promotes a deeper sense of gratitude
106. Brings greater quality of life
107. Enhances greater connection to universal truths
108. Enhances the experience of universal love

ahimsaka satya banner 01

asana, shavasana, coconuts (part II) ; oil pull

coconut oil pull for detox
what shavasana is to the asana practice, is coconut to the shavasana
This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.
similar posts >>>

asana, shavasana, coconuts < >
brahmacharya and pineapple < >
centering with cinnamon < >


ginger for tapas < >
light on nightshade vegetables < >

turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice < >


turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice <webpage link>
Asana’s work from the outside of the body into the inside of the body, pranayama works from the inside, the core, to the outside of the body. Both work on all aspects of the body mind, from the gross to the subtle. Pratyahara works from the senses and the mind. Dharana works with the mind. Meditation is beyond the mind and works with the subtle energies within the body mind. Nutrients work on molecular level, they can do there work from the inside of the cell, and penetrate the cell from the outside. Taking particular nutrients together with a yoga practice, can upgrade the beneficial effects more, what yoga has prepared within the body mind, nutrients can take beyond that. And/or what the nutrients have been doing on a cellular level, yoga can act on.
When starting your practice you may experience the effects of the body detoxification process. Same when you are moving deeper into certain asana, taking a new asana, or taking a more intensive meditation period It can lead to the body-mind purging all the things it doesn’t want to have in there anymore. Side effect of this is that you may feel feverish or even sick, headache, rash or any other symptoms can occur. Which can jeopardize a steady daily practice. Daily oil pulling before committing to your practice can help to relieve the effects of detoxification, and in general create a better state of health, and not only for your teeth and mouth.
Taking it that you are already on a more or less “sattvic” diet; pure, no processed food if possible and well-balanced. Or at least trying to keep your food intake as pure and natural as possible. Oil pulling can be effective for boosting your immune-system and taking “remaining” toxins out of the body that have been stored in the tissues and now released into the system by practicing yoga asana, or sitting meditation.
Oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic technique that basically involved swishing a tablespoon of cold-pressed oil around in your mouth every morning for 20 minutes. Because purportedly, this swishing will pull the “toxins” out from all over your body, drawing them into the oil ( the oil pulls the “toxins” out of your tongue ) and therefore cleansing your whole system.(disease promoting toxins are removed, thus allowing the body to heal itself). It will heal your gums and whiten your teeth too.
Another effect of oil pulling is that fights off the harmful bacteria in the mouth, it will help strengthening your immune system and fight of diseases. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these organisms. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.

The key to successful oil pulling is in the duration of the swishing. Oil is viscous, it’s “sticky” and it spreads. Given enough time ( a full 20 minutes ), it will slowly seep all the way up into those bacteria-filled pockets. Tooth brush bristles can’t get up there. Toothpaste is foamy and runny, not sticky at all, so it won’t get up there. Mouthwash isn’t viscous at all. But oil seeps in everywhere, and then as you swish, it’s drawn back out. Oil pulling is the only way to reach, and dislodge, those harmful bacteria that are buried so deeply under your gum line.
How to apply oil pulling:
Every morning, first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth out, measure one tablespoon of virgin cold-pressed coconut, sesame (sesame and coconut are the most reputed), sunflower, or olive oil
Swish this oil around in your mouth, letting it pass over your tongue, your gums, and all your teeth, and trying your best to move it between each tooth, for a full 20 minutes. Meanwhile you prepare your yoga practice or start with a basic warming up for the joints.
The oil will turn white and frothy. Don’t gargle it or you’ll risk swallowing it. When the 20 minutes is up, spit it all out. Spit into trash, compost or outside in, just not in the sink – to prevent clogging.
Gargle, preferably with salt water, and thoroughly rinse your mouth out. Brush your teeth as normal.
Toxins are pulled from the body the very first time you try it. One of the first cleansing symptoms you will experience is an increased flow of mucous from your throat and sinuses. Mucous drainage is one of the body’s methods of removing toxins. While you are pulling, mucous may build in the back of your throat. You may even have to expel the oil and clear the mucous from your throat before reaching a full 20 minutes. That’s okay, take another spoonful of oil and continue until you’ve pulled for a total of 15-20 minutes. You may also experience a little nausea and perhaps even need to vomit as your body expels toxic waste. Other symptoms may also arise temporarily. These symptoms will subside as your body becomes cleaner and you become more comfortable with oil pulling. Oil pulling should become a regular part of your daily schedule, like brushing your teeth (at least repeat daily for a minimum of 30 days, but ideally 45-60 days).
according ayurvedic medicine it can help against (when done daily):
alleviating allergies
against eczema
arthritis, relieve of joint pain
better sleep
brightening & whitening teeth
boosting the immune system
chronic blood disorders
clearing the sinuses
decreasing headaches
decreasing inflammation
digestive troubles
fresh breath
having a clearer mind
heart disease
hormonal disorders
improve oral health (healthier gums – bleeding gums, tooth decay and gum diseases are diminished)
improving PMS symptoms, more relieve
improving the lymphatic system
increasing energy
more clearer skin, more soft
preventing bad breath
regulating menstrual cycles
removal of mucus
Sunflower and sesame seed oils are the most commonly used for oil pulling, but any vegetable oil will work. People have had success with olive, coconut, almond, and other oils. Coconut oil because of its many health benefits is preferred. If you use a mild flavored coconut oil it is very pleasant in the mouth. Some oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, are so strong flavored that many people find them difficult to use.
This information has worked for us  Please do not consider them as medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.

ahimsaka satya banner 01

Malasana A & B (garland pose)

Malasana A & B (garland pose)


An abandoned pose.
There was a time that the 1th, 2nd and the advanced didn’t existed and the asana’s were taught one after another. The first Westerners receiving teachings from Shri K Pattabhi Jois have been instructed in this matter. Somewhere in that time, the introduction of Asthanga yoga to the west, Shri K Pattabhi Jois systematized the sequence further and divided it into separate series, and each with a different focus.  From that time on, the series has had several changes,  asana’s were taken out (janu sirsasana D), others put in (parivritta parsvakonasana). Malasana was abandoned, which used to have a key function in connecting the 1st with the 2nd series.
Malasana is a squatting pose variation (upavesasana), and very good for maintaining mobility. The benefits are;

  • Malasana stretches the ankles, groins, sacrum, lower back and hips.
  • Tones the belly and can provide relief from lower back strain.
  • Stimulates metabolism and digestive organs.

Squatting was very much part of the daily life in India in those days, and luckily still is (to a lesser extend) , and this pose wouldn’t have been considered a difficult pose. For most western people it does seem to be impossible (without use of a belt), sitting in a squat position, wrapping the arms around the knees and joining the hands on the back, + keeping the heels on the floor. Squatting a couple of times a day keeps the pelvic floor healthy and strong. (it is pushing abdomen in and down). In the pelvic area are two cavities, the deepest one, in the narrow bottom part between the hip bones, keeps the bladder, reproductive and bile organs. The upper one, separated by a membrane,  contains the small and large intestines.  The pelvic floor has a hammock shape keeping the organs together and nice in position. When organs are compressed, which will happen with pelvic prolapse/weak pelvis,  it can lead to cancerous cells, (cell compression in general can lead to cancer). Maybe good reasons to fit malasana into your (daily) yoga asana practice.
Malasana used to be the connection asana between the 1th and the 2nd series (ashtanga vinyasa), from setu bandhasana into malasana going to pashasana. The story of these asana’s is that the 1st series is for the mortal, the second for a stage higher then that. Crossing the bridge (setu bandha) from the 1st to the 2nd series, from the mortal to a stage closer to the gods. You surrender yourself in malasana (Mala/Maalaa, garland, a string with 108 beads used in prayer), after that; binding the gods together in pashasana.*
Malasana with bending forward is a counter pose after the setu bandhasana and prepares for another version of the squat pose, pashasana, with an added twist. Pashasana is now considered the first asana of the 2nd series. Variation B is wrapping the hands around the heels, bringing the top of the head closer to the floor and rounding the spine more.

‘Malasana’ comes from the Sanskrit word “Maalaa” ;
माला = Maalaa = garland; Necklace; Rosary
मल = Mala = excrement, primarily stool
The pose described here, and used to be in the ashtanga series, and also described in Iyengar’s; “light on yoga”, is a variation of squatting. There is variation A) taking the arms around the knees and joining them on the back. B) taking the hands around the heels, and bringing the chin to the floor. Both symbolize surrendering and the arms are like a garland around the legs. Often the upavesasana, the regular squat pose, with the hands in namaskar mudra in front of the chest, and the feet wider apart, is translated into English as the garland pose, as both poses are similar. Though, as yoga describes that in this posture, the intestines are in the best position to release all waste that is left after digestion, the upavesasana can be be also named Malasana, referring to the meaning of Mala = excrement, primarily stool. In transliteration from Sanskrit into English, where the English is lacking a proper writing for the long “aa” and short “a”. Mala can refer both to Mala, or Maalaa.

*This information has been obtained from Noah Mckenny (see biography for details)

This asana should be avoided in case of groin, knee injury, back problems, high blood pressure or any cardiac problems, recent surgery and pregnancy. Be slow and careful while doing the asana as in almost all the yoga asanas. This asana should be avoided by ladies if menstruating or should be performed under guidance of a yoga expert during those days.

ahimsaka satya banner 01

gomukhasana C (horned double pigeon pose)

gomukhasana C  (horned double pigeon pose)

gomukhasana C uprightgomukhasana C forward bend
This post is related to a series of post about asana variations.
similar posts >>>
sarvanga laghu vajrasana (B), supported little thunderbolt pose <;
urdhva mukha baddha konasana, butterfly-fish pose <;

Some yogi’s claim that are as many asana’s as there are life-forms in this universe. Every being is a unique expression of the divine, an electron-magnetic signature. Others say that are 72.000 asana’s, some say 72 and others hold that if you master the 12 basic asana’s, you will receive all the benefits and attain yoga. The last see the majority of asana’s as variations on these 12. Yoga is honoring the diversity of nature, with that the expression of you body mind. Be your own teacher, and keep a beginners mind, when ever you practice yoga asana. Keep exploring, experimenting, that is how you will learn. Find calmness in a pose, that doesn’t say you have to be completely still or motionless. Keep the body mind active, let the body explore the pose. Exploring in ways of endurance, focus and relaxation. (sthira & sukha) Some days you want to take it even further, letting creativity into the asana and see where the asana will take you.
This variation of agnistambhasana ( “knee-to-ankle pose, double pigeon, square pose” ) is especially for the people that like a deeper stretch to the outer hips.  Additional making a forward bend out of it. Make sure to work both sides, equal time, taking the heels further over the outside of the opposite  leg. Only attempt this asana when agnistambhasana can be done comfortably over longer periods of time. If that is not the case stay with agnistam or other good hip openers like; baddha konasana (bound angle/cobbler’s pose and eye of the needle pose. This pose requires flexibility in the lower body, including the outer hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, and gluteus maximus/medius.

  • From; agneestam asana (double pigeon/firelog pose); First work toward bringing your shins parallel to the top edge of your mat, keeping your right shin stacked directly above your left shin. Both shins should be at 90-degree angles to each thigh.Flex your feet and press through your heels. Spread your toes. If this can all be accomplished at ease and at peace, continue. Press your groins toward the floor and sit up straight. Keep the front of your torso long. Take the heel further over the outer edge of the opposite knee, up to your range of being at ease. Rest your fingertips on the floor at either side of your body, as variation walk the hands forward along the floor, folding the torso over the crossed legs. Holding the pose longer. Release the pose by very slowly and gently extending both legs along the floor.
  • From; gomukhasana; open the legs slowly, so that a little space is created in between the legs, moving towards agneestam asana, but keep the legs where you play the edge of the stretch. Keeping groins pressed toward the floor, spine straight, front of the body is long. Release the pose by very slowly and gently extending both legs along the floor, or by sliding back into gomukhasana

Toward the end of a yoga class when the body is warm and limber and making it a longer stretch preparing for shavasana, final relaxation.

  • breath; Deep calm breathing while in the pose.
  • time; 3 to  5 min for a passive stretch.  Otherwise 12 deep breaths to one minute.
  • awareness;
  • dhristi; in between the eyebrows,

health benefits;

  • Opens and stretches the (outer) hips
  • Stretches the groins and buttocks gently
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs, which helps to regulate digestion and metabolism.
  • Strengthens legs and calves
  • Calms the mind
  •  Relieves anxiety, tension and stress
  • Sitting upright with your spine aligned calms the mind and relieves anxiety and mental tension, stress (when regular practicing this asana)

This asana should be avoided in case of groin, knee or hip injury, back problems, high blood pressure or any cardiac problems, recent surgery and pregnancy. Be slow and careful while doing the asana as in almost all the yoga asanas.

ahimsaka satya banner 01

sarvanga laghu vajrasana ( supported little thunderbolt pose )

sarvanga laghu vajrasana   ( supported little thunderbolt pose )

laghu vajrasana
This post is related to a series of post about asana variations.
similar posts >>>
gomukhasana C, horned double pigeon pose <;
urdhva mukha baddha konasana, butterfly-fish pose <;
Some yogi’s claim that are as many asana’s as there are life-forms in this universe. Every being is a unique expression of the divine, an electron-magnetic signature. Others say that are 72.000 asana’s, some say 72 and others hold that if you master the 12 basic asana’s, you will receive all the benefits and attain yoga. The last see the majority of asana’s as variations on these 12. Yoga is honoring the diversity of nature, with that the expression of you body mind. Be your own teacher, and keep a beginners mind, when ever you practice yoga asana. Keep exploring, experimenting, that is how you will learn. Find calmness in a pose, that doesn’t say you have to be completely still or motionless. Keep the body mind active, let the body explore the pose. Exploring in ways of endurance, focus and relaxation. (sthira & sukha) Some days you want to take it even further, letting creativity into the asana and see where the asana will take you.
A supported variation of laghu vajrasana, little thunderbolt pose.  And more or less an hybrid of usthrasana and the laghu vajrasana. A level deeper into the back bend, but not yet as deep as in laghu vajrasana. A good preperation for advancing into full laghu vajrasana and the supta vajrasana in the “nadi shodana” (2nd or intermediate series), ashtanga vinyasa series.  Same actions apply as for ustrasana, but now taking the elbows into the inside arches of the feet.

  • From vajrasana (or taking a vinyasa), diamond pose; inhaling deeply, coming on the knees with the thighs perpendicular to the floor.  Exhale arching back taking the elbows at the inside of the heels, support on the arches of the feet, and pressing the palms into the buttocks.  (Try to keep the lower legs in contact with the floor. If necessary, separate the knees, make sure that you are not over-straining the muscles and ligaments of the legs). Keep pressing the thighs and hips forward. The buttocks are taking support on the palms.  Crown of the head on the floor, relax into the pose, breathe deeply and slowly in the final position. Getting out of the pose, reverse order, squeeze the shoulders more together to release the elbows from the ankles/arches and get back up on an inhalation.

sequencing; before the classical laghu vajrasana (A) for preparation, or using this pose as an alternative. It can be sequenced together with other back bends (after ustrasana, camel pose), or on its own and being preceded or followed with a forward bend and a twist.

  • From; on both knees, knees hip width apart, inhaling lengthening the spine, exhaling arching back pushing the hips and thighs to the front. Inhaling back out of the pose, using elbows and abdomen for support.
  • Alternatively from a supine position taking the arms under the spine, arching the back and come into the asana on an exhale. To release, reverse order .
  • breath; exhaling into the pose, inhaling out of the pose. Deep calm breathing while in the pose.
  • time; 5 to 9 deep and slow breaths.
  • awareness; on the lower back, abdomen or breath.
  • dhristi; in between the eyebrows,

health benefits;

  • This asana massages the abdominal organs alleviating digestive ailments and constipation. (strengthens the abdomen)
  • It tones the spinal nerves, makes the back flexible and realigns rounded shoulders. The nerves in the neck, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are particularly stimulated.
  • The ribcage is stretched and expanded fully, which helps to fill the lungs to its maximum capacity and bringing more oxygen into the system.
  • It enhances courage and confidence level in the personality.
  • It is beneficial for those suffering from asthma, bronchitis and other lung ailments.
  • It loosens up the legs and strengthens them in preparation for sitting in meditation asana’s. (opens the quadriceps)
  • It enhances creativity and intelligence as it increases the circulation in the brain.

This asana should be avoided in case of groin, knee injury, back problems, high blood pressure or any cardiac problems, recent surgery and pregnancy. Be slow and careful while doing the asana as in almost all the yoga asanas. It is an intense backbend and should only be attempted by experienced yoga practitioners. Camel pose is a more moderate version of this position.

ahimsaka satya banner 01