Beginning Anew – Harmony Yoga
Cove Bay and Loch Long, Argyll & Bute
“The location or the habitat of the student of Yoga intending to practice meditation should be as far as possible isolated from the places of noise and hectic activity such as cities, factories, business centres etc. This is something which is too clear a prerequisite to need any explanatory comment. The Svetasvatara Upanishad and the Bhagavadgita have said something very salient and to the point in respect of choosing the place and atmosphere for meditation. Peaks of mountains, sides of vast reservoirs of waters, mellifluous expanses of breezy scenery are all regarded as conducive to evoking a meditative mood in the aspirant.”
Swami Krishnananda, The Yoga of Meditation, p.41
The place for dhyanam (meditation) should be like a sanctum sanctorum.. The person must be alone and concentrate.
Sri T Krishnamacharya, Dhyanamalika p.xxi
Greetings from Bonny Scotland
I wrote a newsletter last year and indicated a change of direction in my teaching and announced that I would take a break from teaching until March 2018.
I have moved to Cove, a quiet loch side hamlet on the west coast of Scotland to pursue the path of Yoga as a spiritual quest based on the liberation teachings in Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta. I chose the location guided by the indications on the quotes above and the Vedic guidance for my stage of life; to withdraw from worldly activities, retire to the forest and lead a life of study and meditation.
My teaching from now on will follow the stages of practice indicated in the Yoga Sutras. Students will need to demonstrate competence at each level before moving onto the next.
I have modified and updated the Vinyasa Krama Yoga intensive to be a nine day course of 52 Hours. The first presentation of this will be in Wells, Somerset in August this year.
I will present a five day course annually that students with experience of VKY may attend as a refresher to go through all the sequences and methods. This will be my way of making Vinyasa Krama Yoga generally available. I will also continue teaching at a few studios that I am invited to.
Students who have completed the nine day VKY intensive, or a previous equivalent training, will be able to apply for personal training.
I have to do some renovations on my Victorian flat and am preparing a room where students can come and stay and study and practice on a 1:1 basis. In these personal retreats I will be able to teach the Spiritual science of Yoga along with the diet and lifestyle to support it. You will then return to practice in your own life situation.
The focus will be on personal practice so will not be based on a ‘once a week yoga class’ or ‘200 hour training’ basis. I will teach the stages of Yoga gradually based on personal progress.
This year will be a transition as I finish some commitments already begun and prepare for the next phase.
I will be teaching Yoga for Yoga and using my Ayurveda knowledge aligned with Yoga, for those with the aspiration to follow this.
At Heathrow airport Ramaswami told me a story of one of Shankara’s disciples. The essential advice of the story was; be a Yogi, then make Yoga knowledge available…to those that are interested.
“If I don’t agree with Patanjali it is because I have another goal.”
Ramaswami, Yoga Sutra lecture, 2008
Sri T. Krishnamacharya, Srivatsa Ramaswami and Sri T.K. Sribhashyam gave clear guidance on developing a personal practice and on teaching methodology. These aspects will be included in the teaching that I give.
“With two to three hours of daily practice following all the rules and restrictions, one begins to see appropriate benefits well within a year.”
Sri T. Krishnamacharya, Yoga Makaranda
“A Yoga student must have their own practice. You won’t make progress if you don’t practice at home.”
Srivatsa Ramaswami, VKY class in London 2015
“The common goal of all Indian sciences is the emancipation of the individual soul (atma or jiva), and Yoga is no exception to this rule. This emancipation is called liberation or moksa. Released from the cycle of rebirth (samsara), the individual soul (atma or jiva) reaches its supreme condition.
T.K. Sribhashyam, Emergence of Yoga p.26
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Niramayah
Sarve Bhadrani Pasyantu
May all be happy
May all be free from disabilities
May all behold what is auspicious
May none suffer from sorrow.
with best wishes, Stephen Brandon