19 July 2011
A letter from Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois to Yoga Journal, Nov. 1995
"It is unfortunate that students who have not yet matured in their own practice have changed the method and have cut out teh [sic] essence of an ancient lineage to accommodate their own limitations."
"Spiritual Madness and Compassionate Presence" -- healing of mental suffering through the philosophy and practice of Yoga
"One of my patients had severe post-traumatic stress disorder. His experience of isolation and helplessness sent shockwaves through his day-to-day life. He had flashbacks and significant difficulty relating to others.
We began his treatment with daily pranayama. We added meditation on both the destructive and creative aspects of the mother goddess Kali. Finally, he began to meditate on his own eternal nature: “I am that I am” (Hum So). Slowly but surely, this healed his illness..."
I worked with a private student today and after 10 years of teaching I am still amazed at how transformative the breath is. She is a relative newbie to yoga and in her classes at various venues from health clubs to studios, teachers have told her to "focus on the breath" but apparently no one has ever TAUGHT her how.
I could see how tight her belly and shoulders were. We did conscious breathwork just like Mark Whitwell or Ramaswami or my teachers at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram teach. A light bulb went off over her head. Her entire body visibly relaxed and she left my house looking lighter and brighter. In a word, transformed.
She's returning for more instruction on the breath and wants to work with me in the vinyasa krama method:
“By integrating the functions of mind, body, and breath...a practitioner will experience the real joy of yoga practice. . .Vinyasa krama yoga strictly follows the most complete definition of classical yoga.” – Srivatsa Ramaswami, The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga
Breath + yoga = healing.