Yoga means "union." There are many schools of yoga. Hatha yoga which relates to the larger story of Ashtanga yoga, not the style, but the 8 fold path of Patanjalii, and the greater connection with the his yoga sutras.
Nathan studied yoga with Mr TKV Desikachar in Chennai India over an 8 year period, when, on most Saturday morning's he would attend Mr Desikachar's free 50 minute lectures on the sutras. He went through all 4 chapters and 195 sutras during that period.
That was a good framework to digest the depths of those teachings. It allowed space for the stories and insights to settle in.
The body of knowledge that encompasses yoga is vast and rich.
In a sense, in a very deep sense, yoga can be summed up by this story: A great scholar named Kavyakantha came to a great saint Ramana near a cave in 1903. The scholar was exasperated. He knew yoga and philosophy, but as is often the way with greatness, he could not understand the most basic concept. He knew a lot of knowledge about things but he didn't know what tapas was.
Tapas means spiritual practice.
In the fourth chapter of the yoga sutras it says that each step we make takes us closer to enlightenment or further away.
When the practice takes us closer that might be called tapas.
But that still doesn't explain what it is. It just explains what happens because of it.
The saint gave two replies: If one attentively observes that from where what says ‘I, I’ goes out, there the mind will be dissolved; that alone is tapas.
If one does japa/devotional repetition of a mantra, if one attentively observes from where that mantra-sound goes out, there the mind is dissolved; that itself is tapas.
What he is saying is that the dissolution of the ego is what effective practice yields. The realization of self - which is the nuts and bolts of yoga.
Ramana also said that silence is the transmission medium of the divine. That is yoga. That is what yoga is really about - connecting to the bedrock of happiness that is innate.
Nathan focuses on these three things:
- the practice of gentle yoga postures for keeping the body healthy and alert and sensitive
- combining the breath wisely in postures to suit the student
- Carl Jung described the sage Ramana as the whitest spot in India. Indian philosophy is fairly deep and complex and its mythology is very rich. Ramana effortlessly reduced it to one question....three words.:"Who am I?" The mythological ground of human experience is very varied - but we are all devotees, whether of atheism or buddha. In the yoga tradition there are 5 subtle sheaths that make up human experience and the deepest is the blissful state. You cannot teach Ramana's question. It teaches itself. But you can perhaps introduce someone to the sense of the landscape. Yoga is about focus and intent but it is, ultimately, about the joining with an inner bliss that is at the bedrock of our identity, and clouded over by ignorance.
It is there.
Nathan teaches small classes, one or one or with a couple students for the yoga therapy.
Rates and to book a class here: