Trishtana – The Three Practice Tools in the Ashtanga system with Petri Räisänen

Trishtana – The Three Practice Tools in the Ashtanga system with Petri Räisänen

Petri Räisänen started practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 1988 and is co-owner and director of Ashtanga Yoga Helsinki. In April 2013 I was fortunate to be able to attend a workshop on ‘Trishtana’ given by Petri. Trishtana (or tristana) is a concept within the Ashtanga Yoga system referring to the union of three types of awareness during yoga practice: posture, breathing and looking place. Practicing with this unified awareness brings the practice simultaneously into the body, the nervous system and the mind.

Following the workshop, Petri gave a talk about the writing of his book, Ashtanga Yoga, Yoga in the tradition of Sri K Pattabhi Jois. During the writing Petri conducted a series of interviews with Sri K Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois and this is reflected in the detailed content. It’s truly a beautiful book, sitting comfortably as both a ‘coffee-table’ photographic portfolio of the asana in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, and as a guide to the yoga poses, breathing techniques and philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga.

Mindful Ashtanga Workshop with Greg Nardi

Mindful Ashtanga Workshop with Greg Nardi

Pattabhi Jois often talked about the importance of mental training in yoga and how the asanas will lead to a strong mind as well as a strong body. In March 2013 I attended a workshop with Greg Nardi at Stillpoint Yoga London that explored the practice of Ashtanga Yoga as a mindfulness technique: how the right attitude and focus are key to fulfilling the deeper wisdom of yoga and how the physical practice becomes a moving meditation.

Greg taught yoga philosophy and Sanskrit on my Teacher Training and he spent years of dedicated practice under the guidance of Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. Greg also participates in Georg Feuerstein’s Traditional Yoga Studies course and has studied with Vyaas Houston of the American Sanskrit Institute.

‘A Morning of Story and Yoga Asana’ workshop with Claire Murphy

‘A Morning of Story and Yoga Asana’ workshop with Claire Murphy

In July 2012 I attended a workshop of story and asana taught by Claire Murphy, hosted by Brigitte Rooney in Milton Keynes. Claire had structured the workshop around the story of Vyaghrapada (one having the feet like a tiger), one of the mythical rishis (sages) of ancient India. Vyaghrapada met with another seeker, Pantanjali, in the forest and these different and unlikely friends form a bond which celebrates both their similarities and their differences. Remembering the simple truths in this teaching, we begin to realize what unites us, and threaded through the narrative was a strong and detailed asana practice.

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