Eddie Stern day 2.2

After what seemed like forever, 1h & 15min stuck in number-to-bumper traffic, i finally got to the Yoga Shala (30mins late) and what i managed to catch of the afternoon Meditation-Pranayama-&-Chanting Session was the following….well more like Pranayama-&-Chanting session, because i was late i practically missed the whole Meditation session!
Pranayama: we did some rounds of Surya Bhedan followed by some rounds of Chandra Bhedan – don’t ask me how many rounds as i didn’t keep count, tho Eddie did suggest doing 5 of each….we then sang the Ganesha mantra a whopping 108 times, yes 108 times…why 108? The number 108 is a sacred number – i’ll write about this another time….below is the mantra repeated 108 times, just like we did 🙂

“Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” 

Ganesh is the elephant headed deity, who is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings.
Anyway, getting back to yesterday’s session, after singing Ganesha’s mantra 108 times, we sat in silence for 2mins & allowed the vibrations of the mantra to flow all around the room and thru us….then we sang the Ashtanga closing mantra, and lastly we had a few mins of Q&A with Eddie Stern….
Someone asked him about the Surya and Chandra pranayama, if they had to be together all the time (no they do not), Surya can be done on its own, it’s often done with other types of pranayama, i.e. anuloma viloma (also known as Nadi Shodan or alternate nostril breathing). An idea order of things could be starting with:
Meditation prayer
Pranayama
Japa
Pranayama
then Meditation – at this point the mind should be calm
There was another question on using mantras during practice – which is possible but then changes the type of practice. What mantra you choose will also determine the length of breath, so make sure you can breathe that long!
The usual practice we do in Ashtanga  establishes awareness in the present moment with the aid of Asanas-Breath-Drishti, however if we practice with a mantra it becomes more of a Devotional practice – we just need to be aware of the difference.
And then the last question was as follows: “The importance of being Vegetarian?” – Eddie asked Why is it important or how is it important…and they asked him to answer both.
There are different levels of why being vegetarian, eating fish/chicken can be unhealthy (clogging of arteries etc), high levels of mercury in fish, industrial meat – the way animals are treated, ecological reasons (forests destroyed to breed cattle, more water is used), methane gas released from cows causes more pollution than cars, overall damage to the ecosystem, there’s also ecological considerations to take & considerations on our mind.
The food we eat has an affect on our mind – meat + alcohol dull our sense perceptions, so if we are trying to purify we need to eat food that’s helpful.
However, there is bad vegetarian food – a vegan diet is more philosophical than for health reasons. Eddie also went on to say that not all Sages were Vegetarian either….so moral of the story? Eat what is good for your body.
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About ctyoga

Christiane has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Her yogic journey began in 2000 as a student of Swami Nirmal (now at the Satyananda Centre in London) at the Fitness First gym in Kensal Rise, London. She experienced various teachers in different Fitness Firsts in Central London and around Clapham Junction before changing gyms and meeting Alexa Kho at LA FItness in Piccadilly Circus, London. Christiane attended Alexa's Anusara classes as well as her workshops. In January 2011 she enrolls in a 200hr Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training course with Rebecca Ffrench at YogaLondon. Vinyasa Flow is a modern form of yoga that comes from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and follows Sri K Pattabhi Jois. She quickly become passionate of this discipline and wants to deepen her knowledge; this brings her to meet and attend many workshops with Stewart Gilchrist, Shiva Rea, John Scott, Danny Paradise...all very famous teachers around the world. Being in the presence of such teachers is a significant experience for Christiane, in terms of her yogic journey, personal transformation and growth as well as understanding of yoga. After 11years in London, she moves to Milan to deepen and continue her journey. In Milan she teaches privately (1:1 and group classes) as well as in various yoga and dance centers. Milan is where her love for Ashtanga Vinyasa deepens and grows, bringing her to attend workshops with Lino Miele, Sharath Jois and most recently Kino MacGregor...all original students of Guruji, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. All of this culminates with a long awaited and long overdue trip to India, the birthplace of Yoga. Here Christiane deepens her practice and knowledge of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga by doing a 200hr Ashtanga Vinyasa TTC with Yogi Kamal Singh at Tattvaa Yogashala in Rishikesh India. After the monthlong course, her travels take her around India practicing with various other world renown teachers, namely with Sri V. Sheshadri in Mysore and with Rolf and Marci Naujokat in Goa. In 2013 Christiane decides to embark on yet another yoga adventure, this time in Aerial Yoga! The course was divided into two weekends: level I in April and level II in June, after which she becomes a qualified Aerial Yoga teacher. Teacher and student of yoga, writer, adventurous soul, creative mind, curious world traveler & lover of the outdoors. Current HQ: Milan, Italy.
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