Tag Archives: Sanskrit

Specialty teaching in yoga school

Photo: a woman places hands on back of a supine yogini to help stretch out the spine.
An intense round of backbends needs to be counteracted with a release of muscular tension.

This is our last week at the Thrive Yoga teacher training July intensive. Actually, only four days. Our final activities are on Thursday and then the six students will go there separate ways after having shared yoga for 26 days.

I wanted to mention two teachers to highlight. who gave a two two-day intensives.  I guess you’d call specialists because no yoga studio is going to have the necessary expertise on staff  to present a well-rounded program. Thrive YTT also provides introductions to other specialties (chanting, pre-natal yoga, restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra), but they tend to be for a couple of hours or part of hands-on practice. We had a three-hour video conference with Zoe Morae on vibrational energy. Continue reading Specialty teaching in yoga school


Photos of classes on Sanskrit, ayurveda, and pre-natal training

Photo: profile view of Pierre Couvillon
Outside teacher Pierre Couvillon is a long-stranding member of the Thrive Yoga team

This week we passed the midpoint of the yoga teacher training (YYT) at Thrive Yoga. On Wednesday, Pierre Couvillon flew in from Indiana to deliver a double whammy: Sanskrit and ayurveda. With utmost patience he coaxed and prodded us to give up clinging to our tortured pronunciation of asanas and the Yoga Sutras. Who knew that a language class could be as grueling, focused and liberating as our first taste of leading a yoga session, as we did on Monday. Certainly in two days, we were not going to master Sanskrit, but Pierre’s enthusiasm for the lanugage and his understanding of the surprising logic and consistency of Sanskrit let us appreciate the value to digging a little deeper, and he has made available audio files that will allow us to finetune our ears and minds.

Photo: teacher in front on yoga students on floor
Pierre leads the class through the alphabet and its phonetic foundation.


Repeat, repeat, repeat. Connect your vocal chords with the nadis spiraling up the spine.

Continue reading Photos of classes on Sanskrit, ayurveda, and pre-natal training

Watch your language

In New York Times Magazine On Language – Namaste, a yoga teacher and writer Jaimie Epstein gives a primer of the Sanskrit that creeps in the vocabulary of people willing to get on the yoga mat.

Guru means “remover of darkness” and is someone who sheds light on your ignorance. Although the word guru (with a big G) is associated with spiritual guides, anyone or any situation can be your guru (small g) if he/she/it teaches you something, and there is surely no end to the opportunities presented to us every day.

Who says Sanskrit is a dead language?

Sanskrit is a language that was not taught in my high school. Its vocabulary has not slipped into the street chat that is the beachhead for any new lexicon, although the increasing popularity of yoga may change that in the future. But in the meantime, anyone wanting to know how pronounce their favorite pose can turn to the Online Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide. This service is provided by Tilak Pyle, and I see my daughter Stephanie using it all the time for her teacher training studies at Flow Yoga. This is not a tutorial for learning Sanskrit, but is does take some of the mystery out of the nomenclature.

Sutras, wisdom and practice

Jacob Perkins asked me to add his blog, cloudshadows.net: Understanding Yoga [MLS: now offline], to my list on online resources. Done. He is “currently blogging the yoga sutras” — it is no tall order to interpret those sacred aphorisms . First, they’re in Sanskrit and their translations can be cryptic, sometimes even jibberish. I have tended to plunged ahead with my physical practice, rather than delve into the sutra’s mysteries, but I’ve come around to the realization that the non-physical side is more important than the asanas and vinyasa. More power to him and may the sutras shine through his daily practice.

Jacob lists several books on the sutras so I assume that he’s reading them. He should probably list Stephen Cope’s new book, The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living, which is based on an interpretation of the sutras. I would like to get a hold of it, but I’ve still got a backlog of required reading books.

He also also points to Trinity Yoga: Teacher Training, which includes some excellent photos of yoga postures [MLS: no longer online], blog and a forum, and yogascope kaleidoscope, a very active blogger. Yoga Teacher Training is another blog that has some interesting content.