yoga

Importance of Sanskrit Pronunciation

Sanskrit is a phonetic language of natural sound partitions. Not only do the sounds connect to nature, one could say they are the energetic representation of nature and the cosmos itself.

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I’ll start by saying I’m thrilled at the expansion of modern Yoga and its reach into every part of the world.  We are very fortunate that the world of Yoga is vast enough and diverse enough that it contains a little something for every seeker.  It is truly and positively life changing.  Some are not drawn to deep meditation and the physical practice of Yogasana becomes their chosen form of meditation.  One can go very deep even with Yoga Vinyasa, and further can in fact reach those high states of liberation through the practice of matching breath with movement.  Point being, there is something for everyone.  In my own personal journey I was not only drawn, I was pulled by a force that would not be denied into the deepest most authentic forms of Saadhana (daily spiritual practices) available.  All diversity aside, it is also true that with the expansion of the modern Yoga world it is the duty of a devout seeker to be mindful of the authentic principles that lead us to such a point.  More and more teachers are certifying teachers and there is a fine line of dilution taking place.  The more the information is watered down and made so called, “accessible” the more we step away from the original tenants of Vedic Wisdom that guided us here in the first place.  Without these origins it is impossible to say that the world of Yoga would thrive.  Vedic Heritage has not survived for thousands of years because it is antiquated.  It as survived because even at Its most esoteric level, Vedic Wisdom is applicable here and now!

The Sri Chakra is a Geometric Energy Vibration that is brought to life by the correct pronunciation of the Sri Devi Khadga Mala Stortraratnam

I attended a workshop from an “A-lister” Yogini.  She was talking for 30 minutes about a specific pranayama (life-force control technique), and for the life of me I could not connect to which pranayama she was referring.  Then it hit me, “oh she’s trying to say Bhramari Pranayama.” This particular technique I am well versed in and could still not make out what she was describing.  There are multiple points to mention here:  First, Sanskrit is a phonetic language of “natural sound partitions,” not only do the sounds connect to nature, one could say they are the energetic representation of nature and the cosmos itself.  Secondly, when mispronounced the words do not ring in the ear in the natural way and this gives a subtle throw and wobble in the mind, which actually cause confusion and disruption.  Lastly, and most importantly as a so called “teacher” of Yogic Wisdom it is important to be as authentic as possible because now there are literally thousands of people out there pronouncing the word incorrectly which is directly contributing to disinformation and pulling us away from the Divine Source.

Now, some have argued that purity of intention is EVERYTHING and pronunciation is secondary to that.  I can relate to that in some ways and will admit that regardless of pronunciation one could stoke deep meditative feelings by uttering a mantra without proper pronunciation.  However, the purpose of uttering that mantra is that the energy vibration without fail produces a result, because it is directly linked with nature, and is in fact nature Itself.  Sanskrit is the very structure of the cosmos as well as the human body.  Walking the fine line of science and devotion one could even say that Sanskrit letters and sounds tug on the strings of Divinity thus, Divinity responds accordingly.  Meaning, if the Sanskrit mantra is uttered with not only Divine Pure Intention and also correct pronunciation, then only are the Divine Strings connected and the fructification of the result made possible.  The result of a meditation on a mantra is Grace.  Devotion and Faith cannot necessarily be defined or put into words, yet Grace can be felt tangibly.  Further, it is not only important to feel the Grace, it is also important to imbibe and honor It by living it out in the daily life.  The result (Grace) will not stick and create lasting change and deep connection with Divinity without these principles being attempted and respected.  To say that it is ok to recite and listen to Sanskrit Mantra that is mispronounced is akin to saying one would enjoy listening to music that is completely out of tune.  One simply would not buy and album or listen to music that is not pleasing to the ear, or completely out of tune.  When an instrument is out of tune we may even cringe as if it hurts our soul to hear such a thing.  Whether we are conscious of it or not, this is what our brain and nervous system is doing when Sanskrit sounds are not pronounced properly, because it is literally going against the natural sound vibration of the macro and micro world.  When a Yogi or Yogini is an adept in Sanskrit pronunciation one can feel the difference.  One may even say, “Oh, that is the most Divine Sound, I felt my heart come alive and chills all over my body.”  It is not only do to the purity of intention, also it is the correct pronunciation that rang so true in the heart that “Grace” was felt deeply.

There are of course exceptions to any rule.  A Jnana Yogi (Knowledge Seeker) may not care for the correct pronunciation because in depth knowledge of spiritual principles itself is a liberator.  The Jnana Yogi can feel the depth of Grace because that Divine Knowledge has satiated worldly desires and brought them to higher states.  That Yogi or Yogini can cultivate and even confer Grace due to the depth of authentic knowledge.  However, that does not take care, give mindfulness or respect to ancient Vedic Heritage that brought us these Divine Teachings in the first place.  Even the Jnana Yogi must eventually realize the importance of this principle.

Sage Vyasa, Ancient Rishi, Guru, Seer of Vedic Sacred Sound

One might also say, “well, I don’t have an Indian accent so it is not possible for me…”  This is also a statement of ignorance.  Sanskrit pronunciation is not accented.  Again, it is a natural sound partition that is found in all of creation.  The Great Seers of Vedic Wisdom and the safe keepers of Sanskrit sounds were absorbed in deep meditation.  These Divine Seers have the level of meditation to be able to actually “realize” the Sanskrit verses.  Through Their Divine Realization the Sanskrit Sounds were heard and connected with every element of creation, thus, Sanskrit and Vedic Language has been completely unaltered from time immemorial.  ALL other human languages have gone through drastic alterations and changes over the course of human evolution.  Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit have not.  This statement of truth only proves the literal meaning of the word Sanskrit (Sans-Without, Krit-Critique), that which is already perfected.  We wouldn’t look at nature, the cosmos and Divine Mother Earth and say, “what an amazing accident?”  We wouldn’t look at the anatomy of the human body and say, “look at the RANDOM make-up of the body it’s so flawed.”  We say the opposite.  Any environmental scientist will expound on the great complexity of the PERFECTION of Mother Nature.  Every facet of life works together to support the next, and through our deep meditations we have realized that matter is most certainly linked.  When we pronounce Sanskrit Mantra correctly we are tapping into a direct channel, a direct road map to the Divine Principles which already exist in Mother Nature, The Cosmos, and our very own human body.

I truly hope these words are an inspiration, especially to those that wish to share Sanskrit, Vedic and Yogic Wisdom with others.  These authentic teachings are both being supported be devoted seekers, and also brushed aside and diluted.  The modern Yoga world could embrace the side of support as a form of Seva… Meaning, performing our duty as devout seekers to respect and become a walking representation of the ancient and Divine Spiritual Truths.

Lastly, one may be asking, “where can I receive more authentic training?”  For this a personal introduction is necessary, there are literally none I would recommend on line.  Contact me in person if you would like more information: j.tyagaraja@gmail.com

Hari Om… With the labor of Divine Love,

Tyagaraja

Tyagaraja Performance Weekend in Lake Charles Louisiana

Tyagaraja performs an intimate set of original music on Aug 10th and the next day follows it up with a unique Yoga and Meditation workshop. A worth while weekend and unique experience in Louisiana.

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Meditation on the Ganga

Tyagaraja Live

Aug 10th 9pm

ALL AGES WELCOME

Stellar Beans

319 Broad St Lake Charles LA

Yoga and Meditation Workshop

Aug 11th 10am

Center of Yoga Lake Charles

321 Broad St Lake Charles LA

Register Online at this link for the Yoga Workshop

Tyagaraja performs live in an intimate setting at Stellar Beans Lake Charles Louisiana

Mindfulness and Wellness a Holistic Daily Yogic Practice Center of Yoga Lake Charles

Tyagaraja Return Home Show at Texas Yoga Conference Feb 17th

Tyagaraja’s Return Home Show after amazing India Tour!

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Tyaga Theater 2 webversion

Tyagaraja Return Home Performance after an amazing India Tour Feb 17th UofH

Tyagaraja Performs for the first time in US since his India Tour at the Texas Yoga Conference Bhakti Bash Event.  Tyagaraja will be performing with his full band and with Classical Indian Dancer Gunjen Mittal.

Concert will be held at:

UH Recreation and Wellness Center:
http://www.uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/CRWC.php

Feb 17th 5:30pm

$20 ticket

See www.texasyogaconference.com for more information and registering.

Directions to the campus:
http://www.uh.edu/visit/directions/

Along side Tyagaraja’s performance Gunjen Mittal will also be presenting her Yoga/Dance workshop at the Yoga Conference itself.

Click on this link for a look at what the India Tour was like! Clips from Tyagaraja\’s Big Show at the biggest venue in Mumbai \”Blue Frog\”

Tyagaraja's Live Show is an Artistically Theatrical Experience!


India Tour Schedule

New bookings from Yoga workshops to live shows have been added. More to come!

New bookings and dates have been added.  Tyagaraja and Gunjen Mittal have been in Mumbai networking and setting up many different events from Yoga to Music!  See below!

Dec 21st – Tyagaraja Solo Performance Ivy Grand 9pm

Dec 25th – Dance Performance with Expressions Modern Dance Company

Dec 26th – 28h in Pune

Jan 1st – Ivy Grand New Years Celebrations 9pm – 1am

Jan 3rd – Tyagaraja w/ band from Pune Blue Frog 10pm

Jan 5th – Tyagaraja performs with Hipnotribe Hard Rock Cafe’ Mumbai 10pm

Jan 14th – 20th – Tyagaraja and Gunjen teach Yoga/Dance and Meditation workshops at The Art Loft

Jan 27th  - Tyagaraja performs in association with Muziclub at Arc Asia Pune 8:30pm

Jan 29th – Tyagaraja acoustic solo set at The Farmers Market Bandra Mumbai 12noon-2pm

Feb 3rd – New Delhi venue and times TBA

more to come…

Yogasana of the Week

Yoga Vidya’s Asana of the Week.

Utkatasana

Utkatasana

Pose: Utkatasana Vinyasa Krama (Step by Step Sequence)

Stand straight with feet 3-6 inches apart.  Inhale raise arms over head stretching from the web of the thumb as the hips shift forward.  Exhale as hips shift back, bend the knees while bringing the arms down halfway.  Flex the legs and root the feet into the ground.  To come out of the pose, inhale, raise the arms overhead first with the back completely straight, then push into the feet to straighten the legs coming up to standing.  Exhale arms down.  (Repeat 5 times).  On the last repetition stay in the squat for as long as you can breathing normally.  Come out of the pose in the same way.

Benefits:

This is one of the most important Asanas.  Strengthens the core of the body; most importantly strengthening the legs and hips. Performing this pose daily will give strength and energy to the entire body.  When we exercise the hips a positive growth hormone is released that promotes good health of the entire body.  Mentally this Asana produces confidence and makes the sadhaka like a strong pillar never wavering on any task.

Cautions:

Only squat as far as you can.  Even a subtle movement can produces positive results.  It’s all about function on form.  If you can’t see your toes over your knees your knees are too far over creating sheer stress on the feet, ankles and lower back.  Most sadhakas can place a wooden blog or a rolled up towel under the heals to create a plank under the feet.  This will help keep the form while deepening the squat.

Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana

Counter Pose:  Bhujangasana Vinyasa Krama (Step by Step Sequence)

Lay down flat on the stomach with the spine straight and the legs passive.  Bring the hands near the rib cage palms down fingers pointed toward the head, forehead on the ground, elbows in.  Inhale, pull with the palms lifting the upper body half way. Exhale lift the hands off the ground maintaining the half arch in the upper back.  Inhale press the palms back into the round as you lift the body and arch the spine.  Repeat 5 times.  On the 5th repetition stay in the pose breathing gently.  To come out of the pose exhale and lower the body to the ground with the arms keeping the elbows in.

Benefits:

Strengthens spine, arms and muscles in the back. Draws creativity energy to the body that brings confidence to the spirit. Opens and expands the chest freeing the heart. Good for those suffering from Thoracic and low back pain, including nerve damage. And many, many other things.  As a counter pose for the squat it is good to release pressure from the feet and ankles as the feet are pressed into the ground in a different direction than when standing.  Also this pose relieves tension in the back and spine.  Childs pose after bhujangasana would be a wonderful complete practice for the day.

Cautions:

Bhujangasana is one of the safest asanas.  Don’t perform when pregnant.  Only push the body up as far as you can, don’t strain or hold the breath.