Mountain Top Yogis Blog

After practicing yoga for over thirty years down in the big smoke we felt called to move back into nature into an environment ideal to go deeper into the higher limbs of yoga practice. The Vedas suggest that when one comes to the middle of ones life (around 50) to change ones mode of life and spend more time on spiritual practice in nature. This mode of life is called vanaprashtha (forest dweller). This same mode of life is suggested in many yogic texts. We took that quite literally and live now on a mountaintop surrounded by ancient rainforest. Living in nature inspires our practice greatly, which we can then share when we come back into the cities to teach workshops or retreats.

This blog will give you updates of what we are currently working on and it will give us the opportunity to stay in contact with the many people and students we have worked with throughout the last few decades. Of course if you want to post any questions, your mountaintop yogis will do their best to answer them. To sign up for our newsletter please go to http://www.8limbs.com/contact-us/

Gregor on Ashtanga Dispatch

– if yoga wants to help heal societal and personal problems, then it must become a vehicle for dismantling hierarchical structures.
– any relationship between teacher and student that is trying to convey some of the messages of the higher chakras, must transform that relationship as well. The model of teachers clinging to power and their own supremacy, has marred religion of the past 10,000 years.
– Cult psychology and sociology
– Projecting mysterious powers on the teacher as replicating our relationship to our primary carer in early childhood
– The healing quality of touch and the beauty of the Ashtanga system

Ashtanga Parampara or Brand?

A thought-provoking article from Guy Donahaye, editor of “Guruji – A Portrait Through the Eyes of his Students”. Guy reflects on whether we are really looking at a spiritual lineage or rather a cleverly marketed family business.

Monica on Ashtanga Dispatch

Anxiety comes because we aren’t trusting. And I know it’s a scary thing to trust – but there actually is one thing in our lives that we can trust – and it’s in our own heart. So you can’t get closer and more intimate than that. You don’t have to trust everything out in the world, but you need to be able to connect inside and learn to trust your heart. And maybe that’s one of the beauties of age is that you become so much more secure in that.

Uddiyana Bandha elusive no more

This article is a follow-up on the last one which covered Mula Bandha. There need not be any ambiguity about Uddiyana Bandha at all. There is nothing elusive about it at all.

There are two vastly different types of Uddiyana which are sometimes mixed up. One utilizes suction and the other uses pressure to deform the abdominal cavity. I will here first get the suction-type Uddiyana out of the way and then focus on the pressure-based Uddiyana for the rest of the article.

Mula Bandha Elusive no More

I have repeatedly been asked to shed some light onto the “elusive bandhas”. I’m surprised that they are still considered elusive. In this article I am focussing on Mula Bandha. Mula Bandha has three aspects, layers or phases of which the first is introductory, the second intermediate, the third advanced. To learn the bandhas students should first focus on the introductory aspect and then move on. The introductory aspect, layer or phase of the bandha is gross/muscular.

Clearing the Floor when Jumping Through

I often get asked how one can jump through without clearing the floor. Of course, technique is important but it is not all there is. You also need to have a basic level of strength and trunk flexion. If that is not there no level of technique will get you through without touching the floor.

Ashtanga is Not the Problem, How it’s Taught is – Part 1

One of my biggest frustrations with being associated with Ashtanga Yoga is that other yogis perceive that my asana practice and thereby the asana I teach must adhere to what is known as the ‘traditional’ form (I place tradition here in inverted comas to refer to the popular Jois tradition and not the traditional Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga, which is actually what I do practice and teach!). And many have a negative impression of this ‘tradition’.

Truth and Reconciliation in Ashtanga Yoga – Gregor interviewed by J. Brown

You may have already come across this podcast but I’m a bit behind posting as I’m currently on a teaching tour across Europe and South America. With this latest podcast I seem to have again ruffled some feathers or shall we say, ahem…, sparked controversy. Some ultra-orthodox and hard-line Ashtanga websites apparently have taken it down after it got posted. You might here find out why.

Biodiversity Loss Threatens Humanities Survival

Loss of biodiversity threatens our survival as much as climate change (if not more). We must protect all life on Earth and particularly wildlife or face our own extinction. This planet is not ours to own. We must share it with all life forms or pay the consequences. Ahimsa (non-harming) does not just extend to other humans but to all forms of life. Abundance does not come from out-competing others but from right action (dharma), which is respecting the rights of others.

Gregor interviewed by Modern Yogi

Here is an interview that Anthony Charalampous from Modern Yogi conducted with me back in June. Some of the questions I’m answering are:
Why yoga is more important than ever before and what it can do to save the biosphere?
Why it is important for yogis to aim for more than just health?
What exactly is samadhi?