Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Assignment #1 - Hatha Yoga Pradipika

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written by Swami Swatmarama. It is one of three classic texts and said to be the oldest surviving text on Hatha Yoga.

This is not a hard read, only 31 pages in the attached copy. You can also download and copy a different translation at There are, of course, many translations available so you are welcome to find a different copy.

Once you have spent some time with this text, write back to me...send your observations, questions, etc. As part of your response, please first let me know what you have read, in the way of yoga texts, prior to this assignment. Tell me if you found any of the information provided in the texts helpful and if anything in this text differs from what you have read in the past.

This assignment will be due August 15th.

As part of your training, it is important that you commit to a yoga practice, preferably Ashtanga Yoga. I would like to see everyone spend the next three months with this practice only, a sort of immersion. It will be difficult, at times, because you will want to do something different, but try to stay the course. You will have an opportunity to try some other classes/types of yoga throughout the training.

On your practice:1) Purchase a journal for the sole purpose of this class. Try to spend a few minutes after each practice writing about your experience, during and after practice. Good and bad, I would like for you to take a few minutes to write it down. Some days you may even feel like complaining about having to do the same 'ole thing...write it, that's perfectly acceptable. Once the pen hits the paper, don't stop to reflect, just write freely without trying to edit your words. If you can spend a minimum of 15 minutes after your practice writing, uninterrupted, that would be perfect. You can bring your journal to the shala and when you are done with savasana, jot down your feelings. 2) Practice a minimum of 3 times a week. I would prefer if you could attend at least one Mysore class a week, preferably two (three is great!).

It is difficult to immerse yourself in something while trying to carry on your daily life. This will be the chore for the next few months. But if you can, it will be worth it...try to read your yoga texts every day, even if for a few minutes. Try to practice every day, meditate for a few minutes every day, etc.


Welcome to the first teacher training at Urban Ashtanga! I am very excited to get started and am hoping that I will be able to use many different forms of media to facilitate this training. This blog is being created as a means for both delivering assignments as well as giving you a place to send questions and comments in an open forum.

You have all received and returned your first assignment. The responses were very interesting and gave me a lot of information. I had no idea how that would work, but at the end of the day I was pleased with the responses and look forward to the next round.

It is important to secure the dates of the training so that we can put the program in motion. In working with your schedules, I have come up with the following:

  • Friday Night Traditions - Led Primary Series Class followed by 1 hour of open discussion. This will be held for 10 Fridays between now and December. Beginning August 23rd, to introduce the program details, deliver syllabus, etc.
  • Saturday Lectures - Will be held every other Saturday, beginning September 6th.
  • Sunday Lectures - There are 4 weekends that include Sunday.

More to come...