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 http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/hyp/hyp03.htm. 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.