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/

Headstand Preparation

In this new video Monica explains on a model of the skull what’s important during headstand and what you need to avoid. She also shows how to prepare for headstand by first building shoulder- and arm strength.

Modern Yogi interviews Monica

Modern Yogi interviewed Monica about Ashtanga as therapy and adapting the practice. Monica also talks about whether Ashtanga is for everybody, which role flexibility plays when practising and how yoga can alleviate panic attacks. Additionally, she covers the need for self-love when practising and to meditate to connect with the Divine within us. Finally she explains the importance how ones relationship with oneself prepares one for satisfying relationships with others.

The Number One Thing We Can Do To Save The Biosphere?

When we think about acting responsibly towards the environment a lot of space is given to recycling, using energy saver light bulbs, abolishing plastic shopping bags and plastic water bottles or having shorter showers. However, if you analyse how much CO2 each of those measures save it’s actually not that much. If you would add up all of these and add going car-free and vegan, avoiding air travel and converting your energy to solar, the sum total would still only be a fraction of the one single measure of bringing one less child into the world.

Inversions update

Shoulder-stand and headstand: why are we doing them and how are we doing so safely. Look at them not as balancing postures but as strength postures.

Earth Overshoot Day Brought Forward Two Days

Just in case you missed Earth Overshoot Day or in case somebody told you things are getting better or even stated that everything was just perfect, please read on. According to a new study we are consuming our planet’s resources in EVER-ACCELERATING destructive volumes. Hey, that means things are not just getting worse, they are getting worse faster.

Anneke Lucas’ story

Today I want to honor the woman who blew the whistle on sexual abuse in Ashtanga-culture, Anneke Lucas. As Beryl Bender Birch recently said in a podcast even back in the 1980’s everybody knew about Jois’ actions. While everybody knew and few confronted Jois, it took one very brave person to be the first to publicly write about it and thus initiate a platform on which more women can now speak out.

Why Didn’t Somebody Warn Me? A Pattabhi Jois #MeToo Story by Jubilee Cooke

Why do I keep posting about this subject? As far as I know only about half a dozen Ashtanga teachers have come out with apologies about their past actions and concrete support for the assaulted women. To me it looks as if 99% of Ashtanga teachers and this includes most of the big hitters are simply just hoping for this storm to blow over. To make matters worse those who dare to speak up are constantly questioned about their “agenda”. Why are those who remain silent not questioned about their agendas?

Questioning Authorities

One of the last times that I sat in K. Pattabhi Jois’ afternoon student meeting (called “conference”) I looked at a photo of Ramana Maharishi that was hanging on the wall. I asked Jois, “how come Ramana is considered spiritually liberated but he hasn’t done any asanas in his whole life”? I didn’t mean any harm with that question. I was just curious. There are several potential avenues an answer could take and I was simply curious which one Jois would take. But he never got to answering the question. A storm of protest started and I was screamed down by about 20 other Western students. It was considered “questioning the guru”. The screaming subsided after about 2 minutes. KP Jois’ looked around somewhat baffled and then went back to discussing his previous topic, rasam recipes.

Ashtanga or only Ekanga Yoga?

When I first visited KP Jois house in late 1995 I did so with the desire to study classical Ashtanga Yoga. I interviewed him closely what sort of yoga he was teaching and he affirmed that it was indeed Patanjali’s yoga. That made me sign up with him. In the following years we Ashtanga yogis often sniggered at the Iyengars because we smugly thought we had it over them. Already the name of our yoga showed that it was a true, authentic and ancient form of yoga, whereas theirs was a yoga named after a modern person, it’s founder. But this initial hubris was long ago replaced by a questioning of what Ashtanga today is, and what it should be.