Astanga Yoga London

25th March 2020
25th March 2020

Thought you’d like a little bit of shala. I know we all miss the place. Especial all the teachers and assistants. A massive thanks to those of you who’ve been able to keep paying. We will keep paying our staff. We’re looking at different ways of payment when we re-open,  watch this space.

I was walking our dog Scout through Queens wood today. I’ve been going there for many years, it’s near by, sometimes walking sometimes running. It very peaceful and the green light always brings me such calm. If you can’t get out, grow some seeds, basil, cress or chives are easiest. If you’re not working use the time constructively and slow down. I really hope non of you have come down badly with the virus. We have family and friends who have.

Returning to our story Ambika and Ambilika are preparing to sleep with Vyasa. When Vyasa enters Ambika’s room she closed her eyes and when Vyasa entered Ambilika’s room she went pale. Because of this Ambika’s child was born blind, he was called Dhritarashtra  and Ambilika’s child was pale and called Pandu. Satyavati asked Ambilika to sleep with Vyasa one more time, but Ambilika forced a servant girl to take her place. Her child was Vidura. Bhishma brought the three boys up until they reached adulthood. Because Dhritarashtra was blind even though he was the oldest he couldn’t become king. We can take the blindness as not just in the eyes. So Pandu was crowned King. Vidura does feature in the Mahabharata and he repeatedly comes across as wise and kind, and yet simply because he is off mixed caste birth he has no power. Sometimes life seems very unfair. So Vidura blessed his mother so she would not be a servant anymore. Often  in Indian stories things happen because of previous births. Vidura’s birth and lack of power is because in his previous birth he was Yama, God of death. The story goes that Yama was cursed by a sage for taking his life early, Yama said ‘but you killed an insect when you were a child’. The sage said ‘we shouldn’t be held accountable for wrongs committed as a child’ and cursed Yama to be reborn as someone highly suitable to be a king but unable to be one. I guess sages in them days had a lot of power. Anyway keep Vidura in mind as he was a good man.

When Dhritarashtra and Pandu grew up they were married to Gandhari and Pritha respectively. Gandhari was the princess of Gandhara, which was situated in the swat valley, famed for its Greco-Buddhist art and more recently it’s destruction. When she wed Dhritarashtra she blindfolded her self so she would be like her husband. Pritha was born in Mathura, a state where they didn’t have a king but a democracy (of sorts). Pritha’s father though was poor and so his brother brought her up but called her Kunti (yep another unfortunate name). Pandu fortunately or unfortunately had two wives, his second wife was Madri, and it was Madri he loved most. Our story unfolds back into the forest where Pandu is out hunting and he accidentally kills a sage. We all know what happens when you mess with a sage. On the sages dying breath he curses Pandu to die as soon as he has sex. So how was Pandu to have children? Well, hopefully you’ve learn now about niyoga. Only this time the choice of suitable men is really a lot better! And it all revolves around a secret Kunti has kept…

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