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Sharath Jois on Taking Time Off

Because it's all about balance, even when it comes to yoga.

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Yoga Master Paramaguru
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When I’m teaching in Mysore, I’m so involved in teaching that I hardly get time to do my own practice. Every year, I always try to take a few months where I can concentrate on my own sādhana. This is what I’m currently doing. It helps me refresh my yoga practice and my teachings as well as maintain balance.

Usually, I teach for five to six months straight, but this past season, I wanted to take a break to be with my family and help my children with their education. Many students told me that the past two months went by so fast. Some were crying when they left. They didn’t want to leave. They wanted to stay and study, but they have family and work to return to. They wanted to know when the shala will be open again so they can take holiday from their work to come back. But a part of yoga is to live a balanced, steady life, and not spend too much time away from home.

When students come to Mysore, they don’t have the usual demands of their life back home. For many, it’s nice to come to the source and learn. At home, they have their job and family and it’s difficult for them to give complete attention toward their yoga practice. In Mysore, if they choose, they can concentrate completely on yoga.

Mysore is very simple. Nothing is fancy in Mysore. No matter how fancy your life is in your country or how complicated it is, once you come to Mysore and learn in the shala, everything is simple. The teachings are simple, very effective, but simple. It’s about experiencing your yoga practice in an environment where you can relax.

In Mysore, students spend time together. They learn yoga, practice together, sightsee, and lunch together. It’s learning, but they also enjoy their time. All these things rejuvenate them. They go back refreshed to their country, but they always miss it here. In Mysore, they feel like they are part of a family.

It’s the same when I travel to teach. Every year, I get many requests to teach students in their hometown. I have been traveling for many years now, teaching yoga, and trying to reach as many places as I can. Not everyone can come to India to study yoga, so when I travel, I try to give them the experience of how authentic yoga is in Mysore. I’ve gone to places where there was no Aṣṭāṅga yoga, where students had never experienced the authentic yoga that we teach in Mysore. I always try to encourage them to learn more. The energy is very good when students visit me on tour and are willing to learn. Maybe one day they will visit Mysore, but until then I will try to go to them.


Related: My Life as an Ashtanga Student in Mysore: Heard on “The Yoga Trail”


In many ways, traveling recharges me. Whether I’m teaching, traveling or taking time off, I try to keep in harmony with family, work and sādhana. When making my plans to travel, I consider my practice, my meals, and my sleep routine. (Trouble sleeping? Try this 90-second solution to sleep better tonight!) When taking time off, I consider my students and how to recharge so I can teach them. When teaching, I try to enjoy everyday life with my wife and children. For my own sādhana, balancing these things is essential to contributing my best efforts toward anything I do.

Very soon, I will begin traveling again. In April, I’ll be in Thailand and China. Then I’m home to teach in Mysore for June, July and August. In the September, we have a tour going to Spain and Portugal—two countries I’ve never visited before. Once I taught in Santiago, Chile, but this will be my first time to a Spanish-European speaking or Portuguese speaking country. In October, we are doing a yatra in Northern India in Rishikesh, and then I go to Japan, the Philippines, and Bali. When I travel and meet new people, it’s inspiring. Maybe they have just started doing this yoga and when they practice with me, they get a certain energy. Hopefully, it leads them on a path of transformation.

Photography by Leslie Hendry

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U.S. TOUR 2019

PARAMAGURU
SHARATH JOIS

Don’t miss your chance to attend class with the Ashtanga yoga master when he visits the U.S. Spring 2019!

Registration Now Open

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@LIVESONIMA
  • Paramaguru Sharath Jois’ new book, Ageless: A Yogi's Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life, is now available for shipping to the U.S.!
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The teachings in this book are centered on creating healthy lifestyle habits and ways we can prevent sickness to live long, peaceful lives. Sharath includes great yogi wisdom from his grandfather, Guruji, along with pranayama and asana practices.
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You can download the book on Google play or order it on Amazon! Visit the link in our bio to purchase. This book was co-written with his student, Isha Singh Sawhney.
  • “The Primary Series in Aṣṭāṅga yoga is called Yoga Chikitsa, which means yoga therapy. It is designed to bring stability within us.” – Sharath Jois
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Come practice Primary Series with Paramguru Sharath Jois when he visits the U.S. this year.
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Registration is now open!
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Stanford, California,  April 22 – 27
Miami, Florida,  May 1 – 7
New York, New York,  May 11 -16
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Follow the link in our bio to join in this incredible experience of learning yoga right from the source. #SharathJoisUSA2019 #LiveSonima (photo by: @ilfilmyoga) .
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#SharathJois #Sharath #SharathTour #AshtangaYoga #AshtangaCommunity #Astanga #AshtangaPrimarySeries #YogaLife #YogaLiving #ParamaguruSharathJois #YogaDiaries #YogaTour #YogaTherapy #YogaHealing #LiveWell #LiveBetter #BalancedLifestyle #YogiLife
  • Did you catch our Instagram or Facebook LIVE yesterday? Deepak Chopra, MD, gave a profound keynote speech on the neuroscience of self-awareness and higher consciousness at the 2019 Yoga and Science Conference in NYC. Visit the link on our page to hear it and check out or Instagram highlights for a recap of the conference. #YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
  • Day 2 of the 2019 Yoga and Science Conference began with a restorative yoga session led by Gail Parker, PhD. Participants welcomed one another through partnered listening exercises followed by a brief meditation and restorative postures. ❤️🙏 #YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
  • We’re at the Yoga and Science Conference this weekend in NYC! Head over to our Instagram and Facebook Stories for our coverage on the research behind mindfulness-based practices. And be sure to tune today on Instagram or Facebook at 2:30PM for a LIVE video of Deepak Chopra, MD, exploring the reality of science and yoga. ❤️🙏
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#yoga #science #mindfulness #mindfulpractice #deepakchopra #yogaandscience #yogaheals #healthylifestyle #yogahealing #yogaresearch
  • We are so excited to announce that registration is now open to all! Join Paramaguru Sharath Jois in the U.S. this Spring. Spaces will fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve your spot on one or more of his teaching weeks:
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* Stanford, California,  April 22 – 27
* Miami, Florida,  May 1 – 7
* New York, New York,  May 11 -16
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Follow the link in our bio to sign up! And once you do, we’d love to see how you’re preparing for it. Share your practice and plans with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by tagging @LiveSonima and #SharathJoisUSA2019 ❤️🙏 We’ll see you there!
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