Conference was amazing. The place was jam packed with people but you could have heard a pin drop once he started to speak.
He spoke of the first 2 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga - the Yamas and Niyamas.
The Yamas: How you treat others, are as follows:
Ahimsa -- Non-violence.
Satya -- Truthfulness.
Asteya -- Non-stealing.
Brahmacarya -- Sexual responsibility.
Aparigraha -- Abstention from greed.
Niyamas: How you treat yourself
Sauca -- Cleanliness.
Santosa -- Contentment.
Tapas -- Austerity. Deep commitment to our yoga practice.
Svadhyaya -- Self-study.
Isvara pranidhana -- Surrender of the self to God.
The following are from the notes I took during conference.
Sharath began by saying "the practice of Asana must include the practice of Yama and Niyama. Yoga is the transformation that happens within us. The reason we do Asana is to purify the body and mind. This changes how we react, how we behave, our attitude. If we have an aggressive practice we are probably an aggressive person off the mat which builds ego which goes against yoga. If yoga is not practiced with a calm mind, it is only physical. If you don't understand why you do practice - sankalpa or intention - there is no point to the practice. You must be present. If the mind is negative when you practice, then negative energy will come of your practice. Chanting is important to bring positive energy to the practice. Injury is getting rid of bad karma (action- what we do comes back to us. Ask the question, "Would I do this to myself?" If the answer is no then don't do it... )."
He then went into an explanation of the Yamas...
"Ahimsa: non violence to self & others - to be aware of our thoughts and deeds as violence can happen unknowingly ie thinking bad thoughts about someone
Satya: to be true to ourselves and others
Bhramacarya: being true to your partner and your partner being true to you.
He said that our practice should be private, not about being in the limelight.
Sauca: cleanliness - Internal - of thoughts, actions, internal body, nervous system
- External - clothes, external body, mat, home
Santosha: contentment - to be happy.
Asteya: non-stealing. Greed brings unhappiness
Tapas: posterity - to follow a strict life, to follow a certain discipline in our life/routine i.e. 6am practice, food at regular times. If you want to do sadhana - practice - you must give up many things. Be careful where you go, who you associate with, who you meet, what you read, what you surround yourself with... Positive energy can be lost very easily if the mind is not stable, or if actions are done without thought.
Svadhyaya: self study - to discover yourself through guidance from your guru. Our mother is our first teacher. We learn from her by watching as a small child. The same way we learn from our Guru/teacher. We learn by their example. Discover the spirituality in your practice. Choose an "ishta devata" - diety that resonates with you - like Ganesha, Tara, Jesus, Buddha, etc...
Ishvara Pranidana: surrendering to the Divine. When you practice with a focus on your diety, you become God. God is within you. With practice and devotion you can discover that.
He ended the conference by saying "Without a Guru's blessing it is impossible for transformation to happen.""