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Fiona Stang, A Couple Years Later

A couple of years later, New York City, USA: Another "Guruji Last World Tour." Back in NYC a few years later, as I touched his feet in gratitude after class, he chastised me, "Why falling over pincha mayurasana?" "Why not lifting longer uth plutih?" At the time I was mortified and amazed. Out of eighty or so people in the room, how had he noticed that I had briefly lowered my legs out of pincha mayurasana? I look back now and laugh. Indeed, he was right. Why did I fall over? Or, perhaps more appropriate- why did my mind fall apart? Guruji could have just asked me why I was still held by fear and the restraints of my mind. This was yet another gift...

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Fiona Stang, September 2001

September 11th, 2001, New York City, USA. We had just finished led Primary Series at Chelsea Piers. Guruji was back in New York for another of his "Last World Tours." Post practice, I was having breakfast with a group of yogis when we first heard the sirens. The incessant sound of sirens as I looked out the windows, unmarked police car after unmarked police car with an emergency flasher heading south. To this day, I have never heard such a repetitive, endless sound of siren after siren. The radio inside the restaurant provided the clues to the nature of the incident. A plane had hit one of the twin towers. I had lived three blocks from the Twin Towers, and my father had worked in the...

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Fiona Stang, May 2004

May 2004, Mysore, India. It was Julian's sixth day of practice with Guruji and Sharath. Meanwhile, I was thirty-two weeks pregnant with our first child, and back home chomping at the bit as I would have loved to be in Mysore, India. Julian's tendency was to feel heavy, with an overactive and restless mind. Combine this with a bit of stiffness (Sharath used to call Julian "Mr. Marichyasana D" since it took him six years to sit comfortably in the pose) and the thought of practice could be daunting for Julian. When Julian first started early morning practice, in the wee hours of Vancouver's damp mornings, it was not uncommon for me to clap my hands as I practiced across from him and tell him to just...

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Fiona Stang

"She believed she could, so she did" - R.S. Gray Fiona Stang first journeyed to Mysore in 1999 where she met her teacher Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, Sharath Rangaswamy. Fiona continued to study with Guruji to receive his teachings of devotion, grace, faith, compassion, patience, and Yoga. In 2000, Fiona was authorized to teach by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and in July 2009, she was in the first group of 40 students worldwide to receive Level 2 Authorization. She is blessed by KPJAYI to teach the Primary and Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Fiona is the owner and director at Ashtanga Yoga Vancouver, a Mysore studio located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (www.ashtangayogavancouver.com). Fiona is grateful for the...

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Preface by Derick Yu

My Ashtanga Yoga journey began in late 1999 when my wife, Jean, wanted me to look for better "lifestyle options." We signed up for an Introduction to Ashtanga class in a studio tucked away in Kitsilano, a "hippie" area of Vancouver. At the time it did not seem like I was learning much—only how to "hold my pee" and breathe through the nose with a strange sound while moving through sun salutations. Somehow I kept coming back.I often wondered how those who are steeped in Ashtanga Yoga had learnt to sustain a regular practice that demands much of its practitioners on all levels—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Although I am aware of the different physical dynamics that women face, I...

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