"All of these different myths have deeper sort of morals, or meanings that we can gain wisdom and knowledge from and really are talking about yoga. It's teaching us about yoga."- Harmony Lichty
I did a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies. They're two separate degrees: one in Philosophy and one in Religious Studies. I have always been interested in Philosophy, and in looking at stories, or mythology. And what is this saying? What is the deeper meaning behind this? How can I relate that to my practice, or how can I relate that to myself, my world, my existence.
Philosophy in Greek means a lover of wisdom. Here in India, philosophy is called darshan-- which is a way to see, right? So for me, that's just like yoga. How I came to yoga, was through philosophy. Was through learning about the stories and the culture and the philosophies of India. That's always been of interest to me, so when I started doing asanas, what really interests me in about the Asanas was, what does all these mean? What's this... so something's called like
Jeff: Who's this Vashistha?
Harmony: Yeah. Bharadvajasana. Who is this Bharadvaja? Why does this guy get a pose named after him? Right? What did he do that's so great? Who is this Vashista? What's going on with him? Like, what did he have to say?
Harmony: So, I just like reading about philosophy and teaching. I started doing more of that and kind of realizing that so many of the postures were about named after sages or gods. A lot of this tied in to sort of very very elaborate mythology in Indian culture. But all of these different myths have deeper sort of morals, or meanings that we can gain wisdom and knowledge from and really are talking about yoga. It's teaching us about yoga.
I started, just once in a while I do like an Asana, or have an Asana picture of myself and then I post something. But because like what I've said, I'm not very anatomically inclined, I don't really have much interest in learning about muscles and bones. Although there's something about them, I don't really cared to talk about them. I much rather talk about the deeper meaning behind something. Or how is this going to affect your spirit. How is this going to affect your mind. Can you derive from doing an Asana that's going to change what's happening inside yourself, internally, like a psychic, spiritual, mental, emotional level. So, that's what I started posting about. Who this various sages and Rishis were. Or even animals, you know. And how, why they got a posture named after them. What made them so special? So, that was my main thing, and people really liked it. They really kind of connected to it.
To learn more about the meanings behind the names of the Asana's visit Harmony's Instagram here @harmony_lichty or sign up for the email list to get the videos sent to your inbox
Harmony Lichty has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga in the Mysore method for over a decade. She was first introduced to Yoga in 1995, and began practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 2000. She always had a keen interest in spirituality and the art of physical movement, which culminated in fifteen years of dance training and two BA degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies. In 2002 she traveled through China researching Buddhist meditation and in 2004 she made her first trip to Mysore, India. That same year she moved to South East Asia where she began a journey of teaching Yoga Internationally, which allowed her to spend long periods of time practicing with Sri K Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. Harmony was given Authorization by Pattabhi Jois in 2006, and was granted Certification by Sharath Jois in 2015. In 2009, she and her husband Jeff Lichty settled in Victoria, BC and founded Ashtanga Yoga Victoria. They have recently moved to Calgary Alberta where they have founded Calgary Ashtanga Yoga School
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