Tag Archives: session

The “Pongal”, Arul or with “Tourism Office”…

In Mahābalipuram, you will have the choice between two possibilities to participate in this wonderful celebration, Pongal, one of the most colourful in South India.

Indeed, during your session of Ashtanga Yoga in the month of January you may participate in this rich in colours and music event.

  • The Tourism Office organizes each year for these festivities of Pongal, a visit to a traditional village some km from Mahābalipuram (singing, dancing, puja, etc.).
Pongal in Arul familly

Pongal in Arul familly

  • If you prefer, you can live this event in a traditional Indian family in a small village 4 km from Mahābalipuram, one of our Indian friends “Arul” invites the participants to the session of Ashtanga Yoga to share the Puja ceremony and share the typical Pongal meal.

« Travel » Information to Greece

How to get to Greece ?

By plane :

There are many flights to Athens from the main European airports. Book your flight early to get a better price.

Airlines : 

Aegean Airlines (Olympic Air) est membre de la Star Alliance. Aegean has been honored with the Skytrax World Airline Award for the sixth time, as the Best Regional Airline in Europe.

Skytrax World Airline

The Security (or safety) air

Be carefull : All batteries in devices must be charged (TSA). If your mobile phone, your tablet… are discharged, the boarding security service may think you are a terrorist carrying a bomb… 

Control of airport security : 

Security checks are unfortunately necessary to travel by air, some passengers find them more annoying than anything else.

Here are some tips to make sure that everything goes as well as possible :

  • Remove all metal objects such as keys, mobile phones (charged battery), coins, wallet, belt if the loop is metal, etc. and place them in one of the available plastic bins.
  • Remove your coat, jacket, Sleeveless Jacket and place them, as well as your hand baggage, in one of the plastic bins.
  • Remove all liquids and gels from your hand luggage and place them in a separate bin. Don’t forget that you are allowed to carry, only liquid containers and gels up to 100 ml maximum, in your hand baggage, sprays are prohibited.
  • Remove your laptop and tablet from your bag so that they can be analysed separately (battery charged).
  • Follow closely the instructions given by security personnel

And everything should go smoothly, with a smile…

By boat :

It is possible to go to Greece, by ferry (with or without a car) leaving from Italy.

Departure : Ancona (Venice or Trieste) custom and police formalities are quick, arrival at Patras.

Remember to book your crossing : www.greekferries.gr 

To get to the island of Andros

Take the boat from the port of Rafina (20 to 30 minutes from Athens airport (metro).

There is 2 hours of journey – price per person: 19, -€. Dimitri, Sophie’s friend is responsible for all the boat bookings.

You will arrive at GAVRIO. The port of arrival of the ferries is surrounded by sandy beaches but the village itself is far from being the « liveliest » place to reside, the village « goes to sleep » as soon as the ferry leaves. There are many terraces to have a drink or a meal.

You will be greeted at the arrival of the ferry by Sophie or Dimitri, a car will take you to the hotel KARANASOS, Batsi (at 7km from Gavrio), where we stay.

Karanasos hotel

Karanasos hotel

Karanasos Hotel

https://www.google.be/maps/place/Karanasos+Hotel/@37.855194,24.7838088,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xcb074a09df78a1cb

Batsi – Andros
Batsion 845 03
Greece +30 2282 041480

For more information about the island of Andros see

http://www.grecehotels.com/cyclades/andros/index.htm 

To get to Athens

  • Taxi 
  • Beware of swindling on the on prices, which tend to increase for tourists!
  • Normal price: € 35 during the day and € 50 at nighttime. 

Metro

  • Clean, quick, no waiting, a means of transport that I recommend
  • Athens centre to airport: € 8
  • Classic unit ticket: €1.40

Express bus

  • Airport-Athens centre: € 4

Rent a car on spot

Example of price: € 240 for a week and € 500 for 15 days (book through your travel agency, the vehicle will be waiting for you at the airport). 

Formalities :

(For European nationals) valid identity card, or passport

Car: national driving licence + grey card + green card (gasoline prices can vary from a station to another and is very expensive, more than €2 per litre for diesel).  

Practical information 

  • Time difference between France or Belgium and Greece: + 1 hour
  • The currency is the Euro

Opening of banks :

  • Monday to Friday: from 8:30 to 13:00
  • 24 hours a day at Athens airport.
  • There are ATM’s only in big cities. 

Other additional information :

  • Find a ‘hotel’ in Athens
  • ‘Greek Cuisine’
  • Health information in Greece

Visa application for India

For your Ashtanga Yoga workshop at Mahābalipuram in India, below are the necessary administrative formalities.

Formalities at the date of 28 February 2016 :

You need a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure).
You must obtain a visa (mandatory) that can be obtained at the Consulate of India in your country.

Visa India

On the website of the Indian Centre of your country for Visa applications :

  • You can obtain the forms and fill them in,via the Internet.
  • You will need two identity photos size 5 cm x 5 cm
  • Price: 80 €
  • Allow a week to get your in Belgium. (BECAREFULL: for some foreigners – like the British – it can take longer ) 

Caution: always check on the official website of the Embassy, the formalities can change !

 

The Indian Embassy 

  • Belgium: indembassy.be 
    217, Chaussee de Vleurgat, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.
    Working hours : 9.00 AM to 5.45 PM from Monday to Friday
    1.00 PM to 1.45 PM Lunch
    Telephone Numbers : +32 (0)2 6409140 & +32 (0)2 6451850
    Fax Number : +32 (0)2 6451869 (Consular wing) & +32 (0)2 6489638
  • France: http://www.ambinde.fr   
    15 Rue Alfred Dehodencq, 75016 Paris, France
    Tel. : 00 33 1 40 50 70 70
    Fax : 00 33 1 40 50 09 96
    Métro (Subway) : La Muette (Line no 9)

 

Indian Centre for Visa applications 

      http://www.ppcfr.lnk.visafirst.fr/fr/fr_visas

 

Pongal, the Festival of rice harvest and of cows

Pongal is the festival of rice harvest and thankfulness. Generally it is celebrated with the family, at home, and lasts four days. It is one of the most colourful festivals in South India. It is based on the solar calendar. It is a bit like an Indian Easter. The houses are thoroughly cleaned. The mistress of the house (with the help of her daughter) draws a Rangoli or Kolam in front of the door on the street. The cows are painted and decorated. There is a ritual of boiling rice with cane sugar and spices in a big pot, until it boils over and bubbles out of the vessel; it is then shared with everybody.

 

In Tamil Nadu, the festival lasts four days.

Pongal is a secular festival celebrated throughout India on the 14th of January. It is called Makara samkrānti. The sun reverses its course from the Tropic of Sagittarius (Dhanu Rachi) to the Tropic of Capricorn (Makara Rachi) or the Tropic of Crocodile (makara). “Samkrānti “ means “the movement of the sun from one sign of the zodiac to another”. There are thus twelve “samkrānti“, that are considered auspicious days, suggesting a new beginning or the beginning of a phase of good omen in the Indian culture…

Makara samkrānti is the call for the awakening all the latent powers in man, not only for the development of his individual personality to its fullest potential but also for the well being and glory of society as a whole.

The Hindu philosophy praises the human activity considering it a supreme value without which nothing can be achieved in life. In a Subhaashita it is said:

Udyamam saahasam dhairyam buddhisshaktih paraakramaha |

Shadete yatra vartante tatra devaassahaayakrit | |

The Gods will help those who display the six attributes : activity, boldness, courage, wisdom, strength and courage

The very last śloka (श्लोक) of the Bhagavad-Gītā (भगवद्गीता) also highlights the supreme necessity of the human efforts in every field of human attainment:

Yatra yogeshwarah Krishno yatra Paartho dhanurdharah |
Tatra shreervijayo bhootirdhruvaa neetirmatirmama | |

Wherever there is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, and wherever there is Partha (Arjuna), the archer, there will indeed abide, victory, Prosperity, glory, and righteousness. 

The first day (Bhogi Pandigai), during the entire night, the children pound on a small hand drum around a bonfire where old used fabrics, clothing and mats are discarded and burnt, symbolizing the destruction of evil. Traditionally the clay kitchen utensils were broken, marking thereby the start of a new life. Decorative patterns or rangolis are drawn on the ground in front of each house.

The second day (Thai Pongal), early in the morning, recently harvested rice is boiled in new clay pots with fresh milk and molasses or brown cane sugar, and cardamom, while leaving the mix to boil over and bubble out of the vessel in order to attract Gods’ goodwill. People prepare snacks and deserts, pay visits to each other and exchange greetings.

The third day (Maattu Pongal) is dedicated to honouring the cows and buffalos that serve for working in the fields. They are painted with patterns, embellished with flowers and fed with new rice before being taken for a walk in the streets to the sound of festive music.

In certain villages, the attraction of the day may be a quite violent race of young bulls, called Jallikattu, or a race of bullock-carts.

During the last day (Kaanum Pongal), the young people used to meet on the banks of rivers to look for a future spouse but this practice has nowadays fallen into disuse. During this period people eat sugar canes and also use them to decorate their homes. Also, men try to catch bundles of currency notes from the horns of bulls.

The festival has also an astrological signification: it marks the beginning of the Uttarayana period, during which, for six months, the sun takes its most northern journey in the sky. In Hinduism Uttarayana is considered as a favourable period, when important events are planned.

 

Mahābalipuram, you can during your current session of Ashtanga Yoga in the month of January participate in rich colors and music event, in fact the “ Tourism Office ” organizes each year for these festivities of the Pongal, a visit to a traditional village.

Om Shanti

Massage at Mahābalipuram

Seek peace of mind and well being of the body through the ancient knowledge of the Ayurveda. After an Ashtanga Yoga session, I would recommend an Ayurveda massage with Krishna. Ladies can also have beauty care with Jessy.

The benefits of massage…

Ayurveda means “ Life awareness ”. It is the traditional medicine of India, the most ancient therapeutic system in the world. The sources of Ayurveda are found in the Vedas, representing 5000 years of continuous history and knowledge. It is a holistic approach of the human being.

This science aims to re-establish the balance of the human organism at the level of the body, mind and soul through the therapeutic and curative action of oils, plants and minerals.

« The ultimate goal of the Ayurveda is spiritual fulfilment. »

The Ayurveda philosophy is based on giving a treatment in order to create a new homeostasis for the body using plants, nutrients, massage, yoga or meditation.

« Every illness is a step towards healing, all bad and all pains are harmonization with nature towards good, every death is an opening towards immortality. Why is it so? It is the secret of God that only the souls who are purified from selfishness can understand. »
Sri Aurobindo

Panchakarma or the five steps (of the cleaning process) :

  1. Snehana : ingestion of ghī ( ghee, clarified butter).
  2. Virechana : a light purge usually based on the use of Neem oil.
  3.  Swedhana : sweating in a similar way as in a hammam ( Soft steam bath, 40° warm)
  4.  Basti: a light colon enema
  5.  Abhyanga: several hot oil massages given by experienced physiotherapists.

Different massages for Vata, Pitta et Kapha

  • Abhyanga : full body oil massage
  • Udvartana: detoxing and slimming massage with chickpea flour.
  • Pinda svéda: with rice pudding or sand plant poaches, to heat the body and stimulate sweating in order to eliminate toxins.
  • Pichauli : hot oil massage by 4 hands.
  • Padaghat: deep massage given by the physiotherapist using his feet!
  • Pizzichili: massage given on a special table allowing a hot oil bath.
  • Shirodhara: a treatment that consists of letting herbal oil at mild temperature run smoothly over the forehead of the patient. Origins of the word: composed of two Sanskrit terms: Shira = forehead et Dhara = flow.
    It is one of the steps of the panchakarma.  The liquids that are used can include oil, milk, buttermilk, or coconut water. Shirodhara has a clarifying and calming effect on the mind and enhances cognitive functions. Shirodhara can help entering a state of profound relaxation.
  • And many others …

Duration: from 45 min to 2 hours according the type of massage
Duration of a treatment: from 3 days to 4 weeks depending on the treatment

Our Ayurveda partners at Mahābalipuram

  • For massage:

Krishna Kumar, he works at the Greenwoods Hotel, Othavadai Cross Street.
ayurkrishna2005@yahoo.com
Price: from 1000 rupees to 2000 rupees depending on the type of massage, packaging possibilities for therapy.

  • For an Ayurveda medicine consultation

Doctor Arathi in Ayurveda medicine, young and friendly lady. Sri Durga, 36 Othavadai Street (just by the Moonrakers Restaurant) first floor.
Price: Consultation 200 rupees

  • For the beauty care

Mrs Jessy Ravi (Ayurveda Beautician), The Mayuri ayuvedic Massage Beauty Parlour, 5, Othavadai Street.
Price: from 250 rupees to 2000 rupees depending on the type of care.

Prices for the lessons Ashtanga Yoga Institute 2018 / 2019

Required membership card € 30,00, valid for 1 year from September to September

  Price Price per lessons  
1 lesson / trial lesson (1h30) 25 € 25 €
1 private lesson (1h) 80 € Only by appointment
Card : Price  Price per lesson (1h30)  
  • 10 lessons
150 € 15 € per lesson Valid for 3 months
  • 20 lessons
260 € 13 € per lesson Valid for 3 months
  • 30 lessons
375 € 12,5 € per lesson Valid for 3 months
  • Annual 1 lesson
 600 € 11 € per lesson 1 lesson per week
  • Annual 2 lessons
1100 € 10 € per lesson 2 lessons per week
  • Annual 3 lessons
1500 €  9 € per lesson 3 lessons per week
  • Discontinuation fees : 100 €
Intensive Morning
(of 9 to 12= 3h )        
 Price 
1 intensive morning 50 €
2 intensives, same WE 95 €
10 intensives 450 €

To offer a lesson, go too “Go” boutique ! 

Payment in Euros by :
International postal order (Very low cost) addressed to :
JCG – SCS, Ashtanga Yoga Institute
Chaussée d’Alsemberg, 610
1180 Brussels – Belgium
Bank transfer – Bank :
ING – Uccle DE BUE – 1180 Brussels –
Telephone: 00.32.2 348 47 80 – Fax: 00.32.2 348 47 89
SWIFT or BIC de la ING : BB RU BE BB 
IBAN: BE 34 3630 0145 0390
Account n° ING 363-0014503-90Cancellation fee: 100 € per person

You can gather a small group of friends (3 or 4 people) and discover Ashtanga Yoga together. Choose the time of your lesson and organize a session adapted to your needs, learn the basics or go deeper into the method.

The instruction given at the Ashtanga Yoga of Brussels is true to the Yoga Korunta transmitted by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois at the l’Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore – Karnataka South India.

Teachers who regularly gives classes at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute are: Jean Claude Garnier, Jan Janssen, Sergine Laloux, and the team of substitute teachers: Annette, Bernadette, Catherine, Ivan, Mary, Simon …

Gaja Lakshmi

Gaja Lakshmi

Financial difficulty ! So it is not an obstacle, contact the Institute by mail or letter.