Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others

Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others

Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others

Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others


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This intimate and insightful account of the life of Dr. Harry (Hari) Dickman, referred to by Swami Sivananda as “the yogi of the West,” features more than fifty years of correspondence between Dickman and well-known yoga masters such as Swami Sivananda, Ramana Maharshi, Paramhansa Yogananda, and almost one hundred others. Marion (Mugs) McConnell, Dickman’s student, has created a brilliant and loving tribute to her teacher, who founded the Latvian Yoga Society in the early 1930s and later spread his knowledge in the U.S. with the blessings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. Offering a broad range of information on yoga history, theory, and techniques from a variety of different paths, Letters from the Yoga Masters contains a treasure trove of previously unavailable material and presents detailed teachings about pranayama, mudras, diet, and much more, all interwoven with stories and personal anecdotes. Taken together, the rare correspondence and personal chronicles provide an unparalleled glimpse into the life of a yogi, the development of yoga in the West, and the ways that spiritual wealth is disseminated across generations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623170356
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Marion (Mugs) McConnell was first introduced to yoga as a teenager in 1973. She has been practicing yoga ever since, and teaching since 1978. Her passion for this ancient practice and its many boundless layers of wisdom beyond the physical led her to study under Swami Vishnudevananda. She graduated from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre as a Yoga Acharya in 1978. In 1977 Mugs became a student of Yogiraj Dr. Hari Dickman, a disciple of Swami Sivananda and Paramhansa Yogananda.

Mugs has been the Canadian Representative for the International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA) since 1982. She is a founding member (1995) of the South Okanagan Yoga Academy and cocreator of its teacher-training program, a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS200/300 advanced), unique in its adherence to IYTA standards. She is an Experienced Registered Teacher with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT500) and has served on the Yoga Alliance Standards Committee since 2012. In 2012 Mugs received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for offering yoga in Canada and abroad for nearly forty years. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation from IYTA in recognition of her contributions to yoga around the world.

Although Mugs is a disciple of the Sivananda tradition, her more recent teachers have included Namadeva Acharya in mantra therapy and Erich Schiffmann in Freedom Yoga, as well as Rod Stryker, Dharma Mittra, Mark Stephens, Ganga White, and Tracey Rich. These teachers have created a platform for Mugs to take her great love and respect of classical yoga and weave it together with modern-day wisdom, ensuring her students are always exposed to yoga right back to its roots.
Mugs has been leading yoga teacher trainings for twenty years. She currently holds trainings four times a year and manages SOYA teacher trainings, which are held annually in four additional SOYA satellite locations in British Columbia, Alberta, and Mexico. She presents workshops in Canada, the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Australia. Mugs is a regular contributor to the IYTA International Light magazine and manager of the SOYA monthly e-newsletter for the past eight years.

Mugs lives with her husband, Robert, in British Columbia and Mexico. Letters from the Yoga Masters is her first book.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xv

Foreword xxi

Preface xxiii

Introduction xxv

Chapter 1 Hari and the Yoga Masters 1

Paramhansa Yogananda 6

Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh 13

Sri Ramana Maharshi 21

Chapter 2 The Eight Limbs of Yoga 27

Ahimsa 33

Understanding Brahmacharya 37

Hari and Brahmacharya 40

Chapter 3 Asana 47

Asana on the Beach in Latvia 48

Chandra Namaskar 52

Chapter 4 Pranayama 55

Exhale from the Lower Lungs 55

Controlled Lower Abdomen 57

Kumbhak Pranayama with Bhavana 68

Sahita Kumbhaka 70

The Bandhas 71

Pranayama Techniques 74

Kapalabhati 74

Sukha Purvak Pranayama 75

Nadi Shodhana 77

Anuloma Viloma 78

Ujjayi 81

Surya Bheda 82

Bhastrika 84

Shall and Sitkari 87

Bhramari 88

Murccha 92

Plavini Pranayama 95

Madhya Rechaka Pranayama 97

Dakshina and Vamana Rechaka Pranayamas 98

Agni Pradipta Pranayama 100

Chaturmukh Pranayama 101

Hridaya Stambha Pranayama 102

Nadi Avarodha Pranayama 106

Pranava Dhvanyatmaka Pranayama 107

Vibhaga Pranayama 109

Sarva Dvara Baddha Pranayama 113

Sapta Vyahriti Pranayama 114

Kevala Pranayama 116

Chapter 5 Mudras and Bandhas 119

Maha Mudra 120

Maha Bandha 121

Maha Vedha 122

Khechari Mudra 123

Amritpan Khechari 124

Viparitakarani Mudra 125

Vajroli Mudra 126

Shaktichalani Mudra 127

Order of Practice: Abhyasa Krama 129

Yoni or Shanmukhi Mudra 129

Shambhavi Mudra 132

Mudras in Pranatasana 137

Chapter 6 Pratyahara and Dharana 139

The Chakras as Transmitters of Energy 140

Pratyahara 142

Dharana 147

Chapter 7 Dhyana 161

Bandha Traya with Siddhasana for Meditation 162

Sivoham Meditation 164

Upanishad Mantra Meditation 165

Meditation for Healing the Sick 168

Chakra Meditation 169

Heart Meditation 175

Guhya Chakra Meditation 177

Shunya Dhyana 178

Shambhavi Mudra Meditation 180

Meditation on the Mantra Hrim 185

Meditation on Nad 188

Vedic Trinity Meditation 191

Meditation Using Drishtis 193

Japa and Ajapa Meditation 194

Meditation on the Guru or the Ishta Devata 197

Samyama 201

Atma Vichara Meditation 203

Paramhansa Yogananda on Meditation 209

Chapter 8 Kundalini Awakening and Samadhi 211

Chapter 9 Delicious Stories 227

Jesus As a Yogi 227

Spiritual Beginnings 236

Ashram Life 241

About a Guru 247

Astral Beings for the Good of All 249

The Lady and Lord Krishna 250

Ambubachi 251

Swara Yoga 252

The Seven Lokas-Life after Death 260

Epilogue 267

Appendix I 271

Appendix II 279

Glossary 281

Endnotes 299

Permissions 315

Index 317

About the Author 327

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