Yoga Essentials

Opening Mantra

वन्दे गुरूणां चरणारविन्दे सन्दर्शितस्वात्मसुखावबोधे ।
निःश्रेयसे जाङ्गलिकायमाने संसारहालाहलमोहशान्त्यै ॥

vande gurūnāṃ caraṇāravinde sandarśita-svātma-sukhāvabodhe
niḥśreyase jāṅgalikāyamāne saṃsāra-hālāhala-moha-śāntyai ||
ābāhu-puruṣākāraṃ śaṅkha-cakrāsi-dhāriṇam |
sahasra-śirasaṃ śvetaṃ praṇamāmi patañjalim ||

I bow to the two lotus feet of the gurus,
Through which the understanding of the happiness in my own Soul has been revealed.
My ultimate refuge, acting like a snake doctor,
For the pacifying of the delusions caused by the poison of cyclic existence.

Who has the form of a human up to the arms,
Bearing a conch, a discus and a sword.
White, with a thousand heads,
I bow to Patañjali.

Closing Mantra

स्वस्ति प्रजाभ्यः परिपालयन्तां न्यायेन मार्गेण महीं महीशाः ।
गोब्राह्मणेभ्यः शुभमस्तु नित्यं लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।

svasti prajābhyaḥ paripālayantāṃ nyāyena mārgeṇa mahīṃ mahīśāḥ
go-brāhmanebhyaḥ śubham astu nityaṃ lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu ||
Oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ |

May the rulers of the earth protect the well-being of the people,
With justice, by means of the right path.
May there always be good fortune for cows, Brahmins and all living beings,
May the inhabitants of all the worlds be full of happiness.
Oṃ Peace, Peace, Peace!

The eight limbs

यम yama restraints
नियम niyama observances
आसन āsana posture
प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma breath/prana control
प्रत्याहार pratyāhāra sense withdrawal
धारणा dhāraṇā concentration
ध्यान dhyāna meditation
समाधि samādhi enlightenment


अहिंसा ahiṃsā non-violence
सत्य satya truthfulness
अस्तेय asteya non-stealing
ब्रह्मचर्य brahmacarya sexual control
अपरिग्रह aparigraha non-greed


शौच śauca
सन्तोष santoṣa
तपस् tapas
स्वाध्याय svādhyāya
ईश्वरप्रणिधान īśvara-praṇidhāna

मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥३३॥

maitrī karuṇā mudito-pekṣāṇāṁ-sukha-duḥkha puṇya-apuṇya-viṣayāṇāṁ bhāvanātaḥ citta-prasādanam ॥33॥

By cultivating an attitude of friendship toward those who are happy, compassion toward those in distress, joy toward those who are virtuous, and equanimity toward those who are non virtuous, lucidity arises in the mind.

Yogasūtra I.33

Yoga books

Yoga Mala – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The Original teaching of the Ashtanga Yoga master.

Ashtanga Yoga : Practice and Philosophy – Gregor Maehle. It’s a great manual for any Ashtanga Yoga practitioner.

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali – Edwin F. Bryant. One of the most comprehensive translation and commentary of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

The Gita for Children – Roopa Pai. The Bhagavad Gita is a traditional text and might not be easy to read at first, but Roopa Pai’s retelling makes it very accessible and relevant to modern life.

The Truth of Yoga – Daniel Simpson. A comprehensive yet accessible guide to yoga history, philosophy and practices.

yogi’s morning essentials
Courtesy of
ayurvedic yoga oil bath

Taking Ayurvedic oil baths is a part of the self healing practice of any Ashtanga Yoga students. Click here for the full description.


Diet is a very important aspect of our health and well-being. The food we eat exercises an effect not only on our body but also on our emotional and mental state. The traditional “yogic diet” is lactose-vegetarian and classically called Sattvic – pure and balanced. Foods included in this diet are fresh, juicy, nutritious, and tasty, thus including the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted grains, roots, tubers, nuts, cow milk, curd, and honey. 

Apart from what is traditionally adviced for a yoga practitioner, diet should always be a personal choice and applied accordingly to one’s individual needs and circumstances. A healthy diet should be primarily nutritious and supporting the body/mind optimal functionalities.

A healthy, balanced organic diet provide the best nutrients but sometimes might be necessary to add some specific supplements to achieve the right level of nutrients that the body need for optimal health. That’s because for various reasons (ie metabolism, life style, the place we live etc) we are not able to absorb or metabolise the right amount of some nutrients. The ones that we all are often deficient are vitamin D, B12, Folic Acid, Magnesium – all essentials for a great multitude of vital functions in our body/mind system.

If you are considering adding supplements to your diet to recover health, energy levels, mental clarity and all round well-being, please check out In Health Supplements. They are the product of the research of Doctor of Chiropractic and Functional Nutrition Simon Billings and are developed to optimise the benefits of neuro-mechanical care with a profound understanding of the functional ranges of nutritional status. They are based on scientific research, of the highest quality, with the right dosage and at a very affordable price. In their website you have to register as “patient” to purchase these vitamins and if you do please select “Emanuele Rossi” as your practitioner in the list of practitioner.

योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्

Yoga is skill in action

– Bhagavad Gita 2.50


In a passage of the Bhagavad Gita, Indra asked some questions to the great warrior Yudhisthira in the forms of riddles.
Answer all the questions and send me an email. If they are correct you win a free Mysore class 🙂

– What is faster than the wind?
– What is more numerous than blades of grass?
– What is the biggest enemy?
– What is the most amazing thing?