It looks like an interesting week ahead of us, in terms of planetary activity. On Wednesday August 26th at 3:02pm PDT, the Sun and Jupiter will make their annual conjunction at 9 degrees Leo, in Magha Nakshatra. The Sun is thought to represent the Atman (Soul) and Jupiter the Guru. When they come together we tend to feel good, both physically and psychologically. Magha is the largest and brightest of all the nakshatras. and Regulus (“little king”), the main star of this asterism, is one of the brightest stars in the heavens. Magha means “the Magnificent”. The ancient Vedic seers saw this constellation as a throne-- the throne representing all that we have inherited from our parents and ancestors. The ruling deities of Magha are called the Pitris—the Ancestors. The Pitris are Vedic deities who are entrusted with the responsibility of guiding the evolutionary course of the families who are entrusted to their care. As long as we stay on course, they tend to act as benign overseers in our lives. If we suffer a serious diversion from the right path the Pitris offer us protection and subtle guidance—kind of like guardian angels—so we can avoid disaster. With the Sun and Jupiter together in Magha, it is a good time to remember and be thankful for whatever legacy we have inherited from our ancestors, whether it is genes, roots, property, wealth, knowledge or status. The planetary ruler of Magha is Ketu, the south node of the Moon. Ketu is considered to be the guardian of our past karmas. Magha brings out the best in Ketu—penetrating insight, deep perception, and an independent spirit—qualities that are normally associated with the Sun. The Sun is the ruler of Leo and is strong in Magha. I’m predicting a good day tomorrow.
The full moon on Saturday August 29th at 11:35am PDT will be at 12 degrees Aquarius in the nakshatra known as Shatabhisha—“the Hundred Physicians”. On the same day, the first ever Third Series Training will come to a conclusion at the Ashtanga Yoga Center.. Since August 17th I’ve had the pleasure of hosting 40 advanced students of Ashtanga Yoga from all over the world. It’s quite a dedicated group of practitioners—highly motivated and very hard working—an ashtanga teacher’s dream, really. The Mysore classes have been huge and very sweaty. With so many people practicing third and fourth series, the studio almost has a circus like atmosphere—sometimes I catch the local students gawking at some visiting phenom displaying a combination of strength, flexibility, and agility. It’s certainly the most advanced group of students I’ve ever had gathered together at one time. Best of all, these people all seem to have some real depth and appreciation of what yoga is really all about. It seems fitting that the course will end on the full moon in Shatabhisha, a sign associated with healing and expansion of consciousness. I was born with my Sun in Shatabhisha so I have some familiarity with these themes and have been exploring them through yoga for nearly 40 years. My sincere hope is that something of real value is being transmitted during this course. The enthusiasm of the students is contagious—it almost makes me feel like starting to practice the third series again.