A Day with Maria Pamoukian

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Supported headstand. Salamba (supported) sirsa (head) is linked to the 7th, final chakra, the sahasrara (1,000 petaled lotus) is refered to as the King of asanas. This asana links individual consciousness with universal consciousness.

I am particularly honored to introduce Maria Pamoukian on ILoveMe!

Maria Pamoukian is a Yoga Guru & Jivamukti Aficionado, a vibrant soul, a glowing presence… and warmth personified.

She was my first yoga teacher, and she completely drew me into her passion. A wonderful journey has begun for me ever since! Once you enter Maria’s sacred universe, every inch of your being melts into her magic made of mystical compassion, universal chants, and meditative motions.

Jivamukti yoga is the form of practice she has chosen a while ago and she works every day, meticulously honing her skills by sharing her knowledge in the best way possible. Behind what seems to be simple and rather obvious guidance, outshines her sense of perfectionism and rigor. Her every motion exudes her talent while remaining accessible and humble. Her personal everyday stories told with disarming candor and openness reveal a deep and old soul. Her profound wisdom and limitless compassion make her simply “brilliant”.

 

 

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Named after the sage Ashtavakra- eight (ashta) deformities (vakra) “It is what is inside that counts, and not the outward physical body”

 

So truly, “Namaste” Maria Pamoukian, for I bow to the divine in you 🙂

Namaste Myriam (while hands joined in prayer she greets me with her shining smile).

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Virabadhasana III: The warrior fights the good fight, shooting the thunder bolt with steady, conscious intention.

 

 How did you come to Yoga and what has it meant for you in your life?

I started practicing Yoga in 2007, taking Vinyasa Flow classes in Abu Dhabi. Almost as soon as I started practicing, I was invited by my teacher to attend a Jivamukti Yoga workshop in Dubai. I attended, fell in love, and completed my teacher training in 2011.

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Camatkarasana: “The ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.”‘ aka the Rock Star Pose

 

 Why has your focus as a teacher been on Jivamukti yoga?

I came to the Jivamukti Method not having explored much of what’s out there, and didn’t even research other training options. I just knew that the Method was the right one for me, and didn’t hesitate to commit myself.

While I currently explore other avenues of learning and actively take courses abroad in anatomy and philosophy –two aspects of the Yoga practice that interest me deeply – I always return to the Method and to my teachers, taking classes with senior teachers at least once a year. I believe being a good student is an important requirement of a good teacher.

The Jivamukti method is centered around 5 tenets, or pillars: Ahimsa (non-violence towards oneself and others); Bhakti (devotion); Shastra (study of scripture); Dhyana (meditation); and Nada (sound body and mind through listening). These pillars are used as the means to liberation and enlightenment for all beings, and individually represent a specific, tangible practice. Each one is practical and accessible to everyone regardless of age, gender, and race.

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Chatturanga Dandasana: Chattu (four) anga (limbs)

 

What do you really love about teaching yoga?

I love teaching as it offers me both the opportunity to share the Jivamukti method and learn how to practice the teachings themselves. I am always reminded of the two key pieces of advice I received from my teachers: 1) students who come to class are not “my” students, but students of Yoga; and 2) as teachers we are not here to help others, but merely to serve.

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In Transition: Because life and all of its experiences are always in transition.

 

What is the question you would like me to ask you and what would be your answer? 

If asked, “What is Yoga?” I would respond with: “What Yoga is not…”

Not a religion or a dogma;

Not an outward practice but an inner journey;

Yoga doesn’t give; it takes away: slowly eroding the outward layers of identity and attachment, providing solace in just be-ing.

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Navasana: The boat that supports us lives in us, allowing us to support others.

 

Jivamukti yoga in motion

A fundamental aspect of the Jivamukti Method is the way in which “asana” is defined. Commonly referred to as “posture”, the Method takes a more holistic and profound approach towards this sacred Sanskrit word. Asana is the seat we take, in relation to the Earth, the environment, and all beings around us. The “asanas” that are practiced during a Yoga class remind us of the qualities and attributes of the world around us; from sages to objects to people and even animals. In this way we are reminded that we are all one, in union.

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Vrikshasana: Vriksha (tree). Ground down with deep roots as you remember to sway with the wind of change.

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