Magazine cover titled "common ground, September 2013" featuring a black and white image of a person performing a yoga pose, with text detailing contents related to yoga and an interview.

September 2013

September Yoga Issue

September is National Yoga Month, and we’re proud to be in our
fifth year of commemorating that initiative. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this edition as much as we did assembling it. For starters, we have a lengthy interview with Krishna Das, whose mellifluous voice has provided the musical backdrop for thousands of classes the world over.

Krishna Das’s story is unusually stirring. A talented musician in his teens, he brushed with becoming the lead singer for Blue Öyster Cult. Ram Das paved the way for Jeffrey’s first trip to India in 1970 and for a fateful meeting with their now-shared guru, Neem Karoli Baba, a great North Indian saint also known as Maharaj-ji. After this first visit, Jeffrey Kagel was renamed Krishna Das—servant of God.

A soon-to-be-released DVD titled One Track Heart shows how Krishna Das’s devotion flows unceasingly and how the path got rocky after Maharaj-ji died in 1973, leaving the disciple with overwhelming sadness and a protracted addiction to freebase cocaine while living in the Bay Area. Learn how he pulled himself together and blossomed to become “the chant master of the American yoga scene”—an attribution bestowed by the New York Times.

I am equally confident you’ll appreciate our People in Your Neighborhood Q&A with master teacher Mark Whitwell. Like Krishna Das, Mark first visited India in 1970, but followed in the footsteps of his idols, the Beatles. Little did he know that he too would meet his teacher, who is none other than Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, the grandfather of modern yoga. He lived to be 100 years old and mentored the likes of B. K. S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, to name just a few. Another beautiful coincidence: Mark, a native New Zealander, just moved into our neighborhood at the foot of Mount Tamalpais. Welcome, Mark.

Proudly, we feature a pictorial by Mario Covic called “Expressions of Nature,” which blends the photographer’s passion for the environment and yoga. Thanks so much, Mario, for what you do. And thanks too to Jasper Johal, who contributed the cover image. Jasper has been with us for five consecutive September covers. It’s hard to keep the September issues on the shelves, in part because Jasper’s covers are classic.

Much gratitude to the many other writers who submitted for this issue. These include Miranda Macpherson on the solemnity of trust, Prajna Vieira on the significance of hands-on adjustments, Chas August on life yoga, Rachel Meyer on the ephemeral nature of life, as well as Cator Shachoy on the connection between yoga and TMJ.

Wah! has contributed an essay on the energetic koshas; she will be leading her innovative Healing Concert at Urban Flow Studio in SF.

Finally, we look forward to seeing you at events coming together in September, beginning with Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree, followed by Symbiosis in Oakdale. John Friend visits the Yoga Tree studios—first time in awhile. Equally, the Being Human Conference is not something you want to miss, nor the SF Vegetarian Society’s annual celebration in Golden Gate Park.

As ever, we want to thank our advertisers whose vital support we cherish. If you like Common Ground, please show your endorsement by supporting our advertisers—the best.

Peace comes from within; yoga shows the way,


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