Our Centre Community: Darryl Jagannath Janyk

Patri and Jagannath

Patri and Jagannath

I am an original West Coaster. I grew up in Coquitlam (a suburb of Vancouver) back when it was still rural. The natural world was always a fascinating playground to me. As a child there were few fences and the neighbourhood children played everywhere. We especially enjoyed playing in the forest and a ravine near our homes which had a year round stream with trout. Our family went family camping every summer for several weeks each year. Every summer vacation our family explored the paved highways of BC, and Washington State. Religion was not a part of our family life. I occasionally went to church out of curiosity as the Boy Scouts of which I was a member encouraged it, but the concept of “God” was not a daily part of my life.

Jagannath and older brother, 1956

Jagannath and his older brother, 1956

By the time I was twelve years old I had become disenchanted by the growing consumerism I saw everywhere. All the new suburbs and malls appalled me and were destroying all my old childhood haunts. It seemed that everywhere the natural world I loved was being destroyed. I knew I could not stay in the city. I wanted to live somewhere on the coast away from the city. Nevertheless I continued living in the suburbs while I went to High School with the idea of becoming an engineer.

Patri, Jagannath and Kirti, Christmas 1983

Patri, Jagannath and Kirti, Christmas 1983

I spent my grade 12 year running a mixing board for a high school rock band that played every weekend and practiced all week. Becoming a “Rock Band” member conflicted with life at home with my parents so I rented a house with 3 friends. This became one of the many party houses common in the early seventies.

Working on the land, 1986

Working on the land, 1986

However I quickly tired of the party lifestyle and began visiting a local health food store and decided to become a vegetarian. I read Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi.” Fasting also became part of my health regime. My mother had started taking Hatha yoga classes so I read Kareen Zebroff’s books on yoga and nutrition and started a daily yoga routine. Around this time a friend and I decided to become initiated in the TM society. I was now 18 years old.


Building the Garden House, 1994

After high school I got a job as a technician for the phone company and worked in Sechelt. While working in Sechelt I continued to live in a cabin at the upper end of the Pitt River beyond the suburbs of greater Vancouver. Commuting daily from Pitt River to Sechelt on the Sunshine coast gave me 1 hour twice every day to meditate, do asanas and make and eat a raw food meal while riding on the ferry.

I met my wife Patri and we got married in 1976. What a blessing it is to have a life partner to share and experience life and learning. I started my building contracting company in 1979. Our daughter Kirti was born in 1981. What an amazing experience it is to raise a child. We are blessed again with seeing our granddaughter Takaya growing up now.

Sudarsan and Jagannath, Guru Purnima, 2001

Sudarsan and Jagannath, Guru Purnima, 2001

In 1983 we moved to Salt Spring Island to be in a more like-minded community. When we finished building our house we were invited by Raghunath to meet Babaji at the 1985 Easter retreat. His clear precise answers to all questions and the love and acceptance in his eyes convinced us this was a man to follow. Our family immersed ourselves in the Centre. Satsang, Sutra class, Bhagavad-Gita class, dish shifts, work projects Easter and Summer retreats became a major part of our lives. We feel so fortunate to have received Babaji’s teachings.

In 1994 I was asked by Babaji to become a pujari to help with the Centre’s yajna ceremonies. Yajnas are very powerful and it is a great privilege to help perform the various ceremonies whenever possible.

Jagannath was part of the panel of judges for the "Canadian Citizenship Quiz", 2001

Jagannath was part of the panel of judges for the “Canadian Citizenship Quiz”, 2001

In 2002 Kirti and I had the opportunity to travel in India and visit Sri Ram Ashram. What an amazing oasis in rural India. Seeing the children in their home and school and being able to work and play with them was a special lifetime experience. We also got to see the ashram revert to a normal routine after Babaji left.

One of the best lessons from Babaji is the concept of Karma yoga. Selfless service is something everyone can participate in. No matter what traps we fall into along our life journey we can always get back on the path with Karma Yoga. I used to visit Babaji every retreat with a list of questions of what to do with my life and he always replied ‘just keep doing what you are doing.” That is: make conscious decisions, stay focused and strive to do the best that I am able.

Asana of the Month: Salamba Sarvangasana

Salamba Sarvangasana/Shoulderstand Pose


Full Sarvangaasana

This asana feels amazing! You can actually feel your body changing inside as you invert. It is as if your cells start to sense that the world looks and feels different when upside down. Everything gets quiet and your breathing becomes more prominent as you respond to the balancing feeling in the body. How does your world feel when you change your view of it?

Sarvangaasana is sometimes called the Queen or mother of Asanas. The literal translation of salamba sarvangaasana is “good-for-all-of-you-pose.”


  • strengthens the entire body and creates harmony and balance in all systems
  • stretches the back of the neck and opens the chest
  • tones spinal nerves and brain
  • keeps the spine elastic and promotes longevity
  • provides calming and relaxing effect on the whole body

So, why not practice this tridoshic pose today and tomorrow and daily. Try it and see how your world feels upside down.

Preparation for Sarvangasana

It is a good idea to prepare for shoulderstand by practicing standing poses followed by downward-facing dog and some simple backbends. If going upside down is new for you, first try viparita karani mudra/reverse posture mudra.

Simple Steps to Enter Sarvangasasana

From tuck pose to full pose

Bring your knees to your forehead and hands to your mid-back before transitioning to the full pose

bring your knees to your forehead and hands to your mid-back

  1. Lie flat on your back with arms at your sides and palms facing down. Bend your knees and your arms pushing your upper arms into the mat as you bring your knees to your forehead and hands to your mid-back (fingers point upwards towards the feet). Rest here for a breath or two. Roll your shoulders under a little here.
  2. Support yourself with your hands on your back as you straighten your legs.
  3. Breathe naturally as you appreciate your beautiful feet.

Transition to Halasana/Plough Pose & Back to Sarvangasana

Transition to Halasana / Plough pose

Transition to Halasana / Plough pose

  1. Stretch up with the right foot, exhale slowly and lower leg to the ground. Allow the left leg to follow.
  2. Readjust your feet so that you are on your toes. Keep legs straight.
  3. Readjust your shoulders and arms to open up a little more. Rest here.
  4. Stretch up with the right leg to Sarvangasana again and feel how your body has adjusted slightly. Admire your feet as you breathe.
  5. Repeat with the left leg, and exhale slowly stretching leg up and then down to the ground. Find your pose here. Yummy!!!

Transition to Karna Pidasana/Ear to Knee Pose

Ear to knee pose

Karna Pidasana/Ear to Knee Pose

  1. From halasana exhale slowly and gently bend your knees. Breathe here.
  2. Maybe your knees will hug your ears and you can tune in to your blood circulating inside your head as all other sounds disappear.
  3. Or maybe your knees gently find the ground beside your ears and you feel an additional stretch.
  4. Either way, hold here for several breaths before you gently roll out with legs bent. Try keeping your thighs on your chest for as long as you can.
  5. As your feet find the ground again, remain here for a few breaths before stretching out into jathara parivartanasana/reclining spinal twist or savasana/corpse pose.

About the Instructor


Andréa Mueller developed a daily practice starting in 2002 and completed her 200-hour teacher training in classical ashtanga and hatha yoga at SSCY in 2006. She is honoured to assist in YTT summer programs and yoga getaways at SSYC. Currently she is developing ways to integrate yoga practices at school when teaching younger children. Yoga continues to inspire and sustain her feeling of well-being and compassion on this earth. She looks forward to sharing practices and learning whenever the opportunity can be created.

Shiva Ratri 2014

ShivaThursday February 27, 2014

Join us at the Centre for Shiva Ratri, an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer.

Shiva Ratri is an opportunity to affirm your deepest sense of presence. Your deepest sense of authenticity. It is an opportunity to step into your heartiest sense of peace, creativity and warmheartedness towards all of creation. Coming together as a group increases the support and focus as we take up various centring and prayerful exercises which have been passed down through the millennia. Staying up all night with such focus and intention is a great way to sluff off any habits which keep us locked in stale and life denying patterns. Shiva is the archetypal epitome of the Yogis, and as such, many simple but powerful yogic practices will be engaged.

The day begins in the morning with the making of 1008 clay lingams, representing sahasrara chakra, the lotus of a thousand petals. The evening celebration will begin at sundown (6:30 pm) with arati, followed by kirtan to Shiva, mantra yoga, stories and asanas. There will be two pujas, one at midnight and one around 5 am, ending with arati. Then the lingams are carried to the pond and offered into the water.

If you are planning to make lingams and offer at one or both pujas, you must begin your fast by Wednesday February 26th at 8am and continue through the all-night Shiva Ratri celebration.

For further information, to register for a room, to sign up for lingam making or offering at either the midnight or 5 am puja, please contact Rajani: rajanirock@me.com or 250-537-9537.

There is no charge, but a donation to cover costs would be appreciated.

[expand title=”CLICK HERE to view the evening’s schedule.”]

6:30 pm Invocation, Arati, Hanuman Chalisa & Kirtan *
11:00 pm pm Forgiveness Prayers & Asanas
11:30 pm Kirtan
12:00 am Mantra Yajna
1:30 am Kirtan
4:00 am Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
4:30 am Kirtan
5:00 am Mahashivaratri Puja Yajna
6:30 am Procession to immerse lingams
7:00 am Breakfast

* Children can be with parents quietly until 9:30 pm. After 9:30 pm no children are to be in the house until morning Arati (about 6:00 am)

You are invited to participate in as much of the evening as you wish. There is no requirement to stay the entire evening.


We hope you will join us! All are welcome.

Learn more about Shiva and Shiva Ratri here.