In the past I was taught by my yoga teachers that the word pratyahara meant ‘withdrawal of the senses’. You might have gotten this message, too, each time your teacher leads you through the yoga relaxation and says something like, ‘Now still the mind and draw your five senses inwards so they don’t distract you.’ That’s a big ask. […]
I heard of a good reason why it’s hard for us to concentrate on breathing or to meditate. It’s because we don’t really have much experience with staying focussed on just one thing at a time.
For example, I went for a beach walk today and, at the same time, was listening through my head phones to an audiobook. As I drove to the beach, I was thinking about my shopping list. […]
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At various junctures in my life, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do more reflective practices. Illness, medical conditions, surgery, even emotional upsets have done that to me – and I have no regrets. I seem to have to learn things the hard way.
During one of these periods in my life, I discovered the healing audio recordings of Richard C. Miller. […]
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Once a month I participate in an unusual event. My husband and the other men who belong to his men’s group invite their partners along to their meeting.
I don’t know who thought up the idea of us womenfolk coming along to join in, but I think it’s brilliant. […]
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My friend Michael went back to Pune, India to do classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Institute a few years ago – his previous visit having been 30 years before.
My impression was that Michael was not overly enthusiastic about the classes he attended; he did, however, receive a great suggestion from one of his classmates. […]
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Breathing is one of those things that is just there. Or, is it? Do you always remember to breathe when you’re practising yoga?
It seems to amuse my yoga students when I ask them to breathe – not because I’m trying to be funny but because they recognise it’s so easy to suppress breathing ‘when push comes to shove’. In the effort of attaining a challenging pose, relaxed breathing gets jettisoned.
There are many theories of how to breathe for best results when doing asanas or pranayama. […]
I’m a late bloomer when it comes to doing yoga breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. If you are similar to me – you like to be active both mentally and physically – it could take you awhile to settle down enough to savour the sweetness of these practices.
Until till then, you might be like an untrained puppy, bucking the leash. Perhaps avoiding the inevitable – even missing the fragrance of yoga.
This morning, at the end of my physical yoga practice, I lay down, and for some time I played with lengthening my inhalations and exhalations. […]
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Have you ever done a ten-day Vipassana course? I attended a couple of these meditation retreats, which are conducted completely in silence, in the 1980’s.
I didn’t think that the sitting/walking meditations would be challenging for me because I’d been doing yoga and therefore wouldn’t experience much bodily discomfort.
It’s true that I didn’t suffer as much as some people did from the hour-long sitting sessions. What I wasn’t expecting though was that, when the meditation room was quiet and my body was motionless, my mind would go into overdrive. […]
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I’ve always been intrigued by the human body and wanted to learn about it. Recently, I’ve been enjoying studying an anatomy and physiology course again. This is the 3rd one I’ve done over the years, but the first time on-line.
We’re so fortunate these days to be able to study with video lectures, monographs, articles, textbooks, and so on – no farther away than a click of a mouse. […]
This morning the pull of sun worship was irresistible. I found a quiet, sunny spot and sat listening to the bird song all around for about 10 minutes. […]
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Part of how we’re wired up as humans is that we are meaning-making machines. And part of how we create meaning in life is identifying with religion, God or a Higher Power.
Me, I avoid using the word spiritual or divine to describe myself. I guess I subscribe to the idea that if someone speaks of him/herself in that way that they are big-noting** themselves. […]
When I began writing the “Yoga Suits Her” blog a few years ago, I chose the title because I liked the play on words, not because I intended studying Patanjali’s Sutra.
But, son of a gun, that’s where I’ve ended up. That wily Old Sage has reeled me in, and it’s been a good thing too. Patanjali recommends in Sutra II-44 self-study of the sacred texts, and here I am finally doing it – after 41 years involvement with yoga. […]