A Sutra a Day: III-48 – Uncommon Senses

A Sutra a Day: III-48 – Uncommon Senses

I live in a part of the world where a “sense feast” is presented to me every day. And since I am semi-retired, I mostly have time to linger over this repast.
I wake up to the sweet bell-like song of eastern rosellas and look across green meadows to see cattle grazing. These summer mornings are humid and languorous, with earthy odours rising from the vegetable patches. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-46 – Yoga Grace and Beauty

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Do you know people who radiate inner beauty? I do.
These are the individuals who may not have all their features arranged perfectly or be a perfect size 10. But you just want to be close to them and hang out with them; you hope a little of their light rubs off on you.
The good news is that, if you can see positive qualities in another person, you have the template within you for creating what you admire in them. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-45 – What is the 'Extra' in Extraordinary?

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I’m looking forward to leading a Patanjali’s Sutra study group in the new year. From writing daily posts to the theme of ‘A Sutra a Day’ on this blog, I’ve wondered how it might be to interact in person with people who are interested how this philosophy fits with yoga practice and everyday life.
Concepts like ease and firmness (Sthira and Sukha) from Patanjali’s Sutra II:46 are useful as they can be applied more widely than just to asana practice. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-43 – Action & Reaction

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I’ve said things I regret saying. I’m not talking about ancient history. This is something that happened just yesterday. And, to someone to whom I profess love – my husband.
Do you know that feeling of wishing you could take back your words? The best thing you can do is to redeem the situation is say sorry, but the problem is the words have been said. They’ve disturbed the person’s aura. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-42 – Lightness of Being

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The feeling of heaviness inhibits; the feeling of lightness confers great freedom… to make the changes and transformations that are indispensable to life.*
Here are a few things I’ve done at different times in my life to create the quality of lightness:
1. Emotional cleansing – you know those occasions when you bare your heart to a compassionate other and it enables you let go of guilt, negativity, judgment, righteousness and all those things that were weighing you down.
2. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-41 – Do You Diet?

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Opinions on what constitutes a good/perfect diet abound, not the least in the yoga world.
One diet that’s had a lot of press is the severely restricted calorie diet; it’s meant to promote long life, although it may limit your opportunities to socialise.
The low carb diet is popular around here because those pesky carbohydrates are reputed to stack weight on your body. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-39 – Levitation and More

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The Sutra of Patanjali are full of interesting constructs and concepts which might just be every bit as helpful in modern times as they were in ancient history.
For instance, Sukhasana and Sthira – ease and firmness – are reminders of how to balance our lives when we’re off the mat as well as on it.
Ten Yama and Niyama add up to a code of ethics that can help us sail through life in a skilful way.
Today’s sutra is a rather strange sounding one but it is better […]

A Sutra a Day: III-38 – Responsible Teaching

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Over the years, I’ve tried to sublimate my personality to my teaching. This hasn’t been an easy process as I like to be the centre of attention, and I know that especially in my early years of teaching, I had to overcome being a show-off.
Yoga teachers have a big responsibility to their students. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-37 – Best Yoga Practice for Your Stage & Age

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In Hindu traditional society, a yoga practitioner is meant to vary the practices he does according to the stage of life he’s in. We modern yogis would do well to consider such a template for living, as it would help us cover the bases for optimum spiritual development.
The four stages are called ashrama* in  Sanskrit, and they are: brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa.
The first stage includes youth/students from ages 8 to 25 years. This is when one is growing up and assimilating knowledge and values. […]