A Sutra a Day: III-24 – Concentration as a Muscle

   Is it possible to think your way into being strong or flexible or healthy or kind or rich? Lord knows, wouldn’t we would like to think our way to being independently wealthy, handsome and adored? Or any number of other wishes to be granted. We might want be immortal or a perfect weight or successful in our careers. In this chapter of Patanjali’s Sutra on the cultivation of exceptional faculties, III-24 says that when one has perfect concentration on an elephant, for instance, one can gain physical strength. T.K.V. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-24 – Strengthening a Quality

  I’ve been with Daniel, my husband, for 20 years now. We met in a workshop called ‘Love, Intimacy and Sexuality’, became friends, and fell in love. These workshops, organised through the Human Awareness Institute, are led by Americans, and the one that I attended had a married couple as facilitators. I’d come through years of difficult romantic relationships and was ready to learn how to have a successful one. I admired the facilitators’ relationship and, I’m a little embarrassed to admit, put them up on a pedestal. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-21 – Invisibility: A Power or a Weakness?

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If you are a teacher, you may have had similar experiences to mine when I’ve tried to remember after a class I taught who had been in attendance.  When I’ve engaged in conversations with students as they were paying at the end of a class, I’d tend to forget to mark them off the role. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-20 – Dropping Assumptions

A Sutra a Day: III-20 – Dropping Assumptions

For part of my very early childhood years, my home was a dangerous place. Without going into details, there were often violent scenes. I learned a survival strategy which in psychological terms is called ‘hypervigilence’, and it carried over into my adult years.
I was adept at scanning my environment for perceived threats, whether they were sights, sounds, people, behaviours, or smells, and I would do this even when there was little likelihood of danger. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-19 – What Does It Mean?

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I’ve had it in mind for years to write my life story. I suppose I lot of people have the idea of recording their memoirs. I actually did have a go at composing my story, but for the time being it remains just an inactive file in my computer.
I do have a first paragraph for you to read, though:

I don’t know how someone younger than 60 odd years can write about herself with any objectivity, and I’m not even saying that I can. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-18 – More Unpacking Patanjali

A Sutra a Day: III-18 – More Unpacking Patanjali

It’s so very interesting to me – the way what I read or see or hear is open to wide interpretation when compared to others’ understanding, even when we’ve been exposed to the same phenomena. I guess part of what yoga offers us is a system that exposes the filters we have over what we consider our reliable organs of perception.
This is to be expected when we consider the social conditioning and heredity that varies so much among the 7 billion people on the planet. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-17 – Clean Slate Coming

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Recently I’ve been through a painful situation involving close friends. It would seem that difficulties arose because of miscommunications, faulty memories, and judgments.
Although the unresolved situation has just resurfaced, it has been going on for decades, so long that it would take a private investigator working for months to unravel what was said and what was done.
I tried to avoid the bad feelings I had been experiencing over the years by stuffing them down, and just getting on with ‘the rest of my life’. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-16 – Not So Many Moons

A Sutra a Day: III-16 – Not So Many Moons

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Reading this weekend’s SMH newspaper, I came across some pieces in the  magazine section that related to longevity. Let me tell you, this subject becomes more and more interesting as I age.
Toward the end of this year, I will celebrate my 68th birthday. Like most sexagenarians, I have no idea how I accumulated that number of years. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-15 – Vegie Dreaming

A Sutra a Day: III-15 – Vegie Dreaming


I’m a city girl, born and bred. But, I always dreamed about being able to grow my own foods in the country…one day.
I’m also a sort of a know-nothing about how to do this growing produce thing. Fortunately, I’ve had some pretty switched on people around me, notably Peter Nixon and my housemate Heather.
Peter has been trying to teach me to be a patient gardener, starting in a logical sequence with the all-important rich soil. He recommended we make our own soil through the no-dig method, easy-peasy, he seemed to say. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-14 – Recommended Reading

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I’ve been going along with my blog theme A Sutra a Day now for five months. Picture me every night sitting down at my messy desk, thumbing through up to eight Patanjali Sutra texts by various translator/commentators.
After reading each interpretation, I think about what I’ve read and then overlay a map of my life to see if there are any points of intersection. Sometimes I’m lucky and, bingo, the fit is serendipitous. […]