Dharana

A Yoga Intensive Country-Style

A Yoga Intensive Country-Style

What is a yoga intensive?
We teachers often call yoga courses which run over several days ‘intensives’, but what does that mean? Are they really intense? Is that a contradiction in terms?
Another word that’s used these days for this type of course is ‘immersion’. I think that’s a better expression. Intensive brings up the sense of extreme or severe effort. Immersion is more like plunging in and steeping yourself in the content.
We’ve just completed a week of early morning classes at the Yoga Shed for 15 students. […]

The Case for Practising Meditation  

The Case for Practising Meditation  

guest post via Michael Hollingworth
The Facts
We all know that meditation is supposed to be good for us, but here are some facts that make a tight case for it.
Fact number one: The human brain is the most complex known object in the universe. There are 100,000 miles of circuitry – enough to go right round the earth four times. […]

Meditation – Free as a Bird?

Meditation – Free as a Bird?

The Bird
I spotted a satin bowerbird building his ‘love shack’ in a sheltered part of our garden. My Wiki source says that these clever birds are endemic to eastern Australia. If you’re from another part of the world and aren’t familiar with bower birds, here’s a pic of a male:

I’ve known for a long time that bowerbirds are collectors of objects. They especially love blue things: drinking straws, bottle caps, and clothes pegs, for instance. […]

It'll be January soon. Time to create your Yoga resolutions!

It'll be January soon. Time to create your Yoga resolutions!

I love yoga and I love my yoga practice.
I often hear from people that they would like to be able to do home practice but somehow they never quite get there. Maybe this describes your experience. You might have bought all the yoga gear, dvd’s, YogaAnywhere practice cards, books, but ended cup only doing self-practice for a short time. […]

Mulling Over the Meandering Mind

Mulling Over the Meandering Mind

While meditating this morning, I started to mentally create a to-do list. You may have had a similar experience; in the absence of other stimulation your mind starts to fill up the void with the overflow of your too-busy life. These might take the shape of conversations you had with people which you didn’t finish satisfactorily. Or, tasks that you promised completion of and then didn’t deliver. […]

Big Sky With Clouds: It's All Meditation

Big Sky With Clouds: It's All Meditation

I did a meditation this morning to the voice recording of Jon Kabat-Zin in which I was able to practice accepting my busy mind.
I know that meditation is supposed to be about stilling a chattering mind, but I think I’ve discovered a precondition to having a quiet mind, which is having a good look at what the mind is really up to.
In the case of moi, at the times when I’m sitting for meditation, my mind is most often planning, and especially busy creating new projects. […]

Best Ways of Cultivating Concentration

Source: flickr.com via Jessica on Pinterest

 
Yesterday I wrote about how difficult I find it, at times, to pay attention. I’m finding the practice of mindfulness meditation gradually helping me improve my concentration.
Another aid for focussing the mind is the practice of pranayama – attention to the breath. Today I wanted to link back to Patanjali and his Sutra regarding pranayama. […]

Is Your Mind Too Full? Try Being Mindful

Is Your Mind Too Full? Try Being Mindful

In our household of six, there are three of us who have cottoned onto mindfulness meditation.
Michael started it through his involvement in a course of study he is doing where there is a big emphasis on the importance of mindfulness.
And then, Daniel learned about and practised meditation in a structured nine-week course offered in Taree last year.
Finally after umpteen years of trying to meditate, I down-loaded some of Russ Harris and John Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness recordings to my iPhone, and climbed aboard the meditation bandwagon.
Now Daniel and I meditate together. […]

"Where Care Lodges, Sleep Will Never Lie"*

Source: taboragallery.com via Kaye on Pinterest

 
When I woke up in the dark today, and it was only 2:37am, I was hoping I would fall right back sleep. Instead I spent the next hour in the slipstream of my thoughts, not awake enough to still them and not sleepy enough to bypass them.
Finally, I did something I’ve never done before. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-33 – Tiny Instants of Time Add Up

Source: mostbeautifulpages.com via Michelle on Pinterest

 
For some reason, maybe because of teaching some workshops on ‘How to Work with Older Students’, I seem to be preoccupied with ageing. It may be because I am, er… getting on myself.
A newsletter landed in my email today from my friend and colleague Maggi, who was writing about ‘Age and Attitude’. She says,
‘I have a bad attitude to ageing. […]

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

Source: Uploaded by user via Tayler on Pinterest

 
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-37 – Best Yoga Practice for Your Stage & Age

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

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. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-34 – Hearts and Minds

A Sutra a Day: III-34 – Hearts and Minds

I’ve spoken in earlier blog posts about the workshops that I’ve been involved in for two decades that are produced by the Human Awareness Institute. This last weekend Daniel and I were at one of these HAI workshop in the Hunter Valley.
What are they? I could describe them in various ways. The levels of the workshops have different themes, the first one is called ‘Love is a Miracle’. Level 2 is ‘Loving Yourself’ and the next level is ‘Living at Choice’. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-11 – Retreat to Evolve

A Sutra a Day: III-11 – Retreat to Evolve

A friend recently asked if it was a hard transition for me to move away from the city, stop full time work and live in semi-retirement.
How could it be hard; this is meant to be living The Dream, isn’t it? Peace and quiet, a beautiful natural setting, unstructured time….
However, for me to have gone from full-time employment and the cultural stimulation of Sydney to rural life and fewer income-generating opportunities has indeed involved some gears grinding.
I have no regrets, though, except for the geographic distance from friends. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-5 – Does Age Bring Wisdom?

   I have such a long way to go in my yoga practice. I’m advanced in age and if I subscribed to the traditional Indian model of ashrama — stages of life, I should have by now evolved into more of a recluse, renunciate, or ascetic. But, no, I’m still a teacher of physical yoga postures. I love this way of practicing for myself, and I enjoy passing it on to students. So, to be honest (Ch. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-4 – A Feel for Stillness

A Sutra a Day: III-4 – A Feel for Stillness

Are you a lover of books? I am and I have been forever, since I was a wee sprout. There’s nothing better than a novel that you can sink your teeth in on holidays or at bedtimes for winding down before sleep.
I went for many years reading every Self-help Book I could get my hands on, and some of them I actually did find helpful: Women Who Love Too Much, Addiction to Perfection, The Road Less Traveled, Owning Your Own Shadow, and many more. […]

The Archives