Pranayama

The Yoga Approach to Hysterectomy

The Yoga Approach to Hysterectomy

In the absence of internet information, I decided to create my own holistic way of dealing with my upcoming surgery.
I started talking with my friends to share my journey. The simple fact that I was willing to be open and vulnerable helped eliminate any residual shame.
I started keeping a journal in which I could collect information on hysterectomies, and more importantly, write down questions and feelings as they arose.

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. […]

Best Ways of Cultivating Concentration

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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. […]

"Where Care Lodges, Sleep Will Never Lie"*

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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-32 – A Balancing Act

A Sutra a Day: IV-32 – A Balancing Act

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Yoga philosophy has a handy way to categorise elements of the material world. In Sanskrit there are three forces called gunas: tamas, which exhibits qualities of darkness, inertia, or heaviness; rajas, which equates with raw energy, passion, dynamism; and, sattva, which is defined as Being, clarity, or spiritual essence.
Objects can be characterised according to the above scheme, and so can human moods and personalities.
Think about it. At times you’ve probably felt yourself in a heavy mood, like a dark cloud is hanging over you (tamasic). […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-25 – Finding Your Way Home

A Sutra a Day: IV-25 – Finding Your Way Home

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Over the years I’ve developed a deep love and appreciation for yoga. Sometimes I joke and say that it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had.
In the beginning I did yoga to help me lose weight after a pregnancy and to keep fit. I discovered I was good at doing the asanas so that gave me an ego boost and led me to do yoga teacher training. […]

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

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-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-7 – Breathing is the Bridge

A Sutra a Day: III-7 – Breathing is the Bridge

 A friend and colleague asked me today why I don’t teach pranayama – the yoga breathing – in my yoga classes. I should, I know I should. I was trained in a particular method of yoga that disallowed the practice of breath control until, as Patanjali advises, ‘perfection is attained in asana”. Oh goodness, what a high bar! Nevertheless, when I did yoga teacher training with my first Iyengar teacher, we students would do an hour of pranayama before each asana session. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-53 – Give the Mind Something to Do

A Sutra a Day: II-53 – Give the Mind Something to Do

 

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. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-52 – In Stillness, You Discover You

A Sutra a Day: II-52 – In Stillness, You Discover You

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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. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-51 – You Can Be a Prana-Yogi, Too

A Sutra a Day: II-51 – You Can Be a Prana-Yogi, Too

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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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