A Sutra a Day: IV-10 – The Most Basic Instinct

Source: via Debby on Pinterest

One of the strange but ever present states of affairs in all beings is the desire to live forever. Even those in the presence of death every day have this illogical impulsion. This is what inspires the instinct for self-preservation in all of us.*
I just finished a must-read novel by Barbara Kingsolver called Flight Behaviour. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-9 – Pesky Patterns

Source: via Real on Pinterest

We have guests staying with us at the moment. It’s the time of year that, if you live in the country, especially near a river and a beach, you will have visitors. I love it.
Unfortunately, one of our guests who is staying with us has not been well. Nothing too serious, but off-colour enough to be a-abed. She doesn’t want to be made a fuss of but, as the hostess, I feel responsible. I end up being solicitous. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-7 – Practising Skill in Action

Source: via Flynn “Knihovna” on Pinterest

If you know me, you know that I don’t have any trouble conversing one-on-one (or two or three) or even talking to large groups of students in a yoga classroom. However, I do have trouble speaking my viewpoints in a group where other individuals are more voluble.
I have no idea why this is, probably one of those things bequeathed to me by my seen-but-not-heard upbringing. I just wish it didn’t still bother me. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-6 – ‘Shed’ those Negative Influences

Source: Uploaded by user via Rachel on Pinterest

Are you sensitive to different energies? Recently I’ve had a few visitors come to the Yoga Shed who have told me how much they appreciate the special energy of the space. Someone of a more skeptical attitude might think that’s a bunch of hooey – how can a room emit energy?
It happens over time… […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-5 – Staying With the Program

A Sutra a Day: IV-5 – Staying With the Program

Source: via Jasmine on Pinterest

Do you think of New Year’s resolutions as being old hat? Do you feel like ‘why bother?’, when your good intentions of past years fell by the wayside so quickly?
Many yogis who go on retreat at the beginning of the year, or attend ‘intensives’ or workshops, do it as a kick start for what will be hopefully a year of regular practice. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-3 – The Way Through

A Sutra a Day: IV-3 – The Way Through

My husband, Daniel, is a problem solver. He looks out for things that don’t work and fixes them. His clients over the years have been fortunate to have him find bugs in their software and create features to make stuff work better.
Now we’re lucky to have him around our home sniffing out ways to have our household work better.
The lower third of our acreage was prone to flooding during the big rains we had in the last few years, making a bog that never quite drained. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-2 – A Theory of Yoga Evolution

A Sutra a Day: IV-2 – A Theory of Yoga Evolution


Since we hit our antipodean warm weather in early December, our vegetable garden has gone berserk.
First there were the zucchinis, hidden from view under their giant leaves, which, unattended, ballooned into green torpedo-shapes. Then came the cherry tomatoes. Well, they are still coming, and coming, and our freezer is totally packed out with them. Lately, the cucumbers have been vying with the zukes for quantity and size. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-1 – The Accomplished Yogi

Source: Uploaded by user via Neysa on Pinterest

We’re still in holiday frame of mind here on Mitchells Island, so in that light-hearted spirit, I’ll tell you a little story.
Two mendicant ascetics had been at their spiritual practices on a high, barren tableland for many years. One was a cobweb-covered meditator who sat sternly in lotus pose. The other was a whirling dervish, spinning endlessly, ecstatically.
Unexpectedly, God appeared to the both of them, possibly as a vision. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-0 – Freedom is a Balancing Act

Source: via Maiya on Pinterest

The bracket of dates that goes from Christmas Eve till a week or two after New Year’s is traditionally break time in Australia. It’s such a sensible and compassionate approach and one of the things I love about this country.
If you are fortunate enough to enjoy time off work in this period, you will have probably found yourself looking forward to it well in advance of the holidays. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-55 – Freedom to Choose Family

Source: via Cynthia on Pinterest

Who doesn’t want to be free?
I, for one, want to be at liberty to go where I want, live in the manner I desire, do work I enjoy (or not work!), and associate with those of my choosing. But, as you know, this sort of freedom is more often than not predicated on fortunate circumstances.
Perhaps at this time of year more than others, rather than feeling free, we fall into behaving in a duty-bound way. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-54 – Cultivating Transparency

A Sutra a Day: III-54 – Cultivating Transparency

I learned a little science lesson while visiting New Zealand’s South Island glaciers. While the region’s scenery is often undeniably beautiful, I found the turquoise mountain lakes and streams to be altogether breathtaking. It’s difficult to drive from Point A to Point B without frequently stopping for photos and filming.
Interestingly, it’s not the clarity of a lake’s water that creates the special colour, but rather finely ground rock from the glaciers that’s suspended in it. The substance is called glacial rock flour, and it’s the scattering of light through the water that creates the turquoise colour. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-53 – What's Happening Right Now

Source: via Heidi on Pinterest

When I was first learning  Iyengar yoga, the classes I attended were two hours long. I found the intensity of them overwhelming at times and would take myself off to the toilet a couple of times during the session, just to have a break.
The teacher, Martyn Jackson, had a booming voice and would exhort his students to do more, even though sometimes we were at our limits. Poses were held for long timings and repeated. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-51 – More Than Enough

A Sutra a Day: III-51 – More Than Enough


I like to be the centre of attraction. Over the years, because I didn’t feel accomplished enough myself, I attached myself to several charismatic men so that I would get their reflected glory.
This vicarious way of living was never really satisfying and I never felt authentic, but I met some interesting people, had some fascinating adventures and collected some good stories.
I think it’s still the case that women are often attracted to strong, confident male yoga teachers, as I was. Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-50 – There’s Freedom in Letting Go

Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

We had a little party today chez Scotts Road, Mitchells Island. It was a celebration of Rick’s and my birthdays and Mike and Judy’s homecoming, all rolled into one.
I looked around at all the attendees and felt an overwhelming sense of love and affection for the people we’ve gathered around us in the 3 years of living in the country. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-49 – Equilibrium

A Sutra a Day: III-49 – Equilibrium

A friend of ours has been a carer for her ex-husband for most of this last year. He passed away last week from terminal cancer and now she is putting herself back together. I have much admiration for her in being there for him, no matter what, even though the bonds of marriage between them had been severed for many years.
I think it’s one of the greatest challenges life throws up for us – to sit calmly with someone who’s health is slowly ebbing away.
I’ve done this twice. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-47 – Uncommon Senses

A Sutra a Day: III-47 – 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

Source: via Karen on Pinterest

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?

Source: via DrinkJOOS on Pinterest

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. […]

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