A Sutra a Day: IV-34 – Here Ends the Sutra of Patanjali

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I’ve not been well today. A stomach complaint – severe cramping and slight nausea. Perhaps a dose of gastro or food poisoning? It could have been to do cleaning out a big mucky garden pot. Maybe something that is meant to live outside got inside me.
So here I am, all alone at home, while everyone in our household has gone to choir practice. I truly can’t remember having an evening alone for yonks. It’s exceptionally nice.
And, this is a special night too… […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-27 – Those Pesky Psychic Grooves (grinding out the same old tune)

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Have you run across the idea that your yoga mat can act as your therapist? I know on one level that sounds facetious, but think about it. You put yourself on your mat routinely and, each time you do, it’s an opportunity for you to watch your behaviour.
What are your responses as you practice. […]

Dusting Off the Word According to Patanjali

Dusting Off the Word According to Patanjali

Yesterday I kicked off the first of six sessions in which 9 students and I will look at least the philosophy of Patanjali. The format is a discussion in which we will tease out the aphorisms called the Yoga Sutras.
It’s a privilege to give our time to considering big questions, like what is yoga? We do yoga practices daily or once a week in classes, but we seldom give much thought to why we’re doing it.
In designing this course, I’ve been able to take a fresh look at Sutra I:2. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-21 – Mind-stuff Watching Itself

A Sutra a Day: IV-21 – Mind-stuff Watching Itself

Okay I’ve run out of steam. I can’t think of a single anecdote from my life that will illustrate the Sutra of the day. I can’t even think of anything in my experience that will even obliquely describe today’s Sutra.
However, Chip Hartranft will save the day with this great explanation of the distinction between awareness and consciousness, which has been the theme of Chapter IV with its Sutra being all about freedom. […]

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

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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-0 – Freedom is a Balancing Act

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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-53 – What's Happening Right Now

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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-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. […]