A Sutra a Day: The Prize – Holistic Yoga

A Sutra a Day: The Prize – Holistic Yoga

Do you ever set off on a journey not knowing exactly where you’ll end up? Even when you embark on a what you think is a certain path, you still may not arrive at your imagined destination.
That can be a good outcome, a bad one, or simply what is.
When I started interacting with Patanjali on this blog – teasing out each of his tightly packed Sutra – I did it as an exercise in discipline. […]

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

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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. […]

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: 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-46 – Yoga Grace and Beauty

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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-39 – Levitation and More

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The Sutra of Patanjali are full of interesting constructs and concepts which might just be every bit as helpful in modern times as they were in ancient history.
For instance, Sukhasana and Sthira – ease and firmness – are reminders of how to balance our lives when we’re off the mat as well as on it.
Ten Yama and Niyama add up to a code of ethics that can help us sail through life in a skilful way.
Today’s sutra is a rather strange sounding one but it is better […]

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-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: II:35 – Vegging Out

A Sutra a Day: II:35 – Vegging Out

It’s hard for me, living in the country with so much wildlife around, to still be a meat eater. For instance, I had a meal of roast duck at the Chinese restaurant tonight, but then I had second thoughts, remembering the family of ducks that has lately been hanging out at our place. These ducks just go about their business, not bothering anybody or anything.
Our next door neighbour, Farmer Scott, raises beef cattle, and every year we see the wet-behind-the-ears calves toddling behind their mothers, too clumsily cute. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-18 – In Fine Company

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It’s been over four months since I started this Sutra a Day project….
Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s not easy at all times for me to map my everyday existence onto to the three thousand year old aphorisms of Patanjali (or vice versa). But then it wasn’t easy for blogger Julia Powell of Julie and Julia fame to cook all of Ms. Child’s recipes while writing about how the task was wreaking havoc on her personal life; not easy is the very definition of a challenge. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-39 – Post-it-note Proclamations

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I’m not sure I believe in affirmations. In fact, I think I read a study somewhere that said affirmations can work against you.
Say you pick a slogan such as, “I am happy and free”, and you write up some post-it-note messages to be placed strategically around your home. Everywhere you turn, there’s a reminder of the state of being that you aspire to as though it already exists.
But, here’s the thing that can trip you up: you don’t feel happy and free. […]