How Do You Say 'Alert and Relaxed' in Sanskrit?

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Do you shut down in yoga class when your teacher uses Sanskrit words and concepts? Or, are you the opposite? You relish the opportunity to extend your learning about yoga, even to the point of assimilating an unfamiliar language.
Probably you stand in the middle; you don’t mind a smattering of the Sanskrit but not so much it keeps you in your head. […]

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-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: 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-41 – Do You Diet?

Source: via Keri on Pinterest

Opinions on what constitutes a good/perfect diet abound, not the least in the yoga world.
One diet that’s had a lot of press is the severely restricted calorie diet; it’s meant to promote long life, although it may limit your opportunities to socialise.
The low carb diet is popular around here because those pesky carbohydrates are reputed to stack weight on your body. […]

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: III-1 – In Focus

 One of the first balancing poses a beginner in yoga is introduced to is vrshkasana (tree pose). Free-standing on one leg is certainly a challenge to a beginner’s sense of balance, and that’s a useful thing to work on. Of course your teacher will say, ‘find a focal point on the floor in front of you, so that focus will help you stay steady in the pose.’ That is concentration and it will help your stability. B.K.S. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-47 – Relaxed Effort

Source: via Ramón Ángel on Pinterest

I’ve always been intrigued by the human body and wanted to learn about it. Recently, I’ve been enjoying studying an anatomy and physiology course again. This is the 3rd one I’ve done over the years, but the first time on-line.
We’re so fortunate these days to be able to study with video lectures, monographs, articles, textbooks, and so on – no farther away than a click of a mouse. […]

A Sutra a Day II:43 – Gentle Discipline

A Sutra a Day II:43 – Gentle Discipline

The sunsets of recent weeks have been characterised by fiery reds and dramatic oranges. The burning-off of excess fuel throughout over countryside has created atmospheric conditions that will make a safer fire season, but in the meantime we’re all sporting smokey lungs.
In yoga, we fire up our practices to burn off bodily impurities accumulated over the winter. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-20 – Seeing Clearly

Source: via Jolanda on Pinterest

I became interested in Ayurveda, an Indian medical system which is sometimes called the sister science to yoga, in the early 90’s. I admire practitioners of this ancient discipline, like Gita Iyengar, especially as she so adroitly combines Ayurveda with many yoga practices.
When I came across the notion of gunas in Ayurveda, I learned that these elements of nature provide a system for assessing one’s condition to see if there’s a tendency towards tamas, sattva or rajas. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-17 – Smoothing the Edges

A Sutra a Day: II-17 – Smoothing the Edges

If you really knew me, you would know that I’m part of a little community of three couples. The six of us invented this way of living on our four acre property partly as a way to stay out of retirement villages, partly to live in Nature, partly to afford a lifestyle that would be impossible to enjoy in the Big Smoke.
I had a further reason for wanting to live with others. I think people can evolve spiritually by sharing their victories and failures, supporting each other, refining communications, getting constructive feedback, sharing recreation, and working together. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-16 – Loving Leadership

A Sutra a Day: II-16 – Loving Leadership

Last week I took on a big job. It involved coordinating a team of 15 volunteers for a weekend workshop.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it, but I like to duck responsibility. So, being team captain was not my first choice.
Why don’t I like to take on responsibility? Mainly because I’m afraid I won’t do a good job, and also, maybe people won’t like me for whatever reason – bossiness, lack of leadership, stepping on toes, that sort of thing.
I decided to feel my fears and accept the position. […]