Take Care: Time to Put on the Brakes?

Take Care: Time to Put on the Brakes?

When I woke up on Wednesday morning this week with an extremely sore shoulder, I was annoyed. I knew I should put the brakes on.

Did I want to and did I? Of course not! First I tried to figure out what I might have done to create such a painful shoulder. I went over the previous day’s activities and the day before, too. It was very mysterious, as I couldn’t think of anything I’d done out of the ordinary.

The Holidays are a Perfect Time for Home Yoga Practice

The Holidays are a Perfect Time for Home Yoga Practice

Consistency is the key to successful home yoga practice. It builds a habit, a neuronal pathway or a psychological groove. This momentum will carry you along even when your mind or life tries to pull you in other directions.
I know from experience that there are times when I’m tempted to break my routine. I’m human. But I’m always glad after the fact that I did my practice, not the least because I kept my commitment.
There’s an element of faith in the beginning. You’re hoping that you’ll feel as good at the end of your practice as you do at the end of your class sessions. But your faith in yoga practice will be validated. The more practice you do, the more effective your sessions become.

Back to the Source: A Plug for Patanjali

Back to the Source: A Plug for Patanjali

Patanjali as source
I wonder how many yoga teachers talk about the meaning of yoga in their classes. It’s taken me a long time to acknowledge the importance of doing this, and, to do it.
My reason for not communicating on this topic? Remarkably, I thought it wasn’t what people came for. They came for a workout, for relaxation, for community, but not for talking philosophy.
There’s another reason I’ve avoided talking about the meaning of yoga. I haven’t always understood it. It’s been a slippery edge for me. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-50 – The Breath Teaches Sensitivity

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Breathing is one of those things that is just there. Or, is it? Do you always remember to breathe when you’re practising yoga?
It seems to amuse my yoga students when I ask them to breathe – not because I’m trying to be funny but because they recognise it’s so easy to suppress breathing ‘when push comes to shove’. In the effort of attaining a challenging pose, relaxed breathing gets jettisoned.
There are many theories of how to breathe for best results when doing asanas or pranayama. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-38 – Brahmacharya = Balance

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The ancient sage Patanjali comments on the topic of sexual energy in Sutra II:38, and his writing has been variously interpreted to recommend abstinence (Brahmacharya) – but also, moderation or continence.
I think it’s hardly imaginable that modern day humans could be expected to, or want to, practice complete abstinence from sexual activity.
My experience of sexual energy is that it is just another kind of energy. It’s possible to get carried away with it or be aware of and contain it. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-34 – Reversing Suffering

  I’ve been a member of a book club for a couple of years now. It’s the first one I’ve ever been a part of. I had high hopes. At our first meeting, we went around the table and everyone had a chance to say what they wanted to get out of belonging to the club. Over time, I’ve noticed that I haven’t gotten what I wanted – that is, more enjoyment of reading because of the synergy and stimulation of the group. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-30 – A Guide to Good Behaviour

  Sometimes I feel like a bit of a freak in the yoga world and maybe in the world generally. Here are a few reasons why I might be classified as eccentric:I’m not a vegetarian. I love continental cakes. A glass of really good red wine is a special weekend treat. And, I drink 2 cups of coffee a day.I’m on the high side of my sixties and I’ve chosen to live like an ageing hippie with two other couples of my vintage.I love watching great television with brilliant writing. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-1 (Part 3) Whole and Complete

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I had an opportunity to teach a group of boys a number of years ago who attended Sydney Grammar School. The boys’ music department teacher was a student of mine, and he felt that these boys who were music students would benefit from some sessions.
I prepared my lessons for a group of 14 boys, but only 11 of them came along for yoga. […]

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. […]