The Self-Declared Yoga Prop Queen

The Self-Declared Yoga Prop Queen

If you know me as a teacher, you probably also know that I am the Prop Queen. It would be a rare class where I taught without the students using props. I find they are beneficial for beginners to advanced students for a variety of reasons, and they work great for me in my personal practice.
I wasn’t always like this. I learned hatha yoga originally like a lot of people do in a community hall with a hard wooden floor, well before the advent of non-skid mats. […]

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-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-32 – A Balancing Act

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Yoga philosophy has a handy way to categorise elements of the material world. In Sanskrit there are three forces called gunas: tamas, which exhibits qualities of darkness, inertia, or heaviness; rajas, which equates with raw energy, passion, dynamism; and, sattva, which is defined as Being, clarity, or spiritual essence.
Objects can be characterised according to the above scheme, and so can human moods and personalities.
Think about it. At times you’ve probably felt yourself in a heavy mood, like a dark cloud is hanging over you (tamasic). […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-31 – "All is Known and Nothing is Known"

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Have you ever heard of an exercise that’s done in personal development courses called “If you really knew me….”? It’s designed to create a greater depth of intimacy among the members of the group by sharing something of a personal nature. By opening up about a subject where there’s been fear or embarrassment attached to it, the speaker has an opportunity to let go and move on. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-29 – After Rain, Radiance

A Sutra a Day: IV-29 – After Rain, Radiance

 
Today is weather-perfection where we live on the magical mid-north coast… Mitchells Island, New South Wales.
I think you know what I mean by perfect conditions. (If you are snowed in in Vermont or Toronto, well, winter has it’s own beauty, doesn’t it?)
During the day today it’s been 24 degrees celsius, with a light breeze and mid-range humidity. Best of all, it rained last night, just enough so all the vegetation in our gardens spread its wings in the morning sunshine. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-26 – The Force of Freedom

A Sutra a Day: IV-26 – The Force of Freedom

Is wanting a bad thing? Should we be without desires? If we covet something we don’t have, aren’t we incomplete in some way?
For many years, my greatest longing was for a perfect relationship with a perfect man. You must know how badly that turned out! When I was able to be with a partner (Daniel) and accept him the way he was, things went better.
When I took up yoga, I was drawn to something in it – I couldn’t have told you what. Nevertheless, I kept being pulled forward. […]

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-25 – Finding Your Way Home

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Over the years I’ve developed a deep love and appreciation for yoga. Sometimes I joke and say that it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had.
In the beginning I did yoga to help me lose weight after a pregnancy and to keep fit. I discovered I was good at doing the asanas so that gave me an ego boost and led me to do yoga teacher training. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-24 – The Best Part of Ourselves

A Sutra a Day: IV-24 – The Best Part of Ourselves

In the early part of my life, I alternated between being a very good girl and a bit of a hell-raiser. I do have a few regrets, but I did manage to create some vivid memories along the way, as well as some great accomplishments.
I would say that the thing that tempered my tempestuous side was partly the discovery of yoga, but even more so becoming part of a wholesome community.
There has been a kind of evolution in my involvement with various communities. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-19 – Blinded by Science

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In studying today’s message from Patanjali (as below), it seemed to lend itself well to a phenomenon to which we all fall prey – even esteemed and supposedly detached scientists – so I decided to ask my husband in as a guest blogger to describe it. So here’s Daniel:
I found this definition of science on a website:

“Science is a way of understanding the world, not a mountain of facts. Before anyone can truly understand scientific information, they must know how science works. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-15 – Would You Rather be Right or Be in Love?

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Shortly before I went away on a several week break recently, I had an argument with one of my housemates. You know how it is when you’re rushing around getting ready to go, stressed by packing, and completing those pesky chores. I was not at all in the space of anticipatory delight.
I won’t bore you with the details of the dust-up; let’s just say there was a display of anger, hurt feelings and cross words. My lower self was clearly on display. […]

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