After practicing yoga for over thirty years down in the big smoke we felt called to move back into nature into an environment ideal to go deeper into the higher limbs of yoga practice. The Vedas suggest that when one comes to the middle of ones life (around 50) to change ones mode of life and spend more time on spiritual practice than on earning ones livelihood. This mode of life is called vanaprashtha (forest dweller). This same mode of life is suggested in many yogic texts. Although our modern society strongly discourages us to devote ourselves primarily to spiritual practice when one could accumulate wealth, we decided to take the leap.

This blog will give you updates of what we are currently working on and it will give us the opportunity to stay in contact with the many people and students we have worked with throughout the last few decades. Of course if you want to post any questions, your mountaintop yogis will do their best to answer them.

On Svadhyaya (self-study)

Shanna Small from the Ashtanga Picture Project interviewed me on svadhyaya. This important term, that occurs several times in the Yoga Sutra is usually translated as ‘self-study’ but in yoga the term is narrowly defined and has important connotations.

Q: I, like many people, was told that, Svadhyaya simply meant self-study and that any studying we did of ourselves was self-study. Recently, It has come to my attention, that this is incorrect. […]

On Karma

I was once interviewed by a yoga magazine about my thoughts on the difference between the traditional view of karma and the contemporary one. As I was ignorant of the contemporary view the interviewer informed me that the contemporary view is that if for example you thinking badly about somebody on the next street corner you may slip on a banana peel. […]

The Cervical Diaphragm

Most of us are familiar with the importance of our thoracic diaphragm muscle and our pelvic diaphragm or pelvic floor muscles. Both of these are recognised for their importance both as respiratory muscles and their crucial role in core stability.

Why Alternate Nostril Breathing is Important

Imagine how great it would be to have a switch that, when operated, would enable you to consciously choose between your right and left brain hemispheres, intuitive and analytical intelligence, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, fight/flight reflex and rest/relaxation, and between the male and female, solar and lunar, aspects of your psyche. How great it would be if, when required, you could switch from being compassionate to doggedly determined. Or from charged with energy to completely relaxed within a few minutes. Or from extrovert (physically present, expressive and outgoing) to introvert (reflective and absorbing) within a short time. This switch does in fact exist and it is not at all hidden. It is the prominently protruding olfactory orifice right in the middle of your face: your nose. […]

Developing Your Derriere

It seems to me a divine ploy that some are obsessed with developing their derriere to its fullest potential. Our buttocks, which are predominantly composed of our gluteus maximus muscle, are one of the most important players in the human body. For this reason it is the strongest muscle in our body and has the potential to be great in size. Our modern life-style has us sitting on it, squashing it and thereby switching it off for most of the day. When glute max is continuously inhibited it may not engage automatically or its activation may become delayed, altering important muscle recruitment patterns in the body. ‘Glute amnesia’ has become a chronic modern musculoskeletal disorder often causing pain and injury. […]

How to keep hold of your feet in Supta Vajrasana.

This seems to be a perennial problem for many students practising Intermediate Series. Often students here simply emulate the actions that they perform in Matsyasana, that is comfortably leaning back and placing the head on the floor.

Supta Vajrasana however couldn’t be more different.

Back in Bali

It again feels great to be in Immersion. It seems to be the best use of both teachers’ and students’ time to confer knowledge at the rate of nine hours per day. As it is getting more difficult to get students away from their responsibilities for any length of time, it makes sense to subject them not just to two or four hours of yoga per day but to a full nine-hour day.

Finding Your Life’s Purpose

I received a question in regards to how we can bring our material and professional life into greater alignment with our spiritual goals and lifetime purpose. Before I talk about techniques and methods to bring this about let me firstly point out that in the very question there is already an implied separation between material […]

‘The Jumps’ – Why they are good for you

When I arrived in Perth in 1994 there were five yoga schools! Of those three were devoted to Iyengar Yoga, one was an eclectic mix and the other taught Hatha Yoga. Although I already had 15 years of Iyengar Yoga experience, one year previously I had fallen in love with Ashtanga Yoga. I went job hunting but all the schools wanted me to teach their style and many met me with a derogatory reference to Ashtanga Yoga as ‘The Jumps’. Now, with a better understanding of bodily tissues and their functions I realise how beneficial and valuable those jumps are!

Yoga and Terrorism

I have been repeatedly asked about a yogic take on terrorism. I tried to avoid this difficult subject but it keeps popping up, so here it is. Firstly, I am in no way recommending the dissolution of our defense forces. According to dharma each individual has the right to defend themselves and if they are […]