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 in nature. This mode of life is called vanaprashtha (forest dweller). This same mode of life is suggested in many yogic texts. We took that quite literally and live now on a mountaintop surrounded by ancient rainforest. Living in nature inspires our practice greatly, which we can then share when we come back into the cities to teach workshops or retreats.

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.

Is forgiveness the start of self-love?

In my last post I pointed out the importance of self-love for ones yoga practice. I was asked whether forgiveness is the start of self-love?

It is indeed. When talking about forgiveness, however, we need to understand that it has two aspects, to forgive oneself and to forgive others. Ultimately they will both merge into one but when we begin the practice of forgiveness we notice that we specialize either in holding grudges against ourselves or against others. Some individuals may find that they need to first forgive themselves to be able to forgive others or vice versa. […]

Why I continue to practice Ashtanga

Recently I read an article in which the author wrote about her difficulties in maintaining her Ashtanga practice. She called her practice “hard, really hard, exhausting” and complained that it “never gets any easier” and that she just kept upping her expectations or that at least her teachers did so. My experience has been completely contrary to that and I want to share it because it might help some people. […]

Bringing Our Hands Together in Prayer

Bringing our hands together in prayer is a universally understood gesture of peace and good intent. Prayer is an occasion to commune with our innermost heart. It abolishes the borders of religion and personalises our connection to Self. In the chamber of our heart we connect to our deepest feelings and give form to what is often yet unrevealed, even to ourselves. […]

How to deal with the Dark Night of the Soul?

I have been asked to write about the “Dark Night of the Soul”. The medieval mystic Saint John of the Cross coined the term and it describes the painful relapses of a spiritual seeker who has tasted (possibly repeatedly) freedom, joy and ecstasy only to rebound and to again enter the darkness of ignorance and conditioned existence. In this context I was asked whether the Dark Night is unavoidable, what exactly causes it and why it manifests so starkly different in individuals and whether there is anything that could mitigate it? […]

Does all Misalignment come from “Incorrect Breathing”?

I was asked to comment on the statement, ‘All misalignment comes from incorrect breathing ‘. A teacher said this to one of my students when they explained that they had a postural imbalance. The teacher was insinuating further that if the student would get adjusted “with breath” as in opposed to “without breath” misalignments would sort themselves out.

What’s Causing That Knee Pain?

Recently, I was instructing my students on looking after their knees in hip-opening asana. I said, “Do you know anyone who is pretty inflexible in how they like to do things, is very sensitive, tends to hold a grudge if you do something they don’t like and if you hurt them they may even never forgive you for the rest of their life?! Your knees are like that!” […]

The Samadhi Interview

The Ashtanga Picture Project interviewed me on latest book and its subject samadhi. Here it is:

Q: What is Samadhi?

A: There is actually a whole chapter in the book clarifying this and defining samadhi.

Why right leg first into lotus posture?

In my 2006 text Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy I wrote: “Why is Padmasana traditionally done only by first placing the right leg and then bringing the left leg on top? When asked this question, K. Pattabhi Jois quoted the Yoga Shastra as saying […]

Natural and Spiritual Evolution

The currently predominant concept of Western Science regarding our evolution can be succinctly summarized in this way: We are individual flesh-robots powered by selfish genes that are trying to survive in a hostile or at least indifferent universe. We are pitched against similar bio mechanoids of the same and other species who are attempting to survive by outsmarting others in competing for limited resources. […]