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.

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. […]

Mountaintop Metaphor Revisited

Objectless samadhi is like the summit of a mighty mountain. In order to reach the summit you must decide on an angle of ap- proach. Each path leading to the top represents a particular school of thought, a philosophy, a science, a religion, or a school of yoga. On the way up, your view of the mountain is limited. You see only one side. Because you cannot see the other approaches, it might appear as though your path, the particular school that you follow, is the only feasible one. While you are on the path, this is a reasonable belief. […]

The Role of the Adductors in Backbends

Many yoga practitioners instinctually know to engage their inner thigh muscles (adductors) in backbends to prevent their knees from falling out to the sides. Let’s examine how we can utilise this action to ignite our core, expand our backward arch and experience simultaneously more stability and spaciousness in backbends. […]

The Child and the Mystical State

In moments when everything is taken away from us, we may remember, in deep grief, that there is something within that cannot be lost or gained. Something that is forever and eternally uncreated and un-born and that will never die. I had such a moment in my childhood when I awakened to this entity. […]

Is the World an Illusion, the Body a Prison and Woman a Spiritual Obstacle?

Yoga Sutra 1.2 states: “Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.” But this stanza only defines objectless samadhi, the higher of the two types. Taken out of context and without being supplemented by the other definitions of samadhi, one might think yoga was only about stillness—which it isn’t! Stillness is important for a healthy mind and for spirituality, but it is not everything! If this were the case, yoga would just be an escape from the world and from our busy minds—not unlike taking a pill to treat depression. It also would mean that yoga is only about bringing the entire world to a standstill. It’s more than that.