The Two Meanings of the Term “Yoga”

The term “yoga” etymologically can be derived from two different Sanskrit roots. Each root assigns completely different meanings to the term. One of the meanings is predominantly used in the system of Vedanta, the other in the historical school of yoga, called Yoga Darshana. But which meaning is the one that the school of yoga assigns to its own name?

Pranayama questions answered

After my last article “Researching Pranayama” I was asked to expand more on the idea of Prana, what a ‘rejecter of prana’ is, whether people can be ‘deficient’ in Prana, and how it can be stronger in some people than in others? What are some of the most beneficial ways to improve our pranic body and where do pranayama, meditation, asana and diet come into play? Do thoughts or mind patterns affect our pranic body? […]

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? […]

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.