Have you ever noticed how even exulted meditative experiences can quickly decay into tamasic (dull) or rajasic (frantic) states of mind? This is because your predominant conditioning (vasana) consisting of millions of subconscious imprints (samskaras) does not simply go away by you thinking good thoughts or superimposing a layer of meditative experiences onto it.
In this article I have described Karandavasana in a way that it can be learned without a teacher lifting us up from the floor. While this may provide good exercise for the teacher I don’t think that it does much towards the student being able to perform the posture themselves. The key is to no not let it get to the point were you fall down to the floor and then can’t lift up anymore. Instead of that stop right before you would loose your composure, hold it there for a few breaths and then pull up before you fall down. By practising this daily this “point of no return” can then be gradually lowered.
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. […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
When I was young and naïve I used to say “the good thing about practicing yoga is that as you get older you only get stronger and more flexible!” This is true up to a point and that point is different for every body. The fact is that as we age our body slows down. All of our bodily functions are affected as our cells multiply more slowly and we end up with less new cells. This means the process of rejuvenation is slower than that of degeneration. This sounds terribly bleak and some do attempt to deny the aging process but even animals, who have no concept of aging, do not escape the natural atrophy of our physical bodies. One problem with the aging process is our inability to accept and adapt to it. […]