niyama (5)

Santosha - Contentment


I find that people often misunderstand the yoga principle of santosha (contentment), believing that it means giving up their will to change. I get students who say, “I don’t want to be content, because if I am content then I won’t get anywhere in my job. I need to want something. I've got to be on the cutting edge in my profession”. They don’t understand that santosha is not inertness. Rather, santosha means being content right now, even as you are changing your life.

If you are a yoga teacher,

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Back to basics - Yamas and Niyamas

It has been a while since I made an entry here. For a new beginning, best begin at the beginning. Let me start by recollecting the ancient teachings of Patanjali 'Ata yoga anushasanam, yogaschittavrittinirodha'.
My chitta has been filled with vrittis recently.
When I remember my early yoga classes, I remember the yamas and niyamas.
Today more than any other time, we need to take a deep breath and practice the yamas to restore balance in this world that sometimes seems to be falling off its axis.

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Spring cleaning - Saucha

Many people misunderstand yoga to be a “cult of the body”. However, whilst yoga does not see the body as evil, neither does it intend to glorify your physical body. Even hatha yoga practices are designed to remind you that your body is the vehicle of your soul. It is an instrument that works best when you keep it clean and strong. If your body breaks down, you won’t reach your goal.
As the first of the niyamas, saucha represents purification on all levels. It includes the physical cleanliness of
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For me, the new year began with a determined effort to engage in an intensive study of the spiritual teachings of yoga. If you feel that you are ready to take the next step in your inner work, please join me. I will be posting exerpts from my series of talks. And you may feel inspired to take my e-course:

"From self-study, you are able to connect with higher Truths".
- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.44

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Thinking about Ishwara-pranidhana


Recently, I've been working with the principle of "ishwara-pranidhana". The last of Patanjali's niyamas is usually translated as "self-surrender" or "surrender to the Lord". This is a hard one for many modern yogis, many of whom don't seem to be inclined to surrender to anyone or any teaching.

You may feel that you do not relate to the concept of "God" — or that you do not really know who or what God is — or even whether God really exists. You may (understandably) be loath to commit to doing th

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