Um, OM

Now that I’m teaching yoga in a gym setting, there are all sorts of questions I ask myself about my own practice, my teaching, and about what yoga is — or what I might reasonably assume a regular office worker wants it to be in their mid-week lunch break. Interesting questions, for which I don’t…

The silence of yoga

I was introduced to the concept of mauna this week. Silence, the silence that underlies everything, the real essence and heart of things. Not just an absence of noise, but something more profound. Something essentially beyond description. I wonder: is the practice of yoga just about learning to get comfortable with this quality of silence, the essential loneliness of existence? And perhaps…

Open invitation

Jon Kabat-Zinn (the father of secular mindfulness) could have been talking about yoga when he said “As long as you are breathing there is more right with you than wrong with you”. But he wasn’t. He was (as I recall) talking about living with a chronic illness and finding a place of positivity from which…

The sweetness of nāda yoga

  Recently I haven’t felt much like moving. It’s the time of year maybe. English winters are so terribly dreary; not cold enough, not dark enough, just endless grey days of mild drizzle or dampness. Everything stagnates. For a while I tried fighting through which resulted in some very messy classes where I just upset myself…

When a rest is as good as a change

I was telling Hubby about recent experiences of sitting practice and the feelings of frustration that arise, turning recent attempts into something of a patient sitting out, a waiting for this to pass, to resolve itself in time. I feel OK with that, for me it’s no big deal in the grander scheme; I’ve been…

Stretching into space

My teacher seems to talk to me differently now that I’ve done TT with him. As just a regular student he was oh-so-careful not to bring any expectations to our conversations. I can appreciate why, even if sometimes it felt a little strained. So I was highly amused by his more genuine response to what…

Mala-asana

We were given mālā beads at our TT graduation. I’d been feeling weirdly guilty that I hadn’t actually used them yet. If I don’t use them, ought I give them back?! So after my usual sitting practice I used them this morning — my first attempt at a formal 108 repetitions of a mantra! I chose something…

Morning meditation

I have a slightly fragile morning meditation habit — reignited thanks to daily TT routine which I’ve tried to continue with. This morning was threatened with derailment of a mundane kind — Hubby being noisily up and about and an impending grocery delivery to the house to fit around… Not to mention me feeling tired and…

Meditating on teaching

I went round to my new yoga-friend last night to practise teaching. She’d done a day’s work, taught a yoga class at work, and now it was her turn for some time on the mat. So there we were in a corner of her home (which made for some fun cues involving directions like ‘stretching…