Practice time

When people ask me how long I practise yoga each week, I’m usually pretty evasive, second-guessing the response I think I’ll get. I usually down-play it, since most people look perturbed at the idea of daily practice. And even in the company of serious students/teachers I also hesitate to make my practice sound too heavy…

Raw yoga

One of my reports at work has just been refused a place on a management training course, as part of a cost-cutting exercise. She’s disappointed and she feels as though she’s missing out on something. But really she’s been doing just fine without this course for more than a year. “You don’t need it,” I told…

Layer (not lāya) yoga

I found myself quite naturally using the model of koshas when I was talking to a friend recently, a yoga friend that is, so it wasn’t as weird as it sounds. She was expressing fear or frustration about decision-making and I was speculating that good decision-making was a matter of getting quiet enough to hear…

Mantra-asana

I boldly offered my teacher some unsolicited thoughts recently about how to chant the mantra we’re working with in class at the moment. I should probably refrain from doing that, but it was interesting to receive a comment back about how the mantra changes with time, as he repeats the chant. I wonder how much chanting…

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…

In the way but moving in the right direction

Crazy, wonderful Tuesdays. Up early for some teaching practice before breakfast. Then a busy day at work including a full-on couple of hours with my boss working through something bogglingly technical together because it was a two-brain problem, my lunchtime spent writing a little story in Sanskrit for my homework, then finally running out of the office…

On friendship

I’m starting up my little bit of teaching again in a week and my thoughts are turning from my own practice to my teaching. I have a weekly semi-private with two former colleagues who sit on the edge of my friendship circle: we do a little bit of mostly in-office socialising, lunch and stuff. Ordinarily…

Gone surfing

Destination reached and now we’re properly on holiday after an epic journey. So much impatience in the modern world about arriving when really the idea of travelling half way round the world for a week’s holiday is on a certain level quite bizarre. Certainly an indulgence, however you look at it, but one I’m prepared…

The new morning habit

I met with a fellow new graduate this week. We caught up on life and work, and of course yoga. We both admitted feeling a bit disconnected with our practice recently. “At least you’ve been doing it, though” was her comment to me. For reasons of life changes and injury she’s not been practising at home…