The Niyamas

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We’ve been writing about about Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga for the last few months – detouring last month to talk about “The Middle Way”as I was talking about it a lot in class. The 8 Limbs is a yogi’s roadmap for a creating harmony, purpose and self mastery. It gives us tools for managing and transforming the busy chaos of the mind and moving consciousness from being outwardly focused to exploring the inner landscape. As we walk along Patanjali’s path, following the map he has laid out for living a more present and meaningful life we encounter the Yamas &  Niyamas. While The Yamas which we covered in June’s newsletter, gives us guidance for our relationships with the world and the people in our lives, the … Read More

My story of change: A shift from caterpillar to butterfly mode!

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Hello! My name is Bahar. I started yoga about 2.5 years ago; Mainly doing Yin yoga for the first year. The first six months of starting yoga for me was like this: [In the class hot and sweaty doing a strange yoga pose for 5 mins…] Yoga teacher: “Discipline! Discipline! Discipline!… You have to make these shapes so many times until you can let go of the shape, Once or twice per week is not enough…you have to practice it on your own at home …” My mind: “[laughter] Practice at home!!!?? What? Who does yoga twice a week? Who does he think I am… I am a busy person with a busy life! [Oh my hip is so painful] … Read More

The Middle Way

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”In practising we attempt to find our own frequency “ Norman Blair With our practice we are tuning in…. Not tuning out!! looking for our own unique frequency. The sweet spot between effort and ease is where Yoga sits waiting patiently for you to acknowledge it. This spot is in the middle of comfort and challenge… an important space in your practice as its the place that you learn and grow from. Its the space of inquiry and investigation.  When we are challenged change occurs; from comfort there can be ease.  Too much challenge can make us broken, depleted an defeated. Too much comfort and we can become complacent, passive, un-resilient. Stress to the body is needed to maintain health … Read More

The Yamas – guides for living well

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Yoga begins for almost everyone with the physical practice of postures.. we’re drawn to feel better in some way and using movement and breath are very powerful ways to do that. I love watching people transform themselves as they start to practice more consistently….. building self confidence, finding focus, lightening up and creating more balance internally. Rebuilding themselves from the outside in, with the physical practice. After a while as the practice starts to get deeper into you, other things start to change. As your awareness starts to grow, you notice ways you are thinking and behaving and ways you are treating yourself and others that might be less than healthy. Now the practice is more from the inside out, … Read More

Patanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga

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Yoga on the mat is one aspect of a bigger picture. One important and extremely influential yoga text from which yoga as we know it today is derived is the yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In the yoga Sutras, Patanjali tells us that when the changing states of the mind are stilled we have the experience of our true nature. All of the techniques of yoga are designed to facilitate this experience of soul, or universal consciousness. When we are fortunate enough to have this experience, we begin to realise that deep within us is an awareness that is unconditioned and eternal. Patanjali outlines an 8 step guide which is a roadmap for a balanced life and finding purpose and self … Read More

Are you suffering your experience?

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The path of yoga is one that is guiding us towards liberation. Freeing ourselves from the things which cause us to suffer unnecessarily. We often suffer because we are not conscious that it is ourselves who are causing our own suffering. I heard this teaching from Mooji recently, which I’m sharing here because it really encapsulates what I’m doing in class…. a part of the way I teach is to create this understanding. The body can hurt but its the mind that suffers. Pain is there, its part of the reality – it is there for saint and sinner – there’s a pain body, and a pleasure body… but suffering has another quality to it – an emotional quality a … Read More

Authentically Practising

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Everyone has a different story for how they came to yoga. Equally we all experience it in different ways. A lot of this is about the different bodies we all have, the different minds we have. A lot of it about the expectations we have for ourselves and what intention we have when we practice. Yoga is very experiential. An instructor can give you postures show you how to breathe but you are the driving force behind what you’re doing. Your body is the teacher. Its messages are the sensations, restrictions, openings, movements, sense of balance or perhaps messages of pain. All these things are telling you something. What we are looking for in our practice is a sense of … Read More

6 in….6 out…

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“All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level” Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, M.D., Textbook of Medical Physiology. The breath is intimately connected to our life force energy, what yogis call Prana. In a yoga practice, the breath is the most fundamental point of awareness, everything gets built on its foundation. If we aren’t breathing well and by that I mean shallow, just using a small portion of the lungs, our life force becomes depleted and we lose our vitality. Blockages are created, which can make us ill if they become chronic. Yoga is a powerful preventative medicine because the combination of the postures with breath and awareness clears blockages in the … Read More

New Year – feeling grateful

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The first time I really consciously experienced gratitude in my life is when I became a yoga teacher. I can clearly remember feeling so overwhelmed at what had been given to me, it used to make me cry spontaneously for no reason. I had been taken out of a life that I didn’t want to live anymore and existence had given me this wonderful gift of teaching yoga. It is an emotion like no other that fills you from inside and gives you no choice but to share what has been given. It is an emotion that teaches you, that what you have is enough and creates a sense of contentment that vibrates through you as a powerful energy which … Read More

Don’t limit your challenges – challenge your limits

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“Psychologists tell us that by the time we’re in our mid-30s, our identity or personality will be completely formed. This means that for those of us over 35, we have memorised a select set of behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, emotional reactions, habits, skills, associative memories, conditioned responses, and perceptions that are now subconsciously programmed within us. Those programs are running us, because the body has become the mind. This means that we will think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings, react in identical ways, behave in the same manner, believe the same dogmas, and perceive reality the same ways. About 95 percent of who we are by midlife is a series of subconscious programs that have become automatic—driving a car, … Read More