Archive for yoga

Perfectly Normal

We are connected

In a web of living colour

All shades of a gentle love;

Empty of meaning, far beyond belief,

Finding purpose in the

Harmony within,

Ever changing, we are…..

We are connected, we are related,

All energies interact

In the space in which we share;

The thoughts that rise,

The place where we hide,

A dusty mirror, the essence of all things.

We are linked and cannot deny

Our shared emotions,

The empathy that resides within us all,

No matter how muffled,

There is a voice that speaks truth

Deeply, from one heart,

A shared compassion,

The joy experienced in peace,

Our potential which cares

And forgives our numbness,

Our blindness within the light.

Divinity is perfectly normal.

In the energies we embody,

May we realise our innate power,

Realise our boundless nature,

Better to serve

By helping others and giving

Without recourse.

Always doing a little, for all;

A little more good, because we can

Be ever humble and simple.

Love reveals that darkness

Is filled with light.

May no one suffer in silence

And ever feel alone,

Separated from the freedom and instincts

Of an innocent child.

May we feel balance, here,

Conscious of our limitations,

Boundless between thought,

Aware of the dreamless states that come,

Awakened to the eternal.

Inside, outside,

Ever present.

Outside, inside,

All one.

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Freedom from fear – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realize that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelled, felt or thought,expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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‘O Traveller! Listen!’ – Swami Sivananda

 

Swami Sivananda

All quotes here taken from the book ‘Voice of the Himalayas’ by Swami Sivananda, a true yogi, who was consumed for much of his life by ‘vairagya’, desirelessness born of love for the eternal.  His path was Karma Yoga, the yoga of selfless service.

LOVE AND KINDNESS GOES WITHOUT SAYING.

‘Make others happy and joyful, your own happiness will, multiply one thousand fold.’

‘Awaken thy heart.  O Man!  Happiness is here and now.  Become a friend of humanity.  Become a radiant yogi.  Strive.  Endeavour.’

‘Life is a play, play well thy part in the drama.’

‘You can elevate others only if you can elevate yourself.  A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners.’

‘Absolute is free.  Know this and be free, free, free,,,,,,,,!’

‘Man needs sympathy, kindness and brotherhood.’

‘The mind will grow calmer and calmer, you will be able to see your defects.’

‘Think correctly.  Decide carefully.  Work diligently.’

‘Life a war between opposing forces, they are to be pacified in a high expansive consciousness.  They dissolve inner truth that melt into the bosom of the Reality with a paternal embrace.’

‘Senses given to be utilized consciously and deliberately for the attainment of something altogether above and beyond the farthest reaches of the senses.’

‘Thought is a shadow of truth, the shadow gives an idea of substance.  Illusion has to be pierced by illusion itself.’

‘The world is a product of your mind which is a product of ignorance.  You cannot expect lasting bliss here.  Look within and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.’

‘We live in our emotions, in the lower mind, no idea of intuition.’

‘Drive this body car intelligently.  Relax perfectly.  Breathe rythmically.  Meditate regularly.  You will enjoy happiness, health and long life.’

‘Disharmony of word, thought and deed is the cause for all troubles, miseries and quarrels in this world.’

‘Do not bother about spiritual experience, go ahead with sadhana (service), knowledge dawns of its own accord.’

‘Do not tell anybody of your spiritual experience that you gain.’

‘Of what use is a sensuous life/ momentary enjoyment.  Seek the bliss eternal in your Atman (soul).’

‘Sensual pleasure is never complete or full.’

‘Crave for a thing, you’ll get it.  Renounce the craving, the object will follow you by itself.’

‘True selflessness is a constant meditation on reality, an intense and continuous affirmation of indivisible existence.’

‘The only way to progress is ethical perfection and selfless service, not to connect with the limited pleasures of asceticism.’

‘The Divine Life – a life in the centre, limitless, bliss and brilliance of the heart of Infinity.’

‘Tread the path of truth.  Meditate, hear the voice of silence.  Enter the silence.’

‘Comrade!  March fearlessly.  Be patient.  Success is sure!’

‘Come!  Learn the lesson in Yoga practice.  Meditate.  Tear the veil. Go.  Dwell in peace!’

BE GOOD, DO GOOD, SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY, MEDITATE, REALISE…….

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Some Thoughts on Yoga and Yoga Asana


Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. (B.K.S. Iyengar)

Teach what is in you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other. (T. Krishnamacharya)

Before you’ve practised, the theory is useless. After you’ve practised, the theory is obvious.

Crave for a thing, you will get it. Renounce the craving and the object will follow you by itself. (Swami Sivananda)

The difference between yoga and bodybuilders is that bodybuilders have a body of a bull and the heart of gazelle – and yogis the heart of a bull and the body of a gazelle. (Sri Kartakeya)

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. (Swami Chidananda)

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds:
Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. (Patanjali)

The pose begins when you want to leave it.

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked. (Yoga Sutras)

In the lamp of the heart; put the oil of dispassion, insert the wick of devotion, and kindle the light of knowledge, by constant meditation; The darkness of ignorance will be dispelled and you will be fully illumined. (Swami Sivananda)

Do your practice, the rest is coming. (Patthabi Jois)

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Naked Yoga

This is an interesting subject.  The article is taken from the excellent Yoga Wellbeing site (www.yogawellbeing.co.uk).  They run classes and retreats in the U.K. and also organise international retreats.  
So, naked or not?
Naked yoga

Stripping off has been said to bring a certain intimacy to yoga, a feeling of freedom that can sometimes get lost in the a clinical studio in London.

What do you think? Do you think the naked yoga offers more freedom in our practice?

When asking one of our clients (who would prefer to remain anonymous) recently tried out a session in New York and spoke about the psychological benefits to naked yoga, but not physical ones. ” It made no difference to me practicing yoga naked, even though I The sense of freedom is not a physical, it’s a psychological.”

“If you’re wearing loose clothing or spandex, there’s nothing to stop you from doing all the postures or stretches or movements in yoga with the proper clothes,” said Janet Konefal, assistant dean for complementary and integrative medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

However, we have spoken to one an attendee of an all male naked yoga group. He admitted that you have to be selective when you choose your class but sees no harm in practising naked and prefers to attend all male groups as he would be slightly uneasy attending a mixed group.

All in all, I think Yoga Wellbeing and Holidays will remain fully clothed.

What do you think? Do you think the naked yoga offers more freedom in our practice?

I say, give it a try, you are bound to have more sensation.  Practice in the comfort of your own abode and always choose your naked yoga buddies wiselyX 

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The Bhagavad Gita – An Excerpt

Krishna and Arjun on the chariot

Here is a paraphrased excerpt from one of my favourite passages from the Bhagavad Gita, something I have just read after an almighty storm in the village.  These words keep me focused and grounded in fertile belief that within each of us lies our own salvation:

“…One’s self is his own best friend – or (if he chooses) his own worst enemy, achieving freedom from ego motivated planning, he views with equanimity a clod of earth, a stone, a bar of gold…like a candle flame burning steadily, he beholds himself in all beings, and all beings in that one Self…..the best yogi is he who feels the needs of others, their sorrow, their joys, as though these were his own, one who performs right action can never be destroyed, whether in this world or the next.”


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Kumbh Mela 2010 Haridwar – Video Clips

I’m writing alot about the Kumbh Mela at the moment.  After settling down for a while, those wild, mystical times seem to be flowing through my me again.  I imagine my soul is craving a level of chaos and vibrant energy that the grey island will never offer.

I love anything that challenges western sensibilities.  Wakes us to something else.  Another way of existing.  The Kumbh is ancient, holy and still wild.  I can’t remember so much, more a blur of images.  It was a short time, but deeply effecting.

So I thought I’d look on youtube and see what was out there.  I was pleasantly surprised.  These clips certainly jogged my memory.  I hope you like them.

A few of my favourite clips of the Kumbh Mela 2010 on Youtube:

A long video of the festival with the babas in all their glory –

Another good video of a day at the Kumbh –

A day with a Sadhu at the Kumbh –

A short Italian film with nice images –

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