The Path to Change

If you want to change your habits, try changing your environment.

I’d heard this before, but it was many years ago on a visit to a mountain bothy (abandoned shepherds’ cottages restored as basic shelters for hillwalkers) in Scotland that I discovered someone had left a copy of Reader’s Digest. Short of reading material, I made my way past “I am Jack’s Medula Oblongata” and found myself engrossed in an article on changing habits. The author, […]

True Nature

One day long ago, Zen master Gensha was travelling through the countryside with his disciple, Kyosho. As they stopped for lunch, the young disciple seemed troubled.

“Master Gensha,” he said with a bowing of his head. “How do I enter Zen?”

Gensha nodded but said nothing at first, and the young man’s impatience was almost palpable in the silence that followed.

“Do you hear the sound of the mountain stream?” Gensha asked.

The boy listened, and far off in the […]

Upgrade Your Operating System

The underlying premise of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is that our mind’s operating system is flawed.

Patanjali tells us that the very reason we suffer in life, the root source of all our stress and anxiety and depression and worries is that our basic viewpoint on life is flawed. He calls this lack of seeing clearly Avidya, which is Sanskrit for misperception.

Our operating system is usually based on the culture in which […]

Yoga Beyond Exercise

“I love yoga! It’s just not exercise, it’s the body mind stabiliser I need,” a student said to me today when we finished our class.

I smiled at her peaceful face and asked her to explain a little more:

“In the last five years my business has grown enormously and although that’s fantastic. I’ve been travelling and working long hours, then coming home to my family with commitments there too.”

She went on to tell me that only […]

Getting Back to the Mat

There are a million reasons why our beloved Yoga practice can grind to a halt, usually arising from some variation of how busy our everyday lives can be.

If you’re finding it difficult to get back onto the mat, here are a few ideas that can help you get your practice going and keep it regular:

  1. Grow Your Tree from the Roots Up—Just as a strong tree starts from a tiny seed, a strong habit of practising […]

Success and Failure

There is no failure in Yoga.

We were chatting about this in the workshop yesterday, and if you think there’s a possibility to “succeed” at anything in Yoga, or conversely to “fail” then you really don’t understand what Yoga is all about. And this isn’t some bland soapbox-spiritual new-age way to excuse yourself and bypass the real work to be done. It’s a simple, basic fact.

You see, Yoga is about experiencing reality as it arises. Yoga […]

What is the Future of Yoga?

We live in a time when “everyone knows what Yoga is” but one thing is for sure, there’s a lot out there that’s being called Yoga that isn’t. The media profile for Yoga suggests a focus on exercise, gymnastics/contortionism and attaining perfection. Social media and Yoga magazines bombard us with these images of perfect bodies in perfect postures. Junior teachers straight out of the most basic training with little background in Yoga present as if they […]

The Practice of Not-Practising

Do you practice Yoga every day?

That is, of course the ideal scenario. When you hit that mark, your practice noticeably begins to effect shifts and changes in your life. But what about when you don’t? What about those days (weeks/months?) when your practice slips away, engulfed in the ten thousand things we need to do in everyday life?

There can definitely be an element of shame in not practising, especially when your teacher asks you how it’s […]