Question 1 – 10 Years of Teaching Yoga

In April this year (2020) I have been teaching yoga for 10 years. The plan to mark this milestone in teaching, was to go out for a meal with students and friends. However, very bad timing with Covid and the restrictions.

What could I do to mark the 10 years? well, I know, lets get some questions about my ten years of teaching and answer them in video format.

The first questions I answered was …

How has your attitude and teaching techniques changed over the 10 years since I started teaching?

For the answer and some information about stretching, please watch the video.




Posted in News and tagged

Constrained in Chaos

When, as we are now, we find ourselves having conform to a way of life, it shows us things. Problem is, it shows us stuff we might not want to look at. Stuff thats difficult to deal with. Whats worse, is our schooling and society really doesn’t prepare us properly for this stuff. As a result we don’t know how to handle the “stuff” and of course we don’t know how to help or support others with this “stuff”.
Of course this “stuff” comes up all through our life, just maybe more so now when we are having to live in a more constrained way.
Utlimalty this is an opportunity to allow ourselves to sit with the troubles, thoughts and emotions which may be more prevelant.
Take some time find a serene place, and allow yourself to witness the mind, to feel the emotions. To accept yourself with all of this and to be present with it. Do not shy away from it, face it, accept it. Allow your emotions to flow and be kind to yourself.
This is yoga … read the yogic texts, you will see, posture work came later. Posture work can help, it’s a great thing to do, but to miss the mind and emotions is to miss a great deal.

Posted in About Yoga, Contemplations and tagged

How does yoga relate to these times?

Whilst having to cancel classes in response to the Coronovirus situation, I had the following thoughts, and wanted to share them with you all. It might not be as polished as I would like, but it’s better to get my thoughts out than not.

Yoga concerns itself with all aspects of our lives, the humanity, the universe (Inc. how it works) and more. Yoga can help people to find their most creative and healthy expression as individuals. It can help us find the perfect life for us to live, although that might not always be the, richest or most famous life we would like.

One aspect, Ahimsa, or non-harming is relevant here. The cancelation of the class is a way of practicing non-harming (Ahimsa) in the present situation. By cancelling the class we avoid contributing harm from the spread of the virus.

On the other hand, to make this decision I have had to overcome my attachment to teaching the class, sharing time with you all, and the routine of the Tuesday evening.
I appreciate the cancellations might be frustrating or troubling. This is totally understandable. Therefore, I offer my personal perspective in case it is of some help.

We all have common issues we face from time to time. The specifics and triggers will differ from individual to individual, and from situation to situation. It’s possible some of these we might not even be clearly aware of. We may just experience difficulties and not have seen any patterns. Yoga can help us be more aware and see patters, then we are in a good position to be able to resolve these patterns.
Our attachments and aversions often cause us trouble. Our minds and emotions disturbed when our expectations are not met, or, we have need to do something were averse to doing. For example, because I am attached to teaching the class, I am averse to cancelling the class. However, because I serve others when teaching the class, I need to be mindful of ahimsa and other principles. These principles guide me, especially when my attachments and aversions kick in. I was able to make the decision to cancel these classes because I took a high level view centred on what was right for all those involved. I had to step past my own preferences.

We use the positive principles found in yoga to overcome the challenges and difficulties in life. Our decision making and response to these challenges can be guided by the principles of yoga. The decisions we make based on these principles may not always be easy to make. However, when these principles are applied well, they are healthy and supportive overall. They provide the best path forward, even if it is a difficult one to walk.

The challenges of life if viewed in a positive light are an excellent opportunity to push past our turmoil and become mentally stronger, more resilient and support us to open up to our inner joy. The very act of ignoring our attachments and aversion for the greater good is almost the essence of practicing yoga in daily life. Yes sometimes we fail when we try, but that’s okay, we only truly fail when we give up trying!
Yoga as a daily practice is as much about cultivating awareness, and using it for transformation, as it is posture work. Awareness and compassion leads to seeing and accepting our own problems (and pain). The yoga way, of not causing pain too others while we deal with ours is very powerful, but also challenging. Here we also see ahimsa (non-harming) being applied to ourselves and others. Let’s be compassionate to, and self-accepting, of ourselves and others. Let’s try and become stronger by not letting our inner turmoil ripple out to others whilst being caring for both ourselves and others in the process. Again, yes we fail from time to time, this isn’t failing really it’s “trying”. True failure is when we give up trying. Yes I said that twice now, why? Because this is so important. The not giving up, it is important! Most people I know, truly do try and avoid their pain affecting others. From personal experience I know we can always be tested on this point and so it’s a reminder for me more than anyone.

When we find ourselves in challenging times it can be used for the most powerful transformation. The bigger the challenge the deeper and longer lasting the change. However, when normal balance returns to our daily lives the positive habits we develop in more challenging times help is during the more mundane times. No matter how challenging the times we live in, daily life offers us powerful opportunities for change. Each day, and each moment in each day, provides us with opportunity to grow and find inner peace. Yoga provides much to help us with living our lives.
The subject of yoga in daily life is far too much to explore in this space. However it can be easier in personal discussions. So please let me know if you would like more info on the principles of yoga, or just want to chat.

In the meantime I wish you all the very best in getting through these difficult times.

Posted in Contemplations and tagged
Also found on: Google+ Google+