• Blog

    Gratitude and non-attachment

    There is a lot of change happening in my life lately (I know I am not alone in this experience, but hey, this is my blog!).  Big changes have marked my entire life and each one has brought a leap forward in understanding and personal evolution. Yet, all around me, people are saying or writing things to me such as how sad/lonely/lost/disturbed I must be by my daughter leaving home for university, or by handing over the yoga centre to someone else, or by setting aside my yoga classes, as if there is no other option but to regret these things. What if there were another option? What could these…

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    Fear is a sign to come home to yourself

    Fear seems to be a major driver in our world these days and adds to a generalised feeling of instability and upset that requires constant examination and rebalancing, lest we get sucked into the turmoil. A couple of weeks ago, following a series of tests on my beleaguered hip, an orthopaedic surgeon recommended operating as a way of resolving the pain and damage that had accrued successive accidents over the past 18 months. It was a pretty heavy programme – with no certainty of success, and ultimately leading to 6 weeks on crutches – which was hard for me to get my head around.  I found myself agreeing to a…

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    Impermanence is the fountain of youth!

    When effort is needed, effort will appear. When effortlessness becomes essential, it will assert itself. You need not push life about. Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment, which is the dying now to the now. For living is dying. Without death, life cannot be. ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (Important message at the end, if you don’t have time to read it all!) Every day and throughout life we live in cycles – morning-noon-night; active-passive-active-passive – which are set within ever greater cycles: days turn to weeks turn to months turn to years, and on and on. Within each cycle there is…

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    (Still) Learning to say “No”

    I blinked and more than a month has gone by since my last message to you! It’s been busy a period of tying up loose ends and setting things up for the months ahead, and it’s now catching up with me. I don’t always choose well, alas, sometimes due to a vague and ill-defined guilt that I must do something to help others even if I don’t really have the energy or won’t get paid for it. But this wrong action is sometimes followed by a mix of anger and resentment at myself for not having respected my own needs yet again – leading to an unhelpful drain on my…

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    Ubuntu* ~ “I am what I am because of who we all are”

    Twenty years ago this month I received my first yoga teacher certification in Goa, India. I didn’t see myself as a teacher at that time, just a seeker who needed to stretch out of the box I had put myself in since my high school years. Anyway, a certificate doesn’t make one a teacher and just as parents are born along with their child, teachers are born from their students. In the months following my training, friends started asking me to teach them something. So, bit by bit, I shared what I knew for free until friends of friends and then strangers started to join in, at which point I…

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    How not to go crazy in a mad world

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurthi (1895-1986) It’s pretty hard to observe what’s going on in the world these days without – at the very least – shaking your head in wonder. The Internet and social media make it feel all the more urgent, and it’s a challenge to avoid getting drawn into agonising over the madness. But how real is any of this? I often remember what a delightfully calm Ayurvedic doctor told me when I sat down with him to ponder the insanity of the Kundalini Yoga Festival I was attending in Rishikesh a few years ago:…

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    Turning the corner

    Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace. ~Bhagavad Gita, 12:12 Non-attachment is one of the principal teachings of all ancient wisdom traditions, and allows us to remain in the flow of life where the only constant is change. Called aparigraha in Sanskrit, it is the fifth of the five Yama, or observances, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. It’s a profound concept, but essentially it means taking only what we need, keeping only what is necessary in the moment, and – most importantly – letting go when the time is right! This is…

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    Guru Purnima – Honouring our teachers

    Today’s full moon is my favourite moon of the year, because it is Guru Purnima. Purnima means full moon in Sanskrit, and Guru means the remover (ru) of darkness (gu). This special full moon is also known as Buddha Purnima to Buddhists, and Vyasa Purnima in honour of Veda Vyasa, who was both the author and a character in the epic Mahabharata (“the great land of light”). For thousands of years, this has been a time of honouring the teacher and the teachings that lead us to enlightenment. Regardless of the appearance or form or your guru, or whether there have been many or just one very special teacher, the…

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    Embrace uncertainty, and let go of everything else!

    Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later. ~ Bob Goff I have seen people in my laughter yoga sessions who seem unable to drop the mask of identity, and therefore can’t bring themselves to laugh – sometimes for an entire 30-40 minute session. That takes some effort! Afraid to dare to be liberated from the role they have unconsciously imposed on themselves, and so bound up in their projected image, they feel they can’t risk losing control by laughing like an innocent child in front of – gasp! – strangers. We are inevitably vulnerable and insecure with others when…

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    Redefining who we are

    Freshly back from a month in India and I must admit I’m reluctant to jump back into the noise of connectivity, but with a very potent solar eclipse happening overnight tonight (Tuesday), I couldn’t stay silent. If ever there was a time to focus on your spiritual journey, this is it! This is a South-Node eclipse, which means that there is a strong likelihood of letting go of something or saying goodbye to someone, metaphorically or literally, with the potential to free us up for a forward leap into a better alignment with our life’s purpose. This eclipse challenges our cherished core values, dreams and delusions. Its influence is going…