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    The Highest Mantra

    Like lots of people, one of my favourite daily practices is chanting Sanskrit mantras. Even my most sceptical students quickly feel the benefits of chanting once they get over any initial embarrassment at using their voice. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you can’t sing well because Mantra chanting is not intended to be a musical practice, even though many people these days make beautiful music with mantras. The real benefit lies in the vibrations created by the sound of the voice, and the calming, peaceful energy that arises from silent repetition, which is profoundly healing. All ancient languages are powerful in this way, so chanting in Hebrew, or Ancient Greek…

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    Motherly Love

    Once a year, in most countries, we celebrate Mothers. I suspect that one of the reasons that we do so – aside from the commercial enthusiasm of those selling flowers, chocolate and greeting cards – is the tacit recognition that many mothers are under-supported and generally un-celebrated most of the time. With the clarity of hindsight, I have no doubt that the lack of support and appropriate rest during three pregnancies and after childbirth contributed to much of the chronic exhaustion I experienced over the past 15 years, since we can’t easily stop the ball rolling once it starts! As Vinaya Saunders wrote in “How Ayurveda can support a new…

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    New moon, new start!

    Namaste! Early September has always felt more like a new beginning for me than New Year’s day, perhaps because the long vacation period helps to create a fresh perspective on life. This summer I have been fully devoted to rebalancing my energy after a difficult spring, when exhaustion debilitated me for a few months. I’m now taking my time and enjoying the opportunity to live in the rhythm of each day, something I have not been able to do since I was a child! These past few months have been yet another chance to draw strength and courage from my yoga practice.  It’s rather humbling to suddenly be unable to…

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    Healing in the Laboratory of Life

    I’ve just returned from a weekend yoga retreat in the beautiful Belgian Ardennes, where trees seem to caress each other and a multitude of birds provides the musical score for the entire experience. Being in nature is essential to our well being, although living in the city we can easily forget this, and feel cut off from nature and our human nature as well. The underlying focus of the weekend was to experience and increase awareness of the divine feminine power called Shakti, the life force that animates everything, in all realms. The masculine principle, Shiva, is pure consciousness and latent potential, and needs Shakti to create and bring all…