• Blog

    Is your life a pain in the neck?

    At the beginning of my group hatha yoga classes, I ask my students how they are feeling and what they would like to do. Pretty much every time, most hands are drawn like magnets to their respective necks and shoulders, and relieving tension there is always at the top of the list of things to work on during the session. It’s so common for people to have neck and shoulder pain in our culture that many people have no memory of ever feeling free in that part of their body. The habitual misuse of the neck continues into asana practice, even amongst yoga teachers. Without a doubt, a physical misalignment…

  • Blog,  Featured

    A plea for mindfulness in mindless times

    If we are truly mindful, we can see that nothing is at it appears to be. Looking deeply, as all sages have taught, shows us that the root cause of our suffering can be traced back to our thoughts, and acts of violence that promote further suffering can themselves be traced back to earlier suffering – also stemming from earlier violence, and always caused by ignorance. It doesn’t really matter what or why. The suffering is there and the desire to make another suffer springs from that. Misery loves company, as the saying goes. However much we would like to imagine it so, our spiritual practice and awareness can’t be…

  • Blog

    Learning from Pain

    “Only this actual moment is life.” Thich Nhat Hanh I have been in relatively intense pain for most of the past two months. It started out as the dull, nagging pain that briefly rears its head a few times a year, the mild twinge of an injury caused by a misguided and over-zealous therapeutic “adjustment” which tore my sacroiliac joint four years ago, and possibly triggered by a twisted ankle in June. This time, though, the pain has stayed with me, and even worsened, lingering through several visits to osteopaths, acupuncturists and other healers, and spreading down into my hip and leg. At times it takes my breath away, until…