When I reflect upon my time in India, I marvel at the grand design of it all, and how lucky and blessed I am to have had my life change in such a positive way. Finding Vishva was the start of it all. When I walked into the hotel in Delhi and saw Vishva ji surrounded with people, this small man with a kind smiling face and healthy laugh, I had no idea what a teacher I had chosen.
His background was that he had studied and practiced Hatha and Raja yoga and the Vedic healing arts in northern India since childhood. From the age of 8, he studied Vedic wisdom at Kanvashram in the foothills of the Himalayas. With its historic... read on
We are born with an innate wisdom, and everything we need to know about loving and living is already within us from the time we are born. The process of living, when guided accordingly, helps us to uncover, or “dis-cover” this inner wisdom through our experiences and how we react to them.
Kids are often the closest to this Source, however..... keep reading...
We all have our first memories of yoga. Mine were at drama school studying to be an actress. There the focus was to literally oil the body so that it was a flexible and stronger machine to malleably transform into a multitude of different characters. At the time it was the only light in the excruciating dark tunnel of all the other forms of exercise we were doing. I had a congenital issue with my knees where my patella would displace at will and especially during times of high activity such as movement classes. It was incredibly painful and I felt...
At some point along the Yoga road, you see that whilst it all has meaning, it also means nothing. Life is a series of events and we are so attached to it all, the labels, the assumptions, the judgements, the likes and dislikes the multitude of material things that we think of as a part of us.
Then we begin to see this and we try to shed it all. Peel away the layers to get to the core of our being, which we know is Loving Awareness but there is an ocean between knowing this to be true and feeling it. We come to our practice and we do it religiously until we notice that whether or not we can do scorpion standing on our noses makes little difference to whether we are dwelling in Brahman.
Let’s face it, we aren’t perfect. Striving to achieve and behave in perfect ways, our vision of the most perfect us, leads us to being unhappy with ourselves.
Ahimsa or ‘non-harming’ starts at home. Having love for ourselves is something we are told we must do, and most of us claim to do it but if we were to listen in to anyone’s internal dialogue it would often be far from loving. We berate ourselves for our short comings and when we are swept away from our calm reasonable selves by our emotions.
We often tell people during yoga practice to “watch the Breath” – why is this? Is it to remind us to breathe? Well, that is part of it. We often hold our breath when we are nervous, worried and focusing very hard on something. But ultimately breathing is not a process we have to think about in order to do it. So, we say "watch the Breath", because watching the Breath helps us stay in the present moment.
Life is busy! Too busy most days, almost like time is speeding up. We want things now. We want things yesterday. We want things fast.
With the evolvement of mobile phones, internet and other modern tools, we are constantly being bombarded with outside stimulus. From television, radio, computers, video games, phonecalls, emails. And when we are not being bombarded, we miss it. Most of us actually start to look for something to occupy our minds, to keep our attention, to fill our time.
When we deprive our minds of outside stimuli, and try to find some quiet and stillness amongst the noise of life, the mind still keeps ticking. Sometimes we may even percieve there to be more thoughts present when we are quiet but they are just more obvious, more recognisable. It's very easy to allow our minds, our thoughts to take us away into tomorrow’s meeting, yesterday’s events or next week’s plans.
So we look to the teaching of Yoga. We use Asana or (Postures). And to help us along the way we use: Dristi or (Point of Focus) and Ujjyi Breathing or (Victorious Sounding Breath).
But if there are Eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga then why do we, generally, begin the practice of Yoga with so much emphasis on the third limb, Asana and not so much on the other limbs?
Hatha yoga is a full system comprising of Asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, mudras and shatkarma. In modern day yoga, the practice of Asana is very prevalent, and all the other facets are practiced to a certain degree, but shatkarma seems to be forgotten about and left in the texts. Interestingly the Hatha yoga Pradipika says “do shatkarma first then Asana”. Why would the Rishis’ place such high regard for these obscure sometimes grotesque, cleansing techniques? Are we missing out by not following this guideline? Looking into the example of Vastra Dauhti highlights a few potential answers.
On July 10th at 9.54pm, I gave birth to my second child Soma - a baby girl, born healthy and happy and in a bath full of warm water with Yogi Sadashiv immersed fully in the experience with me.