Friday, 11 September 2015

How to Start a Daily Meditation Practice

If you are thinking to start a meditation practice, you may be interested in reading my article, that has just been posted on my publisher's website, "How to Start a Daily Meditation Practice".

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Brahmacharya in Daily Life

Loving greetings and a hearty welcome to autumn – my favourite time of year! At the moment, I’m writing an article for the Yoga Scotland magazine on ‘brahmacharya’, so I thought I’d make it the focus of this blog post.
The literal translation of the word “brahmacharya” is the “path to Brahman (the Absolute)”. In its richest sense, brahmacharya represents training your mind to resist the outward and downward pulls of sensuality that may disturb your yoga practice. This better enables you to transform your physical energy (ojas) into spiritual brilliance (tejas).
I’ve noticed that most modern yoga students have trouble relating to the simplistic interpretation of brahmacharya as celibacy. For yogis, being moderate is not primarily a question of morality, but of energy control. Brahmacharya may be better seen as nurturing a healthy respect for yourself and your partner(s). It is also about refraining from meaningless extravagances that deplete your energy. Decreasing the amount of energy you spend on sensory indulgences may include reducing your participation in forms of entertainment, such as TV and other aspects of mass media.
Some suggestions for brahmacharya in daily life:
  • Refrain from gossip!! 
  • Notice what you tend to do to excess, whether it is talking, eating, watching TV, sleeping or your sexual pursuits. Choose one of your excesses and try to be more moderate in it. 
  • Practice mouna (silence, another sort of “fast”) one day each week – or for one hour each day. Voluntary silence is one of the most powerful techniques to assist you in purifying your mind.
  • If you watch TV, give it up one day per week. Notice how much less drained you feel. Some people do a full ‘electronic fast’ each week – a full day of no internet, texting or tv!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

OM - "The Power of Karma"

I'm teaching a 5-day asana intensive in Haus Yoga Vidya: 5 hours a day of asana teaching and the rest of the day I'm free to read, walk in the forest and do my own practice. I've been reading an interesting book that explains "karma" in simple everyday terms: "The Power of Karma" by Mary T. Browne.

One of Mary's astute observations, that I've been using for journalling: "Gratitude is the first rule of spiritual development".

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Loving greetings from Westerwald - Germany's Western Forest
Today at the "graduation" of 59 advanced yoga teachers I told the following story that I'd like to share:

Three students, upon completing their studies went to sit with their teacher for one final teaching before they left the ashram. They asked him to tell them how to continue their studies and yoga practice while living in the world.

The teacher responded by simply saying the Sanskrit letter “da”, then he asked: “Do you understand?” 

“Yes" said the first student "Da" stands for 'damyata'. You want us to live life of self-control.”

The second student interjected, "do you mean 'datta' (give)? Are you telling us to be generous and to take joy in sharing?"
The third student suggested, "perhaps you mean daya (compassion)".

"Yes", said the teacher, "you all understand the teachings".

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Siva - Shakti -Matsyendra

Siva and Parvati, who embody Universal Consciousness and Infinite Energy, are said to live on Mount Kailas in western Tibet. The story goes that one lovely warm summer day, when the sun was shining and they had a respite from the snows of the long winter, they decided to go on a picnic.
They sat in a peaceful grove of trees, with a small stream running through it. After lunch, Siva started to tell Parvati about the discoveries he had been making in understanding the great mystery that lies behind the apparent reality of world. He had found that the energies within each person, the microcosm, correspond to those of the Universe, the macrocosm – and he had devised techniques for unleashing the dormant potential, which he called “yoga”.
Siva was very excited; he talked on and on for hours. Parvati couldn’t get a word in, other than to shake her head and mutter “I know”. It being a hot afternoon, after a while, Parvati became bored and fell asleep.
Although he was disappointed that his number one student was not paying attention, Siva realised that he had been telling the “secrets” of the universe to the Cosmic Mother Herself. He had been describing the Infinite Powers within the created universe to the power who had created it. He had been explaining how to raise the dormant potential to the Kundalini Shakti herself.
But, Siva had another, more attentive, student. He noticed that in the nearby stream, a fish (matsya) had his head up and was listening intently. When turned into a human being, this “lord” of fishes (matsyendra) became the first practitioner of yoga. Known as Masyendranath, he is credited as being the first in the lineage of hatha yoga gurus, who have handed down their teachings to present day yoga practitioners.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Applying the Chakras

OM - The College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington has named me as their "Consultant of the week". I'm going to be teaching a series of daytime "Applying the Chakras" Workshops in their summer school in August. They will take place 10.30-1.30 on Tues, 21 Aug and Thurs, 23 Aug - also on Tues, 28 Aug and Thurs, 30 Aug - to book:

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


For me, the new year began with a determined effort to engage in an intensive study of the spiritual teachings of yoga. If you feel that you are ready to take the next step in your inner work, please join me. I will be posting exerpts from my series of talks. And you may feel inspired to take my e-course:

"From self-study, you are able to connect with higher Truths".
- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.44