The holiday season is approaching, Christmas markets start popping up everywhere in Vienna ; lights, Christmas decorations and candles begin dressing the city and the window displays for the festive season. We feel it in the air as well: the cold winds of winter. Maybe the first snow flakes that fall on to the earth, the excitement of the kids for gifts, the warmth of family time and the rushing energy that comes with the last month of the year. It’s a magical time of the year but it tends to be stressful for most of us, as we find ourselves racing to the shops for gifts ...
Earlier this year we introduced the yogic concept of “Tapas”, one of the Niyamas, the second limb of the 8-fold path. One aspect of tapas, usually translated as self-discipline, that is often over-looked, is perseverance. Perseverance, a fleeting quality in a world that seems driven by the need for instant gratification and instant results. Who has time now-a-days to wink a taxi down the street, when the next UBER is only a few minutes away? Who wants to spend time cooking a lovely dinner after a long busy day when a delivery service does it for you? Who has time to ...
“I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough”, “Yoga is not for me, it’s too slow/boring/straining for me…”. Who hasn’t heard these or similar statements, when a conversation turns to the topic of yoga, or maybe even had these thoughts themselves?
While yoga’s popularity is increasing and more and more people practice it, very different views about what yoga actually is are spreading as well. Especially in our western – often fitness-oriented – world, yoga seems to be reduced only to its physical aspects. Yet, by reducing the term yoga in this way, ...
In The Healing Power of Mind, the Tibetan teacher, Tulku Thondup, tells a moving story to dramatize faith:
"Many centuries back a severe famine swept through a valley in Tibet. A father saw that he and his children would not live much longer since all their food was gone. And so he filled some bags with ashes, tied them with ropes from the ceiling, and told his little children, “We have lots of tsampa [food made of barley] in those bags, but we have to save it for the future.” The father died of hunger, but the children survived until some people came to rescue ...
Letting My Summer Soul Dangle
The Art of Doing Nothing – Meditation, that lives in every summer moment
Blue sky, sunshine,
be content with God and yourself,
Happiness flows through the mind,
a breath of air called silence,
Heart and senses rest relaxed,
a light wind sweeps across the land,
capturing the splendor with eyes and ears,
and so letting your soul dangle.
This month is the Story of Being Not Doing. Quite in contrast to our June topics “Yoga & Politics” and “Yoga Warriors – Moving into Action”, this month we focus on “doing ...
How yogic principles compel to engage
Developing a political attitude that’s less divisive and more mindful
United in diversity*
Unstoppable movement is twirling through themes such as climate change and current political affairs in Austria, that deeply affect us. It is a time of change that concerns all of us.
„Change is coming, if you like it or not.” Greta Thunberg
It may be uncomfortable and it may be unprofitable. But change is coming. The change is not only happening in politics, society, economics and the environment, this change first and foremost is ...
How could this relationship be better presented than by a child with our planet? The words, actions and thoughts of 16 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg do not let me go. In the month of Mother’s Day, Mother Earth comes to the forefront. She is really always in the forefront, but I see and feel her now more than ever and have therefore made her and the climate crisis in Greta’s hands our monthly theme. Our Mother Earth has given us so much, we have taken, taken and taken; now it is time to give back – urgent time; it’s an emergency, Greta, says, and we ...
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.43: "kaya indriya siddhih ashuddhi kshayat tapasah" - The inner psychic fire (tapas) destroys all impurities of the heart and mind, and brings about the health, sanity, wholeness or perfection of the physical and vital being (the inner senses). (Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda)
Tapas fits very well to our seasonal theme of saucha and spring cleaning. The word Tapas is derived from the root Sanskrit verb ‘tap’ which means ‘to burn’, and evokes a sense of ‘fiery discipline’ or ‘passion’. Tapas can mean ...
Saucha is the Sanskrit word for cleanliness and refers to purity & clarity on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual plane The physical aspect bahir saucha – outer purity – includes not only keeping one’s body pure, but also all other objects: the environment around us. To create a clean, orderly home and work or leisure space, where one can feel comfortable, retreat, be visionary and meditate, is just the same part of this form of saucha. This also means to take care of material objects, to keep them in order and in good condition.
The Yoga Studio ...
One of the many beauties of yoga is, that it has so many different approaches, fitting the character and the mood of each individual. Some people approach life intellectually, they need and want to study, read and find “mental” clarity. Yoga offers to them Jnana Yoga – the yoga of wisdom and study of self. Others find fulfillment in serving others, become doctors, or teachers for example: their path, so yoga says, is selfless service – Karma Yoga. Hatha Yoga is the way through the body. This is for the athlete in us, for the ones in physical pain and for ...
Sankalpa - Intention
The arrival of a new year is always a time of reflection – looking back at the previous year to ponder what went well and what didn’t; at the same time we look ahead at the year to come and wonder? We ponder and wonder. To give that wondering more direction, we tend to create New Year’s resolutions. The yogic answer to a New Year’s resolution is Sankalpa. It is a Sanskrit word and means “will, purpose or determination.” To make a sankalpa is best translated for us today as „to set an intention“.
Why set intentions?