Chiana surrendering in Kerala. No telephone, no internet, no traffic; the boat is gliding through the Indian backwaters at the speed of a snail – for days.
Autumn is here – a new season upon us – summer is silently crawling into the roots of the trees – the leaves are falling reminding us of an end and a new beginning. Every day, every moment, every breath, every thought contains an end and a new beginning
That is why transitions are so important and we can practice this so beautifully on the yoga mat. Moving consciously from one posture into the next, ...
“You are not a drop in the ocean, you are a whole ocean in a drop.” Rumi
Summer, sun, be happy! – Live actively
The smell of freshly cut grass, the coolness of a heavy summer rain – sometimes you take the time and leisure to indulge in that pleasure – sometimes you rush by – what’s the difference? … Consciousness … to be aware.
How can we actively live our joy and truly value our friends, family, leisure and nature around us?
Yoga offers a way. Yoga is more than physical exercise. It is first and foremost consciousness.
Become aware of breathing ...
“Sukha” is Joy, “Dukha” is suffering. Buddha elaborates this beautifully in his “Four Noble Truths”:
There is suffering
There is a cause to your suffering
There is a way out
Let me show you the way.
I find the ancient yoga scripts pertaining just the same “truths” through the 8th fold path as in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as just one example and in our modern days – there it is again – just the same old beautiful contemporary wisdom as Byron Katie explains it wonderfully in her new book:
“When I woke up to reality in ...
Durga – Goddess of Strength, Power and Courage
That moment when you say “I can’t do this anymore” or “I give up” or “I’m not strong enough”; that moment, when you have almost reached the mountain top and are about to walk back or want to throw your studies just before you finished your final exam. We all have moments like that where usually it is our mind that exudes doubt and worthlessness and we are giving up or about to give up. Now that’s a Durga Moment – a moment to envoke Durga
Om Dum Durgayei Namaha
So the story goes ..
In gratitude ...
Authenticity – be yourself!
Once upon a time …
… there lived a yogi the mountains of the Himalayas, alone and withdrawn in a small hut. The village at the foot of the mountain had taken over the care of him sending supplies and food – whatever he needed. They went to visit him when they needed advise or rest in exchange. When a festival was organized in the village, the yogi was informed that a delegation would like to visit him. On the day of the festival, the yogi started to spring-clean his hut and polished the floor, the windows, kitchen, and altar, washed ...
When I walk barefoot through the grass and throw the ball for our dogs I feel free. When I am at my girlfriend’s farm, sitting on the tractor I feel free. When I’m immersed in service to others or “forget myself” absorbed in the details of a yoga pose I taste freedom.
I realise that this freedom doesn’t have to do with where I am, with whom I’m with or what I own. It really is a momentary freedom of unity that is a gift of the present that comes from within. These spontaneous feelings of freedom are not arranged, they happen like the state of meditation; ...
The Great Yogi – Who is Shiva?
So far this year we have been blessed by Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, and by Lakshmi, who teaches us to pass on what we have been given. This month we turn to another deity, who reflects different aspects of our lives. The god Shiva, depending on which tradition of Hinduism one looks at, is interpreted to have different meanings. Within the Trimurti, for example, Shiva is seen as the “destroyer of evil and the transformer”, and together with Brahma, the creator, and Vishnu, the sustainer, they form the Hindu trinity. Other ...
Wealth, Fortune, Prosperity – Who is Lakshmi?
Having begun the New Year under the care of Ganesha, we are now in a good place to consider who else in the realm of Hinduist gods might accompany us on our journey this year. Quite likely when we start something new, we wish that whatever project we are devoting our time, energy, and other resources to will grow and foster. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity is said to aid in bringing about a prosperous outcome of our undertakings.
Lakshmi has the symbolic meaning of knowing and understanding your ...
New Beginnings – Who is Ganesha?
In the Hindu mythology, there is no other deity than Lord Ganesha that would be more fitting to kick us off into the New Year. Ganesha, the god with the big belly and an elephant head represents new beginnings and prosperity, is known as the remover of obstacles and is called upon before every new venture. Hinuds make offerings to Ganesha especially in the mornings and call upon him to bless new projects, marriages, the birth of a child, and even simple acts like buying a car. You might also often see the Ganesha statue at the entrance ...
Aparigraha – Non-possesiveness
Aparigraha, the practice of non-possessiveness, non-accumulation, or non-attachment is a part of the Yamas, the first limb of the eightfold path of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga). Each of the limbs offer us the necessary tools to still the mind and become more and more established in our true nature. Now, the question may arise what a calm mind and the way of Yoga have to do with not accumulating possessions we do not really need, and letting go of all kinds of dependencies, for example on people, places and things?
The reason that the ...
Satya – Truth
The spiritual practice of Yoga is a journey of self-inquiry and anyone embarking on this journey will eventually be faced with the necessity of getting honest; honest with themselves and others about who they really are. This means that early on in our Yoga practice we are asked to cultivate the quality of truth, or Satya. As Satya is one of the five aspects of the first limb of Ashtanga Yoga – or the eight-fold path of Yoga that leads to ultimate freedom or liberation, we might say that being truthful is inevitable for the attainment of freedom and ...
Santosha – Contentment
Yoga does not just happen on the mat. In fact, the eightfold path of Yoga as laid out by the sage Patanjali describes two steps before going into the actual practice of asanas (body postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) and then moving on from there. These first two limbs, pre-asana, are all about our attitudes that guide our actions in day to day life and how we treat ourselves and others. These principles of conduct are summed up in the Yamas and Niyamas and how much we have integrated them will show in our asana, pranayama and ...