I have procrastinated about this post for weeks. I don’t want to make it appear that dealing with a person who is self harming is easy. However, I think that stories about the application of Upaya – skilful or expedient means – are always useful. I also feel that this story shows the value of the Daoist idea that everyone needs a Gong, i.e., a skill developed through practice and perseverance that typically involves both mind and body.Read more
This was how I approached asana practice after my leg was amputated. The approach has worked well for other peopleRead more
I hope my experience surviving a year alone in hospital, 1000 kms from my home, with no visitors and unable to walk will give people a few clues for developing their own strategies for staying at home or self isolation.Read more
An example of applying that from my experience is managing pain. Pain is worse the more afraid you are. Naturally Pranayama helps greatly and if you can suppress the activity of your sympathetic nervous system sufficiently even extreme pain becomes just an unpleasant sensation.Read more
For most people, walking freely on two legs is basic to being human, so basic that they never think about it. Losing that ability is devastating and has profound psychological effects as well as physical ones.
I spent a very long time alone in a hospital bed in extreme pain and it was by far the best yoga lesson that I have ever had. The Yoga Sutras, as well as common sense, tell us that of all the ways of knowing something direct experience is the best. Now that I have the experience of successfully applying the science of yoga to that extreme situation I feel I have a responsibility to teach others what I learnt as well as I can.Read more
After a class at Glenunga I had a Bill Clinton moment. While everyone in the class did as well as they could I wasn’t satisfied that I was getting the magic of traditional yoga across.
I looked into my early practices in hospital and asked myself, what was I doing that was so effective. How was it that I was strong enough to get up and walk in my first prosthesis with no trouble? How did I really reduce pain and deal with the storm of negative emotions that threatened to engulf me? What was it that was so unobtrusive that I could do it comfortably in a room full of strangers?
The answer wasn’t long in coming, ‘It’s the breathing, stupid’.Read more
There is little doubt that Sri T Krishnamacharya is the most influential yoga teacher of the last century. Often calledRead more
An introduction to the Nadi Shodian and Sitali pranayama practices combined. The practice is preceded by a few simple asanas and intended to help beginners start this extremely helpful practice.
A video can’t replace pranayama instruction from an experienced teacher but it will get you started. Take care no to introduce stress or any laboured breathing. Pranayama is most effective when breath is control is allowed to increase naturally and gently. Forcing either the preparatory asanas or the practice itself is of little use can have the opposite of the intended result.Read more
Extending the length of your exhalation is a fundamental element of yoga practice. Regulating the breath so that it isRead more
When doing breathing or asana practice it is important to count repetitions to make sure that you don’t just driftRead more