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Yoga Philosophy

Sharing & Caring: “Aparigraha”

I find myself challenged by something that relates to this one this week….”Aparigraha”, one of the yogic yamas in accordance with Patanjali’s sutras is generally interpreted as meaning that as humans, we should not give in to greed. Essentially, though, “aparigraha” describes the practice of healthy detachment and perhaps also the ability to be accepting […]

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The Secret to Happiness? Enough with The Striving (You’re Good Enough Already)

To strive is to constantly feel there is something we haven’t quite got yet, but when/if we do get it, we will feel better. If we keep striving, we (believe we) will get “there”. “Here” is obviously no good. Eventually, one day, we will fill the empty space that gnaws at us. All will be well and we will finally be happy and content. Unfortunately, once we are “there”, “there” is suddenly here again, but, hey, look over there , because once again, over there seems better…Mmm…

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What is Really Meant By Cardio-Vascular Health & Fitness?

Cardio-Vascular fitness is obtained or maintained by enhancing blood circulation and optimising the ability of our organs and muscles to efficiently move oxygen around the body and into the cells.

Yogic health science might describe oxygen and blood as citta or prana, traditional Chinese Medicine as qi. But what’s interesting here is that although we hear over and over again that we should be “raising our heart rate” (in order to be able to achieve the above), we also KNOW that the healthiest people – elite athletes, yogis, divers – tend to have the lowest, resting heart rates. The resting heart rates of unhealthy or anxious people however – for example those with lots of medical problems due to lifestyle, diet or illness – may be higher than average.

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Why All Yoga is “Kundalini” Yoga

Not long ago someone asked me if I taught ‪kundalini‬ yoga. The fact is, that ALL yoga is kundalini yoga inasmuch as labelling different “styles” of yoga began in our Western world. Certainly it is not traditional because at its core (pardon the pun), when taught properly, yoga is yoga. All styles have, at their essence, the same philosophy and the same goal (to not be attached to!).

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A Real Yoga Challenge; Empathy, Compassion & (Healthy) Detachment

I met *Bryce about 20 or so years ago when I was working on an assignment for my university course about alcoholism. Sitting across the table from him at the Salvation Army in Surry Hills, it was easy to recall that I had seen him before, getting on the train at Town Hall Station. He was hard to miss, covered as he was in tattoos, mostly unprofessional, including a huge one scrawled across his neck that spelt out a girls’ name; *Jenny. As intimidating as he appeared, he came across as warm, gentle, affable and vulnerable. He told me that “Jenny” was the name of his young daughter, who was now in care. Her mother was still living the life of an addict but he had opted, a few years ago, to completely change things. One day, he simply woke up and decided to give up alcohol, cigarettes and heroin.

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Yoga, Pilates or Body Balance; What’s the Difference?

Sometimes there are questions about the differences between things like yoga and Pilates. Even yogasana-inspired, gym-based Body Balance is often purported to be yoga. Really though, this is like comparing apples with oranges since the true meaning of yoga has little to do with exercise and actually comes back to levels of consciousness and maintaining a healthy mind. How we actively observe our thoughts and ego during the practice of asana, plus our lifestyle and attitude generally – this is yoga.

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What do Physical Postures (Asanas) Have to do With Daily Life or Yoga?

Yoga is far more than just physical postures, but, generally, when we attend a yoga class, that is what we expect to learn and participate in. Yoga philosophy classes, while esoterically interesting, will never appeal to the majority of people who, at least initially, come to class for a bit of a work out. But, while the yoga purists might tut tut and mutter under their breath that asanas are virtually irrelevant, I absolutely beg to differ. Here are some of the reasons why:

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Defining “Asteya” – Non-Stealing

We all know that it is wrong to steal “stuff” – to take things that do not belong to us, to commit fraud or to plagiarise etc but there are other forms of stealing that are more relevant to the average person when it comes to observing the yamas and niyamas. When the class is relaxed, peaceful and quiet, it can be frustrating when someone’s phone rings or buzzes. It can affect the equanimity of the whole room if one person begins to shuffle around, sighing with boredom while everyone else is lying still in relaxation. Then there are those folk who seem to explode into a yoga room, often late and usually loudly, “stealing” others’ rights to some (often) rare quiet time.

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What is TAPAS?

I love tapas – and not just the delicious mini-meals you share with friends and family as part of a traditional Spanish-type dining experience – but the tapas that relates to yoga.

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