A quiet revolution

There is no denying that there is a lot of pretty shitty stuff going on just now in the world – what with the POTUS being such a caricature of Dr. Evil – a whole load of young people being misled into thinking that blowing themselves up or ramming people with vans will be good for them , for God and for Islam – the people of Britain being scaremongered into Brexit, making the most divisive and stupid decision in centuries – a bunch of misguided neo-nazis, white supremacists and other general right wingers, suddenly feeling entitled and empowered by the likes of Trump, Farage and company – and the list goes on!

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The end of hate

Do you ever find that some changes, even some pretty dramatic ones, kind of creep up on you? That seems to happen a lot to me the more I practice Yoga and meditation.

Twisted plant

And yes, I am a lot more flexible, I can do poses that a few years ago I would have thought impossible, but the biggest changes, the important and most rewarding ones are totally internal.

The other day  I was having a conversation with a friend about how Yoga and meditation had totally changed my worldview. And while I was describing some of the changes, I realised something I hadn’t quite verbalised, not even internally, yet: I seem to have lost the ability to hate.

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Polishing the mirror

I’m on my way back from Mysore, in the lovely state of Karnataka in India. I spent two weeks practising Ashtanga Yoga with Saraswathi Jois and taking philosophy classes with Arvind Pare.

With Arvind we unpacked and studied a number of mantras and prayers, explored chapter 12 of the  Bhagavad Gita and studied chapter one of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

I had two goals for this trip, deepen my studies of Yoga philosophy and “get back” my Ashtanga practice. Ashtanga is traditionally meant to be practiced six days a week, ideally first thing in the morning, Most Ashtanga practitioners will tell you that building a home practice is not easy. Ashtanga is intense and the practice takes a minimum of an hour. Since I started teaching more and more classes I have let that morning practice slip. I would do some Yoga, and always do meditation, but hardly ever would I do my full Ashtanga practice. And you know what? I missed it dearly.

Dirty mirror

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