Aparigraha (“You shall not hoard” or “You shall not covet”). Normally I think about the harvest festivals, which begin in the Northern Hemisphere with August's first harvest and occur every few weeks throughout the winter (Thanksgiving being most familiar in the US), when I think about non-hoarding. It is the time for being grateful, sharing… Continue reading Aparigraha a Yama for the Time of Corona
This is the season. Snow is falling. Holiday social commitments are filling up the calendar and somehow, in the tiny cracks of time between them and work, there is gift shopping to do and a life to run. Whatever holidays you’re celebrating, there is likely to be an element of stress utterly contrary to the spirit of the season. A lot… Continue reading Holiday Yoga
When I first wrote Yoga for Every Room in Your House, it was the best I could make it at the time. I’ve learned a few things since then. Some of it stands up as-is, some of it needs refining, and some additional things need to be included. The variation on the sun salutation using… Continue reading I’m Starting the Rewrite
Brahmacharya is difficult to translate into Western terms. It literally means “under the tutelage of Brahma.” Brahmacharya refers to celibacy, religious study and self-restraint. It resembles expected behavior of monks and nuns in Christian monasteries. Yet, in Indian society, many people who practice brahmacharya are married with children, because without knowledge of human love one can’t… Continue reading Brahmacharya: A Balanced Life
we try to differentiate between petty and grand theft, but stealing a dollar is as harmful to our souls as stealing the Mona Lisa would be.
I first became aware of the connection between breath and spirit in my studies of yoga because the word Pranayama means breath control. Prana literally means breath in Sanskrit. It also means spirit. In English, the words spirit and respiration come from the same root, the Latin word spiritus. In other languages the pattern is the same.… Continue reading Breath and Spirit
This batik hangs over my bed. Shiva & Parvati with the ghost of Kali. Shiva, the destroyer, leans on his trident supported by his white bull as Parvati, the perfect wife, shows him her necklace of skulls reminding him that she has another aspect. That of mad, ravening, Kali, the black one, who can do… Continue reading A Cautionary Batik
The second yama is Satya. Satya corresponds directly to the biblical commandment, “You shall not lie.” Lies chip away bits and pieces of the self and leave us hollow and disconnected. If we lie often we begin to live life in fantasy and can forget what the truth is. We are diverted away from authentic living.… Continue reading Satya: Lies and Self-destruction
First in line is ahimsa, translated commonly as “non-harming.” It is the one associated with Mahatma Gandhi and non-violence. It arises from the recognition that all beings are one with the Supreme Being and, as such, are part of ourselves.
Ben Franklin said, "actions might be forbidden because they were bad for us, or commanded because they were beneficial to us." He might be right!