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Yoga Solutions: REAL transformation

It is regularly stated that the physical practice of yoga is only a part of what yoga is, but even by those that say this, it is treated as 'separate' from other practices like pranayama and meditation. And by those that prefer meditation or breath-work, the physical is even relegated to a lower status than the 'higher function' practices of meditation, and its gateway practice pranayama.

This is a huge mistake, that leads to an entrenchment of the experienced separation between body mind and soul that leads people to yoga in the first place. The avoidance of the physical is an avoidance of learning how to actually apply the realisations that arise from pranayama and meditation to real life. Unless the body is in harmony with the mind and breath, then no amount of 'control' of these things will cause a real-life manifestation of the change that is being sought after.

I started my yoga journey with a desire to 'fix my body'... but I soon realised that my body was complaining because of the way I felt about and interacted with life itself. The body's complaints were not my body 'going wrong' - it was complaining in a very straight-forward fashion about simple things like having to hold me up; it didn't like it when doing things made it harder to breathe; and old issues like my neck and lower back would flare up when I didn't like what was going on in life around me...

Before I became aware of the relationship between what my body was telling me, and my own feelings/actions/behaviours/ideas about life, I could easily persuade myself that I was 'right' to think what i think, do what i do, and believe what I believe. I could persuade myself of anything that suited my personality as it was without any need for change. Which of course made any kind of real change impossible.

Once i discovered this relationship, I knew that really, I had no idea what was real and what was some mental construct I had learnt/adopted from someone else of decided for myself to suit my agenda. BUT, in applying principles of practice - ideas that i had, like 'kindness' - to my physical practice, I could directly DISCOVER what the real meaning of the word is... Because if kindness to my body during action should help it heal, then if I wasn't healing, it was the meaning of 'kindness' that I was applying that needed shifting - until it worked, because then the body would heal and I would understand what kindness actually is, rather than what I have pre-decided it means.

In the recording below I share something of my own story and a longterm healing of a mild scoliosis that felt to be the source of a plethora of postural issues that got me to begin my journey over 30 years ago. And how the process of discovery through practice and deep self-inquiry has led to an understanding of things based in reality rather than opinion and bias... and to a life where I get more comfortable, and in many ways younger in my body as I get older.

I also share a little something at the end that shows how the breath is the vehicle for marrying up intention with the natural body in movement. Enjoy!

coming up: *Saturday morning workshops as usual (on Zoom 10:30am start)

*A rather special 1 week yoga retreat and holiday in Turkey (starts July 10th - spaces available) The week will be centred around pranayama and its application to real life and practice.

* I am teaching at the World Yoga Festival in August.

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