By the time you are reading this, I will be in India. It is my fourth visit to the subcontinent, and somewhat like the other trips, it just kind of happened. Over the course of several short weeks in the fall of 2018, I had a number of people ask- completely out of the blue- when I was taking a group to India, and that when I did, they were in. Clearly the plan was out there, I just hadn’t heard about it yet. Synchronicity, divine timing and spirit commingled, and I was again swept (with excitement and anxiety in equal measure) into a pilgrimage beyond my own making.… Read the rest
’Tis the season of excess. In all the ways. Too much doing, rushing, eating, whirling, spending, running, shopping. Too much of too much. Seems to me it’s the perfect time to get back to basics and revisit the foundations of yoga, which set the stage for a shift of consciousness from chaos toward freedom.
The fifth yama listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is aparigraha. Breaking the word into its parts, you have: a- a prefix that changes the meaning of what it precedes to the opposite; pari- “on all sides”; graha- “to grab. To grab on all sides (or in every direction) would be parigraha, and that, in a word, sums up how we tend to move through the holidays.… Read the rest
Back in April, after about six weeks of deep, aching back pain, I went for an MRI. Unlike most test results I’ve had in my life where I’m told “everything looks fine” I was given an actual diagnosis: a stress fracture at L4. It’s not a big deal. I was in a brace for a month and still have one month more of limited activity yet to go and everything should heal completely. It did provide fodder for a good laugh with a friend– that I’d been going on for such a long time about needing “a break” that I finally got one.… Read the rest
by Jill Sockman
At the end of Patanjali’s list of niyamas (personal observances) is ishvara pranidhana. I tend to believe it was placed at the end for a reason — a culmination of sorts, and some great commentators on the Yoga Sutras argue if one can master this niyama, there is no need for anything else. No surprise then, that perhaps it’s the hardest to do.
As with everything else in Sanskrit — and yoga for that matter — there are many definitions and interpretations of ishvara pranidhana. To wrap them up, boil them down, titrate to the essence, I offer you this: to dedicate our efforts to present moment awareness without attachment; to be in a continual state of offering our actions to something bigger than ourselves; to ever surrender our small, individual will to that which is greater — whatever your personal interpretation of “greater” might be.… Read the rest