Wednesday, June 27, 2012


People have often asked me; ‘where is home,’ as I tend to be a bit of a Nomad and move around the world fairly often and my response would have to be, home is in your heart.  Your heart is a place where you can always find refuge and shelter, take stock of who you are and find peace.  If we could all spend a little more time looking within instead of externally we would find a little more happiness.  For the next month, I will be returning home to the house I was born in and to spend some quality time with my parents who I simply don’t get to see enough, our parents are precious, they give us everything, they gave me this body in which I am travelling, they took care of me when I needed them and they give unconditional love, so I am anxious now to get back to them and give them all I can in the little time I have with them back in the UK.  So for the next month there will be no more blog posts, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the practitioners that have been practicing here with me in Kathmandu for the last year, this year I have seen many men join me for class which has been wonderful to see hearts open the practice despite the struggle sometimes, for those who have helped me set up the Yogamangala shala  and have blessed this sacred space with their hard work and sweat on the mat, and to all my practioners from the past who have been keeping in touch and supporting this blog.  I honor all of you as you continue to inspire me as someone who loves to share the beauty of yoga, let us continue our journey together.  Do please join me again come August for more postings of everything yoga, a new class schedule and more events and outings coming up.  For now I will leave you with extracts of a beautiful poem by Swami Sivananda titled ‘A cup of Bliss.’  Enjoy July and hope to see you all on the mat in a month’s time, keep up the practice and shine from within,
Om om shanti Om

A cup of Bliss

The silvery moon, the brilliant sun are my eyes
The rivers are my veins
The stars, the mountains
The herbs, trees and plants
The Vedas and the Devas
Are my expression and my breath
My exhalation is the universe
My inhalation my dissolution
The world is my body
All bodies are mine
All hands, ears, eyes are mine
The fire is my mouth
The wind is my breath
Energy, time proceed from me
All beings throb in me
All hearts pulsate in me
Infinite I am.   

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In Harmony

In the Bagavad Gita, Arjuna asked Lord Krishna – ‘one who is worshiping you in all the forms or one who recognises his immortal nature; who is the greatest devotee?’

Working as a yoga teacher I am often asked which yoga class should I attend, which is best for me?  In today’s world there are so many forms of yoga classes from Sivananda the classical approach to very modern power yoga and everything else in-between, and all should be respected in the appropriate manor and at the appropriate times.  So how do you choose a class?  It is written in the scriptures that all the yoga’s we have to practice simultaneously, that all the yoga’s should work in harmony.  By this however they are referring to the four paths of yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
Raja Yoga is the science of physical and mental control, it offers a comprehensive method for controlling the waves of thought, it is the 8 limbs of yoga that lead to absolute mental control.  Hatha yoga is a branch of Raja yoga, which helps one to control the body, energy, senses and mind.  Through Raja yoga we can gain control of the physical body and the subtle life force called prana.  When the body and energy are under control then meditation comes easily.  The 8 limbs consist of; Yamas- restraints, Niyamas- observances, Asanas- postures, Pranayama- Breathing, Pratyahara- withdrawal of the senses, Dharana- concentration, Dhyana- meditation and Samadhi- the super conscious state of bliss.
Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion or divine love; this includes prayer, worship and ritual that channel and transmute the emotions into unconditional love that lead you to the state of Samadhi.
Karma Yoga is the yoga of selfless action, it purifies the heart by teaching you to act selflessly without gain or reward, and it helps to sublimate the ego.  Volunteer work would be considered to be karma yoga or just simply doing something for someone else without any expectation of self-gain.
Jnana Yoga is the yoga of knowledge and wisdom, this is considered to be the hardest path.  It means studying Vedanta philosophy and inquiring into the nature or our true selves, jnana yoga leads the practitioner to unity and dissolves the veils of ignorance.
Every individual has their own temperament and will be naturally attracted to one of the paths more so than the others, but it is very important to combine the four to bring balance and harmony to your practice and to reach your goal.  Most yoga classes that one would attend may only concentrate on the postures of yoga, giving that classes are only for a short period of time, but try to combine some different types of classes to get a more balanced approach, classes that would include the other practices as well as postures.  So when someone asks me which class, I tend to suggest trying all of them and see which one is going to suit you best, then combine a few others with your main practice to get a more rounded approach, giving time for such things as chanting and meditation to harmonise your four paths, and turning your practice of yoga into a whole lifestyle instead of just an hour and half on the mat.
All yoga’s should work harmoniously, all of us should live in harmony with each other, Om Loka Somasta Sukhino Bhavanto; may the whole world live in harmony and balance.
Om shanti Om.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stay Positive

In today's world sometimes it is hard to stay positive when there are so many seemingly negative things going on around us such as the pollution of the world, poverty, wars and selfishness.  However negative emotions can invariably have an adverse effect on our bodies, the same as the food we eat effects our emotions, the emotions we feel effect our bodies.  Feelings of anger, frustration and jealousy can induce the body to produce more cholesterol, bile production becomes unbalanced and impares digestion and blood stagnates in the liver reducing its ability to detoxify the body.   Fear can cause disorders to the nervous system, the body becomes acidic and causes knots in the stomach, a feeling of loss of energy or life force and a loss of sexual energy can be felt.  Sadness and depression can cause breathing problems, constipation and decreased oxygen in the blood.  Worry, anxiety and mistrust can induce difficulty eliminating waste produced by digestion.  Hate, cruelty and impatience can cause heart palpitations, chest pain and high blood pressure.  So as you can see negative energy not only vibrates from within to the world around us, but also causes a whole host of physical problems within, not only is it unhealthy for the mind and the external world but also it is unhealthy for us internally.  We all have our ways of trying to stay positive in our daily lives but at some point those negative emotions do flair up and we have to find a way to bring them back down and turn the negative to positive.  For me personally the practice of yoga has brought so many positives to my life, firstly learning how to simply breath properly has helped immensely, remember when you are small and you have fallen and cut your knee and your tears are welling up, your mum tells you to breath deeply, well it works and is a simple technique you can easily apply in life.  Swami Vishnudevananda says, 'mental health is more important than physical health.  If the mind is healthy the body will be healthy.'  Through the practice of yoga we can find a very happy place, turning our minds inward to simply spend time with ourselves is very important, to reconnect with all of nature that surrounds us, to learn our lessons from the birds and animals, sometimes it is the mind that is our real enemy and we have to learn to conquer it.  Associating with the inner pure self can bring much peace and strength over the mind, the practice of yoga sharpens the intellect, thins out the ego and purifies the mind to which there is much pollution.  For me the practice of yoga is such a beautiful thing, I couldn't live life without it, life is yoga and through yoga I have been able to turn many a negative emotion to a positive one, making myself and those all around me more healthy.  As the great poet Rumi says, 'Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.'  So here is to everybody taking up the practice of yoga, learning to heal themselves and the world around them making the world a more joyful place, hoping to see you on the mat for a whole session of nothing but positivity!
Om Om Shanti Om 
love and light always

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sing the song Divine

During my yoga classes there is always an emphasis on relaxation as well as use of the breath and yogic postures, and I am using ideas of sound to help the practitioner become more mindful and bring them to a higher awareness.  The concept of relaxation and mindfulness can be a concept far too abstract for many of us, our minds constantly jumping around and it can be difficult to let go and allow ourselves the time to relax.  Being in Savasana is time for the body to heal and rejuvenate, for many of us it is the best time of the practice, whilst for others they can become fidgety and restless as the mind is jumping.  We can take this idea further into our postures and try to use the same relaxation techniques whilst holding poses, this can prepare the mind into a calmer state ready for a final relaxation in savasana.  Emphasis on sound within the practice of yoga can help to open awareness and enrich a more deeper meditative process.  Before there was anything there was a sound - OM, sound creates a natural vibration that can work through our chakras (energy centres) and help us feel the rhythm of life.  It encourages us to listen to our own inner nature and bodies through our practice, and can be a complete massage for the mind.  Today there are so many different styles of yoga, but we musn't forget the reasons for our practice, to go back to the source, to find our true nature, to return to OM.

"Sing the song Divine and let the face shine with light." Sri Swami Sivananda.

looking forward to seeing you all on the mat to share our natural vibrations of sound, om om shanti om.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Where to find me in June

Monday      8.30-10.00am Sivananda Open Class Yoga Mangala Studio
                    6.00-7.15pm   Sivananda Open Class Pranamaya Yoga Moksh

Tuesday     10.00-11.30am Prenatal Class Yoga Mangala Studio
                    4.45-6.15pm   Sivananda Open Class The British School Patan

Wednesday 9.30-11am     Sivananda Open Class Pranamaya Yoga Moksh
                    4.30-6.00pm  Gentle Yoga  Yoga Mangala Studio

Thursday   9.45-11.15am Prenatal Class Yoga Mangala Studio
                    4.30-6.00pm  Sivananda Open Class Yoga Mangala Studio

Friday     Sivananda Open Class Yoga Mangala Studio
                   22nd and 29th:
                   5.30-6.45pm   Sivananda Open Class Pranamaya Yoga Moksh

"There is a force in the Universe, which if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results."  Gandhi Ji

Om Loka Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
may the whole world find balance, harmony and peace
om shanti