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"Whether we follow a religious path or not, as human beings we all need affection. Warm-heartedness gives rise to the self-confidence and inner strength that supports a calm mind. Peace of mind in turn contributes to our physical health. This is based on the fostering of the basic human values that I promote as secular ethics."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama (March 4, 2014)
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pic courtesy of Emily W Photography

PATANJALI'S ADVICE FOR SOCIETAL HARMONY


Morality has nothing to do with politics or religion.

In yoga we are offered the YAMAS as guidance, they are
 the first step in Patanjali's eight limbed path to yoga as detailed in the YOGA SUTRAS.

 

They are moral disciplines that are concerned with the way that we live as a united human race. Their aim is to smooth out our inter-personal behaviour and create societal harmony. 


He states that they are to be practised by everyone regardless of "…social structure, location, time or circumstances…" (sutra 2:31)

So what are these yamas?


AHIMSA non-harming
Here we find the most basic of moral guidances; do not cause pain. Himsa means pain, therefore ahimsa means to not cause pain. When we fully integrate this into our being we begin to respect our bodies, our planet, each other, we become mindful of our speech, our actions and our thoughts making sure they are imbued with kindness.

SATYA truth
Satya is "right communication through speech, writings, gesture and actions." (Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga). For us to be really truthful we must be honest about everything. Sometimes being truthful can be hurtful so the Mahabhrata offers a very useful caveat. 
 
'Speak the truth which is pleasant. Don not speak unpleasant truths. Do not lie, even if the lies are pleasing to the ear. That is the eternal law, the dharma.'
 
ASTEYA non-stealing
Here Patanjali comfirms what we know by law - do not steal - this relates to the kind of theft that is considered criminal but also to less obvious notions of stealing time, energy or ideas from others and the unsustainable stripping of resourcecs from the planet.

BRAHMACHARYA chastity
This yama is directing us to be mindful with our energy (sexual and other). The guidance is that by spreading ourselves too thinly we deminish our vitality - the old 'everything in moderation' axiom. 
 
'At its best, moderation (brahmacharya) produces the highest individual vitality'
Heart of Yoga

 
APARIGRAHA non-grasping
In this yama we are asked to cultivate an attitude of not desiring too much. It is then stated that when we are established in this state we will understand our true place in this world. Another older text (the Katha Upanishad) makes a very useful distinction which can help with this, it is the difference between shreya and preya.

'Perennial joy (shreya) or passing pleasure (preya)?
This is the choice one is to make always.
Thos who are wise recognise this, but not
The ignorant. The first welcome what leads
To abiding joy, though painful at the time.
The latter run goaded by their senses, 
After what seems immediate pleasure.'
Katha Upanishad

 
It's worth noting a couple of things:

1. That while Patanjali was an enlightened master it is not widely thought that the knowledge contained within the Yoga Sutras came entirely from him but that he was the scribe noting down what had already passed aurally (as was the tradition) for generations.

2. That the Yoga Sutras are considered a darshana - a point of view - the book does not represent a religion nor is it formed in as exacting a manner as a philosophy. The word sutra means thread - Patanjali's writings offer a notional thread - a short aphoristic sentence that the practioner must then bead with their own knowledge, experience, insights and reason.
 


This coming summer I invite you to join me once again at the beautiful Green Escape for a women only weekend of yoga, relaxation, delicious food and great company.

This weekend offers a safe space to let go of responsibility and remember your self.

Its an opportunity to shed the roles that every day life makes us play while fully immersing in wellbeing so that you can return home feeling relaxed and renewed.

Prices are from £270 book early to avoid disappointment

Click here for full information


Always remember
you are braver than
you believe, 
stronger than
you seem, and smarter
than you think

~A.A. Milne

 

MILLIONAIRE'S RAW FUDGE


Some of you will already know my friend and health coach Rochelle, you may have even taken part in one or more of her 'cleans'.

I think she and her delicious recipes are rather awesome - she has irrevocably changed the way myself and my family eat.

So I wanted to share one of my favourite of her recipes and I also thought I'd use it as an example of the yamas in action:
  • Ahimsa (non-harming) - despite being sweet and delicious this recipe is actually good for you!
  • Satya (truth) - I'm not lying, it really is beyond delicious
  • Asteya - (non-stealing) - not wanted to 'rip off' Rochelle's recipe without due credit to the time and attention she put in creating it, the recipe is offered as a link to her website
  • Brahmacharya (moderation) - we all know what happens when we eat too much sweet yumminess (even healthy sweet yumminess)
  • Aparigraha (non-stealing) - like love, food is made to be shared - just not the last piece. OK.
CLICK HERE OR THE PHOTO BELOW TO LINK THROUGH TO THE RECIPE
CLASS INFORMATION


Please join me any of my regular classes where you will experience a dynamic flowing style of Hatha yoga…if you have any questions as to the suitability of the class of you please get in touch - I am always happy to chat yoga!


If you are interested in private, small group lessons or bringing yoga into your workplace the please email me (prices start from £50/hour)
MONDAY
TIME: 7.30PM TO 9PM
LOCATION: Yoga Mila http://www.cafemila.co.uk, Godalming
STYLE: This is a dynamic hatha yoga (aka Vinyasa Flow).  Expect to move!
COST: £14 drop in (cheaper packages available on-line)

WEDNESDAY 
NOTE: WINTER TERM FINISHES 16/12/15
SPRING TERM STARTS 6/1/16 AND DROP IN PRICE WILL BE INCREASING TO £10/CLASS

TIME: 8PM to 9.30pm (term time only)
LOCATION: All Saints Church Hall, Onslow Village, Guildford
STYLE: This is a flowing hatha mixed ability class
COST: £10/class (from 2016) drop in or £50/6 class card

SATURDAY
TIME: 9.30am to 11am
LOCATION: Yoga Mila 
http://www.cafemila.co.uk, Godalming
STYLE: This is a dynamic hatha yoga (aka Vinyasa Flow).  Expect to move!
COST: £14 drop in (cheaper packages available on-line)
Thanks for reading!…click here to check out my website. Namaste!
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