In New Age teachings, there’s the idea that we can be our own gurus. But since life is not as simple as one step forward after another, yoga traditions teach us that we do in fact need someone further along the path to guide us along the way. But which guidance is right for us?
You may find that a true yoga teacher is someone who can sit with the vast knowledge of instructions and create a safe space for the spiritual journey. Whereas a guru is someone who removes the darkness from one's...
Yogic philosophy shows us that we’re born with imprints that affect the way we think and behave throughout our entire life–that is, of course, until we break free. In conversation with Swami Chidanadana, we explore what it means to awaken to our samskaras, the tumultuous journey it ensues, and the guiding light of the Bhagavad Gita.
Because why wouldn’t we want to free ourselves from suffering? The negative shades of our personality so often hinder our path to peace so the chance to let go...
Life is a series of lessons and so we are met with countless teachers holding the mirror up or shining the light on something new. But what makes a teacher qualified? What makes us dedicated to one source?
Walking through life, nature, friends, or even music can be our teachers. But when we dedicate ourselves to the spiritual path, gurus help us put one foot in front of the other. Whether that’s along the path or on the mat, it’s all the same. But their job is not just to keep our bodies...
Tapas, the sacred fire we build with our vinyasa, lights up our inner flame. Whether that be consciousness, aspiration or purification, we honour the harmonisation of breath, body and mind. While in this sense we offer a continuation of ancient vedic rituals, it’s hard to ignore the contrasting desire to fixate on our outer worlds.
Will I ever reach the full embodiment of this pose? What time should I meditate each day? Should I change my diet? These are all questions that we find ourselves...
In conversation with Indu Arora, precious memories are shared about meeting her teachers for the first time. This moment not only changed her life because of the sacred knowledge she gained, but it marked the beginning of yoga.
Yoga can be thirty minutes of asanas or it can be the feeling of synchronicity with the rhythms of nature. If anything is true, it’s that yoga is everlasting. Yoga is a state of awareness.
As the discussion meanders between the modern misunderstanding of yoga and the...
Join this relaxed conversation with Harmony Slater and Russell Case who are the brilliant hosts of Finding Harmony podcast and my long-time friends. This catch up explores generational scars, the evolution of yoga teaching, and even dips into those hedonistic NYC days in the early 2000s.
That was a time before either one of us had fully committed to a path of yoga and spirituality yet it marked a pivotal point as a 20-something who was on a vastly different path.
In this episode, I openly...
While not one of us is a stranger to ruminating about the way we think, act or behave, leaving these thoughts unattended allows negativity to seep into our sphere.
It’s time to drop any frustrations or shortcomings you may be holding towards yourself.
By honoring the practice of mindfulness, you can catch these moments of negativity and plant seeds of positivity. Tending instead to self-compassion can not only improve the relationship you have towards yourself, but it offers the chance to...
Adam has been practicing Ashtanga yoga for almost 20 years and teaching for the last 15, based in London but also internationally. He was fortunate enough to study directly with Pattabhi Jois and has continued his studies with Sharath Jois, obtaining Level 2 Authorization as well as completing the Advanced A sequence in Mysore.
A humble and open-minded student of yoga asana and yoga philosophy, he has spent much time with the older teachers of the tradition as well as running his own yoga...
Have you ever noticed that the people who have been to the darkest of places are the same people who end up feeling immense peace and happiness? Happiness and positive psychology coach, Robert Mack, can attest to that.
Rob dug himself out of a dark hole by seeking out the people, places and activities that made him feel good. This sounds pretty simple until we learn the lesser talked-about fact that being in a deep depressive state can rob you of that knowledge.
So you have to start from...
How often do we realise we’re wrong in the moment? It can take time and perspective to gain a well-rounded picture of any issue we’re confronted with no matter how sure we feel in the moment. Yet, despite this, communication is a skill so many of us are in constant battle with.
In this episode, mediator and coach Mia Forbes shares her communication wisdom shining light on self esteem, trauma and ego. It’s factors like these that create this dysfunction where everyone is talking but no one is...
Holding space for those in pursuit of spiritual or psychological growth is not a path free from compassion fatigue yet we must look at how absorbing the pressure of the ‘pedestal’ is one of the catalysts for burnout.
But what if our teachers aren't really the ones leading the way? After all, personal epiphanies could not occur without the self, nor could they be delivered without spirit.
No matter what position you hold in society, you are always a student. Whether that humility is embraced...
Swami Chidananda once lived a life of expensive cars and partying–exactly what you might expect of a young investment banker.
But his life took a dramatic turn after realising that rising to the top still meant he was a cog in the capitalist machine. He had a call to follow his purpose even if that meant taking a leap of faith all the way to India.
After years of devotion in ashrams, Swami Chidananda is able to now shine some perspective on wisdom seeking and asana practice in the west.
If you were blindfolded and asked to describe what’s in front of you, you might say ‘thin and ropey’. At least, that’s what you’d say if an elephant’s tail was in front of you. This description of your experience is true, but it’s not the whole elephant.
When it comes to understanding this life, the same thing applies: not one person can comprehend the whole.
We’re each searching for meaning through different lenses. For many, the lens is yoga and with commitment, profound insights are...
Tim takes inspiration from David Bowie’s song ‘Heroes’ (and his own guru experience) to unravel the everpresent draw towards figures of leadership.
Yet, on a spiritual path, we face the choice to turn to our yoga teacher or an acclaimed guru. But really, what’s the difference?
Tim explores how the idea of ‘teacher’ is multifaceted. The person leading your class could be brand new to the space or have a lifetime of practice behind them. Regardless, they’re devoted to serving. Equally, a...
As yoga evolves, there's a risk of over-complication and self-centredness. In this episode, Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, David Swenson, takes us on an exploration of yoga observations from almost 50 years of dedication.
To him, what’s changed the most over the decades is the way people show up to yoga. For some there’s a drive to ‘complete it’ while others can be overly fixated on anatomy. Too much of this and we can be distracted from the basic yet powerful benefits of the practice.
We know that when we practice yoga, it has a positive ripple effect on the world around us. But in moments of injustice, we cannot rely on this as a way to change the world.
Azadeh sees both worlds as an Iranian woman and owner of yoga studios. She expresses how it’s now more important than ever to ensure we speak of this oppression so that the world can awaken to the truth of Iran’s reality.
We may turn to yoga for peace but Azadeh reminds us, anger is okay too. It’s within our practice...
Samin compares Iranian women to birds - they have wings yet they don’t know how to fly. Samin herself was born and raised in Iran but once she left the country, she embarked on a yoga journey.
While her purpose is to share peace, her story is far from peaceful. Because like the birds she compares herself to, no journey is smooth for an Iranian woman. Even one that has left the country.
Her personal yoga practice began when she was 19 and ever since then, her path led her to build an online...
Consider how freely you practise yoga, ride your bicycle in the sunshine, or smash a workout for an endorphin hit. What happens when all of these activities are taken away from you? The sad reality is that this is happening in our world. Kino talks with Maryam, an Iranian who emigrated from her home country in 2018, about the quality of life in Iran. More specifically, the country’s unrest regarding women’s rights - a backlash to the tragic death of Mahsa Amini.
Myram discusses how she...
The call that brought us to our yoga mat is the same call that leads many of us toward the path of teaching.
The mental, physical and spiritual healing that can be found within a dedicated yoga practice is life changing. It’s only natural that the desire to spread this wisdom with the world comes knocking.
But is that passion enough to be a good teacher? Your teacher training may have provided an immersion into yoga but the truth is, the deeper we dip our toe into the stream of truth, the...
After an hour-long group meditation, all areas of the practice are covered. Why do we struggle to keep up a daily practice? Why do our thoughts spiral? Where is the subconscious mind located? This exploration provides consolation to the thinking mind’s questions about meditation.
Whether it’s five minutes or a one-hour sit, mediation is a practice that requires daily attention yet so many of us feel like we fail at it. The question is rarely whether we’re capable though. Rather, we must...
Pranidhi Varshney is the founder of Yoga Shala West which is based in Los Angele and has been practising yoga for 15 years. She believes that learning is cyclical where the student learns from the teacher and the teacher learns from the student unlike a top-down relationship.
Previously, within the yoga community, there was a tendency to overlook the origins and lineage of yoga. Pranidhi feels it’s important for this conversation and voices around yoga to include people of South Asian...
Dannion Brinkley had faced unimaginable odds, having several near-death experiences and even crossing over and coming back. He discovered that we are spiritual beings. Death, as we are taught, is only an illusion. Dannion works with those close to passing to accept that we never die.
The biggest mistake we all make is forgetting we are spiritual beings. And to be able to live now is a gift, no matter what may be going wrong in your life. As you release more love and gratitude, you enter...
A misunderstanding about meditation is that it calms your mind. But even after 20 years of practicing, a calm mind will still have days of chaos. The purpose of meditation is not to become calm but to create equanimity.
Though the words calm and equanimous are often used synonymously, there is a slight difference. Calmness can be compared to still waters, while equanimity is more like the sky. It’s a container that holds all things.
The equanimous mind remains the same, no matter what...