29 July 2009


Thursday 27th July 2009

A heady mixture of extremes over the last few weeks: practice/no practice, running/no running, healthy minimal food/a ton of chocolate, relationship mood swings. For someone so involved in spiritual and psychological development, my inconsistency still perplexes me.
But no-one would ever consider me inconsistent. I’m considered to be serene, stable, dependable and disciplined. Only as one digs deeper into the samskaric layers do the gaps and blips appear. And I’m a compulsive digger, so I see them, I feel them, I tease them out of their hiding spots to analyse and work with them. That’s the practice, digging into those deeper layers to flush out the impurities.

Yoga Practice (and pain)
This week I’ve done three consecutive morning yoga practices, working gently with a body that has stiffened in a survival response to lower-back trauma. I’m convinced (again) that I've seriously injured my sacro-iliac joint, not surprising considering my legs are different lengths causing my pelvis to be crooked, and I've been doing daily yoga practice lopsided for over 10 years.
During the initial acute phase of the injury last December, I visited a Sports Med doctor; after briefly touching this area he said it wasn’t sacro-iliac related. Funny that even after x-rays, he still couldn’t diagnose the cause of my agonising pain. And this was SERIOUS pain - not a tweak or a pulled muscle, or ‘arthrosis’.
Eight months later, the pain is still acute, my entire lower back still tender.
The pain varies day-by-day, week-by-week and I know it varies according to my mental state. Over the last week it seems to have regressed back to acute pain throughout the sacro-iliac area.
So I’ve had to dumb down my yoga practice this week: some core warm-ups, the 10 sun salutes, the evergreen sequence of standing poses, some seated twists and backbends, then lapping up all the extra time in the inversions and seated meditation to fill out my 2 hour practice.

Running hasn’t happened at all this week, not because of my back, but because my tiny window of opportunity to run at night has been filled in with drizzly rain. Dedicated runners go out in the rain but I'm still a reluctant neophyte runner.
Maybe I’ll go tonight.
Or maybe it will rain.

Bhagavad Gita
I’m coming to the end of the Bhagavad Gita. Reading the Gita is uplifting (especially all those descriptive qualities of a saintly person). I'd like to get my hands on a different translation though. Some of the phrases in this one (by Shri Purohit Swami) are a bit archaic and clumsy and do little to convey the delicate complexity of meaning hidden within the Sanskrit words.

24 July 2009

Kid's Yoga Dice

A friend of mine has created a range of giant dice for children to play with as part of his line of educational toys.
He asked me for some ideas on yoga poses for children, I made some suggestions, did some stick drawings and he came up with the first prototype for a yoga dice which is now ready for production.

Here is my granddaughter Lily with the first one last weekend.



Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

And here's a YouTube video of the yoga dice being tested out at a kindergarten last week.
If you want more information on the yoga dice have a look at this website:

And finally: Me, Lily and Buffy.

Ebony and Lily

Ebony and Lily, my Divine daughter and grand daughter.

The Spirit of Fitness

Saturday 25th July 2009

I started running a couple of weeks ago. I cruise through the streets at night, running for a couple of blocks then walking a little. There’s no desire to get fit, no goals, I’m just enjoying the process, the feeling of freedom and the revitalisation of lost youthfulness.
The solitude of running is intoxicating…there’s just me, the streets, the night, the rhythmic pounding of my steps and my heart, all merging into the quieter pulse of night.
I’m loving it.

Fitness Magazine, quite coincidentally, sent me an email through this blog last week about their current feature on yoga (my apologies to the editors but I’ve never read or even heard of your magazine). I reprint it here without alteration:

Dear Nobhodi,

My name is Nathan and I work with the publisher of Fitness Magazine. You have some very interesting things to say about yoga and life in general.
I thought you might like to know, and might like to let your readers know, that FitnessMagazine.com is currently featuring a complete guide to yoga, including workout videos, photos of many yoga positions, answers to common yoga questions and more.

Have a look at:

The AcroYoga extreme yoga poses, a unique new practice that cultivates trust, connection, and playfulness to bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, each other, and the divine.

The complete yoga video workout, a video by Cyndi Lee, founder of Om Yoga in New York City .

The yoga for better sleep poses, an 8-minute workout of five yoga poses that can be done in bed.

Yoga for back pain, a video showing yoga poses that release tension from the back.

To thank you for helping us promote this information, the FitnessMagazine.com blog will link back to your blog.

I am attaching a couple photos, if you want to include them in your posting. I also have videos I can send if you want to include them.

Let me know if you would like other photos or want any additional information.

Many thanks in advance,

Nathan Groom
For FitnessMagazine.com

Running is a fitness activity– no question about that, but yoga for fitness?

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is probably the most aerobic of all the physical yoga practices but it is an intensely purifying practice for all layers of our physical/mental/emotional/ spiritual being, not just an exotic fitness regime for the consumer muscle market.

So promotions such as the above for AcroYoga that promise how it can “bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, each other, and the divine” do not go down well with me (again, my apologies to the editors of Fitness Magazine).
A state of union with themselves????? Who wrote that?

As human beings with bodies we are meant to be active, hunting and gathering, running, playing, roaming through the natural landscape in search of food and shelter. Contrast this to our stagnant western lifestyles where hours/days/weeks/years are spent in front of computers and televisions. Many of us have forgotten how wonderful it feels to be physically active out in Nature, to have the life force and endorphins flooding through us, overflowing with natural childlike joy.
For me, running and yoga are not in opposition, but rather they complement each other, combining to elevate the spirit. And if we can live permanently from a higher consciousness, we can be like a lamp unto others, uplifting the energy of those around us and serving a higher divine purpose. Christian Larson describes this as “living in the upper storey”.

Better to be physically fit and active than not.
Better to run/ride/lift weights/hit the gym than do nothing.

But how much better it is to enliven the spirit as well as the body.

Bhagavad Gita
I’ve picked up the Bhagavad Gita a few times over the years but never read it through seriously.
This time round it’s different. I'm enthralled with every sentence.
The words are like sharp arrows armed with wisdom; the target is the centre of my heart.

From Chapter 6: Meditation and Self-Control:
“Let the student of spirituality try unceasingly to concentrate his mind, let him live in seclusion, absolutely alone, with mind and personality controlled, free from desire, and without possessions.” (6.10)
“The wise man who has conquered his mind and is absorbed in the Self is as a lamp which does not flicker, since it stands sheltered from every wind.” (6.19)
“This inner severance form the affliction of misery is spirituality. It should be practiced with determination, and with a heart which refuses to be depressed.” (6.23)

18 July 2009

The Silence and Beauty of Solitude

Saturday 18th July 2009

“To live wisely and intelligently requires a deep, meditative re-examination of priorities.”
Light on Enlightenment - Christopher Titmus

It’s Saturday morning - I’m surrounded by people in a noisy café, smack bang in the middle of a shopping mall, twittering, chattering humans pausing momentarily in between bouts of compulsive spending, some reading newspapers, others stuffing kids with yet more consumer products, lives bulging with shopping bags. There’s an endless undercurrent of busyness, it hums like the fridge we don’t notice til it stops. Shopping malls…hundreds of egos projecting themselves out into the world, bouncing off each other, colliding, repelling, then turning in on themselves, exchanging useless information and regurgitating it to pump up self-images. A million useless, frenetic conversations with no genuine communication.

Tons and tons of wasted human energy.

The hectic buzz of a Saturday morning café.

The flavour of espresso bites…then lingers deliciously on my tongue. I feel the buzzy vibration on my inner energy field.
Personal velocity.

It’s Saturday afternoon – I’m surrounded by windswept canopies of trees and birds; water trickles somewhere in a creek closeby; there’s a kiss of sunshine through crisp wintery air. I inhale the fresh purity of green life, oxygen, the gift of photosynthesis.
No-one’s up here at Horsenell Gully today…just me…such a small me in the vast beauty of nature, there’s room to relax and expand into the spaces between the threads that weave our world together.

I bathe in the silence and solitude, soaking it up to recharge my people-depleted energy.
More and more I’m making choices that enhance this quietness, living a simple life with simple pleasures. As the activities and people drop naturally away, new shoots appear in the undergrowth of my life. A new kind of life energy is arising that is pure and powerful; it’s the energy of a focussed life, channelled through the purifying lens of clarity and one-pointedness. Debris and clutter and disappearing, my life is being washed clean by the illuminative power of simplicity, silence and solitude.