Sun Powered Practice


Usually, I am a fan of “controlled” environments for yogasana practice. Enclosed spaces that are safe from the wind and other elements.

But on occasion the call to practice in the outdoors is irresistible. And there is something lovely about breathing through the surya namaskara with the warmth of the sun in your face.

I bow to the light of the sun, I feel gratitude for the warmth and the energy it gives, for the illumination and the nourishment…

Photo: The sun beaming above my rooftop practice today.

Practice Everywhere



We love sacred spaces. We seek out places that vibrates with energy, where it is easy to get into the zone. We travel to such spots. Sometimes, long distances: the shala in Mysore, India; to favorite teachers, who have put a lot of love in their teaching spaces; to exotic locations around the world.

The real challenge, however, is to practice anywhere. To be able to lay your mat down wherever you land, whatever space is available.

Then, there’s the “practice” that the practice prepares you for. The one that happens in gridlock in the middle of a commute, in the middle of a crazy work day, or amidst a rowdy bunch of party-goes or protesters or people in general.

Always, we find ourselves in the middle, sandwiched between opposing forces, the occasion challenging/inspiring us to breathe, to steady ourselves, to find our center. And practice happens. It comes naturally, a reflex, a response system. Real life, day-to-day yoga.

Photo: My friend’s Maadi rooftop converted into a makeshift yoga space.

Empty Pots


IMG_6030A lot of times practice can be sublime, the process focusses the attention, the breath is the only sound…

But then there are the other times! when practicing is like swimming through a thick soupy sea of thoughts and impressions.

Things come up. Issues, worries, thoughts of all sorts and sizes eek up into the surface of the mind, some incredibly insignificant and others quite significant, each attempting to derail practice.

Today was one of those days for me, where the practice wrestles with this comedy of the mind. The breath, still steady and easy regardless, is a laugh track as stuff bubbles up. But even this has its purpose.

Yoga, union, is a goal. But yoga is also a process. And today I observed this process of emptying pots, of cleaning house, the house of the mind and the body. This is the process of letting go and of creation, emptying to make space for the new.

Photo: Pottery at one of the Ateliers at the Darb 1718 compound in Old Cairo. Watch for announcements, will be holding ashtanga and inner dance space there soon!

Practice is a Mirror


Practice is a Mirror

The yoga practice is a mirror. Look into it. See what it reflects back at you. Use it as the powerful tool that it is to observe yourself, use it to discern the difference between the whirlings of the mind and the sweet center of you that is unchanging.

Photo: Yara in purvatanasana in La Zone, Maadi. Ashtanga Yoga Egypt runs Sun/Mon//Wed/Thurs mysore classes 7-10am and Friday 4pm Led in November.

Light Up Your Practice


Light Up Your Practice

In India, celebrations have begun for Diwali, the Festival of Lights. And for those of us who can’t join in the lighting of lamps and the igniting of fireworks in India, we can still bring the festivities into the practice.

Think of each moment of practice as an opportunity for light. Every breath, every movement is an act of lamp lighting. The illumination from practice, the experience of it, and what we are able to observe about ourselves in the process then helps guide us through the dark night back to the home where we belong.

Like the story in the Ramayana, where the citizens of Ayodhya put out lamps to lead Rama, the Prince of the House of the Sun and his wife, Sita, home on a moonless night, the practice shines the light of consciousness into our everyday, so that we ourselves can shine.

Friday Night, Saturdays, Moon days: Days to Do What You Like



Friday night. It’s Saturday tomorrow and a new moon day. This is when I often ask my self: what do I fancy?

A cup of molten hot chocolate? A glass of wine? All the bread product you can fit in your grocery basket? A night out on the town with friends?

We must learn to pulse and flow with the disciplined life. And this requires flexibility, too.

Photo: A special treat: surprising cup of (literally) hot chocolate at Cafe Nena in Gracia, Bareclona. Taken Friday morning, post practice.

Light Changes


Light Changes

The mornings are starting to get darker in Osaka and the natural light usually streaming into the room at this hour was most definitely dim.

The practice, however, has its own light. It draws from a different source of power. Like the sun, yes. But also, unlike it.

It is life giving. Subtle. Illuminating. Warming. Powerful. It can be overpowering too if we’re not careful. It helps us see. And, at times, it can blind us. It deserves our utmost attention and respect.

As we practice, we generate the light of our hearts. When we practice skillfully, we can direct this light. With practice, we are never in the dark.