Category Archive: Philosphy of Yoga

Actually, there is no word for "philosophy" in Yoga - it is a darshan, or way of seeing.

Jan 04

The Conundrum of Discipline and Letting Go

Here Sarasvati discusses the problems of actually living a Yogic life.  The first conundrum is, “What is surrender?” (not what  you might think) Sarasvati supervises Anatomy and Asana teacher training for the Australian College of Classical Yoga.  Her own Yoga school is Waverley Yoga, where you can find other writings on her Blog.

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Oct 26

Comfort, Discomfort, Both OK

Generally we choose comfort over discomfort, and that seems wonderfully reasonable, doesn’t it?  But just consider, whenever  you choose comfort you are pushing away about 99.9% of what is available.  Reality is vast, while your comfort area is tiny and constrictive.  Recognising that both comfort and discomfort are valid experiences is a big leap into …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/comfort-discomfort-both-ok/

Mar 04

Yoga Retreat, or Yoga Treat?

When I was in fourth grade, our teacher left the room for a bit, and told us to be very quiet as we were now on retreat. Another teacher came in, and I proudly wrote her a note saying that we couldn’t talk because we were having a treat!

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Sep 24

Yoga and Women

Prior to Vedic times, women were fully equal participants in ritual celebration – then along came Vedic Brahmanism and women were not even permitted to hear the vedas recited. We were told so recently by the renowned scholar of Yoga and Sanskrit, Dr Mark Dyczkowski. But, he said, while women have been cruelly repressed, we …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/yoga-and-women/

Mar 09

Shivaratri

Shivaratri – the night of Shiva, the dark night of the moon when God makes his presence felt most strongly… ahh, don’t you feel it somewhere deep and intimate? Of course I want to stay up all night and welcome him into that intimate union, and will. Puts a different spin on the phrase, “the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/shivaratri/

Jan 01

Chatting with Patanjali

Oh Patanjali, what a brilliant teacher you are!  Right up there with Shankaracharya, Nisargadatta, Ramana, Meister Eckhart, and the Zen Patriarchs. I’ve been studying and teaching your Sutras for 30 years. Yet people say to me, “Oh, I’ve read the Yoga Sutras,” yet it is obvious that nothing has sunk in …  Would you tell us yourself what you meant?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/chatting-with-patanjali/

Sep 15

Monistic not Monastic

Trying to put “swami” into a Western context is like trying to squeeze a tomato through a keyhole. Sometimes a swami is regarded as a monk.  That seems easy at first, as many spiritual traditions have an established and accepted order of monks.  But, hey, I’m not a monk, and I’m not a nun, either.  I’m a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/monistic-not-monastic/

Dec 20

Christmas, Jesus, Yoga

Another Christmas… it is often represented by children’s faces glowing with wonder and anticipation as the presents start to pile up under the tree… followed soon by the predictable gripes about the commercialisation of Christmas. I don’t remember it exactly like that.  The presents might have been a big feature of my childhood Christmases, but actually, my …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/christmas-jesus-yoga/

Nov 28

Yogic Solutions

All of us have difficult situations and unpleasant people to deal with throughout our lives. If only we could find yogic solutions for having loving engagement with others, easy truthfulness, powerful articulation, clear insight into issues, untouched by manipulative ploys.  Our lives might be more peaceful, more fulfilling and more effective. Meanwhile. even, dealing with pleasant …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.swamishantananda.com.au/yogic-solutions/

May 11

Query on aspects of the Yoga Sutras

This is a discussion on the notion of “vrtti”in the Yoga Sutras, prompted by a query from a student.  The phrase, or paraphrase, for “vrtti” as “ideational choice making tendency of the mind” is from P.Y. Deshpande, The Authentic Yoga Sutra. DC:  I would like to clarify word usage and interpretation within different translations of …

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