My latest book is now available on Amazon! It’s a novel way to navigate the ageing process, and uses story to spread the teachings of yoga.
Buy your copy of ‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’ now! They’re selling fast…
Click on the cover to purchase.
‘Home from OM’ employs the ancient yoga technique of story-telling to put across spiritual teachings, the infinite wisdom. Following the progress of ten occupants of a residential home, we engage with their lives and their pasts. Can living in a yoga community bring grace and fulfillment to their last years? Could this be a way for the elderly to progress instead of diminish? Or will new challenges emerge from the experiment? Carole Kerton has been teaching yoga for forty-one years. She believes in using humour and anecdotes to facilitate learning. Whilst yoga supports all age groups, the elderly in Carole’s classes thrive on their practice.
The Bhagavad Gita tells us that it is better to follow your own path, no matter how badly that goes, rather than following someone else’s path, no matter how well that goes.
In this lifetime, I have observed how my spiritual growth moves from peaks to troughs. As a young woman my pathway was entwined with that of my mother. Later, it was entwined with that of my daughter. On a soul level, I know that I am here to serve others; my students, my family and the larger yoga community.
Remembering others at Christmastime, sending cards and loving thoughts, is yet another way of serving. Merry Christmas to everyone reading my blog…
Once you’ve studied the yogic philosophies such as the Gita, Patanjali’s Sutra’s and the Upanishads, it is useful to review your life and see what you have learned along the way.
So what was I learning in my teenage years to equip me to become a yoga teacher and, finally, the chairman of a yoga society? I learnt about the complicated games that people play. I learnt that people may be beautiful on the outside, but not on the inside. I learnt to use and to appreciate humour. And I found about the images that people put out into the world. Anyone meeting my family for the first time may well have thought of us as successful and harmonious. We were all good actors in our own way. I look back and count my blessings that we always had animals. I believe they kept us grounded and constantly in touch with unconditional love. We all loved animals. This was perhaps the only constant that the four in my family shared.
As a teenager, I experimented with a more noisy version of myself. I was intent on being heard. I also had my first experience of deja-vu. It was on a visit to Switzerland that I visited Chateau Chillon. Suddenly, in my head, there was the sound of battle. I was a young lad of about twelve, dirty and skinny but alive with a mission. I was running up the steps to do my master’s bidding…The past-life flash was fleeting and vivid, but I knew it to be real. I realise now that along with this noisy, teenage version of myself, my Inner Spirit was growing and developing too.
Brahman is the friend and the refuge of all…
The Self is hidden in the heart of all creatures..
If the truth of these scriptures are meditated upon by a man in the highest degree devoted to God, and to his Guru as to his God, they will shine forth. They will shine forth indeed!
.That brings us to the end of our study of the upanishads. When you train as a yoga teacher, you immerse yourself in three great works, ‘The Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Patanjali’s Sutras’, and ‘The Upanishads’. The ancient teachings guide our steps.
Bite-sized chunks of yoga theory
Brighten your day, when the world looks weary.
Upanishads, Eight Limbs and the Gita,
Quotes to make your temper sweeter.
Foods that help improve your health,
And lessons about the Inner Self.
Come and check out ‘yoga prescribed’,
Truths enlighten when well imbibed.
And if you feel by blog is worth a look,
You might also enjoy my little book!
‘YOGA PRESCRIBED’ by Carole Kerton. (£6).
Mundaka upanishad begins with: “Since the manifold objects of senses are merely emanations of Brahman, to know them in themselves is not enough. Since all the actions of men are but phases of the universal process of creation, action alone is not enough. The sage must distinguish between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is of things, acts and relations. But wisdom is of Brahman alone; and, beyond all things, acts, and relations, he abides forever. To become one with him is the only wisdom.”
This reminds us of the wise teachings of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.
We are reminded of the Bhagavad Gita when Death says: ‘Know that the Self is the rider and the body the chariot; that the intellect is the charioteer, and the mind the reins. The senses, say the wise, are the horses; the roads they travel are the mazes of desire. The wise call the Self the enjoyer when he is united with the body, the senses and the mind. When a man lacks discrimination and his mind is uncontrolled, his senses are unmanageable , like the restive horses of a charioteer. But when a man has discrimination and his mind is controlled, his senses, like the well-broken horses of a charioteer, lightly obey the rein.’
I always say that you need to read the Upanishads with your heart and not your head. Try reading those words out loud. It’s just lovely…
Student yoga teachers study three great works, ‘The Bhagavad Gita’, Patanjali’s Sutras and ‘The Upanishads’.
Upanishad means to ‘sit at the feet of the Master’. This refers to the fact that yogic teaching was passed from Guru (teacher) to chela (student). The Upanishads are like our fables. You need to read them with your heart, rather than your mind. They all contain a moral.
The Upanishads are the philosophical part of the Vedas. Neither dogma nor theology, these meditations concern direct, overwhelming religious experience in the midst of life, and record insights into eternal truths. They are unified by their common search for the true nature of Reality, and in the course of this search afford glimpses into supreme states of the soul.
In the days to come, we’ll explore twelve of these Upanishads.
When I began teaching yoga, forty years ago, it was almost unheard of in this country. So imagine my amazement when our three year old son came running out of playgroup and said: ‘Mummy, Mummy, the story was all about a yoga!’ I replied: ‘ That’s wonderful! Tell me the story.’ And he began: ‘Once upon a time there was a yoga who lived in a big castle…’ For yoga read ogre!!!
Krishna concludes: ‘And if any man meditates upon this sacred discourse of ours, I shall consider that he has worshipped me in spirit. Even if a man listens to these words with faith, and does not doubt them, he will be freed from his sins and reach the heaven of the righteous.’
I do hope that touching on the teachings of the Gita has brought about some realisations for you. When I was a newly qualified yoga teacher, I read the Bhagavad Gita every summer. I always found something new in it. I always found a new way to look at my journey.
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI