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.
I believe that I am continuing my yoga practice from a previous incarnation. At three years old, I sat in meditation posture and asked of my mother, ‘Why am I here this time?’ Clearly I chose my family for this lifetime in order to learn many lessons. My parents and my brother were volatile. I learned to be a peace-maker, to try to heal relationships. Yoga always beckoned me and showed me the way to harmony. I learned unconditional love from our pets.
Yoga reflects life. Yoga is life. Simply returning to the breath brings us back into the present moment, brings us back to the body.When life just seems overwhelming, breathe in OM and breathe out OM. Reset.
All is well and all shall be well.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
The heart chakra, ANAHATA, balances the other wheels of energy. It is in the centre, balancing out the three lower chakras which are concerned with our life in a physical body on this earth, and the three higher chakras which are concerned with our higher intelligence, our spirituality, and our connection to Spirit World. Anahata means unstruck sound, and it is connected to the element of air. Its colour is green (sometimes rose pink) and its seed sound is YAM.
The heart chakra is all about unconditional love. That is love without judgement towards all people, all creatures, all beings and, of course, ourselves. Taking a walk in nature is a great way of surrounding yourself with the green ray. Having an emerald green cushion behind you works really well, or a green candle beside you. Eating green fruit and vegetables brings in the green colour, too, which will stimulate the heart chakra. Try green apples, green peppers, gooseberries, cabbage, spinach and spring onions. There are so many green vegetables! Is nature trying to reconnect us to our hearts? To encourage us to be more heart-centred? To be big-hearted? Respect nature by buying natural, organic foods…