‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’

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.

mumyoga

‘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.

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Discovering inner peace 25/4/2016

This week, we begin with a reading from the Mundaka Upanishad. We’re continuing to find ways to move aside the clouds, the veils, the busyness which covers our inner peace.

Lying on our backs, we will work with supine postures. Bending one knee, we will place the foot on the opposite knee-cap. With the help of the hand, we will move into a twist – the hand gently guiding the bent knee down to the mat on the opposite side. We repeat this the other way. Then, with both knees bent and the feet hip-distance apart and touching the mat, we will work with the gentle twist. Let’s follow that with a deeper twist, where the knees are drawn in to the rib-cage, (Vakrasana).

Now, we will move into the bridge postures, (Sethu-Bandhasana). We will explore all forms.

Still on the back, we’ll continue with nose to knee poses, (Apanasana).

If there is time, we’ll repeat the twists, and then sit up through the boat,(Navasana)

Now it is time to meet the challenge pose, the tortoise, (Kurmasana). We’re working with this one each week this half-term, and will cover all forms.

The Pranayama exercise is alternate nostril breathing, (Nadi Shodhana), and the Meditation will be breathing in peace and breathing out peace. For the long relaxation, we will use the breath and the magic of yoga to take us into  deep state of inner peace.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti. (Shanti means peace.).

Reviewing life’s lessons

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

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!

OM…Peace-peace-peace

Svetasvarara Upanishad.

.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.

His eyes are everywhere

Brahman dwells within man, and within all other beings. He projects the universe, maintains it, and withdraws it into himself.

His eyes are everywhere: his face, his arms, his feet are in every place. Out of himself he has produced the heavens and the earth, and with his arms and his wings he holds them together…

This great being has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet. He envelops the universe. Though transcendent, he is to be meditated upon as resident in the lotus of the heart, at the centre of the body, ten fingers above the navel.

Svetasvatara Upanishad

The yogi is pure

As a soiled piece of metal, when it has been cleaned, shines brightly, so the dweller in the body, when he has realised the truth of the Self, loses his sorrow and becomes radiant with bliss.

The yogi experiences directly the truth of Brahman by realising the light of the Self within. He is freed from all impurities – he the pure, the birthless, the bright.

Eternal bliss

Strive earnestly for eternal bliss…

Be purified by the light of the Inner Reality…

The wise control their minds, and unite their hearts with the infinite…

Control the vital force…

Unite the light within you with the light of Brahman…

Turn the senses and the mind inward to the lotus of the heart…

Meditate on Brahman with the help of the syllable OM…

The first signs of progress on the path of yoga are health, a sense of physical lightness, clearness of complexion, a beautiful voice, an agreeable odour of the person, and freedom from craving…

Svetasvatara Upanishad