Turn around….

I have been giving classes at GOA for nine months now.  Every day is a privilege.  I honestly can’t believe how conducive that room is towards the inner experience of yoga.  The sea beyond, the salty, iodine-rich air, the birdsong…wait…birds?  Where are the birds?  Oh, yes, look at those windows at the back of the room.  What?  They open?  Sliiiiiide.  TA-DAH!  And thus we discovered the hidden treasure of GOA upstairs!  The gardens of the Edificio SKI behind us.  Mature trees, well-kept gardens, fresh shady corners, a shimmering swimming pool.  What more could one ask for, honestly?

Warriors in Warrior Pose
Warriors in Warrior Pose

GOA views
The view to the front.

I call it Krishna tricks.  The idea that you don’t know what you don’t know and that many times what you discover is humorous, tricky.  When I first came across the concept of the Trickster God (and this concept exists in many diverse cultures), it changed my relationship to the Divine.  I had been raised with the idea of the schoolmaster God – judgemental yet forgiving, but somehow always out of reach.  The trickster God likes to remind you of his presence by letting you in on the joke.  Just when you think you know something, you realise that you know nothing at all.  And so you retain the beginner’s mind, a childlike innocence.  Not all is said and done, not all is known, nothing is set in stone, especially not your personality traits or character, whatever you might believe that to be.  Life becomes a lot more fun when you think it’s conspiring to make you laugh…
Krishna played some tricks in the yoga room last week.  He reminded me that what is behind is just as important as what is in front.  He reminded me to open that back window and to look through it.  JSK.

Welcome to Alteayoga.es!

Hello and the warmest of welcomes to you.  Thanks for stopping by my new and revamped alteayoga.es page.  I have been blogging for a long time over at http://alteayoga.wordpress.com.  So, pop on over there to see what this is all about, while I get the new page up and running.  But, make sure to come back here afterwards, or bookmark before you go!  Or, even better, get on down to GOA on the Altea-Albir seafront every day at 9:15 (9:00 from July onwards) for a delicious session of hatha yoga.  See you there.

Bring calm into your nervous system via breathing

Here is a short video that deals with the relationship between the breath and the emotions.  In a study, scientists discovered that when emotions are elicited in trial participants, their breathing pattern changes.  But the interesting thing is that the opposite thing also happens:  When breathing patterns are altered, the corresponding emotion is elicited.  Let’s allow Emma Seppälä to explain it:
Breathe Better: How to Improve Your Mind, Attention, and Memory
In the video, she demonstrates the yogic breathing technique known variously as Nadi shodhana or anuloma-viloma.  Alternate nostril breathing works just fine, too.


David Frawley of the American Institute of Vedic Studies is, in my opinion, one of the most erudite and informed yoga pundits on the scene today.  I shall share with you a link to his writings on pratyahara, the fifth limb of Astanga yoga.  If you have been practising with me this winter, you will know that pratyahara has figured in my teachings.  I hope that this article enlightens you on its philosophical underpinnings.  Om shantih shantih shantih.
Pratyahara:  Yoga’s Forgotten Limb