The Invitation & Krishna Das

BY les | Wed 18 Jan, 2017

This year I will have practising yoga for 18 years and teaching full time for last 14 years.  During my years of teaching and writing newsletters and a blog I have often talked about the importance of the breath and smiling as this enables us to 'arrive' in our practice, or to put it in modern parlance, it gives us head space but it is not just the breath and smile that does this, they are parts of the whole.

When I started practising yoga (it's called "The Practice") I soon built up to the traditional 90 minute Astanga Primary Series and established a regular 6 day a week practise.  I did this for years, week in, week out.  People would ask me 'don't you get bored doing the same thing day after day?'.  The answer is 'No'.  This flowing practise allows me to arrive in a mediative type state (head space) and it is the repetition of the sequence, along with that Ujjayi breath and smile that enables that.  Pattabhi Jois, the Guru of Astanga used to say "Practise practise  and all in coming!",  in a other words just keep doing the practise and the head space creeps up on you - magical!

I will admit that when I started out with yoga I was looking for a stretch class to help prevent the sports injuries I was picking up from mountain biking, gym, skiing and squash; I knew nothing of breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation or yoga philosophy.  little did I know that, given time, The Practise would give me such gems.  Yoga has truly been a gift in my life.  So next time you are wondering why we do the same thing over and over again start to smile, focus on the sound of your breath and stick with it, enjoy it, surrender to it.  Who knows what may arise!

Valentines Day

Want something for that special person in your life? Why not treat them to 4 days Yoga in Spain.  March fully booked but some availability for April, May and June.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it
or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.
And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like
the company you keep in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation

The Chant master returns

Don't miss Krishna Das's Kirtan Walla Tour Union Chapel London 16th June. To me Krishna Das is the chant master his CD Live on Earth for a limited time is one of my favourites.


Press articles

Hope these are of interest:-

Yoga may work better for lower back pain than conventional treatments.

Do real men do Yoga

Yoga protects the brain from depression


What did the yogi say to his dog?

Nama, stay.

Your in Yoga,



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