In this podcast I give a brief outline of breath disciplines described by Patanjali and Svatmarama and discuss their practicality and significance. I draw attention to the common tendency to manipulate the mind-body complex and endow the resultant effects with significance derived from received models of the human being and metaphysical narratives. I ask, 'how do these fit in with the fact that this is it?' [Free. 26 minutes.]
In this podcast, I consider Wittgenstein's contention that "Nothing is more difficult that not deceiving oneself". I draw on resources from Heidegger, particularly the notion of "authenticity". I consider the role of projection in self-deception but temper that with Wittgenstein's and Heidegger's criticisms of Freudian psychoanalysis. I note that we can bullshit ourselves that we are not bullshitting ourselves and that this opens up an infinite regress. I suggest that Patanjali's practice of satya, truthful silence, may well cut through this problem, but that even if it doesn't, it is still a very great, emancipatory good. The discousre is clearer than I've made it sound! [Free. 29 minutes.]
In this podcast we discuss the future of Yoga both in a broad historical context and in the local UK context in which Yoga is being 'claimed' by the corporate fitness industry. The discussion naturally elides into a discussion of the potential roles that Yoga and Yoga practitioners should play in the unfolding of events as economic, cultural and ecological instabilities play out. We conclude that the fitness industry has to be strongly resisted by authentic yogis if Yoga is to be able to do its good work to maximum effect. An extended version of this talk was given at the IYN Yoga Festival on 2nd June 2017. [Free. 54 minutes.]
In this podcast, we consider the question "Are we in control?" The discussion takes in the matters of determinism, language, fundamental ontology and meditative yoga practice. We conclude with a recommendation of letting be with bright awareness whilst playfully recognising the role of (what we experience as) will and control in the practicalities of life. [Free. 36 minutes.]
In this podcast, we take issue with the sacred cow of 'adjustment' i.e. the practice on the part of some 'yoga teachers' of taking hold of a student's body during yoga posture (asana) practice in order to 'correct' it. [Free. 21 minutes.]
This podcast addresses a situation current on planet Yoga in the UK and will be of special interest to UK Yoga teachers and teacher trainers. The situation I allude to is the decision made by a government licensed body [Skills Active] in conjunction with the British Wheel of Yoga to institute a 'National Occupational Standard' [NOS] for a Yoga teacher. This was attempted 12 years ago and didn't succeed, most likely because of considerable opposition from the Yoga Community. I give an outline of the history and the players in this mad game and then demonstrate that Yoga should not be regulated by any governmental agency or narrow interest. Rather, I contend, it is necessarily diverse and therefore beyond the scope of regulation. I then give an account of the Independent Yoga Network which was set up 12 years ago in the face of the first attempt at NOS to defend freedom and diversity and promote Yoga. [Free. 44 minutes.]
This is a bit of a ramble, starting with a general description of violence and non-violence and the various religious commandments to be non-violent. As always, we find ourselves with no choice but to return to considering suffering and flourishing, Buddha and Socrates. We then consider violence against the self which manifests as physical and psychological asceticism and tease out its nature. This leads to a fairly in-depth consideration of Patanjali's practice of ahimsa and Buddha's 'middle way' and how they wonderfully help to open up the yoga being state as well as illuminating the otherwise dark territories of violence as it operates within the psyche. [Free. 56 minutes.]
In this podcast, we comment on the first six aphorisms of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. The podcast stands alone but is also intended to supply the background to a practical weekend to be held at The Parkdale Yoga Centre, Wolverhampton on October 22nd - 23rd 2016. This weekend is ideal for yoga teachers, dedicated practitioners and open-minded beginners in Yoga.