Pranayama & Ayurveda and the importance of practicing with a teacher
What is Yoga anyway? Paul Dallaghan explains.
Paul Interviews Richard & Mary on the Samahita Couch. Light hearted debate with some deep reflection. Expect the unexpected from 2 special unannounced guests!
Diaphragm Raised (Pre-Nauli), Lower Abdomen Engaged (Uddiyana Zone), Pelvic Floor Managed (Mula) Techniques Differentiated in the field of Yoga Practice
Yoga, though ancient in origin, is now found around the world in one form or another, from traditional ashrams to the modern yoga studio offering its different styles of classes. To take a deeper look reveals asana practice as the most conspicuous representative of this vast tradition of yoga. Many who practice yoga today will not know what the kriyas of hatha yoga are but have most likely come across a few of them in a modern interpretation of those techniques.
This video introduces the Centered Yoga Pranayama training. This practice of pranayama is part of a living tradition. Paul has learnt the full practice in a special one-to-one capacity over the past 20 years with Tiwariji
Paul was recently posed some questions on how and why I got into yoga and eventually started Samahita. It has become an interview online and so we reproduce the questions here.
Tiwariji explains that enthusiasm from inside based on understanding helps lead us to success in yoga.
According to Ayurveda, sattva is the quality of nature that contains balance, peace, harmony, purity and clarity. It is one of the three subtle qualities or ‘gunas’ that exist in all of nature. Anthea's blog gives 5 tips on how to cultivate a satvic state for a healthier, happier and balanced life.
You’re committed, ambitious and competitive. Dedicated to your practice, getting up every morning without fail or taking those 3 classes in a row at the studio. All is well and your friends comment on how much improvement you’ve made until one day you’ve hurt your knee, wrist, lower back and shoulder! Maybe its time to calm things down and reflect on the true motive behind your effort.
"The understanding of this has really helped me put things into perspective. Having been anxious and holding onto previous experiences and jobs that haven't gone as planned, and having also struggled with finding self-worth as a full-time mum."
Sri O. P. Tiwari explains the difference between attachment and dependency and the differences between friendship and compassion.
It’s one thing to be alone in the woods, to travel by oneself according to your needs and desires, somewhat easier in many regards, and quite another to learn how to take of others through an expedition.
Over the month of August a wonderful group of people came to study on our Centered Yoga: Education in Yoga 200 hour teacher training program. It is a month immersed in practice, study and deep discussions, unravelling yoga and life. But it is also a personal and transforming journey that goes beyond practice and into inner experience, the space yoga aims to touch.
During philosophy class this July Tiwariji emphasized the importance of making space each day to practice and talked about how to practice ‘nicely’ according to the yoga texts, specifically the Hatha Pradipika, which in the first chapter delves into 6 obstacles and 6 ways to have success in yoga. These tips can still apply today for those of us trying to successfully integrate yogic practices into our modern-day lives.
Our 15th Anniversary was celebrated with a fantastic party including live performance from Jack Harrison, Nabs and Gill. An awesome show from our delightful Thai staff not to mention a live fire show on the beach.
"Congratulations Samahita - 15 years of excellence is a superb record. Paul Dallaghan's cutting edge teaching is delivered with compassion and humor, ably supported by a team of fine teachers who enable the student to overcome hurdles with skill and gentle care. No doubt Sri Tiwari will also be a great experience. Here like minded students from around the globe share experiences around the dinner table and create a bonding atmosphere so each retreat is memorable. Importantly whether 30 yrs. or 80 yrs. of age or somewhere in between the student leaves inspired to continue along their yoga path. There is no greater compliment."
“Samahita is a home for my soul. Coming here, whether before as a student or now as a teacher, I always feel like my soul is resting but that I’m also growing and developing. It’s a life changing experience for myself and especially my soul.” ~ Ara, Assistant General Manager & Yoga Teacher
From the Archives 2012: Sri O. P. Tiwari sharing insights and Yoga philosophy discussing Unity in Diversity and the basic purpose of Yoga.
Life is constantly changing. This was something as a child I found really difficult to accept or understand. Fortunately years of teaching in primary schools taught me the value of this constant change, spending a year or two guiding, inspiring and instructing young children and then setting them free and watching them fly. I am constantly blown away by stories of where life has led them and feel so privileged to have been a part of their journey.
Energy is something which exist within us all. From humble insects to the greatest tree, to the tallest mountain on one side of the world to a vast lake on the other. It emanates from our rainforests, our oceans and every last inch of our world. That same energy exists within ourselves, we share the same energy, therefore we are ALL ONE.
When we talk about managing injury, in one sense, just for daily wellbeing, we want to manage this on a body-health-stress level. But the other sense is that the state of mind or personal spiritual progress – in other words your attitude and how you understand things and look at them – is a key component in all of this. It’s not enough to just do it; we need to do it, understand it, and absorb into it.
Death, disease, old age, friends leaving, jobs lost. People change, situations change. ALL the time. Everything is temporary. Everything, including life itself. Which can be really hard to accept. Some struggle to handle even the smallest changes in life. Why is that? Because the mind is a bit tricky and has a way of controlling us, if we let it. If allowed, the mind will happily spin out on thoughts of fear and worry about life and all that could happen. Poor me, life is so hard, what if, why me etc. etc.
Personally I think life is beautiful and great. An underlying understanding from many philosophies is that life is full of suffering. Which it is, especially if you really look at all we go through. However, how do you approach this? I realize the temporariness of life. I am personally going through the difficulties and challenges of life. Yet somehow, everyday, I feel great and very upbeat, from deep within.
What I would like to say though may seem contrary to the usual advice but please take it on, as I have to myself: if you’re feeling challenged, down or overwhelmed, though the practice is of benefit, and do take time to clear the mind, but even more immediate is to get the things done in your life that need to be done. It is said our suffering (“dukkha”) comes from not taking care of things in our life that need to be done. If you are thinking, ‘I am out of balance and off-center’, then do what has to be done.
Paul Dallaghan’s Interview for Inner Peace Conference in Amsterdam: "I was sent away at 16 on my own to work and live on a farm in rural France. Much time was spent in nature, either working or quietly alone. Without me realizing it was a key meditative time. That was the first key transformation for me with a few later key shifts occurring so it is now lived on a daily level."
There is a big difference between something that is clean and something that is pure. If you were to hold out both hands and have a flower placed in each hand, one being plastic and totally clean, the other being real but with some dirt still on it, could you tell the difference? You can tell just by feeling. Automatically you know which is artificial and which is natural. You know instinctively because it is your essential nature.
Since the dawn of time the refined mind has understood that one’s behaviour, actions, speak loudest about the character of an individual. We are taught growing up that “talk is cheap” and “actions speak louder than words”. It is the actualization of this through our systems where satya lies for us.
Pratyahara is taught and discussed in many texts on yoga and related philosophies. A thorough presentation of the topic would require much reference, a lot more than is necessary for this article. So without getting too academic and caught up in all the texts let me attempt to offer a simple and workable understanding of it.
“I will not hurt you.” Is this a promise you are willing to keep or at least try? Could you extend it beyond your family and friends to all members of society? To all animals and insects? Not just in action but through what you say? To totally taking care of your actions so that even a seemingly non-hurtful one is done mindfully so there is no indirect hurt? To watching all thoughts that bring up negative and hurtful images and feelings within?
One of the more discussed and misunderstood topics in yoga, the common belief is that it is celibacy, a complete abstinence from sexual activity. But this is only part of the picture. “Brahma” is the Ultimate Reality, the Creator. “Char” is to move. Literally then the move to the ultimate reality or more practically put, ways or methodology to be used for self realization.
The essence of it is a lack of, or at least a reduction in, selfish behavior. The mental attitude is not one of “what am I going to get, what can I get or I really want that”, but rather no interest to acquire and keep. There is a stronger urge to give and share, use things as needed and be willing to let them go when done.