Keep in mind that everyone is different and comparing yourself to anyone else is a pointless exercise. What’s most important is simply being true to yourself.

I read a book by Martha Beck called Finding Your Own North Star. In it, she tells the story of how she finished, finally, her dissertation. The enormity of the task had stopped her cold; her education had simply stalled there, just before the finish line. After months of inaction, she decided to break it down into manageable pieces; she vowed to write for six hours every day. It was less than she thought she should be doing, but she could tell right away that it was still too much. Her body and brain were resisting.

She cut it in half – 3 hours a day – but she could still feel it, the emphatic inner NO. Even at half an hour a day, she felt the resistance. It wasn’t until she got down to 15 minutes a day that she felt herself relax. It felt doable and, as it turned out, it was. It took her a year, but she did finish “the damn thing,” writing 15 minutes a day.

Honestly, I write more than 15 minutes a day now, but it’s usually for specific writing projects. I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t had more time to play, to just write wild and see what happens. With all that I have going on, writing like that never feels like an effective use of my time. Until now. I’m calling it an experiment (to encourage the kind of writing that term implies) and I’m committing here, to you, that I will make it happen for 15 minutes every day in February

Yoga means, “to yoke together” or “union”. In the yogic sense it is the merging together of the body, mind and our intuitive or emotional side.
The physical postures that many associate with “Yoga” are the “asana” practice, which is only one of eight limbs of Yoga.
Yoga is a state to be reached. It is a state of happiness and contentment reached when the body, mind, emotions are healthy and working in harmony. Yoga is not necessarily something one does, but rather something one experiences when one includes “yogic practices” into your daily routine and into life.

According to the sage Patanjali who lived hundreds of years ago ( 200 – 500 BC), Yoga is a personal journey into the workings of the mind and understanding how our thoughts and actions are linked with our bodies. There are eight categories of practice which when included into one’s daily life lead to a state of contentment and happiness. “Asana” or physical practice being one of these eight practices.

• Patanjali’s Eight Practices.

 The eight fold path described by Patanjali in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are not necessarily linear or progressive. One can adopt any of these practices at any time, in any order into ones life and still feel yoga happening. But to really achieve a full state of contentment and happiness it is recommended that all of the eight limbs be explored.

  1. Yamas  – Ethical Disciplines to adopt in ones life
  2. Niyamas – Principles to put into daily practice
  3. Asana – Physical Postures (What is referred to as “yoga” in the West)
  4. Pranayama – Control of the breath
  5. Pratyahara – Conscious withdrawal of the senses
  6. Dharana – Concentration
  7. Dhyana – Meditation
  8. Samadhi – Absolute absorption – Super Conscious State


Ahimsa – non-harming
Satya – a respect for the truth – truthfulness
Asteya – non stealing
Brahmacharya – temperance, self-control, desireless – ness. Being desire less.
Aparigraha – non-coveting, non greed


Saucha – purity, cleanliness, both internal and external. In thought in speech as well as body.
Santosha – conscious cultivation of contentment. Being aware of negative thought patterns and behaviour.
Tapas – willingness to sacrifice in order to learn more about oneself.
Svadyaya – self study rather than the study of others. Self-knowledge and self-understanding.
Isvara-pranidhana – acceptance and surrendering. Accepting what is and that which cannot be changed.


Various physical postures of which there are many, interpreted in many different ways by many teachers! Some are set sequences, some use flowing movements, others use heated studios, some are more precise in their positioning . . . in time one finds a style of physical practice to suit your personality and temperament.


Manipulating the breath! Yes, we all breathe, daily otherwise we would not be alive! But how often are we aware of our breath and how it is used by the body to maintain life!
In Eastern philosophy ones life force is called PRANA (energy). We have individual prana and the Universe has prana. There is prana in all living things By manipulating the breath we can manipulate our life force and work more effectively with our body and our minds.


Learning to withdraw our senses and to not be affected or influenced by them. By doing so we learn to control the activities of our mind and in turn our emotions and the way we interact with our environment. We can choose how we respond to other people or situations on our life path. We can do so in a healthy positive manner or an unhealthy negative manner. Practicing pratyahara gives us skills to do this


Learning to focus our attention and our mind activity through the practice of concentration. There are many tools for this. Memorising a song, concentrating on a puzzle, or a picture or a candle flame. In Eastern philosophy the use of a Mantra helps to discipline the mind.


Meditation. By creating the right environment, meditation happens. Sometimes described as a state of conscious deep sleep, other times the absolute stilling of the mind, or finding that deep state of peace and tranquility within. One cannot teach meditation any more than one can teach, “falling asleep”. One can only facilitate the right environment. But one needs to practice the preparation and provide the right circumstances for meditation to happen.


A state of one pointed absorption, the experience of unity with all.  Supreme happiness.