This page is an archive of our blog posts, listed by year and in order from most recent to least. We write on a variety of topics, including yoga, movement, somatics, meditation, bodywork, life philosophy and more.

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The Dance of Meditation and Life (Musings Part VI) · August

I have been part of traditions and approaches that start small and slowly build up until they occupy great big chunks of your life, time, energy and money (think retreats where you are meditating for 5, 6, 8 hours a day), and also part of approaches that are extremely minimal and subtle in how they fit into ordinary life (‘meditations in the moment’). From that experience, I have found that the framing that works best for me is that meditation is meant to serve life. It is part of life, part of the rhythm of human be-ing and do-ing that makes up life. Meditation is woven into the fabric of living, not something separate from ordinary life…

Read Part VI

Meditate with your Body (Musings Part V) · July

A lot of people, meditators included, think meditation is about the mind and not the body. In most meditation instruction, our physical form is seen as a kind of unimportant passenger that we attend to briefly at the start or from time-to-time; as tangential to the practice, something that can just be ignored; or even as an unfortunate hindrance that we need to transcend. When the body is included in the practice, it is usually in a regulated or narrow form, like focus on the breath, or on certain sensations in a body-scan. This denies and limits the fullness and richness of embodied experience, of being incarnate (“to be made flesh”), which is actually at the heart of both meditation and life…

Read Part V

Rhythms of Attention (Musings Part IV) · May

Like life, meditation is rhythmic and flowing. It is an ongoing, moving experience like the flow of a river, or the movement of a crowd. In meditation, we are essentially experiencing and cherishing the movement of our attention through a vast array of internal and external phenomena. I’m going to repeat this in different words, because it is likely to be very different from what you’ve heard about meditation before. Meditation is not stillness, it is movement. It is not a static state, but a dynamic, living experience. In meditation, our attention cycles through states, thoughts, emotions, images, feelings, desires, sensations…all of the multitude of impulses that we experience as humans. Sometimes we can cycle through these in a matter of seconds, at other times it takes several minutes or longer. When we meditate, we are setting ourselves free to explore, play and connect all of these impulses

Read Part IV

Whole Self Adventuring (Musings Part III) · April

Hopefully by now your meditation practice is beginning to take shape. If you’ve read the previous posts, you will likely be aware of what meditation is meant to be like, and why you want to meditate (part I). You may also have a sense of the when and the how of your meditation (part II). Recap these if you need to. In this post we are going deeper into the how portion: what actually happens inside you when you enter into a meditative experience? What to do with thoughts, emotions, sensations and all the other jazz of the inner life? Read on for some helpful tips and framing

Read Part III

The How and Why of Meditation (Musings Part II) · March

Now that you’ve understood (and possibly experienced) what meditation can be like: relaxing, casual, delightful, aligned with your heart’s desires…let’s dive in a little deeper. This post is really about how to craft a meditation practice that works for you. Read on for my tips and ideas, and remember: be as creative, imaginative and true to yourself as you can. There are no wrong ways, only your ways

Read Part II

What Meditation Is All About (Musings Part I) · February

Two pieces of wonderful news that inspired this series of posts: (1) 2022 marks ten years that I’ve been meditating (I can’t quite believe it) and (2) I have just certified as an Instinctive Meditation™ teacher... This approach is possibly the most comprehensive and delightful approach to meditation I have found to date. So, in celebration, I have decided to synthesize and present the top 10 things I’ve learned in the past 10 years, from this training and also from my own experience. Since I love to write (and have a lot to share), the 10 points will be split across multiple posts to make them easier to digest.

Read Part I


How to Approach Somatic Practice (Parts I, II & III)

There are some ideas that may be useful to bear in mind as you enter the world of somatic practice. These ideas are foundations that support our continued unfolding, and our experience of our selves. They are valid no matter where we find ourselves, from the very beginning of our journey into the world of somatics, to our ongoing explorations of the territory years later.

I have structured this advice as a series of three posts, each one including a few prose-poems to be read and absorbed (slowly). Sometimes I repeat myself, in slightly different ways, because different things catch and resonate with different people. It is the same when we practice. Take what supports you.

Read Part I | Read Part II | Read Part III

Balance and Symmetry · June

I recently completed a Yin Yoga teacher training (ironically enough, after 5 years teaching Yin). One of my takeaways from the training was a reminder of our beliefs around the supposed symmetry and balance of the body. Largely because of how we look, most of us assume that we are bilaterally symmetrical. In other words, that our left and right sides are (or should be) the same. In Yin, and also in much of somatic movement, a major discovery many of us make is that our body is really not symmetrical at all. It can be surprising, shocking, even horrifying, to notice all the ways in which we are off-kilter, unbalanced, or just plain different from one side to the other. The question becomes: what do we do with this knowledge?

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Ode to the Ground · March

In my sessions and personal practice, my first and last recourse is to something many of us take for granted: the ground. It is one of the best props you could use in your movement practice, and in some cases, may even be the only thing you need to reconnect to your living, breathing, moving self.

We all know intellectually that our bodies exist, grow and move in relation to gravity. But is this a felt experience that we embody? When was the last time you knew gravity as a force in your bones, and not just a scientific concept or measurement?

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Dharma Books: Our Recommendations · November

As we come to the end of the year, with days of leisure and enjoyment before us, we wanted to leave you with a few recommendations for dharma books that you can take with you this holiday season. Our selection is deliberately eclectic, so we hope you find something that speaks to you, no matter your level of interest, experience or life situation. In no particular order, here goes…

Movement Habits for a Healthier You (III) · Vaishali Iyer · June

Move more and move better throughout the day

One of the things I love about the term ‘movement’ is how broad it is. Movement, unlike exercise, is everything you do with your body–shifting your weight, scratching an itch, going to the bathroom, picking up your bag, putting down your bag, reaching for your coffee… I think you get the point. When you think about moving, all of what you do is included. This means that not only is it possible to move throughout the day, you’re probably already doing it (to some extent). The idea, in this post, is to get you to (1) evaluate the ways you’re already moving, and (2) add on new and different ways that use more of your body, or that use different parts of your body…

Movement Habits for a Healthier You (II) · Vaishali Iyer · May

Switch up your relationship to the ground

This is a cool one that you probably hadn’t thought of, and really simple to do. The premise is this: the way that your body is positioned relative to the ground affects the length and load on your muscles and joints. For example, when you’re standing, your leg muscles have to work harder to keep you upright, while your lower body joints are being loaded in the neutral (pelvis and ankle) or extended (knee) positions. On the other hand, when you’re sitting cross-legged or squatting on the ground, your leg muscles may be more passive but the joints of your legs are also more flexed…

Movement Habits for a Healthier You · Vaishali Iyer · April

As some of you may know, I’ve been taking some time off from public teaching recently to study and explore different forms of movement. Lately, my focus has been on biomechanics, kinesiology and anatomy. All complex topics that are deeply satisfying for the body nerd in me! However, at the same time, as I’ve studied and read and practised, there have been several moments where I’ve thought: this is so simple, anyone can do it! So I decided to make a short list of basic ideas I’ve learned that you could apply in your life for a happier, healthier body. Each of the posts in this series will present you with a movement idea, some of the theory behind it, and ways you can implement it practically in your life…


The Power of Rest: Lessons from Restorative Yoga · Vaishali Iyer · December

This post is intended as inspiration for you to find rest in your life, particularly as we come towards the end of the year. I found restorative yoga at a time of many shifts in my life. It became, for me, a safe space of allowing and accepting where I was and how things were unfolding in my life. It gave me hope and courage in the midst of anxiety and the scary decisions I had to make. My wish is that we can all find a way to immerse ourselves in rest…

Living With Loss (Part II) · Charu Ramesh · September

Loss changes our world. The world we lie in after a loss is no longer the familiar place from which we can draw comfort. It is unknown and uncertain, and we don’t know how to navigate it. Grief and mourning are natural responses at these times—expressions of the “love that has lost its object and has nowhere to go”…

Living With Loss · Charu Ramesh · August

Loss is one of the biggest challenges that life throws us, and one that most of us are ill-equipped to deal with. Aside from the big losses—of livelihood, a loved one, health, friendships—that shake us up, there are also seemingly minor losses, like the loss of a cherished object, the steady loss of youth, moving location, which can surprise us by the intense emotion they bring up…

The Message of Illness · Charu Ramesh · July

The part can never be well unless the whole is well.

Though many of us may have heard this axiom, we may not see or understand its applicability to our own health. We have become quite accustomed to treating our kidney, our anemia, our vertigo, or any other issue with our various “parts.”

Why Your Core Matters · Vaishali Iyer · June

core: noun
(1) a central and often foundational part, usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature; (2) a basic, essential, or enduring part (as of an individual, a class, or an entity); (3) the essential meaning; (4) the inmost or most intimate part

In yoga and other forms of movement, the core is often understood to be a set of structures and tissues located in the abdominal area. If I ask you where your core is, chances are you will point to your belly. But what I have learned is that the core is so much more than that…

The Paradox of Meditation · Charu Ramesh · May

Mindfulness and meditation are gaining increasing popularity and are often seen as gateways to getting rid of stress and to peace and calmness. However, many people who start to meditate realize very quickly that rather than calming the mind, it shows a mind that is frenzied and restless…

On Alignment · Vaishali Iyer · April

In the yoga world, we often talk about alignment—one of the keys to mastering postures and truly feeling the benefits of yoga. There are many views and approaches to how we can best align our bodies in the forms and movements of yoga. There are also many reasons why alignment is so crucial to yoga practice. To begin with, we cultivate alignment in order to be safe and prevent injury, but over time it becomes an aspect of yoga practice that goes much further…

The Invitation of the Breath · Charu Ramesh · March

Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.
— Sri Krishnamacharya

The Sanskrit word for breath is prana, which means not only the physical breath but also the life force itself. The physical breath can be a gateway to understanding this force that permeates everything…

Coming Into Embodiment · Vaishali Iyer · February

Yoga is an embodied practice. It sounds obvious when I put it like that, but many of us haven’t taken the time to consider what it truly means to work with the body. The body we are interested in as yogis is not so much the physical body as seen or imagined from the outside, but the body that we can feel from within, when we breathe and move. This is our embodiment, or what we call the soma…

Sitting With Your Life · Charu Ramesh · January

Meditation is often thought of as a practice more suited to people interested in spirituality, who are somewhat detached from worldly life. Many spiritual texts speak of it being essential to realizing God or our true nature. It brings to mind monks and monasteries, renunciation and seclusion, quiet places and an unmoving body. In all these ideas, we often miss the great impact meditation can have on our day-to-day, ordinary life…


Take a Deep Breath… · Vaishali Iyer · December

Breathing is one of the central elements of yoga practice. It is also one of the easiest yoga teachings to bring “off the mat” and into daily life. In this final post of the year, I’d like to share some thoughts and practices that might help you weather any end-of-year stresses with more ease. Firstly, why is breath so crucial? It is not that we need to breathe “correctly” or learn a lot of different breathing techniques. Breath is an entry point into further embodiment, rather than something to be mastered or controlled by the mind…

How, Then, Should we Act? · Charu Ramesh · October

Your right is to work only, but never to the fruit thereof. Never consider yourself to be bringing about the results of your actions, nor be attached to inaction. (Bhagavad Gita 2.47)

This is one of the most famous verses of the Bhagavad Gita and captures the essence of karma yoga, or the path of action. The Bhagavad Gita teaches three main paths to happiness and freedom — karma yogabhakti yoga (the path of devotion) and jnana yoga (the path of wisdom)…

It’s All About Shavasana · Vaishali Iyer · September

One of the things that makes yoga is special is the way it ends. Most, if not all sessions close with a few minutes of total rest, lying on our backs with the arms and legs out, in the posture known as shavasana. I happily confess that it is one of my favourite poses. But at the same time, I know that for many of us it can be a challenge. It doesn’t help that we’re often not taught what shavasana is really for, or how to practice it. Questions can arise, such as ‘what am I meant to be doing right now?’, ‘what’s the point of this anyway?’ and the classic, ‘can I fall asleep now?’ With this in mind, here are a few thoughts and pointers…

The Path of Life · Charu Ramesh · August

The Mahabharata is the background against which the Bhagavad Gita unfolds. Ostensibly the story of the dynasty of the Kuru kings and the strife between cousin brothers, the Mahabharata is a tale about love, devotion, duty, relationships and all that we face and have to work with, in our day-to-day lives. The characters echo our dilemmas as they wrestle with the right thing to do and often do not find quick and easy answers. And yet, they don’t give up trying…

Dharana & Dhyana: A Somatic Perspective · Vaishali Iyer · July

The eight limbs of yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are often taught as a step-by-step ascent, or a process of deepening interiorization which culminates with samadhi in formal sitting meditation…

On Listening · Charu Ramesh · July

Listening is one of the hardest things for us to do. When someone in pain comes to talk to us, all we want to do is take their pain away and so we prescribe solutions. When someone doesn’t agree with us or expresses a point of view we can’t see, we start formulating rebuttals in our head, even before they have finished speaking. And almost always, while “listening” to someone, we are thinking of all the times and ways the same thing has happened to us and can’t wait to let them know about it. Thus, the process of listening becomes about us rather than the other person…

Yoga Stories · Charu Ramesh · June

Have you ever wondered why Yoga poses have such esoteric names? Why should it be Hanumanasana and not just the splits? What is the value addition in calling a low lunge Anjaneyasana? And why can’t it be a simple forward bend rather than Paschimottanasana? It all comes back to the purpose of yoga. The ancient yogis gave us this practice to help us connect to our own divinity through our bodies. So, while yoga is unparalleled in its physical benefits, these are only one part of the story…

Why Yin? Part III · Vaishali Iyer,
photos by Reviveramesh · May

This is the third and final in my series of posts on yin yoga. In this last post, I want to talk about how yin yoga helps us access the body’s natural healing capabilities. The healing power that yin yoga unlocks is an extension of this idea, and hinges on our ability to come into the body through the practice. Yin is a way of returning to the somatic awareness that is natural to human beings – a state of being that is grounded in the body, open, present and aware…

Why Yin? Part II · Vaishali Iyer,
photos by Reviveramesh · May

In this post, I want to go a little deeper into the symbolism of yin, and how we can start to feel the meaning of yin in practice. The word ‘yin’ comes from Chinese or Daoist thought, and is used in complement with its “opposite” – ‘yang’. Yin-yang are the twin forces that create and give life to everything in the universe. Yin represents the dark principle, associated with the shadows, rest, the moon, night, earth and feminine energy…

Why Yin? Part I · Vaishali Iyer,
photos by Reviveramesh · May

While most of us are probably familiar with active (“yang”) forms of yoga, yin yoga is still somewhat unknown, somewhat in the shadows of the yoga world. The world of yin is soft, gentle, dark, still…and at the same time, deeply alive and powerfully sensitive. Over the next few posts, I’ll be exploring some reasons why yin yoga might be the perfect complement to your active movement practices…

The Wisdom Of Death · Charu Ramesh · March

One of the greatest ironies of life is that the only thing we can be certain of is that we will die, and yet the thing we find hardest to accept and most avoid thinking about is our death. One of the reasons for this is that death poses an immense threat – it is the ultimate unknown and unknowable. We have no information about it…

Practising with Integrity: Thoughts on Sthira-Sukham Asanam ·Vaishali Iyer · March

This month I’m co-teaching a course on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. In preparation, I’ve been exploring some of the text’s key themes in my regular weekly classes. I’ve taught about staying focused and stilling the mind through somatic awareness (citta vritti nirodha); learning to honour the truth (satya) of your body and your practice as you move; and, most recently, how to cultivate a sense of integrity in practice, based on a foundation of steadiness and ease (sthira sukham). These two qualities are taken from 2.46 of the Yoga Sutras, where Patanjali says that asana, one’s seat, should be sthira, steady, and sukha, relaxed…

Lessons From Patanjali: Receiving the Divine Offering · Charu Ramesh · February

There are many myths surrounding the birth of the sage Patanjali. In one of the myths, his mother was a skilled yogini who desired a son to whom she could pass on her wisdom and knowledge. One morning she was praying at the river, with her hands placed in anjali mudrafilled with water that she was offering to the Sun. As she raised her hands and made her offering, a tiny snake fell into her cupped palms. She accepted him as a gift from the heavens and raised him as her son, calling him Patanjali…