Getting Away From it All – a True Yoga Holiday

The second chapter of the Yoga Sutra is on Practice and it’s this Kriya Yoga that is recommended for the person who wishes to journey on the path of Yoga.

The commentary by Vyasa indicates that our mental impurities(stress – anger, anxiety, confusion etc)  will be an obstacle to the attainment of Yoga and says, “It has been recommended that an undisturbed course of self-purificatory conduct should be practised by Yogin’s since this leads to the cleanliness and purity of the mind.”

So with this goal in mind I have organised a summer retreat (22nd – 29th August) in a peaceful location in Devon. This is for you if you would like to develop your meditation practice along the lines of Patanjali’s ashtanga yoga and have the opportunity to do so in an undisturbed supportive environment.

In addition to the development of yoga skills and peace of mind, the benefits to our health and well-being from this exercise could potentially surpass any other kind of holiday we may take. Why is this?

“Therefore, a householder who has a lot of responsibilities must regularly follow meditation practice. When we work hard and far beyond our strength, our senses become weak and tired. Meditation will reduce the tiredness of the senses. This is the revival of strength.”          

In the Yoga Makaranda, Krishnamacharya explains the benefits of meditation by comparing it to deep sleep. He notes how deep sleep (which is dreamless, without thought) revives and refreshes us. He calls this tamas nidra, sleep brought about by the nature of tamas. Yoga Nidra which is a sattvic state of mind is stated by him to be 1000 times more effective than ordinary sleep. He indicates that the common denominator in these two types of rest is that there is a cessation of mental activity. One as a result of the natural onset of sleep and one by the practice of Yoga. But even a still mind in sleep can elude us if we allow the mind to be burdened by activity and do not learn to control it. We wake dull and weary instead of refreshed and energetic. The stress in our minds can keep us awake and lead us to suffer, but there is nowhere we can go to escape from this because it is how we are experiencing our own mind. Where is there to go?

The author Mark Twain was once asked if he would like to take a holiday. He replied, “Yes I would, as long as I don’t have to take that fellow Twain with me.”

I hope you see the dilemma to which Yoga offers a solution.

To get away from it all, we must go within to transform the mind. The only way out is in.

This is not an escape from life. It is taking the time in helpful conditions to transform our minds, reduce stress, restore our strength and cultivate a clear and peaceful mind.

It will help us to master an important posture…

“The most difficult posture in yoga is the ever-changing posture of daily life”. 
Peter Marchand

and to have a great power…

“The power of inner peace is infinitely greater, more solid and concrete, than any other situation created by anybody on earth.”  
Sri Chinmoy

You can find further details here. Please contact Steve to book a place and note that the last date for bookings is now April 30th 2013.

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