Vishoka va jyotishmati:

Vishoka va jyotishmati

“Concentration may also be attained by fixing the mind upon the Inner Light, which is beyond sorrow." Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1:36.

Transl. How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali (Swami Prabhavananda, Christopher Isherwood)

Most yoga teachers understand that yoga is a truly holistic practice - bringing together techniques for the body, breath, mind and spirit.

In Healing Space - there is a deep focus on the spiritual dimension of the practice, and of human experience. Despite the seemingly rampant commercialism of the Yoga industry, I do believe that most of us came to this practice, and choose to teach, because we genuinely understand its power.

This does not mean that it is religious, although it can be, depending on the individual person's own faith and beliefs. For this we borrow from all the major philosophies and offer words of wisdom and kindness: readings and poetry are a big part of the methodology, because sometimes poetry can speak to a mood where your own words might be heard as platitudes.

We also use Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as a guide in our own practice. Also at the heart of the Healing Space practice, is the teacher's own personal yoga practice. My belief is that yoga teachers can really only teach what they understand from the depth of their own practice. And on the Healing Space courses, trainee teachers are encouraged to use and reflect on the Yoga Sutras as a guide to understanding the path of yoga in their own lives. It is not the only text or philosophical focus that we use, but it is a good starting point.

So the first exercise on this course is to obtain (or dig out from the bookshelf) a copy of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and begin reading. One or two verses a day is enough to absorb and reflect on. (It was never meant to be read like a novel.) I recommend the version translated by Mukunda Stiles, as I find it particularly accessible and revealing. The translation and commentary by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood is also very good. However, you may use whichever translation you have. There are many good online commentaries that will help to offer deeper insight.