Kripalu YTT Yoga Journal – 30 October

Red faced, I demoed a forward bend in front of the whole group. Good to establish a little relationship with the teacher. I’m somehow less scared of the group now. Lots of lower back work today. Good teaching practice in pairs.

Afternoon session with Jovina. Never done anything like it. Meditation in motion with a variety of music; so freeing. Then in pairs, one person asking: Name one thing you love about your body, and the other answers. Then repeat the question. For maybe five minutes each.

What a course!


Kripalu YTT Yoga Journal – 29 October

Woke up feeling trembly and detoxy. I’m moving through that ill feeling that is approached and felt at times. I’m weak but there’s a fire in this. Powered through the illness with a full-on morning class. Posture clinic in the morning, working in pairs. Lots of Warrior I, knees developing so much heat! Use mirroring when teaching.

A gorgeous sunny day; lunch outside with John assistant teacher and other YTTs

Anatomy and Physiology this afternoon with Grace Jull:

Bones are half water.
It only takes 8 weeks from fertilisation of the egg to a formed systems.
Cranio-sacral therapy very beneficial for young mothers and the child.
The bone matrix improves with weight and resistance training, e.g. yoga.
The body is sculptured while growing up, e.g. repetition in sports.

Life = division from exterior, and movement.


Cervical 7 – Breakfast time
Thoracic 12 – Lunch time
Lumar 5 – Tea time

The sacrum doesn’t fuse until the age of 20 to 25!

Note big difference between tissue stretching and bone on bone compression. Make adjustments for this. We are all different skeletally.

Sticking labels on skeletons to learn major bones.

Excellent yoga class with Grace this afternoon after the workshop.

Yamas and Niyamas workshop this eve. I.e. Sane Living. We chose one to ‘practise’. Mine: Non-violence towards self, others. The yamas need to be in harmony, e.g. telling the truth, but not violently.

Finished the day with a sauna / whirlpool then chatting with Shaun, Nathan, Joe and Brian in the dorm.

Kripalu Yoga Journal – YTT – Day Three

28 October

Wanted to speak, didn’t. It will come.

Sadhana = Personal practice

The Five Vayus:

Apana – Gravity
Prana – Brighten
Samana – Micro
Udana – Movement
Vyana – Total Connection

(Another yogic map) Science is now giving validity to these ancient maps.

Grief is often held in the clavicles.

Ujjayi breathing. Ocean sounding breath. The home breath. It can be contagious!

Afternoon: Tempeh tired. Chatted instead of resting. Very nervous in tiredness.

My new yoga mat arrived – the Prana Revolution!

Pratapana = Warm ups. Building the sacred fire, warming the body, releasing synovial fluid in the joints.

Settling down today. Less mind-blowing and less nervous.

Almost spoke on the mic in the morning session. They are encouraging us all to speak.

Posture clinic this morning and afternoon. And we got to have a go at teaching! To a couple of people. A good, positive experience. I was enthusiastic and into it. I’m really liking this and will do more when I’ve spoken a little. The serious side is fading and I’m more humorous.

Tomorrow is the classic fourth day yoga crunch. No, fourth day is usually fine, but the fifth day I don’t want to feel, and cease practice. Feels VERY different this time. Supportive. Possible. Only three days in.

This evening I danced! It was great. Non-threatening and no one judging. Free! Then we watched a video about Mr Kripalu. Interesting guy. Desai, not so much.

Great to be sharing the dorm with these guys. Talking about the day, laughing, talking seriously about religion. They would all dig Krishnamurti so much.

I may teach, I may not. In the deepest of my nerves I won’t. And yet it doesn’t matter if I do or don’t, it’s the depth of possibility, the freedom that matters.

This is a great, truly great course and it’s what we make of it and it makes of us.

Kripalu Yoga Journal – YTT – Now the Inquiry of Yoga; Koshas; Blinfolds: fleshy alive things

Main Hall, Kripalu

Tues 26 October, YTT

Morning Sadhana, use of 60s music and laughter.

Are there other radio stations to tune in to? The strongest signal is not the only one.
Turn up the volume of awareness.
Tune in to others’ energy when assisting and teaching.

Koshas – Sheaths or bodies of the organism. A map of our being.

– Annamaya – Body
– Pranamaya – Energy
– Manomaya – Thought, feeling
– Vijnanamaya – Intellect, wisdom
– Anandamaya – Bliss

The mind can think anything. Vijnanamaya Kosha chooses which is given energy

When all are in alignment: Anandamaya Kosha present

Intuition uses all five Koshas

When we die, Annamaya deteriorates and pranamaya shuts down

Sense of I: Manomaya Kosha*

Send each of the Koshas home during savasana

During meditation, Vijnana and Ananda present



Great day! The nerves of the first evening and yesterday are receding and I’m realising this course can be fun, and profound. The depth of Devarshi’s wisdom and knowledge became clear during his talk about the Koshas. I was reassured he’s not rooted in the ‘easy’ yoga answers of the ‘real’ me, higher self and all the all-too-reassuring stuff. This is about inquiry, questioning, and ultimately, mystery. FANTASTIC! Realised Devarshi is definitely worth listening to.

[I am only using my journal for reference, not the Course Manual which goes into much more detail and is no doubt much more accurate]

*Could it be, therefore, that the exaggerated sense of I, of ego, that seems pervasive throughout our societies and seems to be the cause of many of our problems, is simply an imbalance of these Kosha sheaths?

Settling in; sitting easier, heart is less racy, feelings flowing more.

The experiential sessions are great. Blindfolded, following instructions to move about the room, choosing directions to turn, then finding two hands in the dark. Exploring those hands. They felt like a creature in the darkness – fleshy alive things, exploring, touching while someone else explores and touches my fleshy alive things.

My hands are getting stronger, fingers broader.

Shit, only two days in!

Nathan said Megha said: “Just you wait!” This in particular about meditation in motion, which we ‘did’ this evening, eyes closed. The second group joined us. There are 82 people doing the YTT, in two groups. What an incredible centre and course!

Kripalu Yoga Journal – Goals of Teachers, “Self-observation with love”

Continuation of my journal and memories of the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training. Monday 26th – first full day.

We start at 0630 with morning yoga. A little more vigorous than the gentle sessions I took before the course started. Lovely stretches, releasing my neck from the travelling, work, NYC. Sunlight pouring through the high windows of the Main Hall.

Goals of Teachers:

– Strengthen, inspire, inform personal practice
– Experience the unlimited power of yoga
– Hold space of sacred sanctuary and safety
– Opening the learning process, inquiry, mystery
– Recognise and understanding Self
– Instil, awaken knowledge of the Kripalu toolbag
– To transmit yoga, including the yamas and niyamas
– To become the best teacher I can be

We wrote down why we were here, and then stuck it up on a wall. It stayed there the whole course (almost!). I wrote:

– Find my voice
– Uncover buried feeling, release, heal
– Open and discover – what?
– Learn to relax more fully
– Learn how to share yoga
– Strengthen constitution – body and all systems
– Balance and grounding
– Enjoy four weeks out of the office!

What is Kripalu Yoga?

– “Self-observation with love” – Mr Kripalu
– A non-dogmatic approach that’s difficult to brand
– The Inquiry of Yoga
– Learning how to learn

It’s OK to be nervous, I am supported.
Speak in ‘I’ statements, first person


This is going to be the strangest, newest, exploringest, unusual-situationist month ever. After 24 hours I am just realising what I might have let myself in for. Very good first session with Devarshi this afternoon. Long sequences each side and a very long integrating savasana.

Lots of experimental sessions in small groups and sharing with the mic with the whole group. I haven’t yet, but fully participating in our Full Moon group. Meeting some great people and getting used to the idea of communicating. I feel I need a few words with Devarshi and Mega [the course leaders] to check in with them. This evening… off!


I’ve rarely bee so consistently on edge, and never in such unpredictable circumstances. And yet at the same time, in the same day, experiencing deep relaxation. This evening’s session blew me away. Came to after relaxation convinced everyone had left the room. Full on class. Devarshi is a little mischievous.

An assistant teacher said they’d be a time when we each go on the stage and speak. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck! For once I can’t control this. I want to face it, even to crumble. If not with this group then with who? And I won’t crumble, or I will. Who knows?

Sat in the sun at breakfast and lunch. By supper, Shaun, Nathan and I were spaced out, wondering what we’d gotten into.

Alarm set for 0545.

Kripalu Yoga Journal – YTT – First Evening

During the teacher training course last year, we were encouraged to keep a journal during the four week intensive. It’s nearly six months since we started the course and I would like to share some of my entries and memories.

On the first evening we wrote down what yoga meant to us and chose a book title to describe our current position in life, or our life so far. I chose: ‘The Truth Is In There’. In a circle of 50 classmates and teachers, we stood in turn and introduced ourselves and gave the name of our book. My heart was beating like crazy! I remembered very few names that evening. (‘Eagle Steve’ was one I did remember from the start)

We picked cards from a deck. Each card had a yoga pose on it. We then found the three others who had the same card. This was done by striking that pose and looking around for others doing the same thing. That group of four became our study group until after our first practice teach more than a week later. We chose a name: Full Moon. We become close in that original group: Erin, who since has founded Hand To Heart Yoga, Dalia who is now in Puerto Rico, and Ria who I haven’t heard from. The good news for me that evening was we only had to teach three times during the course, to four people only, one of whom would be a yoga teacher.

Good bunch in our dorm – four of us from the course and one guy from a massage course, Brian. I think it was that first night we agreed that there’d be no ‘yoga bullshit’ once back at the dorm. Brian was so chuffed that I worked with K’s ‘Teachings’.

Back to today: Groggy session with morning, but enjoying it somehow. Blissful night. Ecstasy comes in waves and cannot be interfered with or controlled in any way. The more of me, the less of it.

What we call our love is a thing of the mind. Look at yourselves, sirs and ladies, and you will see that what I am saying is obviously true; otherwise, our lives, our marriage, our relationships, would be entirely different, we would have a new society. We bind ourselves to another through contract, which is called love, marriage. Love does not fuse, adjust – it is neither personal nor impersonal, it is a state of being.

Krishnamurti, Book of Life, 14 April

Royal Mail

If you have an opinion about the post strikes, etc, read this too. The voice of the postman you don’t hear so easily:

The truth is that the figures aren’t down at all. We have proof of this. The Royal Mail have been fiddling the figures. This is how it is being done.

Mail is delivered to the offices in grey boxes. These are a standard size, big enough to carry a few hundred letters. The mail is sorted from these boxes, put into pigeon-holes representing the separate walks, and from there carried over to the frames. This is what is called ‘internal sorting’ and it is the job of the full-timers, who come into work early to do it. In the past, the volume of mail was estimated by weighing the boxes. These days it is done by averages. There is an estimate for the number of letters that each box contains, decided on by national agreement between the management and the union. That number is 208. This is how the volume of mail passing through each office is worked out: 208 letters per box times the number of boxes. However, within the last year Royal Mail has arbitrarily, and without consultation, reduced the estimate for the number of letters in each box. It was 208: now they say it is 150. This arbitrary reduction more than accounts for the 10 per cent reduction that the Royal Mail claims is happening nationwide.

via LRB · Roy Mayall: Diary.

Michael Moore to President Obama

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Dear President Obama,

How outstanding that you’ve been recognized today as a man of peace. Your swift, early pronouncements — you will close Guantanamo, you will bring the troops home from Iraq, you want a nuclear weapon-free world, you admitted to the Iranians that we overthrew their democratically-elected president in 1953, you made that great speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, you’ve eliminated that useless term “The War on Terror,” you’ve put an end to torture — these have all made us and the rest of the world feel a bit more safe considering the disaster of the past eight years. In eight months you have done an about face and taken this country in a much more sane direction.


The irony that you have been awarded this prize on the 2nd day of the ninth year of our War in Afghanistan is not lost on anyone. You are truly at a crossroads now. You can listen to the generals and expand the war (only to result in a far-too-predictable defeat) or you can declare Bush’s Wars over, and bring all the troops home. Now. That’s what a true man of peace would do.

There is nothing wrong with you doing what the last guy failed to do — capture the man or men responsible for the mass murder of 3,000 people on 9/11. BUT YOU CANNOT DO THAT WITH TANKS AND TROOPS. You are pursuing a criminal, not an army. You do not use a stick of dynamite to get rid of a mouse.

The Taliban is another matter. That is a problem for the people of Afghanistan to resolve — just as we did in 1776, the French did in 1789, the Cubans did in 1959, the Nicaraguans did in 1979 and the people of East Berlin did in 1989. One thing is certain through all revolutions by people who wish to be free — they ultimately have to bring about that freedom themselves. Others can be supportive, but freedom can not be delivered from the front seat of someone else’s Humvee.

You have to end our involvement in Afghanistan now. If you don’t, you’ll have no choice but to return the prize to Oslo.

Michael Moore