I have a 20 minute nap after lunch every day, about half an hour after eating.

Nap Infographic


Light on Life by BKS Iyengar – Chapter 5: Wisdom – The Intellectual Body – Part 1

Selected extracts from the first half of the fifth chapter:

Our individual intelligence, though an essential rudder to guide us, is merely a puny offshoot of cosmic intelligence, which is the organising system of the universe. This intelligence is everywhere and like air we constantly bathe in it and imbibe it.

Intelligence is the operating system of cosmic awareness.

You can force a piano up three flights of stairs but you cannot force the febrile human mind to be still. All you can do is train it to be vigilant toward all that disturbs its equilibrium.

Memory for past, imagination for future. Squashed between the two,  we lose the ability to use direct perception on what really is–i.e. now, the present.

‘If it feels good, do it’  is not a maxim to be trusted in the long run. All philosophies recognise that a pleasure seeker will end up as a pain finder. The ancient Greeks said that moderation was the greatest virtue.

When awareness is linked to intelligence we are able to see with absolute honesty. When brain and body are moving in harmony there is integrity.

A cleansed memory is one that does not contain undigested emotions from the unconscious but that deals with feelings in the present as they arise.

If one feels heavy and dull after sleep then that sleep has been tamasic. Disturbed, agitated sleep is rajasic.  Sleep that brings lightness, brightness, and freshness is sattvic.

Peaceful deep sleep, experienced while alert and awake, is samadhi. When the mind is controlled and still, what remains is the soul.  The absence of ego in the state of sleep is akin to samadhi,  but it is dull and without awareness. Samadhi  is the  egolessness of sleep combined with the vibrancy of intelligence.

If we feed our minds on violent images, thoughts, and words, our unconscious will regurgitate them in disturbed dreams. Just as right imagination opens the creative mind, right sleep exhilarates the mind and brings alertness.

Often as students do savasana  or attempt meditation they drift into an agreeable torpor, as if they were swaddled in cotton wool. This is not the prelude to samadhi but to sleep.

Good sleep makes consciousness brilliant. Poor sleep leaves it tarnished.

We say,  “If only I’d known then what I know now.” But what we know now does not seem to stop this from making more mistakes. The yogic blueprint says that right knowledge and erroneous knowledge are two modifications, or states, of consciousness. By the practice of yoga we can lessen and eradicate misperception and wrong knowledge and again accurate perception and right knowledge.

An opinion is yesterday’s right or wrong knowledge warmed up and re-served  for today’s situation. So opinions are rooted in the past and our examination of memory has shown us that the past can be a minefield.

When what is wrong is discarded what is left must be correct. As intelligence expands in consciousness then ego and mind contract to their proper proportions. They no longer rule the roost but serve intelligence.

We are seeking to cultivate wisdom, to transform mental dexterity or cleverness, which all people possess in some degree, into the penetrating clear light of wisdom.

Fizzy Tat

Oh no I’ve filled my head with shit. Diverting fizzy tat that as I lie in bed waiting for sleep, comes back around with a slap. And then I’m asleep and my brain is undoing. Not enough time in a night when there’s all the other gumpf to unwind. From all these years. The media is so much filler. Brain cell stuffing. How much can I fit in before it bursts? Or turns sour like a tumour. Then the tunes get me. If there’s not images bouncing around there are the tunes. And these can be worse, like infinite loops; hooky as hell. Oh no I’ve filled my head with shit, and I want more. I’m a glutton for digits awaiting an exhaustion that’s no relief.

Another early start

Further experimentation meant arising at 0540 for 3 round of sun salutations, (left/right x3) before work at 6. I don’t know if it’s crazy to start at that time – probably – especially as I woke at 0130 and listened to a) podcast b) Yoga Nidra by Maureen Lewison c) a whole bunch of music. We’ll see how it goes. But I like it there in the early morning, no one else around, hardly anyone awake at Brockwood, doing the verification work for the first three hours in the office. I take a break each hour, else it’s 7 hours straight at the computer and that’s no good. At 8 it’s the morning meeting at the school which I can now go to again. Where is everyone for that? The hall is only one third full. Sitting quietly for 10 minutes is just too much for many people. So now I am ready for a deeeeep sleep. Alarm for 0530 tomorrow…

Why do ideas take root in our minds? Why do not facts become all-important – not ideas? Why do theories, ideas, become so significant rather than the fact? Is it that we cannot understand the fact, or have not the capacity, or are afraid of facing the fact?