I woke up at sunrise today in Sydney. The thought popped into my mind to go practice with Eileen Hall. It had been years since I got up to practice with her. When I first moved to Sydney 15 years ago, Yoga Moves was my spot. Back in the day, Paul, Mark, Eileen and crew used to lead us dedicated yogis through the Ashtanga series. I made my way through the rainy Sydney early morning traffic to the new Yoga Moves housed in a dilapidated tennis stadium in Paddington. It is not the sort of venue that one would imagine to house a dedicated yoga sangha. Upon entering, I viewed rows of yoga books stacked in shelves as well as some chanting music coming from somewhere. I took my spot at the back of the crowded room and began my practice. Not much has changed over the years. Still the same cadre of dedicated ashtangis practising from before daybreak, going through their primary and second series. Still the same faint smell of sweat. Still the same dedication to the practice that Guruji handed down over many years. After my salutes to the sun, I was lead to the front of the class, so Eileen could spy how my middle-aged body has coped with the practice after a decade. I must admit that it is not the same as when I was 30 years old. My hip has a strange tendency to tilt my knee towards the ceiling anytime my knee is bent and I seem to have lost some general strength and flexibility.
What I did notice was the sutras of Patanjali inscribed on the rafters. As I was practising, I read the wise aphorisms. Where the original yogi told us the disciples what yoga is all about. It has a different effect on me now after years of life and practice. Now I can really get the meaning of stilling the modifications of the mind. What it means and why it is so important. After life has had its way with me and 20 plus years of practice have made me a bit deeper. On my way home, I tuned into youtube and found this reading of the yoga sutras. I played it on the rainy drive home and wanted to share it with you. After all, the poses and body is not the main purpose of yoga, but the learning how to work with all the aspects of ourselves.