Mountain Top Yogis Blog

After practicing yoga for over thirty years down in the big smoke we felt called to move back into nature into an environment ideal to go deeper into the higher limbs of yoga practice. The Vedas suggest that when one comes to the middle of ones life (around 50) to change ones mode of life and spend more time on spiritual practice in nature. This mode of life is called vanaprashtha (forest dweller). This same mode of life is suggested in many yogic texts. We took that quite literally and live now on a mountaintop surrounded by ancient rainforest. Living in nature inspires our practice greatly, which we can then share when we come back into the cities to teach workshops or retreats.

This blog will give you updates of what we are currently working on and it will give us the opportunity to stay in contact with the many people and students we have worked with throughout the last few decades. Of course if you want to post any questions, your mountaintop yogis will do their best to answer them. To sign up for our newsletter please go to http://www.8limbs.com/contact-us/

How important really is yoga history for the yogi?

Western university scholars often look at the Yoga Sutra isolated from the rest of the yoga tradition. They fragment the yoga of Patanjali from all other forms of yoga and show the history of yoga as one of conflicting schools. This may be of interest for the historian but distracting for the practitioner. For the practitioner and yogi there is only one tradition of yoga and the Sutra must be seen in context and together with all other yogic scriptures. The yoga described in the Sutra could never succeed only by itself […]

Why Use Glute Max in Back Bends, Part 2

The main concern sighted by the general yoga community for not using glute max in back bends is that excessive external rotation of the thighs can jam the sacrum between the two halves of the pelvis. An inability of the sacrum to float freely between the pelvic halves at the sacroiliac joints is a common source of sacral, hip and low back pain. However, it is not only activation of glute max that is the cause of this adverse effect […]

The Executions in Indonesia

This article deals with the recent execution in Indonesia by firing squad of two convicted Australian heroin ring leaders. The event is widely covered in the Australian media and Australia in protest has recalled its ambassador: I find a lot of the public discussion regarding the executions is missing out on some important information.

The role of the heart chakra

Concentrating prana in the heart chakra has several important implications. Patanjali says in sutra I.33, “Clarity of mind is produced by meditating on friendliness towards the happy, compassion towards the miserable, joy towards the virtuous and indifference towards the wicked.” The belief in our separate, individual, egoic existence fosters the attitude of envy towards the happy (how come that they are more fortunate than us), judgement towards the miserable (they don’t deserve any better, they have brought it upon themselves), scepticism towards the virtuous (for sure they have some skeletons in the closet, let’s find them) […]

Why Use Glute Max in Back Bends? Part 1

For some the jury is still not out on whether one should or should not engage the gluteus maximus muscle when performing back bending yoga postures. The key movement of the pelvic girdle when doing any back bending posture is nutation of the sacrum. Tilting the pelvis forward to encourage sacral nutation for many seems paradoxical, however, this is imperative to bring ease and harmonious extension along the entire length of the spine – the crux of back bending! […]

The True Meaning of OM

When pronouncing the sound OM we are sitting down and hum more or less. That’s why some commentators who read this sutra simply imagine a person (in this case Ishvara), who admittedly is immortal and all-knowing, but still sitting in the corner humming. This is not what OM means. OM means OMnipresnt, OMniscient, OMnipotent. It is the roar the electrons make when circling around atomic nuclei, it is the thunder of Higgs Boson particles crashing into each other in the Large Hadron Collider. It is the first cry of all babies ever born and the sound of the last exhalation that you will release on your deathbed […]

Putting the Curve Back in Your Neck, Saving Your Neck – Part 3

Although we usually think and talk about muscles as being weak or strong, closer to the truth is that muscles are usually inhibited or facilitated, respectively. Inhibition is when neural input (from our nervous system) to the muscle has been down-regulated. Facilitation is the opposite, when neural input to a muscle is excessive or up-regulated. Facilitated muscles are often those muscles compensating for the loss of input into a movement pattern that should come from the muscle that is inhibited. […]

Do Postures Have to Be Painful?

I was asked whether pain in asana should be accepted and if it’s worth going through a lot of pain at all? When does discomfort turn into pain, can it be balanced with the higher limbs or should it be avoided altogether?

There is a widespread misconception that postures should be painful. As a rule of thumb, postures should not be painful, which is something that even the ancient masters pointed out. Patanjali states in Yoga Sutra, “heyam duhkham anagram,” […]

On Depression

I am receiving more and more emails and reports from people who are suffering from depression. Most people think that it is a disease and that they have to change something. It is a phenomenon that was not around when I grew up. The WHO believes that in a few years 25% of health costs will be incurred by depression. I believe that our society is now breeding and producing depression […]

Is alone-ness the same as loneliness?

Is alone-ness the same as loneliness? What ate Janis Joplin? And what has it to do with finding in ones heart the heart of all beings? Why is the mystic the true friend and why being all-one enables you to commune with others out of freedom rather than out of need. And how does it relate to Yoga Sutra II.25?