“When we meet something with love we transform it.”

One of my first lectures with James Boag was on the 2nd January 2012 in his apartment in Mysore, South India. I’d been practicing at the Shala (Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) with Sharath since mid December. Because it was so busy, my start time was really late and so I couldn’t join the philosophy classes there. A fantastic New Yorker called Samantha (with the dirtiest laugh I’ve ever heard!!) told me James was in town, that she’d been to his classes the year before and he was brilliant. She even took me on the back of her scooter the first time so I didn’t get lost!

His theme was Yoga – The Heart of It and it was the beginning of a huge change for mebecause James helped me really understand how practical this thing, this method or technique, called yoga can be. I’d never really understood just how relevant it was to me, to you and to everyone else!

He helped me see how yoga really is at the heart of everything we do, everything we are.

Many of you have already heard James talk about how yoga is everywhere, it’s all around us and within us. He speaks of the Bhagavad Gita being set in the midst of a battlefield – symbolising how we are in the midst of life, in this moment and presented with many challenges.

In yoga we learn we have to accept who and what we are, warts and all! James stresses that our blocks and challenges contains lessons for us – valuable gifts to be met with presence and awareness. Admittedly sometimes easier said than done!!!

But yoga can teach us how to do this wholly and heartfully, if we let it be at the heart of everything we do.

He talks of yoga developing our one pointed awareness, helping us feel more centred, more attuned to the calling or the direction of our heart. Of how it teaches us to unite our heart and our feeling senses. It teaches us how it feels to be more integrated, more skilful in our navigation of life. Yoga teaches us how it feels to be happy.

Our cultural wisdom just now promises happiness for us when we have this or that outside of us. But we can only be truly happy when we find happiness within, when we practice from the heart. When we hold our yoga practice at the very heart of our lives. When we meet ourselves with love.


James returns to MCY to share more wonderful teachings in a weekend intensive Yoga, Creativity & the Family from Friday  22nd to Sunday 24th April 2016.

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