Teaching Yoga Down Under


In Australia, the seasons are reversed and cars drive on the left side of the road, but the use of Yoga to address the challenges of human life is the same.  The first workshop I taught there in January explored how Yoga can be incorporated into every aspect of one’s life.

We took time to consider what we value most in this life and what we feel is its overall purpose.  Most of us have only vague ideas of what is truly important to us. Clarifying this can be a powerful way to reflect on the choices we make and help us decide whether we are using our time and energy in harmony with our personal vision.

We then explored how the various branches of yoga can assist us in actualizing our full potential. For example, the practice of Karma Yoga trains us to give our full attention to each action and to consider the well-being of everyone rather than our personal desires.  Raja Yoga develops our will power and self-discipline, enabling us to methodically let go of unhealthy attachments and realize our True Nature.

The practice of Bhakti Yoga can inspire us to put loving energy into whatever we do, and to feel reverence for the Divine Presence that is around and inside of us.  As we develop faith in that Presence, we can humble our limited minds and more fully open our hearts to receive guidance from this deeper source.

Jnana Yoga trains us to become aware of our thoughts but not to identify them as who we are.  If I can see that due to some past experience and the residual fear it left in me, I feel anxiety when I am stressed, I am free to choose how to respond to those anxious thoughts rather than be lost in the swirl of their stories.

The Australian group embraced these teachings with enthusiasm and each thought about ways to integrate these ideas into her/his own life.  We can all benefit from a comprehensive approach to spiritual practice that develops our strengths while exposing our unhealthy tendencies, and from the support of a spiritual community to share the journey with.

Swami Ramananda Signature


2016-10-15T01:45:23+00:00 March 30th, 2015|Comments Off on Teaching Yoga Down Under

I want to share this poem


How surely gravity’s law, strong as an ocean current, takes hold of even the strongest thing and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing – each stone, blossom, child – is held in place. Only we, in our arrogance, push out beyond what we belong to for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves in knots of our own making and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again to learn from the things, because they are in God’s heart; they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~



(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,

translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)


2016-10-15T01:45:23+00:00 March 26th, 2015|Comments Off on I want to share this poem

Delicious Recipes from Emmanuelle

Dear IYI community , please find the following recipes which were prepared in the IYI kitchen for the Guru Puja on February 23rd. I hope you enjoy !

Curried Pumpkin Dhal

Serve 6:
1 medium yellow onion quartered
1/4 cup of coconut
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1/2 a serrano or Thai Chili peppers
1 tbsp of ginger root minced
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp of salt
2 cups of water or vegetarian stock
1 cup of diced tomatoes
2 cups of cooked black-eyed peas
4 cups of fresh pumpkin or butternut squash
2 cups of chopped chard
3 tbsp of minced mint

Combine onion, coconut, garlic, chili peppers, ginger, garam masala, cumin , cinnamon, salt turmeric, coriander and 3 tbsp of stock in a blender. Puree mixture to a paste.
Heat oil in a large saucepan, then add the spice and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add remaining stock, tomatoes and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until squash is just tender, about 20 min.
Mix in black-eyed peas and chard. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the chard is tender. Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings . Stir in mint before serving.

Gujurati-style cabbage with carrots

Serve 4-6 :
3/4 cabbage of a medium green cabbage shredded
3/4 shredded carrots
1/2 to 1 fresh, hot green chilli cut into long strips
4 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp of whole back mustard seeds
1 whole hot dried red chilli
about 1 1/4  tsp salt
1/2 tsp salt
4 heaped tbsp of chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp of lemon juice

Heat the oil in wolk over medium-hign flame. When hot, add the mustard seeds until pod, put in the dried chilli intil it turns dark red in seconds. Now put the cabbage, carrots and green chilli. Turn the heat down to medium and stir the vegetables for a minute. Add the salt, sugar and green corainder. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes until vegetables are done and retain some of their crispiness. Add the lemon juice. Sir to mix and serve

Carrots, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes flavored with cumin

serve 6:
2 large carrots cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 small potatoes  and one small sweet potatoe cut into 1/2 inch dice with a dash of oil, salt broiled
1 medium onions chopped
1 scallion
3 tbsp of mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp of whole cumin seeds
1 whole dried hot red chilli
1 1/2 cup of peas
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of sugar

heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot put the cumin seeds until sizzle, the chilli and stir. Put the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the carrots and cook at low heat till tender. Add the roasted potatoes, the peas , the salt and sugar ,cook for 3 minutes. Add the scallion. Stir for 30 seconds. Remove whole chilli before serving.

Lime Rice

Serve 6:

2 cups of rinsed white basmati rice
4 cups of water
2 tbsp of Mung dahl
1 tsp of Mustard seeds
1 tsp of ground Turmeric
4 tbsp of ground coconut
2 tsp of whole cumin seeds
2 tsp of fresh lime juice
4 tbsp of ghee
2 tsp of salt

Cook the rice and dahl with water and salt for 10 to 12 minutes. Saute spices in melted ghee. Then mix rice and sauteed spices and lime juice together. Before serving add cilantro and grated coconut. Serve

2016-10-15T01:45:23+00:00 March 23rd, 2015|Comments Off on Delicious Recipes from Emmanuelle



“There is a Sanskrit saying ‘As the mind, so the man; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.’ If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali commented by Swami Satchidananda

2016-10-15T01:45:23+00:00 March 19th, 2015|Comments Off on Attitude