August 2019: On Who You Are

August 2019 Newsletter

On who you are

Today, 7am, on 16 August 2019

I had the most amazing time studying pranayama with Sudhir Tiwari at Atmajyoti in Stockholm. He is a warm, clear, supportive teacher, very skilful in making the studio a space where yoga happens. I feel grateful and changed by this experience and I am trying to find ways to do more courses with him. I have learned a lot about the breath, yoga and the Indian system of thought so expect some new things in my pranayama classes (the next one will be on 24 September at 5pm). The lesson that resonated most with me was around the question Who am I?

Sudhir is very good at explaining the yoga sutras, especially those that no one has discussed with me before and he addressed this question by focusing on sutra 1.3: 

Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam
The Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature,
which is called Self-realization

Although it is in English, I find this pretty impenetrable. Sudhir spoke of our identification with our body, mind and intellect. This expresses itself as I the perceiver, the feeler and the thinker. I experience the world through objects, emotions and thoughts and I identify with them. I think, feel and perceive I am them. But how can I be something outside of myself? If by some mysterious method I stopped the intellect, there would not be any thoughts and I would cease to exist as a thinker. This is what yoga does. Who would I then be? Drashtuh, 

Laura x





What I have been listening to
As part of our class, Sudhir contextualised yoga with the help of its sister science, Ayurveda. Who am I? I am clearly a pitta constitution, and knowing a little ayurveda helps me to balance better. Sudhir said that knowledge without action is useless but action without knowledge is reckless. I have been pretty fascinated by Ayurveda for a while  but I want to delve in deeper. Since Stockholm I have been listening to some very interesting podcasts. So far, my favourite is The Radical Ayurveda Podcast with Dr Rama Prasad and Lesley O’Brien. I like the conversation format, the length (20-25 minutes) and the ease with which Dr Prasad explains complex concepts. We will be doing a constitution test in our upcoming retreat in Barmolloch!





What I have been practicing
I have been considering yoga’s higher limbs though pranayama and found this meditation on Who am I (also Maharishi Ramana’s question) absolutely delightful. I have never come across Kim Eng before, and I did so through her spouse Ekhart Tolle (The Power of Now guy). I think she is wonderful: calm, serene, knowledgeable and very funny.





What I have been reading
This issue of identity and identification has shaken the Ashtanga Yoga community in light of the abuse perpetrated by Pattabhi Jois, who is often cited as having created the sequence. Many don’t know who they are anymore, in the Ashtanga world. I condemn the abuse, totally and wholeheartedly. I, too, have been torn over the question whether I should practice this method at all. My conclusion is that the method in itself is healing to me so I should not throw it away with this new information. But my instinctive feeling also found intellectual support in Gregor Maehle’s blog post on whether the claim of Pattabhi Jois over the creation of Ashtanga is as simple as it appears. Do check his other blog posts if you are interested in reading about how the abuse came out and what the reactions of our community have been. There is plenty of thinking, supporting and healing to do, so it is precisely now that we need the practice and each other more than ever.





Rosina Bonsu Moves at the Arlington Baths


Monday 2 Sept to Thursday 12 Dec

Mondays, 7.45–9.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)
Tuesdays, 18.25–20.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)
Thursdays, 7.45–9.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)


Introduction to Assisted Practice

Tuesdays 3, 10, 17 September 2019
17.00 – 18.15
£11/£9 Arlington members, concession
Class card valid


Tuesday 24 September
Tuesday 29 October
Tuesday 26 November

17.00 – 18.15
£11/£9 Arlington members, concession
Class card valid


One place left on our retreat.
Last chance to come!!

On the September full moon, Sue Crow and Laura González team up to offer a yoga retreat aimed at using the strength, warmth and lightness of the summer to nourish the mind, body and breath.

We are inviting you to take time to focus on your yoga practice, assisted and adjusted by us, and complemented by workshops that will help you open your hips and make the most of working from your core. There will also be an opportunity to tune into your breath through pranayama, and ask us anything you want to know about yoga in the satsang sessions.

For programme, prices and booking:
















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