Little And Often

the Yoga Bum

The film-maker Danny Boyle, director of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, said of his first movie, “If I knew what was involved in making a film I never would have started.”

It is easy to look at the entirety of a thing and think, “Man, there’s no way I can do that.”

But the great achievements in life aren’t done in one single bound, they are done slowly, and methodically, step by simple step.

the peak clears

I like to hike up mountains in my spare time. I didn’t used to. I used to hate going up big piles of dirt for no good reason. I couldn’t see the point. I put this down to how I was made to do it as a kid; quickly, in one go, as fast as possible.

But now I love it. I take my time, go step by step, I pause, I look around, I enjoy the…

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Do Unto Yourself

the Yoga Bum

I realised something the other day; I put up with far more abuse from myself than I ever would from someone else. And it’s the sort of abuse I would never dole out to another person, no matter how much I thought they deserved it.

It’s interesting to think that the closer we are to someone the more abuse we will put up with from them. As far as I can ascertain the list goes like this:

1. Complete Strangers – No right to criticise us whatsoever

2. People we meet because of something we do (Work Collegaues/Fellow Students/Gym Friends) – Can be mildly critical, but not abusive.

3. Friends – Can be critical in detail and somewhat abusive “for our own good”. Are allowed to tell us “what we need to hear”. They keep their language just this side of legal unless they deem it necessary to get their…

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Headstand Update

the Yoga Bum

It’s been a while since I did any new headstands, hasn’t it. I wish I had an excuse, but I’ve just been a bit lazy.

But now, since I’ve got myself on Instagram and Twitter, I find myself motivated to do more. I at least want to get to one hundred before sticking a fork in it all, so to that end here are no’s 81, 82, 83 and 84.

Arthurs Seat Headstand, Edinburgh, Scotland

81: A nice easy one this one. A short walk up to the top of Arthurs Seat. If you’re in Edinburgh it’s well worth doing. Get some really nice views too.

Ben Nevis Headstand, Ben Nevis, Scotland

82: This is the third and final one in my own Three Peaks Headstand Trilogy. With the other two already in the bag, I now have a headstand on top of the highest peaks in England…

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Everything Changes, Always

The ‘Brand New Life’ continues…

the Yoga Bum

Everything changes. Always. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s just what happens.

I know things seem to stay the same, for a while at least, but they don’t. Perhaps their change is happening over and incredibly long period – like the sun, which is in the process of dying moment by moment but is still going to last another five billion years – but it’s happening, believe me.

Yesterday there was a lamppost outside my house. Today there isn’t, because someone reversed into it and knocked it over. This morning I had a beard, now I don’t.

So why am I obsessed with change right now? Simples. Because there’s a lot of it going on for me at the moment.

puja flowers on the thames

At the end of may I completed my six month tenure as a resident at the yoga centre in Putney. I agreed to six months when I moved…

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Salisbury Pilgrimage

the Yoga Bum

Salisbury has a massive cathedral. It has been a place of pilgrimage for the devout for centuries. It’s also home to the Magna Carta if you’re into your history. And the city itself is not far from Stonehenge, in case you like your monuments rectangular and ancient.

But none of that was of interest to me. I went there for the Terry Pratchett exhibition.

salisbury museum

I’ve been a Terry Pratchett fan for a long time now. I’ll be honest, I even shed a tear when the good man died on the 12th of March, 2015. But more than that, his books have been an inspiration for me in my own writing, showing me how to write engaging stories where no character could ever be considered to be incidental.

So when I heard that Salisbury Museum were holding a Terry Pratchett exhibition – Salisbury was Sir Terry’s home town –…

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4am Is A Special Time

I just watched this TED video about 4am.

It was poignant for me because last night at 4am I was lying awake in bed, wondering when sleep would come.

4am is touted as an auspicious time for meditation. The world is quiet, your life is quiet, there are fewer distractions, both internal and external, to hamper you in achieveing your goal.

I like 4am for precisely those reasons. I used to write late at night (not 4am, I’m not crazy) because everyone else was asleep, and all the good ideas were mine for the taking.

I’m often awake at 4am due to work. To be there because of choice is exhilarating. To be there because of money is not.

4ams are special, because they’re few and far between. They should be savoured as much as possible, because they don’t come very often. Make them good, make them interesting, make them worthy of The Museum Of Four In The Morning.

Make the best of them, and all the opportunity they embody. Don’t lie in bed watching youTube videos like I did.

Four in the Morning, by Wislawa Szymborska

The hour from night to day.
The hour from side to side.
The hour for those past thirty.

The hour swept clean to the crowing of cocks.
The hour when earth betrays us.
The hour when wind blows from extinguished stars.
The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.

The hollow hour.
Blank, empty.
The very pit of all other hours.

No one feels good at four in the morning.
If ants feel good at four in the morning
–three cheers for the ants. And let five o’clock come
if we’re to go on living.

A Month Of Meditation

the Yoga Bum

A wise man once said:

“Sometimes I just sits and thinks,

and sometimes I just sits”

Now I don’t think that he was talking about meditation (actually I think he was talking about Winnie The Pooh) but he may as well have been.

For too long I have been at the mercy of my emotions. They rattle through my brain, unfiltered and unchecked, quite often ruining my day. They conjure in the mind such an endless list of past regrets, imagined slights, future fears and general unrealities that I decided it was time to do something about it. So, I set myself a bit of a challenge.

I decided that for the month of November I would sit and meditate thirty minutes every day. Now I know that sounds like a lot to begin with, most would recommend ten to twenty minutes for starters, but I know from experience that…

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