AYL conference


Today’s conference at AYL came just 12 hours or so after the previous evenings terrorist outrage that took 7 innocent lives and injured many more. London seemed to have a quietness to it this morning and a very understandable underlying tension with the heavy police presence at the nearby station.

It was a good day for the AYL community to come together.

To begin with Hamish asked us to sit in silence for a few minutes, to think of those caught up in last nights events and those further north 10 days ago. He then talked about the Buddhist story of Angulimala, who went around killing people to chop their fingers off to wear as a Mala. The point being that it’s usually impossible to fight fire with fire and that there has to be some kind of alternative engagement, as the Buddha engaged Angulimala and led him away from the road of violence, as H also added he wouldn’t advocate running up to a terrorist ourselves.

Hamish then talked about 3 parts that yoga is about, Intentions, technique and love.

Intentions– you get out as much as you are prepared to put in. Yoga is always on our minds, we arrange our lives around it, we bore our non yoga friends to death about it.

Technique– refinement of your practice, subtle changes you notice and make over years of repeating the same postures day after day.

Love-your natural state. Neither be lazy or push too hard in your practice , find the balance, be happy with where you are. It’s about the connections we have with the yoga community and family beyond.

Part of finding this balance and love is to be able to fill the void in your heart he termed the “hole of unhappiness”. We all have this hole, as he has begun to notice in his own daughter it begins around the age of 10, when children start to understand more about the world around them and see that the world isn’t perfect and start to ask questions about life.

Hamish talked about the visitors who come to AYL for a week, a few days or even a day, how they go away saying they had a great time, enjoyed the energy and being within. He wants them to have something simple to take away to remember the shala by, not a sticker, he laughingly said! Instead he has written Yoga Karunå
Karunå means compassion, this should guide how we practice, how we live and how we teach and he’s planning to make it available. He read it out to us, part if it said

Yoga is a gift

Have compassion
Breath well
Keep it simple

Hamish has a way of lightening the atmosphere, he often tells it like it is with a sense of humour, so when someone asked in the Q&A about how being a yogi may affect our political views he told us he didn’t used to vote, but now feels it’s important to do so, though he puts his “x” where Anna tells him to!


One Response to “AYL conference”

  1. Lu Duong Says:

    Thank you, Kevin!!

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