Can a physical practice get us to a spiritual place?

January 27th, 2011 by Dearbhla Kelly

Flicking through a yoga magazine lately, I came across an article written by a yoga teacher the central premise of which was that “a physical practice cannot get you to a spiritual place.” As a dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher, I was taken aback. It has been my understanding that the whole point of the […]

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Thoughts happen in language

January 9th, 2011 by Dearbhla Kelly

Thoughts happen in language, that is, without language no thought, just an unintelligible physiological act: neurons firing, biochemical changes. Stuff happens at the neurological level, but the language of neurobiology can’t explain it’s own possibility. Without language the world as we know it doesn’t exist. ‘What is a thought’ becomes ‘what is the world’. Existence […]

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Karma is Chemistry

January 7th, 2011 by Dearbhla Kelly

This article was first published in LA Yoga Magazine, and subsequently in Yoga Journal, Germany and Yoga Chicago. It begins with a description of drug-induced ecstasy (mine) and moves into discussion of altered emotional states induced by the body’s own (endogenous) drugs. I discuss the role of biochemicals in our emotional lives and behaviour, and how we can unknowingly become addicted to endogenous drugs which make us feel bad. Fortunately yoga is a technology which provides us tools for changing our habitual reactions using a variety of techniques to bring about neurophysiological changes, and for increasing our experience of bliss.

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Photos by Robert Sturman.