Yoga Content: Present Tense

The song Present Tense by Radiohead seems relevant to our practice:


[Verse 1]
This dance
This dance
Is like a weapon
Is like a weapon
Of self-defence
Of self-defence
Against the present
Against the present
The present tense
No I won’t get heavy
No don’t get heavy
Keep it light and
Keep it moving
I am doing
No harm
As my world
Comes crashing down
I’ll be dancing
Freaking out
Deaf, dumb, and blind

In you I’m lost
In you I’m lost

[Verse 2]
I won’t turn around
Or the penny drops
Won’t stop now
Won’t slack off
Or all this love
Will be in vain
To stop from falling
Down a mine
It’s no one’s business
But mine
Where all this love
Has been in vain

In you I’m lost
In you I’m lost
In you I’m lost
In you I’m lost


Present Tense has its roots as far back as 2009, when Thom performed it at the Latitude Festival. A favorite since then, fans have been waiting eagerly for a studio version and now have it.

The A Moon Shaped Pool version of the song is influenced by Brazilian Samba and bossanova music.

The chord progression, especially in the intro, is very reminiscent of a Jonny Greenwood piece he composed for the soundtrack to the film Norwegian Wood
The lyrics allude vaguely to the Buddhist notions of escaping from the present by being a threatening space, and allow the destruction of the inner world, by being blind, deaf and dumb (as the oriental image of the three monkeys blind, deaf and trying not to be present). It’s well known the affinity of this band with the tibetans.

The song was performed by Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke accompanied by a CR-78 for Paul Thomas Anderson’s camera as an official music video.

Sutra Discussion Group Sunday April 30

Dear Sutra Discussers,

We will be back with our monthly discussion on Sunday April 30 at 10:00 at Karen’s house, 336 W Dana St, 94041, until 11:30. Bring your translations as usual.

We plan to continue with sutra 2.17. From Yogini Sadhaka:

The cause (of suffering) to be avoided is the (false) union between the seer and seen.
The cause of suffering is false union between the seer and the seen.  In most Western yoga classes today, we are told that Yoga is the union of the body, mind and spirit-soul. This is a common misunderstanding.

To get the most out of the gathering, it is recommended to read a few translations and commentaries beforehand.

You can also listen to our previous discussions at the website.

See some of you Sunday

Survey on Ashtanga and Boredom

From my inbox – a student at the University of Hong Kong (I added the image):

I’m Nikita and I’m a Psychology student conducting a research study examining the relationship between Ashtanga Yoga, Boredom Proneness, Smartphone Addiction and Mental Health.

I would be extremely thankful if you could share the survey link on your page. Here it is –

I do Yoga myself and I’m very excited about the study I’m carrying out. Your contribution will greatly benefit the academic research on Ashtanga Yoga.

Thank you!

Nikita Banga

Yoga Content: The Radiance Sutras

From the GoodReads reviews:

If you’ve ever wanted a book of inspiration for meditation practice, I cannot recommend the book, “The Radiance Sutras” by Lorin Roche more highly. This is not a book of meditation techniques, of which many quality books already exist, but instead a book of perspectives, in the form of poetic inspirations based upon the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra.

Hat Tip: David W. – thanks!

Yoga Content: Tim Feldman

When I first heard about Tim Feldman coming to our studio, I went through some articles and interviews of him. And I really liked what he has to say about the practice. Among others, this interview: where his interpretation of Guruji’s famous moola bandha related quote “Squeeze your anus” caught my attention.

” I feel, comical as it is—and it’s even more funny with a little bit of South Indian accent to it—I feel that the practicality of that and the infinite knowledge that is in that sentence is very useful for me. So many lessons in there is about doing what it takes, when it takes. When it’s necessary. It’s about moving beyond what I like to do in any moment, kind of doing my duty. Right living, right livelihood. It’s about that, about dharma. It’s about going to the seed of the seed, going to the root of the root, and to allow the knowledge of that to sprout over a long time. That is quite amazing for me. I find that in that sentence, and I feel it’s the basing of my practice, and the basing of my teaching, without doubt. I wish I could’ve said something like, “God is great!” But this is my mantra: “You take it your yanus.”
I’m not quite sure Guruji had such an interpretation in mind, but that’s also why I thought it was interesting. How we make sense of the practice for ourselves. How, in the process of trying to apply the teachings to our own practice, we discover something useful and meaningful to us, that carries us and makes us move a little further on the yoga path.
In the same article, his take on parampara is worth a read too.

Inspire Mountain View & Soulforce Leadership

I recently learned about Inspire Mountain View. I assume I am not alone in not knowing about this organization so wanted to share. Inspire Mountain View provides grants for great ideas that make Mountain View a more compassionate and equitable community. Their grants are given based on public voting. You can find out all about them on their website.

I heard about Inspire Mountian View from a group of Mountain View high school teachers. They are part of the organization Soulforce Leadership. Soulforce Leadership realizes the future of our country, and world, lie in the hands of the youth. They take a bigger, long term view to solve the problems of today. Their approach is to teach high school students to take action while being mindful, compassionate and nonviolent.

You have probaby guessed Soulforce Leadership has applied for a grant from Inspire Mountain View and would like your vote. I feel since these grants directly affect our Mountain View community we should all vote. You can read about all the applicants here. If Soulforce Leadership is the applicant of your choice you can vote for them here. But you must act soon, voting ends April 21st.

If you know someone who might be interested in Soulforce Leadership their next program starts soon and applications are being accepted until April 15th.