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Presence - The Truth of Yoga

The intention of  writing a book has been with me for a long time. While dyslexia has slowed the process somewhat, it is inspiration drawn from my yoga teaching of you that has encouraged me to complete it. The names and places in the book remain unchanged and students who are mentioned have given me their kind permission to refer to their experiences. I hope you will enjoy reading Presence as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

It costs £20 plus £2.80 postage and we can send you a copy.

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Sister Evelyn, of Park Place Convent and Pastoral Centre in Hampshire, was appointed Superior General over all the Franciscan convents, schools and orphanages in India and the UK. It was in 1973 that Park Place hosted the very first yoga retreat and we have been holding residentials there ever since. 


Narain is an Ishaya monk, an author and a good friend. The Ishayas shared our house here in the Cotswolds for four lovely years, a joyous experience that I describe in the Appendix to my book. 

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PRESENCE. The Truth of Yoga is very different from most books on the subject. Ruth White’s point of view challenges us to examine the truth and revelation about yoga, offering tremendous insight into its meaning and inviting us to explore horizons beyond familiar territory.

It is a well written book and a pleasure to read. While including every aspect of yoga it also clarifies a number of misconceptions about its practice. The title itself delves into the nature of yoga and how the universe aligns itself to bring harmony into the lives of those who practise it.

It is one of the few books that takes the reader into the realm of the spiritual – the Samadhi, which is the ultimate aim of yoga. It is like embarking on a personal journey and discovering the depth of the inner self. It brings about a balance between body, spirit and mind.

Ruth explains how yoga not only brings suppleness to the body, but also a sense of well-being. Written through many years of teaching yoga to various groups of all ages, she offers tips to beginners and expert yogis alike. She gives advice on how to handle our practice and modify our approach in order to suit individual needs and the experiences of those we may help. Her book attempts to utilise body, energy and mind to find a yogic way of life that is adapted to modern living.

This book is a testimony to Ruth’s personal experience as a yoga teacher. We all know that yoga equals or surpasses other types of exercise in terms of improving balance, lifting moods, reducing fatigue and generally raising the quality of one’s life, etc., yet PRESENCE touches on truths that affect people in a way that is sublime.

It will appeal to beginners, professionals and non-yogis alike, offering a window that opens to the higher aspirations of yoga. We only need to clear the cobwebs of our hearts and minds in order to see more clearly and be receptive to the truths that yoga has to offer.

Sister Evelyn

Former Superior General of the Franciscan Order of St Mary of the Angels

I have been blessed to know Ruth White for many years. I first met her while teaching a meditation class in early 1999. I was immediately drawn to her unique combination of profound experience and knowledge, coupled with a deep humility and desire to experience the true nature of the Self.

On the Monday after that short weekend, Ruth immediately invited me to a Greek Island to experience her yoga retreat and to share meditation with her students who were interested.

“When do we leave?” I asked. “Wednesday,” she replied matter-of-factly. This was my first experience of her attentiveness to the present moment…no other plans could possibly matter. And that was true.

While I had done yoga before, that retreat showed me a whole new world of what yoga really was. Ruth’s ability to teach a class of forty students and give individual attention to each was something I had not experienced, and still have not experienced with anyone else to this day. Her knowledge of the body and how the Postures affect change is, in my experience, unsurpassed. How she can look at a physical body and see the beliefs and judgments which create the stiffness and physical problems is truly amazing.

What stands out above all else with Ruth is the understanding that yoga has so little to do with physical movements. She knows to the core of her being that true yoga is union with the absolute Self. She has spent most of her life in pursuit of this experience.

Over the years that have passed since we first met, I have been lucky to spend a great deal of time with Ruth. Her commitment to discovering the true nature of reality is unwavering. Intellectual understanding is not enough; she lives to experience truth. That is the rarest of human perspectives.

This book weaves together Ruth’s life-long experience of yoga practice as a way to transcend limiting beliefs and positions, her passion for the path of consciousness that is true yoga and her dedication to her own experience of the endless, silent presence that exists forever beyond the movements of the linear mind. All of this she shares with her light and innocent clarity and humour.

Whether you are a lifelong yogi, a teacher or student of yoga, or if you have never even considered bending down to touch your toes, there is wisdom in this book for everyone.

Narain Ishaya

Bestselling author of Chit Happens: A Guide to Discovering Divinity

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