Tiffany AJ Paynter is a spoken word poet and yoga teacher. She is a co-founder of the Peace Within Prison Yoga Programme, which teaches yoga to incarcerated men and women. She recently launched SOHAM, a social enterprise dedicated to providing lifelong, practical mental health tools to young people, parents, educators and youth service providers
She says: “Neti Neti is a Sanskrit word roughly defined as ‘not this, not that’ which appears in the Upanishads. As mantra, it offers a means of finding out what you are not: I am not this body, I am not these emotions, etc. Through negation, finding out what you are not, you begin to discover and experience what you truly are.
“In meditation any thought, any feeling, is discarded — patiently discarded — until the mind is clear and non-duality is experienced. This is the goal of yoga; to still the thought waves of the mind, and when the mind becomes still you can see yourself as you are.”