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Showing posts from November, 2009

Quote of the day...

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Khalil Gibran

Yoga classes

Here is a blog on yoga from one of my friends. She is attending a yoga course that i am teaching and this is her experience to date. The class is a beginners Ashtanga class, so we are gradually increasing Surya Namaskara A B , standing poses and working with a few seated poses. My teachers, generally speaking, do not offer the vinyasa "opt out" and I now know why; offer the "opt out" for newbies and they will take it... Enjoy this account.

I am holding my lovely yoga teacher of a friend personally responsible for keeping me sane at this moment in time. I am thoroughly enjoying doing her classes and spending an hour a week deflecting negative thoughts and working on my shoulder stands. It is really helping me clear my mind of all the crap, even if for a brief moment….

I am really not very good at it though and I’m not sure I really get it. I have never been good at learning languages and all the unfamiliar words – bungas and triganasna’s and om’s and whatever else s…

Pose of the day

Pincha Mayurasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Pincha Mayurasana (feather of the peacock posture, sometimes called the scorpion)

Change and transformation

We are living in a world in which things change fast. New technology, new cars, new clothes, new this and new that; the constant need to change is everywhere.

We, as human beings, are being forced to change. The global economy crisis that is affecting millions of people around the world has forced a change on many of us; perhaps one that we might not have chosen.

Money is not so free and easy as it once was. Consumerism is not as de rigueur as it has been in the previous decade: more people are recycling items of clothing; new cars are not top of the agenda; we are being forced to reassess some of our values and change them... Conscious evolution is happening. Patterns and ways of thinking are changing, and this has to be a good thing.

As a yoga teacher I have noticed that the number of people coming to yoga classes for the first time has hugely increased. Communities of likeminded people are springing up and conscious awareness is developing. As a result, energies are changing.

I have wo…

Yoga and vegetarianism

I recently attended a yoga workshop at the Jivamuckti Yoga Centre in London. The event was hosted by Sharon Gannon and David Life, both devoted vegetarians. The studio was filled to capacity, so I snuck in at the back and was prepared for a full on yoga practice. I was, however, not prepared for a recording of harm being done to animals playing in the background.

The physical yoga was, as I had expected, dynamic and flowing (even slightly easier than anticipated). At intervals throughout the class, the tape would play describing unpleasant scenes of farming animals. At the end of the physical practice Sharon gave a very graphic talk on the abuse of animals for about and hour or so. She even used the word “rape” to describe some scenarios.

Whilst this was not what I had planned on listening to on a Sunday morning, I did find her ability to link vegetarianism with Patanjali’s Yamas and Ahimsa (not harming) both fascinating and disturbing. So much so that I am still getting images in my mi…

Quote of the day...

You've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings.
Anthony de Mello

Benefits of inverted yoga poses

When we think of inverted poses, we tend to think of poses such as the Sirsasana (headstand) and Sarvangasana (shoulderstand). These are often described as the “King and Queen of poses”; thus defining their importance in practising yoga.

What is an inverted pose?

An inverted pose – or inversion - is a pose in which the head is lower than the heart. Given this definition, there are in fact a number of yoga poses that can be classed as inversions; some of which are more easily achieved than the poses mentioned above.


Here is a list of some inverted poses:
Viparita karani - Legs up the wallArdho mukha svanasana - Downward facing dogSasankasana - Hare posePrasaritta padottanasana A,B, C, DOther inversions (not usually for beginners) include:
Halasana - Plough pose.Karnapidasana - Ear pressure poseUrdhva padmasana - Inverted lotus poseUrdhva dandasana - Upward staff poseAdho mukha vrkasana - Full arm balancePincha mayurasana - Elbow balanceInverted poses are said to have many benefits on the bo…

Art, fashion and yoga

Thought I would blog a sample of my daughter Cally’s print design. She is a first year student at Central St Martins in London, where she is studying textile design. This is her first print design since she started in October.

She has created the image from scrap. The original theme was recycling, so the tree design was created by using old cassette tape and laminating it. If you look closely you can see small flowers that were created by melting old wax and moulding into flowery shapes; blocking my sink in the process!

She spent an afternoon at a scrap yard in Hackney collecting other people's bits of old junk (a lot of which sat in my kitchen for a few weeks) and creating beautiful things from rubbish.

Her final piece on her foundation course was inspired by timorous beasties and depicted a London binge-drinking scene, using colours which - at first glance - would make you think of a more picturesque outlook, but were, in fact, much more ominous on closer inspection.

Art students h…

Yoga and skiing

With winter approaching, many skiers will be busy preparing themselves for the ski season. Although at first glance it may seem unlikely, yoga and skiing have a lot in common. Balance, flexibility and strength are essential for both activities, so it should come as no surprise that yoga can be hugely beneficial when combined with a suitable pre-ski fitness programme in order to optimize preparation. It goes without saying that a gentle yoga practice is a great way to unwind after a long hard day of physical exertion on the slopes.


Physical benefits
Developing all the key major muscle groups used in skiing - such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals and abdominals - by practising yoga can have a very positive effect on the body; even before you even set foot on the ski slopes.

Many of the common injuries that affect skiers, in particular those who lead sedentary lifestyles, are knee-related. By practicing balancing and strengthening poses, such as the warrior sequences, you strengthe…

Yoga weekend at Pelham House

I spent last weekend running a weekend of yoga in the beautiful town of Lewes, near Brighton. It was a mixed group of students some of whom knew each other, and some who met for the first time. The group was quite varied in terms of yoga experience, with some people having practiced a lot of yoga and some real beginners. This can sometimes be difficult for more advanced students, but on this occasion there was patience and tolerance abound.

We practised asana, pranayama and yoga nidra. The yoga nidra session on the Saturday night was pretty changing to say the least… There was a teenage party going on at the hotel and Abba and Katie Perry blasting away in the background. "I Kissed a Girl" really doesn't encourage relaxation. Nonetheless, everyone in the group managed to stay focused on the nidra, until someone decided to empty the entire contents of the bottle bank. At this point we all roared with laughter and called it a day…

The common denominator of the weekend was obv…

Me & Miss M

Last night I went to the launch of the lovely Jemma Forte's first novel entitled Me & Miss M.

She and her family are great friends. She is a bright, talented, witty woman and her book looks great. I am about to start reading it and I can guarantee there will be some of Jemma's fantastic sense of humour, somewhere in the book.

The event was in Waterstone's on The King's Road. It was packed with family and friends and she delivered an amazing speech, which was both moving and hilarious. She is also one of my yoga students and I love having her in my classes. We always laugh a lot when she is in class. I am really proud of her and wish her lots of luck.

The book is on sale in the UK from today, and Jemma describes it as "Chick Lit"; my sisters will be getting a copy for Christmas.

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Pose of the day. .Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana