Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2010

Quote of the day...

If men had been forbidden to make porridge of camel's dung, they would have done it, saying that they would not have been forbidden to do it unless there had been some good in it.
Muhammad (Essential Sufism)

Haiti benefit class at Jivamukti Yoga London

Jivamukti Yoga London are running a Haiti benefit class this Sunday in Ladbroke Grove. This class will be followed by a Kirtan practice, what a great way to spend your Sunday evening and help make a difference to the people of Haiti.

For more information: Benefit class details

Jivamukti Yoga London
300 Kensal Road
Units 136-137
London W10 5BE

Directions: how to get to Jivamukti

Quote of the day...

A seeker went to ask a sage for guidance on the Sufi way. The sage counselled, "if you have never trodden the path of love, go away and fall in love; then come back and see us."
Jami (Essential Sufism)

Different types of yoga

I am often asked what is the difference between the various styles of yoga. Now that could take a long time to describe and, indeed, I might not be the most qualified person for the job, as it is a vast subject. Generally speaking any yoga where you practice Asana (poses) and Pranayama (yogic breathing) is Hatha yoga.

This is the most common form of yoga practised in the West and has many forms. Here is a brief outline of some of them:

Ashtanga (vinyasa) yoga:
Ashtanga yoga originated in Mysore and is a dynamic flowing form of yoga. Synchronizing breath and movement. Heating the body from the inside out, purifying the blood and removing toxins

Iyengar yoga:
Many poses in the BKS Iyengar system are similar to those of Ashtanga. The focus in this practice is on alignment and poses are sometimes held for long periods of time. The use of props is encouraged in this type of yoga.

Yin yoga:
Yin yoga focuses on opening the deep connective tissues and joints. It is a slow practice but works really…

Quote of the day

We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can't do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.
Chogyam Trungpa

Ashtanga Yoga

Asha=Eight Anga=Limb Yoga=Union
The Eight Limbs of yogaYama - Ethical disciplines, morals Niyama – Self observation, purification. Asana - Poses, postures Pranayama - breath control, rythmic. Pratayahara - sense withdrawel Dharana - Concentration. Dhyana - meditation Samadhi - A state of joy and peace

Quote of the day

Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha.
Thich Nhat Hanh - True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

Yoga video: Ashtanga yoga with Kino Macgregor in Goa

Here is a video of Kino practising in the Shala in Purple Valley, Goa India. This video demonstrates just how strong and focused Kino is… It is fantastic to watch a woman practice Ashtanga yoga at this level. I also love the bird song you can hear in the background. I myself have practiced many times in this lovely shala and always found the bird song very soothing and meditative .

Jimmy Choo shoes

At a charity auction event I attended recently, one of the prizes was a champagne evening in a Jimmy Choo store. The auction made a lot of money for the charity, but - even with the huge discount - I would not have been able to buy a pair of shoes from the shop.

I do, however, own a pair of Jimmy Choo’s. One of my friends went to the sample sale and purchased shoes for all the women she knew at ridiculously low prices. Such was her excitement that she was hyperventilating when she called and asked me my shoe size. I love the shoes, but, with the five-inch heels, they are not very practical. I can’t really wear them that often, unless my husband carries me (which he won’t), walking a few paces is about my limit.

The evening also reminded me of a funny Jimmy Choo anecdote. Many years ago my husband and I were at a party in London. We were both talking to different people. After we had left the party, he told me that he had been chatting to a really nice guy who worked in a shoe shop. Off…

Neti pot

When I was training to be a yoga teacher, one of the 6 purification techniques taught to us was Jala Neti ( also called Neti or Jaaneti). Purification techniques are sometimes performed as a way of preparing the body for a yoga practice.

Whenever the neti pots came out, I disappeared, always needing to be somewhere else at that moment in time… I had many techniques to avoid it: the bathroom, the water fountain, the shop, anything but the Net.

Pouring a saline solution up my hooter was really not for me and I have avoided it right up to today. I have got a steaming cold and, as a result, I now have sinus pain, so I have decided to give it another go. Talk about waiting until your back is against the wall!

I rushed to the Sivanada yoga studio nearby and bought myself a ceramic neti pot and salt. I had to follow the one photographic image as the instructions were in German!!! Although I did not find it as unpleasant as some people describe, it was not as bad as I remembered. So I will use …

The Barnes Ball

On Friday night I was invited to the Barnes Ball. It was an Indian themed night, which was a perfect excuse for dressing up, hence the sari photograph. The ball raised money for a number charities, both local and further afield.

One of the charities is “The under tree schools” in southern Sudan. This project is building a future for girls who would otherwise not get an education. They are providing a good future for a town that was ravaged by the civil war in Sudan for the best part of fifty years. Education for the girls will help lift their community out of subexistence and bring them a better life.

It was a really fun, well-organised event and thousands of pounds were raised. There were Indian Bhangra drummers, Bollywood-style dancers and fabulous food.

The highlight of the evening, for me, was watching us westerners dancing in Indian attire; no mean feat I must say. Those saris were unravelling as much as the party-goers were.

Real men do yoga

For some reason, men who do not practice yoga think that yoga is a woman’s affair, with lycra-clad ladies doing bendy things and omming a lot. Those who have given yoga a go know that this is not the case, although lycra is often present.

Historically, yoga was taught and practised primarily by men. Indeed, some forms of yoga were introduced to pubescent boys in order to harness that young testosterone-filled energy and transform it into something positive. Thus, dynamic yoga was born.

Men quite often prefer team and contact sports. Performance in these activities can be improved by practising yoga along with your other sport. Lengthening and strengthening muscles can, in fact, improve your game and help to prevent injuries.

Wales international footballer, Ryan Giggs, recently thanked his yoga teacher when collecting the Sports Personallty of the Year award. He said that yoga has played a big part in keeping him injury-free and, therefore, has allowed him to continue playing top-level fo…

Yoga for rowers

Many top athletes have now incorporated yoga in their training programmes. Tennis players, footballers, golfers and rowers are all finding that yoga can improve their chosen sport, and are using it to cross train.

Yoga increases flexibility and mobility, giving you a greater, controlled range of motion, thus decreasing your risk of injury. Strength, balance and flexibility are key components needed in rowing and yoga poses target specifically the areas most affected by this sport:Abdominals/ core strengthLumber spineShouldersHamstringsHip flexorsCalf muscles … (to name but a few)Learning to find balance and control through a yoga practice can then be transferred to the boat. Breathing techniques used in yoga are steady and rhythmic; they allow you to stay calm but alert, giving you the mental edge in competitive rowing.

About yoga mama

Cherie Lathey (yoga mama) is an internationally qualified yoga teacher and is joint director of The Putney Clinic. She runs yoga classes and workshops at …

Quote of the day

The secret of success is to realize that the crisis on our planet is much larger than just deciding what to do with your own life, and if the system under which we live the structure of western civilization begins to collapse because of our selfishness and greed, then it will make no difference whether you have $1 million dollars when the crash comes or just $1.00. The only work that will ultimately bring any good to any of us is the work of contributing to the healing of the world.
Marianne Williamson