31 May 2010

30 May 2010

Cheryl Cole

Earlier in this month when the weather was lovely and sunny, Cheryl Cole came to a studio near my house to rehearse for a performance at the O2 Arena with the Black Eyed Peas.

We had our doors and windows wide open so listened repeatedly to her rendition of Parachutes and other tunes (I have no idea about her music).

Have to say it’s not exactly my kind of music, much more a Motown kind of girl myself (and partial to The Kings of Leon), but was pleasantly surprised that Cheryl sung quite well.

My 17 year old son could not believe his luck when we were outside the house, as Cheryl and her massive minder got into an equally massive car. I had to tell the boy to put his tongue back in his mouth. She looked like a very sweet young girl and was teeny weeny. Boy child said she is HOT!!

Quote of the day ...

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

29 May 2010

Quote of the day ...

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
Dalai Lama

28 May 2010

Quote of the day ...

A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.

27 May 2010

PinkPower Walk 2010

It is now over a week since our 7th PinkPower walk took place. It was a fantastic day and, as always, an emotional one. Although it is still early days, and money is still coming in, our total so far is £90,000 from last week’s event; bringing funds raised so far to in excess of £700,000

There is a team of six who put this event together, sitting around a kitchen table a couple of times a month throughout the year, then going off to manage our designated jobs, corresponding via email and snatched early morning meetings before work.

The event would not be possible without the support of many family and friends, who give up their time to come and volunteer both on the day, and prior to the event. Hundreds of walkers have taken part and raised the staggering amount above. All doing their bit to help find a cure for breast cancer

Over the years we have laughed, cried and pulled our hair out trying to organise the event around our working lives. On more than one occasion, I have asked myself whether I can continue to play an active role while juggling work and family life. The answer is yes, while women are still suffering from breast cancer and we are still able to put on this event, we shall continue to raise funds for breast cancer research.

We, in the team, have all lost friends to breast cancer; the most recent being a young woman of 32 who was going to take part in this year’s event, but who sadly passed away days before it took place. Gloria Hunniford lost her beautiful daughter to breast cancer and has always come along and supported the PinkPower walk.

The walk supports The Caron Keating Foundation, a charity set-up by Gloria Hunniford, and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a charity dedicated to saving lives and changing futures, through research, campaigning and education.

If you would like to take part in this event, or become a sponsor, please contact: www.pinkpowerwalk.org

You can still donate at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CherieLathey

Quote of the day ...

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?
Khalil Gibran

26 May 2010

Origami art

Here are a few pictures from a street project that my daughter Cally Lathey and her fellow Central St Martin's textile students did outside St Paul's Cathedral in London last week.

It was a covert project, so they had to get to the phone box at 6am. It drew a pretty big crowd and made a lot of people smile. Howeverm it would appear that the police were not so keen on it and ordered the council to remove it. When the council worker arrived, he liked the design and even posed for photos with it, one of which was published in the Evening Standard.

I love what they did; and being "eco" students, they removed and recycled all the paper. I am pleased to announce that no telephone boxes were harmed in the making of this art. Move over Banksy!

Quote of the day...

I believe that in the history of the world, there has not been a more genuinely democratic struggle for freedom than ours.

25 May 2010

Motown Yoga

I usually teach yoga in the mornings and practice in the afternoons. This morning I was free, so I got on my mat earlier than usual. I decided to pass on my regular practice tunes: Ram Dass, etc... and look for something new.

I picked my favourite "Best of Motown" CD and powered through the Ashtanga primary series. I got through this quicker than I have ever done in my life. I even managed to keep in the Chakrasanas, which I sometimes pass on.

My Marichyasana D bind seems to be avoiding me at the moment, even the Jackson 5 banging out some tunes, couldn't assist me with that one today (trying to practice non-attachment here). Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and all my other favourite Motown artists are completely oblivious to the fact that they were involved in my record breaking yoga practice today. I am blogging this today in case I am unable to lift my arms tomorrow.

Motown Yoga love!

Quote of the day...

Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal. But don’t approach yoga with a business mind looking for worldly gain.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

24 May 2010

Quote of the day...

I have faith, therefore, that if, in spite of our shortcomings, the big thing does happen, it will be because God wanted to help us.

23 May 2010

Quote of the day...

What the word God means is the mystery really. It's the mystery that we face as humans the mystery of existence, of suffering and of death.
Ram Dass

22 May 2010

Quote of the day...

You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.
Sharon Gannon

21 May 2010

Quote of the day...

The power, when it comes, will belong to the people of India, and it will be for them to decide to whom it placed in the entrusted.

20 May 2010

Quote of the day...

For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on Earth.
Traditional Sanskrit

19 May 2010

Quote of the day...

The dance goes from realizing that you're separate (which is the awakening) to then trying to find your way back into the totality of which you are not only a part, but which you are.
Ram Dass

18 May 2010

Quote of the day...

Ours is not a drive for power, but purely a non-violent fight for India's independence.

17 May 2010

The Gap Yah

I don't know if it's just a London thing, but this video clip titled Gap Yah really made me laugh. It completely takes the mickey out of the gap year and the whole class system.

A gap year tends to be teenagers going off to far flung places, with dosh given to them by their parents. Full moon parties and drunken raves are all part of the cultural gap year experience. When my 17 year old son talked about a gap year, I told him he has already had one; the first year of his A levels when he did bugger all.

If you have teenagers and live in certain parts of london, you will appreciate the Gap Yah.

Quote of the day...

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

16 May 2010

Quote of the day...

It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.
Ram Dass

15 May 2010

Quote of the day...

In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all.

14 May 2010

Quote of the day...

In karma yoga no effort is ever lost, and there is no harm. Even a little practice of this discipline protects one from greater fear (of birth and death).
Bhagavad Gita

13 May 2010

Quote of the day...

It's very different because the Indians live as if they are their souls and Americans live as if they are their egos.
Ram Dass

12 May 2010


Ahimsa is probably one of the best known Yamas of the Eight Limbs Yoga Path and is often described as "non-harming" or "non-killing".

Patanjali's description in the Yoga Sutras is as follows:
Himsa means to cause pain
Ahimsa not to cause pain
The translation of Patanjali Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda goes on to say:
"Killing is different from causing pain. Causing pain can be more harmful than killing. Even by your words, even by your thoughts you can cause pain".
(Patanjali Yoga Sutras Book 11.30).
Ahimsa in our lives

So how do we bring Ahimsa into our life? Firstly, I believe we have to have some understanding of how we can harm ourselves; looking at some areas of our lives that might not be working for us. If we hate our jobs; don’t feed ourselves in a caring way; berate ourselves for not being good, rich and/or successful enough etc... we are acting on Himsa. These are just a few examples, as we all have different ways in which we can cause ourself pain.

Bringing these areas into our awareness, we are then able to make choices and changes. Bringing non-harming to ourselves, enables us to practise Ahimsa (non-harming) to others. Compassion for oneself can then be shared with others.

As with all the Yamas/ Niyamas, we continue to practice this in our lives on a daily basis.

Pattanjali puts this Yama first, before asana and pranayama, so noting its importance… On a personal level, I came to yoga for the asana (poses) and then discovered Ahimsa; and all of the Eight Limbs came into my life (consciously or subconsciously) to varying degrees. When I slip off the beam, I think of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and him saying “practice all is coming”. I interpret this as practice all areas and not just asana.

Ahimsa on the yoga mat

How do we practice Ahimsa on the mat? We can take care of ourselves on the mat by really listening to our body. For example, by modifying poses when necessary; resting when we need to; not looking to see how well someone is doing in their backbend, arm balance etc and then comparing it to our own in a negative way.

Practising ahimsa on the mat, is to practice yoga without judgement, with love and compassion for oneself.

Quote of the day...

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.

11 May 2010

10 May 2010

Wisteria envy (story of a near desperate housewife)

Ok, I would not consider myself a desperate housewife (not today, anyway) and I do not live on Wisteria Lane. I do, however, have a touch of wisteria envy.

One of my neighbours has the most beautiful wysteria plant growing up the front of her house. Living opposite, I get to see it all the time and so I can’t really complain.

I have a wisteria growing in my back garden which I planted about 10 years ago. Two years ago, after much loving care and patience, I spotted a flower in amongst the foliage. I risked life and limb climbing out of my bathroom window, onto our flat roof, in order to get a better look at the one and only flower.

Such was my excitement, while hanging upside down, I slipped and grabbed onto the nearest thing to hand in order to regain my balance (which just happened to be the wisteria) and somehow managed to yank the one and only flower off. I could have cried.

Two years on and it is now in full bloom and smells wonderful. It does not look quite as nice as the one in the photo but I absolutely love it

Quote of the day...

The most exquisite paradox… As soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.
Ram Dass

08 May 2010

Quote of the day...

Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.

07 May 2010

Quote of the day...

It enables me to go to bed with an enriching feeling in my soul and the belief that I am changing myself.
Nelson Mandela

06 May 2010

Quote of the day...

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Truth is the breath of my life.

05 May 2010

How to know when yoga is working for you

You know yoga is working for you when:
  • You don't have tantrum when your usual teacher can't teach your class and you don't know the cover/substitute teacher.
  • Your usual spot in class has been taken and you don't give the unsuspecting person in it the hairy eyeball.
  • You no longer clock watch when doing your 5th Sun Salutation.
  • You don't notice your toenails need painting in Pashimottanasana.
  • You no longer try to keep pace with "Mr / Ms Go-Fast" practising next to you.
  • You can miss your yoga practice without berating yourself or sticking pins in your eyes.
  • You no longer flick the V sign when someone cuts you up on the way to class (or - at least - not on the way home).
  • You don't leg it to the toilet when your most feared pose is coming up (pose runner).
  • You no longer think about what you're cooking for dinner in Savasana
  • Your body no longer aches when you practice yoga; it aches when you don't.

Quote of the day...

When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.
B.K.S. Iyengar

04 May 2010

Video: San Francisco (Flowers in Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie

I recently saw this on Twitter. I have always loved this song by Scott McKenzie and San Francisco, but this video is just fantastic. All those lovely young things in the early 60's having what looks like a wondeful time or, as my son would say, freeing themselves up. Wonder what they're doing now?

Quote of the day...

We have sufficient cause to be cynical about humanity. We have seen enough injustice, strife, division, suffering, and pain, and our capacity to be massively inhuman.
Nelson Mandela

03 May 2010

02 May 2010

Quote of the day...

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.
Pattanjali, translated from Sanskrit

01 May 2010

Quote of the day...

Religion is one of the most important forces in the world. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew, or a Hindu, religion is a great force, and it can help one have command of one's own morality, one's own behavior, and one's own attitude.
Nelson Mandela