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Showing posts from October, 2010

Pose of the day

Halasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Halasana or Plough Pose.

Miele Vanilla Poached Pears

I was invited to watch a cookery demonstration at the Miele showroom in London by the lovely TV chef, Silvana Franco. Silvana was using the steam oven and prepared a number of dishes that were suitable for children (and weaning babies).
The beauty of the steam oven is that more of the food’s nutrients are retained during cooking. In addition to this – and rather surprisingly – is the fact that there seems to be no transference of tastes in the foods cooked together in the steamer. This means that you can cook your main meal and dessert at the same time, thus reducing time spent in the kitchen; something that is always a winner for me!
One of the dishes that Silvana prepared was vanilla poached pears; a dish that is incredibly easy to prepare and delicious served warm or chilled. Below, I have included a recipe.
Vanilla poached pears
Ingredients (serves 4 young children): 2 ripe pears, cored and cut into quarters or smaller pieces5 tablespoons of pressed apple juiceHalf a vanilla pod, spl…

Pose of the day

Tittibhasana A, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Tittibhasana A (Flying Insect )

Laughter is medicine

Laughter is medicine, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. I am sharing a family photo in which my daughter and I are are doing two of my favourite things: laughing and dancing.Sharing fun times with family and friends can really lift the spirits. Your chemistry changes and you can sometimes find lightness on your dark days. Laughter really is fantastic medicine. Take it when you need it and give it when you can.

Drishtis

A drishti is a focal point or gaze point. Using a drishti in your yoga practice helps to deepen your concentration and they bring a steadiness to your yoga. They are cultivated over time, alongside all other aspects of a yoga practice.

The nine drishtis are:
Nasagrai (Nāsāgrai) - at the tip of the noseAngusta ma dyai (Aṅguṣṭha madhyai) – to the thumbNabi chakra (Nābhicakra) – to the navelPadhayoragrai (Pādayoragrai) – to the toesHastagrai (Hastagrai) – to the palm/ extended handParsva (Pārśva) – to the side/sUrdhva (Ūrdhva) – to the sky/ upwardsNaitrayohmadya or Ajna chakra (Bhrūmadhya) - to the third eye/ between the eyebrowsParsva drishti - far right or far left


Ubhaya padangusthasana - example of a Nasagrai (nose) drishti

Quote of the day ...

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.
Buddha

Pose of the day

Upavishta konasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Upavishta konasana

Book Review: Guruji - A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Guruji - A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern

I have so enjoyed reading this book about Pattabhi Jois as witnessed through the eyes of his students, of many years. It is a great insight into the life and personality of the man known as Guruji.

Thirty of Guruji’s students offer their own experience of practising Ashtanga yoga under his guidance. The passion that was shared from guru to student is one of the wonderful themes throughout the book; as is the family man or householder that Pattabhi Jois was.

It is clear from this book that family played a big role in this man’s life. There is plenty of humour; I found the David Swenson and Guruji “Hari Krishna” story really funny.

I loved reading about the experiences of the women who practiced with Guruji, especially in the early days, when western women were not the norm in the Shala.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who practices Ashtanga yoga.

Pose of the day

Bakasana (Crow Pose), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Bakasana or Crow Pose

David Swenson at triyoga soho

The internationally-recognised Ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson will be teaching at triyoga Soho from the 26th November until the 5th of December 2010. This is a great opportunity to practice with one of the “old school” Ashtanga yoga teachers.

David was my first yoga teacher way back in 1994. Since then, I have not had the chance to attend any of his classes or workshops. However, I have booked a place on the “hands on” adjustment workshop that he will be holding. There are a number of workshops on offer, from led primary series classes to a yoga teacher training intensive. So there is something for everyone!

I have mentioned to a number of my yoga students that they should take the rare chance to go and practice yoga with David. Some of them, however, feel slightly intimidated at the prospect.

When I meet him on a Greek island 16 years ago, I had no idea who he was and had never practised yoga before. David has a passion for yoga which he clearly loves to share. It is true that he c…

Pose of the day

Bhujapidasana prep. Arm pressure pose, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.
Bhujapidasana prep (Arm pressure pose)

Ashtanga yoga moon days 2010

Here are the remaining moon days for 2010:
October 23 (full moon)
November 6 (new moon)
November 21 (full moon)
December 5 (new moon)
December 21 (full moon)

All Is Well

My husband will read this beautiful reading for a beautiful man who is going to be laid to rest today.
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland

The Yoga Show 2010

The Yoga Show 2010 will be held from the 29th-31st of October at London Olympia (near Kensington). The event is becoming pretty large, so it’s best to sign up for the free workshops in advance so as to avoid the queues and possible disappointment of not being able to participate in the workshops that interest you.

I think it is a good idea to prioritise your free workshops. Chances are that you will not be able to attend all the ones advertised due to the number of applicants.

In my opinion, The Yoga Show has become a large sales event. If you need any new yoga equipment, clothing, books, etc... take plenty of money with you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something a little more spiritual, you may end up a little disappointed.

Mum and baby yoga

Mum and baby yoga is a great way to spend time with your baby in a relaxed environment. You can gain confidence in handling your baby, learn how to soothe colic, aid sleep, etc... Women can come back into their bodies, and start to stretch out areas that may have become tight during pregnancy or when feeding your baby.

Learn how to soothe yourself and your baby by using rhythm and breathing techniques. Mum and baby yoga classes are also a great place to connect with other women who are going through the same experiences as you.

For more information about mum and baby yoga class times, please consult the yoga mama timetable. For more information or to sign up for a mum and baby yoga course, call 07939 58 90 83 or send an email to info@yogamama.co.uk.

Changes to yoga mama website

I have recently made several changes to my website, adding some new contents and functions. More changes are to come, but, for the meantime, here is a summary of the changes.
New contents: Updated yoga mama timetableMum and baby yoga pageAshtanga yoga pageNew functions: Automatic sign-up to receive yoga mama newsletters on all pagesMaps for all venues where I teachIcons to my Twitter, Flickr and blog are now located above the navigation menu at the top of the page.I hope you find the new look website easy to use. All feedback is welcome!

Quote of the day ...

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a flowing dynamic form of yoga, where each pose is linked and synchronised using a breathing system called ujjayi pranayama.

Ashtanga yoga practices postures (asana), breath (ujjayi pranayama), focal/gazing point (driste). The discipline of this system allows us to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of ourselves. It is both empowering, and liberating and allows us to move through life with a calmness and steadiness of mind and body.

The linking of breathing and movement creates an internal, purifying heat which detoxifies and purifies the muscles and internal organs. Internal locks (bandhas) are used throughout the yoga practice. The breath is the heart Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga translates as “eight limbs”. Below are the eight limbs as described by the sage Pattanjali:
Yama (abstinences)Niyama (observances)Asana (postures)Pranayama (breath control)Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)Dharana (concentration)Dhyana (meditation)Samadhi (contemplation)By practising the first …