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Showing posts from November, 2010

The Anatomy of Mulha Bandha

Here is a very interesting article about Mulha Bandhas by David Keil (originally published on his website Yoganatomy.com) that was recommended to me by @Ashtangalife on Twitter.

Mulha Bandha anatomically speaking by David Keil © 2010
The bandhas are perhaps the most difficult aspect to grasp in the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. For me personally, I think I know what they are. But then I look back at my little life as an Ashtangi, amazingly at 11 years now, and realize, I thought I knew what they were 10 years ago. Then just 5 years ago I understand them even more differently than I do today. My experience of them has changed over the years and will continue to as I'm guessing your experience of them will.

As an anatomy teacher I do try to bridge the gap between the subtle esoteric aspects of the energetic system and the practice of yoga and put it into western terms of anatomy. In the area of bandhas, I am careful to not too strongly make it into a physical anatomical thing. Ins…

Toesox

I think I am going to have to purchase some toesoxs. One of the studios where I am teaching yoga has really cold floors, which is fine when you are practising yoga and are standing on your mat, but not so good when you are wandering about barefoot while adjusting students.
I did notice my favourite teacher wearing them recently. If they are good enough for her, then they are good enough for me.

Raw Fairies detox menu.

Raw fairies 008, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. My food for the day has magically appeared from Raw Fairies - it looks delicious, and I have already had my berry smoothie....here is todays menu

Berry Smoothie with Goji Berries, Ginger and Purple Corn
(blueberries, rasperries, cherries, blackberries, banana, goji berries, fresh ginger, purple corn powder)
•Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina
(kiwi, banana, spinach, chlorella and spirulina)
•Mock Tuna Salad with Cashew Mayo
(sunflower seeds, walnuts, celery, carrot, black olives,red pepper, red onion, garlic, tomato, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, mustard powder)
•Beetroot and Carrot Cakes with Red Pepper Dill Sauce
(walnuts, sunflower seeds, carrot, beetroot, red onion, garlic, red pepper, cashews, fresh dill, cumin, harrissa, Himalayan pink salt)
•Oriental Mushroom, Wakame, Red Cabbage and Mung Bean Sprout Salad with Brown Rice Vinegar Dressing
(oriental mushroom: shiitake, oyster; red cabbage, wakame, broccoli, carro…

A hearty Bolognese

A saucy Bolognese is great for veggies. It contains staples such as onions, carrots, celery and leeks; and you could even toss some finely diced parsnip or swede into the mix (but not too much). Another thing that works wonders in a Bolognese sauce is mushrooms. You can make a veggie/vegan version by just using mushrooms, or you can compromise by just taking out the meat.
Preparation time: 15 minutes. Total cooking time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Ingredients (serves 4-6 people)
500g minced beef or 500g mushrooms, finely chopped like minceA few splashes of olive oilSea salt and black pepper2 onions and/or leeks, finely diced4 large garlic cloves, chopped2 large carrots, finely diced2 sticks of celery, finely diced (optional, but good)A large glass of red wine2 tbsp tomato purée2 tins of tomatoesA few bay leaves (if you like)A few sprigs of rosemary and/or thyme, leaves finely chopped
Instructions:
Place a large frying pan or pot over medium heat. Add a glug of oil and brown the meat and/or mushr…

Raw Fairies

I will be a doing a one day raw food detox on Friday. I have chosen this day as it is my day off (well almost) and I will be using foods provided by Raw Fairies.
Raw Fairies is a London-based company that delivers freshly-prepared, healthy raw food. The spaghetti is made from courgette ribbons and comes with a red pepper and walnut Bolognese sauce; the avocado almond burgers are served with raisin ginger chutney; and breakfast smoothies contain chlorella (marine algae) to support your immune system and flush out your gut.
The Friday menu looks amazing. I can't wait.

For more information, visit the Raw Fairies website

Student protests London

Student protests London, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Does she look like a violent protester? I think not!
Check out the police behind her though. The media has a lot to answer for in the way they portray these demonstrations.

Crow Pose on Everest, Nepal

Janga crow, Sunder peak, Everest; Nepal, originally uploaded by Eric Lon. Crow Pose on Sunder Peak, Mount Everest, Nepal

Eric Lon, French masseur and physiotherapist - along with his Nepali spiritual son, Janga - went to the Everest base camp in order to prepare the first Everest - yoga - massage - trek in April 2011. The trek will take them to Gorak Shep, with an altitude of 5,180 metres. Will this become the highest yoga camp in the world?
To view Eric's photos, visit: Eric Lon's Flickr photostream

Mindful Eating seminar

On Wednesday 24th November 2010, from 7pm until 8:30pm, Hala El-Shafie will be holding the Mindful Eating seminar at the Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington.

About the seminar

This seminar will cover the following topics:
What is Mindful Eating?Why we eat what we eat?Conscious Eating – Listening to your bodyWays to eat mindfully : The 20 minute ruleKnow yourself – identifying trigger foodsGiving appreciation + gratitude
The price of this seminar is £15 per person. To register, please call evolve reception on 0207 581 4090 or visit www.evolvewellnesscentre.com

Hala El-Shafie

Hala El-Shafie is Health Editor and Director of Nutrition Rocks and is an expert nutritionist and state registered dietician with more than 10 years experience in this field. She has a unique and exceptional understanding of the emotional and psychological issues often associated with food and has created a successful holistic client-centred approach that has brought her an extensive and loyal following, including…

Quote of the day ...

Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.
Khalil Gibran

Quote of the day ...

Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Roast spiced plums with soya cream

Here is a recipe for a dessert that is delicious, healthy and ideal for vegetarians and vegans. Roast spiced plums with soya cream... Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!


Ingredients (serves 4 people):
10 plums, halved and stoned2cm cube of ginger, peeled and grated200g soft, dark brown sugar2 small cinnamon sticks, or 1 large stick broken in half2 star aniseJuice of 1 lime
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Put the plums in a bowl with the ginger, sugar and lime juice. Mix together to coat the plums, then place cut-side up in an ovenproof dish where the plums can lie in a single layer. Arrange cinnamon and star anise in dish, around the plums. Pour 75ml cold water around the fruit and bake for 30-40 minutes (cooking time depends on how ripe the fruit is. The harder the plums, the longer you will need to cook them for).Toward the end of cooking, spoon syrup mix over the plums to baste them. Remove from oven, allow to stand for 10 minutes.Spoon into wine glasses and…

Pose of the day

Handstand Practice, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Handstand Practice

Pose of the day

Baddha Konasana B, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Baddha Konasana B

Recipe: Leek and potato bake

Here is a recipe for a delicious leek and potato bake. The dish is nutritious and warming, ideal for the forthcoming winter months, and is easily adaptable for vegan needs.

Ingredients: 225 g (1/2 lb) potatoes2 medium leeks250 ml single cream2 medium eggsOne large handful of grated cheese and/or breadcrumbsSalt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Peel and slice the potatoes.Clean the leeks (by slicing then lengthways and fan them out under running water) and slice them. Layer the potatoes and leeks in a greased baking dish, sprinkling a little salt and pepper over each layer.In a separate bowl, mix the cream and eggs together.Pour the mixture over the potatoes and leeks. Sprinkle some cheese and/or breadcrumbs on top.Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and the top is browned. Tip for vegans:This recipe is adaptable for vegans. Simply take out the eggs and replace the cream with soya cream. Add some onions and mushrooms to the dish to intensify the flavour. Very tasty!
Rec…

Pose of the day

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

Creative sequencing yoga workshop with Liz Lark

Creative Sequencing Workshop
with Liz Lark in Surrey
Friday, 19th November 2010
7.15-9.30pm
Godalming, Surrey GU7 1RZ
Contact Raquel: raq.alves@gmail.comAutumnal Cleansing Vinyasas, Warrior Vinyasas & Slow Flow' to warm the body/mind for Winter.

Liz’s classes are always fun and dynamic. She has many years of teaching experience and her performing arts and ashtanga yoga background go hand-in-hand. Liz's passion for yoga developed in 1990 and she later studied to become a teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga (1992), and exploring Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (a dynamic, dance-like style), which took her to India and Crete during the 1990's. A Board Member for The Life Centre's Teachers Training Course, Liz is involved in training safe, competent, creative yoga teachers committed to maintaining a high calibre of yoga teaching in the UK and beyond.

Liz Lark is holding a number of workshop and retreats in the UK. For more information, visit: www.lizlark.com

Quote of the day ...

On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.
Buddha

Online sale at Sweaty Betty

Sweaty Betty currently have an online sale with up to 50% off on a wide range of yoga and fitness clothing. I am a big Sweaty Betty fan and, being the buxom yogi type, particularly find the fit of the vest tops good for me.
To view the full range, go to: www.sweatybetty.com

Purple Valley yoga retreat, India

Following the recent film Eat Love pray, I thought I would post an item on my favourite yoga retreat in India, not to be confused with an Ashram in India (as depicted in the film).

Purple Valley yoga retreat is a beautiful peaceful retreat set off the beaten track in Assagao, Northern Goa, where you can practice yoga with some of the world’s most highly respected Ashtanga yoga teachers. It is situated close enough to be able to venture into other parts of Goa, but feels like a cocoon if you wish to stay put on the retreat.

The beautiful shala (studio) is very peaceful and is situated at the far end of the retreat. The amazing birdsong you hear while practising yoga is just wonderful.

The accommodation is within two main houses or in small cottages located in the gardens. You can share rooms or pay a nominal fee to have your own room, if there is space available. I personally choose to take my own room, as I share my life with a family on a daily basis and Purple Valley is a bit of “tim…

Pose of the day

Ushtrasana camel pose, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Ushtrasana .Camel pose

Mayurasana variation

Mayurasana variation, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Mayurasana variation. Peacock Pose

Osteopathy at triyoga soho

On a recent visit to the triyoga centre in Soho, I visited the on-site osteopath Rob Hill. I have used osteopathy, alongside my yoga practice, for many years and find they work really well together keeping the body healthy, flexible and strong.
Rob gave a thorough examination and took a case history, before giving me any physical treatment. I - like many who practice or teach yoga - had a sacroiliac joint (lower back) strain, which caused some discomfort in other areas. Rob was able to diagnosis and give the appropriate treatment for this condition, which I found really helped my back pain.
It was very interesting for me to have treatment from an osteopath who also practices yoga (I am married to one who doesn’t do yoga). I think this enables the practitioner to have an extra understanding of how and why yogis do what they do; as well as having an insight into the common injuries faced by yoga students.
I was given some stretches to take away and practice and I feel that all areas were c…

Nancy Gilgoff's Ashtanga yoga workshop in Wiltshire

I recently had the pleasure of attending Nancy Gilgoff’s Ashtanga workshop, the only one she will be holding in the UK this year. I have practised with her on many occasions and it is always a privilege for me to spend time with one of the world’s most renowned Ashtanga yoga teachers.

Nancy was one of the first Western women to practice Ashtanga yoga with Sri Pattabhi Jois in India back in the 70s. She arrived at his shala with a lot of physical pain and, with the help of Pattabhi Jois, she was able to begin her wonderful Ashtanga yoga journey, which has now continued for more than 30 years. She was able to work through her physical pain using this physical form of yoga.

Nancy has also studied with the "silent sadhu", Baba Hari Dass, and will sometimes refer to his teachings. She says that what she learnt from him has also helped her as a teacher.

I missed the Friday evening led class, but I could tell immediately when I joined the Saturday intermediate class that there had bee…

Quote of the day ...

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
Buddha

I would rather go naked than wear fur

“I would rather go naked than wear fur” was a very successful ad campaign by PETA the animal rights campaigners back in the 90s. I mention this, as recently, while out walking my dog on a cold autumn day here in London, a young man approached me and said “ You F***ing bitch, wearing that fur coat”. I smiled sweetly at him and continued on my way. The coat in question is 100% polyester fake fur.

I have never worn fur and never will. This is a personal choice and I don’t feel the need to attack those who have different opinions to mine. I do, however, have an opinion, should anyone wish to ask me; but I’m not about to roam the streets of London, butt-naked, in order to prove my point.

I choose to lead by example. This has filtered through to my grown up children and they are able to make conscious choices, at to whether they wear fur or not. They too choose not to. My daughter is about to embark on a career in fashion and textiles, where hopefully she will be able to bring about some chan…

Pose of the day

Kapotasana Adjustment, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. Kapotasana Adjustment from the Ashtanga yoga intermediate series. This picture was taken at the Nancy Gilgoff workshop I attended recently. I love to see adjustments being made in yoga poses.