31 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path.
Khalil Gibran

Ashtanga yoga moon days 2011

"Observing this restraint to practice can be helpful in not becoming too attached to practice and routine. It also provides time for the body to rest and recuperate."
Richard Freeman

New moon
  • Tuesday 4th January: new moon
  • Wednesday 2nd February: new moon
  • Friday 4th March: new moon
  • Sunday 3rd April: new moon
  • Tuesday 3rd May: new moon
  • Wednesday 1st June: new moon
  • Friday 1st July: new moon
  • Saturday 30th July: new moon
  • Monday 29th August: new moon
  • Tuesday 27th September: new moon
  • Wednesday 26th October: new moon
  • Friday 25th November: new moon
  • Saturday 24th December: new moon

Full moon
  • Wednesday 19th January: full moon
  • Friday 18th February: full moon
  • Saturday 19th March: full moon
  • Monday 18th April: full moon
  • Tuesday 17th May: full moon
  • Wednesday 15th June: full moon
  • Friday 15th July: full moon
  • Saturday 13th August: full moon
  • Monday 13th September: full moon
  • Wednesday 12th October: full moon
  • Thursday 10th November: full moon
  • Saturday 10th December: full moon

30 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.
Mother Teresa

29 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

28 December 2010

Pose of the day

Snowy yoga, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

Sirsasana (headstand). An empty snow covered beach was too difficult to resist. Wellies stayed firmly on.

Quote of the day ...

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

27 December 2010

Dog plays piano

Dog plays piano, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

My dog really got into the festive spirit with his own rendition of " You Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog"... Very funny!

Central Saint Martins Exhibition

Here is my daughter with some of her work at her recent exhibition at Central Saint Martins in London. Many great artists and designers have studied at St Martins, including the wonderful Alexander McQueen who sadly died this year. An inspiration to many, including my daughter.

Quote of the day ...

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.
Khalil Gibran

26 December 2010

25 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Non-violence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

24 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.

23 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Love... It surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be.
Khalil Gibran

22 December 2010

21 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

20 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

19 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.
Khalil Gibran

18 December 2010

17 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recipe: Healing Beans, Greens and Garlic Soup

This soup is full of protective antioxidants, fibre and phytonutrients – plant compounds that protect your body from head to toe and may help balance hormones. Garlic supports the immune system, the gut and the heart – but cooking can destroy some of the healthful properties, which is why it is added late in this recipe. If you’re not a huge fan of garlic, cut it down by half or more.

Ingredients (serves 4-6 people):
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, tamari or liquid amino’s, or to taste
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ litres water, or chicken or vegetable stock
  • About 300g cooked white beans (from 2 tins, rinsed, or from about 200g dry)
  • About 700g green leaves, chopped (spinach, kale, or chard)
  • Freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over low heat.
  • Add the onion, celery, carrots, and salt.
  • Cook for 10 minutes; then add the water or stock and bring to the boil.
  • Cover, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the beans, garlic and as much of the greens as you can fit in the pot.
  • Cover and wait a few minutes for the greens to wilt (when there is room), add more greens until they are all incorporated.
  • Season to taste with pepper.
  • Serve hot, topped with a grating of nutmeg and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve with a wholemeal bread or seeded crackers.
Recipe courtesy of Abel & Cole

15 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Khalil Gibran

14 December 2010

The Path to Urdhva Kukkutasana B - Kino MacGregor

Another clear teaching video clip from Kino MacGregor.

Quote of the day ...

The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.
Mother Teresa

13 December 2010

Backbend breakthrough with David Swenson

When I attended a David Swenson workshop recently entitled somewhere along the lines of “hands on adjustments” I had thought I might pick up a few tips, on assisting, my students into a couple of poses.

David Swenson had been my first yoga teacher many years ago (16 to be precise). A lot of things have happened in my life in those years (and no doubt in his too) and I felt like a different person to the one who was introduced to yoga by this man all those years ago. We chatted briefly after the workshop and I thanked him for introducing me to Ashtanga yoga and, therefore, changing my life direction for ever. Amazing how one chance meeting on a Greek island can open up a whole new dimension!

In fact I had gone to Skyros to attend a workshop called “Creative Change”. I changed my mind and moved to the other side of the island to do yoga and windsurfing. The workshop worked in a funny kind of way.

David Swenson was just as I had remembered him; he had hardly changed at all... A little lighter, a little less hair (sorry David), but still sharing his yoga knowledge in a fun and honest way. We shared a little bit of banter, his ability to tease and be teased shows something about being comfortable in his own skin; something I think we all strive for.

As in many yoga workshops, you are often paired with someone to work on a pose. We had worked on a couple of standing poses and then David said we were going to work on a backbend. I was paired with a French couple who spoke no English and my knowledge of French is counting to ten (so not so useful). We were then very quickly shown how to come to standing from a back bend ( Urdhva Dhanurasana).

I have never done this before and quite frankly had thought it was probably off limits to me (as I’m nearer to 50 than I am to 40). I had set my own limits of what was achievable. No one was more surprised than me to find myself in a standing position from starting in a backbend. It was fantastic! I had a breakthrough not only in the physical sense, but also in the way I view my own limitations.

The other issue that come up for me was a question of trust. I was allowing a couple of strangers to assist me in a pose that I had previously felt fearful of. We did not speak the same language and had met only a minute before, but - hey presto - the three of us were up on our feet for the first time.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to do this pose again? What I do know is that I was given the opportunity to experience something new on many level and for this I am very grateful. It seems David Swenson opens doors and I walk through them. Hopefully it won’t be another 16 years before our paths cross again.

Quote of the day ...

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

12 December 2010

Bhuja Pidasana with Kino MacGregor

I have found this tip for Bhuja Pidasana really useful while teaching. I would have like to have known this tip when I was learning this pose. Many thanks to @Arkieyogini for sharing this with me on Twitter.

Quote of the day ...

The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.

Recipe: Goodness gracious... What a great gratin!

My family really enjoyed this gratin. You can make this a purely vegetarian by not adding the bacon and or using a cream substitute.

Prep time: 15-20 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins

Ingredients (serves 4 people as a main dish or 6-8 people as a side dish):
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 2 rashers of smoky bacon (optional)
  • 1 large onion and/or leek, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g root vegetables (swede, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, even potatoes), finely sliced*
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of ground cloves or a handful of thyme leaves
  • 1 mug of double or luxury pouring cream
  • ½ mug of vegetable or chicken stock, or water
  • A handful of oats
  • 1 mug of breadcrumbs
  • A handful of nuts (chestnuts, if you can), chopped
  • A nugget of butter
  • A handful of grated cheese (optional)

*Swede, celeriac and other big root vegetables need to be peeled and cut into more manageable pieces before slicing.

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a good splash of oil. Add the onion or leek and, if you are using it, the bacon. Fry till the bacon starts to crisp and the onions are soft.
  • Stir in the garlic and add the sliced root veggies.
  • Season well. If you are going to use the, add the cloves and gently fry for just a few minutes, just to soften them.
  • Stir in the cream and stock/water.
  • Simmer for 10-15 mins, till veg have softened.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as required. If you're using thyme instead of the cloves, add them now. Pour everything from the pan into a baking dish.
  • Mix topping ingredients together and scatter them over the top and bake till the top is crisp and golden, about 30 mins.
  • Delicious with winter greens stir-fried in oil, garlic with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Abel and Cole

10 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.
Mother Teresa

06 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience.
Mother Teresa

05 December 2010

Lady Gaga head piece perhaps?

Head piece art project, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

My daughter is pictured here wearing an item from her knit project. She is a student at Central St Martins in London and is having a private viewing of her work this week. Not your average knit item - but I love it!

Quote of the day ...

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

04 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

03 December 2010

02 December 2010

Snowy London

Snowy Putney London, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

I took this photo in my local park this morning; Wandsworth Park in Putney (London). I love the contrast of this man's outfit against the snow.

Down dog V snow dog

Snowy dog London, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

The early morning snow here in London today. My dog loved it. Mind you, being a labrador, snow is in his genes.

Quote of the day ...

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
Mother Teresa

01 December 2010

Quote of the day ...

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
Martin Luther King, Jr.