28 December 2011

2nd Series Ashtanga with Santina

I love the opening text that goes with this clip-Santina looks to be really in her yoga practise, and not performing solely for the camera.

Quote of the day

 There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things
which are beyond the power of our will.


27 December 2011

Quote of the day

A person is a person because he recognises others as persons

Bishop Desmond Tutu

22 December 2011

21 December 2011

Dog in the festive spirit

Festive dog 031, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.
My dog was well and truly in the festive spirit.

17 December 2011

My Sunny yoga studio

Pilates room-013

Down dog variation in my beautiful yoga space :-)

16 December 2011

Mental Transformation & Quick fix society

I came across this item by the Dali Lama which I found to be so spot on-We are in a quick fix society and transformation of any kind takes time...the path to transformation is a long one, with twists and turns all the way..better to be on it than not in my humble opinion.

One thing that you should remember is that mental transformations take time and are not easy. I think some people from the West, where technology is so good think that everything is automatic.
You should not expect this spiritual transformation to take place within a short time; keep it in your mind and make a constant effort, then after 1 year, 5years 10 years, 15 years you will eventually find some change. I still sometimes find it very difficult to practise these things. However, I do believe these practises are extremely useful.

Dali Lama

14 December 2011

Yoga Mama Iphone app-Prenatal yoga

Here is a short clip from my prenatal Iphone application. To view more clips go to yogamama at youtube or to purchase the application see the link below,

App Store - Yogamama

 5 votes - £1.99
Read reviews, get customer ratings, see screenshots and learn more about Yogamamaon the App Store. Download Yogamama and enjoy it on your iPhone, ..

All clothes from Sweaty Betty

13 December 2011

Zico Coconut Water

For all you lovers of coconut water-Zico which is currently available in the US, are launching their wares in London

"ZICO is green coconut water blended for a consistently delicious,
isotonic, low calorie way to stay refreshed and replenished throughout
your active day. As an isotonic, and with high levels of potassium
(569mg potassium per 414ml bottle), ZICO is ideal replenishment during
or after exercise, but makes for perfect all-day refreshment whenever
you’re on-the-go."

Basically it's a great way to hydrate during and after yoga and is low in calories, isotonic and a natural source of potassium. Coming to London soon.

For more information go to the Zico website

11 December 2011

Yoga sutra Patanjali


Of these two, effort towards steadiness of mind is practise.
Here Patanjali means continuous practise, not just for one or two days. You have to always be at it, not just a few minutes a day and then allowing the mind to have its own free time all the other hours.It means you become eternally watchful, scrutinizing every thought, every word and every action.

Book one 13.
Translation Sri Swami Satchiddananda

10 December 2011

Ashtanga Yoga Third Series with Kino MacGregor

I understand  there is some controversy around this third series dvd by Kino-I personally would like to see it

07 December 2011

Runners Knee / Ilio-Tibial Band Friction Syndrome

Runners Knee / Ilio-Tibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) The Iliotibial Band is a long band of fascia that runs from the outside of the hip, along the outer thigh and to the side of the knee. Ilio-Tibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) occurs when an overly tight Iliotibial Band rubs on the outer part of the knee and causes the fascial band to become inflamed through over-friction. Also, between the IT Band and the bony outer knee lies a bursa, (a lubricated pad which is there to help prevent over-friction of the IT Band as mentioned above), which can become entrapped by the IT Band and become inflamed itself. Symptoms ITBFS is characterised by pain, tenderness and swelling on the outer part of the knee and thigh. It is generally aggravated by movement of the knee, and relieved by knee inactivity. Causes ITBFS is generally considered to be an overuse condition; so a repetitive activity like running is commonly related. Repetitive loading of the knee, e.g. running or cycling Abnormal foot biomechanics, e.g. flat feet Incorrect footwear Weak pelvic hip muscles, e.g. Gluteus Medius

06 December 2011

Quote of the day

Always be kind,
For everyone is fighting a hard battle.


05 December 2011

Yoga Girl music video

A Funny tongue in cheek yoga video from Eco-Snobbery Sucks-by Jeffrey Davies


My girl does yoga


The girl child at my yoga studio in Putney-she is currently unable to practice yoga because of her broken wrist :-(

04 December 2011

Bollywood yoga

This guy contacted me recently about running this class to our staff -Not entirely sure if this yoga? or if I could persuade our team to do it? but it look like fun what ever you want to call it!


Pose of the day

Yoga, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

Upavista Konasana variation.

23 November 2011

Jesus Christ in Richmond Park

My local park and I too have a dog who thought chasing deer might be fun ;-)

Every button tells a story

When my daughter, who had just turned 20, started this beautiful button knit, she was a happy and healthy textile student at Central St Martins College in London. She had just started to specialize in knit, when she was struck down with glandular fever. At the same time a close friend died suddenly, in tragic circumstances, and the combination of the two had a drastic effect on her health. She had to put her university life on hold, give up her East End student home and return to live with us to recover. She spent most of the past winter in bed and was diagnosed as having ME symptoms and a gluten/wheat intolerance. This was the turning point on her slow road to recovery.

This knit piece was created using two mop handles. The buttons were from a collection my own mum had gathered over the years. So many childhood memories in the button tin, my mum left behind when she died 17 years ago. At times my daughter was so unwell she couldn’t lift the knitting needles; there were months on end where her joints were so painful that it was impossible to do anything, even lift a paint brush. It's been a long year but Cally is now back on the road again, so finishing this piece was very significant and symbolic. Taking it to the framers was like letting go of a period of time. She is doing a silk screen printing course and a fashion course at London College of Fashion, preparing herself to return to the “full on” creative hub that is Central St Martins. She currently has a broken wrist but after the year she has had, it doesn't hold her back.

My beautiful girl @callyhearts

22 November 2011

The benefits of hypnobirthing classes

by Marygrace Anderson, hypnotherapist at the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy 

Marygrace Anderson is now offering hypnobirthing classes at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. The benefits of hypnobirthing include:

  • Manage any discomfort through powerful breathing techniques.
  • Reduces fear, tension and discomfort, thus naturally increasing discomfort threshold.
  • Learn relaxation techniques that will help your body to work the way it is designed to.
  • Learn how to put yourself in control of your birth, rather than blindly turning your birthing experience over to your doctor or midwife.
  • Less medication and chemical anaesthesia is needed as muscles thin and open easily.
  • Hypnosis shortens the first stage of delivery by approximately 3 – 4 hours for mother's delivering their babies. For subsequent deliveries, it is not unusual for them to be as quick as 60 - 120 minutes long.
  • Learn visualisation techniques that can help your body to do what it wants to do. Allow your mind and body to work together in harmony. Experience the pleasures of birth rather than the negative experiences you may have heard from others.
  • Release worries and concerns you may have about birth.
  • Enables mother to go into "hypnotic relaxation" if unable to sleep between feeds.
  • Raises resistance to fatigue during delivery thus minimizing maternal exhaustion.
  • Encourages the production of milk.
  • Decreases "post natal blues" and speeds up recovery. Using the endorphin release to increase your body's natural anaesthetic; a much safer option than relying on pharmaceuticals and other drugs. 

For more information, contact Marygrace on  07931 547414 or by email at  mghypnosis@aol.com or call The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy on 020 8789 3881.

20 November 2011

Bishopstrow House and The Halcyon Spa

After an exhausting few months and the official opening of our new clinic The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, my husband and I headed off to Wiltshire for some rest and relaxation. I have stayed at Bishopstrow House before and find it so relaxing. In its previous life, it was a country manor house, set in amazing grounds behind an old stone wall. It has the feel of another era, without the pretentiousness that some hotels of this ilk have.

The staff at Bishopstrow House are fantastic. When the room we had booked wasn't quite right for us, we were promptly relocated without any fuss to the most beautiful Shaftesbury Suite, room service and 10 hours of the most refreshing sleep I have ever had. I headed over to the Halcyon Spa, while my husband swam for an hour in the outdoor swimming pool.

Running a very busy clinic, and teaching yoga in London doesn't allow for much “pampering” time, so I booked myself an Elemis facial with the lovely Rachael in the Halcyon Spa. The spa is gorgeous; you can choose from many wonderful treatments, exercise in the gym, swim, steam, sauna, etc. I chose not to exercise (apart from a little bit of discreet yoga, by the swimming pool) but all about choices here. The spa rooms are really well lit, and so clean and comfy; the staff are really helpful, you immediately feel more relaxed once you step into the spa suite.

I have been to a number of different spas over the years and not all of them have succeeded in creating this feeling. In fact, some are so clinical that they invoke the opposite effect. This is the 2nd time I have posted about Bishopstrow House. The hotel and spa industry is having a difficult time, along with everyone else at the moment, so to find a place that is still offering such a wonderful service (with a genuine smile), is worth sharing.

19 November 2011

It’s getting crowded on the road to enlightenment

It's getting crowded on the road to enlightment...  This is the title of third item in three weeks that the Times has written about yoga and "enlightenment". This is obviously a good selling tactic at the moment, but it might be useful if they got their story straight.

In the first item they wrote "how wonderful yoga is for you". Item two said the opposite "yoga is not good for you". Item three mixes up yoga, Buddhism and Kabbalah and how many people are rushing off to India in search of enlightenment, and how much it's all costing us gullible Westerners.

The item then goes on to say Julia Roberts converted to Hinduism after appearing in Eat, Pray, Love;  Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Madonna are all followers of Kabbalah; Tiger Woods said his Buddhist Faith would help him recover from sex scandals;  Steven Segal announced in 1997 that he was the reincarnation of a Buddhist lama...

Is the Times therefore using the above statements to reassure us that the collection above are on the crowded road to enlightenment? Or purely filling their newspaper with any old bullshit?

18 November 2011

Ashtanga Intermediate Backbends

"Encouraging Words" by Zen Master Guishan

"Encouraging Words" by Zen Master Guishan
 Some day you will die.
Lying on your sick bed about to breathe your last, you will be assailed by every kind of pain,
Your mind will be filled with fears and anxieties and you will not know where to go or what to do, Only then you will realize you have not practiced well.
 The skandhas/aggregates (matter, sensations, conceptions, impulses and consciousness) and the four elements in you will quickly disintegrate, and your consciousness will be pulled wherever your ancient, twisted karma leads it.
 Impermanence does not hesitate.
Death will not wait.
 You will not be able to extend you life by even a second.
 How many thousands times more will you have to pass through the gates of birth and death.
If these words are challenging, even insulting, let them be an encouragement for you to change Practice heroically.
 Do not accumulate unnecessary possessions.
 Don't give up. Still your mind, end wrong perceptions, concentrate and do not run after the objects of your senses. Practice diligently. Be determined not to let your days and months pass by wastefully.

12 November 2011

Quote of day

It must be said that genuine compassion is not like pity or a feeling that others are somehow lower than you.
Rather, with genuine compassion you view others as more important than yourself.

Dalai lama

11 November 2011

Pose of the day- Supta Padangusthasana

Supta Padangusthasana -Hand to toe

Supta Padangusthasana -Hand to toe

10 November 2011

Learning Purvottanasana from the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, with Kino...

Have yoga mat will travel

I always take a yoga mat with me where ever I go- so on recent trips to Manchester (where my son is at university) my mat came with me. I stayed in the city centres Crown plaza which is in a fantastic location for wandering around the city centre...The beds in this hotel are AMAZING as are the staff, and they have a great Sunday night deal should you ever find yourself in Manchester on a Sunday night... Wouldn't it be fantastic if hotel rooms provided yoga mats along side the mini bar-thus catering for all needs ;-)
I definitely will always pick this hotel over the others I have stayed in-in Manchester

Crowne Plaza

stuff 254
Crown Plaza Manchester 002

Quote of the day

Anger and hatred are two of our closest friends.
When I was young I had quite a close relationship with anger.
Then eventually I found a lot of disagreement with anger. By using common sense ,with the help of compassion and wisdom. I now have a more powerful argument with which to defeat anger.

Dalai Lama

08 November 2011

Practising Back bending on Pilates reformer


We have some great Pilates kit in one of our studios-I clearly don't know how to use it but doest stop me having a go... some things got to help move my stiff upper back alongside my yoga.

Chickpea vindaloo

Here is another great recipe form Adam and Theresa over at The yogi Kitchen, which is soon to be called "Keen on food". 

Adam and Theresa are currently practising yoga in Mysore India so follow their food journey at the above link. This particular item was posted during their stay in Tarifa, Spain, where they taught yoga and hosted international yoga teachers.

Chickpeas are the ubiquitous bean of a vegetarian diet, but here in AndalucĂ­a, we are still amazed at the freshness, plumpness and largeness of the ones here.  Vindaloo is a Goan dish, originating when the Portugese brought chillis to the area and introduced cooking with wine, traditionally it is served with pork, but here we have used chickpeas and vinegar instead of the meat and wine, to an effect that I have to say is one of my new favourite dishes. 

It has been a bit of a chilly week here in Tarifa, with temperatures dipping to 10 C, and I was craving the combination of chickpeas with potatoes, in a spicy dish, tomato and cream is one of my all time best type of sauces and add vinegar... Well all of the boxes are ticked. 

We are almost out of chapati flour, so we ate this with soft white rolls like the Indian pav.  Pure heaven.

The recipe was found on the internet and credit was given to Steven Raichlen, thank you Steven.

Chickpea Vindaloo (serves 4)

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water for at least 8 hours
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red dried chillies (or to taste)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp red wine or cider vinegar
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped fresh coriander 
Cooking instructions:

  • Drain the chickpeas, cover in fresh water and boil for 1 1/2 hours or until soft but not mushy.
  • Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy saute pan over medium, add the ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cayenne, stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir in the vinegar and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, potatoes, 2 cups of vegetable stock, tomato paste and salt.  Return to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. 
  • Stir in the yoghurt until thoroughly mixed, simmer for a couple more minutes.  Add chopped coriander, stir through and serve.

04 November 2011

Dynamic Surya Namaskar sequence

Let the Sunshine in             

Dynamic Surya Namaskar

This is a dynamic, flowing variation on the classic sun salutation. This particular sequence has an emphasis on stretching the psoas or hip flexor muscle at the top of the thigh. You can change the pace of this yoga sequence by staying in each pose for 5 breaths or by using the one breath one movement principle in order to to flow through the practice.

This warming, heat-producing sequence can be used as a stand-alone short yoga session or, alternatively, as a warm-up to a longer yoga class. Building the number of rounds up over time will enable you to gain strength.  Connecting to your breath in each movement, allows this sequence to feel like a moving meditation. You should always rest in savanasana at the end of your yoga session.

            . Tadasana (Mountain pose)
Stand with your feet together-hands in front of your heat in pray.. Yoga Om 101

 2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
Inhale and sweep your arms up keeping your shoulders moving down the   back. Look up towards the thumbs.
           Yoga Om 078

   3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale folding forward. Bend your knees here if you need to.
     Uttanasana-Forward fold

            4. Ardha Uttansana (Half Standing Forward Bend)
Inhale look forward and lengthen the spine
 Yoga Om 081

            5. High Lunge
Exhale, and step your left foot back into a lunge, keeping your gaze forward.  Drop your back knee to the floor if you need to. Inhale
           Yoga Om 090

  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Exhale and step your right foot to down dog-keeping your feet hip wisth apart.. Spread your fingers and draw your lower (floating) ribs into the body.
.          Downward facing dog 001

  7. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (Tri-pod down dog )
            Inhale lifting the right leg high-keeping keep the belly strong and both hips
            facing towards the floor
           Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Tri-pod down dog

  8. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Variation
            Exhale bending the right knee taking the heel towards the left hip.
Keep both shoulders square to the floor.. Inhale
           Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Tri-pod down dog

      9. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Exhale and step your right foot back to down facing dog.
            Downward facing dog 001

. 10.  Plank Pose
Inhale and bring your body forward until your shoulders are over your wrists.Keep your body straight like a plank..Push your heels into an imaginary wall behind you, be strong through the belly
.          Kumbhakasana Plank pose

  11.  Chaturanga Dandasana(Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
Exhale as you bend your elbows and lower body down towards the floor ( drop your knee’s to the floor if you need to) Keep your elbows close to the body and keep the shoulders moving away from the ears.
           Chaturanga Dandasana

   12.  Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
Inhale, sweeping up into updog, opening the chest and heart-standing up on the hands. Keep your legs fully active  and the shoulders moving away from the ears ( stay low in cobra as an option)
            Urdhva Mukha Svanasana-Upward facing dog

 13. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Exhale back to Down Dog
.           Downward facing dog 001

    14.  High Lunge
            Inhale the right foot back in between the hands in a lunge. Inhale
            Yoga Om 090

          15. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
            Exhale stepping the left foot forward to touch the right, folding back in over
            the legs in a forward bend.
             Uttanasana-Forward fold

         16. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
Inhale and sweep your arms up keeping your shoulders moving down the back. Look up towards the thumbs.
            Yoga Om 078

  17. Tadasana (Mountain pose)
Exhale the-hands back in front of your heart.
.           Yoga Om 101

03 November 2011

Sweaty Betty sale ends Nov 7th

SM43 Tolasana VestSM42 Pump VestSM43 Namaskara VestRON Surya VestALTK Mantra Vest SM43 Seamless Throw On

Sweat Betty have an online sale on at the moment, with many items almost half price. Here are a few of the tanks on offer all in gorgeous colours. Sale ends November 7th.
Lots of yoga and fitness items to choose from.

Sweaty Betty

Sweaty Betty Exclusive Online Sale - up to 50% off

02 November 2011

Quote of the day


The smile is a very important feature of the human face. But because of human intelligence ,even that good part of human nature can be used in the wrong way, such as sarcastic smiles or diplomatic smiles, which only serve to create suspicion. I feel that a genuine affectionate smile largely depends on ones own attitude.It is illogical to expect smiles from others if one does not smile oneself.
Therefore, one can see that many things depend on ones own behaviour.

Dali Lama

01 November 2011

Yoga and back pain: study shows yoga to be more effective than conventional medical treatments

Interesting article about practising yoga in order to relieve back pain in The Times today by Hannah Devlin.

After a 12-week course of yoga, patients with long-term back pain reported less discomfort, performed better physically and were more confident in performing everyday tasks than those offered conventional GP care. 
While improvements were most pronounced at three months, immediately after the yoga course, people who were assigned to the yoga group still had less pain a year after the start of the study. 
David Torgerson, director of the Trials Unit at the University of York, said: "Doctors should be able to suggest yoga classes as an approach that could help."
The study, published today in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, assigned 156 patients to yoga classes and a control group of 157 patients to standard GP care. Those in the control group received a range of interventions, including mild pain relief medication, physiotherapy and advice to remain active and avoid heavy lifting. On average, members of the yoga group were able to undertake 30 per cent more activities compared with those in the usual care group after three months. 
Lower back pain affects 80 per cent of the UK population at some point. It is estimated that about 4.9 million working days a year are lost  to it, but few effective, evidence-based treatments exist. 
The yoga programme, which involved 20 experienced yoga teachers, was designed by Alison Trewhela, from Truro, Cornwall, an Inyegar Yoga teacher and Senior Practitioner in Yoga on the British Register of Complementary Practitioners. 
The classes were designed for complete beginners, with yoga teachers given extra training in back care. Participants were recruited from 39 general practices in seven Primary Care Trust areas, with classes held in non-NHS premises in Cornwall, North London, West London, Manchester and York. 
Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said: "This trial is part of our larger commmitment to seek self-help solutions to this common musculoskeletal problem. There are compelling explanations why yoga may be helpful and this trial lends powerful support to the wider use of this approach." 
Sue Faulkner, 68, from Bishopthorpe in York, who took part in the trial said that yoga had helped her to resume hobbies and a more active life. 
"Walking around is no longer a problem and I can do my gardening now so long as I pace myself", she said. "I've even taken on an allotment with my daughter and son-in-law and no longer take painkillers."
Hannah Devlin, The Times, Tuesday 1st November 2011 

Yoga Jam - Friday 25th November

Yoga Jam
Friday 25th November 7:30 - 10:30pm
The House of Yoga, London

Enjoy a funky and uplifting 90 minute vinyasa class, taught by some of The House of Yoga's fantastic teachers, who will be sharing their love of yoga in a fun and energetic way. The night will finish off with some nibbles, drinks and great conversation.

Tickets cost £15 and all proceeds go to the Africa Yoga Project (www.africayogaproject.org). Visit www.thehouseofyoga.co.uk for directions.

31 October 2011

Mysore back bending with Patthabi Jois

Some amazing old footage from Mysore with Sri K Pattabhi Jois.

29 October 2011

Quote of the day

Our experiences and feelings are mainly related to our bodies and minds. We know from our daily experiences that mental happiness is beneficial.For instance, through two people may face the same kind of tragedy, one person may face it more easily than the other due to his or her mental attitude. 
Dalai lama

27 October 2011

Yoga weekend in Norfolk 2012

Taking time out to focus on yourself and your yoga practice can really recharge the batteries, and can often take you to another level with your yoga.

Rachel is running a yoga weekend at the beautiful Morley Old Hall in Norfolk in May 2012; all details listed below.

Made me smile to see cake is also available. All about the balance ;-)

Yoga Holiday in Norfolk, May 2012

Come and join us at Morley Old Hall, Wymondham (nr Norwich), Norfolk for 3 days (2 nights) of yoga, relaxation and delicious food!

The weekend will include:
  • 5 yoga sessions + 2-3 meditation sessions
  • One-to-one work during breaks (optional)
  • bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, all refreshments (dietary requirements catered for) and housekeeping (oh and cake of course!)
  • Pick-ups from and to local station
  • Plenty of chill-out time to read, write, go for walks or anything else you fancy doing
  • For those of us who can't live without it, we'll even have free wi-fi!!
  • All of the yoga sessions are multi-level and the holiday is suitable for beginners as well. 
Date: 25-27 May 2012
Price: £399 per person based on sharing an en-suite room with one other (single supplements available)
Early Bird price of £349 if paid in full before 31 December 2011.
Deposit: £100 to secure your place.

Contact for booking and further details:
T: 01223 479070/07985 779892
E: rachel@massage-movement.co.uk
W: http://massage-movement.co.uk

26 October 2011

Astanga yoga book review-Lino Miele

This book written by Astanga yoga teacher Lino Miele is now in its 8th edition. It was was written by Lino under the guidance and direction of Sri K. Patthabi Jois and records the exact number of vinyasa (breath-movement sequencing) for each posture in both the primary and second series.

I personally have never practised the coming to stand at the end of each vinyasa, but most of the breath counts are very familiar to me. Although I think it would be interesting to see how (and why) some of this has changed over the years.

Perhaps the new directer of the Ashtanga yoga institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, Sharath Jois, who is continuing the lineage of ashtanga yoga (handed down from his grandfather Patthabi Jois), will revise this count sometime in the future?!

It is a great guide for anyone practising ashtanga yoga and a fantastic reference book for accurate breath in this wonderful system.