26 June 2011

New Yoga Studio in Putney


originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

Here is a little preview of my yoga space which will open in early July. I will be adding lots of new classes to my timetable and a few new teachers will be joining me to support the ever-growing yoga community.

I will be working alongside osteopaths and physiotherapists at The Putney Clinic of physical therapy. On site there will be 25 doctors and MRI imaging; so a real East meets West yoga studio, just like I always wanted.

25 June 2011

Quote of the day


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If you see the soul in every living being, you see truly. If you see immortality in the heart of every mortal being, you see truly

The Bhagavad Gita

22 June 2011

Pose of the day


Yoga 004, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

Vrishchikasana. I am still practicing this pose close to the wall when I am on my own.

20 June 2011

Triyoga comes to the Kings Road Chelsea.


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I am so excited Triyoga is coming to my neck of the woods in Chelsea, south-west London.

Central and north London seemed to have had the monopoly on yoga studios for a number of years and the south-west was distinctly lacking on the yoga front, but not anymore!

Triyoga opens its new studios on the trendy Kings road, on Saturday 2nd of July. The new centre will have three beautiful light studios, three treatment rooms, an organic café, a juice bar, a cool area to hang out with friends and a shop.

The classes on offer will be for the complete newcomer to yoga to the more advanced Ashtanga Mysore practice. A wide range of treatments and therapies will also be available (see link belowf or more details). Triyoga often have some of the world's best yoga teachers pay them a visit. They run some of the best yoga workshops in London, which is why I'm so excited.


Free opening day yoga classes

To celebrate the opening of triyoga Chelsea, they are offering a range of free yoga classes throughout the day on Saturday 2nd July. Places are limited, so book early.

I've booked my space already... See you there!

18 June 2011

Wimbledon Tennis - What to wear?

With the Wimbledon Tennis Championships starting on Monday and the British weather being its-usual-unpredictable-self, I thought I would make a short list for anyone visiting.

I was teaching yoga at last week's Wimbledon tennis qualifying events and here was how the week went in photos.

Warm sunny days require sun glasses, hats, and sun cream.

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Ball boys and girls have a rest in the Sunshine (they had in fact been stretching before I took this photo.)

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Things start to go a bit down hill on the weather front. Oooh, think I can spot some rain from up here.

Wimbledon tennis qualifiers 2011

Covers on tennis courts chaps..

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Festival mac comes in handy after all!

So a suggested list of items needed (vanity will have to go out the window).

  1. Zinc sun cream: never a great look unless you rub it in well.
  2. A silly hat so your family can spot you on the telly.
  3. A foldaway umbrella, preferably in a cheery colour, as you will be feeling miserable if you need it; plus your friends can find you in the crowds
  4. Flip flops for warm weather.
  5. Flip flops for wet weather.
  6. White socks to wear with said flip flops (when in Rome...).
  7. A sensible cardigan: This will keep you warm and you can drape it over your face should you decide to have a nap during a game following a long session at the Pimms bar (cunning eh?)
  8. Pac-a-Mac: Yes, a plastic mac that you always swore you "wouldn't be seen dead in". Funny how they become very attractive in monsoon like weather.
  9. A big handbag to carry everything in.

What not to wear:
  1. Jimmy Choo shoes (unless you're not planning to leave the champagne bar).
  2. A tennis sweatband around your head (Björn Borg style)... A big no no
  3. Full tennis kit (unless you're actually playing on court)
  4. An "I love you mum" t-shirt if you are over 5 years old.

Otherwise, anything goes ...

17 June 2011

Vegetarian cook needed in fabulous yoga retreat Goa

PURPLE VALLEY, GOA, INDIA

Needed - Experienced Vegetarian cook: Oversee menu planning, budgeting and cooking for up
to 50 guests, co-manage kitchen with current chefs , including supervising small team of hard-working locals. Positions include accommodation, meals, local subsistence salary and a unique opportunity to study with the world's top Ashtanga teachers as well as meeting amazing people
from around the world and experiencing Goan culture in its true sense.

Please send your details, CV or resume to info@yogagoa.com

Spices

14 June 2011

Quote of the day


It is in the very heart of our activity that we search for our god.
Rabindranath Tagore

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12 June 2011

Nancy Gilgoff Workshop Tarifa Spain



I recently attended a fantastic Ashtanga yoga workshop with Nancy Gilgoff in Tarifa Spain.
Casa yoga is running classes and workshops in a beautiful spot in southern Spain.
Adam and Theresa who run Casa yoga had all bases covered, accommodation, food, and of course one of Ashtanga yoga's most experienced teachers Nancy Gilgoff. ( Nancy has been practicing for 40 years).

It always amazes me how a group of strangers ( mostly), can gather together and share the yoga journey-doesn't matter what pose your on? what your day job is? or if you speak the same language....I found this particular group dynamic, very uplifting, so thank you fellow yogis.

The Casa yoga set up makes it very easy to attend on your own. My non yogi husband came too and enjoyed running, swimming and the sunshine. The option of kite surfing, in one of the world best sites is available for the brave :-)

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11 June 2011

Wimbledon Tennis Qualifiers 2011

My favorite job has come around again - working at the Wimbledon Tennis qualifiers. This will be my 18th year doing the "warm up" sessions at this event. My son, who was a babe in arms the first time I did these sessions, will be joining me as a ball boy. It will be interesting to see if he pays attention to this instructor?!

Over the years I have seen many of the worlds top tennis players at this event; either participating for a place at the Championships or coming along to watch the competitors in action.

This is the 125th anniversary of the Wimbledon Championships. Let's hope the sunshine returns to London for the next three weeks!

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Wimbledon 2009

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Baked or griddled falafel with vegan yoghurt sauce

Originally published by Adam and Theresa on: yogikitchen.blogspot.com

I first had Falafel at the tender age of 18 when I went to work on a Kibbutz (like a working farm) in Israel. These days, I'm sure in the trendier areas of East London they're even feeding Falafel wraps on- the-go to their toddlers, but back in the day, falafel was impossibly exotic and not even available at Camden Market. Imagine.




So straight off the plane and driving through the Negev desert to our allotted Kibbutz our driver stops at a roadside place for a quick break and orders one. Now at the time I wasn't vegetarian (that didn't happen for another year and it's another story..) but I've always been interested in different foods, so I immediately ordered the same as him. First off, I have to say I was a little disappointed when they told me it was ground chickpeas; I think I was anticipating chicken nuggets or something, but from the first bite I loved it. The crunch of the falafel with the creaminess of hummus and tahini sauce and sunset looking out over rolling dunes and date palms as far as the eye could see is a memory I will never forget.

None of versions will never match up to the memory of the taste of that first falafel but also these days I am a bit more conscious of the health properties of what I eat and don't go in for deep-frying that much. I can't say you'll get the beautiful crispness you get with frying in loads of oil, but you'll probably feel less greasy afterwards and it's a hell of a lot easier to just whack these in the oven or on a griddle with a tablespoon of oil. Other than that the recipe is pretty much the same as the classic recipe but to stop them falling apart you need to make them much drier than would be needed for deep frying and hence I add chickpea flour, though you could add regular flour or breadcrumbs instead.

Falafel (makes 8 - enough for 4 wraps)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 4 tbs chopped fresh parsley or Coriander
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • pinch of tumeric
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs chickpea flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Add all the ingredients except the fresh herbs, chickpea flour and 1 tbs of the olive oil to a food processor. Blend into a smooth paste.
  • Now add the fresh herbs and gradually mix in the chickpea flour until the mixture is dry enough to shape into small balls (you may have to add more or less according to how it feels).
  • Grease a plate with a little oil and lay the shaped falafels on the plate and put in the fridge for at least an hour. They will firm up a bit more.
  • If oven baking, grease your pan with another tablespoon of olive oil and place the falafel in a preheated oven at about 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. For a slightly more crispy and less dry texture you can drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each one as you turn them after 15 minutes. If you're cooking them in a pan, be sure to heat the oil for a few minutes in medium high so when you add the falafel they won't stick much. Again, if you like crispier, increase the oil a little. Turn half way and cook until golden on both sides.

Vegan yoghurt sauce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup silken tofu
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbs yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • handful chopped fresh mint
  • Peel and grate the cucumber into a bowl. Toss with the salt and set aside for an hour.
  • Meanwhile blend the silken tofu, olive oil, lemon juice, yeast flakes and mustard powder in a food processor until smooth.
  • Now squeeze all the liquid out of the cucumber and mix well with the silken tofu and chopped fresh mint. Serve chilled.
This delirious receipe comes from the fabulous blog. Please visit them for more receipes http://yogikitchen.blogspot.com.

Here is some info about Adam and Theresa:

Tarifa, Andalucia, Spain
We are a couple that practice Ashtanga yoga regularly and when we're not doing yoga our hobby is food. Our interest in Indian food grew when we lived in India for a few years running a yoga centre. We use no onions and no garlic, as instructed by our yoga teacher, R. Sharath Jois in Mysore, India.

09 June 2011

Peeling the god-damn yoga onion

The past seven months have been a pretty difficult time in my life. As a family, we lost two friends to suicide, one of whom was 18 years old. My daughter became really unwell and we spent months trying to discover what was wrong and what we could do for her? The house was burgled, the dog had a major operation, the Vespa was stolen, the car blah, blah blah... Life stuff! Shit happens to everyone!

Throughout this time, I consistently showed up on my yoga mat. I showed up and cried. I showed and did standing poses. I showed up and did what ever I could, but I showed up.

For me, when I am in emotional pain, I feel it physically in my body so I had to sit with myself at times and allow those emotions to surface; something that is not always easy. I had to with draw from the debating society as my physical yoga practice felt like it was going backwards and I had to accept this. Binds I once had were no longer there, poses I once loved became my nemesis, I continued to place my mat on the floor and tried my best to practice non-judgement.

As my daughter is recovering and the grief of losing friends is subsiding, my yoga practice has shifted into a whole new realm. Going through this period where I had to slow down and practice compassion for myself, has taken me to a much deeper level, both on and off the mat.

Yoga is sometimes described like the peeling of an onion, the layers come off and you go a bit deeper, but you can feel a bit raw as the layers disappear. Having just spent 4 days with my yoga teacher, I was given a whole new yoga practice. I was not looking for new poses, but I was given them; not one pose but many!

I have practised some of the intermediate Ashtanga yoga series in the past, but never liked this. I have a completely different fearless relationship with the poses and with myself. Compassion, patience and love feature in my yoga practice, and in my life...

I am deeply grateful to my yoga teacher, Nancy Gilgoff, who has been a guiding light on the way and also to her teacher, Sri K Pattabhi Jois, both of whom have spent many years peeling the god-damn onion and showing us how to do it.

08 June 2011

Pose of the day


Kukkutasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk.

Kukkutasana

07 June 2011

Quote of the day

Nonviolence is the summit of bravery.

Mahatma Gandhi

06 June 2011

Karandavasana, Led Intermediate Class, Mysore, India


I came to this pose for the first time a few days ago (assisted by Nancy Gilgoff). Took me by surprise I have to say BOOM I was in it. Yay.