30 September 2011

Garden yoga moment Mysore style

Beautiful day in London today, so I took the opportunity to bust a yoga pose or two, while sitting in my garden. Check out the vest top!

29 September 2011

Art of yoga adjustments

As my yoga teacher lives in another country, I have to take yoga adjustments where I can. My husband is a handy man for this as he is an Osteopath with an MSc in Sports Medicine. Trusting your assistant is key!

11 September 2011

Strong Legs and Healthy Backbends in Laghuvajrasana with Kino MacGregor & Julia Lofstrand

Straight arms with hands near the feet? I thought hands were near the knees! I'm going to give this variation a go.

Is Ashtanga yoga addictive?

I am rereading Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K Patthabi Jois and have come across an item written by Ashtanga teacher John Scott in which he was asked:

Do you think ashtanga yoga attracts a particular kind of person?

"I think it definitely attracts people who have an obsessive nature or an addictive nature I think the practice itself can be addictive, which is so clever. So anyone who has had a drug habit, for example, is perfect because you can swap one addiction for the yoga practice addiction. Now when you start working with the addiction of yoga, the not doing the yoga is a yoga in itself".

John goes on to say that for 5 years he practised every day and didn't want to miss a day. He says he was addicted and scared to "not do it for fear of letting it go". He also goes onto say how he feels Patthabi Jois understood this and put in full and dark moon days/rest days to give us an opportunity not to practice, "so people with obsessive natures are also challenged within the practice, to let go of the practice".

I found this a fascinating insight into to how the series is made up in a way to address some of the above issues. Of course, in the great scheme of things, having an addiction to yoga, is better than having an addiction to heroin or the likes; but addiction to anything holds us back.

By having a regular mindful yoga practice and adhering as best as you can to the roots of the practice, you can embrace the changes that your yoga will bring and break down patterns that no longer work for you. This of course takes time and is what yoga is about. There is no fast track or quick fix with yoga, which is why having a teacher who has practised themselves for many years is very important to me. Staying close to the Ashtanga linage enables me to see the changes in my life and in the way I practice yoga.

Thank you to John Scott for sharing how it was for him in the early days. This resonated with me.

Gurui: A portrait of Sri K Pattabhi Jois
John Scott full item page 356

06 September 2011

108 Sun Salutation Fundraiser Event, 18th September- Shoreditch, London

In the summer of 2009 my lovely friend, and fellow yoga teacher Georgina went to Rwanda to do three months of voluntary yoga teaching with HIV+ survivors of genocide and rape. Below is her story and why she is doing this fantastic fund raising event. Please contact her if you would like to attend or make a donation.

108 Sun Salutation Fundraiser Event, 18th September- Shoreditch, London

109 Sun Salutations-2009 Photography by Tracey Fahy

"You may remember that in summer 2009 I went to Rwanda to do three months of voluntary yoga teaching with It was a life changing experience and spurred my decision to train as an Art Psychotherapist to gain new skills and resources, including art and yoga, with which to assist people with mental and physical therapeutic health needs. 
A group of yoga practitioners I teach in Shoreditch have decided they want to take up the challenge of doing 108 Sun Salutations so we are taking this opportunity to fundraise for We-Actx who offer clinical services and voluntary counseling and testing, and Project Air, (the now independent and expanded yoga branch of the organization I volunteered with in 2009) who offer healing yoga to women and children survivors. 
I will be leading the Sun Salutations and this is a call out to all who would like to join this challenge. There are approximately 10 places available (maybe a few more if there is a lot of interest and feel free to share the spot with someone – in which case you’d both do 54 Sun Salutations each). This is also a call out for donations which are also welcome, however small. 
Why 108? why indeed! For information on the significance of this auspicious number pursue the link 
For more information, call or text me on 07768 628 581 or email: georgina@cowrieyoga.com

05 September 2011

Ashtanga Yoga : Chakrasana, Backwards Rolling with Kino MacGregor and Daylene Christensen

Vegetarian recipes: Four Bean Indian Salad

This delicious salad is from Yogi Kitchen, a foodie's delight of a blog site. Head over to their website for lots of wonderful dishes.

Four Bean Indian Salad

Adapted from Mysore Style Cooking by V. Sandhya
Serves 2


  • 250 g (8oz) green beans
  • 1 handful fresh dill, chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp toor dhal
  • 4-5 tbsp mung beans (whole)
  • 4 tbsp sprouted mung beans
  • 4 tbsp minced red bell pepper
  • 4 - 5 cups of water
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 red chillies, minced
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 2 tbsp coconut, (grated fresh is ideal if you have it, we used dried)


  • Chop green beans into small pieces. Chop the dill finely.
  • In a heavy bottomed pot place the toor dhal and mung beans and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft not mushy.
  • Add the chopped fresh green beans and dill. Cook well until they become just soft.
  • Add salt to taste, then drain the water and set both broth aside and place the vegetables in a large bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saute pan, add the mustard seeds and when they pop add the chillies and asafetida, then the grated coconut. Stir for a few minutes, then add to the vegetables along with the bell pepper, stir and serve immediately or chill for later.
  • Sandhya recommends that you can drink the remaining broth anytime with pepper and lemon juice added.

03 September 2011

Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series: Karandavasana with Kino MacGregor and Julia Lofstrand

I tried this pose for the first time earlier this summer. I managed to bring my knees down, assisted by my teacher, but getting them back up was a different story. I think this is a useful tip that Kino gives about practising from headstand first and moving the leg back to come into lotus makes sense. Now to practice and possibly fall on my head :-)

01 September 2011

Yoga retreat Littleton Mill Wiltshire

Weekend Yoga retreat with Cherie lathey

Littleton Mill, Wiltshire: 7th - 9th October 2011

Yoga Life Putney

The weekend ...

This is a yoga weekend to restore and recharge the batteries, before heading into winter hibernation.

It is suitable for those coming to yoga for the first time or for those who want to deepen their practice. This will be a small yoga group and we will be able to focus on individual needs in a calm and tranquil environment. Littleton Mill is a 17th century water mill in Wiltshire, which has been lovingly restored by Melissa and Richard Kendall.

The cost of the weekend is £250. This is on a shared room basis and includes all yoga and freshly prepared organic meals. There are a couple of “non-yoga” spaces available (at a reduced cost) for those who would like to bring a friend or partner to enjoy the peace and quiet on offer. There will be plenty of time to read, rest or walk in the beautiful countryside. Massage is available on request (not included in the price).

There are limited spaces available, so please contact me on ASAP if you would like to attend. Please forward to any friends that might like to join us.

For more information about this yoga retreat and/or to reserve your place, send an email to info@yogamama.co.uk or call me on 07939 58 90 83.

For a review of Littleton Mill http://littletonmill.co.uk/reviews.php