29 December 2012

Ashtanga yoga charity classes with John & Lucy Scott

Calling all you London yogis. Last chance to join in these charity classes at STILLPOINT YOGA LONDON tomorrow (Sunday 30th of December). Get to practise with senior Ashtanga yoga teachers, whilst raising money for a wonderful charity Centrepoint and remembering a member of the yoga community sadly no longer with us. Only a few places remaining so book your space here.

A day of charity yoga classes with John and Lucy Scott


In memory of Ozge Karabiyik

Raising awareness of Centrepoint, helping London's young and homeless

Sunday 30th December 2012

John and Lucy will be teaching 2 classes on a donation basis (minimum £10) and all proceeds will be passed on to Centrepoint, John and Lucy's favourite homeless charity. 

There will be 2 classes on the day, both being a Sanskrit counted led Ashtanga Yoga primary series. The times of these classes are:
  • 1st Class: 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • 2nd Class: 13:00pm - 15:00pm 
We are looking to get as many people as we can to take these classes (if some of you are feeling brave you can even do both...) to raise as much as we can for this worthwhile cause. 

(Please note: we will be taking payment on the day, so if you do book, please do attend the class) 

17 December 2012

The yoga advent calendar: Dec 17th

Karnapidasana -Ear pressure pose

Cant hear you, cant hear you.......think its another rendition of jingle bells

Karnaapidasana -Ear pressure pose. Not to be confused with a trussed up turkey.

15 December 2012

01 December 2012

29 November 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: Balasana

Yoga Pose of the Day: Balasana (Child's Pose)
Balasana (Child's Pose) - © Yoga Mama

Yoga pose of the day: Balasana, otherwise known as Child's pose.

Feeling the winter blues?

Feeling the winter blues….

With Christmas only four weeks away and the short dark days fully upon us. Many of us can suffer from SAD seasonal affective disorder. We can feel tired and lethargic and our moods can be on the low side.

The lack of day light can have a significant effect on our hormones. There can be an increase in the "sleepy" hormone melatonin and a decrease in the "happy" hormone serotonin;  our body clock feels "out of sorts".

Spending as much time out doors will really help to balance this situation, as will exercise, as the increase in endorphins will lift the spirits. A brisk walk in your local park at lunchtime, when the light is at its best, will have a really positive effect. So avoid the mad shopping crowds and get walking!

21 November 2012

Berries are good for the brain

By Fleur Borrelli BSc Nuit med,BA Hons
Nutritionist at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy

Berries contain plant chemicals known as polyphenols. These are found in vegetables and fruit as well as in coffee and cocoa. Recently one category of polyphenols (anthocyanins) found in strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have attracted attention for enhancing cognitive function in the elderly. Whist it is still early days for any conclusive evidence, there is no harm in eating a handful per day,fresh or frozen.

20 November 2012

Russell Brand to become a yoga teacher....

So the twitter jungle drums say Russell Brand is going to do a yoga teacher training in Los Angeles .
I know he has practised yoga for quite sometime, so maybe now he feels he would like to share his knowledge with others.
 He is a recovering addict and so probably has a great understanding of the spiritual side of yoga....he also has an amazing sense of humour which I think is a great gift to a yoga teacher- as  many teachers take themselves very seriously....
So Mr Brand if you are planning on doing some dogging ( down dogging obviously:-))  and you need a few students to practise on -look no further....I think you would have a queue out the door -so go for it Russell.

ACL knee injuries much more likely in female athletes

This is an interesting article on anterior cruciate ligament knee injuries that was originally posted on Science Daily:

Female athletes are far more likely than males to suffer serious ACL knee injuries. But many of these injuries could be prevented by doing pre-season conditioning and using proper landing techniques after jumping, said Loyola University Medical Center orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Pietro Tonino. 
Doctors aren't certain why female athletes are more prone to ACL injuries. One reason may be related to how they jump, Tonino said. Due to the shape of the female pelvis, females tend to land from a jump with their knees locked. This puts added pressure on the knee. Females also tend to be more knock-kneed, with knees close together and the ankles far apart.   
With the basketball season under-way, Tonino and other orthopaedic surgeons are seeing a significant number of knee injuries in female athletes, ranging from middle school to professional athletes. Tonino is a sports medicine specialist who has performed thousands of knee surgeries.  
To reduce the risk of an ACL injury, Tonino said, an athlete should slightly bend the knees and hips when landing. Position the buttocks as if you were about to sit down, rather than standing upright. Land on your forefoot, not your heel. And strengthen your hamstrings with weight training.  
Tonino and other sports medicine physicians recommend athletes participate in summer programs that teach conditioning and injury-prevention techniques. The athlete or her parents should ask the team's certified athletic trainer or team physician about such programmes.  
Tonino noted that the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine web site offers these additional tips to prevent basketball injuries: 
  • Have a pre-season physical and follow your physician's recommendations for preventing injuries. 
  • Maintain proper fitness: injury rates are higher in athletes who have not properly trained.
  • After a period of inactivity, progress gradually back to full contact basketball through aerobic conditioning, strength training, etc.
  • An athlete should return to play only when cleared by a health care professional. 
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. It connects the front of the tibia (shin bone) with the back of the femur (thigh bone). It helps provide stability to the knee joint. Patients with torn ACLs often experience their knee "giving out."  
Minor ACL tears can be treated non-surgically. But significant ACL tears require surgery. An orthopaedic surgeon removes a tendon from the patient's knee and uses it to replace the torn ligament.  
Tonino said surgical instruments and techniques are improving, and ACL surgery is becoming less invasive. But the operation still requires six months of rehab. ACL injuries also can involve torn cartilage, which can limit motion and lead to arthritis.  
"Unfortunately, a reconstructed knee will never be as good as the God-given knee," Tonino said. "So we should be doing all we can to prevent these injuries in the first place."

08 November 2012

Cold and Flu: Stay in Bed or Exercise?

Stuffy noses, hacking coughs and aches all over -- cold and flu season has arrived. Though your body may be aching and your nose running like a faucet, it can be difficult to decide if you should continue your exercise routine or take a temporary break.

"We all know that exercise is key to good health, but there are times that your body may need a break," said Keith Veselik, MD, director of primary care at Loyola University Health System. "Having to slow down when you're sick is Mother Nature's way of saying don't push it and it's reasonable to pay attention to that."

According to Veselik whether a person should exercise or not can be disease specific. When sick our bodies already are battling against an illness and that takes energy. For instance, adding the extra stress of exercising while sick can be dangerous for a person with a heart condition. A person with diabetes may need to monitor blood glucose levels more often, especially if one is not eating and drinking normally, as being ill may raise glucose levels and exercise may lower them. If you do have a medical condition and are not sure if you should exercise while sick Veselik suggests you call your doctor.

Still, Veselik says a general rule is that it's okay to exercise if your symptoms are above the neck, such as a sore throat or runny nose.

"If you aren't feeling well, but still want to exercise, lower your expectations about what you can do. You don't necessarily need to be in bed all day, but you can't expect to have the same level of energy as you would if you weren't sick," said Veselik.

But, it could be dangerous to exercise if you have the following symptoms
  • Fever Shortness of breath or chest congestion
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhoea or Vomiting
  • If you feel dizzy or light-headed when you stand up
When making the decision he also suggests thinking about where you will be exercising and who will be exposed to your illness.

"Though sharing is usually a good thing that's not the case when it comes to germs. If you are coughing and sneezing just skip the Zumba class or basketball game and go for a walk or run by yourself instead," said Veselik. "Also, always wipe down machines at the gym. You never who was using it before you."

He also warns to not get your expectations too high when returning to a normal exercise routine.

"People need to pace themselves when getting back into their routine. You won't be able to do as much right away and that's ok. Initially, it should be 50 percent effort and 50 percent duration. Listen to your body and increase according to what it tells you," said Veselik.

Ref: Loyola University Health System (2012, November 7). Stay in bed or feel the burn? What to do when you are sick.

Prison Art-Koestler Trust

I went to a fantastic art exhibition at the South Bank Centre in London this week. The exhibition is run by the Koestler Trust and displays art produced by offenders, secure patients and detainees. It's a free exhibition and one of the best I have seen in a long time. I will not go into the politics of rehabilitation through art, and other forms here, but will let the images do the talking.

The exhibition runs until the 25th of November 2012. Some of the art will be for sale at the end of the exhibition and proceeds from sales are divided between the artist (50%), victim support (25%) and the Koestler Trust (25/%).

There are too many paintings and sculptures that I would have love to included here (I don't know how the curator Sarah Lucas managed to pick from many thousands) but this is a small sample.

Spirit Level at Royal Festival hall. Southbank centre London SE1 8XX



Nancy Gilgoff assists Vrishchikasana


A photo from the workshop Nancy taught at my Putney Studio June 2012.

07 November 2012

Will Ferrell, Barack Obama, US elections

So the elections are over and the world can breathe a sigh of relief that Obama has been re-elected (well, I speak for myself here). This election promo made me laugh... Perhaps we should do something similar in the UK; David Cameron could get "Borat" on the case? Nominations start here....

01 November 2012

Postnatal massage

Here is an article about postnatal massage from Hajni Varadi, which was originally posted on the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy blog.

Postnatal massage
by Hajni Varadi,  sports & therapeutic massage therapist 
Women often ask me how soon they can have a massage after giving birth. I usually recommend at least 3 weeks after natural birth and 4-5 weeks after a caesarean.

It is advisable to allow time for the body to recover, heal and adjust to motherhood, as there are all sorts of new aches and pains to deal with. During pregnancy it is usually the lower back that hurts; however, with breastfeeding and carrying a baby, the muscles between the shoulder blades can get tight and sore. The neck can also be painful from constantly looking down. On top of this, hormonal changes in the body can sometimes cause postnatal depression.

I know it all sounds daunting, but on a cheery note, massage can help you feel human again. What's more, during the treatment you can have a well-deserved power nap! If you are breastfeeding and/or have had a caesarean, you will be in a side-lying position during the massage, supported by a specially designed cushion.

During pregnancy there are certain areas of the body, such as the inner ankles and the middle of the shoulders, that can't be stimulated very much because it can increase the risk of going to labour too early. Once you have had your baby, there are no restrictions to massage. You can have the tension in your shoulders kneaded away, and have your hands and feet massaged as well.

Ladies, whenever you feel ready, be it 3 weeks or 3 months after giving birth, treat yourselves to a massage. I look forward to seeing you at the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. 
If you would like more information about the postnatal massage services offered at the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, contact us on 020 9789 3881, send an email to info@putneyclinic.co.uk or visit our website.

27 October 2012

Pukka herbs

pukka: incredible organic herbs
I've just come across this amazing range of organic herbs-Not only are they organic and beautifully packaged but that have a fabulous name "Pukka herbs"

Im starting with the organic aloe Vera juice -Aloe is is excellent for skin conditions and has been used for many years to enhance beauty and aid digestion. It is also used to help regulate/stimulate the immune system. It is one of the few vegetarian sources of vitamin B12  and contains many minerals vital to the growth process and healthy function of the body.

Have to be completely honest and say Aloe Vera isn't the best tasting stuff to drink ( although this range isn't as bitter as some I have tasted) - but who cares if it works?......

I will post an update as I continue with the Aloe so watch this space and check out the large range of products available on-line from Pukka herbs



  organic, nutrient rich, inner leaf gel, 100% natural

Aloe Vera Juice         

25 October 2012

Saraswati in Gandhaberundasana, circa 1950

Saraswati in Gandhaberundasana, circa 1950.

I came across this photo on Ashtanga Yoga New York.

It is the only image I have seen of Saraswati practising yoga. She is now in her 70's and assists her son Sharath in Mysore.

24 October 2012

Spectacular autumn colours

At the beginning of the autumn I read we were in for an autumn of spectacular colours....What a delight the colours on offer are here in London-truly amazing at the moment-get out and enjoy before the wind takes the leaves away....