Life, yoga and other adventures

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Friday, 31 August 2018

Nothing to see here

Nothing new to see here, but please pop over to my other blog: Life, yoga and other adventures, or you can find me on Facebook here.


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Put down that load

I've posted elsewhere that I'm getting ready to take some time off. I'm tired and need to recharge. It's not surprising, then, that this week I've been moved to teach classes based on letting go of tension in the hips.

I had an interesting conversation recently with a fellow teacher about how many people seem to be walking about fully clenched, as though they were scared their world was about to drop out of their nethers. This is a bit extreme, perhaps, but can there be any doubt that if you have amenable hips life is so much easier? Look at that frog: just hanging out in the pond in my garden. Make that your intention today: be more frog.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Student or teacher?

I don't get to a regular class at the moment, but last night I treated myself to a session with the lovely Claire Hyde. She used to be my student, but now she is my teacher and sounding board. The class was in a hall where I used to teach, so it really was like coming home.

It was a great session, based on hip openers and connecting with what's true. What was true for me last night was that my balance was rubbish! I was all over the place. Years ago I would have been very embarrassed, but last night it was just funny. Ego secure.

I know people read this blog; the stats tell me that. Why not go a step further and leave me a comment?

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Stripped Back

Photo by Louise Jensen
I was back at Rushton Hall last night not to teach an extra class, but for a gathering to mark the publication on my book, Stripped-back Yoga. It was a lovely evening, made all the more special by the support - and purchases! - of so many of my students who turned up, some of whom I hadn't seen for ages.

I made me realise, yet again, that I really do have the best job in the world.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Playing to the gallery

I took one of my classes outside this week, into the beautiful grounds of the hotel and spa where I'm lucky enough to teach. We found some shade on the manicured lawns, and as we lay down beneath the evening sky we could see red kites overhead and hear the distant sounds of the village cricket team practising. It was splendid.

The only thing that would have improved the setting would have been if the hotel hadn't been playing host to a conference that finished just as we were about the start. Delegates were pouring out on to the terrace with drinks and buffet food in hand jostling for position, not to find a table, but rather a spot on the steps leading down to the garden for a good view.

We didn't mind, really. We have enough inward focus not to be distracted by clinking glasses and chatter, but we did wonder what they thought of us sticking our tails in the air while they were enjoying their chicken legs. What was really funny was how they made no secret of the fact that they were watching us. I almost expected a round of applause when we finally rolled up our mats and headed back inside.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

'I'm like a bird'

It was a challenge at the gym today. The car park was heaving, because there was a conference on next door; the online booking system is still showing classes are full when they're not; and the air conditioning wasn't working. It was a sticky start in many ways.

Because the room was so hot, we agreed to keep the doors open. One door opens on to the corridor leading to the changing rooms and the swimming pool, so there was a constant stream of folk going past our session. Many were talking loudly into their phones and quite a few stopped to have a look at us with our tails in the air.

The other door opens on to a reception area, where people were chatting and clinking coffee cups, and loud music was playing. We acknowledged the distraction, but tried to keep our focus inwards, like good yogis. I smiled on the outside. Highlight of the session came when we were moving into  Eagle posture, just as Lynyrd Skynrd's 'Freebird' came on.

Honestly, you couldn't make it up.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Taking flight

There was a lovely mis-hearing in class this weekend, when a student thought she'd been asked to make 'evil arms'. The request was actually for Eagle arms.

Mind you, Garudasana can be a tricky blighter and is definitely not one you could pick up from a book - for example, in Asana, Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswait, the go-to text for many teachers and from where I've taken the accompanying image, the instructions are:

Bend the elbows and bring them in front of the chest. Twist the forearms around each other with the left elbow remaining below. Place the palms together to resemble an eagle's beak. 

Got that?! Students blessed with an ample bosom might fall at the first instruction. I maintain you could simply bring the backs of the hands together and still reap the benefits in terms of awareness and focus. Find a good teacher to talk you through the finer points. It's not worth tying yourself in knots over it.