Standards for yoga teaching or empire building?

Person sitting

Yoga was recently in the mainstream media (BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the Guardian, the Daily Mail and iNews) over a plan for national occupational standards for yoga teacher training in the UK. The media would not usually report something which sounds rather dry unless there was a controversy, but before I get onto all … Continue reading Standards for yoga teaching or empire building?

International Day of Yoga 2016

Logo for International Day of Yoga

International Day of Yoga (IDY) is on 21 June 2016, the second time the world has celebrated this UN day. And having such a day is a good opportunity to either practise yoga on Tuesday 21st, or maybe reflect on what yoga means to you. If you can't get to a yoga class on Tuesday, … Continue reading International Day of Yoga 2016

Retreats and reflecting on practice and non-attachment

Sofa

Going on a retreat can help you contemplate stuff and reflect on things, partly because you have physically retreated from your usual schedule, activities, connections (if you turn devices off!), and other distractions for the mind. A yoga retreat can also introduce us to new things to practise*, we may have the opportunity to practise … Continue reading Retreats and reflecting on practice and non-attachment

Twists and fishes

Yoga pose

Last week in the intermediate class we focused on twists: lying, sitting, kneeling and standing. I don't know why, but I love twists; I just find them very enjoyable. The benefits of twists are outlined in this brief article and include digestive and spinal benefits. If you want to look up some twists there's various … Continue reading Twists and fishes

Women, yoga history and new understandings

Stone statue of woman goddess

We probably think we know what the history of women in yoga is. My assumptions were that yoga was originally, and until about 100+ years ago, a male-dominated (or even male only) tradition. This is what most books and articles say. However, recent research on the history of yoga e.g. Norman Sjoman's book on the … Continue reading Women, yoga history and new understandings

Supported shoulderstand and variations

Teddy bear in shoulderstand pose

Feeling a bit jaded with your classic straight up supported shoulderstand (salamba sarvangasana)? Last week in my classes we looked at shoulderstands and several of the variations you can do. For the gentle/beginners' class the options were: legs on a chair (lie flat on the mat, calves resting on a chair seat) legs up wall … Continue reading Supported shoulderstand and variations

Yoni Shakti – a book review

Image of the book cover

This is a huge book. Huge in size, huge in scope, and huge in terms of the content. My review here will not do justice to all c.650 pages of Yoni Shakti: a woman's guide to power and freedom through yoga and tantra. Having finished reading it almost a year ago, in my mind it … Continue reading Yoni Shakti – a book review