Know yourself

Swadhyaya teaches us to know ourselves. Yoga is a journey of self-discovery and a journey of Self-discovery. We work constantly with self-awareness.

We’ll begin this week with kapalabhati, the skull-cleansing breath. Then we’ll stand for Salute to the Sun and Salute to the Earth.

Down through squat for some forward bends including our wide-legged challenge pose. Then a good stretch into the inclined plane.

Let’s explore the bent knee yoga sit-ups before lying down for the shoulderstand, plough and fish. On to a resting pose – the jellyfish or little bear. Then we’ll come up through boat and proceed to cool-downs and meditation. Here we’ll ask ourselves the eternal question, ‘Who am I?’

Relaxation will be all about listening to our bodies – listen to your toes, listen to your feet, listen to your lower legs etc. We’ll give our bodies a really good listening to!!

Half-term is February 22nd.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti


When contentment becomes your way of life

Santosha, contentment, is our watch word for this half-term. Can we firmly establish the state of contentment right here, right now?

We’ll commence this week with bridges. Let’s move through them all with mindfulness – mindfulness on the breath and mindfulness on the movement of the spine.

Now to lying twists, and then we’ll take a look at the shoulderstand. Those for whom shoulderstand is not suitable will work with the column – taking the legs high in the air, whilst supporting the lower back on the hands. From shoulderstand to plough, and then we’ll work with the fish.

Let’s introduce a dynamic movement, taking ourselves from shoulderstand to seated forward bend. This we’ll repeat several times, if possible.

Now let’s go into the seated forward bend and hold it. Can you feel that stretch through the back of the body? We’ll balance that with  a wonderful stretch through the front of the body – inclined plane. And then we’ll explore seated twists. These are marvellous for increasing the suppleness of the spine and also for the digestive system. Last week we mentioned the gunas. Yoga practice encourages us to choose satvik foods, organic fruits and vegetables and pure water. These lead us to a balanced state, contentment.

Okay, now to our challenge pose – camel, ustrasana. Here the suppleness of the spine comes into play. How well can we hold that bay window?!

Let’s use the child as a counter pose, and finish off with another twist – the mermaid.

Meditation features the universal hymn, the eternal mantra, OM. Relaxation connects us with our breath. How contented do you feel at the end of the class?

For my weekly students, next week is class as usual – the following week is half-term. So, no class on October 26th.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

The Alzheimer’s Solution

I was reading about a book by Dean and Ayesha Sherzai. It explains their research into Alzheimer’s disease and they give a list of ‘Six things to do right now’in order to prevent the disease. The first on the list is GIVE UP MEAT. This absolutely echoes our theme of Ahimsa, non-violence. Most yogis are vegetarian or vegan precisely because of the first rule of yoga.

This week we’ll begin with dancing legs and then move into an inversion, the shoulderstand. On to the plough and the fish, before working with nose-to-knee postures. We’ll follow these with bridges and then spinal twist. Coming to seated through the boat, we’ll move on to butterfly knees, our rather amusing balance, Merudandasana, and then we’ll work with the classical half-lotus posture. Our challenge is cow-face posture and I’m hoping that our previous work will have opened our hips well. This will serve us here. We’ll complete the asanas with cosmic egg.

Meditation is repetition of the mantra ‘OM Mani Padme Hum’ – the jewel in the heart of the lotus.

Relaxation is repetition again – this time OM on the in-breath and OM on the out-breath.

Next week is class as usual, but the following week is half-term. So no class on October 27th.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Inner energy and the classical path

It’s launch day for my latest book! YOGA POSES QUESTIONS is now available from Amazon and I’m delivering the pre-ordered books to my classes today and tomorrow.
This week’s class is continuing the theme of working with the inner energies. We’ll begin with the complete yoga breath, mahat pranayama. Then, after stretches and warm-ups, we’ll work with the classical poses: shoulderstand, plough, fish, nose-to-knee and twist. Coming up through the boat, we’ll meet forward bend, backward bend, twist, before coming on to all fours for the cat and the dog. The dog has been our challenge pose for this half-term.
Meditation is about sitting in the heart and experiencing being embraced by the energy of love. Relaxation is the foot movement from Kaya Kriya.
Our classes recommence on September 15th for a 12 week term. I do hope you enjoy your summer reading! YOGA POSES QUESTIONS explores all the queries you may have had but in novel form. It’s a follow-on to HOME FROM OM, but stands happily alone. Enjoy some healthy reading!
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Raja Yoga

As we continue our journey through the classical paths of yoga, this week we’ll be looking at Raja Yoga. Raja means royal or king, and this is the yoga of meditation. Our previous subject, Hatha Yoga, has led us here through self-awareness and a growing knowledge of our inner being.

Let’s begin by looking at the world from a different angle. We’ll practise shoulderstand, plough, fish and the bridges. After a gentle twist movement, we’ll work with supine side-stretches. Coming up through the boat, we’ll move on to the camel. Those with knee problems will be given an alternative.

All standing for the mountain pose! This is the posture that we’re repeating each week this half-term. We’ll continue into the mountain sequence, with the arms shoulder width apart

Now let’s attempt the tree balance. Can we open the arms wide like branches?

Back to the mat through the squat and, after the cool-downs, we’ll meditate on SO-HAM. We ‘think’ the sound ‘So’ on the in-breath, and the sound ‘Ham’ on the out-breath. These two sounds mean ‘I am that I am’. Raja yoga leads us to a deep understanding of ourselves.

Oh, do let’s have some sunshine for our relaxation! We’ll work with Surya Kriya and recharge our batteries.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Summer reading solved!

It’s the last class this week for the Thursday and Friday groups, but your summer reading is solved! ‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’ is available from Amazon, paperback and kindle version. Buy now! (You can also purchase it from this blog!)

This week, as a special end of term treat, we’re having Savasana as our challenge pose. Yes, it is actually possible to do relaxation pose incorrectly! I shall enjoy checking you all…

We’ll begin our asana practice with the shoulderstand, then onto the plough. We’ll progress to the fish, the nose-to-knee poses, the bridges and then the lying twists. After sitting up through the boat, we’ll do seated forward bend, backward bend and twists.

The meditation is a visualisation of the little white temple on the hill. Then the relaxation is the first part of Kaya Kriya, (I had such good feedback after this last week!)

Our focus will be on the challenge pose, Savasana, preparing us for a beautiful relaxed summer break!

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti


We live in such a busy world, but yoga says, ‘Don’t forget that all the peace you ever need is found within you.’

After the short relaxation and the warm-ups, we’re going to work with Dridha Kriya to realign the spine. Then we can try some side-stretches. We’ll follow these with the Shoulderstand, Plough and Fish. Let’s have some fun moving from Plough to Seated Forward Bend! Several times…

Once seated, we’re going through our routine to take us into Tortoise. Everyone is SO improving in this pose! Well done!

Now we’re going to swivel onto our abdomens and meet Cobra, Locust and Bow. Back up into Swan, and let’s stay on the knees for Bhramari, the bee-breath.

Meditation is a lovely combination working with the breath, imagery and the word ‘peace’.

Relaxation will bring that ‘peace’ to the 22 body parts.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti