Holiday Reading

I know it’s usual to read a trashy novel while you are on your holibobs…

But maybe this year try something new? Why not settle down to a bit of yoga reading? You never know you might find it motivates you to do a bit of summer yoga.

 

apmb

My trusty yoga bible – if you only get one yoga book in your life, make it this one. It really does include everything you need to know. Some (about 10 percent) is a little bit bonkers, and really only for those having been brought up in the East with yoga since they were a kid – but the majority is sensible stuff giving plenty of background reading to the topics we cover in class. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Sw Satyanada Saraswati

Pain free

Not a yoga book but this is a must for anyone living with a pain in the (insert your area here). Pete Egoscue has a fantastic, down to earth approach to pain – really that you have caused it by your own health and habits and that you can cure it by altering your ways… It’s not exactly yoga but uses many of the principles and asanas with a matter of fact ‘get off your butt’ manner. Please let me know if you get a copy and follow the advice, I’m always curious to find out how people have got on. Pain Free by Pete Egoscue

Mudras book

This book is a fabulous course in yoga for the hands and shows all the various mudras and asana practices for overcoming lifes ups and downs. It’s an enjoyable read to pick up and put down besides being a great guide for mudra and meditation. Yoga in you Hands by Gertrud Hirschi.

All I want for Christmas…

As Christmas is coming up I thought you might like to see a selection of the books I draw inspiration from… they may make an excellent stocking filler for yourself or perhaps for a loved one –

Pain free

This book is a must for anyone living with a pain in the (insert your area here). Pete Egoscue has a fantastic, down to earth approach to pain – really that you have caused it by your own health and habits and that you can cure it by altering your ways… It’s not exactly yoga but uses many of the principles and asanas with a matter of fact ‘get off your butt’ manner. Please let me know if you get a copy and follow the advice, I’m always curious to find out how people have got on. Pain Free by Pete Egoscue

apmb

My trusty yoga bible – if you only get one yoga book in your life, make it this one. It really does include everything you need to know. Some (about) 10 percent is a little bit bonkers, and really only for those having been brought up in the East with yoga since they were a kid – but the majority is sensible stuff giving plenty of background reading to the topics we cover in class. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Sw Satyanada Saraswati

Mudras book

If you have enjoyed the mudras we have been working on this year – then this is the one for you. This book is a fabulous course in yoga for the hands and shows all the various mudras and asana practices for overcoming lifes ups and downs. It’s an enjoyable read to pick up and put down besides being a great guide for mudra and meditation. Yoga in you Hands by Gertrud Hirschi

mudras cards

Again by Gertrud Hirschi, this is a pack of 68 cards each containing a mudra and practice – if you have enjoyed these in class then this is a perfect gift for you! I would recommend sorting the cards into the different themes so that you can select a calming practice, for example at night and a more recharging practice in the morning. On the other hand, you could always just chose one and work on that for a month or so… or chose the one that is offering the healing that you require at that time. Endless possibilities! Enjoy Mudras for your body, mind and spirit by Gertrud Hirschi

 

Workshop – What is Pranayama?

Nadi sodhana

Well done to all who came along this morning despite the blustery wet and windy weather and took part in the ‘What is Pranayama?’ workshop.

We spent time learning about the journey of our breath and understanding that the foundations of pranayama – or pre-pranayama really have to be laid before we can begin the feel that fabulous effects of the practices themselves.

That said all were inspired to learn about the Nadi Shodhana practice (alternate nostril breathing) and there were some very balanced and peaceful faces leaving the room at the end of the morning.

“That was a real treat.” said Hazel

“Thanks for a wonderful morning.” said Robyn

It’s my pleasure, as always, to introduce and remind students, new and old to these ancient and yet so very needed practices in this day and age.

Sitting Pretty

EasyPoseWithSupport_01_300x350

Using your soft blocks or a rolled up blanket will really help you to maintain an upright posture for the duration of our pranayama practice. As you can see from the picture the pelvis is raised above the knees and this means that there is less strain on the thigh muscles. Also notice that the hips are tilted slightly forwards – this lady has rather a flat lumbar area – but you may find for yourself that your lumbar curve is more pronounced and this is usual. The lumbar finds it’s natural curve to support the upper sections of the spine and head, and the tilt of the pelvis enables the pelvic floor to relax into its natural position to support the abdominal contents.

There are many options with the feet – you can lay one in front of the other or stack the heels on top of each other. As your hips soften and open you may try full lotus with the tops of the feet on the thighs – though this extreme version of the posture can cause damage to the knee joints.  And for some of us our bone structure means it will always be out of reach.

Be very careful if you have internally rotating hips (knees face inwards when your legs are outstretched in Dandasana) not to put undue pressure on the hips or knees.  Additional support may be required under 1 or both knees – again you can use a rolled up blanket or towel for this. The key is to feel as though you are a ‘tripod’ supporting the spine – you feel relaxed but effortlessly stable and are able to focus the mind completely.