Thursday, 29 January 2009

Well done Thursday Yogis

Well the new class on Thursday's at the ski club is up and running now and I hope you are all getting into the swing of it. The class comprises of some new members who are new to yoga and who did really well for their first ever session. The rest of the class is made up of those now doing two sessions a week, which I am delighted to see so many of you doing. I hope you will all be reaping the benefits both physically and mentally very soon!

For those of you new to class check out your email. I have sent you an attachment which shows the sun salutations. Print it out, have it at the front of your mat to help you remember the sequence and practice them at home.

See you all next week. Have a fab weekend.

Jo x

Friday, 23 January 2009

Someone sent me this article about whether or not yoga should be a competitive sport - they are trying to get it introduced in to the olympics! Anyway, thought some of you might be interested to have a look. To put it into context - Patanjali the ancient sage who thousands of years ago wrote the yoga sutras, the first written texts about the study of yoga, refers to the eight limbs of yoga, one of which is yamas (which would equate to moral codes). One of the yamas is non-competitiveness.

The video is worth a watch simply for the grace, control and strength on display - awesome!

Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Jo x

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Practice makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect - that's what my mother always told me! This certainly applies to the more challenging yoga postures. Even the most flexible of us, have postures we find difficult and which our bodies aren't ready to do yet, and my mothers mantra comes to mind at these times.

We've been having a bit of fun (at least it's my idea of fun) in the level 2 ashtanga class trying out the more challenging postures in the primary series. Rachel and Fiona have been lamenting on their blogs that they will never be able to do bhujapidasana one of the ones we were trying out and which I use as my profile picture. But here they are in the full posture having received a little helping hand from me. Keep practicing and it wont be long before your body will be ready and you'll be doing it all by yourself!!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Hi Everyone

As mentioned in my blog recently some of you have been asking me about the wii fit yoga and I asked for some feedback as I haven't used it myself. Sinead one of my students who has been doing ashtanga for some time has and has been kind enough to give me some feedback, so here it is. Jo x :

We got the wii fit mainly for kids games but I did think it
> wld be good to try as well. It certainly wldn't replace
> a yoga practice or class as it doesn't warm you up -
> you start with about 5 postures and as you get good at them
> you can unlock others to try - a lot of the postures are
> familiar to me but some new ones. The good thing is that
> the board shows where your centre of gravity is for each
> posture so u can whether although u appear to be doing the
> posture if you are actually using ur core to stablise - very
> good for me. The bad thing is it wld take a while to unlock
> enough postures to get a proper practice out of it and also
> it doesn't flow well so u don't the same mental
> focussing and relaxation cos u have to keep pressing buttons
> and the trainer keeps blabbing on when ur not interested in
> her and want to move on. I think I will use it as something
> to do every few wks to remind myself of where my centre of
> gravity is and see if my balance has improved. I don't
> think it's worth buying if you want help to practice at
> home you would be better with an ashtanga primary series dvd
> or just the photo's of the poses.
Hi everyone

Someone asked me to repost the meditation technique I had posted a few weeks ago coz they couldn't find it in my blog archive, so here it is! Enjoy!

Higher Hum: Breath and Mantra Meditation
The following meditation is based upon the mantra "so hum," ("I am that") used within the traditions of Tantra and Vedanta.
By Shiva Rea.

Mantra, the chanting of sacred words or sounds, is a central part of yogic meditation. Mantra comes from the combination of two syllables: "man," meaning "to reflect" or "be aware," and "tra," meaning "tool for" or "agent of." A mantra is a tool for reflection and the cultivation of awareness, and is used for both concentration and contemplation on the Source.

Within yoga, mantras are based upon sounds that reflect the energy of our divine nature. Om is considered to be the universal, consummate mantra. The following meditation is based upon the mantra "so hum," ("I am that") used within the traditions of Tantra and Vedanta. Since "so hum" also indicates the sound of the breath, it is a mantra that repeats itself effortlessly.

Find a comfortable posture for meditation (seated on a cushion or blanket, in a chair or against a wall). Place your palms facing up in jnana mudra (forefinger and thumb touching) with your palms facing up to open your awareness or facing down to calm the mind. Scan your body and relax any tension. Let your spine rise from the ground of the pelvis. Draw your chin slightly down and let the back of your neck lengthen.

Bring your attention to the tidal rhythm of your breath, feeling the rise and fall of your inhalation and exhalation. As your focus settles on your breath, begin to employ the simple mantra "so hum." As you inhale, say "so" silently to yourself, and as you exhale say "hum." Keep your focus on the sensation of your breath while silently repeating the sacred syllables, "so hum." As you drink your inhalation, gently drawing your breath along the base of your throat, listen for the sound of "so." As you exhale, listen for the sound of "hum" as your breath is amplified in the throat.

Let your mind become absorbed in the sound of so hum-in your internal chanting and your actual breath. As if you were watching the waves of the ocean, let your mind be naturally drawn into presence and stillness—no place to go, nothing to do, so hum, so hum. If a thought (vritti) arises, come back to the mantra so hum.

In the beginning, it may be helpful to set an external timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes so you are not distracted. When you are finished, bring your hands together in anjali mudra (prayer position) and close with a moment of gratitude, reflection, or prayer to soak up the energy of your meditation into your being and life.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


I was at a QiGong workshop this weekend with Shen Bowers an inspirational teacher who teaches this ancient art all over the world. Everytime I do QiGong I learn a bit more about the energy in my body and how to cultivate it and I always come back feeling very energised and incredibly relaxed. He also has some very inspirational words of wisdom to share with us and I came back from the workshop feeling very positive. If you ever get the chance to give QiGong a go, try it - it's fab!

I also got very sore calf muscles!!!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Blanefield Class

Just a reminder to everyone - Blanefield class does not start until next week 14th January. See you then. Jo x

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Happy New Year and Wobbly Legs

Hello yogis

If its any consolation my legs are really sore too!!!! I had a fortnight of no yoga to try and recover from an injury I have had, so the sessions I have done with you this week have been as tough for me as they were for you. Anyway hope the stretch has rid you of the sluggishness that comes with christmas festivities.

Just out of interest - I have had a few people ask me if I have tried the wii fit yoga and what I think about it, I have not, so cannot comment but I would appreciate some feedback if anyone has tried it.

See you all next week.

Jo x