I have said it before, and I say it again – shoulderstand is truly a thing of beauty. With the right combination of strength and flexibility, it can be elegance and grace personified. It is iconic and SO photogenic – a social media ‘go-to’ pose that all yogi’s want to be able to do from the moment they discover yoga. Nicknamed the ‘Queen of poses’ – shoulderstand is considered to be cooling; stimulates the calming (parasympathetic) side of the autonomic nervous system; and is reputed to assist in resolving a wide range of medical problems. It demands significant upper body and core strength plus beautifully open chest and shoulders – all wrapped up in a healthy dose of confidence in being upside down. So easy when you are a child – so much harder as an adult! (more…)
Yoga has become a huge part of British popular culture, but back in the 1950s and 60s, it was an exotic and ‘foreign’ activity. We’ve all heard of the male teachers who brought about the popularisation of yoga in the UK – world-famous figures, such as B. K. S. Iyengar and Sri K Pattabhi Jois – but did you know that there were two female yoga teachers who played a crucial part? We didn’t either!
So, let’s play our part in celebrating the role of women in yoga and the history of yoga in this country. (more…)
Yoga is a vast subject, and just when you think you know all about it, a whole new yogic practice hoves into view that you know nothing about – step forward, kirtan. So what’s the story of kirtan? Put simply, it is yogic chanting, meditation through song, or communal meditation. It is an ancient practice that is being brought bang up-to-date and steadily rising in popularity here in the UK. So here’s a handy guide to kirtan, from its ancient origins to its modern-day form. (more…)
Ancient Babylonians were thought to be the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, roughly 4,000 years ago. They weren’t quite the same format as the ones we make today (reduce my screen time), and their New Year was in March (marking the planting of the new crops). But if we want someone to blame, we can start with them.
Every year we start the new year filled with good intentions. This year we’re going mould ourselves into a shinier, thinner, kinder, richer version of ourselves and not fall at the first hurdle and…oh, we just fell…
The same applies to New Year’s ‘yoga resolutions’. So here are some ideas about how to make New Year’s yoga resolutions and actually stick to them, so that by the end of this year, you can look back with a glow of pride, not a large helping of self-contempt. (more…)
‘Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, children singing Christ-i-an rhyme’, go the lyrics of possibly the most saccharine Christmas song ever, although there are quite a few contenders. Naff Christmas music is just one of the many irritants that you’ll probably have to survive over the next few weeks, but there are a few ways out!