Hands-on Yoga: combining the Alexander Technique with Gentle Hatha

Gentle hands-on touchPut together the postural analysis of Alexander Technique and a gentle approach to Hatha Yoga and you get Hands-on Yoga. Let me explain…

How many yoga practitioners regularly experience pain? Go on, admit it; even those of us who teach or practise a “gentle” style of yoga sometimes find that particular postures don’t agree with our lower backs, for example. Or as we get older our knees give us more-than-occasional twinges.

And how many of us get stuck with our practice? We find ourselves repeating the same routines without the freshness of the “beginner’s eyes” we once had?

Yoga in FranceI found a new perspective on both these problems when I was introduced to the Alexander Technique by one of my students.

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Is Yoga different in a place of worship?

imag3210At St Margaret’s Church in Streatham Hill, I’ve been teaching yoga by candlight each Monday evening over the last couple of months. And I’ve been suprised at how special the sessions have felt in the big space.

Early in the evening, warm light floods in through the large stained-glass west window. As the sun sets and the space darkens the flickering light of candles creates an intimate atmosphere.

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New Year Resolution workshop, January 8, London

finished_sun_rays1Want to make yoga or meditation a more central part of your life? Give mind, body and soul a boost with a workshop to help you develop and sustain your own regular yoga or meditation practice.

What they said last time:

“Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderfully inspiring time. Notes and moments are with me each day since, and I’m so grateful to have been able to join in. ” Jo Pardue
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Stronger together: in politics and in life

I constantly struggle with the tension between a life-long desire to change the world (still undiminished at 50!) and yoga’s ideas of acceptance and contenement with things just the way they are.

In the days since the momentous Brexit referendum result, it’s been hard for even the most detached yogi to avoid the murky world of politics. Almost every conversation I’ve had since waking up on June 24th has begun with expressions of disbelief and dismay.

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How I fixed my bad back in two weeks

savasanaTwo weeks ago I injured my back very badly. I’m not entirely sure what happened – something involving unloading the dishwasher, I think, but the result was extreme pain and an inability to sit or bend and even lie flat for any length of time.

I’d like to share with you here what I’ve done to get over this injury – as after only two weeks I’m back to almost normal function again. I’m convinced that without my yoga practice, it would have taken much, much longer.

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Have an un-Happy Christmas

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Christmas at “home” 2007

This will be the first Christmas without my Mum. And our boys’ first without any grandparents. So you’ll forgive me for feeling a little sad and nostalgic.

There will be no Christmas visit home this year. The small village in Nottinghamshire where I grew up remains the archetypal “home” of my imagination, even though I’ve lived in at least 14 other flats or houses in the last 30 years. The other morning shadows on my yoga room floor Continue reading

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A gift of yoga – to people in prison

prisoner savasanaFor the last couple of months I’ve been teaching a weekly yoga class to men coming towards the end of long prison sentences. Some were introduced to yoga in prison – for others this lunchtime session in probation service hostel is their first yoga experience.

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