Country mouse yogini

I committed the ultimate London yoga studio faux pas — I spoke to people in the changing room!! I had had a great class. …Well apart from two name calls from the teacher during class which I found slightly embarrassing — being asked to translate Sanskrit after the opening chanting (of course not a chant I…

Ways of seeing

I saw an old friend in London this weekend (in between a yoga class and the final day of the Paul Nash exhibition at the Tate — what a great day!). We had lots of wonderful conversation. One thing that struck me was her comments about her ageing body. She’s just about to turn 40 and is…

Tired of tired

I’ve seen a couple of news items recently about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Two different research teams coming up with different hypotheses about what triggers abnormal fatigue. Both firm in their message that this is a physiological, not psychological, condition. There’s even some hint of a drug treatment… perhaps. The New Scientist piece was even accompanied…

Mantra-asana

I boldly offered my teacher some unsolicited thoughts recently about how to chant the mantra we’re working with in class at the moment. I should probably refrain from doing that, but it was interesting to receive a comment back about how the mantra changes with time, as he repeats the chant. I wonder how much chanting…

The silence of yoga

I was introduced to the concept of mauna this week. Silence, the silence that underlies everything, the real essence and heart of things. Not just an absence of noise, but something more profound. Something essentially beyond description. I wonder: is the practice of yoga just about learning to get comfortable with this quality of silence, the essential loneliness of existence? And perhaps…

Optimistic hopping

Spring is in the air — I’ve even opened the window during home practice today. I’m feeling a bit uplifted. I had a wonderful one to one with my teacher this week and it’s perked me up as always and inspired me. I had optimistically hoped to be handstanding like a pro after some dedicated attention, but…

Barriers and hurdles

I was at a workshop at the weekend in London with a fancy American teacher, someone whose published work I really like. It was a fascinating afternoon and I learned a lot, even though it was more a very long led sequence than a workshop as such. There was no time for questions or discussion, unfortunately. I…

Open invitation

Jon Kabat-Zinn (the father of secular mindfulness) could have been talking about yoga when he said “As long as you are breathing there is more right with you than wrong with you”. But he wasn’t. He was (as I recall) talking about living with a chronic illness and finding a place of positivity from which…

Sticky negativity

I always learn so much from a visit to the physio. It’s fascinating observing similarities and differences between therapeutic exercises and manipulation and the practice of āsana and physical assists in class. I was back yesterday with ongoing shoulder issues which is turning into a longer story than I wanted. No boring details here, but…

In praise of husbands — and KD

So I am BEYOND EXCITED that I have just booked tickets for Krishna Das’s kirtan in London this summer. Anyone else going, I wonder? And I am also beyond excited that a beautiful friend of mine (lost for more than a decade, recently very happily reunited) is coming with me. She’s new to KD, new…