Angel face

"Practise with the face of an angel". Advice recently given to me, and slightly reluctantly received. What is an angel to me? I'm a good student, I try to see how I can follow the words of my teachers. But this? What business do I have seeking to present an angelic face to the world?... Continue Reading →

Invisible handstand

Some months ago I remember playing a private game in class, seeing if I could remain invisible to the teacher. I remember feeling smug that I'd got through the standing sequence without attracting any attention, while the students around me were given hands on assists or specific instruction. At the very moment when I was... Continue Reading →

Yoga everywhere

I recently got caught up in a discussion about 'Egyptian Yoga' and whether ancient representations of the human body in various shapes depict yoga asana. I know this is a fashionable idea in some circles as yogis seem to desperately seek some ancient validation of modern postural yoga. It's a nice idea, but intellectually dishonest,... Continue Reading →

Mini me

I spent time this weekend playing in my parents' garden with my little niece. She's four and a half, full of energy and apparently fearless. She loved rolling down the slope where my brother and I used to do the same thing several decades ago. She revelled in doing a run-up to perform multiple forward... Continue Reading →

Old ways, new ways

I got out of town this bank holiday weekend for a workshop plus kirtan. I've kept my yoga experiences pretty close to home for some time now, since my last visit to a new teacher was a bit more than I bargained for. Long story short: it's made me reluctant to leave the safety bubble... Continue Reading →

Keeping score

My teacher very rarely offers any comment on the quality (or qualities) of my yoga practice. I am never sure how to read this, never really sure how to read him as a teacher. Is he paying me a massive implicit compliment not imposing his perspective on me, trusting that I'll figure it all out... Continue Reading →

A quiet revolution

I saw my physio again today for my rotator cuff injury. We've been working on this together for 5 months or so. I find these appointments really interesting. They become a ground for self-observation as much as āsana practice or meeting with my yoga teacher are. When I first needed physio appointments I was not... Continue Reading →

Telling stories

Telling stories. Telling stories. RE-telling stories I was formally trained to study the past. I used to be an archaeologist. My academic training taught me that there's usually more than one interpretation of the evidence and if you follow the more radical post-modern theories the past is unknowable and all interpretations become equally valid... Death... Continue Reading →

Can I be of assistance?

I sit with the teacher a little before class. She talks about the weather and birdwatching, we talk about mundane weekend plans and what we're having for lunch. We also talk about the non-sense of 200 hour YTT programmes, how little they equip anyone for the reality of teaching. We consider the difficulty of assessing... Continue Reading →

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