I didn’t want to be a yoga teacher. I just wanted to learn more about the thing I loved. Yoga had made a big difference to my life at a time when everything seemed to be falling apart. I was depressed, anxious and facing many challenges that seemed insurmountable. As my yoga practice developed, my fractured, confusing existence began to evolve into a rich and full life that was filled with hope and opportunities. Once things were back on the rails, I wanted to learn how and why yoga had made such profound changes to my body, mind and relationships. After signing up for a few short workshops, I realised that teacher training would be the best way of getting a thorough and deep understanding of yoga.Read More
Does your regular yoga class include pranayama? Pranayama, yoga breathing techniques, can have a more profound impact on your health and wellbeing than any number of yoga poses. Depending on the technique you choose, pranayama can:
- Soothe anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Boost energy
- Bring balance
- Create instant calm
- Reduce headaches/migraines
- Release muscle tension/pain
- Promote healing from chronic disease by reducing inflammation in the body
So how does it work? And why isn’t everybody doing it?Read More
When I was 21 I had a nervous breakdown. Well, that’s what the doctor said. A toxic combination of untreated depression, exam worries and self-medication with a variety of substances tipped me into a year of hell.
Nobody knew what to do with me. The doctors prescribed drugs, my mother ran out of ideas (for the first time in her life) and most of my friends drifted away when they realized things weren’t going back to normal any time soon.Read More
I’m deeply committed to high quality yoga teaching. It’s been my life, my passion, and my reason for getting up in the morning for over 25yrs. But I’ve been listening to a number of yoga teachers in recent months who would love to undertake advanced teacher training, but find the barriers insurmountable.
Good yoga teachers never, ever stop learning, but high quality yoga teacher training isn’t accessible to everybody. That’s a problem for both the yoga teachers who are deprived of the opportunity for professional development and their students – everybody deserves access to a well trained yoga teacher. So why isn’t it happening? I've identified four key barriers to quality yoga teacher training:Read More
Looks like Valentines Day is on the way again. Are you hoping for flowers and romance?
While it’s nice to be adored, it’s a truism that we have to love ourselves first. No matter how much attention is showered on us by friends and lovers, if we don’t love ourselves enough to truly believe we’re worth all the effort, we can remain curiously unsatisfied (and even anxious– “What if they find out I’m really not that nice/pretty after all and abandon me?!”)
If you can’t offer yourself love and compassion, it’s hard to believe you deserve it from somebody else. And the worst culprits for neglecting to appreciate and care for themselves? Women who spend a lot of time caring for others. OK, disclosure time. That’s me too.Read More
What does the word ‘Bed-time’ conjure up for you? Images of fluffy pillows and crisp white sheets? Maybe a glass of warm milk and a good book? If you’re the parent of a young child, chances are the images in your head are not quite so tranquil!
Bed time is often the most challenging part of the day.Read More
Yeah, that was me. I'd spent years thinking about meditating, reading articles about it and telling my friends how good it was. I even bought a meditation cushion. But I never got around to actually meditating. I tried to concentrate on those breathing exercises at the end of my yoga classes, but my mind kept wandering off to domestic tasks, jobs left undone, shopping lists to write etc. etc. etc.Read More
At first, I thought it was the weather – a wet week often sees student numbers drop at the yoga studio. Then the sun came out, but the students didn’t return.
In my heart of hearts, I knew why my students had gone. I was a rotten teacher. I hadn’t started off that way. My passion for sharing the healing magic of yoga had seen my classes numbers build, with many students coming back term after term.
But things had changed and I knew I wasn’t giving my students what they needed. I couldn’t. I had nothing left to give.
Stretching can feel great when your back muscles are tight. But deep forward bends are not the way to tackle chronic back pain. In fact, it can make things worse.
An increasing number of yoga teachers are recommending long, deep forward bends for lower back pain. Ask most new-ish yoga teachers how to help a sore lower back and they’re likely to pick a forward bend to 'release' the back. That’s a problem. Especially if there are bulging intervertebral discs involved. Worse still is the emphasis placed on holding the forward bend and the lack of focus on moving safely out of it. Injuries are much more likely to occur during the transition into and, especially after a deep forward bend, out of a position, rather than while holding the posture itself.
So how can yoga help somebody with lower back pain and bulging discs? There are two key steps:Read More
Are you feeling the heat? I love hanging out at the beach with my kids in summer, but take me away from the cooling sea breeze and I get a bit hot under the collar (translation: grumpy). Maybe it's something to do with being English, but when the temperature soars, I need to cool down quickly!
Yoga offers some great tools to beat the heat, from cooling breathing techniques to diet and lifestyle changes. I've been practicing Sitali this week, a cooling pranayama (breathing technique) that never fails to beat the heat. If you feel irritable, drowsy or hot and bothered in summer, you can use Sitali throughout the day to take the heat out of things and leave you feeling calm, cool and in control. This video will show you how with a simple, step by step guide!Read More