Breathe to still the mind

Here is a classic yoga practice to help still a busy mind and find some calm.   Alternate nostril breathing  1. Sitting upright and comfortably, have three big sighs  4. Block your right nostril and breathe in through the left 5. Block your left nostril and breathe out through the right 6. Keep your left nostril blocked […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 25: days of nothing

Nothing to report. Seriously. I’m not doing anything or seeing anyone. Every day seems very much like the day before. I can’t draw on profound thoughts or insights as I’m not having any. My preoccupations are boring, even to me. But purely as a matter of historical record for myself, I will record them here. […]

Diary of a Lockdown, day 10 – closer to home

Only a month ago, only 40 people in the UK had contracted the Coronavirus and no one had yet died. Less than a week ago I was writing here of a ‘calm before the storm‘ – as the mounting number of cases still seemed remote from our socially distanced little bubble. Now that’s all changed; […]

Beat the flu and boost your immune system with restorative yoga

With news headlines warning us of the spread of the Corona flu virus, now is the time to take steps to boost our immune systems. High on the NHS list of ways to stay healthy this winter are getting good sleep, reducing stress, and eating foods such as berries and garlic. You can find effective […]

Menopause is normal – and so are female bodies

Yesterday was national menopause day  – accompanied by a slew of press articles, many bossily telling us how to ‘sail through’ this phase of life as if nothing were happening.  The transitions going on in our bodies are often referred to as ‘symptoms’ that need to be ‘treated’. The assumption behind this medicalised approach, presumably, […]

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

Put 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 […]

Is Yoga different in a place of worship?

At 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 […]

How I fixed my bad back in two weeks

Two 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 […]

A gift of yoga – to people in prison

For 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. The class is about an hour long and usually starts […]

Turning 50 – my autumn years?

I turn 50 tomorrow. I can’t quite believe it. I feel more like 15: still a bit nervous when I meet new people, uncomfortable with figures of authority, curious about the world, full of awe for its beauty, and longing for connection with my fellow human beings. But I have to face it; I am […]