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The Mystery of Mudra Part Two…

Sixth is the Mula Bandha, described as where the apana is drawn upwards through the contraction of the anus, reversing its usual journey and so could be considered symbolically ‘transformative’. Seventh is Jalandhara Bandha where the throat is contracted and the chin is pressed firmly against the chest which symbolically prevents the amrita (nectar) from […]

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The Dark Space of Yoga

Since I have started to practice the Ashtanga sequence my attitude to it has changed greatly. To begin with it seems that your body will not behave and your mind doesn’t a hope in Hell as a consequence. Sometimes your body begins to feel like this heavy ungainly lump, full of problems and self consciousness- […]

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Parivrtta Trikonasana- the element of twist

Parivrtta means ‘revolved’ or turned around; it is the revolving triangle position. Reversal is an important theme within Yoga- to turn something around, approach it in a different way is a relevant theme is asana practice, the classic example being the headstand. This posture is known as an ‘open frame’ standing pose. The nature of […]

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A little background to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika dates from the mid- fourteenth century CE and is the work of Svatmarama who was a follower of the Shaiva Yoga tradition of Andhra. In the beginning of the text we find a salutation to Shiva which acknowledges the Natha tradition of Yoga. ‘Natha’ can be translated as ‘Lord’ or ‘Master’ […]

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From bondage to bandhas

The word ‘bandha’ means ‘to bind’, and yes, is probably related to bondage in a sense. Bandhas are something you will probably be familiar with if you ever go to Ashtanga classes but they refer to a specific type of awareness and to engaging certain areas of the body to contain the flow of the […]

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Meditation- stepping towards Dharana

This is a real favorite of mine. I favour non flowery meditations. The simpler the meditation the more scope there is for your own experience and more silence through which your inner voice can be heard. And this one works- it takes you somewhere else entirely and I often use it in class. After endeavouring […]

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Yoga, Love and Addiction

I was inspired to write this by a couple of things that have been on my mind. And a couple of things people have said or written this week. I was thinking about the circular development of a Yoga practice, how, on this, ride certain things get dropped and then are picked up again, one […]

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What is Prana?

Prana is a term that is heard so frequently in a Yoga context it is easy to be vague about what it actually refers to. In ‘The Tree of Yoga’ Iyengar writes, ‘Prana means energy. Cosmic energy, individual energy, sexual energy, intellectual energy, all are prana. It is even said that prana causes sun and […]

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Why ‘Diva’?

The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. The plural of the word in English is “divas”; in Italian, dive [?di?ve]. The basic sense of the term is “goddess”, the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo), a male deity. […]

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