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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Yoga in India

I write this as I am midway through planning my next trip to India. Teachers and students of Yoga in the UK seem to be divided on this issue. Do you have to go to India to study Yoga? My instinctive response is ‘No’. Transformation occurs within you, wherever you happen to be. I wouldn’t […]

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Yoga – the true meaning of core strength

When Yoga is presented as a fitness routine, or, a workout for ‘core strength’ I find it a little distasteful …Christians don’t go to church because singing hymns is a great ‘metabolism booster’ after all. And yet- there is good reason why people promote it in this way. The kind of strength that is developed […]

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Sun Child- The Ritual of Surya Namaskar

I always begin my asana practice with sun salutations. There is a lot of debate surrounding this sequence. Naturally it is an integral part of the primary series of Ashtanga. Otherwise it is often something that is skimmed over or barely tolerated. When I studied in an Indian ashram I was told by an incredible […]

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Tadasana the Temple

One of my very very favourite books is ‘Dancing the Body of Light’ by Dona Holleman. It is worth its weight in gold and if I only was allowed one book on the physical aspects of Yoga it would be hers. In it she gives an exhaustive account of correct stance in ‘tadasana’- mountain pose. […]

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