The Notebook

What a Difference a Teacher Makes

I was recently told a story by someone who used to do Iyengar classes with a teacher who would direct rather personal comments to her students during their practice, including bluntly telling one poor lady on more than one occasion that she was “too chunky” (!)  Not surprisingly, she didn’t keep those classes up, despite…

Chakra-ising the Asana with Stewart

I think I’ve met a True Yogi. At the weekend I had the great privilege of attending a workshop led by Stewart Gilchrist at my yoga home. During a two and a half hour class titled ‘Chakra-ise the Asana’  Stewart taught us about the chakras (our wheels or nerve centres of power) in relation to…

Things I Never Expected from Yoga – No.2…

Sweat Neurosis There was an ad I saw on London Underground years ago for a women’s anti-perspirant with the caption: ”Women don’t sweat, they glow…  I glow buckets”.  For anyone who may have seen the spoof disaster movie, ‘Airplane’ the easiest way I can describe it is that it’s like Ted Striker – the ex-pilot…

Astanga

I have just begun Astanga classes at my yoga home.  This is not my very first experience of The Primary Series.  I had a brief introduction years ago on a series of beginners’ classes with Leela Miller.  Leela was incredible, but I never went back beyond those classes.  I felt so intimidated by my surroundings…

Things I Never Expected from Yoga – No. 1…

That It Would Show Me I Have ‘Issues’… I’ve realised that I have a bit of an issue with accepting my limitations.  While I am gradually learning and experiencing the benefits of the internal practice, at times I have a real struggle with the external, focusing on the physical aspects – namely what I ‘cannot’…

Savasana and Shopping Lists

Belly rise, belly fall… What Sesleri am I going to have for dinner?  Belly rise… I can’t believe how much I’m sweating!?  I’m pretty sure I’m sweating more than anyone else in the room.  Belly rise… I’m a woman – women aren’t supposed to sweat this much!  Belly rise, belly fall… I could probably sweat…

What you focus on…

Well… less than week after writing about not being able to do headstands, I managed to do two <span within three 2015 days!  First in Astanga class then during an amazing master class at Yogahaven led by one of my favourite teachers, Allie Hill. With guidance and having the posture clearly broken down, step-by-step, I was…

Feeling the Fear

I have a fear of rodents (squirrels don’t count – it’s the fluffy tails, I guess), Chuggers and handstands.  Handstands and other inversions.  They strike fear into my core – something akin to what might be felt by a cow who has just been smiled at by the Burger King, maybe…  Even as a kid…

Union

Yoga means union… I dabbled a bit in yoga over the years.  From the odd class at the local gym to the course I signed up for and never returned to after week one (as I rolled out my mat the teacher told me, “You can’t go there – Melanie goes there every week”…) Then…