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Simon Borg-Olivier in Baddha Hasta Janu Simhasana; lengthening hip flexors and breathing diaphragmatically allows the body to smoothly bend backwards (spinal extension) along the complete length of the spine 0

How to Relieve Back-pain and Bend Backwards Without Hurting your Lower Back

How to ‘open’ your mid-spine in back bends and not squash your lower back:  Lengthen your Psoas at the hips (hip extension) and immobilse L5-S1 Breathe in to your abdomen (use your diaphragm) Breathe out from your chest (ha-uddiyana bandha) Psoas then extends your spine from T12-L5 (and not L5-S1) because the diaphragm attaches to the psoas, which joins to...

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This Body

Titles can be tricky, especially in this society of speed, sound-bites and stimulants. Other options included ‘What happened in the summer holidays’ and ‘My appendix, the NHS, sangha and sustainability’. It began on the first Saturday of August. A busy day with many commitments. In the afternoon I was feeling a bit unwell – nothing too serious. I mused to...

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Kundalini, Chakras, Prana and Two Real Intertwining Snakes

In this blog I want to discuss some points about Kundalini energy and Chakras. Much of the information available on the subject of Kundalini is esoteric and so not easy to justify with rational conventional science. I think the best explanation of the science of kundalini comes from Jana Dixon and her excellent book ‘The Biology of Kundalini”. The main purpose...

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Mula Bandha and Float Backs

Part 1: The Three Bandha The word Bandha can be defined variously as “lock”, “blockage” and “doorway”. Mula Bandha is the lower lock, meaning “root” or “earth”. There are a few definitions that I like regarding MB, so I wanted to start by sharing some of those. Wikipedia Mūla Bandha is the principal, key and primary Bandha of the Yogic...

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Moving Towards a Sattvic Life

What does being sattvic actually mean? According to Ayurveda, sattva is the quality of nature that brings about balance, peace, purity and clarity. It is one of the three subtle qualities or ‘gunas’ that exist in all of nature. The other two qualities are rajas and tamas, rajas being the quality of energy, movement and transformation that creates imbalance in...

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Why I don’t chant

I don’t think I love God more than I love music. Why would a European sitting there, who doesn’t know the difference between Krishna and Rama, listen to this music for two hours? Why are instrumental concerts so popular? Do we know if the performer is playing a kriti in Kannada or Telugu, or if that kriti is talking about...

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Tips for the padmasana jump back?

Sometimes I nail this and sometimes I just get jammed up trying to get my legs through so when I got a chance to ask Mark for some tips, I didn’t waste any time. Mark Robberds is a Certified Ashtanga Yoga teacher and takes workshops and retreats around the world. You can find out more about his coming events on...

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Thoughts on Deepening an Authentic Yoga Practice

Authentic yoga practice is an exploration in relationship. One who is practicing yoga as sadhana (rather than yoga as entertainment) has a relationship with their teacher, a relationship with the practice method or tradition, and most importantly a relationship with the self. Ultimately, the real work of yoga is to deepen and strengthen these relationships. A solid and stable relationship...