Starting with Advanced A I first began to practice the third series (Advanced A) of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system in early 2005, shortly after relocating to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Northern Canada. I had learned the primary and intermediate series from Mark Darby in Montreal the year before, and following a period of travel and then settling in a very remote and isolated corner of the world, I was far away from anyone who could offer me guidance…
I could not resist naming this dish after my Irish roots. Ok I lie slightly. I made this dish for the Purple Valley Ashtanga Yoga YouTube channel. We had run out of red cabbage in the kitchen that day and all that was left was white cabbage. The final dish looked like the Irish flag and I renamed it Raw Paddy Thai.
Yoga has become the ultimate female activity, with 80 per cent of practitioners from the ‘fairer’ sex 1 . On the surface, the synchronised movements, bodyweight balances, and attention on breath seem more feminine than masculine, but a closer look shows it is anything but. The angular forms, linear movements, and mechanical instruction stem from male created systems serving to their energy, with scant attention paid to the fluid, rolling, circular motions of the female.
I recently completed my second three month trip practicing with Sharath Jois at the KPJAYI in Mysore. Last year I wrote two blog posts about my first trip, “A New Chapter” and “You Stop There”. These articles expressed my perspective of the experience of starting over as a beginner with Sharath, after having had a daily Ashtanga practice for 12 years
Living in Ireland one season merges into the other on a daily basis. As an island we don’t experience the hardship of long bitter winters, nor the scorching heat of endless summer days. Our two most distinct seasons are Spring and Fall and they are my favourites. Spring signals life emerging and blossoming blooms whilst Fall heralds preparing for hibernation and long deep sleeps.
Our shoulder is a precision instrument that simultaneously has a vast scope in its range of motion. With pinpoint precision we can synchronise our shoulder muscles to maneuver our arm to point our finger precisely at our object of choice – an action that requires the coordinated recruitment of numerous muscles that surround our shoulder joint like a clock.
Pins and needles, or a burning sensation running down the leg, or just a bit of tingling in the fingers? Many meditators and yogishave had them too: should you be worried? What is causing these sensations, and what should you do about them? Certainly, the way we move and hold our body can cause these uncomfortable sensations, but there may be a more serious problem lurking that you will want to investigate further.
When I was young and naïve I used to say “the good thing about practicing yoga is that as you get older you only get stronger and more flexible!” This is true up to a point and that point is different for every body. The fact is that as we age our body slows down. All of our bodily functions are affected as our cells multiply more slowly.