Ashtanga yoga

Size Matters

Proportions

I don’t know if you know this about Ashtanga – but backbends are a pretty big damn deal. When I started, no one cared that I could stand on my hands. No one wanted to see me float or jump or balance on my arms. No, they wanted to see my backbend.
Only, I didn’t have a backbend. I had more of a coffee table.

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Matthew Sweeney Interview

Matthew Sweeney Interview

I finally caught up with Matthew Sweeney again. this time in Bali. In this interview we get to talk about what it means to have a therapeutic practice, his moon sequence, teacher qualities, observation of moon days, bandhas and more.

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Norman Blair Interview

Norman Blair

While I was in London recently I snatched the chance to interview Ashtanga and Yin Teacher Norman Blair. Many practitioners are drawn to the idea of supporting their yang predominant practice with something more restorative or yin. In this interview we discuss what is meant by yin yoga and how it can complement an Ashatanga practice.

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When Yoga makes you angry!

melanie cooper

A new student recently said she had been told that if a yoga teacher knows what they are doing and teaches the class properly then the students should leave feeling energised and good. Did I agree? Well, I thought, I guess that does often happen – but not all the time. Students can leave an asana practice feeling angry, depressed, paranoid, and hopeless. So what is that about? Isn’t it supposed to make us peaceful and serene?

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The Box – Being Inside Looking Outside: An Ashtanga Story

Norman Blair

I would like to present this piece in the spirit of compassion, co-operation and communication. My thanks to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sharat Jois and all teachers who have developed this practice and helped me along this path. The purpose of writing is to encourage debate and dialogue amongst practitioners. Some of what is written might be controversial but this is not a rocking of the boat simply for the sake of provocation. If I see an elephant in the room it needs to be said – even if that elephant is Ganesh. This is a heartfelt attempt towards understanding this tradition and the possibilities for transformation.

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David Keil Interview

david keil and stu girling

If you are interested in Yoga Anatomy or Ashtanaga you will know about David Keil. With his great and informative Yoga Anatomy website and worldwide workshops. I was like a kid in a toy shop when I got the chance to interview David. Loads of topics were covered with plenty of geeky anatomy talk.

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Petri Raisanen Interview

Petri Raisenen and Stu Girling

Have you ever met someone who just makes you smile with the warmth that they emanate without having to say a word? That is Petri Raisanen. Calm, tranquil,and the sort of person that makes you feel that you have known them for ages even though you have just said hello. When taking a mysore practice this quite but powerful presence holds the energy in the room in a state that promotes that elusive moving meditation.

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Is This Spiritual?

Statue of Ganesh

“Spiritual” is a concept or term often bandied around in yoga circles. It can be confusing to anyone – but especially a new student. We go along to a yoga class in our local gym thinking it’d be good to stretch our muscles after our workout. Then suddenly we learn it’s supposed to be “spiritual”. What does that mean? Is this some kind of cult? What’s going to happen to me?

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David Robson Interview

David Robson and Stu Girling

David Robson has one of the world’s largest Ashtanga mysore programs outside of Mysore itself. He is part of the new vanguard of teachers that have studied only under Sharath Jois. A level 2 authorised teacher he describes himself as traditional in style. David is one of the most passionate and entertaining teachers that I have had the pleasure in interviewing and I know you will enjoy this.

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Moon Days

Full moon

For years I have religiously observed moon days, which means I don’t practice asana on full or new moon. The yogic explanation is that the full moon corresponds to the top of the inhalation when the upward energy of prana is at it’s greatest. So around the full moon we can feel high, energised, emotional and ungrounded. The new moon corresponds to the bottom of the exhalation when the force of apana is greatest so we feel calm and grounded and low energy.

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