Yoga at Home: Sun Salutations

Do you want to start a yoga practice at home? Do you wonder where to start, or how to make the time or commitment? The simple answer is Sun Salutations.  

Sun Salutations (surya namaskar) are a series of yoga postures strung together so that they flow from one pose to another. They are called sun salutations because, in India, they are traditionally done first thing in the morning as the sun rises to prepare the body for the practice of yoga.

Don’t worry if it takes a little time to perfect sun salutations; it takes practice to flow from one posture to the next. Begin by practicing each individual posture in the sequence before trying them together. In the beginning you may only manage one or two rounds, but with practice you should be able to build up to 10 rounds.

Sun salutations work the entire body and are an excellent warm up. They build strength and stamina as well as improve flexibility.

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Untie the Knots that Bind Us Using Yoga

How do we untie the knots that bind us using yoga?

Many yoga postures look like you are tying yourself up in knots, making yourself smaller. How can that be comfortable? It seems like it is the opposite of untying the knots that bind us.

For me, such yoga postures are actually about untying the knots. The yoga tradition refers to several knots in the subtle body (the Sanskrit word is Granthi, meaning ‘knot’ or ‘doubt’) that block our path to development. Such knots are described in three forms:

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Do You Rebel Against Yoga? Join the Club!

‏I have a confession: Sometimes I rebel against  yoga ….

We have all been there: we want to practice yoga but there is something stopping us. “I’ll practice tonight” we tell ourselves, or: “Maybe not tonight, maybe I’ll get up early tomorrow morning and practice before breakfast” –  and then we lie in. Why do we rebel against yoga, time and time again? This is a question that is close to my heart as recently I had found myself rebelling against yoga.

Misunderstanding yoga

I believe one of the reasons that people rebel against practicing yoga is the desire for perfection and the fear of falling short before they even start. There is a perception (often perpetrated by yogis themselves), that yoga practitioners glide through life on a rainbow cloud of bliss: somehow immune to everyday human experiences and emotions; never to get sick or injured, sad or upset, angry, proud, jealous, lazy, or any of the other Seven Deadly Sins.

‏It is a fallacy. Yogis, like everyone else on the planet, have all of these experiences. Let’s face it, if you are in excellent health and are naturally enlightened, then you have no need for yoga. Does that apply to anyone you know? Not me, that’s for sure. Everyone finds yoga for a reason.

‏Recently, I saw a yoga meme that read:

“I don’t know why people think yogis are together, we are all here because we’re mad”.

‏That made me laugh.

‏Yoga is not just my passion but it is also my business, which in itself causes conflict. I have been making changes to my business to incorporate major changes in my life, (including a new found love of the ocean and the therapeutic benefits of being with the sea through surfing).

‏And then I stopped.

I rebelled against yoga.

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Loose Your Stress: Find The Breath

Yoga Therapy: How can the breath relieve stress?

A very dedicated student of mine contacted me recently; she said she would be unable to make yoga for a few weeks as she was sitting with a family member in hospital whom she feared would not pull through. I could sense that she needed some reassurance …

I thought about how to respond for a long while…

In the end I opted for simplicity: “Just breathe….”

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Taking the First Steps: Starting your own yoga practice

Do you want to start your own yoga practice?

It is challenging to take up something new, especially taking the first steps towards starting your own yoga practice at home.

We have all felt that same sense of trepidation starting a new activity; there is a sense of excitement but also an underlying feeling of foolishness… What if I am rubbish at this? This is my story of how I started practicing yoga.

In these days of instagram and selfies, I see photos of yogis performing wonderful postures in beautiful locations all around the world. Scrolling through some of these images, I had a sudden flashback to how difficult it was for me to step onto my first yoga mat. Specifically, the first yoga mat that I had purchased. I had been to a few classes and decided to buy my own mat. I remember unwrapping it and rolling it out on the living room floor and just scratching my head…

What do I do?

Where do I start? Read more