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FEBRUARY 2017 - 4.

50

THE YOGA 360



YO
This mG A
OF L VE
16 page Special
Plank Poonth:
se

Valentine's Report

10 MINUTE
EVENING
FLOW
for the perfect nights rest Escape to
enlightenment
set your spirit free
To demo or
not to demo
that is the question

OM Meets Mandy Jhamat


Spring a leek versatile vegetables
Hygge + Yoga comfort & joy
Peak condition Australias Duncan Peak
Openallyear,TheYogaHideAwayoffersyoutheopportunityto 3nightsfrom300
7nightsfrom700
swim,paddle,bikeorhikeyourwaytouniqueyogalocationsand
experienceajourneyofselfdiscoveryinthemountains.

#experiencewildyoga

+Yoga+Meditation+Hiking+MountainBiking+VegetarianCuisine
+Boutiqueensuite5starFarmhouseAccommodation
+OutdoorSwimmingPool+WildlifeWatching

book@yogahideaway.co.ukwww.yogahideaway.co.uk07940907137
Welcome
OM Magazine
Issue 69, February 2017
Published by: Prime Impact, Park House,
The Business Centre
Earls Colne Business Park Got to get you into my life. Yes, I mean yoga, of
Earls Colne, Colchester course! But at this time of year, with Valentines
Essex. CO6 2NS Day upon us, it might be nice to get a bit of love
Tel: 44 (0) 1787 224040 into your life too. If thats what youre after then
Fax: 44 (0) 1787 223535 we can help.
e: info@primeimpact.co.uk No, were not launching a dating app, Im
ommagazine.com
afraid, but in this issue were including a report
Chief Editor: Martin D. Clark on yogas potent power in all things to do with
e: martin@ommagazine.com love - from Tantra, through to conscious dating,
and even chocolate (yes, some people really do
Designer: Tom Sanderson
love this aphrodisiac that much!).
e: tom@primeimpact.co.uk
Love moves in mysterious ways, but deepening our understanding of
Art Director: Emily Saunders it through our yoga can help us relate better not only to those closest to
e: emily@primeimpact.co.uk us but also to ourselves. A bit of self-love and appreciation goes a long
Advertising Manager:
way when youre trying to find The One out on the high street, at work,
Sara Stant 44 (0) 1787 224040
e: sara@ommagazine.com or even online.
Of course, if you do love yoga and youre lucky enough to have a
Subscriptions and Hannah Allen 44 (0) 1787 224040 friend then partner yoga could be a great thing for you; weve got that
Back Issues: e: hannah.allen@primeimpact.co.uk covered inside too. Its all about making those connections, sharing,
Promotions and Blogger Jane Lambert 44 (0) 1787 224040 giving and receivingplus its a whole heap of fun too. Buddy up and get
Community Manager: e: promotions@primeimpact.co.uk a big new yoga boost.
Its true that we dont need to look outside of ourselves to find
Marketing/Press: Hannah Irons 44 (0) 1787 224040
happiness all that we need is within us - but it sure makes watching
e: hannah@ommagazine.com
the sunset or going to the movies a nicer experience if we have a pal or
Publishing Director: Keith Coomber a partner by our side. And, if youre really lucky, maybe theyll even buy
e: keith@primeimpact.co.uk you some chocolates or a bunch of flowers when February 14 swings by.
Managing Director: Julie Saunders All you need is love, but if you still want moreyoull find oodles of
e: julie@primeimpact.co.uk other great stories, inspiration and practical yoga in OM to help you
both on and off the mat. That includes our new 360 Yoga experience,
Licensing: Bruce Sawford 44 (0) 1280 860185 OMs anatomy academy (this month were focusing on Plank Pose). Dont
e: Bruce@BruceSawfordLicensing.com
forget: for the full interactive experience (which includes video, bonus
Accounts: Yolande Arnold 44 (0) 1787 224040 content and a human figure you can rotate to see the asana from all
e: accounts@primeimpact.co.uk angles) be sure to visit the OM app on your iPad. Its a great resource
whatever your level of experience.
COVER: Meredith Dziewit (houseofjai.com)
So, make yourself a nice cuppa and take some time out with OM this
photographed for the cover of OM Yoga and
month. Hey, and good luck in your search for true love this month, or
Lifestyle magazine by Matt Fricovsky (mattf.me) in your quest to find more peace and love from the inside. Its all there
waiting for you.
Remember, were all one big interconnected happy family deep down
The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing so were all rooting for you here at OM HQ. Have a fantastic February
in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do
not neccessarily represent the views of the Publisher. The Publisher cannot accept folks, stay well, and shine your light.
liability for any loss arising from the later appearance or non publication of any
advertisement. Information about products and services featured within the editorial
content does not imply an endorsement by OM Magazine. OM Magazine is not
intended to replace the professional medical care, advice, diagnosis or treatment facebook.com/ommagazine
of a doctor, qualified therapist, nutritionist or dietician. Always consult your doctor
before undertaking any exercise programme.

Every effort is made to ensure that all advertising is derived from reputable sources. twitter.com/omyogamagazine
OM Magazine cannot, however, accept responsibility for transactions between
readers and advertisers.
OM in 30 seconds Contributors
Plank Pose is an arm balance that Tahereh Sariban
helps to develop strength and stability Belgian-born, Tahereh has spent long periods in Moscow,
in our shoulder joints and shoulder Montreal, Tehran and Dubai working between the consulting
girdle while developing our core and art sectors and picking up languages on the go. When
musculature. Plank Pose helps us to shes not in the yoga room practicing or teaching, she hones
develop our focus and concentration. her writing skills covering mostly topics of architecture, art
360 Yoga (Page 38) and design. For her debut with OM, Tahereh contributes a
first hand interview with Australian yogi Duncan Peak for our
Sometimes, taking the time to
OMFM section.
explore each other again can be
all it takes to make you feel a new
beginning. And take the time to really Victoria Maw
look at each other; you will see how
Victoria is a journalist and yoga teacher based in south-east
your beloved is new every day.
The Yoga of Love (Page 58) London. She has a three-year old daughter and is passionate
about the positive and empowering effect of yoga on
After a physical practice, feeling motherhood. She specialises in gentle slow-flow and pregnancy
grounded, centred and calmly present yoga and places particular emphasis on treating the body and
are the positive ripples we can take the mind with kindness, respect and love. Find out more at:
into life. Feeling buzzy, heady or victoriamawyoga.com
excited can mean weve not spent
enough time in grounding Savasana.
De-Stress Yoga (Page 76) Juliana Kassianos
Juliana is a nutrition and lifestyle therapist. As a former

This months competition editor of a health policy journal, she felt not enough was
being done within the health system to help people live

& subscription healthier lifestyles. Launching her practice in Brentwood,


Essex (julianahealth.com), she empowers people to develop
a better relationship to food and their bodies through
nutrition, lifestyle and behavioural adjustment. She is
qualified in various holistic health practices and recently
went on a yoga therapy course.

Competition
Win 2 VIP tickets to
Regular contributors:
Siri Arti; Conscious Parenting
Claudia Brown; My Yoga Biz
Soul Circus Yoga & Paula Hines; Teachers Tales
Wellness Festival Meg Jackson; Real Life Yoga
(worth over 1,000) Victoria Jackson; OM Lite
Jill Lawson; Meditation Of The Month
See page 72 Deb Mac; Whats Your Affirmation
Andrew McGonigle; 360 with Doctor Yogi
Sarah Swindlehurst; Yoga Therapy
Charlotte Watts; De-stress: Yoga Off The Mat
Julia White; Yoga & Aromatherapy

Subscription WORDS OF WIDSOM


SUBSCRIBE TODAY Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand
and save over 35% only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only
Receive 12 issues (1 year)
because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is
for 36 instead of 54*
Divine, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall
See page 28 return to the general and eternal source
Leo Tolstoy

4
February 2017

Contents
OM Regulars OM FM
3 Editors Letter 50 Peak Condition: Australias Duncan Peak
8 My Secret Place 53 Man On The Mat: Mountain Pose
10 Letters
The Yoga Of Love
Cover
12 Yoga Changed My Life Story SPECIAL
14 The Strike 56 A Tantric Guide To Valentines Day:
A Loving Pathway
15 Whats Your Affirmation
58 The Art Of Love:
16 Cultural Treasure Finding A Deeper Meaning
17 Yoga & Aromatherapy: 62 Chocolate For Breakfast:
Niaouli Essential Oil
Celebrating Cacao
18 Amazing Spaces 64 Conscious Dating Guide:
20 OM Loves: 7 Keys To Conscious Dating
Beautiful Things For Beautiful People
66 Just Good Friends: Partner Yoga Fun
22 Fashion: New Balls
67 Love Shack:
26 Planet Yoga Grab Some Valentines Goodies

101 OM Books: Great Yoga Reads 68 Get Yourselves Together:


Tantra Yoga On The Mat
102 Yoga Is For Every Body: Your Photos.
Your Community

114 OM Lite: Were All In It Together OM Mind


70 Meditation Of The Month:
OM Body The Dark Side

74 Hygge + Yoga: Comfort & Joy


Cover
Story 30 Yoga At Home: Sleep Well
Cover 76 Free Yourself From Poor Confidence:
Story 34 OM MeetsMandy Jhamat Guide To Breaking Free
Cover
Story 38 360 Yoga: OMs Anatomy Academy 78 De-Stress Yoga: What Is Grounding
40 What My Yoga Mat Means To Me
42 Shifting Your Perspective:
Strong Roots, Soft Heart

46 Yoga Therapy: Depression


48 Real Life Yoga: The Excuse Annihilator

6
82 56 46

OM Spirit
Cover
Story 80 Escape To Enlightenment:
Set Your Spirit Free

82 Love Is The Gospel: The Church Of Yoga

OM Living

106 Cover
Story
84
86
Eat Drink Yoga: Healthy Eating Goodies
Spring a Leek: Versatile Vegetables

42
90 Nutrition Zone: Sugar Free

70 OM Family
92 Conscious Parenting: Teen Camp

OM Actions
94 The Wild Yoga Experience:
The Yoga Hideaway

OM Teacher Zone
96 My Yoga Biz: Tips From The Experts

98 Mindfulness In Action: Yoga Teachers


Are Only Human Too
Cover
Story 100 Teachers Tales: To Demo Or Not To Demo

OM Travel
104 OM Travel News: Awe Inspiring Retreats &
Ideas For Yoga Explorers

106 Hell Of A Ride: Yoga And Helicopters

94
108 Lets Run Away To Ragdale:
Ragdale Hall

110 To The Lighthouse:


Carbis Bay Hotel & Spa

7
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8
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My secret place
Location Ponte del Diavolo, Italy
Yogi Jen Warakomski
Photo Francesca Magnani
Jen Warakomski, a true New Yorker, moved to Italy a few years ago and
found in Lucca her new home: I teach and share yoga, meditation and reiki
as a means of healing and developing self awareness and compassion for
oneself, she says. When we are compassionate to ourselves, we become
compassionate to everything around us. Little by little, this brings more peace
to the world. Here she is photographed near Ponte del Diavolo in Borgo a
Mozzano, near her beloved Lucca.

9
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N@maste Love OM magazine and want to tell


the world? Heres your chance

My yoga bible
I just wanted to start by saying this is the first time I have ever What you said about
felt the need to write in to a magazine. us on social media
OM has quite literally taken me by surprise, as I am someone who doesnt
practice yoga, but does practice Body Balance and absolutely loves it!
However, thanks to OM I am feeling the benefits of the very informative
and wise advice from the articles your magazine is packed with. Every issue THIS is literally what Im dedicating today to.
becomes battered where I read and then re-read each page. Even things I Cappuccinos, yoga, some much overdue exercise
have never heard of soon become pages of how did I manage without this and reading magazines. Dont
piece of information in my life. I am now covering pages with Post-it notes forget to take time for yourself,
so I know I need to go back to it. I am learning very quickly to be happy with especially when times are rough!
who I am, and realise that its okay to make mistakes, thanks to the great Im so excited to open this issue
writers that share their knowledge with us. I practice poses that have been of @omyogamagazine. Isnt the
shown through your magazine so beautifully that even a beginner can follow. cover lovely and wintery?
I can now breathe in a way that brings a clear and focused mind. My ultimate
@eliseeverse
goal is now to begin my journey on my yoga path, but until then I will be self
taught through the bible of your wonderful magazine.
Rhonda C, by email
Happy new me
Great start to the new year, guys. Always love my
Brush with the devil OM magazine but was especially happy to get
I am a 14-year-old girl, living in Australia. When I was nine, I was your January issue through the post this time. I find it quite
diagnosed with leukaemia, which then brought about a strong a challenge getting started again after the festive holidays
and ongoing passion for eating nutritious and organicfoods. Soon after but OM helped me get back on my yoga mat and thinking
that, I got into yoga without my brush with devil. I would never have even really positively about the year ahead. Roll on 2017! I really
blinked in the direction of a yoga studio, let alone changed my diet and appreciated your Starting Over report as well. As it happens,
lifestyle! I love reading and writing and was keen to find out more about this is the year I really want to explore teacher training so great
this both peculiar and amazing exercise. Sothats where your magazine timing from you guys. Keep up the amazing work!
has come in! So far, I have only read a few issues, but they have all been so Jane L, by email
informative, inspiring and a lot of the time, relatable. They have encouraged
me to get out my mat and get my body and mind stretching. Thank you, and
keep up the fantastic work!
Madeleine, by email Keep in touch
OM Letters, Prime Impact Events & Media,
Park House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne instagram.com/omyogamagazine
Business Park, Colchester CO6 2NS

editor@ommagazine.com snapchat.com/add/omyogamagazine

facebook.com/ommagazine periscope.tv/omyogamagazine

You can also find us on


twitter.com/OMYogaMagazine uk.pinterest.com and
youtube.com

10
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YOGA
CHANGED
MY LIFE
Dont hold yourself back says NAME: Sophie MacDonald

20% off Sophie MacDonald AGE: 28

retreats in OCCUPATION: Yoga Teacher,


Why did you start yoga
Snowdonia I came to yoga as a way to deal with the death of
Juicer

my dad. I didnt want to be at home and, needing YOGA YEARS: 5


something to distract myself, I started going to the (teaching for three)
gym every night, and then to a yoga class outside
of the gym; I loved it and began to take yoga
classes every night instead. Then a friend took me
to a mindfulness class at a studio near me called Yoga
at the Mill in Chelmsford (where I now work) and it was incredible. I felt such a deep sense
Use code of peace afterwards, I just knew yoga was something I wanted to share with everyone.

omfeb17
When my practice began to deepen and I started to understand the asanas and the
anatomy, I began to feel my body all the time I knew when I was tensing my shoulders
or jaw. I could feel myself breathing!
offer ends 28 February
How has yoga changed your life?
After months of seeing my dad fight and lose his battle with cancer, yoga was an hour
Yoga Dance 2729 Jan to myself where I could switch off and slowly begin to heal. I applied for the 200 hour
intensive yoga course with the amazing Simon Low and his Yoga Academy. Two years and
Yoga & Mudra 36 Feb four months later I quit my day job and took the plunge to teach yoga full time and work
with my best friend on our business The Sphere (facebook.com/thespherebrentwood).
Ayurveda, Tailored for You 35 Mar

Ayurvedic Cookery 1012 Mar Favourite yoga haunts


My yoga teacher (Lucia Cockroft) asked me to help at her retreat a year ago and I
Meditation Retreat 1012 Mar could participate in classes. We were in legs up the wall in a beautiful converted barn
with big glass walls and all I could hear was the call of two owls. It was one of those
Yoga & Walking 31 Mar3 Apr
moments were you are aware that you are alive, and breathing, and everything was
Yoga & Walking 2629 May so overwhelmingly beautiful and peaceful I cried! Another favourite place is the studio
where I work and practice. Im usually early, so I roll my mat out, eyebag on, and take an
Yoga & Weight Loss 24 Jun extra five minutes Savasana!

Yoga, Nutrition & Detox 1416 Jul


Best yoga moment
Youth Summer Retreat 26 Aug I have two (Im sure there will be more!). The first when Lucia asked if I wanted to teach
at her studio. I couldnt believe she was asking me to teach yoga to other people paying
Yoga & Walking 36 Aug to come. Im so grateful and thankful to her for believing in me and giving me the
confidence to say to myself, Okay, lets do this! The second was when I graduated from
Yoga, Nutrition & Detox 13 Sep
the Yoga Academy. After two years - and mostly hating anything to do with anatomy(!) -
Ayurveda to Id finished. I stood there with my certificates thinking oh my god...what do I do now?
Balance Hormones 1719 Nov
Anything else
Taking the steps to hand in my resignation to a job that paid the bills, to now teaching
what I love, was terrifying but I am so thankful and grateful that I did. If you love it, then

druyoga.com
do it. Nothing, except yourself, is holding you back. My favourite saying is this: Once you
make a decision the whole universe conspires to make it happen. Thats pretty incredible.

hello@druworldwide.com
Lendrick Lodge is also a world-renowned centre for Reiki, Shamanism, Detox, Personal Development, Breathwork & Firewalking

Lendrick Lodge
Awaken your heart of yoga in The Loch Lomond
& Trossachs National park Check out
our website for
other great offers
and events

Blossom your yoga practice in a world-renowned centre


of excellence. Lendrick Lodge The Perfect International
Yoga Centre for your event
Happy, loving environment for your groups to shine
Yoga space for large groups
Beautiful en-suite accommodation
Only one hours drive from two international airports
Stunning location, with walks, waterfalls and sunrises to enjoy
Delicious vegetarian and vegan food

Love Your Body Detox


7pm Friday 10 2pm Sunday 12 March
A rejuvenating weekend to experience sessions with a variety of professional
different therapies and healing. This highly therapists.
enjoyable weekend will revitalise your Enjoy sessions that can add life to your
body, emotionally and physically. years and years to your life! And, have
You can attend individual and group some well deserved time to yourself.

Receptivity The Necessity of an Empty Mind


with Sandra Sabatini & Michal Havkin
4pm Thursday 20 2pm Monday 24 July
Join Sandra Sabatini, who was Vanda facilitating a playful and different experience
Scaravellis primary student. Vanda of yoga positions. The unfolding of the body
Scaravellis legacy is a constant will go along with the unfolding of the
encouragement towards exploration and breath supported by a slow and meditative
inventiveness. During the five days in approach. For committed students and
Lendrick Lodge Sandra Sabatini and her teachers of the yoga path, drawing from the
co-teacher Michal Havkin will offer five very essence of Vanda Scaravellis lineage,
hours of practice a day and an evening within the beauty of Lendick Lodge.
meditation. The sessions will incorporate Lochs, mountains and beautiful wilderness
some Feldenkries movements towards await you!

Supporting your success in the heart of wilderness


Lendrick Lodge,
Brig OTurk, Callander, FK17 8HR
Tel: 0044 (0) 1877 376 263
email: info@lendricklodge.com
Join us on Facebook www.lendricklodge.com
om beginnings

Striking out
Yoga teacher and OM cover model, Erin Fogel,
graces the big screen in new US feature film

Y
oga teacher, actress and occasional OM cover model Erin Fogel is
now starring in her very own feature film, which she also
helped produce.
The Strike is a female-driven comedy set in New York City and
draws on some of Fogels own yoga background, including a scene
set inside her studio. She is also one of the founders of the House of Jai yoga
studio in Manhattan.
The American actress (who last graced our cover in September 2016) says the
film is based around three, less than talented, New York actors who after years
of missed opportunities, criticism, and bad first impressions, take fate into their
own hands when they devise a half-baked theatrical siege in order to prove they
have what it takes to make their mark in the film business.
Written and directed by Guillermo Ivan, it also stars
Bronson Pinchot (whose past credits include Beverly Hills
Cop, True Romance and TV show Perfect Strangers), Paul
Calderon (Pulp Fiction), Guillermo Ivan (Vantage Point) and
Christopher Marquez (Habana Instant).
And, naturally, Fogels very excited about the
whole thing.
The Strike has a multi-cultural and eclectic cast which
carries all the humour and funnies of a great comedy
film, she tells OM. It was exciting to act opposite Bronson
and bring him back into the limelight again. He is such a
talented, seasoned actor to work with.

Find out more at: thestrikemovie.com

14
om beginnings

WHATS
YOUR
AFFIRMATION?
BWY accredited school, Yoga Alliance US registered school,
Yoga Alliance Professionals UK registered school

Yoga Academy Teacher Training Course 2017


BWY Diploma level accreditation, Yoga Alliance Professionals
and Yoga Alliance US 200-hour certification
An affirmation for self care Commences in the UK in November 2017, limited to 20 students
and healthy relationships
Yin & Yang Yoga Teacher Training and Study Immersion
Yoga Alliance Professionals and Yoga Alliance US 200-hour certification
27 January25 February, 2017, Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand

Ongoing Training and Study Immersions


Options for BWY and Yoga Alliance Professionals (UK) CPD and
Yoga Alliance US 500-hour upgrade
50-hour immersion, 1118 March, Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand
I am always safe 20-hour immersion, 2123 April, Bore Place, UK Yin/Restorative training

and secure in my www.theyogaacademy.org info@theyogaacademy.org


surroundings. I attract theyogaacademy YogaAcademyUK yogaacademyuk

healthy, beautiful,
loving relationships BRITISH WHEEL
OF YOGA

ACCREDITED
GROUP

into my life. Life loves


and supports me

Surround yourself with people who lift you higher and support
your dreams.
Notice when you feel alive and vibrant and learn to recognise when
your energy feels drained. People and places have an effect on our
energy levels. Listen to your body, notice how you feel when youre
around certain people. We need to feel grounded and secure yet lifted
and exhilarated. Keep your feet on the ground although be willing to
take a look at things from a different perspective. Always aim high. Let
yourself soar. Remember you were born to fly.
Make the choice to always speak highly of others; never bond with
others through gossip. Only engage with positive communication. yoga with
Making someone else wrong or putting someone down for their
choices in life never makes us the superior one; gossip and negativity
just depletes our energies.
Dont ignore your feelings - listen to them. Tune in to your energy
simon low
and raise your vibration when you need to.
Retreats, weekends and workshops 2017
Surround yourself with people who smile when youre smiling and RESIDENTIAL YOGA YOGA RETREATS 2017
who make you feel like smiling. Aim to make others smile. Remember, RETREAT WEEKENDS 714 January: Samahita Retreat,
people will always remember how you made them feel. Koh Samui, Thailand
1417 April 2017
Easter Retreat 1421 January: Praiwan Rafthouse,
By Deb Mac Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
(contentedlittlesoles.com)
2830 April 2017 1421 May: Santilln, Spain
Bore Place, Kent, UK 26 June 3 July: Huzur Vadisi, Turkey
815 July: Santilln, Spain

www.simonlow.com yoga@simonlow.com
simonlowuk yogawithsimonlow yogasimonlow yogasimonlow
om beginnings

Cultural treasure
Yoga added to Unesco list of intangible world heritage

M
ore international recognition for yoga: Unesco has includes well-known physical sites such as Cambodias Angkor Wat,
just added the ancient Indian discipline to its list Australias Uluru national park (formerly Ayers Rock) and the Grand
of intangible world heritage. Canyon in the USA.
The list of intangible cultural treasures was
created 10 years ago by the Paris-based body, Heres what Unesco had to say about yoga:
mainly to increase awareness of them. It also sometimes offers The philosophy behind the ancient Indian practice of yoga has
financial or technical support to countries struggling to protect them. influenced various aspects of how Indias society functions, from
Yoga joins other intangibles such as Cubas Rumba dance and health and medicine to education and the arts. Based on unifying
even Belgiums beer culture, reflecting the diversity of the list and, of the mind with the body and soul for greater mental, spiritual and
course, the incredible cultural diversity of the planet. physical wellbeing, it consists of a series of poses, meditation,
Its also another feather in the cap for yoga as it continues to controlled breathing, word chanting and other techniques.
grow worldwide. It follows the endorsement of a UN International Traditionally passed on from master to pupil, nowadays yoga
Yoga Day (now celebrated every year on June 21) in 2015. ashrams, hermitages, educational institutions and community
Unesco began compiling its list back in 1972, which also centres also help to transmit the practice.

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Yoga & Aromatherapy


Niaouli Essential Oil
(Melaleuca viridiflora)

A World Class Yoga


Retreat Centre
in Southern Spain

February often heralds the first signs of spring; the first shoots may start to appear as the
warmth returns with the increasing power of the sun.
This month is time for some purification and cleansing so that we can emerge from winter,
stronger, brighter, warmer versions of ourselves. A wonderful oil to use for purification is
Niaouli oil, Melaleuca viridiflora. Niaouli oil was traditionally used to purify water and is the
perfect oil to use to purify your home or yoga studio. Place 300ml of distilled water in a spray
bottle, add 5ml of Niaouli oil and then spray liberally to purify your space and let the anti-viral
properties of Niaouli remove any germs. To purify and cleanse the mind this month, place a
couple of drops in a diffuser and spend some time in meditation the Niaouli oil will help to
clear the mind and improve your ability to concentrate. Use a couple of drops only, as Niaouli
is very stimulating, and light a candle to honour the rebirth of the sun and to think about all
the new things that are on their way. Niaouli oil is also very good for clearing the respiratory
system, so perfect for any winter colds or flu that are still lingering. Place a couple of drops
in a vaporiser or in some grape seed oil and then rub in into the neck and chest area to help Join one of our retreats
alleviate symptoms. Always use in small quantities as its a stimulant.
Enjoy our facilities as an
By Julia White independent guest
(jwhitelondon.com
Bring your own group
Immerse yourself in a
yoga teacher training

Suryalila.com
info@suryalila.com
om beginnings

Amazing spaces
Stylish and inspiring studio
design ideas and interiors
Isle of Yoga, 7 Arthurs Hill, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6EW
isleofyoga.com

Isle of Yoga represents a shared vision from Elaine and Erling


McCracken: that yoga is life and you can live your life through yoga.
Using their beautifully renovated late Victorian family home on the
Isle of Wight, they run hosted small group yoga retreats for guest
teachers, facilitate their own residential workshops, retreats and
holidays and offer local weekly classes. Their personal approach to
yoga and teaching is Scaravelli inspired.
The owners set out to make Isle of Yogas studio as comfortable as
possible. It has under floor insulation (keeps all drafts out), preserved
original floor boards, heated and a Norwegian wood burner for extra
warmth. A bespoke audiophile stereo produces a quality sound which
is as good as any recording studio production. This can add a whole
other dimension to sound tracks for practicing yoga and meditation.

18
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19
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loves Y
Beautiful things for beautiful people

Pukka Herbs Clean Me Green Kit - 19.99


Designed to put the spring back into your step, this kit brings
together the power of organic plants in one easy-to-follow, two week
programme. Includes Pukkas expertly blended Detox tea and Clean
Matcha Green tea, plus Clean Greens superblend powder. Comes with
a wellbeing guide packed full of helpful tips and recipes to help you get
your glow back.
pukkaherbs.com

Buttafly - 22.99 - 35.99


The revolutionary new yoga block and meditation seat all
rolled up in one clever design. No more slouching or perching
uncomfortably on the edge of a regular block, Buttafly offers
the perfect support for effortless cross-legged sitting with good
posture to help you get the most out of your practice.
thebuttafly.com

Organyc Intimate Wash - 6.95


The wash contains gentle, soothing and organic ingredients of calendula
and chamomile to soothe the skin while you wash, leaving you feeling
refreshed. An ideal choice for women with sensitive skin. No parabens,
SLS, mineral oils or synthetic preservatives, just 100% natural and organic
skin friendly ingredients to care and nurture your skin.
organyc.co.uk

Vivobarefoot Wing Shoes - $124


Barefoot shoe company Vivobarefoot
just launched a new line of womens
urban minimalist shoes, created for the
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om beginnings

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om beginnings

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om beginnings

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om beginnings

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om beginnings

Every Body Welcome


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OM_BWY_Everybody_AD180x120_dec_Jan17.indd 1 19/12/2016 10:14 25


om beginnings

Planet yoga
Stories from around the weird and
wonderful world of yoga

Canada

Croatia
USA

Royal appointment Epic fail Flying high


Prince Harrys latest squeeze US rapper 50 Cent has admitted that Airline pilot Malin Rydqvist, 29, who flies
Meghan Markle was spotted yoga can be hard going, after trying a Boeing 737 for her day job, is winning
recently heading to a yoga studio his first class recently. The singer got admirers for her yoga moves too.
in Toronto for a bit of downtime on a rude awakening after trying to keep Between flying around the world in her
the mat. The 35-year-old actress up with fellow yoga students with more jet, she is posting flawless headstands
is currently filming US TV legal experience. It started out good and then on social media from locations around
drama series Suits in the city. She the ladies started going faster and faster, the world. Multi-talented Rydqvist, who
was papped by photographers he told Harry Connick Jr. in a television is Swedish but based in Croatia, swaps
clutching her own rolled up yoga interview. It was difficult moves for you her pilots hat for her yoga pants as
mat and sporting a $1,500 Mulberry to put your body in different spaces and I soon as she touches down. She says
tote bag as she made her way to was like, what? and Im looking around to she first got into yoga after a 2008
the studio. Torontos vibrant yoga see if other people are having the same snowboarding accident, which left her
scene is enough to entice anyone experience. I ended up in a class that was with back pain. I tried everything and
though. Yoga and wellness is a little too advanced for me. Moral of the only thing that really worked for me
booming in Canadas biggest city, the story: dont follow the crowd, just play was yoga, she was quoted as saying
with lots of fab new studios. your own game. by the Daily Mail.

26
om beginnings

Health benefits
A new study has again underlined the health benefits of a regular yoga practice - this
time for controlling blood pressure. Experts have long known of yogas dazzling array
of health benefits, including helping patients with high blood pressure to manage the
condition, but new research shows that it can likewise aid patients with prehypertension
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om body

Sleep well
A 10 minute evening yoga flow sequence for a perfect
nights sleep with Lucy McCarthy
YOGA @ HOME Props needed: eye bag, strap, block

1 2

Childs Pose Forehead On Block Downward Facing Dog


(Balasana) (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
From a kneeling position open your knees shoulders distance apart. Inhale lift your chest off the floor bringing your shoulders stacked over
Top of the feet flat on the mat with your big toes touching. Keeping the wrists. Exhale tuck the toes under and lift the hips diagonally back
the heels touching the buttocks, walk your hands out in front of you and up into Downward Facing Dog. Hands shoulders distance apart;
until your spine is long and forehead touching the floor. Arms are feet hips distance apart. Spread the fingers and toes. If the back of
shoulders distance apart with the palms down, fingers spread open. the legs feel tight or your heels are lifted high off the ground take
Then place a block (on the lowest height) under your forehead with the your feet wider apart to release your lower leg muscles. Take 3 deep
skin of the forehead gently drawing down towards the bridge of your breaths here.
nose. The block presses gently on the vagus nerve which assists in
deep relaxation and a quieting of the mind. Take 5 slow deep breaths
expanding the lungs fully in all directions on the inhale and exhaling
fully as you relax the whole body deeply.

3 Bicycling
The legs
From Downward Facing
Dog begin to bicycle the
legs. Bending into one
knee as you press the
opposite heel down into
the ground to stretch the
calf muscles and achilles
tendon. Match the
rhythm of the movement
with the rhythm of the
breath. Move calmly
and fluidly.

30
om body

4 5

Low Lunge Wide Legged Forward Bend


(Anjaneyasana) (Prasarita Padottanasana)
From Downward Facing Dog inhale raise your left leg high to the sky On an exhale lower the hands either side of the front foot onto the
into Three Legged Dog. Exhale step your left foot through between the floor and lift your back knee off the floor. Pivot your chest and both
hands. Lower your back knee to the floor. Make sure the front knee feet a quarter turn to your right coming into a wide legged forward
is stacked directly on top of the ankle, middle of the knee lined up bend. Look at your feet pigeon toe them turning your toes in heels
with your second toe. Inhale reach the arms overhead keeping hands out slightly. Hands stacked directly under your shoulders. Bend your
shoulder distance apart, spread the fingers wide. Take 3 full, deep and knees generously to free up the lower back. Take 3 deep breaths as you
calm breaths here. completely relax the face and back of the neck.

6 7

Lizard Low Lunge


(Utthan Pristhasana) (Anjaneyasana)
From the wide legged forward bend on an inhale look up and lift your From Downward Facing Dog inhale raise your right leg high to the sky
spine halfway up with a long flat back. Exhale and pivot a quarter turn into Three Legged Dog. Exhale step your right foot through between
back to the left into a lunge with the left leg forwards. Place both hands the hands. Lower your back knee to the floor. Make sure the front knee
to the inside of the front foot then step the front foot to the far left hand is stacked directly on top of the ankle, middle of the knee lined up
side of the mat and turn the foot out at a 45 degree angle. Either stay with your second toe. Inhale reach the arms overhead keeping hands
up on the hands or if more open in the hips mindfully lower onto your shoulder distance apart, spread the fingers wide. Take 3 full, deep and
forearms. Relax your head and neck completely taking 4 breaths into the calm breaths here.
back body. If you are on your forearms come back up onto your hands.
Step the left foot back into the middle of the mat with the hands framing
the foot and on an exhale step back into Downward Facing Dog.

TRY THE COMPLETE VIDEO NOW ITS FREE! Continue sequence >>
Visit the website: www.ommagazine.com
31
om body

8 9

Wide Legged Forward Bend Lizard


(Prasarita Padottanasana) (Utthan Pristhasana)
On an exhale lower the hands either side of the front foot onto the From the wide legged forward bend on an inhale look up and lift your
floor and lift your back knee off the floor. Pivot your chest and both spine halfway up with a long flat back. Exhale and pivot a quarter turn
feet a quarter turn to your right coming into a wide legged forward back to the left into a lunge with the left leg forwards. Place both hands
bend. Look at your feet pigeon toe them turning your toes in heels to the inside of the front foot then step the front foot to the far left hand
out slightly. Hands stacked directly under your shoulders. Bend your side of the mat and turn the foot out at a 45 degree angle. Either stay
knees generously to free up the lower back. Take 3 deep breaths as you up on the hands or if more open in the hips mindfully lower onto your
completely relax the face and back of the neck. forearms. Relax your head and neck completely taking 4 breaths into the
back body. If you are on your forearms come back up onto your hands.
Step the left foot back into the middle of the mat with the hands framing
the foot and on an exhale step back into Downward Facing Dog.

10 11

Childs Pose Forehead On Block Alternate Nostril breath (Nadi Shodhana)


(Balasana) From Childs Pose lift the chest into an upright position, shoulders
stacked over the hips kneeling. Open your right palm out in front of you
From a kneeling position open your knees shoulders distance apart.
and fold the index and middle fingers into the palm of the hand leaving
Top of the feet flat on the mat with your big toes touching. Keeping
the thumb, ring and baby finger sticking up. Bring the right hand in front
the heels touching the buttocks, walk your hands out in front of you
of your face with the thumb alongside your right nostril, ring and baby
until your spine is long and forehead touching the floor. Arms are
finger alongside the left nostril. Close the right nostril with your thumb
shoulders distance apart with the palms down, fingers spread open.
inhale slowly through the left nostril, at the top of the inhale, close the
Then place a block (on the lowest height) under your forehead with the
left nostril with the ring finger open the right nostril and exhale. At the
skin of the forehead gently drawing down towards the bridge of your
end of the exhale inhale back through the right nostril. At the end of the
nose. The block presses gently on the vagus nerve which assists in
deep relaxation and a quieting of the mind. Take 5 slow deep breaths inhale close the right nostril with the thumb, open the left nostril and
exhale. Repeat this for 4 more rounds. In through the left, out through the
expanding the lungs fully in all directions on the inhale and exhaling
right, in through the right, out through the left is one round.
fully as you relax the whole body deeply.

32
om body

12 13

Leg Strap Sequence Supine Leg Strap Sequence Supine


(Supta Padangusthasana) Part 1 (Supta Padangusthasana) Part 2
Come to lie down on your back. Loop the strap around the ball of your Take both sides of the strap into your left hand only and place the right
left foot holding each side of the strap in either hand with the left leg hand down on the top of the right thigh to keep it anchored. Take a
extended straight up into the sky. Flex the left ankle pulling the toes long slow inhale and as you exhale open the left leg and left arm out
down as you reach the heel up. Spread your toes. Take three breaths to the left to stretch the inner thigh. Take three breaths here. On an
here each time you exhale drawing the left leg closer into the body. exhalation draw the navel to spine as you bring the left leg all the way
back up to the centre.

14 15

Leg Strap Sequence Supine Legs Up The Wall


(Supta Padangusthasana) Part 3 (Viparita Karani)
Take both sides of the strap into your right hand now. On an exhale with Hug your knees into your chest and come up to sitting. Take the short
your right hand draw your left leg across the body to the right until it edge of your mat to the wall. Sit just to the right side of your mat with
comes to toward the floor. Open your left arm out to the side at the your left knee and hip touching the wall, knees bent. Lie on your back as
height of the shoulder with the palm facing up. Spread your toes and you swivel your legs up the wall, heels over hips. Place your eye bag over
take three deep breaths here reaching out through the ball in the heel the eyes. And open the arms into a cactus shape. Relax deeply for at
of both feet. On an exhale bring the left leg all the way back to centre, least 3 minutes. Up to 7 minutes if you have the time.
bend the knee and change the strap on to the ball of the right foot.
REPEAT STEPS 12-14 ON THE RIGHT SIDE.
GET YOUR YOGA FIX AT HOME
Yogi: Lucy McCarthy Try the complete video now its FREE!
Images courtesy of: Movement For Modern
Life (movementformodernlife.com) Visit the website: www.ommagazine.com
Visit the website for more online yoga or download the Digital version
classes from the best teachers
om body

OM meets...

Mandy Jhamat

34
om body

Mandy Jhamat, co-founder of Yogasphere, famed for its luxe retreats and uber cool
London skyline classes at The Shard, is a yoga teacher to the stars. Here, she tells OM that
its all about keeping things simple and just following the bliss
How did you first get into yoga Any transformational yoga moments
My first experience of yoga was during my A-Levels at school via a yoga There have been so many. But my top three would be: 1. Respect and
DVD, I fell in love with the flow practice and remember really connecting honouring my body; not always easy as a female with all the pressures
with the blissful relaxation in Savasana. That DVD kept my yoga to fit a mould of how we should look. Yoga is an embodied practice
appetite fed until my early 20s when I explored classes in gyms and so you honour its limitations and learn to respect it as the vessel for
yoga centres, but the seed was sown with simply practicing in my home your soul. 2. That A-ha moment, when I felt and experienced (through
alone. I took that self-practice feeling into classes, being absorbed in meditation) an interconnectivity between little me and the world around
my practice even though I would be in a big class. me. One of my favourite quotes puts it beautifully: You are not a drop
in the ocean but the entire ocean in a drop. This changed my whole
What inspired you in those early days perspective. 3. Compassion, love and understanding as core principles
I was drawn to the practice for both its physical effect, as I was never to live my life by.
the most flexible (and, in fact, avoided gym class at school!) but also
the wonderful calm that washed over me by the end of each practice. How would you describe your teaching style
I did not over-think it and just kept practicing as I always left feeling so It really takes a while to develop your personal style as its unfolding
much better. on its own. Teaching for me is a sharing that creates a communion
between teacher, and the teachings that have moved and impacted
Any favourite teachers or locations me, and the sensitive communication of those to my students. I am
My teachers and guides are not only from yoga but also meditation as not the expert in the room to be blindly followed but simply a guide to
I came to have a dedicated meditation practice first. My life has been allow people to be led by their own voice and light. My style is therefore
heavily influenced by Osho and his active meditations. I also love practicing a reflection on my primary interest in meditation; the practice provides
abroad and have been blessed to have practiced all over the world. But a moving meditation taught mainly in a slow Vinyasa and sometimes
my favourites have included the simplicity of a Goa beach followed by a Yin-style poses to deepen into. I teach to move students away from the
watermelon juiceand then the complete other scale of a luxury resort in awareness simply in their physical body, but energetically instead and
the Maldives in a beautiful yoga shala facing the Indian Ocean. then away from the labelling mind into a place of observation.

35
om body

My personal mantras do change What do you do when youre not doing yoga

depending on my circumstances Well, I love travelling. Asia is a personal favourite and I visit every other
year at least. I like to explore; travel that is enriching, so it tends to be
but one that has stuck is: My soul around my yoga and meditation practices. I am also very fortunate that
is here for its own joy. my work takes me abroad to some stunning places. Reading is a must
in my life so I try to make time for this.
How do you want people to feel after your classes I used to be a makeup artist so I also still like to attend events,
Like they have arrived back into themselves - their centre, their workshops and seminars to stay connected to the fashion and
essence, away from doing and into being. We are so attached to cosmetics world. And I am a spa addict I think, so if you cant find me I
action and have lost how to simply experience so if I can help am normally in my favourite one in London - Akasha spa.
students to do that for an hour and half then that is an honour for me.
Any personal motto or mantra
What are your own plans going forward My personal mantras do change depending on my circumstances but
We have some long-term and short-terms plans in place but confirmed one that has stuck is: My soul is here for its own joy. This reminds that
for 2017 we have collaborated with Tibits in London (a restaurant I am simply the vehicle for consciousness to express itself joyously and
selling amazing vegetarian and vegan food) and will be running yoga that simplifies so much of the clutter I let myself get caught up in in life.
breakfasts and yoga brunches at their locations in the West End Another one that is dear to me is Sat-Cit-Ananda, which means Truth
and London Bridge. Further afield we have a new residency for those Consciousness Bliss. So simple, but so powerful.
wanting a yoga holiday or retreat in Thailand. It starts in February and
will be available all year long for those in a tiny island off Krabi/Phuket. Any good life hacks for the rest of us
Wow! Well, I can only say from my experience that if we all focus on
How do you reassure someone new to yoga that which makes us feel joy, love and bliss then we are on the right
That we all start somewhere and its the taking the steps towards our path. It does not mean the path will not bring us pain or heartache but
desires that are important. Its completely natural to be apprehensive only so we can recall how to get back to bliss again. Every step is an
or fearful even, but fear only paralyses us. But when we make an opportunity to learn and grow.
unknown or a new scenario into something we are familiar with then
that is empowering. Most of all your mat time is just for you, so forget Find out more about Mandy Jhamat and Yogasphere
the need to compete and just be and have fun. at: yogasphere.eu

36
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om body

presents... An overview of...


360 Plank Pose
yoga
with (Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana)
Doctor Plank Pose is an arm balance that helps to develop
yogi strength and stability in our shoulder joints and
shoulder girdle while developing our core musculature.

I
Detailed alignment
cues for Plank Pose t is often seen as part of a Sun Saluation as a transition between Mountain Pose and
Chaturanga. Plank Pose helps us to develop our focus and concentration.

FIND A NEUTRAL CHEST


l Lengthen through all four sides of your waist to create
more space between your hip bones and your lower ribs
l Round your upper back slightly as you draw your shoulder
blades apart to create space at the back of your chest
l Then widen across your collar bones (clavicles) to
stabilise this space

FIRM YOUR LEGS


l Press your heels to the back of the
room to lengthen your legs
l Gently draw your knee caps up but
keep a micro-bend in your knees to
prevent you from locking your knee joints

SET YOUR HANDS AND FIRM YOUR ARMS


l Place your hands shoulder width apart
directly under your shoulders
l Have your index fingers parallel to each other
l Bend your elbows slightly, energetically
draw your hands towards each other and then
straighten your elbows

38
om body

The benefits of Plank Pose Variations


l Plank Pose develops core strength, supporting our lower back Here are some variations of Plank Pose that you may have come
and improving our standing and seated posture across:
l I
t builds strength and stability in our shoulder joints and
shoulder girdles l Forearm Plank Pose, where the elbows are under the shoulders,
l Plank Pose encourages us to lengthen our spines will take any strain off the wrists
l I
t improves focus and concentration l I
n Forearm Plank Pose you can also lower your knees to the ground
l Closing your eyes helps to develop balance and spatial awareness l Try keeping your pelvis neutral but lift one foot off the ground at

a time
Contraindications
l I
t is suggested that Plank Pose may not be an appropriate asana to Andrew McGonigle is Doctor Yogi, a medically trained yoga teacher
practice if you have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, however the option of based in London who specialises in teaching anatomy applied to yoga.
practicing Forearm Plank Pose can be utilised here. Visit doctoryogi.co.uk

STACK YOUR HEAD DIRECTLY ON TOP OF


YOUR SPINE
l Gently slide the sides of your throat
back and then lower your chin a couple
of millimetres towards your chest and
feel the back of your neck lengthen
l Reach the crown of your head
forward to lengthen your spine

l Your focal point (drishti) is at a fixed point


a couple of inches in front of your hands

FIND A NEUTRAL PELVIS


l Roll your upper, inner thighs
back to create space at the back of
your pelvis
l Stabilise the pelvis by lowering
your sacrum (the flat part of your
lower spine) and tailbone (coccyx)
down towards your heels
l Avoid tucking or scooping
your sacrum and coccyx under
which can lead to a clenching
of your gluteal muscles and a
hardening of your pelvic area

FEET HIP DISTANCE APART AND PARALLEL


l Find the boney points at the front of your pelvis (these are known as
the ASIS, Anterior Superior Iliac Spines) and line these up with the mid-
point of each of your ankles
l Line the mid-point of each ankle up with the base of your second toe

For the full, exclusive 360 detailed and interactive version download our App now

39
om body

What my yoga mat


means to me
Juliana Kassianos describes
her relationship with her
yoga mat and how it has
guided and shaped her life for
the better through the years

40
om body

S
ince a teenager Ive had a born with had let me down. I began to realise
disordered relationship with my though the awful truth; it wasnt my body
body and mind. I suffered from that had let me down, it was I who had let
chronic dieting, stress and crazy it down. For 20-odd years, every cell in my
bouts of acne. Feeling confident body worked endlessly to keep me alive, yet
in my skin was a daily challenge and my within those years I had let my inner citric
self-esteem was at an all-time low. I started that no-longer served me dominate my
to wage a war against myself that would thoughts. Not once had I appreciated the
continue for a number of years. beauty that I could now see reflected back
Throughout my early twenties I at me as I sat on my mat.
experimented with various diets, militant The lesson finished with relaxation. Feeling
exercise routines, clothing, make-up exhausted, I lay down on my back, letting my
and different hairstyles, but I still felt body sink down into the mat. It felt heavy,
disconnected from within. It didnt matter as though it was deeply rooted through my
how many people told me I was beautiful, I mat into the floor beneath. I observed how
never felt it; if anything, it just made things my breathing slowed down and the normal
worse as I felt pressure to become the chattering in my mind ceased. A sense of
person who they saw through their eyes. calm came over me. In that moment, I felt at
That was until I first stepped on to my peace with myself.
yoga mat. At the time, I saw it simply for
what it is - a soft thin padding of protection, Sacred place
which separated my body from the hard Slowly awakening, my body and mind arose
wooden floor beneath. Somewhere that together as one. As I sat up, I breathed in a
indicated to others in the class that this was positive breath of fresh air that seeped into
my space. my lungs and renewed my senses. Bowing
As the yoga class began, I watched how my head, I gave thanks not only to the class,
my body moved in the mirror in front of me. but to my mat for having given me exactly
Id never really looked at myself in the mirror what I needed; a new perspective.
in a loving way. It was always to inspect my Now heading towards 30, my yoga mat
flaws, self-judge and criticise myself. For has become a sacred place; not so much in
the first time I watched as my delicate body a religious sense, but a place I regard with
moved slowly within the outline of my mat; great respect. When I refer to my mat, Im
there was no way of running away from not referring to a particular mat I have, but
the reflection mirrored in front of me, I was to the mat I use for any given practice. It
facing myself front on. may be the mat my yoga teacher lays down
With my bare feet and hands stretched in front of me, the one I borrow for my group
and pushed down into my mat, I started class at the studio or the mat I use at home.
to feel grounded. This was my mat; no one It is a symbol for that which it represents.
was going to cross the line into my territory. A safe haven; somewhere I can find inner
Feeling safe within a group of people I didnt peace no matter where I am or what is
know, practicing something Id never tried happening within my life.
before, I was able to bring myself into my My mat has taught me that I have the
body, letting down the barriers that I had tools and strength within to deal with
built up. anything that life throws at me. All the
resources I need, I already have. It has
An awakening enabled me to learn the art of patience, to
As I stretched my muscles and massaged be radically honest with myself, to heal old
my internal organs, I noticed where I held wounds, to reconnect with who I am and to
tension; sharp aches of pain that wanted to truly appreciate how abundant my life is.
be released. Glued to my mat, resisting the Not a day goes by where I dont challenge
temptation to move and holding trust in the myself on my mat and work hard to develop
practice, I breathed through the areas of inner strength, both physically and mentally.
my body that felt tight until eventually the With a newfound sense of responsibility
pain subsided and the tension had become towards myself, I am now more than ever
unlocked. Working within the confinements committed to creating long-lasting change
of my mat, I stayed present and focused, from within.
slowly learning the process of surrendering
to my body and letting go. Juliana Kassianos is a nutrition and lifestyle
For too long I felt the body I had been therapist and writer (julianahealth.com)
om body

Shifting your
perspective
Strong roots, soft heart. Let your
physical practice be a celebration of
your soul and the foundation of your
self. Eleonora Zampatti looks at four
traditional advanced asanas that can
help you transform your take on life

S
etting strong roots allows trees to grow strong and tall
despite the many storms that life will put them through.
Every tree grows towards the sun, and every one of them
is a unique living entity with a different story behind its
journey. As are we when we stand on our mat, approaching
our yoga practice: strong, tall and unique, aiming to something
higher, using our physical practice to achieve the ability to find
peace within ourselves, embracing our true essence. Our body is
an instrument. We have to play the melody of our soul, and if we
set strong foundations, we will be able to bloom in every pose we
approach, as well as open our hearts completely. Now, we start to
see things in a different perspective.

Compass Pose
(Parivrtta Surya
Yantrasana)
Compass Pose is a challenging asana as it
stretches out the hamstrings and opens up
the shoulders. It is typically performed only by
advanced practitioners because it is a complex
pose and it should be performed with patience
and reverence. A good warm up of hamstrings,
hips, groin, shoulders and spine is essential to
prepare for the asana. In this variation we are
approaching the pose keeping both stiffness
grounded on the floor and the standing leg
close to the body. By pointing the foot we are
changing the line of the traditional pose where
your foot is flexed.
This pose requires a good amount of
strength and flexibility. A good beginners tip
is to always precede the pose with warm-up
exercises like Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).
Additionally, when performing the pose bend
your knees or use a yoga strap for support.
Remember not to slump. Its very important to
stay up on the top of the sit bones. Breathing
properly will help you maintain control and
balance yourself throughout the pose.

42
om body

Forearm Stand
The power of this asana is that (Pincha Mayurasana)
Forearm stand is an arm balance. It brings your body upside
physical reminder that we are down, changing your foundation from your legs to your arms. The
capable of so much more, and that power of this asana is that physical reminder that we are capable
of so much more, and that our power and our spirit are vast. This
our power and our spirit are vast. physical experience helps us connect with our fears, breathe deep,
and move through them. The moment where you learn how, with
intention, to move upside down and hold the pose is a moment of
truth. We can take this experience any way we choose or need in
that moment; we can embrace the fear and choose to feel alive,
or we can choose freedom and allow ourselves to fall out of the
pose without being afraid of what will happen in the landing. The
traditional pose is performed with straight legs pointing up. It can
be performed with legs in Scorpion (the feet touch the forehead).
In this variation you are playing with your legs using them to find
balance, waiting to decide if you want to hold the pose or fall out
of it; choosing between control and freedom.

43
om body

Forearm Variation Of Wheel Pose


(Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Wheel Pose is an energising and invigorating pose. As we move through
our lives, we may not be aware of eternity, only the material world, as we Performing this pose
go through our cycles of birth, life, death and rebirth. Performing this pose
we have the opportunity to connect with a deep, unchanging aspect of our
we have the opportunity
nature, allowing us to let go of unnecessary holding and listen to our heart. to connect with a deep,
This pose helps us to understand how to observe our life without reacting unchanging aspect of our
to it, to be witness to our emotions rather than subjected to them, to allow
our heart to fully open and simply embrace whatever it is saying to us, to fill
nature, allowing us to let go
our lungs with oxygen and teach us how it feels to breathe. In the traditional of unnecessary holding and
variation, the arms are straight and the palms are pressing on the floor, as listen to our heart.
well as the souls of our feet. In this variation, we are standing on our forearms
allowing the ribcage to expand more and developing a stronger connection
to the mat. We are standing on our tip toes, lifting the hips higher to the sky,
playing with balance.

44
om body

Bow Pose
(Dhanurasana)
Bow Pose is another intense backbend. We establish a connection to the mat
and the heart by laying on our stomach and then using that support from our
core, we hold our ankles and open our heart to the sun. In our body, the spine
represents the bow. The idea in this pose is to move our spine in a backbend
Eleonora Zampatti is a US-based yoga teacher. She position, treating our physical body like a bow, challenging it and learning to use
has created a series of fundraising events called Ode it effectively, but always within its limits. This is another asana that requires a lot
to the Moon, a practice to bring awareness to the of patience. One breath at a time, with no rush, we slowly move into the full pose
topic of domestic violence to benefit the charity, 180 (feet to head). In Bow Pose you may tense yourself like a bow that is ready to
Turning Lives Around Inc. (180nj.org). Find out more shoot, thinking about what is it that you are aiming at. This pose is asking you if
about her at: embraceandbloom.com you are ready to bring your entire being into reaching your target. This variation
is an advanced move that requires a proper warm up, open shoulders and strong
Photos: Claire Sheprow (findorionphoto.com) lower back.

45
om body

YOGA THERAPY
Depression
Practical yoga therapy The Problem
Depression is a state of low mood and anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless,
techniques to start you aversion to activity that can affect a guilty, irritable, or restless.
on the road to health: persons thoughts, behaviour, feelings and
physical wellbeing. Depression can cause a The Solution
physically, mentally, person to lose interest in activities that once It can sometimes be difficult to catch

emotionally and spiritually. were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite yourself before reaching depression, but it
or overeating, have problems concentrating, will certainly help you to bring some yoga
By Sarah Swindlehurst remembering details or making decisions, into your life daily and you will most likely
even contemplate or attempt suicide. see a positive shift in your mood. With these
Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss simple yoga techniques, you can lift your
of energy, or aches, pains or digestive spirits and your mood whenever you feel
problems that are resistant to treatment the need to.
may also be present. They may also feel sad,

46
om body

Yoga Warrior 2
(Virabhadrasana II)
Warrior 2
(Virabhadrasana II)
Stand with the feet wide apart and the
hands on the hips. Turn one foot out to
the side so that the feet are 90 degrees to
each other. Bend the knee over the ankle
of the foot that is turned out. Inhale and lift
the arms up parallel to the floor. Relax the
shoulders and gaze over the back of the
hand. Hold for three breaths, then inhale
back up and repeat on the other side. Do
two on each side.
Affirmation: I am strong and centred in
the now.

Yoga
Reverse Triangle
(Parivrtta Trikonasana) Pranayama
Stand with the feet leg distance apart. Turn
one foot to the right and the left foot in Bee Breath
slightly so that it is at 45 degrees to the right (Bramari Breath)
foot. Inhale the arms up and then exhale Sitting in a comfortable position. Inhale anti stress factors. St Johns Wort is an
twist round to the right and place the left deeply and then exhale as slowly as possible excellent anti-depressant alternative to
hand lightly on the right leg. The right arm whist making a hum sound with the mouth conventional medication, however ideally
stretched up as you look up to the hand (if closed (like a bee). Inhale again and repeat. this should be taken under the advice of a
there is any strain on the neck then just look A great breath to do to cheer the whole qualified herbalist.
to the side or floor). Hold for three breaths being (we rarely hum when we are sad, so
and then inhale back up and repeat on the this can make us more cheerful!). Do this for What your body is saying
other side. Do this twice on each side. 10-15mins. Of course, there can be many reasons for
Affirmation: I release the past (exhale) Affirmation: I am happy and joyful in the onset of depression, and those reasons
and stand firm in the present (inhale). every moment. do tend to be very personal and individual.
However, this is also a time for you to
Yoga Nutrition connect with the darker side of self and for
Yoga Roll Let go of processed and refined foods for you to feel/connect with the reason your
Start sitting with the knees bent. Hug the a while and see if this helps your mood light is dimmer than the dazzling love light
legs. Inhale and then exhale roll back. to change for the better. Making some you really are. Perhaps your depression
Inhale roll up and exhale roll down. meals and smoothies using fresh has a positive meaning to it. What could
Continue this as many times as you like. vegetables and fruits will really help, plus this state be saying to you? Are you meant
Affirmation: I roll happily with life adding proteins and healthy fats too. to see another aspect of yourself and
(inhale/exhale). Extra vitamin B and D is beneficial, as is to discover your whole self? What is the
supplementing a healthy diet with a good opposite of your feeling? Dark cannot exist
quality multivitamin and perhaps some without light, light cannot exist without dark.
Embrace all aspects of yourself, and with
yoga you can work towards finding your light
again. You know it exists, and your inner
wisdom knows how to find it. Trust and know
there is light to be found within you, and this
is now your exciting journey.

Sarah Swindlehurst is the founder of The


Yogic Prescription. If there is a particular
ailment or issue you would like covered
in OM please e-mail her at: sarah@
theyogicprescription.com

47
om body

NO
USES
EXC

THE EXCUSE ANNIHILATOR


Stop making excuses and start doing yoga, says Meg Jackson

W
hats up there in your downward dog). Leaving it til later in the the more uncomfortable you are, the more
Top 5 Reasons Why I day wont work because something else will your body and mind fights back, and the
Cant Do Yoga? Get a always happen. Worse case scenario you more you find yourself hating every moment,
nasty rash from Lycra? do have that elusive 10 minutes later in the the more you need this practice in your life.
Incense makes you day so you can do it all again. Bonus!
cough? Ears bleed at the first hint of an out Excuse Annihilator #4:
of tune om? Maybe not. EXCUSE ANNIHILATOR #2: It can cost you almost nothing.
Im not going to go on a big rant about Some things in life are tough Personally, I would recommend that you
how the most important thing anyone should when you start. Suck it up and get yourself a yoga mat because theyre
find the time for is keeping themselves do it anyway. designed to try and stop you doing yourself
mentally, physically and emotionally healthy. Guess what? Doing new stuff for the first an injury a la Bambi on Ice. If you shop
Im also not going to remind you how if your time is hard. Shocker, eh? Trouble is, when around you can get really cheap ones, which
life is that busy, and if that many people are were grown-ups we forget what its like to be will definitely do the job when youre starting
relying on you to do stuff, then surely its so excited about something we work and out. Im talking under 15. Still cant afford
even more important that you take care of work and work at it til we can do it. Riding it? Stop buying posh coffee every day on
yourself? I wont do that because I know you a bike, learning to rollerskate, memorising your way to work and youll have it covered
know that already. Bananaramas whole routine to Robert in around a week. Then get on the internet.
But what I am going to do is make it harder DeNiros Waiting whatever it was, we There are so many totally free-of-charge
for you to find excuses as to why you cant worked for it. Nothing has changed, apart (and good) yoga videos out there. Yes,
get off youre backside and into an asana. from our attitude (and hopefully music taste). learning with a teacher in the same room/
country/continent as you is ideal, but if
EXCUSE ANNIHILATOR #1: EXCUSE ANNIHILATOR #3: its doing this or doing nothing you know
Your bed does not control you. Change isnt comfortable. which one you should do.
Get up 10 minutes earlier and do it before For most of us, when we start out, yoga is
you do anything else in your day. (Apart most definitely a predominantly physical Meg Jackson is founder of Real Life Yoga, a
from putting on appropriate clothes. Trust practice. Youre going to be using bits of movement to help people bring a little (or a
me however much your partner loves your body that probably havent been asked lot) of yoga into their real lives (reallifeyoga.
you no one wants to see you naked in a to do very much for a fairly long time. But net)

48
OMFM
OM FOR MEN

Inside:
Page 50: Peak Condition
Page 53: Man On The Mat

Yogi: Bobby Buoncristiano


Photo: Natiya Guin (natiya.com)

49
FM

Peak
condition

Australias Duncan Peak, founder of the Power Living Australia


Yoga studio chain, or PLAY, talks about success, building a yoga
brand and why it even matters. By Tahereh Sariban
50
FM

W
orldwide, the rising than life. In the early 90s, Peak was a Lets PLAY
tide of stress and the teenage boy getting into heaps of trouble - In time, the studio owners also came to
corresponding appeal at home, at school, on the streets. At 14, a notice his business acumen and asked
of a slower life have friends dad took him in and introduced him him to manage the space, then assist in
elevated the practice to Raja Yoga, or what Peak now describes as a business expansion, a plan he thought
of yoga asana to an unprecedented level. five poses and a lot of meditation. was too risky. When the chain went
According to the UN, two billion people now It wasnt love at first sight, rather a subtle bankrupt, he got a call to help re-start
practice some form of yoga. Studios have introduction to the idea that there is, as he one of the branches.
cropped up on every corner, while yoga puts it, more to life than what goes on in The story repeated itself: Peaks brand of
apparel brands emerge out of the woodwork the mind. conscious power vinyasa drew the crowds in
at a pace difficult to follow. Yoga festivals are Over a decade later and Peak was lesser time than it takes to say yoga. Power
global affairs where yogis come to connect pioneering a new style of yoga in Australia, Living (for Power Living Australia Yoga or
with a community of like-minded souls in a a modified version of the primary Ashtanga PLAY) (powerliving.com.au) started the day
liberating atmosphere of asana, hula hoops series which he began teaching to a bunch he bought that studio - with help from his
and soft beats. For those too busy to come of muscle guys in a Sydney beach club, mum and brother. The first location at Bondi
to the studio, a plethora of platforms offer forking over the proceeds to the local Junction expanded to several studios across
online videos at attractive prices for home cancer foundation. the country, and even one in Wellington,
practice. From Vancouver to Denpasar and A studio approached him with an offer to New Zealand. PLAY now runs world-
every town and cellular tower in between, teach and within weeks, he was redefining renowned teacher training courses and has
yoga is alive and breathing. the expression, studio capacity. just launched Yogaholics, its own in-house
One place where yoga has become big portal of online classes.
business is the land Down Under. In some
parts of Australias eastern shores, there In some parts of Power to the people
is a studio for every 30 people and yearly Australias eastern At its core, PLAYs success rests on how
it has consistently intertwined yoga with
industry revenues are estimated to reach
A$1.1 billion by 2021. Its a growth market. shores, there is a studio people. If Duncan Peak can be counted
for every 30 people and amongst the pioneers of modern day yoga,
Early days yearly industry revenues its largely because of how he modelled yoga
Back before the craze, however, was an around people, rather than perpetuating
Australian called Duncan Peak sporting a are estimated to reach yoga for the elite or teaching a rigid delivery
huge smile, tattoos and shoulders larger A$1.1 billion by 2021. of yoga asana. Starting from a place of
Photos: leeroyt.com

51
FM

wanting to share his personal experiences


of the practice with others, his accessible,
strength-based model combined with a
lot of philosophy so people could become
present was what jam-packed his classes,
at a time when yoga mostly conjured images
of mountaintop gurus in orange robes lost
in transcendental meditation. PLAYs new
style of yoga - accessible, physical and
humble - tapped into the roots of todays
global phenomenon: the desire for a serious
physical practice that relates to more than
just muscles and adrenaline, but contains
unifying messages steeped in everyday
human experience.
At Power Living itself, people are
paramount. Starting with Peak himself, the
company CEO but also its most senior
teacher. Yoga is the business and business
is the yoga. Amongst the Power Living crew,
theres a strong recognition and respect for
that. The guy at the top knows what hes
talking about; he knows his yoga asana
and he knows how to manage a business.
This trust has periodically allowed him the
time and space to pull back when needed
to develop his own path as yoga teacher
and address the real needs of the business.
Were back to the CEO growing as a yoga
teacher and the yoga teacher growing as a
businessman.

Growing business
Then there are the teachers. A majority of
the PLAY studios are a direct result of senior
teachers wanting to tie themselves to the
brand more permanently, undertaking part
ownership of locations and communities
they have helped build. Of the many outside
investors interested in a piece of the cake,
Peak says: Its very tempting to say Ill
take your million dollars and lets go and
open multiple studios but thats not what
interests him, and new locations only open
up with the right people. Today, Power
Living counts nine owners; Peak owns 70%
of the bigger brand, which itself owns 60%
of all studios (except for Perth and Adelaide
which operate under license).
Power Living is now a multi-million dollar
business, but Peak still responds himself to
his Facebook messages and at every one
of the nine PLAY studios the walker-in is
treated like family. When asked why he
does it, he replies, unflinching: To be of
service to something bigger than ourselves.
Thats what we always come back to at
Power Living.

Tahereh Sariban is a yoga teacher and


freelance writer (taherehsariban.com)

52
FM
MAN ON THE MAT: WITH DAN PEPPIATT

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)


Benefits
It always puzzles me that people are so concerned with learning to Spread your toes, lift them up. Notice the arches of your feet
balance on their arms and hands in yoga classes, when most cannot becoming more pronounced as you pull the tendons that pass through
even stand on their own two feet particularly well. the soles tighter? Those arches are the key to the strength, spring and
So Tadasana is a great place to start working with our most shock absorbing properties of your feet. Collapse them at your peril!
fundamental posture of all; master this single pose and every other Now place the toes back down whilst keeping them spread.
asana is suddenly truly open to you. Engage through the points of contact with the floor, most notably the
balls of your feet and your heel (sometimes defined as having an inner
Common Mistakes and outer edge). Dont forget to mindfully press into the ball of the big
There is no right or wrong way to do Tadasana or any posture toe, we often tend to subconsciously roll onto the outside edge of the
come to that, as long as your body doesnt suffer from the foot. Not engaging through the inside, medial edge of the foot has far
experience and you are connected mindfully to your practice. reaching implications for everything from balance to core muscle and
Tadasana can be a very solid and firm pose like its mountain pelvic stability.
namesake, or it can be soft and gentle rather more like a hill. It
is likely that we will want to have elements of both strength and Find out more about Dan Peppiatts teacher training immersion and
softness, rigidity and suppleness, like a mountain with a soft, snow workshops at yogalikewater.com
laden peak and differing faces.

Tips
n Ialways begin with the feet and the mind. After all the feet are
our point of contact with the ground our foundation. The mind
controls the winds that buffet and swirl around the mountain. If
the mind is not calm and the feet are not grounded we have no
hope of establishing a stable and easeful posture as Patanjali
would have recommended.
n Explore the effects of creating and releasing tension in various
parts of your body. Experiment with tensing the lower leg
muscles, upper legs, thighs and knees, the buttocks, groin, pelvic
floor and abdominals. Explore various combinations of tension.
Do the same with the upper body.
n Ask yourself, does this create more stability? A greater sensation
of lightness? Does it feel more supportive to my spine? Do I fell
solid and supple or rigid and brittle?
n Only you can understand your Tadasana. And you can only
understand it by spending time with it. Alone.

Awareness
I love working with Tadasana with my eyes closed. That way I can really
feel the pose rather than thinking it. If you are comfortable working
with the eyes closed and safe to do so then try it this way. Trust me,
it will open up entirely new dimensions of the posture that you never
understood before.
So begin with the breath. Allow the breath to settle and find its own
stable pattern.
When you feel mentally calm, however long that takes, move your
attention around the body. Where are you holding tension today? Dont
expect it to be the same as yesterday or two hours ago. Yoga is about
working with the person that you are now, not a memory of what you
think or thought you were.
Take your awareness to your feet. Are they parallel and facing
forwards or turned outwards (or more rarely inwards)? If they arent
aligned straight ahead then (for the majority of bodies) that twisting
will be carried up through the entire leg to the hip joint and pelvis. We
will be creating unbalanced areas of tightness as well as areas lacking
engagement. From this start point we cant ever hope to grow upwards
with stability. So sort those feet out!
Photo: drishtiyogaphotography.com
53
The yoga

54
of L ve
Welcome to a special 16 page
report on the most important
thing in the world love
Something that Einstein referred to as the ultimate
universal force, love is what makes us all tick. With
Valentines Day this month, we explore how yoga
can help us feel love more powerfully in our lives
for ourselves, for our partner and all those around
us. Partner yoga, Tantra any yoga can help us
align with our higher selves and resonate more with
this great force. Yes, the chocolates, red roses and
blissful sunsets on Hawaiian beaches are nice too,
but its the love that makes these things so sweet.
Ready? Lets get it OM

55
Th e yo ga
of Love

A tantric guide to
Valentines Day
Valentines give us all, singles and couples alike, the opportunity to treat ourselves to
Tantric treatsones that imbue us with divine delight and give us a skip in our step
and a melting heart. Enjoy this loving pathway with Jan Day
Flirt like a Shakti or Shiva Allow the romance to surface
Summon up your goddess or god within, imagine that you truly Conjure up the spirit of romance with words, gestures and gifts. This
inhabit this heavenly place and take it out on to the streets, or the is an excuse to leave the everyday and lift yourself into the Tantric
supermarket, or the local cafe. Flirting is playful and fun and we (at Hollywood zone. If youre single, dress up in one of your waftiest
least here in in Britain!) need to do much more of it. Try a little light dresses and dance softly around the living room to Snatam Kaur, let
banter with a shop assistant or the parking warden, feel that tingle in your heart melt to the music and invoke the romantic partner you
your yoni or your lingam, let the sparkle of that moment enliven the would like. If youre part of a couple, make your partner feel their
rest of your day and theirs. Its about allowing your sexiness out to specialness. Treat them like a god or a goddess. Do something unusual
play and to explore with others. Flirting is an invitation and should be like a game where one of you blindfolds the other and leads them on
practiced with that tonality. It also means taking a risk. Go on. a journey that includes being fed and being undressed slowly. Leave
him or her a loving note before you go to bed. Do something recklessly
expansive like telling them that you worship and adore them. This is the
Its about allowing your sexiness

ideal time for the heroic gesture and they will love it.
out to play and to explore with others.
Flirting is an invitation and should be Setting the scene
practiced with that tonality. It also means Ah, the scene is so important and the possibilities are endless for
creative innovation. If its a date, or if its your long-term partner, have
taking a risk. Go on. some ideas about what sort of scene you are creating. Is it a temple or
a boudoir? Do you need candles, music (will it be Marvin Gayes Sexual

56
Healing or Premals Embrace) incense, sarongs? What sort of food the most tender of ways. You may want to lie with him inside you and
would you like to feed to each other when the blindfold is on? Sushi, breathe together. Whatever you do, do it with the spirit of exploration
mango pieces, Booja Booja chocolate. Maybe you have rose oil ready rather an achievement. And it will be utterly gorgeous.
and a mattress so that you can give her or him a massage.
Open to ritual
Being present Creating rituals enhances your making love life tenfold. Ritual allows you
Being present for yourself, and therefore the other, is at the heart to be transported into another way of being together, something that
of Tantric practice. If you are alone, you could do some self-loving is more profound and non-material. We can enter the mystery and the
meditation to Oshos Kundalini CD. If you are a part of a couple, simply liminal space here. We can connect to the sacred part of ourself and
sit opposite one another, tune into yourself first with your eyes closed, the other. We can become that Shakti and Shiva in all our essences.
then softly open your eyes and engage in gazing at each other gently You might create a mandala of fruits, put flower petals on the love bed,
with no emphasis on an outcome. When you are both ready, one of anoint each other with oils, honour each other with a Namaste bow at
you starts with an appreciation of the other and you alternate with the beginning and end. You might do a foot washing ritual for each other.
this practice until it naturally halts. Hold hands if it feels right. This is a You might want to read each other Rumi poems. Whatever you do in this
beautiful way of sinking down into truly being there for each other and zone, slow down, breathe and do everything with a godly grace.
opening your hearts.
Jan Day is an intimacy and relationship coach and has been leading
Tantric sexuality workshops on a tantric approach to life since 1999. (janday.com)
Now is the time for sexual play without any goals. Maybe youd like to
take each others clothes off very slowly where the other feels totally
seen and held in wonder and thrall. This can feel like a wonderful erotic
TIPS ON BEING TANTRIC
1 Be open to learn from everything.
service for the other. And is a tremendous turn on. The slowness is key
2Cultivate presence in everything you do as a way of
to exquisite feelings of being adored in all your naked glory. Oh, this
living in love with life.
is so delicious. There is also the possibility to be vulnerable here which
3 Be honest with yourself and your partner.
leads to a richness of connection. I mean you might feel suddenly
4Practice calming and regulating yourself so that you
exposed by your nakedness and that means you can show your
dont get triggered into old, self-sabotaging patterns.
shyness, which will make you all the more endearing to your partner.
5Develop practices that work for you personally to get
When it comes to the sexuality part, you might want to give him or
in touch with yourself on a daily basis.
her an erotic massage. You may want to simply stroke each other in

Join our Partner Yoga Teacher Training


London | March 10 - 12

Spice up your yoga classes and bring people


closer together in body and spirit!

Connecting people through yoga

www.rainbowyogatraining.com/partner

57
Th e yo ga
of Love

The art of love

Finding a deeper meaning to love through the yoga of Tantra. By Maria Porsfelt

T
antra is the path of life the network or web, referring to how the lives has a meaning, a place and a unique
way of fully embracing life and understanding of Tantra not only stands potential. The dreams we have of a
everything it offers us in order behind and unites all relevant esoteric perfect life, a perfect love, a perfect
to learn about ourselves and to traditions in the world, but also incorporates relationship they are all intuitions of
grow into our full potential as everything we experience in life into a way of the extraordinary potential present in our
humans and as divine beings. In the Sanskrit knowing ourselves better. existence. And it can be a reality if we learn
word, Tantra, tan can be translated as Tantra teaches us that everything in our how to make it unfold.

58
A new beginning and when we aim to look deep into the other
ones heart, just a few minutes of eye gazing
A relationship is a wonderful gift in our life;
can create a profound state of intimacy
a chance for love and fulfilment, to discover
and chase away the numbness of habit and
new depths within and grow to new heights
routine at least long enough to remember
in spirit. Who doesnt long for that incredible
why it was you found each other so exciting
feeling of being newly in love? The world
and amazing to begin with.
is suddenly magical, colours are brighter,
everyone is smiling. In fact, the world has not
changed; you have. You see everything with
The senses
In a loving couple there is a huge potential
new eyes. In Tantra we call it the energy of
for sensorial experience, which can be
the beginning - seeing everything with a fresh
explored as a gate to the realm of the
perspective and a heart alive with love. It is
present moment a place most of us visit
a moment when we are closer to and more
very rarely. The present moment is a magical
open towards the truth of our existence.
place where we are always in the energy
And it is also when your relationship is the
of the beginning. Tantra teaches us to use
most magical. A Tantric always stays in the
the five senses in a conscious way in a
beginning, it is stated in the Tantric texts.
couple or individually to explore different
This does not mean starting many new
energies, and as a very accessible method
relationships, but always seeing your beloved
to become more present. When we do this,
with new eyes fresh and full of wonder,
the door opens to truly intimate experiences
even after many years together. Tantra offers
in life and love. So be creative in how you
many tools that help us to stay forever in the
explore the magical sensations of smell,
energy of the beginning.
taste, sight, touch and hearing together.
One of the biggest enemies of being
newly in love is habit: you get used to each
other, you take each other for granted and
Couples yoga
And why not practice yoga with the one
you stop exploring. Sometimes, taking the
you love? You can train yoga postures
time to explore each other again can be all
individually to gain awareness over your
it takes to make you feel a new beginning.
energies and to learn to work with them,
And take the time to really look at each
other; you will see how your beloved is new
but yoga can also be practiced in a couple, 15 natural flavours
creating postures with two bodies instead of
every day.
one. This practice has a greatly harmonising
Free from dairy
Identification effect, dissolving tension and routine and will
Stop for a moment and look into each
help you to discover new layers of yourself Free from soya
and your relationship. It allows two lovers
others eyes. Really contemplate the person
in front of you taking the time to see that
to connect deeply in a non-verbal way and Free from gluten
opens up a whole new world of possibilities
person, and allow yourself to be seen. It is
for amplifying intensity and attraction.
Free from refined sugars
said that the eyes are windows to the soul,
Tantras unique holistic perspective on Organic
life and existence creates the space for
immense personal growth through any life Raw
Tantra teaches us that

experience and at the same time shows us
Vegan
everything in our lives has in a practical way how to experience life in
ways that we would otherwise only dream of.
a meaning, a place and a
unique potential. Maria Porsfelt, Tara Yoga Centre
(tarayogacentre.co.uk)
Photos: Darya Harnitskaya

t 01342 313876
orders@consciouschocolate.com
www.consciouschocolate.co.uk
Everlasting
ValentinesMeditations and exercises
for sustaining love, romance
and intimacy all year round.
By Leora Lightwoman

Th e yo ga
of Love

W
hy fall in love, when you can rise in love? Rising Many of the elements we associate with Valentines Day are
in love is when that initial thrill evolves into already celebrated within Tantra. Beautifying the love nest, for
something far deeper, more sustainable, sweeter example, both in terms of aesthetic beauty, such as sprinkling rose
and quite profound. And it keeps getting better! petals on the bed you share with your Beloved, lighting candles
That delicious, exhilarating feeling of aliveness, and incense, and also in terms of creating Sacred Space inwardly.
that open-hearted yes to life Tantric mediations help us to move out of the way of the mind, and
And how would you like to be on Cloud 9 even if you are single into the heart, the only place where true intimacy can occur.
knowing that this experience originates from within yourself?
Could this Valentines Day be an opportunity to open a gateway
into a more profound possibility for your whole life? Perhaps this Meditation 1: Appreciations
is the Day of Love on which to commit to beginning this journey, It seems such an obvious thing that when we love someone, or want
as you would commit to a marriage. Not just for the thrill of the to love someone, we notice what we appreciate in them; there is a
moment, but also for the long term. whole art to giving and receiving appreciations.
Valentines Day, like Christmas, can be a lonely or difficult time It is not uncommon, on receiving a compliment, to respond with a
for some. Single people can feel inadequate, or envious, as if they very British thank you whilst swiftly averting gaze for too long, lest
are missing the boat; the same goes for couples in challenging a hint of emotion should seep out. Alternatively, we can practice
relationships. savouring the appreciation, and noticing how it affects us. Such as:
A few simple Tantra exercises can help.
For singles, people can fill up, from the inside out, and become ANNA: I loved the dinner you cooked for us last night. You could
happier and more alive in themselves - with or without a partner. see that I had lots to do, and you came straight in from work and
Couples can build bridges from their lonely islands and create the made two versions of the dish, one for the kids, and the other for us.
most fabulous, authentic means of returning to love. This gave me a break for a shower and a few minutes of me time,
Try out a little experiment: when do you feel most deeply fulfilled and I was a different person when I emerged. You did all of this with
is it when you receive a beautiful gift, or is it when you share a smile and lots of engagement, and I could really feel your love and
something of great meaning to another? When you can feel their care and dedication to our family.
true appreciation, how much they value this gift, and you can see the (Instead of: Thanks for cooking dinner)
difference you are making to their life? So this year, how would it be
to decide to make your life beautiful? That you will love, appreciate STEVE: You are welcome. I feel a warm glow when I hear you
and cherish those that you love, and the life you have. recognise my dedication to our relationship and family. Its really

60
important to me to be acknowledged, and this gives me even more
energy and enthusiasm. I am really happy to have enhanced your
evening in this way, and look forward to doing so again.
(Instead of: A pleasure).

In this way, giving and receiving love can become a positive feedback
loop, the momentum of which can transform previously absorbing
conflicts, and allow these to be communicated in ways that deepen
love and understanding.
And true intimacy comes with having traversed the depths
together. In terms of the meaning, the soul of a relationship, one
that has lasted many years and weathered ups and downs and
where a couple have come together to traverse both beautiful and
challenging life events, holds a quality that is infused with deep
appreciation and a knowing of partnership that extends to the roots.
We can appreciate our journey together as a couple, and value the
return to reconciliation after an argument.

Meditation 2: Heart Talk


Allow 20 minutes per person. You can practice this meditation alone
or with a partner.
Sit comfortably. Partners face each other. Close your eyes. One
of you, place your hands on your chest, on your heart centre, and
close your eyes. Imagine you are welcoming your heart. Imagine that
your heart has its own unique wisdom, and its own quality. Give this
quality a voice by speaking out loud as if you were your own heart.
For example, I would say: I am Leoras heart. Keep repeating this
phrase, and trust the messages that emerge from your heart. If you
are with a partner, they can ask your heart three or four specific
questions, such as As Leoras heart, how is it to be the heart of this
woman? What burdens you? What liberates you? How connected
are you with Leoras sexuality? If you are on your own, write these
questions down in advance, and allow your heart to respond to them
one at a time.
Some hearts are not ready to speak in this way. Many people,
in our culture even more so for men, have learned to guard their
hearts. It can take time to open. You can let your heart speak about
how difficult it is for the man or woman of which you (the heart) are
part, to allow you (the heart) space.

Leora Lightwoman is the founder of Diamond Light Tantra


(diamondlighttantra.com)

61
Th e yo ga
of Love

Chocolate for breakfast


How cacao can take your yoga practice and your love life
to the next level. By Jo De Rosa

T
here are a lot of people out there who think that addition of milk, the original cacao is stripped of its goodness
they are a chocoholic, when the fact is they are not with just bad fat, milk and sugar remaining.
addicted to the cacao at allits the sugar they crave. Even the raw cacao we find in health food shops has a lower
Give a chocoholic 100% cacao, with nothing added, amount of active compound than ceremonial grade cacao
and they will recoil from the bitter, mature taste, because most South American cacao is from hybridised beans.
which is totally different from what they are used to. Fortunately, Some say that cacao originated in Central America whilst others
there is nothing wrong with eating the right kind of chocolate. In say that it travelled from Ecuador or Peru north into Central
fact, I eat it most days. America with the shamans. Perhaps only 10% of the worlds
So, Id like to share with you my chocolate journey and why I chocolate supply comes from the smaller non-hybridised beans,
love to have it for breakfast. Yes, for breakfast! The cacao that and there are not many suppliers in the world producing it for
I am talking about here has been acquired for its meditation global shamanic ceremonial use, rather than flavour.
properties - the fact that it tastes good is only an added
bonus. The beans have been sourced in Guatemala from the The spiritual uses of chocolate
tropical rainforest that ancient Mayans would have used in their I first experienced a full cacao ceremony three years ago and to
ceremonies throughout millennia. Its true, chocolate has been say I was blown away by the chocolate and the whole experience
used for centuries to focus the mind, but was overlooked in the is an understatement. From that moment on, I began to use the
1960s love revolution because it was not very psychedelic. chocolate regularly during my yoga retreats and in classes - and
now hold regular cacao ceremonies myself.
The facts Eat or drink alone or before class, savouring the taste as you
Sadly, most of the chocolate on the supermarket shelves just begin to notice changes in your body and mind. The chocolate
doesnt cut it. Cows milk inhibits the absorption of theobromine, opens you up, connecting to the heart chakra, and enhances
one of the many active compounds in cacao with 99% of these whatever you are doing, whether thats yoga, meditation, writing,
active compounds missing from most brands of chocolate that teaching, speaking everything. You will feel a deep connection
we see in the shops. What with the procedure that it goes through to self and surroundings and experience a doorway opening
in the factory, the very high heat of the process and then the within you and an opportunity to walk into another dimension of

62
Founded by Leora
Founded
Lightwoman
by LeorainLightwoman
1995 Founded
in by
1995
Leora Lightwoman in 1995
yourself. You feel more focused and plugged in to what is around
and within you. There is more enquiry in each posture and a
stability of mind in meditation that will amaze you. Writing will
flow from you and youll experience your partner in a new and
Holidays,
WONDROUS
WONDROUS Workshops
WEDNESDAYS
WONDROUS
WEDNESDAYS
WEDNESDAYS A Touch
A of
Touch
Magic
of
heightened way.
Love is an elevation of self and, used wisely, this tool has far & Sessions
reaching capabilities.

The science
The health benefits are pretty great too. 100% cacao increases
blood flow by dilating the arteries, thus lowering blood pressure,
reducing heart disease and stroke - one study found that
cardiovascular disease was cut by 37% and stroke by 29%. It
balances out good and bad cholesterols, enhances your mood,
has aphrodisiac properties and is even an appetite suppressant.
So, along with it being packed with vitamins, minerals and
antioxidants, cacao also has anti-inflammatory properties. By
consuming around 20g per day you can significantly reduce the
build up of plaque in your arteries.
So there is no surprise that we all love chocolate - but not all
Tantric Practice
TantricGroups
Practice in
Tantric
Groups
London Practice
in London Groups in London
chocolate is equal. You need to find a good source, one which still
contains the goodness, and therefore, all the above benefits.
Do that and this wonder stuff can elevate your mood, your Tantra is aTantra
part ofislife,
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health, and your love life. Its so good that youll soon be having it North LondonNorth London
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Jo De Rosa is founder and director of Inner Guidance Retreat
A Blissful Way of Life
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Centre in Lavenham, UK, where ceremonial grade cacao is used beginners'
beginners' evenings at anyevenings
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deepe
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Inner Guidance Cacao Ceremony recipe Tantra'AWAKENING


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Add sweetener to taste (around 1-2 teaspoons of xylitol)
1 teaspoon of maca
supported in all our workshops.
1 teaspoon of lucuma
a drop of pure vanilla extract (or flavour of your choice) Leora Lightwoman, MA
(Oxon) founder of Diamond
Method
1. Put all of your ingredients into your food processor and blitz
Light Tantra, is known for her
at a high speed until cashews have broken down and youre sensitive, aware, grounded,
left with a smooth drink. playful and transformational
2. In a high powered blender, the cacao will heat itself with approach to Tantra. She has
friction. facilitated Tantra workshops
3. In a conventional blender, you may need to warm your
and individual and couples
cacao on the hob.
4. We heat ours to around 46C, so it is warm but still raw sessions since 1995.
and not hot enough to cook out the goodies.
5. If you are not using cashews and water to make cashew milk
you can use any nut/coconut milk, just not dairy milk, as For more information, or to book your place,
it inhibits the uptake of the active compounds in the cacao.
please contact Diamond Light Tantra:
6. Store: in an airtight container/bottle in the fridge
7. Shelf Life: will last up to 3 days in the fridge Online: www.diamondlighttantra.com
By phone: 07900 2017 712
Or email us: office@diamondlighttantra.com
Th e yo ga
of Love

Conscious
dating guide
7 keys to successful conscious dating. By Jill Crosby

C
onscious dating is an Ricky Gervaiss character, Mark, picks up
enlightened way of meeting
and dating. Using these

Consciously dating Jennifer Garners character, Anna, for
dinner, they both say exactly what theyre
spiritual dating keys, you will creates a fun, enriching thinking. She opens her front door and
find that you are enjoying your experience to be savoured he introduces himself and asks how she
encounters in a pure sense and connecting is. She replies: A little frustrated at the
on a deeper, more soulful level. and thoroughly enjoyed. moment, also equally depressed and
When these seven keys are pessimistic about our date tonight Its
1. Be brutally honest put into practice, results a great movie. Im not suggesting you be
without being brutal outright rude. However, I do recommend
Most of us have been socially conditioned happen quickly, and its being brutally honest without being brutal.
to not be completely honest. Weve been possible to be experiencing Tact is important, just dont sacrifice the
taught to protect someones feelings by
telling little lies. Its not you, its me, No,
a blissful, loving honesty with yourself or your date. Stay
in your heart and speak your truth.
Im not single, Im flattered thoughIn relationship in no time at. Youll be surprised how others find your
the movie, The Invention of Lying where honesty refreshing.

64
2 Be present and open
When you are truly present in the moment, to say next, or worrying about how you
you are open to meeting someone special look, focus completely on the other person
because you are aware and paying attention. and really hear and feel what they are
For example, when standing in line at the communicating. Hold the space for them to
organic grocer, instead of checking your share without interrupting. Wait a second
emails, be receptive and conscious of who or two after you think they are finished
is in your space. Focus on the moment you and let it sink in before you respond. When
are experiencing right now. Smile, say hi
and initiate conversations. Asking someone
talking, speak from your heart, and allow the
conversation to flow naturally. Every moment An invitation to
a question or commenting on what they are
buying is a great way to start a conversation.
doesnt have to be filled with conversation
silence and just being together is nice too. live with passion,
Meeting strangers can be fun, not only as
potential relationship partners, but there
Remember to breathe and relax.
presence and love
may be also be other gifts for you (or them) 6 Remember your divinity Living Tantra is for people who want more
- a new job, place to live, a great friendship, We are all divine energy, made of the
you never know if you dont reach out. same stuff. When you remember, feel and aliveness, richer relationships, deeper intimacy
integrate your divine presence into your and more authentic connection with others.
3 Be realistic physical body then its difficult to feel
JAN DAY WORKSHOPS
Chemistry comes in all shapes and sizes. unworthy, which is a normal state for many
Realise that your type most likely was people. Its key to do some powerful self-
programmed by mass media, parental and growth work where you forgive and love Living Tantra 1
societal conditioning. Most singles have yourself unconditionally. Allow this love Exploring how we love, relate and express our
used or will use a dating site at one point of self and joy to radiate outward and sexuality as man or woman. Open to singles
or another. When viewing profiles look at attract the same. and couples
potential partners eyes and feel their energy 24 Feb 3 March Dorset
through their photos. Your life partner 7 Stay in the flow 13 20 April, Somerset
18-month Living Tantra Training (starts June 2017)
may not look like the type youve been Getting out of your head, following your
conditioned to see as attractive. They may heart and trusting your inner guidance is the
be taller, shorter, thinner, or thicker - look essence of staying in the flow. When you are The Living Tantra training is for those who want
deeper. As you thoroughly savour and connected to your divinity, you know what a powerful experience of personal and spiritual
experience every person you encounter, to do, where to go, who to talk with. There growth in a closed group so that depth of
you can appreciate their uniqueness and is no thinking things through for hours, exploration, relationship, trust and support can
connect in a much more meaningful way. days or weeks, it just happens. Letting go grow over time.
of expectations and preconceived ideas
4 Be real about how something or someone should Conscious Relationships
8-15 July, Findhorn
Being real means dropping your guard and be, and not screening everything you say
letting go of ego being yourself without helps you stay present and in the flow while A exploration into relating with authenticity,
trying to impress or show off. Imagine you being brutally honest. Trusting that you are honest communication and love.
are hanging out with your best friend or perfectly guided by your higher self (divine
sibling, someone you are totally yourself presence) is amazingly helpful and shifts your Meetings without Masks
with. Practice being that way with everyone life to a series of crazy-fun synchronicities. (singles only, gender balanced)
you meet, including potential partners. 12th Feb, 2nd Apr, 4th Jun, 10th Sept
When you are real, relaxed, present and Consciously dating creates a fun, enriching London 10am 6pm
honest, others feel this and tend to be more experience to be savoured and thoroughly A chance to meet and practice authentic,
comfortable and real too. Dont worry if enjoyed. When these seven keys are put heart-focused relationship.
its a good match in the beginning, just get into practice, results happen quickly, and its
to know them and have some fun. Follow possible to be experiencing a blissful, loving For more info and full calendar of workshops:
your inner guidance and use discernment.
By expressing your true, authentic self, you
relationship in no time at. Most importantly,
In-Joy the adventure!
www.janday.com
send out that same energy to the quantum www.meetingswithoutmasks.com
field and magnetise a partner that is also Jill Crosby is the owner of the conscious email: office@janday.com
being real. dating site (GreenSingles.com). A dynamic 020-8123 9831
public speaker, retreat leader and
5 Listen hypnotherapist, she facilitates Wild Dolphin
When on a date, practice active listening. and Whale Swim Retreats for singles and is
Instead of planning out what you are going also the founder of ConsciousEvents.com
Th e yo ga
of Love

Just good friends


Find connection, harmony, trust and play with partner yoga. Wendy A. Hern

W
ant to share your mutual love of yoga or share
your personal passion of yoga with a friend
or with someone you love? Why not explore
partner yoga?
Sharing a practice of breath and bodily
movement can bring you closer together, whatever your relationship,
temporarily on the mat and perhaps even cultivate a positive
experience off the mat longer term.
Letting yourself be free to trust yourself in the experience of Photos: Peter Englehardt 2015 (diegoettin.com)
also trusting your loved one can bring growth to your practice
and relationship. As you engage in holding postures together by
supporting each other and finding a balance with each other to keep
your balance in asana, you begin to develop a respect of not only
your abilities, but also the abilities of your partner. Where one may
be stronger, the other may be more flexible. Where one may be more
grounded, the other may take flight. Finding a balance in opposition
and encouraging a give and take from each other is essential
in daily life and in our relationships. Be open without judgement
and allow yourself to enjoy another kind of oneness in yoga with
someone you love. You may just find yourself discovering something
new about yourself and learning something new about someone you
thought you knew everything about already.

By Wendy A. Hern (lovelife-yoga.com)

66
Love shack
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67
Get yourselves together Th e yo g
of Love a

Life tastes sweeter when youre with someone else. Explore the magic of touch and
Tantra on the yoga mat with your partner. By Gopala Amir Yaffa

L
ife is wonderful, but it is even spending time wholly absorbed in each G
 et constant feedback to our actions by
more special when you share other, stretching each other, massaging, communicating with our partner as well
it with someone. Sunsets are listening to each others movements and as by experiencing how it feels when they
beautiful, but even sweeter when giving and receiving, our connections stretch us
you watch them with a loved one. deepen and our hearts heal. Even one or E
 nhance communication skills using
Yoga is wonderful too, and it is even more two hours of conscious practice in a partner words, facial expressions, touch, breath
magical when you share your practice with yoga class can serve as a great bridge over and more
a partner. Yoga works on many levels; it is a gaps that were created in the past. Develop trust and compassion
journey of discovery, of ourselves and our In a relationship we serve as each others Touch and be touched in a safe way
interdependence; each one of us is a whole mirrors we can see our reflection in the Deepen our connection to our partner
universe to be explored through this practice. other and come to better understand
We live in a fast moving world, so partner ourselves. In partner yoga there is constant The magic of touch
yoga is a great way to spend quality time feedback between partners; as someone helps Babies who dont receive enough touch in
together, enjoying a fun and healthy activity. us to stretch, we not only enjoy a fantastic early life do not survive, and children and
Practicing together helps to strengthen the sensation, we also learn how to help them even adults who dont receive enough touch
bonds between a couple. stretch in a better way. As we experience might suffer from a variety of emotional
In partner yoga we connect to each other our partners touch we learn how to touch or mental challenges as well. Touch is the
in new and fun ways, we touch and are them and as we watch them listening and strongest and simplest way of giving and
touched, we stretch more than usual with responding to our sensations, we learn to receiving love, support, warmth and trust
our partners help, balance in ways we could listen and act in response to theirs. and in partner yoga classes we spend most
not by ourselves, breathe deeply together Partner yoga provides a rare opportunity of our time touching each other.
and dive into tranquility while we stare into for both partners to be truly present with By practicing yoga together, we learn
each others eyes. each other without any other distracting how to touch, how to be gentle and kind,
duties, kids or cellphones pure bliss! we learn acceptance and compassion, how
Bringing people together to be respectful and trusting, and how to
Partner yoga is a great way to bring two When we stretch together we can: connect, communicate, and cooperate. Its
people together because, in relationships, Stretch a little more than usual a great opportunity to open the heart and
everything is reciprocal: the more we respect B
 alance in ways that we cannot by overcome past conflicts.
our partner the more they respect us; the ourselves
more we give, the more we get; the more M
 ove with more awareness, realising that Partner yoga and Tantra
we listen, the more we are listened to. In our movements affect our partner Just to make it clear, in partner yoga classes

68
we learn yoga poses. Nevertheless, the Tantra means expansion through within, but also all around us. Contraction
communication, touch and attentiveness awareness, and transformation through is limiting and narrowing while expansion is
skills that participants learn through this pleasure. It really means that your whole freeing. The more we expand ourselves to
experience can definitely lead to a better being is expanded through awareness of include others, the more fun and meditative
love life. your senses, feelings and energy. the feeling is.
Traditional yoga is an individual practice, But theres only so much that can be
Partner yoga can be used to improve but this new partner yoga style is a way to explained with words. So hold your partners
sexuality by: expand our hearts and minds to include hands, look into their eyes, breathe together
D eepening the connection you feel with another person. and with heightened awareness flow as one
your partner If in the old yoga we withdrew within through a series of beautiful yoga poses.
Improve your own understanding of ourselves to find inner joy and peace, in
yourself and your partner this new yoga we learn to expand ourselves By Gopala Amir Yaffa, co-founder, Rainbow
P ut you more in harmony with your own and to discover that happiness is not only Yoga Training (rainbowyogatraining.com)
body and mind and so, make you a better
lover and partner
H elp you cultivate and maintain emotional
and physical balance
K eep you fit and healthy so that youre
more physically capable
A llow you to get into some very
interesting positions

Partner yoga is also based on Tantric


philosophy. The word Tantra in Sanskrit
literally means weave, denoting continuity. It
also means to manifest, to expand, to show.
In this context, everything - including yoga
and sex - is thought to expand consciousness
and to weave together the polarities of male,
and female, into a harmonious whole.

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69
om mind

Meditation of the month

THE
DARK
SIDELearning to experience the darkness
with the light to find true happiness. A
short meditation to help you embrace
your dark side, By Jill Lawson

70
om mind

A
ll throughout human history, people have been
allured by happiness. The pressure to have, be, and
do what makes us happy is relentless. Happiness
is big business, as the self-help industry is not
struggling to make ends meet. In whichever way we
define the perfect life, we all want to live happily ever after.
As yogis, we are acquainted with the quest for enlightenment.
Many of us have sought out a guru, one who will help us move
from darkness to light, because if there is darkness in our lives,
we cant possibly be happy.
The Bible quotes Isiah as saying: The people who walk
in darkness will see a great light. All across the globe, the
movement from darkness to light is something every good human
must experience if we wish to be happy.
We understand darkness to be suffering and anguish of
the worst kind, however, the dark is as natural and organic
as the light. Neither exists without the other. While we equate
enlightenment as the absence of dark, we can still be enlightened
in the presence of darkness.

We understand darkness to be
suffering and anguish of the worst
kind, however, the dark is as natural
and organic as the light. Neither exists
without the other. While we equate
enlightenment as the absence of dark,
we can still be enlightened in the
presence of darkness.
Gandhi said: In the midst of darkness, light persists. Without
darkness, it would be impossible to even know light exists.
The following meditation can help you release fear and
aversions you have about darkness. Embracing your darkness
wont make you a bad person, promote evil deeds or harm toward
others. It is simply a way to understand darkness exists, and when
you realise this, the light becomes so much more evident.

Do it now
Begin in a comfortable position, in a safe and quiet room,
preferably in the dark. Close your eyes and witness the complete
absence of light. With your minds eye, study the dark. Notice any
sensations that arise. Do you feel afraid or ashamed? Continue to
explore the darkness without judgement.
Next, bring your attention to the place within you that gives you
most comfort, such as a feeling of connectedness to your soul. Go
there and feel safe. Let this feeling of contentment shine light on
the darkness that surrounds you. While the dark is still there, you
are no longer gripped by its influence. Instead, you are bringing the
force of light to your life.
Once upon a time, folklore character Snow White said,
Remember, youre the one who can fill your life with sunshine.
So, in your darkness, let your light lead the way, and may you live
happily ever after.

Jill Lawson is a writer and yoga teacher in Colorado, USA


(jilllawsonyoga.com)
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om mind

HYGGE + YOG
Danish for comfort, wellbeing and all things nice, Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga)
is the buzzword of the season. Heres how you can incorporate all those
snuggly, cosy moments into your yoga practice. By Victoria Maw

T
he winter months have a reputation for being dark, cold Practice with friends and family
and dreary. In theory, all these long evenings in might Find your nearest and dearest children, friends, pets and
mean more time for yoga. In reality, sometimes, all we practice yoga together. Hygge is about sharing simple pleasures
really want to do is crawl under a blanket and hibernate. with the people you care about. Enjoy practicing with your baby
The good news is you can indulge this need for warmth lying on a blanket next to you or let your toddler make a bridge out
and cosiness. All you need to do is introduce a little hygge into of your Downward Dog. Share the practice, share the love!
your practice.
Say what?! Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is basically the Danish Spoil your fellow yogis
word for wellbeing. It may be a little word but it has very big ideas. One of the things I love most about yoga is the sense of
Hygge is the buzzword of the season and is all about cherishing community or Sangha (to use the Sanskrit word) it offers. And
yourself and others, making the time and space to be cosy and this idea is also a big part of how to feel hygge. To show your
comfortable, enjoying the simplest of pleasures whether it is a appreciation for your fellow yogis, why not bring a flask of spicy
steaming cup of tea or the feel of your soft slippers, embracing the masala chai tea to pass around after class. Or bake something
here and now. Hygge is certainly a very appealing concept, but it healthy and delicious to share. You might find out more about
is also one that I think sits very naturally with yoga. Here are a few fellow students in ten minutes than you have done in a year of
ideas of how to incorporate a little bit of it into your life and practice practicing together.
this winter.
Take pleasure in your practice
Live and practice in the moment This may sound a bit obvious but it is so easy for both students
Hygge is about living in and enjoying the present moment, something and teachers to get distracted by feelings of competitiveness or
that is directly transferable to yoga. When we practice asana, we focus desire for progress. Come back to what made you love yoga in the
on the breath, the movements of the body and we aim to quieten first place and be content with your practice, whatever it is. Be kind
the mind. For many, a yoga practice is a chance to set aside the to yourself and dont strive for improvement.
noise and bustle of everyday life and come back to the body in that
particular moment. Try and make your next practice all about the Spread the yoga love
present. Observe how you are feeling and breathing right now and One of the things that brings me back to my mat time and time
move accordingly. again is that I know I always feel better post practice and I feel
like I am nicer and kinder to myself and those around me. I am
Create a special space sure this is a feeling that resonates with lots of yogis. If everyone
I find that a change of scene can really alter and inspire my yoga who practiced yoga could take a little bit of this inner warmth and
practice. Why not take advantage of the dark evenings and cosy-up spread it in the wider world, that could only be a good thing and
your yoga space. Turn the lights low, light a candle and burn some wed all feel lovely and hygge. .
beautiful incense I love the smoky warmth of palo santo. Find some
super soft blankets to wrap around yourself in Savasana or practice Victoria Maw is a yoga teacher based in South East London
supine poses like Happy Baby whilst lying on a sheepskin. Maybe even (victoriamawyoga.com)
practice in your pyjamas one night. Pure hygge in action.

74
om mind
spirit

De-Stress: Yoga off the mat

What is
grounding?
Taking the time to really get grounded and to be
in the now can feed through to all aspects of our
daily life. By Charlotte Watts

76
om mind

200 Hour Yoga

T Teacher Training
he term grounding is often connection our physical yoga practice
used in yoga classes and in is a great route back. The definition of the
relation to any activity that helps
to draw us into a sense of the
word yoga as union can mean attunement
between our sense of self and the larger Intensives
in Spain
present moment. But what does world around us. So, when we move into
grounding actually mean? What qualities stronger and standing postures, a sense
and physical attributes make grounding an of grounding is really key for how we move
important part of our practice? through the space around us, how we sense
To not be grounded in life at any moment our body in relation to the world around us.
is to feel that were not really there. That This is proprioception or sense of self and
includes a full physical sense that we are how we get from one place to another. Good
somehow off and away, that we are off in grounding creates movement with a sense of
our heads, even away with the fairies. This grace and integration.
removal from a sense of where we are at In standing postures, lifting up from the
that moment can even move into feelings floor is defined by sensory input up from the
of dissociation, where we can experience a feet, up through the inner legs, up through
complete disconnect from mind and body. the pelvic floor, the spine, up through into
This state has been associated with the out the throat in the top of the palate and top Established Comprehensive
of body experiences sometimes viewed as of the head. All that connection and feeling Vinyasa Flow Training
a spiritual high, but often has its roots in up from the ground in standing, and moving with Thousands of Successful
trauma. In yoga, opening into the higher through standing postures, really makes Graduates
echelons relies on solid roots; fostering the difference between whether we are fully
grounding through the lower chakras (pelvis embodied. And thus we may remain with
and belly) to meet the subtleties of the a practice that is aware and conscious or
higher chakras up into the head. whether we are simply flailing around, even
Grounding is really feeling where we are on feeling quite heady and moving in a bit
a whole physical level in the here and now, in of a dream state or without coordination.
this present moment. So, its a very sensory Spending time feeling your feet on the
thing, a very sensory feeling in quality. It ground (from a stable feet hip-width apart)
involves having a clear internal sense and changes as you shift weight forward
interoception of the shape and size and ratio and back, side-to-side and in circles, creates
of our physical being just as it is right now. good foundations from which to grow, not
So for instance, if we lay down in just in our practice, but how we walk and
Savasana or at the beginning of a class to move through life.
simply arrive, we might feel that our body Within yoga, it is the quality of attention
feels larger or smaller in places. Maybe our that can really determine whether it is
feet feel very big or very small or that we helping us to ground in life or whether its
can barely feel them. Cultivating a sense something that feeds into any tendencies
of grounding means fully engaging in the to dissociate, to disconnect from life itself.
present moment, where we are placed on the Spending time connecting with each breath,
earth, right now. We can foster this through feeling each part of our body, where it is in
the senses and the breath, even moving our space right now, even palpably feeling it with
hands and feet and rolling our heads full our hands is at the heart of our practice
weight on the ground to truly feel that we feeding up intelligently into our lives.
are here; that we exist. After a physical practice, feeling
Grounding is a sense of where we are in grounded, centred and calmly present are
relation to the world around us so that we the positive ripples we can take into life.
can clarify that we are not lost elsewhere Feeling buzzy, heady or excited can mean FrogLotusYogaInternational.com
therefore it has the potential to offer a weve not spent enough time in grounding Suryalila.com
true sense of safety. Its not possible to Savasana, where we allow things to settle,
feel fully grounded when we are stressed, assimilate and gather back in to our sense
overwhelmed and highly reactive. It is of self. Yoga is connection and exploring
possible to feel grounded when we are beyond the physical starts in the here March 25 April 15, 2017
excited or having to respond quickly to and now. Jun 24 Jul 15, 2017
something if we have cultivated a sense
of embodied awareness or if we dont tend Charlotte Watts is a UK-based yoga
Oct 07 Oct 28, 2017
to flood or panic when we come into the instructor and the author of For Advanced Modules and additional
stress response. The De-Stress Effect: Rebalance Your Bodys 2017 dates, check our website
When we are not feeling fully connected Systems for Vibrant Health and Happiness
with our body and grounding is that (charlottewattshealth.com)
om mind

FREE YOURSELF FROM


POOR CONFIDENCE
Do you hold yourself back because of poor confidence? Do you find you dont
pursue your goals or achieve all you could because your insecurities hold you back?
Nows the time to break free, writes Charlotta Hughes

I
ts true that the impact of a lack that if you dont get the results you hoped for The beliefs you hold about yourself often
of confidence on you and the youll be able to handle it and find a different surface as excuses: what we tell ourselves or
progression of your life can be huge. It way to get there. believe in for why we have poor confidence.
can spoil your greatest achievements Confident people tend to be more The fact is that we all, at times, have
and what would otherwise be your optimistically minded, which results in them excuses for why we dont feel how wed like,
happiest moments. In fact, it can even not only making the most of opportunities or achieve or have the things wed like, and
prevent them from happening. This could but also in them expecting a positive the annoying thing with us humans is that
be due to a tendency to put yourself and outcome, which increases the likelihood we do whatever it takes to prove ourselves
everything you do down, so that you dont of that outcome materialising. And, right. Even if the only person we hurt in the
recognise or celebrate your successes. Or importantly, their confidence allows them to process is ourselves! You may well be able
it could be due to you not achieving things enjoy the process more. So a real three-way to reel off a list of what feels like perfectly
in the first place because your insecurities win: with confidence you take more chances, legitimate reasons for why you have, and
interfere with your performance, or because enjoy taking them and enjoy more frequent perhaps should have, poor confidence.
you dont even allow yourself to try. success! Sounds pretty attractive, doesnt it? It may sound confrontational to say that
Either way, the importance of confidence So the big question is how to achieve this. youre making excuses, because with an
to your life and how it evolves cannot emotion like confidence your excuses will
be underestimated. Self-beliefs feel like real, justifiable reasons. But however
A high level of self-confidence on the other Often this has to involve identifying and justified you feel you are, if you acknowledge
hand, positively impacts on all areas of your dispelling the beliefs you hold about yourself that these reasons are in fact functioning
life - at work, study or home and in social and your life. This enables you to take as excuses you give yourself the opportunity
situations. It allows you to be more you, and control of how you feel, giving you the power to tackle them so that you can increase your
to be the best version of you. Imagine the to improve things and to enjoy your life confidence. This is not about belittling how
relief of just knowing that whatever happens and progress, whether at work, in study you feel but instead about liberating yourself
and whatever the outcome youll be fine, and or privately. from your limiting beliefs.

78
om mind 200hr Yoga
Teacher Training
with Sally Parkes BSc
Filtering system n Identify the beliefs youd most like
to change.
Author of
Lets explore this a little further. You The Students Manual of Yoga Anatomy
probably feel, and even know, that you are
n Turn them on their heads by writing
good at certain things and not so good at
a list of things youd like to believe to be
others. That certain things are possible or
true about yourself instead. What beliefs
achievable whilst others are out of your
would really benefit you? What would you
reach or beyond your abilities.
love to know to be true about yourself and
Whatever your knowledge or beliefs
your reality?
around your own abilities and opportunities,
you will filter everything that happens
n Look for evidence of why you should
around you in accordance with these beliefs.
already hold these beliefs. This may be
Lets briefly explore what is meant by
challenging at first but have patience with
filtering. We have a huge amount of stimuli
yourself and look back - when in the past did
coming at us all day every day, and we
your lack of confidence prevent you noticing
simply cant process everything: the sounds,
evidence? For example, if your belief is Yoga Asana
smells, sights, physical sensations. Our
senses help us by filtering out information,
that you always fail at interviews but youre Anatomy & Physiology
and they will choose what to take in and
currently in a job, thats an excellent example Subtle Anatomy
of you having succeeded at an interview.
what to ignore, largely based on our
Another example could be to counteract a
Yoga Philosophy
preconceived ideas of how things are.
So if you know that youre great at
negative belief about your social life with The Basics of Ayurveda
socialising and small talk, when youre at a
examples of when youve enjoyed seeing Teaching Methods & Ethics
friends or had a good conversation in the
party you will notice everyone who talks to
past month or two. Note down any examples
The Business of Yoga
you, who smiles at you and who nods when
you can think of. Perhaps also discuss this Home Study & Self-Practice
you speak. The ones that dont listen or drift
with a trusted friend who can help you find
away you may not notice at all, or you wont
examples in your life. Training held in UK & Spain
attach any importance to their acts. Or you
may assume that theyve been called away.
n Now think about how you can create
You simply filter them out. New 7 Day
more opportunities to replicate past,
On the other hand if you know that Advanced
successful behaviours, to add more and
youre not so good at something, or that Yoga TT Module
more evidence to support your new
something isnt possible for you, youll filter Coming Soon!
positive beliefs.
information just as effectively to support
this. So if your lack of confidence means you
Pregnancy Yoga
n You might want to use a success diary to
know youre not good at small talk or at
make sure you capture all of your evidence
telling an entertaining story, the only person
youre likely to notice in the room is the
one who isnt listening. The smilers are only
and record your progress. Practice, and
allow yourself to get more and more familiar Teacher Training
with your new self-beliefs.
being polite or kind. Right? Certified by FEDANT and
But are they? Or could it be that they
n You might also want to place your list
Yoga Alliance US & UK
are actually enjoying listening to you?
of confidence boosting beliefs somewhere
So could you be doing yourself, and them,
visible and read them daily this is what
This 6 day course includes:
a disservice?
coaches refer to as affirmations. It will keep
Events are actually completely neutral.
them fresh in your mind and reinforce them
Pregnancy Yoga
Its your interpretation of them which
at both conscious and subconscious levels. Post-Natal Yoga
determines your experience, and which
dictates your level of confidence. Mother and Baby Yoga
Follow the above process and with some
And the good news is that if your
interpretation doesnt work well for you, its
persistence, you can start to liberate Courses in the UK and Dubai
yourself from many of the limiting things you
within your power to change it!
Heres something you can try to do
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n Write a list of the things you feel youre on Amazon. For a reduced pre-launch
lacking your negative beliefs about offer visit Charlotta Hughes website: www.sallyparkesyoga.com
yourself and your reality. bemelifecoaching.com
info@sallyparkesyoga.com
+44 (0)7983 508018
om spirit

Set your creative spirits free at Sarpenela

Photos: Brent Jones


80
om spirit

G
ong baths, healing and meditation days,
theres something for all soul seekers at
Dorsets Sarpenela Natural Therapies
Centre.
The centre was first established in 2000
by Sarah Lownds, whose passion and deep belief in
natural therapies and a holistic lifestyle developed while
managing spas in the Middle East for 11 years.
And this year she wants to give even more to her
community, opening two new spaces, The Studio and
The Lodge, to offer an even wider range of therapies
and classes.
Set in the grounds of Farnham Farmhouse, the MT KAILASH
new spaces are nestled in a beautiful walled garden,
surrounded by Dorsets delightful countryside. Yoga Pilgrimage
Its the perfect backdrop for holistic offerings such
as Reiki training, gong baths, heartfelt dance, healing TIBET-NEPAL 2017
and meditation days, kindred spirit gatherings and
share groups.
Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre will be offering Travel Options:
all levels of Reiki training throughout 2017, all taught by 25 June 19 July 2017
Lownds, a Reiki master. 24 July 17 Aug 2017
She says: If you are seeking healing, or you wish to 22 Aug 15 Sept 2017
use Reiki to help others and you are open and willing to
let this healing energy flow through you then you can
become a Reiki practitioner. Throughout 2017, as well
as offering Reiki training courses, the centre will also be
running regular Reiki share groups for people to share
their knowledge and experience.
The first Reiki training event this year will be a Reiki
First Degree taking place on March 3-5.
Lownds will also be leading new gong baths in The
Studio space, which she says is a great way to re-
balance, re-energise and re-align mind, body and spirit. Journey to mystical Mt Kailash and Lake
A gong bath is a form of sound therapy where the Manasarovar near the juncture of the Tibet-
gongs are played in a therapeutic way to bring about India-Nepal border, departing from and
deep relaxation, meditation and healing, she says. The returning to Kathmandu, Nepal. Visit the
term gong bath means that you are bathed in sound Potala palace, temples and monasteries
waves no water is involved! You will experience the of Lhasa, Yamdrok Tso lake, Gyantse,
gong bath lying down comfortably or seated if preferred. Lake Manasarovar and thermal springs
All you have to do is relax, close your eyes and allow arriving for the full moon to participate
yourself to be bathed in the sound vibrations of the in the traditional Yoga pilgrimage walk
gongs and shamanic percussion, including therapeutic around Mt Kailash. Appreciate a broader
chimes, shamanic drums and rattles. understanding of ancient and contemporary
With a broad mix of other therapeutic treatments, Yoga traditions including the commonalities
courses and classes available, the vision to make and distinctions across Buddhist, Bonn,
Sarpenela a leading healing and wellness centre is well Hindu and Western perspectives. Optional
under way. Yoga practices and discussions.

Find out more about courses, workshops and classes at:


sarpenela.co.uk

yoga@yoganature.org
www.yoganature.org
om spirit

Love
gospel
is the

The Church of Yoga: a place for party


and prayer, where love is the only gospel

82
om spirit

I
t may have its roots in India and The Bayou Treme neighbourhood is one of
Hinduism, but they say that yoga isnt the oldest in New Orleans, famed for its brass
religious. Well, now theres a place in the bands. The music of the area is especially well
USA where you can literally worship this suited to Flynns own musical Lotus Flow yoga.
ancient discipline - and get your groove Its also an area that was affected by
on too. Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which devastated
A place for the party and the prayer, the large parts of the city. Although there was
Church of Yoga opens this month in an old some damage from Katrina, the area faced
renovated church in the Bayou Treme, in the only moderate flooding, although it remains
heart of New Orleans, Louisiana. an incredibly underserved area even today.
Its the idea of Dana Trixie Flynn, founder To be able to provide free and donation-
of Laughing Lotus (laughinglotus.com) the based classes, the Church of Yoga will also
popular bi-coastal yoga centres in New host community events, weddings, yoga
York and San Francisco - who is expanding retreats, online classes, musical and gospel
her vision of bringing yoga to everyone by performances, and teacher trainings as well
opening a self-sustaining, multifunctional yoga as operating the Church Lady Caf, serving
studio and community centre available to all vegan Cajun specialties and non-alcoholic
her church. elixir shots.
The Church of Yoga will offer donation- I am excited to share the healing benefits
based classes, meditation, and outreach, in of a yoga practice right alongside the
an effort to introduce the benefits of yoga to celebrated sounds of New Orleans music,
a new audience. It will also draw on the citys says Flynn. Its a match made in heaven. All
rich musical legacy. of us will benefit, those near and far. Everyone
Flynn tells OM that she felt a calling to give will want to come on down to the Church of
back to her community after receiving so Yoga, home to the party and the prayer. Love
much from yoga through the years. is the gospel.
I am called, she says. My love for New
Orleans has kept me coming back for over 25
years, as long as I have been teaching yoga,
and this past year a funky old church found me
in the 7th Ward and I am called to give back.
She adds: Yoga has given me a life beyond
my wildest dreams, it has allowed me to
transform destructive behaviours into sacred
tools for living healthy and happy. Its given
me my bonus family and a deep sense of
belonging.
The necessary renovations for the
church were part funded by donations
and crowdfunding from Lotus yogis around
the world.

83
om living

eatdrinkyoga
Healthy eating goodies
The Coconut Company Coconut Nectar
The Coconut Company has launched a new coconut
nectar, a great vegan alternative to honey. It looks
Grapevine Wood Roasted Cashews and behaves just like honey and has a mild caramel
Wood roasted cashews with their skin on taste, whats more it can be used in exactly the
now available in Grape Tree health stores same way, drizzled over porridge and cereals, on
nationwide. Cashews as they should be, toast or in hot drinks. Sounds yummy.
were told! We might be used to cashew 5.25
nuts looking beige and bland, but head to thecoconutcompany.co
Vietnam (where many of the cashews in
our supermarkets come from), and those
being eaten by people on the streets look
altogether very different. Its because were
used to eating the cashews with their skins
off, whilst in Vietnam they are preferred
roasted with their skins on. Apparently, were
missing out on the tastiest part of these
savoury snacks!
6.99
grapetree.co.uk

Ethical Coffee Biodegradable Capsules


If you still crave a morning espresso and use those
disposable coffee pod machines then at least you
can now keep your environmental conscience clean.
Feel Good Drinks Cofico and the Ethical Coffee Company have teamed
Three new flavours in the Bit Bubbly range of natural soft drinks: Orange, up to launch the first 100% biodegradeable coffee
Passion Fruit & Water; Lemon, Elderflower & Water; and Cranberry, Lime capsules in the UK, fully compatible with Nespresso
& Water. All come in 750ml and 275ml glass bottles. The new Refreshingly machines (the ones with George Clooney in the TV
Still range, also includes new flavours: Orange, Mango & Water; Cranberry, ads). Billions of Nespresso pods end up in landfills
Pomegranate & Water; and Lemon, Elderflower & Water. All 100% natural, throughout the world every year - so, coffee drinkers,
made from a simple blend of fruit and water. Available in Asda and its now time to do your bit!
Sainsburys. 3 (10 pods)
2 (275ml 4x Bit Bubbly glass bottles) cofico.co.uk
feelgooddrinks.co.uk

84
London 7
- 9 t h J u l y 201
8
9-5pm

Addressing wellbeing in schools through yoga

Speakers and workshop leaders include


Dr Usha Nayar Senior Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
Dr Shirley Telles Head of the Indian Council of Medical Research for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology
and Director of Research at Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, India
Charlotta Martinus Director of TeenYoga. Yoga in school
Dr Lisa Kaley-Isley Yoga Therapist and Psychologist for young people at Yoga Campus. Yoga for anxiety
Rhian Fox Teacher at Prior Park College, Bath. Yoga and gender
Dr Lisa Greenspan Counselling Psychotherapist, BACP. Yoga and young offenders
Silvia Giovanni Lead Youth Facilitator at PYE Global. Yoga and creativity
Robin Watkins-Davis (17) TYF Youth Patron. Teenagers and society

Other speakers from policy, youth and schools TBC.

International speakers and parallel experiential workshops. Take-home tips for schools, healthcare and classroom yoga.

Would you like to speak or present a workshop?


For tickets and information
please visit our website:

CPD
www.teenyogafoundation.com EVENT
om living

Spring a
LEEK
Time to get versatile
with your vegetables

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Leek and
Cauliflower Soup
with Lemongrass
and Coconut Milk
This soup is a wonderfully contemporary take on the
classic leek and potato soup. Swapping out the potato
for the cauliflower reduces the carbs but keeps it just as
creamy. The lemongrass adds the most incredible fresh
zingy taste. This soup is stunning served warm and spicy
or can be served chilled in the summer

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 leeks, washed and trimmed and chopped, reserve

Warm Puy Lentil and


handful for garnish
1 medium cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 stick of lemongrass, snapped in three places but


still together
A handful of fresh or frozen peas Beetroot Salad with
Balsamic Leeks
500ml/2 cups veg stock
150ml/2// cup coconut milk
A large knob of vegan margarine
Olive oil
A great low fat detox dish packed full of lively flavour and zing! Use the best
A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
available balsamic vinegar to give a smooth syrupy flavour to the salad so theres
Small red chilli to garnish
no need to add oil.

Method Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
1. In a large pan, gently heat a large knob butter and a Cooking time: 5 minutes
little drizzle of olive oil, add your onion and let them
sweat a little until they begin to turn translucent, then
throw in your leeks and cauliflower and stir. Ingredients
2. Add the lemongrass, turn the heat down to the
110g/4oz/ cup puy lentils, rinsed
lowest, place the lid on and let the vegetables sweat
300ml/ pt vegetable stock
for at least 5 mins until they are soft, then add the
150g/5oz// cup cooked beetroot, diced
peas and pour in the stock and coconut milk.
50g/2oz/1 cup sun blush semi dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
3. Let it bubble gently for another 10 minutes then turn
25g/1oz//6 cup pitted black olives
off the heat and let it cool a little. Remove the stick of
Sprinkling of ground sea salt and black pepper
lemongrass before whizzing up with a stick blender,
2 x 15ml tbsp balsamic vinegar (best available)
if necessary add more stock or milk to reach desired
275g/10 oz/3 cups leeks, halved lengthways and cut into even 2cm lengths
consistency.
75g/3oz/ cup romanesco or cauliflower florets
4. Finely cut a small red chilli and a little leek to garnish
and serve.
Method
1. Simmer the puy lentils with the stock for about 20 minutes or until tender.
Drain and combine with the chopped beetroot, tomatoes and olives. Season
and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.
2. Steam leeks and florets for 5 minutes or until just tender. Carefully place
onto lentil mixture and drizzle with more balsamic just before serving.

Recipes and images: britishleeks.co.uk


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Kale & Leek Bake


Its not like were trying, but weve struggled to find anyone who doesnt
love this dish. The cream sauce, the kale, the garlic breadcrumbs on
top ... Its literally the most perfect creamy casserole-style dish that will
inspire second and third helpings.

Serves: 4

Ingredients
500 ml/17 fl oz/2 cups soya milk
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup vegetable stock
onion, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, 1 smashed, 2 crushed
Pinch of fennel seeds
2 fresh bay leaves
Pinch of whole black peppercorns
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, reserve the stalks for the stock
4 large leeks, cut in half lengthways and sliced into 1 cm ()
pieces, reserving the dark green ends for the stock
80 g/2 oz// cup butter, plus extra for greasing
Olive oil, for frying
1 large bunch kale, leaves stripped and roughly torn
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
35 g/1 oz/ cup plain (all-purpose) flour
120 g/4 oz/1 cup shredded vegan cheese
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Stale bread

Method
1. Pour the soya milk and stock in a medium-sized saucepan and add the onion, smashed
garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley stalks and green leek ends. Bring
to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the
liquid into a bowl and discard the leftover ingredients.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and a glug of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the chopped leek with a pinch of salt and cook until soft but not coloured. Remove
from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.
3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and throw in a large pinch of salt. Drop in the
kale leaves and boil for 34 minutes or until the leaves have begunto soften but still have
their bright green colour. Drain and refresh under cold running water until the leaves are
cool. This will stop the cooking process.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C (Gas Mark 4/350F). Grease four individual or one
largeovenproof dish with a little butter.
5. Heat the remaining butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat until melted. Add
half of the crushed garlic and the thyme and cook for about 30 seconds before adding
the flour. Stir well to combine and cook until it becomes a thick paste. Cook over low
heat for about 1 minute to cook out the raw flour, then slowly add the strained infused
soy milk, stirring constantly to keep the sauce smooth. Add the shredded cheese and
mustard and continue to stir over a low heat until the cheese has melted. Season with
salt and pepper.
6. Either tear the bread into small pieces or pulse in a food processor until you have
chunky breadcrumbs. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a big glug of olive
oil. Add the remaining crushed garlic, the chopped parsley and the breadcrumbs along
with a pinch of salt and toss well to coat in the oil. Cook over medium heat tossing often
until the breadcrumbs are just beginning to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the
heat and set aside. Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (that
7. Add the kale and leeks to the sauce and stir until evenly combined. Pour into the Happens to be Vegan) by Shannon Martinez
prepared ovenproof dishes and top with the garlicky breadcrumbs. and Mo Wyse (Hardie Grant, RRP 20)
8. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.

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Tic ai sh
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av ga
ke lab ow
yo

ts le .c
no at om
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25 & 26 March 2017
SECC, Glasgow

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om living

Nutrition Zone:

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Sugar Free
Make 2017 the year you cut out sugar for good

C
laire White is the author of the highly acclaimed Sugar 3) Check labels
Snub guides (sugarsnub.co.uk), which list the sugar Dont undo all your good work by unknowingly eating or drinking
contents of common supermarket foods and restaurant something laden with hidden sugars. My Sugar Snub books try and
and caf dishes. In her research for the books shes help with this by listing the different levels of sugar in common shop
learnt a lot about sugar. and caf/restaurant foods, but do your own detective work and read
She appreciates that its often easier said than done to simply labels to find out the sugar content of your shopping before putting
give up sugar, but knows that if reduced sensibly even the biggest it in the basket and dont be scared to ask when ordering food or
sugar fiend can cut down on the white stuff and make a dramatic drink how much sugar is in your order.
impact on their health.
4) Be creative
1) Small changes quickly add up There are plenty of ways you can reduce sugar if you put your mind
Marginal gains are talked about a lot in sport at the moment, with to it. Try adding cinnamon or other spices to a recipe, instead of so
the Sky cycling team having become the best in the world by making much sugar, for a different kind of sweet sensation. Make your own
small changes that have added up to make a big difference. Cutting popcorn at home and create some tasty coatings, that dont involve
out sugar can be viewed in much the same way as becoming a world sugar, for a snack that still feels indulgent. Dont fight your need for
champion cyclist. If you just look at the end goal, whether that be chocolate, just go for a darker lower sugar version instead!
becoming an Olympic Gold medallist or totally cutting out sugar,
it can become intimidating and overwhelming. If you break that goal 5) Stay strong
down into smaller steps, such as go a little bit faster on the bike Whilst having the odd sugar laden treat might not do your waistline
today than yesterday then over time the main goal is achieved. any harm in the short term, it can be really detrimental if youre
With sugar, there are so many small steps you can take that the trying to wean yourself off sugar. Coming off sugar in the long term
process of giving it up can be easily broken down into daily and is about re-programming your brain and taste buds so they dont
weekly targets that put you closer towards achieving your main goal. crave sugar. This can happen relatively quickly and often people find
For example, aiming to cut down the number of sugars you have in they no longer even like overly sweet foods after just a few weeks
your tea or coffee from two teaspoons to one is an easy and not of cutting down, but having a packet of sweets can quickly undo the
too painful goal which makes a great achievement for week one. In hard work youve done especially during the early stages. Instead
week two, swap the jam on your morning toast to sugar free peanut buy in some of your favourite savoury snacks and when you feel like
butter. In week three aim to lose one sugar laden pudding from your you deserve a treat go for those instead.
weekly meal plan and replace it with sugar free yoghurt and fruit.
Youll find this not only easier to implement than going cold turkey, The Sugar Snub Guide to Eating Out is available as a paperback and
but also self-reciprocating because as you begin to cut out sweet e-book from www.sugarsnub.co.uk, and Amazon, priced at 8.99 and
foods your sugar cravings reduce and the next steps become easier. 3.99 respectively.

2) Pick a good alternative


Sugar has been seen to be as addictive as heroine, so its not
surprising its so hard to cut out. There are a whole host of
alternatives available, which can make things significantly easier
however. Some alternatives though, such as agave nectar, still
contain really high amounts of sugar, so be careful what you pick.
Id recommend something called xylitol. It might not sound very
natural, but xyl comes from the Greek word for wood and xylitol
comes from birch and beech wood. It has less calories and available
carbohydrates than sugar, but most importantly it has less of an
impact on your blood sugar levels, which helps curb cravings. It also
looks, tastes and acts just like granulated sugar, so its super easy
to bake with, use in tea and coffee or sprinkle on fruit and cereal. It
also has a positive impact on dental health and has been seen to
reduce plaque and tooth decay.

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TEEN CAMP
Concious Parenting

Drop your own baggage or agenda and meet your teens exactly
where they are. By Siri Arti

I
have spent plenty of time considering the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. ones were met with consequences but the
how to transform family conflict Lush fields, mountain ranges, waterfalls and game continued.
into connection, and recently had a dams surrounded our camp. Expansive blue I wasnt in charge, so in true Montessori
wonderful glimpse into the different skies, birds and bees, friendly faces and fashion, I supported the weekend while
ways of parenting and how effective open spaces. Each moment of the weekend subtly observing the youthful antics. It was
or ineffective they can be. was peppered with adventure including wonderful to witness nine teenagers - half
I went away with a group of teenagers to strenuous hikes, communal cooking, fire pit boys, half girls finding their way together in
celebrate a 16th birthday. There were nine building and energetic music making. What a new environment. They loved the activities
teenagers present and three mums. The wasnt scheduled was the mischief the great and brought themselves wholeheartedly to
birthday boys mum was inspired to make outdoors would offer the youth. In their free them. When the hike got tough, they smiled
it a weekend of outdoor adventure and moments, they chose to play. Some good and joked, but kept climbing higher and
wellbeing. She chose a magnificent venue choices were made and some bad. The bad higher. When we reached the waterfall, even

92
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the least adventurous climbed the rocks hidden agenda and high expectations.
to hide behind the cascades or found the Instead, meet them where they are and
courage to jump off a rock plunging into try to see a bigger picture. Communicate.
freezing pools. Accept small misdemeanours. Enjoy the
As well as the constant teasing, there company, but give them space enough
was also praise and encouragement, and to breathe. Please remember your own
helping hands up rock faces and into water. adolescent years. Dont stifle them or make
This group of teenagers who didnt know them feel small. Within reason, allow them to
each other very well inspired me. They found make mistakes, with you present enough to
a way to be together and their zest for life support and offer guidance.
was infectious. I love these wise words from Daniel J
They also found ways to get up to no Siegel: The key for both generations is to
good under our very noses. There was pure be open to what is unfolding, to honour
mischief but also some totally unacceptable the person the adolescent is becoming
behaviour. They got caught, were through all of the unpredictable stages and
reprimanded and educated, but they stood experiences this time entails. Honouring
tall, received both the verbal beating and the means being present for what is happening
consequences, faced the music and moved and being open and accepting so that
on. It was intriguing to witness the dynamics. we can play an important part in our
During the weekend, the responsible adolescents life.
adults showed three variations of parenting It had been a weekend of highs and
methods. One of us dished out lists of lows, but my favourite part by far was when
non-negotiable rules, curfews and harsh the group gathered under a shady tree to
words. The second was more laid back and practice yoga, a first time for most. Taking
the third, still observing, managed the group a deep breath, I felt into the places each
in an open and reasonable way. You can one of them was at, and then moment-
guess how this went down the rigid rule by-moment, journeyed with them to that
maker ruled the roost. Kids were shouted at mysterious yoga place. After bending and
and sleeping under the stars was forbidden. twisting, headstands and crazy balances, I
Mischief was seen as defiance and the lead them into the softness of relaxation.
warm African air turned to frost. A magical Thoughts unravelled while bodies sank
weekend ruined. Both unnecessary and deeply into the earth. We surpassed time
heart breaking. and space, and entered a new paradigm
Teenagers are wired to be wildly creative, where, once again, unity was restored and
courageous, imaginative and driven to take we found the abilty to honour and respect
risks. Trust them. They may withhold the each other again.
truth, be devious and do some pretty stupid
things, but it is their rite of passage to go Siri Arti is the creator of Starchild Yoga, an
through this. education for peace. For details of teacher
The first rule of conscious parenting is trainings and any other events please visit:
to sort your own issues out. Let go of your starchildyoga.com

www.acquavivayoga.com
acquavivayoga@gmail.com
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The wild yoga experience


How Strala guide Dr Sarah Green created a space to help re-establish
meaning and purpose for people at times when all seems lost

S
wim, paddle, bike, or hike your way through the Lake District
to unique hidden locations for yoga with inspirational Strala
guide, Dr Sarah Green. The Yoga Hide-Away offers luxury
sporting and wellbeing retreats all year round. Nestled
on the side of Ling Fell, the boutique five star en-suite
accommodation is set within Highside Farm, a 17th century Lakeland
farmhouse, sympathetically restored, with an abundance of character.
Surrounded by fells, running streams and breathtaking sunsets, its the
perfect place to relax.
Three years ago, Green and her husband Rob embarked on a
journey to create an environment where people feel free to express
themselves, find inner strength and develop a connection to their
soul. Having carried out her doctoral research on the spiritual
experience of activity for individuals living with a physical disability,
she soon discovered the importance of yoga and sport as a tool to
re-establish meaning in life at a time when all seemed lost. Working
alongside British servicemen and women meant that she gained a
deep insight into the power of movement, for mind and body, as a
way to experience, evolve and excel.
This experience has helped shape The Yoga Hide-Away and its
philosophy of providing an inclusive and holistic retreat for disabled
and non-disabled individuals. Green also worked in the field of disability
sport and was confronted with the reality that the built environment can
be disabling for people living with a disability. This was a stark reality
that her and her husband felt was unjust and something they wanted
to change. When converting the farm from its sheep farming roots into
the home of The Yoga Hide- Away, they wanted to create a retreat that
was inclusive.

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Its now a place for people to come together and practice yoga,
irrespective of physical ability. Yoga is a tool to bring people together,
deepening connection to oneself and others and should be inclusive for
all, she says. As a result, the centre has adapted rooms, with the feel of
pure luxury, natural wet rooms and an endless pool without steps.
One of the most important aspects of the retreat is to experience
wild yoga as a way to instill a deep connection to oneself and nature.
Green guides yoga on the tops of mountains, in running streams, on
the shores of beautiful lakes and even in some of the Lake Districts
hidden caves.
A retreat here can be yours to design, with lots of activities on offer
including an onsite endless swimming pool, fell running and walking,
mountain biking, paddle boarding, wild swimming and more. A true
place for revival and rejuvenation for all.

Find out more at: yogahideaway.co.uk

95
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MyYogaBiz
Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga
business of your dreams.
This months mentor: Charlie Morgan, 30, Shanti Living

BUSINESS PLANS super useful for connecting with people and


I dont have a detailed business plan because learning and being inspired by others. My
I would like my career to evolve organically biggest bit of advice is not to get consumed
to a certain degree. I used to plan and goal by it. If youre going to use it, be authentic.
set all the time. Now I dont and Ive actually Post stuff that you enjoy posting, not what
found that I move forward more quickly than you think people want to see. Compare and
I did before. However, the magic in having a you will despair. Keep it real and remember
plan is that it gives you direction. If you dont to remind yourself that most of what you
know where youre going, how will you know see is a fluffed up, sugar coated version of
when youve got there? peoples lives, so dont take it too seriously.

MARKETING TIPS WHATS YOUR NICHE


Social media platforms have been the What makes my classes stand out is SELF-CARE TIPS
most successful marketing tools for me they are extremely relaxed. Im not really Self practice, healthy diet, regular massages,
Instagram in particular (although no doubt interested in showing off my knowledge of pedicures, going for long walks in nature with
something new will replace that soon!). My anatomy or yogic philosophy, my focus is my miniature dachshund - and lots of naps!
biggest blooper was spending loads of time simply to create a warm, fun environment
and money on flyers. Unless you are giving in which everyone feels welcome and where ASKING FOR HELP
flyers to your students who already know people can get out of their heads and back I have a mentor and have done the whole
and have faith in you, in my opinion, blind into their bodies. I always focus my classes way through my yoga career so far. I get so
flyering is a complete waste of time. on a subject Ive been thinking about, much out of this and couldnt recommend
maybe stemming from a podcast Ive been the importance of having one enough. When
SOCIA MEDIA listening to or a book I am reading. Oh you first qualify, you need guidance on so
I use it on a daily basis, posting to yeah, and I love to turn the lights down and many things, and having a great mentor is
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and find it pump my music! such a support with this.

HARDEST LESSON
Learning to say no. When you start out its
tempting to say yes to everything. Its great
to be readily available, but there is a limit
and you have to be realistic with your hours.
I took on way too many classes at one point,
working early mornings and evenings and
pushed myself too much to have a stronger
physical practice, in fear of not being good
enough. As a result, my body took me down.
My left hip was in so much pain that I had
to spend loads of money on treatment and
I could barely walk at one point. You only
have one body be kind to it!

Written and compiled by Claudia Brown


(yogabyclaudia.com)

96
Teacher zone
A deeper understanding of yoga...
for teachers, by teachers

Inside:
Page 98: Mindfulness In Action
Page 100: To Demo Or Not To Demo

97
Teacher zone

Mindfulness
Stella Tomlinson describes
how her yoga practice has
helped her navigate the
wobbly times in life and

in action
how yoga teachers (yes,
even yoga teachers!) are
only human too

N
o matter how much we teach
or practice yoga, mindfulness
and meditation, chances
are life is going to throw
something into the mix which
challenges our hard-earned equilibrium. We
all get those days or weeks when we just feel
off-kilter, for no obvious reason. At these
times it can feel challenging to motivate
ourselves to step onto our yoga mat or sit
on our meditation cushion.
Id like to share with you a personal story
of one of those times. And to share with
you why its so important to fall back onto
the support of your yoga and meditation
practice to help get through it.
So, a couple of months ago, I experienced
a weird, wobbly week.
It started off great. Id graduated from my
two-year Dru meditation teacher training. I
felt refreshed after a week off on a retreat.
I was looking forward to getting back to
my yoga teaching. Id got new classes and
workplace yoga and mindfulness initiatives
coming up.
But then I found myself not sleeping very
well. My mind wouldnt shut up. A Facebook
post irritated me and I let it get under
my skin.
I felt the not good enough button well
and truly pressed.
I got the fear that I wont make it as a
yoga teacher. That people want to feel like
theyve worked out from a yoga session
(which Im not interested in teaching). That
all the nice rooms and halls in my area are
already taken. Its not fair. Why arent all my
classes full?
Hello self-pity and self-doubt and self-
judgement. Hello tight throat, tight chest.
Tension. Disconnection from the ground.
Feeling lost in a whirlwind of what ifs and
shouldnts.

Being human, mindfully


Why am I telling you this? Probably like
many other teachers, it would be very easy

98
Teacher zone

for me to waft around pretending Ive got And I sat and felt the breeze on my And its human to have a choice with how
it all sorted. Writing this is exposing my skin and listened to the rustle of the wind we deal with these strong emotions. We can
vulnerabilities to the world. in the leaves. continue on automatic pilot and be pushed
Well, Im sharing this for three reasons. And I realised again that all just is as it is. and pulled around or we can invite our
All things fluctuate and change. higher self to hold the reins and observe and

1 To show you that yoga teachers


experience mind-created dramas too
we all do because were human and
I am on the right path. The path may
change in the future, but for now, Im on
the right path. I am the guardian angel for
watch with kindness.

The quiet voice within


complicated people who need me as I am now. I am here Through all the rage and fear I ever feel

2 To share it isnt weak or stupid or


wrong to feel off-balance and
vulnerable sometimes
in this body, in this place, in this time, for a
reason. Let me be me. And be a beacon of
inspiration and help and light to others, like
sitting on my meditation cushion there is
always another voice within me. Sometimes
very quiet, sometimes shouted down by my

3 To show you how I used my mindfulness


and meditation practice to help me
through it and to learn and grow from
me, who struggle with sensitivity, anxiety
and self-doubt to let myself and them know
that sensitive people like us have beautiful
hurt ego. But its still there.
Have you heard it within you?
A voice that is loving and patient and kind.
the experience. gifts to share in this world of comparison, Ready and waiting to be heard, saying its
competition and stress. And we are perfect okay. Feel it. Theres nothing wrong with you.
So, in the midst of the turmoil my mind just as we are. This is life. This is living. Its okay.
was creating, and, as difficult as it was, I Nothing lasts, everything changes.
decided to sit on my meditation cushion Letting it be Fear and hurt will subside. Joy will return.
and feel it all. And just letting it be, I found a peace with And that will ebb and flow too.
I sat, and gripped onto my soothing rose it all. It all changes. Let it be. It is as it is. This
quartz thumb stone crystal for dear life and I am thankful. Because I have a meditation too shall pass.
sat with it all. and mindfulness practice. Instead of sitting Breathe. Smile. And let life flow like a river.
The waves of feeling and thought. The and ruminating on worries (real or imagined) Be kind to yourself. Youre okay. In fact
anger, the frustration. The self-pity. The and raising my stress levels or pushing it youre more than okay.
envy. The instinct to jump up and pace down, ashamed of the way I feel, I know to And here in this moment all is well.
around. The fretting. Feeling like giving up take myself to a quiet space and shake and
because Ill never be as successful or prolific shout it out, stretch and move, or to lie on Stella Tomlinson is a Dru yoga and
as other teachers. the ground and breathe out my cares into meditation teacher based in Hampshire.
But most of all, I sat with the fear. mother earth. She uses her first-hand experience of how
It isnt easy. It never is being human. yoga can relieve stress and anxiety to teach
Because this is what my mini melt-down But I feel empowered and strong for others who feel anxious and overwhelmed
was all about. A deep, deep fear of not being having let myself feel everything. how to connect to inner strength, stillness
good enough. Of being a failure. And of not Thats why Im sharing this experience with and joy to find peace amidst the demands
being seen. you. Its not weak or stupid or wrong to have of everyday life. Get a free Calm, Clear &
But I dont want to feel this way! I silently strong emotions. Its human. Relaxed Tool Kit at: livingyogawithstella.com
screamed to myself. But I am. Dont push it
away said the wise voice of the inner guide
within my heart.
Attachment and aversion, grasping
and pushing away: the root of so much
human suffering.
And then came a wave of inner strength
and resolve. Just feel it. Name it. Let it be.
Fear. Frustration. Fear again. Anger.
Worrying. Catastrophising. Comparing myself
and finding myself wanting.

It is as it is
And then a glimmer of equanimity.
It as it is.
Breathe.
It is as it is. (I let this be my mantra for
a few minutes) and the turmoil began to
lessen its grip and fade.
The next day I took myself off to one
of my favourite gardens and sat under
an old tree and meditated. And I sat with
it all again.

99
Teacher zone

Teachers Tales:

To demo or not to demo?


That is the question. Paula Hines explores why some yoga teachers like to
demonstrate and others do not

T
he answer to this question will depend to some extent I had a phase last year where I found myself demo-ing more than
on the style of yoga you teach, so I understand this will normal in mixed-level flow classes these were larger classes too and
not necessarily apply for everyone. But speaking from I slipped into a pattern of leading classes rather than teaching them.
the example of teaching yoga flow classes, I had a real I This was not a good way to go not only is this exhausting to do when
should know better moment last year. you teach a number of classes in a day, it also took a physical toll
Depending on the class, I tend to demonstrate some of the time but on my body. I should know better, and yet, as I say, I slipped into this
certainly not all. As more and more people come to yoga I have noticed, pattern. So, I made a conscious decision to (a) demonstrate less and
particularly over the past couple of years, from some that there is an (b) teach less of this style of yoga.
expectation they can copy the teacher throughout the class. I have For the classes I was teaching I did not go cold-turkey with the
on occasion even received complaints from yoga newcomers for not demonstrating, I instead reduced the amount of demo-ing I was doing
demonstrating every single pose. I explain that if I am doing all the poses over a number of weeks. This way, I felt that for the students who had
then I cannot observe the class and teach them accordingly. been coming to class, they did not go from seeing me demonstrate a
As so many more drop-in classes are now mixed-level, with some lot of the poses one week to very little the next.
classes being quite large, it can be a difficult balance to strike. Many of I know I made the right decision, not only for me but also for people
us have come across examples of the teacher who stays on their mat coming along to my classes to create a better learning environment.
and does their own practice for the rest of the class to follow along
without offering guidance in and out of each asana. However, I do not Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer
agree with demonstrating every single pose. (ucanyoga.co.uk)

100
Teacher zone

books
The Art Of Vinyasa
Awakening Body and Mind Through
The Practice Of Ashtanga Yoga
Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor
Shambala
$24.95

A radical approach to the form of Ashtanga yoga:


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backbends, twists, balancing poses and finishing
poses. With warmth, humour and wisdom, the
authors provide the groundwork for establishing an
internally rooted and spiritually enlightening yoga
practice that goes far beyond the mat and into the
core of ones life. Over 325 pages. Fully illustrated
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om actions

Yoga is for every body


Your pictures. Your community

Jacqui Payn: Mykonos Norweigian wood: Annely


Kutsar and friend

Sue Simpson: standing on


the Great Wall of China

Eliza and pal

Beach yoga at La
Fayette, Mauritius

We are dancers

Nimita Bhatt

Sam Stone
Warrior Power in Sicily

102
om actions

Viva Las Vegas:


Andrew Smith pottering about
Kim Mills
the hills of Calderdale

Julie Mustoe

Emandian Mcdougall
in Avoriaz

We want your photos!


Send us happy shots, fun pics, great asana (or bad asana!), big smiley faces, anything at all and see them in OM Magazine.
It doesnt have to be you doing a yoga pose either. We want to see your yoga life: a pre-class group hug, a cup of tea after
class, what you got up to at the weekend, send them all via email to: tom@primeimpact.co.uk

103
travel
Awe-inspiring retreats and ideas for yoga explorers

Costa Rica sun seeker


Find your own miracle at Rythmia, an all-inclusive, medically
licensed luxury resort and retreat centre in incredible Costa Rica

If youre ready for a big yoga adventure this year then theres probably no
better place to go than Costa Rica. Already big on the yoga and wellness
scene with American visitors, its starting to attract more Europeans too.
And for good reason. This Central American paradise is a clean living eco
heaven and was once voted the happiest place in the world to live.
Costa Rica has plenty of great yoga and wellness destinations, but youll
be in good hands at Rythmia, a resort dedicated to relaxation and healing
transformation, where yoga is a big part of the draw. Expect organic
food, meditation, coaching, a wonderful spa and massage facilities, plus
medically licensed professionals on site. Thats on top of the incredible
beaches!
Theres a packed diary of events scheduled for 2017 (check website for
details) but one yoga highlight is US instructor Shiva Rea, wholl be hosting
a retreat - Sol Rising: Spring Prana Vinyasa - from March 26 to April 2.
Amazing teacher in an amazing place.

Find out more at: rythmia.com

104
om travel

We love Spain
Celebrate the sun with some yoga and pampering fun

Join the wonderful Rosanna Gordon on a five night yoga


retreat in sunny Spain this May. Spoil yourself rotten in a
boutique spa hotel with yoga and meditation, and feast on
fabulous healthy and nutritious cuisine lovingly prepared
just for you. Youll get to stay at the beautiful Hotel-Spa La
Romana in Alicante (well worth a visit in itself!) and bliss out
on yoga twice a day, in-between your trips to the plush spa.
La Romana is a small village 30 minutes from Alicante airport.
Suitable for all levels of yoga practice, including beginners and
those with more experience. Go on, you deserve it!

FACT FILE
May 15-20, 2017
From 595 (shared double/twin room
Includes: 5 nights full board stay at Hotel-
Spa La Romana; two 1.5 hour daily yoga &
meditation sessions (morning & early evening);
1 x entrance to rejuvenating Spa; 1 x relaxing
massage; 1 x mountain hike; outdoor swimming
pool; day trip to nearby beach. Flights &
transfers not included.
rosannagordon.com/retreats/yoga-retreat-spain

Surrey sanctuary
Find inner peacejust a short drive
from the capital

Set in a beautiful two acre garden near Lingfield, Surrey,


Claridge House is a charming Victorian property that offers
rest and renewal in a calm, tranquil atmosphere. There are
lots of short yoga and meditation retreats coming up if you
fancy a quick escape, plus themed breaks such as Healing
with Herbs and Creative Writing & Art. Lose yourself in the
idyllic grounds outside then take refuge in the restorative,
healing house, where youll also enjoy fresh, seasonal,
organic vegetarian food each day. Oh, and afternoon tea
is a long standing tradition here - the homemade cakes are
not to be missed!

FACT FILE
UPCOMING RETREATS:
Restorative Yoga (March 3-5)
Yoga to Celebrate the Equinox (March 17-19)
Gentle Yoga for Fatigue & Stress (April 7-9)
claridgehousequaker.org.uk

105
om travel

Hell of a Ride
Take your seats for the ride of a lifetime with a combined
VIP helicopter trip and yoga class

I
t could actually be the worlds most expensive yoga class, but it
sounds pretty cool nonetheless.
US firm Maverick Helicopters (flymaverick.com) has teamed up
with a local yoga company, Silent Savasana (silentsavasana.com),
for an executive flight with a difference.
Passengers fly to a remote, private landing spot at Valley of Fire
state park for an unprecedented 75-minute yoga experience in the
desert surroundings.
But its not cheap. HeliYoga is available via private charter only at a
price of $3,499.
The Airbus EC130/H130 ECO-Star aircraft offers guests a spacious
cabin for up to six passengers plus one yoga instructor, plus additional

106
touches including voice-activated headsets, theatre-style, leather
seating and wraparound windows for superior visibility.
Bryan Kroten, vice president of marketing at Maverick Helicopters,
reckons the price tag is worth it though.
The remote and amazing scenery at Valley of Fire will have guests in
awe as they land on top of the cliff and take in the vivid colours during
their private yoga session, he said.
The two-and-a-half hour excursion includes limo transport from the
famed Vegas Strip to Maverick Helicopters terminal.
The helicopter will then descend and land on one of the highest
peaks at the state park, only accessible via helicopter.
Passengers can explore the remote landscape by foot and take in
the areas sights before being led through a private yoga session by
one of Silent Savasanas instructors.
Silent Savasana is grateful for our partnership with Maverick
Helicopters and were excited to be the forefront yoga and helicopter
excursion in the Las Vegas market, said Kyle Markman, co-founder
of Silent Savasana. This is how yoga is meant to be practiced and
we cant wait to share this experience with current and new students
worldwide.
Participants end the class with a champagne toast, before the
breathtaking flight over downtown Las Vegas and back to the Strip.

107
om travel

Lets run away to


Ragdale
Romantic
Yoga
Getaway

What could be better than a weekend yoga break at one of the countrys top spa
hotels? Not a lot really. OM went to find out more

T
here are plenty of good reasons
why Ragdale Hall Health Hydro
and Thermal Spa has won so
many awards through the years.
Yes, theres yoga on offer here,
but the incredible spa is truly something
else. Whatever youre looking for - some me-
time and pampering, to kick-start a healthier
lifestyle, or for a smoochy weekend getaway
- its a great place to reset mind, body and
spirit. And, when it comes to the yoga, one
of the best things about it right now is that
the retreats are currently being run by one
of OMs own family of writers, Meg Jackson,
who brings her unique blend of Real Life
Yoga for all to experience.

The good life


Located in the rolling Leicestershire
countryside, Ragdale Hall combines state-
of-the-art spa facilities with the charm
of traditional Victorian architecture. The
beautiful house and grounds are surpassed
only by the amazing things inside. That
includes the charming staff. After you check
in, youll be guided through a brief health

108
om travel

YOGA AT RAGDALE HALL


Meg Jacksons Real Life Yoga
breaks take place from Thursday to
Saturday and include yoga sessions,
all meals (including breakfast served
to your room, three-course lunch and
three-course dinner), plus a choice of
two 25-minute treatments. Two night
breaks available from 364.

NEXT DATES:
February 9-11, 2017
June 15-17, 2017
September 7-9, 2017

consultation as your bags are whisked off to those thoughts for a while. The Thought a requested time. There are a number of
your room. There, youll find complimentary Zone - a mosaic room dry heated to 60C cafes and bars dotted around the venue as
robes and flip flops, as well as a wonderfully in the spa - is another place for those well, where you can choose anything from
soft bed to sink into, plus an activity planner inspirational thoughts. Or for a workout of a healthy teas, juices and coffee, to Pimms
and timetable so you know what youre different kind, visit the Mind Gym. Handheld for those lazy summer days out on the
doing the next day. computers, space age toys, puzzles and a manicured lawn. Its a lovely venue to lose
Ragdale Hall now hosts regular yoga library of books will test your logic, challenge yourself in, with so many spaces to find
breaks, which are ideal if you want to your problem solving skills and boost your a bit of solitude, and where the staff are
combine your downward dogs with some out- brain power. all too keen to cater for every whim. Just
of-this-world pampering, but there are plenty At mealtimes, the emphasis is again make sure that if you do visit on one of the
of other things going on too, like Nordic healthy, with vegan and other options yoga breaks, you actually make it to class
Walking, Zumba, running, archery, tennis and available, although wine is served in - its all too easy to sink into an inviting
dance. If you are feeling energetic, there are the evenings if required, in keeping with hammock or pool lounger. Not that anyone
two indoor fitness studios packed with a full Ragdales holistic and real life approach will mind really if you do take the snoozy
roster of classes: youll find everything from to wellbeing. Evening meals are table option. We certainly wont blame you!
Hatha and Pilates through to Bollywood, service, while lunch is served buffet style
bootcamp, Tai Chi, and a blissful evening and breakfast is delivered to your room at Find out more at: ragdalehall.co.uk
candlelit stretch. The same goes for the pool
too, where youll find classes with intriguing
names such as Wild Woggles.
The main emphasis at Ragdale Hall is
always on rest and relaxation, however. The
award-winning Thermal Spa itself features
12 luxurious heat and water experiences, all
unique and therapeutic in their own way. Our
favourite was The Candle Pool heated to
34C, a mosaic cavern with lapping water lit
by the flicker of candles and a starlit ceiling
(pure heaven!), but there are plenty of others
to explore (the Volcanic Salt Bath, Rose
Sauna and Colour Flow Zone are all equally
wonderful). Then choose from an extensive
list of personal treatments from a simple full
body massage to more esoteric offers like
Hypno-Reiki, a combination of two of the
most wonderfully relaxing therapies; deeply
soothing and calming to release tension and
anxiety on a deeper level.

Rest up
Afterwards, take time out in one of the many
tranquil rest areas, where you can put your
feet up with a good book, or shut your eyes
for a short snooze. Theres even a silent
room if you really want to sink deep into

109
om travel

To the lighthouse Romantic


Yoga
Getaway

Be sure the Carbis Bay Hotel & Spa is on your itinerary


next time youre in Cornwall

I
ts great finding a new place offering yoga retreats and plus unlimited use of all spa facilities. The venue is also happy to host
thats exactly whats going on at the Carbis Bay Hotel & Spa breaks or sessions for teachers looking to run their own retreats.
(carbisbayhotel.co.uk) in Cornwall except this hotel is far And if you miss any of the yoga retreats, fear not: many guests
from new. Dating back to 1894, it has an impressive history come here simply to indulge in the blissful surroundings of the C
with some prominent literary names etched into Bay Spa, where you can chill out in the loungers gazing out at the
the guestbook. panoramic views or warm up in the heated outdoor poor. Serenity
It was here that novelist Virginia Woolf found inspiration for her By The Spa (130) is the incredible 120-minute signature treatment,
book To The Lighthouse, gazing out at the Godrevy lighthouse in St which will revive every bit of you, head-to-toe. Using luxury products
Ives Bay. Dubbed one of the most beautiful bays in the world, its a from Aromatherapy Associates and Lava Shells, it commences with
setting that likewise inspired Rosamunde Pilcher (the hotel appears as exfoliating and massaging the feet and lower legs while soaking in a
The Sands Hotel in her novels, The Shell Seekers and Winter Solstice), foot bath infused with essential oils. Afterwards, receive a lava shell
among the countless other guests that have taken in the same view. massage (natural self-heating shells) on the back of the body and an
Set within 125 acres, the estate encompasses a luxury hotel, ayurvedic scalp massage, before finishing with a one hour facial.
self-catering properties, two restaurants, spa facilities and its own When you finally emerge from that, spend some time in the
privately-owned 25 acre Blue Flag beach. Conservatory, with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering an
The yoga itself takes place in two locations: one inside the unrivalled panoramic setting, and sink into the comfy sofas, while you
comfort of the main hotel, the other closer to the sea in the Beach sip a cup of herbal tea and ponder taking a walk along the coastal
Club Restaurant. Two-night packages (399pp) include all yoga path or on the beach below. Whatever the weather (this is Cornwall
sessions, dinner at the award-winning fine dining Sands Restaurant, remember!) its always a warm and snuggly feeling inside.

110
pages
RETREATS

N
EW
A new retreat IN
BA
every Sunday in Bali LI
Ayurvedic Healing Centre
Yoga, meditation, spa, ONEWORLD ayurveda
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111
RETREATS PRODUCTS

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113
om lite

Were all in it together


Dont be afraid of those big, busy studio classes, lets embrace the community aspect of
yoga and celebrate being part of something greater, says Victoria Jackson

M
y favourite local studio is also - no
coincidence, of course the favourite
local studio of lots of other people
too. Classes can be busy and we
sometimes begin with the teacher
playing a game of Tetris with the mats, making sure
everyone has enough space to practice safely even if
were arranged close together. Is there room for one
more lovely yogi? he sometimes asks, and we all shuffle
up again.
In the early days I found this a real challenge. I was
more used to practicing quietly at home or in a very
small group. A busy class was actually quite daunting; I
worried about my out-of-tune chanting, that I might drip
sweat on my neighbour, whether the person in front of
me would kick me in Warrior 3 and what the view from
behind was like when we did forward folds.
But at some stage these concerns melted away. Now
Ive settled in to the point where the feeling of the group
as a whole surpasses my own little anxieties. Definitely
not a sublimation of the self, not quite a blissed-out
togetherness, but at least an acceptance that were all in
this together and I might as well enjoy it!
Being with other people creates a feeling of being
part of something greater. Plus its a good opportunity
to practice some generous yogic behaviours and look
out for one other, rather than selfishly spreading out
as much as we might want to. Now as we move through
our vinyasas, I picture us as a shoal of fish or a flock
of birds, all weaving our own individual movements but
forming a single picture. I sometimes wish I could stand
up and watch the ripples and waves of arms and legs
moving in time across the room. In my minds eye were
so beautiful all together.
At the end of class our final Om often has a different
quality to the opening chant. Its as though weve all
tuned in to one another through our synchronised
movements and measured breathing. Now theres a
beautiful harmony. And when I roll up my mat to leave, I
gather up any foam blocks I find around me. I no longer
know which are mine, which might be my neighbours.
And it doesnt matter.

Victoria Jackson lives and practices in Oxford. She is


registered with Yoga Alliance as a vinyasa yoga teacher.

114
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