Saturday, 10 December 2011

Thought for the Day - People never forget how you made them feel

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Monday, 5 December 2011

Upcoming pilates and yoga cover

Just wanted to let you know of some cover work I've got lined up in December and beginning of next year.

Pilates @ Sequinpark, Upper Street, N1

Mon 5 Dec 16.30-17.30
Mon 12 Dec 16.30-17.30
Mon 19 Dec 16.30-17.30

Yoga @ Highbury Pool, Highbury Crescent, N5

Sat 7 Jan 08.45-09.40 & 09.45-10.55
Sat 21 Jan 08.45-09.40 & 09.45-10.55
Sat 11 Feb 08.45-09.40 & 09.45-10.55
Sat 10 March 08.45-09.40 & 09.45-10.55
Sat 21 April 08.45-09.40 & 09.45-10.55

I look forward to seeing some familiar faces on the mats!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Back pain - Yoga versus conventional treatment

Did you know that 80% of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives?

The Guardian recently published an interesting article about a study that suggests yoga can work better than conventional methods in dealing with back pain. As if you needed a reason to get on your mat...

Here is the complete article

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

New Pilates class in Stoke Newington

"A body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all of the complex problems of modern living."
                            Joseph Pilates

I won't be wearing just a pair of white knickers like Mr Pilates, but would still like to welcome you to One Life Studio in Stoke Newington where I will be teaching an all levels Pilates class starting Monday 3 October, 8.30-9.30pm..

The studio is small (only fits 10 people) so call ahead and book to avoid disappointment: 0207 249 4441. Please note that there is a £4 cancellation fee if you cancel on the day of the class.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Looking back at sunnier times - Al fresco yoga

Autumn is definitely here so I thought you might enjoy looking at the photos I took during yoga in the park in August, just to help you remember that we did have a summer. Well, sort of...



Monday, 1 August 2011

Yoga in the great outdoors Saturday 13 August

After last summer's outdoor yoga adventures, I thought I'd do a repeat this year and host a yoga class in a London park. For you. For free. For the love of it.

I'll be joined by fellow teacher friend Alina, which means you'll get double the attention as we'll take turns to teach and to go around and assist participants.

Expect a nicely paced hatha yoga class, alongside like-minded yogis and yoginis, not to mention all that space to breathe!

Give yourself some extra time after the session when we turn our mats into picnic blankets! Just bring along some nibbles and drinks.

This event will take place as long as it is not raining. Please check the weather beforehand and dress appropriately.

Day: Saturday 13 August
Time: 2pm start
Bring: yoga mat (alt. blanket or large towel), water, snacks
To do: email to let us know you're attending and, obviously, spread the word!

Come along and feel the wind in your hair in Warrior, the sun on your back in Down Dog and the freedom of movement in the great outdoors.

Join us. For the love of it.

Students practice entirely at their own risk. If unsure, ask your GP for advice and let your teacher know on the day of any medical conditions (including pregnancy) or injuries before you participate.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Thought for the Day - Cultivate love towards the things you dislike

'Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam'

When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones
should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.

This quote comes from the second chapter of the Sutras - an important work on yoga philosophy and practice.

'Sutra' means thread and Patanjali's short statements certainly come across as fragmental when you read them. But the idea is to enrich these threads with interpretation, weaving them 'into a garland of pearls of wisdom' (Light on the Yoga Sutras by BKS Iyengar).

Several translations and interpretations have already been published by famous yoga teachers and they can differ a fair bit because there are disagreements on the exact translation of the original sanskrit wording. (By following the top link, you can see which version I am reading from.)

So, what Patanjali might be saying here is simply to cultivate love towards the things you dislike. Alright, so maybe it's not so simple to be loving towards that work colleague that always pushes your buttons, but that is the idea here.

On your yoga mat, you can cultivate love towards the asanas you are not very good at/can't do as they are probably the ones you dislike, and most likely the poses you need to work on. It is when we come up against these challenging poses that we tend to either apply (too much) force or give up (by making an excuse we can live with).

The next time you step onto your sticky mat, take a moment to analyse your pre-existing negative attitude towards a difficult asana, then try to better yourself as well as the pose.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Yoga Unveiled showing Sunday 17 April at Screen on the Green, Upper Street

If you have been practicing yoga for a while, I'm sure you have also become curious about the history of this rich, ancient spiritual tradition.

I get students asking me for advice on where to begin, what to read first etc.

I'd say the documentary Yoga Unveiled is a very good start that will give you a comprehensive overview as well as introduce you to some big names in yoga.

5000 years worth of history isn't particularly easy to sum up, but Yoga Unveiled does an excellent job in explaining yoga's beginnings, its many branches and how the tradition came to the West.

The 2-disc DVD runs 3 hours and 15 mins but Screen on the Green is showing a 2 hour abridged version, which will be followed by a Q&A with the film's director/producer, Gita Desai.

Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this on the big screen in company of fellow (local) yogis and yoginis.

You can buy tickets here. And feel free to email me if you're coming so we can meet up before or after the screening, which runs from 10am til noon.

This event is organised by Yogamatters to celebrate their 15th birthday. Read what I have to say about the yoga shop.

See you there!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Yoga workshop Saturday 16 April in Stoke Newington

The 'Asana and Anatomy' workshop is back on popular demand!

Jane Bowyer and I are running this again since so many of you didn't get a place on the first one.

Here's the workshop info:

A workshop ideal for anyone who wishes to take their understanding of asana and their own body in asana further than what can be achieved in a normal yoga class setting.

Come and explore in depth some of the most common asanas taught in your regular class. It may be the poses you can take ‘on autopilot’ but lack a true understanding of, or it may be the asanas that still elude you but you don’t know why.

We will teach you the basic anatomical and mechanical functions of a pose to give you an idea of the building blocks that make each asana work. The emotional and spiritual significance of each pose will also be covered. Once you have this knowledge, you will know better how to approach and deepen a pose safely and with ease. You will also know when to hold back and the reasons why.

The emphasis is on learning in order to apply what you have learned immediately to your practice because, as Sri K Pattabhi Jois once said, “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory”!

All levels welcome and catered for. Beginners need to have attended a minimum of five yoga classes prior to this workshop. Yoga mats, blocks and straps are provided.

About your teachers:

Jane Bowyer is a REPs Level 3 yoga teacher. She describes herself as a spiritual being with over 16 years of yoga practice. A teacher since 2004. Because she was never a naturally flexible person, she feels she is living proof that everyone can acquire supple body through yoga. Her influences are Sivananda, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Yin yoga, Iyengar and Hatha.

Adèle Craciun is a REPs Level 3 yoga teacher, who began practicing 12 years ago to help her combat stressrelated illness. She has been teaching since 2007, finding solace and inspiration in many different yoga styles. She has a particular interest in anatomy and kinesiology. Adèle is also a REPs Level 3 Pilates Instructor.

Cost: £30 in advance
To book, email or
Time: 15.30-18.30

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Silly Yoga Advert

It's late this sunny Sunday morning and I'm about to head out on my first outdoor run in... a while. But I've been sort of stuck on the internet.

Some of you may feel that aimlessly surfing the net is simply a way of putting off the slightly daunting task of a first run, which will only make me realise how much my cardio fitness has slipped.

But I'm sure you'll agree that it's when you're not supposed to be on the internet that you stumble upon the best (and most random) stuff. Here's what I found:

Right! Fav (but dusty) running shoes - check. iPod loaded with awesome tunes - check. Mobile phone and money for potential cab ride home - check.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Thought for the Day - It all starts with you!

A very dear Brazilian friend of mine sent me a birthday card last year with this inspiring message:

Monday, 24 January 2011

Pilates almost-private-lessons in Hoxton Square

I have often comes across yoga students who at the mention of the word 'pilates' pull a pained face, as if I had said 'piles'. It seems many yogis find Joseph Pilates' exercise system uninspiring and downright boring.

I find it fascinating.

To truly benefit from pilates requires a great deal of concentration as the exercises often aim to make you consciously engage very deep set muscles. This can be a tough and sometimes frustrating learning process (and you will have off days just like with anything else). But the postural awareness that this brings not only makes your yoga practice stronger but it will also allow your body to function better in every day life.

In my opinion, anyone who has time to be bored doing pilates is simply not doing it properly. And if you find yourself thinking about other things in class, then perhaps you haven't found the right teacher to inspire you - yet.

I'd like to introduce you to my inspirational pilates teacher Mel Noble:

Mel teaches mini-group as well as private lessons at Hoxton Square Pilates every Monday. The mini-groups (maximum three people at a time) run from 7-10am and are fantastic value at £23 per hour. The one-2-one sessions start after 10am and cost £55 per hour.

This is not mat-based pilates like you may know it from clubs and leisure centres. Instead, you get to use equipment like The Reformer, The Cadillac, The Ladder Barrel and The Wonder Chair. And they really do work wonders, especially with Mel's knowledgeable and patient guidance.

I see it like this: I spend £40 on a decent 60 minute sports massage that loosens and relaxes me. Here it's almost half price for the same sensation with the added value that (rather than just passively being manipulated) I am learning how to use my body correctly, slowly working away the bad habits and weaknesses that lead to the tension and stiffness in the first place.

To get in touch with Mel, please email her directly at

Don't forget that I teach pilates too, but the mat-based variety. Have a look at my time table to see where and when.

Keep checking in for more tips on great pilates classes in London!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Thought for the Day - Change

What a lovely farewell yoga session at King's Hall today!

I was very touched by all the kind words afterwards and feel blessed to have met so many beautiful people there. It's a privilege to have been a small part of each individual's yoga journey.

As many of the students are still adjusting to the idea that I'm no longer teaching on the Saturday, I wanted to remind them of the positive side to change and read out this anonymous quote:

"Change is something that we shouldn't fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they are meant to be."

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Post-yoga Pogo Party 22 January

As some of you may already know, 22 January will be my last regular Saturday yoga lesson at King's Hall as the brilliant and lovely Ann Pidcock will be taking over thereafter and I can finally allow myself to have one day off in the week. Knowing me though, it will no doubt still be filled with yoga and pilates as I hope to attend more classes and workshops to benefit my personal practice but of course also my teaching and my students.

So, I thought we should have a little social to mark this occasion. Join me after class to celebrate or commiserate but, more importantly, eat a lot of cake at the vegan Pogo Café on Clarence Road.

Oh, and if you're not a student of the class, you are very welcome anyway to come mingle with like-minded yogis and yoginis!

Also want to let you know that this is not the end of my days at GLL. I am taking on a yoga class at Clissold LC from Monday 17 Jan (20.30-21.45), which will be a long stint of cover that finishes in April.

I have also been given the ok for a yoga class at King's Hall Mondays. Looks like it will be at 10.30am, but it has still not been decided whether it'll be a 60, 75 or 90 min session.

Keep checking in on the blog as I will update my teaching time table as soon as I know.

See you on and off the mat!