New post on

Hey lovelies.  I am trying to move over to  So, any new posts will go there first.  Here is a link to something I wrote this morning.  Toodle-loo.

Turn around….

I have been giving classes at GOA for nine months now.  Every day is a privilege.  I honestly can’t believe how conducive that room is towards the inner experience of yoga.  The sea beyond, the salty, iodine-rich air, the birdsong…wait…birds?  Where are the birds?  Oh, yes, look at those windows at the back of the room.  What?  They open?  Sliiiiiide.  TA-DAH!  And thus we discovered the hidden treasure of GOA upstairs!  The gardens of the Edificio SKI behind us.  Mature trees, well-kept gardens, fresh shady corners, a shimmering swimming pool.  What more could one ask for, honestly?

Warriors in Warrior Pose
Warriors in Warrior Pose

GOA views
The view to the front.

I call it Krishna tricks.  The idea that you don’t know what you don’t know and that many times what you discover is humorous, tricky.  When I first came across the concept of the Trickster God (and this concept exists in many diverse cultures), it changed my relationship to the Divine.  I had been raised with the idea of the schoolmaster God – judgemental yet forgiving, but somehow always out of reach.  The trickster God likes to remind you of his presence by letting you in on the joke.  Just when you think you know something, you realise that you know nothing at all.  And so you retain the beginner’s mind, a childlike innocence.  Not all is said and done, not all is known, nothing is set in stone, especially not your personality traits or character, whatever you might believe that to be.  Life becomes a lot more fun when you think it’s conspiring to make you laugh…
Krishna played some tricks in the yoga room last week.  He reminded me that what is behind is just as important as what is in front.  He reminded me to open that back window and to look through it.  JSK.

On balance – Part II

In yesterday’s post, I hardly had time to get started.  Talking about the balancing act between prâna and apâna, I likened it to the accumulation and ridding of material things.  I wanted to finish the post by discussing the IN and the OUT of yoga practice.
Most of us arrive at a yoga practice carrying a lot of impressions (samskaras).  When used therapeutically, yoga helps us to unpick the essential from the superfluous.  Let’s use fear as an illustrative example.  A healthy amount of fear, or caution, is necessary.  Otherwise, we might try to fly off mountainsides, or jump into strangers’ cars at 4 in the morning.  But too much fear can stop us talking to interesting strangers at parties, travelling to unknown lands or otherwise enriching our human experience.  So, the continuous practice of yoga, especially challenging postures that elicit a certain amount of fear (say, backbends, breath retentions) allows us to watch our fear response, get to know it intimately and then, ultimately, control it at important moments.
So, yoga can be used to unpick the essential from the superfluous. When there is a dominance of prâna>apâna, there may be a tendency to flightiness, an abundance of ideas without the capacity to distinguish the good ones from the mediocre, and an inability to realise/materialise one’s own ideas.  Somatic manifestations like headaches, twitching eyelids, tooth grinding, jaw tensing, ear ringing, panicky breathing, neck and shoulder tension, pounding heart, tingling fingers and nervous habits like skin picking, smoking and nail biting are all related to prâna>apâna.  (please bear in mind that prâna and Prâna are two different things.  The lowercase version refers to the vayu that dominates the upper body.  Uppercase refers to the universal energy that sustains all Life.)  When prâna is in balance, our thoughts are fast but not fleeting, we have good recall and can crosslink ideas as well as exercise intuition.  When prâna is overactive, we are nervous, irritable and irascible.  When it is underactive, we are forgetful, fretful and worried.
Of course, we need adequate prâna to sustain life.  Likewise, we need adequate apâna, also.  Apâna dominates the digestive organs and pelvic region.  When it is out of balance, all manner of digestive troubles may ensue, as would varicose veins, swollen ankles, heel spoor and other foot disorders, cellulite or peau d’orange as well as general sluggishness or tiredness.  When apâna is strong, we are able to rid ourselves of waste material (urine, faeces) but don’t excrete too much (frequent urination, irritable bowel).  When it is weak, we may have flatulence, constipation, diverticules and pelvic prolapse.
Of course, should anyone out there reading this believe that yoga alone can cure any of the above named disorders, I have to do the responsible thing and state this this post is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose any medical problem.  Go to your doctor, FFS.  But, if they can’t put a name on what ails you, as often happens, ie: you don’t have a diagnosed and named pathology, then maybe some self-care in the form of yoga can prove helpful.
How to balance prâna and apâna?  Coming soon…but Krishnamacharya would probably say apanâsana and dvipâdapitam
Namaste and may you be filled with joy.  JSK.

On balance – Part 1.

I have been offline for most of the past month.  Firstly, it was due to a fault on my ADSL.  Latterly, because I have been staying away from home for a few days.
It is a strange thing to be semi-connected in times like these.  Of course, I had my iPhone, so Whatsapp, Facebook, email and the like were a-ok.  But, due to the limitations of screen size, I read more than I wrote.
This can be compared to the twin, yet opposing, forces of prâna and apâna.  Prâna in the intake and upper energy, apâna is the emission and lower energy.  They are inseparable, and each influences the other.  In prânayama, we can modify the inhale by modifying the exhale, and vice versa.
One relationship of IN-OUT that I like to contemplate is that of material goods.  We are spirits in a material world and most of us have far more things that we need.  But, it is when we get to a point of having far more things than we really want that it can get sticky.  You see, getting rid of stuff is hard.  Apart from the sentimental value that we may place upon an item, there is also pure attachment, as well as ecological considerations.  I was a pack-rat in an earlier life due to all three things.  I know how hard it is to debride oneself of possessions.  But it is absolutely necessary.
Think about this:  When you set out to buy something, you will often invest a lot of time in choosing, comparing characteristics, price-checking and what-have-you.  Whether buying online or on the High Street, you will pay for transport of some sort.  It is a process that takes time and energy.  Yet, conversely, we will often throw things away rashly or badly.  If this is not clear to you, I invite you to take a look at the trash by the kerb of an evening.  All sorts of stuff, from furniture to computer parts to recyclables will be there.  We hate being told to separate our trash, or that we will be charged for its collection and disposal.  Maybe, if you are reading from somewhere more evolved, like Sweden, this won’t ring true.  But here in Spain, it certainly is.  The funny thing is, the expats also get used to the laissez-faire attitude to waste disposal and after a few months to years living here are just as likely to leave their dog’s doo-doo on the street as anyone else.  Mediocrity breeds mediocrity.
So, I need to close this soon.  To sum up:  prana and apana need to be in balance in order for harmony to exist.  In must equal out.  If it doesn’t, something is wrong.  Figure out what it is and fix it.  Preferably with yoga!
The Guru is in you.  Practice and all is coming.  Love in all around.  JSK.

Ambient music for yoga

I came across this lovely offering on Youtube.  If Christmas Day has been busy and your mind-body is revved up with rajas or bogged down in tamas, look for sattwa on your mat and in your heart.  After you have digested your food, do a gentle practice, give thanks and be joyful.  Whatever meaning Christmas may have for you, if you are reading this, you are alive, literate, connected to a vast electronic web and web of life.  I am not perfectly happy all the time.  That’s WHY I practice yoga, to still my mind.  But I have learned to be grateful, and thankful, and appreciative of the miracle that is life, and I too have life, therefore I am part of the miracle.  Be happy, dear souls.  Breathe in, breathe out.  Om.

Maha Lakshmi
Maha Lakshmi

ReCetA – Muesli

El desayuno es el plato más importante del día, ya sabemos. Pero leche con ColaCao ó Nescafé y galletas de trigo, a pesar de ser un desayuno muy común en España, no es la mejor opción para una dieta saludable.  Sobre todo, un desayuno así tiene poco aporte en proteína, un elemento imprescindible a la primera hora.
muesli1Se llama “desayuno” porque al levantarse sin haber comido durante más de cinco horas, el cuerpo se encuentra en un estado de “ayuno” de proteína. Es importante, entonces, tener una fuente alimentaria de proteína, para impedir que el cuerpo retira proteínas de los músculos y tejidos.  Para mi, la semilla de cáñamo es  una de las mejores fuentes de proteína para la dieta vegetariana.  He inventado la receta aquí abajo para abastecer mis necesidades proteicas y a la vez ahorrar dinero, evitando el consumo de comida industrial.
Ingredientes:  Copos de avena (gruesos) (2 tasas), coco rallado (1 tasa), almendra natural (un puño), aceite de coco (3 cucharas soperas), melaza de cebada maltada (3 cucharas soperas), pasas de uva, canela , nuez moscada , cúrcuma en polvo, sales de cloruro de magnesio, sal rosa de Himalaya.

  1. muesli2muesli3 Triturar con una batidora normal y corriente los copos de avena y el coco.  Machacar en un mortero las almendras, y ralla la canela y la nuez moscata.
  2. Derrite el aceite de coco y la malta de cebada en un baño María, mezclando bien.
  3. Añade el resto de los ingredientes a los copos y coco, mezclando bien con las maños.
  4. Añade el aceite y malta a los ingredientes secos, masajeando bien para mezclar.
  5. Poner la mezcla en una bandeja y introduce al horno calentado a 210º por arriba.
  6. Apaga el horno y deja la mezcla en el horno hasta que se tueste.
  7. Retira del horno y deja enfriar. Añada las pasas de uva.
  8. Guarda en un bote de cristal tapado.
  9. Come con semillas de chia, semillas de cáñamo y leche vegetal (arroz, coco, avena, avellana, cáñamo etc.)

Creo mucho en la práctica de cantar mantras cuando uno cocina.  Mi favorito es “Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” ó “Ram, Ram, Ram, Sita, Ram”, pero es una elección muy personal.  muesli5
Cualquier mantra cantado con amor y intención llenará tus platos de buenas energías y vibraciones.  Om.

Biocultura Madrid

Hey loves,
It’s BioCultura this weekend in Madrid and I am going!  I have only been to this event once, in Valencia.  It was very busy and most entertaining. It was there that I met the sales rep from Hyla, the amazing air filter and vacuum cleaner that I use to clean my house.  I also picked up a divine 10″ cast-iron frying pan, if I do recall.   Tomorrow, I am going to have a look at some very special rebounders, or trampolines.  As you may have gathered, I am an expert on the lymphatic system, and rebounding in the best ever exercise for the lymphatic system.  So, watch this space.
(PS  Rebounding and yoga are not mutually exclusive, you know.  I would actually say that they are rather complementary 🙂

How to be a good yoga student

There is a lot of talk out there these days about how to  be a good yoga teacher.  I think that the best way to be a good yoga teacher is to be a good yoga student.  Here are my tips for how I try to be a good student of yoga.

  1.  I use my own yoga mat.  This is a pretty basic aspect of yoga.  You will spend quite a lot of time on your mat.  Your bare feet and your sweet face will most likely touch the same parts of the mat on many occasions.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to nuzzle strangers’ feet.  I also happen to think that, over time, your mat becomes impregnated with your psychic energy.  I really encourage all good students of yoga to invest in a non-slip mat, and to keep it clean (they launder on a cool cycle really well – tip of the day!)
  2. I don’t eat for two hours before practice, and don’t drink for one hour.  I don’t drink during class.  The energy of digestion is a downward-moving energy.   In yoga, we are channelling energy and moving it upwards, usually.  If you are digesting, you create confusion within.  Better to practice while fasting.
  3. I don’t practice when I have my period.  Guys, you beat us on this one.  The ladies are required to miss a few days per month, for the same reason as above.  The menses are downward-moving.  Yoga moves things upwards.
  4. To be a good student of yoga, I maintain silence before and during practice.  Enough said.
  5. I practice six days per week, usually the same practice for a period of months, if not years.  I know that this sounds craaazy to a beginner, but it really is the essence of the yogic mind.  I figured this one out right at the beginning:  I took a beginner’s class at the Sivananda Centre in London.  There, they told me that the objective of the course was to encourage home practice.  I thought “ok”, bought their book and started practising their simple sequence of Sun Salutations and 12 postures.  I encourage you to do the same.  The only way to be a good yoga practitioner is to practise!


On death

Now, there really isn’t anything radically wrong with being sick or with dying.  Who said you’re supposed to survive?Who gave you the idea that it’s a gas to go on and on and on?
And we can’t say that’s it’s a good thing  for everything to go on living, from the very simple demonstration that if we enable everybody to go on living, we overcrowd ourselves.
So therefore, one person who dies in one way is honourable because he’s making room for others
We can also look further into it and see that if our death could be indefinitely postponed, we would not actually go on postponing it indefinitely.  Because, after a certain point we would realise that that isn’t the way in which we wanted to survive.  w
Why else would we have children? Because children arrange for us to survive in another way, by, as it were, passing on a torch, so that you don’t have to carry it all the time.  There comes a point where you can give it up, and say ” now you go.”
It’s a far more amusing arrangement for Nature to continue the process of life through  different individuals than it is always with the same individuals.  Because, as each new individual passes through Life, Life is renewed.  And one remembers how fascinating the most ordinary, everyday things are to a child.  Because they seem them all as marvellous, because they seem them all in a way tat isn’t related to survival and profit.  When we get to thinking of everything in terms of survival and profit margin, as we do, then, the shapes of scratches on the floor cease to have Magic.  And most things, in fact, cease to have Magic. So therefore, in the course of Nature, once we have ceased to see magic in the world anymore, we are no longer fulfilling Nature’s game which is to be aware of itself.  There’s no point in it anymore.  And so we die. And so something else comes to birth, which gets an entirely new view.  It is not, therefore, natural for us to try to prolong Life indefinitely.
But we live in a culture where it has been rubbed into us, in every conceivable way, that to die is a terrible thing.  And that is a tremendous disease from which our culture, in particular, suffers.

The gentleman says it much better than I can.  Please enjoy the video.  I will blog this week, promise.