Orchids, yoga, and lying fallow

Fallow land is land that is not planted with crops. It is left to lie uncultivated for a season in order to improve the quality of the soil. In the olden days, before chemical fertilisers forced land into continual productivity, parts of a farm would be left fallow for a short time before being replanted…

Yoga and minimalism

When I think of yoga imagery, minimalism the last thing that comes to mind. The Hindu aesthetic is quite clearly maximalist, full of colour, symbolism and detail. This spills over into Western yoga. Yoga leggings, to choose an obvious example, are often brightly coloured and patterned. Many yogis adorn their studio spaces with multi-hued batiks.…

Therapists

I was musing, today, on the difference(s) between doctors and therapists. One of the most rewarding things about working at SHA Wellness is the amazing colleagues I interact with on a daily basis. Once you listen to a therapist and ask “how did you get here?”, you get the most beautiful stories of redemption. Many…

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In the natural health world, we eschew medication as much as we can for many reasons. In fact, here are many people who take upwards of five pharmaceuticals per day. Between 1988 and 2010 the median number of prescription medications used among adults aged 65 and older doubled from 2 to 4, and the proportion…

Yoga makes me feel…old. What's up with that?

The lady who asked the question I blogged about last week, “Yoga is meant to calm me, so why do I feel so nervous?” asked another great question yesterday.  Gosh, I love students who give honest reflections and ask questions!  Thanks, honey bunch. After class I noticed that her face wasn’t 100% bliss.  Quite the opposite. …

The qualities of a yoga practice – Santosha and Ahimsa

I had a great group come along for class yesterday afternoon.  We did a practice designed for the legs and the âpana.  We all had a good go at some standing balances, with a transition between two postures. And mostly everyone fell out of the poses at least once. Teaching a class is a dynamic,…

On the roots of yoga, and giving thanks

I read this article today in The Independent:  Americans who practice yoga ‘contribute to white supremacy’, claims Michigan State University professor The professor says that the way that yoga is practised in America today amounts to culture appropriation and an offshoot of colonial culture.  Ouch. I don’t live in North America, but I have read a lot…

Yoga is meant to calm me…so why do I feel so nervous?

This is a brilliant question that I received this week from a newcomer to class.  This particular lady was recommended yoga by her doctor, so comes as a special case.  Ideally, it must be said, such a person would have private tuition.  But, the mere fact that she has managed to make contact and come…