Follow my yoga quest at home and on the road…

Pure Iyengar Yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali – 25-30 October 2015

Hey! I’m off to an Iyengar retreat in Bali, Indonesia – which is also the birth place of Yoga Cat.


The retreat is being lead by Vivienne O’Brien who is the co-founder of the Luna Studio in Melbourne, Vic. I’m catching up with two friends at the retreat who attend classes at the Luna Studio.

The retreat is being held in Kumara Sakti, Ubud, Bali.

Looking forward to spending time with good friends, practising yoga twice a day, and enjoying beautiful Bali.

More about this adventure soon…

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Women’s Health Workshop at Busselton Yoga Centre (Western Australia)

On Sunday 17 May 2015, I attended a 2.5 hour women’s health workshop at Busselton Yoga Centre, in South West Western Australia (approx. 2hr 45min south of Perth) which was lead by Lara Favelle.


During the workshop participants were lead through a series of asana – Lara provided information relating as to when, how and why, the postures were applied/relevant to a woman’s various stages of life.

Lara has posted a summary of the workshop and also included a list of useful reading material relating to this subject on her blog – please use the following link to see what Lara has to say… Women’s Health Workshop

Truth Conciousness Bliss

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Cat Yoga @ Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Shoreditch, London

imageOnly a few minutes ago a friend sent me a link to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. I was excited to hear the name of the place, and even more excited to find that they have yoga classes – lead by humans not cats – I would have gone to a class either way 🐱…

I was keen to put my name down for a session. BUT, upon further investigation I found the classes only take place on Wednesday evenings. I fly out of London at mid day this Wednesday. So, sadly, on this occasion I won’t be able to sign up for a cat yoga class.

If anyone else goes to one of these classes or has already been, I would love to hear about your experience.


Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
152 Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6DG
+44 (0) 2077290953
Classes: Wednesday, 6.45pm and 8.00pm
Cost: GBP15.00 – mats provided, complimentary tea and biscuits

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BKS IYENGAR – seeking anecdotes, tributes, poems, photos (etc) about/of Guruji

Following is an email from Geeta and Prashant Iyengar seeking contributions for a memoir about BKS Iyengar. If you have any items that may be suitable please use the email link provided. (FYI – The original email came into my in-box through my membership to the BKS Iyengar Association of Australia.)

“Dear friends and fellow practitioners,

It has been almost a year since our beloved Guruji passed away. He remains in our hearts and continues to guide us along our path.

We are sure you all have many fond memories of Guruji. Some of you may have anecdotes, remembrances, or even lighthearted or humorous incidents with Guruji that you want to relate; or you may have poems or tributes that you have composed; or perhaps you have photographs of Guruji, or pieces of art that you have created. We are planning to put together a memoir to be released on December 14th this year, and we would like to have these for inclusion in the memoir.

Please send in your contributions to guruji2015@rimyi.org. We will try to include as much material as we can, but we may have to limit what we can use for editorial reasons. Please make sure your contributions are in by August 15th, 2015, so that we have enough time to allow for the editing and printing process. Contributions in English, Hindi or Marathi are welcome. If you speak some other language, feel free to send in translations.

Yours affectionately,

Geeta and Prashant”

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Happy International Yoga Day


I’m in the northern hemisphere … enjoying the longest day, and of course, also enjoying International Yoga Day too.

Love and light

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Documentary – Sadhaka: the yoga of B K S Iyengar

BKS Iyengar with Sadhaka executive producer, Lindsey Clennell. Photo Jake Clennell.

BKS Iyengar with Sadhaka executive producer, Lindsey Clennell.
Photo Jake Clennell.

A few weeks ago I discovered a website about a documentary that is being made about BKS Iyengar.

Rather than me trying to explain what this is about, if you feel so inclined please visit the website, watch the trailer and you may wish to make a donation toward the completion of this project.


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A class with Caroline Coggins (23 Nov 14) – an unexpected lesson in compassion

I was looking forward to attending a Caroline Coggins lead class at Yoga West in Perth, Western Australia on 23 November 2014.

The class was to commemorate the 96th birthday of BKS Iyengar.

Caroline began the session by recounting her experience at Mr Iyengar’s  recent memorial in Pune.


116I had read about, and heard about, Caroline Coggins and I was interested to experience being a student in one of her classes.

However, in the lead up to the class I developed vertigo and dizziness (which lasted for several months), and also I had a cortisone injection for an ongoing ankle injury several days before the class which required resting the ankle. So, I changed tack and asked if I could attend the class as an observer, rather than as a participant. Permission was granted.

Being an observer at a asana class was new to me – previously I had always been “on the mat”. I found a spot to sit that I felt was out of the way of teacher and students. I felt strange sitting on a stool, pad and pen at the ready – I felt as if I should make an announcement as to why I was sitting and watching and not joining in. I wondered if others wondered why I was sitting there. I tried to make myself really small – inconspicuous – almost invisible, but, I still wanted to see and hear everything.

All these feelings and thoughts – I this – I that (!)  Once I got over the I-ness and listened to Caroline’s words… familiar Iyengar instructions…. I watched her adjust participants, and watched participants adjusting themselves and each other…  It was OK to just be there, and it was OK to be a student that observed. And, as I watched the students I had a feeling of compassion wash over me – compassion for myself and my own asana practice – my practice was OK – whatever I did it was OK.

This was a new experience for me. I previously felt I had to be more, do more…
all I have to do is BE.

I give thanks for being given the opportunity to observe, and to find that compassion. Compassion for myself that flows on into compassion for others…

Much gratitude to Mr Iyengar
Caroline Coggins, and Yoga West


 Words of inspiration from Caroline on the
teachings of BKS Iyengar

Guruji said to his great grand daughter the night before he died
that he had given her everything, and that now she needed 
to find out for herself.

He was speaking to us all as well.

We are not handed anything of value,
except love and being enabled to progress.

I believe we need to follow in
his footsteps, led by his example,  which does not mean necessarily
only watching and recalling his classes and all the information which has
been generated from Pune.

Rather, the footsteps I am referring to are the
inner ones: the steady work and practice; the keen intelligence
applied to practice; courage and capacity to think for ourselves and not
just follow blindly.  This means that we must know ourselves, our strengths
and weaknesses and culture ourselves.Culture to Guriji meant as a human
being, not in outward things but inside ourselves, creating a unity and inclusiveness,
seeking truth, while being ethical in our dealings with others.

We are all cracked vessels, and acknowledging this frees us to be less
judgmental and self protective. As teachers we share what we know,
endlessly exploring with a 
fresh and open mind.

Let us be bold as we step forward now into our future.

2014 11 23 caroline coggins workshop at yoga west perth


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Aeroplane Yoga! reblogged from Michael Romero’s ‘Home Yoga Practice’ blog

I am going to give Michael Romero’s Aeroplane Yoga postures a try next time I fly, ie later this year….

Home Yoga Practice

aero 1

Flying is taxing on the whole being. Between jet lag, bad airplane food, getting your immune system assaulted by travelers from all over the world who are sick, and bad posture from narrow airplane seats, you run many risks of getting ill.

During a weekend trip to San Francisco, I had my wife take a few pictures of me doing some asanas that are possible on a long plane ride. These postures combat some of the ills of sitting for five hours.

aero 6

This is Gulphasana (a variation of Uttanasana where you put your hands around your Gulpha, or the Marma point around your ankles). I like this variation because it gives the spine more traction and the ankles give you leverage to pull against. If you are stiffer, you can simply hold the elbows in Uttanasana. You can do this pose by in the area for the loo queue.

aero 4


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Yogi on a Jack Hammer…

010The extension has been christened – by a friend – as the “YoGarage” [not to be read as Yoga Rage]…

My beloved husband (M) is currently extending our garage. Having lived through the building experience on several earlier occasions, initially, I was not relishing the thought of this building project.

HOWEVER, M dangled a large, juicy, carrot in front of my nose, by suggesting the inclusion of a yoga space in the building project. Almost instantly, my enthusiasm toward the project soared from a 1/10 to a 9/10.

The extension has been christened – by a friend – as the “YoGarage” [not to be read as Yoga Rage].

One of the many pre-pouring of concrete preparations included the removal of an existing concrete footing. This was to be achieved by using a jack hammer. As M has a bulging disc in his back I insisted that I should be the one to use the jack hammer. I am not a jack hammer expert in any way, shape, or form. However, I possess an “I will give many things a try” attitude, so why not add jack hammering to my list of skills?

I explained to M that he would need to be patient as the job would have to be done “my way”, eg working for 5 minutes at a time, then taking a break to stretch in whatever way my body indicated it required.

M gave me a demonstration of the operation of the jack hammer. I put on my Wellingtons, safety goggles, and ear protection. I assumed a wide legged squat stance, positioned the jack hammer, pulled the trigger, and I was away. It was quite satisfying to see the chards of concrete begin to fall away from the main block.

I stopped regularly over the next hour or so and performed a variety of asana – moving with the Wellingtons on was… interesting. I used the flat surfaces, and corners, of the new brick walls as props to balance and stretch, then returned to the task at hand.

Not only was I helping M, it was also satisfying to take action at (literally) ground level to setting the foundation for the Yogarage.

The next day after the jack hammering, and the day after that, I cautiously got up each morning… I was relieved and happy to find that I had no aches or pains associated with the jack hammering.

I give thanks to my past and present teachers of yoga, philosophy, and beyond, for providing me tools to work in a measured way, preserve the gross and subtle, and complete the task without physical or mental, or spiritual discomfort.


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B K S Iyengar – nomination for Nobel Peace Prize – VOTING CLOSES 1 FEBRUARY 2014


I received an email about this nomination only today… I thought you may be interested to have the opportunity to sign the petition – if so, please use this link to do so http://www.rediff.com/news/report/petition-why-b-k-s-iyengar-deserves-the-nobel-peace-prize/20140114.htm

Mr Iyengar has worked for much of his life disseminating the science of yoga, and developing techniques and tools to assist in the practice. 

Along with other yoga styles, I practise the Iyengar method and feel I have benefitted greatly in all aspects of my life because of the practise. I therefore strongly support Mr Iyengar and appreciate his devotion and generosity to society and feel that it would be appropriate to honour him by way of this nomination.

Om shanti




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