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Yoga

Issue 52 • January 2017

SCOTLAND

MAGAZINE

PUBLISHED BY

YOGA SCOTLAND

www.yogascotland.org.uk Scottish Charity Number SCO20590

• Yoga and Medical Research • The Yogi Banker • The National Occupational Standards Debate • John Wayne and Yoga

sportscotland

Governing Body for Yoga in Scotland


Yoga SCOTLAND

Guidelines for Contributors Articles and news items are welcome from everyone, whether a teacher, student teacher, ordinary member or non-member. If you don’t want to write – but have news or ideas – get in touch. Yoga Scotland is keen that all yoga schools and traditions are represented in the magazine. Good quality photos of events are also very welcome. Please check word length with the editor. Articles on any yoga-related topic will be considered. For the next issue articles or small contributions on the theme of Awareness are particularly welcome. Please send articles, letters, emails, photos, information, news or ideas to the editor.

Editorial Hari Om Tat Sat. Happy New Year everyone. It’s a great pleasure to be back in the Editor’s Chair after a gap of some years. But it is only for one year – I have stepped in to help Joy out. She has been doing this job alongside the enormous task of being Chairperson of Yoga Scotland for several years, and it is really too much. I’d like to thank her for the work she had already done to set much of this issue in motion before I took over. So we are looking for someone to take on this lovely piece of karma yoga as from next Autumn, in time for the January 2018 issue. In this issue there are a number of articles looking at the question of medical research in relation to yoga. More and more evidence of the power of yoga to help with physical and mental health problems is being gathered – but of course yoga practitioners and teachers have never been in any doubt of that. Curiously we also have no less than two articles this time from men in high flying stressful jobs – one in the frantic world of television current affairs and the other in the rarified world of banking, both of whom have brought yoga into their lives. We also feature the important issue of the British Wheel of Yoga’s proposal to introduce National Occupation Standards for yoga, and the furore that this has unleashed. This debate will run for several months and your views on the issue are most welcome. We start a new blog-type column from our student teachers in these pages. On this first occasion Edinburgh student teacher Norman Boyle muses on the yogic view of John Wayne. And of course there is much, much more. All good wishes for the New Year and for new beginnings.

Carol Godridge, Editor

Yoga Scotland Magazine Contacts Scotland Deadlines for advertising and editorial copy: 15 March (publication 1 May) 15 July (publication 1 September) 15 November (publication 1 January)

Editorial Address: Advertising address: Carol Godridge Ben Doran Ayr Street Moniaive Dumfriesshire DG3 4HW

Maria Rawlings 6 Southwick Road Dalbeattie DG5 4BS

Tel: 01848 200681 editor@yogascotland.org.uk

Tel: 07954 283966 maria@yogascotland.org.uk

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© 2017 Yoga Scotland. All original articles in Yoga Scotland Magazine may be reproduced and circulated without prior permission being sought, provided acknowledgement is given to the author and Yoga Scotland. Printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper.

Cover photo Cat Trebilco and friends practising Surya Namaskar on retreat at Kinloch Rannoch. Please send us any photos you have which depict any aspect of yoga.

Disclaimer The views expressed in Yoga Scotland magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Yoga Scotland. We reserve the right to encourage the expression of a variety of views on subjects of interest to our members. No item should be taken as Yoga Scotland policy unless so stated. Design/artwork by Sue Grant 01848 200331

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Yoga SCOTLAND

View from the Chair

Yoga Scotland Executive Committee

Writing in October for a November deadline, with the magazine finally to be read (or immediately ‘recycled’ maybe?) in January, I am once again thinking ahead to where our readers might ‘mentally’ be by then. That can be hard to guess, but by then we do know that the festivals of the latter part of the year, often involving gettogethers, lots of food and the giving and receiving of gifts, will have passed, and the ‘new year’, with its stock of ‘good resolutions’, will have begun. So gifts of all kinds and giving and receiving in general may well still be in everyone’s mind. Anthropologists and sociologists have written extensively about the importance to societies of giving as well as receiving (and then reciprocating), pointing out that the giving of gifts is key to human interaction. In our ultraconsumerist society, gifts can of course come in all shapes and sizes, two basic categories being wanted and unwanted. Wanted gifts are naturally easy to deal with (although be careful of what you wish for?), but what about the unwanted ones? Do we accept them graciously or ungraciously? Put them straight on eBay, telling ourselves that we are decluttering, recycling, making sensible use of resources? Or put them away somewhere out of sight, feeling ungrateful or irritated by the giver’s bad taste? So much for unwanted gifts that can be dealt with relatively easily and painlessly, but what about unwanted ‘gifts’ we can’t get rid of quite so easily? A painful health condition, sadness, loss, tough challenges? The narrator of the inspiring film Notes on Blindness, who is slowly losing his sight, gives us some useful guidance on this, deciding to ask of his illness not, ‘why have I got it?’ but ‘what shall I do with it?’ In the process he refuses to give in to the depression that could so easily descend on him as the darkness falls. I found this transformation of a negative experience into something positive and life-affirming very moving, and wondered if I might also have unwanted, unwelcome ‘gifts’ that I feel stuck with, and that I might make something of. In a similar way, we often talk about people being ‘gifted’, and this can be not just with musical or intellectual talents, but also with resilience in the face of adversity, kindness, compassion or generosity. As the year begins, a propitious time for setting goals, perhaps you know someone like that who has a special ‘gift’ that provides valuable lessons on life? As I write, the jury is still out on whether National Occupational Standards for Yoga are a wanted or unwanted ‘gift’, and some might even describe them as a poisoned chalice! As you may know, there has been a great deal of debate online, in the pages of yoga magazines (Om, Spectrum) and in the mainstream media, and I attended a meeting in London in October on behalf of YS at which views were aired. See elsewhere in this issue my report of the meeting, and get in touch should you have any thoughts to share, as these are always most welcome. I hope to see lots of you at YS and non-YS events in 2017 and in the meantime, wish you all the very best for the coming year. Joy Charnley

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Chairperson: Joy Charnley Email: joy@yogascotland.org.uk Treasurer: Kirsty Davidson Email: treasurer@yogascotland.org.uk Secretary: Val Belk Email: secretary@yogascotland.org.uk Minutes Secretary: Kate Reilly-Andrews Email: kate@yogascotland.org.uk On-going Training Coordinator: Cathy Swan Email: ogt@yogascotland.org.uk Events Coordinator: Vacancy

Yoga Scotland General Enquiries

Telephone number 07954 283966 For more detailed information on Yoga Scotland membership, regional events, classes, training courses and more, visit our website: www.yogascotland.org.uk

Yoga Scotland Karma Yoga help wanted please! Do you have experience in organising events? Yoga Scotland is looking for someone to join the Events and On-Going Training team. If you think you might be interested contact Chairperson Joy Charnley at joy@yogascotland.org.uk to find out what is involved.


Yoga SCOTLAND

News and Views Photo: Hazel Thomson

Shetland Shetland Yoga students really enjoyed Andrea St Clair’s workshops on ‘Fun with Warriors’ held in September. We are still practising ‘seaweedasana’ – thank you Andrea – hope the sea will bring you back some day.

International Day of Yoga Celebrating the International Day of Yoga in Glasgow with Manjulika Singh and Margaret Watt.

Yoga Scotland Editor for Yoga Scotland Magazine From autumn 2017 for the January 2018 issue. This is a karma yoga job which is great fun, with a bit of a flurry three times a year when the deadlines draw near. If you think you might be interested please contact the current Editor, Carol Godridge for more information. Tel 01848 200681 or email editor@yogascotland.org.uk

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Controversial proposal to introduce National Occupational Standards (NOS) Yoga Scotland Chairperson, Joy Charnley introduces the issue A meeting took place on 24 October in London, supposedly following a request ‘from the sector’ to ‘set benchmarks’ for ‘hatha yoga’. The process was not initiated by the sector in general, but by the British Wheel of Yoga, which has provided £20,000 to pay for venues and other expenses, since Skills Active (the ‘facilitators’) lack the funds to develop NOS for Yoga. BWY see this as a question of leadership in their role as Governing Body, but the problem that immediately emerged at the meeting is that many do not wish to be governed or led by them. mandatory and anyone who chooses to ignore them can do so if not working in a gym environment; and there are, it has to be said, short courses and short courses. A fitness instructor who has never practised yoga and goes on a two-day course and someone who has practised for decades and goes to an ashram for a month are hardly in the same category, and NOS is not subtle enough to distinguish between them. In fact the fitness instructor may well know how not to ‘injure’ people and tick all the boxes, but still not be teaching Yoga as we know it, whilst the long-term practitioner who has done a short course may well be steeped in yoga and yogic principles and choose to avoid a meaningless bureaucratic hurdle.

Arguments against NOS The reasons given by opponents were many and varied, but can perhaps be summed up under four main headings:

The meeting was attended by the British Wheel of Yoga, the Minded Institute, the Yoga Fellowship of Northern Ireland, Yoga for Health and Education Trust, the Independent Yoga Network, the Traditional Yoga Association, the Devon School of Yoga, the National Council of Hindu Temples, the Friends of Yoga, Yoga Scotland and Iyengar UK. The first two organisations expressed support for NOS; the rest were opposed, apart from Iyengar UK, who appear to be keeping an open mind for the moment. We were told that others had been in touch to express support, but no information was available about who they are. Other organisations may have wished to attend but not known about the meeting, as communication was at best haphazard. It subsequently emerged for example, that Yoga Alliance UK had heard about the meeting just days before and were unable to be there. The representative of Skills Active gave (with some difficulty) a powerpoint presentation which set out the rationale for NOS and Yoga, and explained the process. The language used throughout this and in the accompanying literature had many in the room grimacing and gritting their teeth, it has to be said. Talk of ‘customers’ and the need for an ‘adherence strategy’ (presumably what you and I would call encouraging students to keep coming to class) was at best unhelpful, not to say alienating.

Arguments for NOS The key reasons given for developing NOS for Yoga are that students are getting injured and safety has to be ensured. Short courses were also mentioned and said not to turn out sufficiently qualified teachers. All these arguments were strongly combated: no evidence was produced that there were increasing numbers of injuries (and no one was aware that insurance premiums had risen drastically); safety would not be ensured because NOS are not

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Ineffective NOS will be largely ineffective, because they are not mandatory and will therefore not be able to prevent any so-called ‘bad’ teachers (assuming we know who they are) from teaching if they wish to. They would affect all those teaching in the ‘fitness industry’ and covered by REPS, but that covers a wide range of teachers. Misleading NOS are highly misleading, because they would give the general public a false sense of security, suggesting that some teachers are ‘better’ than others because they have ticked more boxes. Some relatively low-qualified teachers may choose to jump through the bureaucratic hoops, but does that make them better teachers than the long-term practitioners who have chosen not to engage with an alien process? As pointed out above, teachers may have had a wealth of experience before embarking on Teacher Training, and is it fair to label them all ‘bad’ or ‘underqualified’? Blunt instrument NOS are a blunt instrument that may prevent some poorly qualified teachers from teaching, but risks at the same time setting up new, unhelpful hurdles for genuine teachers, who may find it harder/impossible to be employed by gyms and leisure centres if they don’t engage with this bureaucratic process. Is that really fair? Postures only NOS are also called insulting and offensive, because they take what is an infinitesimal part of Yoga (Hatha Yoga), and treat it as if it is the whole. This once again reinforces the already too prevalent impression that Yoga is about ‘postures’ and the body. This is indeed the way it has been packaged and understood in the West; but serious practitioners do not have to (probably should not) conspire with that. Some at the meeting also referred to ‘neo-colonialism’, ‘cultural appropriation’ and the


Yoga SCOTLAND ‘transgression of religious and cultural boundaries’, accusing some in the West (and specifically BWY) of taking a concept that is not theirs to take and refashioning it into something acceptable to a Western audience. Just as, they said, colonial powers have for centuries plundered occupied countries and taken what they wanted with no concern for the inhabitants and originators of ideas. For many in the West, Yoga may not be a spiritual practice, but for a billion people in the world it is, and simply ignoring and riding rough-shod over that was described as unacceptable and offensive. “It doesn’t solve the problem of poor quality teaching and injuries – I do hear a lot of people say they have ‘tweaked’ something or have a sore back after going to a ‘yoga’ class. And it always seems to be a general class at a gym or a drop-in class rather than a regular class with a teacher they trust and enjoy. Surely the main thing is to insist that yoga teaches have undertaken a 500-hour teaching qualification with an appropriate body and that they continue to meet On-Going Training requirements?”

Yoga is not a sport Other points made were that it is inappropriate for Yoga to be regulated by the fitness industry; and that classes focusing more on a fitness or well-being approach should be renamed (Stretch and Relax for example) and not be called Yoga. There doubtless are people teaching classes which they call ‘Yoga’ but which have little to do with the practice. But attempting to impose NOS on all the genuine practitioners is not a good solution. Some questioned the very premise that there are lots of unsafe teachers and even more questioned the so-called answer – NOS. Skills Active currently has a plan for more meetings – 30 January in London (oh joy!), 6 March in the ‘devolved nations’ (that’s us), with the process ‘signed off’ by 30 June 2017. As I write though, we await the minutes of the meeting and input from the CEO of Skills Active, and media campaigns from both pro- and anti-camps continue, so the situation is sure to have moved on by the time you read this. “Many thanks for your reasoned insight into this latest piece of nonssense, ie NOS. I fully support the position YS has taken and am grateful to those who made it.” Sadly the only results so far of this entire process have been to increase the divide within the Yoga community and increase to a ridiculous level the amount of time and effort put in by Yoga organisations up and down the land. How are either in any way helpful? Although Yoga Scotland is officially the Governing Body for Yoga in Scotland, we take a respectful view of other schools and traditions and aims to work with them, not governing or leading anyone. We remain committed to that and it is certainly what we have been doing throughout this entire process. Maybe the whole idea of a governing body status for yoga should be revisited and abandoned? Apart from the controversial connection to Sport England/Sport Scotland, much reviled by many Yoga practitioners and misunderstood by the general public, it is increasingly obvious that Yoga cannot and should not be governed, and attempting to do so simply creates division and resentment. How much sense would it make for all sports to be covered by a single Governing Body for example? Can anyone even imagine that working? Time for all true Yoga practitioners to press pause, rewind and then rethink maybe?

Five Questions for Practitioners of Yoga Five questions to ask your teacher How long have you practised and taught Yoga? Which organisation did you train with? How long did it take you to train? Was it a 200- or 500-hour course? Who insures you and provides you with ongoing training?

Five questions to ask yourself If you answer 'yes' to any of the following, you might want to ask yourself if this class is yoga and if you want to return to it Did the teacher push me (physically or verbally) into positions I felt uncomfortable with? Did I feel obliged to hold postures longer than was comfortable and was I made to feel bad if I came out 'too soon'? Was I frequently out of breath and not given time to recover? Was I sore and stiff and unable to walk the next day? Did the teacher simply do their own practice and not observe the class? The answer to the following should be ‘yes’: The teacher emphasised working with my own body, breath and limitations. The teacher offered modifications for anyone unable to practise the full pose. The teacher mentioned cautions and contraindications. The teacher observed the class and gave clear verbal adjustments and/or sensitive physical adjustment. I felt comfortable (physically, mentally, emotionally) during and after the class.

Discussion on this important issue will continue in the next issue with contributions from the European Union of Yoga and from June Skeggs from the Yoga for Health Foundation. Members are invited to contribute to the discussion. Please email your views to editor@yogascotland.org.uk

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Yoga Scotland Autumn Seminar with Jackie Le Brocq Jackie took us on a journey of the breath which started with general guidelines for practicing pranayama. We were then given a detailed overview of the Mandukya Upanishad and why this particular Upanishad is relevant to the teaching of pranayama. Jackie also incorporated asana into her seminar where she combined the use of the breath with wonderful asana. I personally thought this was a lovely way of bringing yoga philosophy into a physical practice. Jackie then taught many pranayama practices which included Vajra Yogini Mudra, Pratiloma, Bhastrika and Pracchardana. We were treated to a wonderful relaxation before lunch and the AGM. The afternoon session was a real treat. Jackie combined pranayama with sound through mantra. We explored the sound AUM in our mantra whilst Jackie played the harmonium. With the energy vibrating through every cell we were then guided through another relaxation followed by Nadi Shodhana and a deep meditation to end the day. I actually think I floated all the home! Yvonne Davies

We often take the breath for granted as we get on with our busy lives. Whilst we are focused on doing our daily tasks our body is taking care of us in so many ways. Breath is the life force, our prana and is essential for us to live and yet many people do not appreciate how amazing the action of the breath is. That is why the theme of Pranayama for the Autumn Seminar which was held at the easily accessible University of Stirling was so appealing to me. In Yoga Scotland we have an incredible number of talented yoga teachers which is a reflection on the high standard of our organisation. One such teacher is Jackie Le Broq. Jackie taught the seminar instead of Phillip Xerri who had to pull out of the event due to personal circumstances. Jackie is a wonderful teacher with a vast amount of knowledge in the practices of yoga and through her studies with the Himalayan Institute, her meditation and pranayama teachings are truly fantastic.

Poetry Corner

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In a moment of inattention, Having dozed practising digestive breathing, “Damn! I think . . . . .” But how much more communication than inadvertent speech Is silent walking in company? This way or that? See the heron, see the lake, See the deer, see the wallabies, The robotic lawn mower, Wait for me! Noisy chopper going back and forth, Workmen’s music, tractors, lorries, cars, bicycles, school playtime . . . How busy is this silence! Jackie Le Brocq


Yoga SCOTLAND

Poetry Corner cont. I like to think . . . . Once, I was talking to a friend In the way women do, About what we would do If rejected for a younger model. I like to think I would thank him, She said, For all the wonderful years we have spent together And the blessing of the children we made And nurtured together. When it happened, She fought to keep him. I didn’t hear any outpourings of gratitude, Only, for a long time afterwards, The licking of wounds. Is it the same with death? I like to think I would welcome it: “I am so excited! I can hardly wait! What an adventure!” I will remember my mantra And face the pain with joy. “Pain is inevitable, Suffering is a cahoice.” I will remember my mantra And feel gratitude for the people in my life, For the opportunities I have had, And feel truly blessed. I am practising now. . .

Yoga Scotland I couldn’t wait to sign up. What attracted me to this training day was the fact that Margaret is from the Iyengar school of yoga so I knew that her teachings would be focused on alignment which is key to inversions. Margaret’s teaching style was friendly and knowledgeable. Margaret started the workshop off with my favourite posture, Urdhva Muka Vrksasana. We were shown how to break the posture down into stages and also how to spot for our students when they are in the full pose. There was also lots of laughter! Margaret then taught us how to teach Pincha Mayurasana and for me the Iyengar style of teaching really worked well in this posture. Margaret demonstrated how to bring lots of props into teaching this posture and again how to build the posture up for students who may not be as confident or strong in the posture. She also had quirky tips for observing students in inversions such as, “watch their bookends”!! Margaret then took us on an exploratory journey of salamba sirsasana, salamba sarvangasana and Adho Muka Svanasana where we incorporated chairs, walls, belts, blocks and blankets into our practice. The afternoon session was a lovely exploration of forward bends which included uttanasana, padangusthasana, ada Hastasana and prasarita padottanasana. All of which included the use of many props. We ended the day with viparita karani with blocks which was very relaxing. The OGT day was absolutely fantastic. Not only did I pick up some great pointers for my own personal practice but through Margaret’s teaching I have a whole wealth of ideas for my classes and by using props there are so many opportunities for students who may not feel they want to do full inversions. I think it was ambitious to put an inversion OGT in the schedule but I really do think it paid off and it shows that Yoga Scotland is helping their teachers to grow and learn which is what ongoing training is all about. Yvonne Davies

Jackie Le Brocq

Inversions: On-Going-Training Day with Margaret Blythe I love everything about yoga and the stillness it brings into my daily life. However, yoga doesn’t have to be serious all the time and this is why I love playing about with inversions in my own personal practice. Inversions allow us to look at situations from a different perspective and doing a handstand is fun and makes me smile. Inversions can be daunting for many people and for many years my nemesis was Sirsanana (headstand) as a result of a car accident on the A9 in 2009. Post-accident my neck became really painful and after two years of careful yoga I then formed a fear of putting any weight onto my head or neck and this is the reason I ended up loving the Urdhva Muka Vrksasana (handstand) and Pincha Mayurasana (forearm balance). I am pleased to say that after doing the 2013 YS Foundation course with Ali Freeman and Sue Maclennan I did my first postaccident head stand and so my confidence in the posture grew. I have been to many inversion workshops held by very talented teachers including Brian Aganad and with the National Centre for Circus Arts. When I saw that Margaret Blythe was teaching Inversions for the ongoing training with

Himalayan Yoga Journey in Nepal with Yoga teacher Moira Donald

Supporting the Education Projects of charity First Steps Himalaya

24th March - 9th April 2017 Departs Scotland For more information visit www.beyondtheclouds.org.nz

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Tommy Mulvanny Formerly of Lendrick Lodge Many readers will have wonderful memories of the years that Sarah and Tommy Mulvanny ran Lendrick Lodge. In retirement they moved to live in Cyprus where Sarah continued to teach. She died in January last year, and in September Tommy too passed away at the age of 86. Their son Tom sent this message to Yoga Scotland:

“After Mum died Dad stayed on in Cyprus for a year, but I think it's fair to say that he found it a struggle – which is understandable. He came to live with myself and my daughter Kathryn in Callander in December last year.

“He had been diagnosed with a cancer (CLL) a few years before and in his final months the disease progressed and it became too much for him. He was in Forth Valley Royal Hospital for over three weeks as he battled infections. “He succumbed peacefully to pneumonia on 3rd September and was buried beside Nancy and Sarah in Callander on 12th September. The funeral was well attended and a very nice eulogy was performed by Stephen Mulhern of Lendrick Lodge.”

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Sun Salutations: From Resistance to Acceptance (and Progress!) by Cat Trebilco On the 20th September, I set myself a goal to do 10 sun salutations a day for 30 days. Having now completed 30th consecutive day of downdogs, cobras, and forwards folds, and I wanted to share my journey and inspirations with you.

This was an unusual goal for me – I only do yoga occasionally, on the Wellbeing Retreats that I run alongside business partner, and yoga instructor friend, Lindsey. I lead the walking and NLP coaching that we do, and she leads the twice daily yoga sessions, which is really the only yoga I’ve done. A couple of times in these sessions, she’s led us through a traditional routine of yoga poses called sun salutations, or Surya Namaskara in its Sanskrit name, normally only for 2-3 rounds. I always found I had a real resistance to doing these that bubbled up as soon as she announced it and continued throughout the routine. On reflection, this was probably because I was finding it hard as my body wasn’t used to it. Voicing this resistance over lunch on retreat one day (backed by another retreat participant who felt similar,) Lindsey decided in that evening’s yoga session that we would do a round of 10 sun salutations to break through our resistance... It didn’t. By the end, I still hated doing them, and hated myself even more for how unfit and inflexible I was. The thing that changed was the next morning, at 7am. Again, Lindsey suggested that we do a round of 10 sun

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salutations, met with load groans from the both of us. However, Lindsey then suggested that we do them outside, on the grass, facing the sunrise. Being outside made a world of difference Wow... that’s all I can say! Being outside made a world of difference. Instead of feeling unfit and sweaty in the yoga studio, the gentle breeze meant it was good to be moving as it warmed you up in the early morning freshness. Instead of watching Lindsey leading the moves in front of me (and comparing myself unfavourably) I could watch the glow of warmth as the sunlight spread across green fields and caught the colours of autumn on the trees. And just as we reached sun salutation number 8, the sun itself burst above the skyline, rising from behind the mountain side with majestic splendour. This was truly something I could salute; a magical start to the day that made me feel grateful to be alive and inspired by the wonders of the natural beauty all around me. 10 rounds went by with no sign of resistance... even Lindsey’s suggestion of an 11th round to dedicate to someone in need was done willingly. I finally got what yoga was about In that moment, I finally ‘got’ what yoga was all about. I understood how people could fall in love with it, and dedicate themselves to a practice every day. And, egged on by my retreat mates, I decided to challenge myself to doing 10 sun salutations a day for 30 days. Now, having completed 30 consecutive days (36 day in total), here’s something things I have learnt:


Yoga SCOTLAND Learning: Accept where you are at each day. It may be different from yesterday; it may be different from other people; and it may be different from where you want to be. But it’s where you are. 4. My strength has improved. Part of the sequence is to do a plank, lowering it towards the floor. At the beginning, I had to drop to my knees as my arms were not strong enough to support me (i.e. could not even hold up my weight when stationary, let alone when trying to do a slow controlled lower towards the floor.) Now, I can hold the plank for some time (and sometimes hold it for a count of 10 before continuing the sequence) and can just about make it to the floor in a controlled manner without using my knees or face-planting into the mat. There’s still a way to go until I could do a pressup, but this is still significant progress in just 30 days. Learning: Doing something and making just a small improvement is better than doing nothing at all. 5. I’m overall fitter. I used to get really out of breath doing a round of 10. I am now just slightly out of breath at the end. Not a huge change, but definitely a noticeable one, and one I didn’t expect from doing yoga. I always associate this type of fitness with things like running and cycling and hadn’t considered how a dynamic yoga routine could have the same effect. Learning: Sometimes, positive consequences come in ways you don’t expect when you set about making a change. Day 1 - saluting the sun on our beautiful retreat in Kinloch Rannoch

1. I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t challenged myself – there have been a few occasions where I made it through to bed time without doing them, and could have easily just fallen into bed, but the yoga mat was staring accusingly at me. Particularly once I decided that I wanted to do it as 30 consecutive days, the self-pressure increased day-by-day not to throw away X many days previously. Learning: Setting a clear goal, and being disciplined about achieving it, really helps your motivation and chances of success. 2. My flexibility has improved quite considerably in just 30 days. At the beginning of the challenge, there were some movements (coming out of downward dog into my forward fold for example) were I had to help my leg into the correct position with my hands. Now, I can do a full 10 rounds without needing to adjust my position with my hands.

6. You can do sun salutations at any time. Although traditionally done at sunrise, I am not traditionally a ‘morning person.’ On occasion, my busy schedule for the day meant that first thing in the morning was the most sensible time to fit them in, but on these occasions, I found my body felt extra stiff and I found myself frustrated that my flexibility was not as good as the previous day. Throughout the 30 days, I have done them at varying times of day, from first thing, to after being up for a few hours in my PJs, just before a shower, in the afternoon, in the evening before dinner, and sometimes at midnight before bed when I’ve forgotten. I have found my flexibility is at its best mid-afternoon. Learning: It doesn’t matter when you do something, as long as you do it. Doing a little something every day towards goal keeps momentum going.

Learning: Doing something consistently for a relatively short amount of time, allows incremental improvements that can only be noticed over time. 3. Your left and right side can be quite different from each other. In the above example, my left leg progressed to unaided movement after about a week, whereas my right leg took over two weeks to get to the same point. I have no idea why, and channelling one of Lindsey’s yoga mantras to just accept where you’re at, I just accepted each side for what it was each day.

www.yoganuu.com/wellbeing-retreats.html 13


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7. You can do sun salutations anywhere. Through the course of my work, I have spent several nights camping or away staying in bunkhouses, and have done them in the middle of the campsite, on the floor of a campsite toilet block (when it was raining really hard to prevent me being outside), sandwiched between 2 twin beds in a bunkhouse in a space literally just wide enough for my mat, and also on a beautiful pebble beach at St. Mary’s Loch on a stunningly still day, overlooking the reflections of the mountains. While the location looked great, I quickly discovered that pebbles were not the most comfortable thing to have under my mat! Learning: Stop making excuses about not having enough time or enough space, or the right environment. Make time and make space. 8. Sun Salutations have a calming, meditative effect on me. It’s not surprising really – you’re concentrating on your movements and your breathing all the way through the routine. While I struggle to find time (or motivation) for 10 minutes of stationary, seated meditation, you can actually be mindful and meditative while doing Surya Namaskara. Learning: Find the way that works for you. Just because there’s a ‘traditional’ or ‘accepted’ way, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. 9. I have favourite numbers. Getting to number 4 always prompts a reaction of ‘ooh, good, I’m at number 4 – nearly half way.’ Number 7 also feels good – I’ve broken the back of the routine and know I’m going to finish. Numbers 9 and 10 always seem to go really quickly. On occasion, I’ve probably done a number 11 due to losing count part way through and doing an extra one just to make sure. Learning: Breaking a hard task into small pieces and celebrating achievements part way through helps keep motivation to get to the end. Give yourself some credit!

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So these are just some of the things that I’ve learnt from doing 30 days of sun salutations. Sometimes the things we find the hardest are the things with the biggest benefit. The next time you feel yourself having a resistance to something, don’t ask yourself why. Find a way to break through that resistance. If you'd like to explore the benefits of yoga, work towards a goal in your life or sim Or enjoy a relaxing weekend away and join us on our next Wellbeing Retreat on 24th-27th March 2017. It combines a unique mix of yoga, walking and NLP coaching, set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. A recent testimonial from one of our September guests said: "Yoga and Bonnie Scotland! What more could you ask for?" Cat is a life coach and mountain guide, based in Edinburgh. She works with individuals who feel stuck, or directionless and is passionate about taking them out into nature to help them discover what they want to do with their life and what is really important. Cat co-runs weekend retreats in the beautiful village of Kinloch Rannoch, providing walking, coaching and yoga, alongside yoga teacher Lindsey Porter. You can find out more about the retreats at www.yoganuu.com/wellbeing-retreats.html email: cat@reachthepeak.co.uk or phone: 07757 542956.


Yoga SCOTLAND

A day with Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach by Helen Redfern Real people, real lives, real struggles. That’s what I encountered when I spent a day with Lorraine Close from Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach. She and her colleague Laura Wilson actively seek to take yoga into the darkest of places. Yes, we all talk about and believe in the transformational power of yoga, but can it really make any difference in the chaotic lives of those seemingly trapped in mental health and addiction struggles? I try not to think about the long term and encourage people to be in the moment and to take a day at a time. I’m not here with an agenda to fix them in an eight-week course. I just think about it as providing one hour of relief and relaxation in a potentially really stressful day to day life, while being aware of the potential long term benefits with continued practice. Lorraine The first class is in the Hive, an activity centre and coffee bar for the in-patients of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. The class is run specifically for women struggling with self-harm issues. Lorraine has no idea how many women will turn up. She never has any idea how many to expect. These women have a lot going on in their lives and cannot commit to being there every week. There are six in the class. The start is rather chaotic. Two arrive late. One leaves five minutes into the class. Another receives a phone call that she has to take. Lorraine goes with the flow. She accepts each interruption and then brings the focus back to the breath. The poses are all very simple. Adaptable for sitting in a chair. She brings all that she has learnt about trauma, mental health and addiction into her choice of language, her breathing exercises, her poses. This is your yoga. She repeats this throughout the class. This is your yoga. I join in. This is my yoga. Some keep their shoes on throughout the class. Some wear jeans. Some choose to opt out and simply sit. Anything goes. This is truly meeting people where they are at. Bringing yoga to them rather than bringing them to yoga. In an environment that they know and feel comfortable in. A safe place. Lorraine then takes me to the Serenity Café. It’s in the centre of Edinburgh, a bustling place with lots of coming and going. Scotland’s first Recovery Café, run by people in recovery for people in recovery. Of course, members of the public are welcome too. The food is great and the atmosphere cosy and vibrant. There I meet Laura Wilson, founder of Edinburgh Community Yoga. She’s just returning from maternity leave – her baby Gracie is now eight months old. Laura was a dancer. She’d danced all her life and attended the London Contemporary Dance School. But she came to a point

where she realised that dance wasn’t for her. She wasn’t coping with the pressure and the stress was too much for her. She rejected everything about dance but journeyed slowly towards yoga. She carried the strength and flexibility of her dancing years into her practice and responded to the need to open up her body, without the pressure that she associated with dance. With no idea what to do in her late 20s, she considered yoga teacher training. She’d been working in residential care for children and was frustrated by the methods used. She embraced the therapeutic aspects of yoga and by chatting to people, her work organically developed into what it is today. She discovered she could intuitively find the right approach and could work sensitively with individuals with specific mental health issues. In a way, she’d been there herself. She felt she’d suffered from depression all through her teens before being formally diagnosed at the age of 21. She vividly remembers one session with LEAP (Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme) – In that moment, I knew. I knew for sure. A voice inside me was saying ‘This is where I should be. This is what I should be doing.’ From that time, I knew where I was heading. I had a vision for a

Yoga Workshops with Ann Hunter Saturday 10.00 – 13.00

25 Feb, 1 April, 20 May 2017

United Reformed Church, 69 Johnstone Drive, Rutherglen, G73 2QA

An opportunity for teachers and advanced students to deepen their knowledge and explore aspects of yoga not normally covered in weekly classes

£20 Small group so booking essential

Email ann@athunter.plus.com or 0141 6471817

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creating a healing place for healing in crisis. It had to be sustainable, but I was ambitious. Ambitious in a good way. Ambitious with integrity. I wouldn’t compromise the quality of what I wanted to offer for anything. And just look at what she has achieved with Edinburgh Community Yoga and its not for profit branch Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach. As a not for profit organisation, ECYO depends on grant funding, fundraising and donations to be able to run all its projects. The list of organisations that ECYO has worked with is extensive. ECYO runs an eight week Minded Addiction Recovery Kit (MARK) programme at the Serenity Café and an eight week MARK programme of yoga and mindfulness in recovery to support people resident in the Alcohol-related Brain Damage Unit run by Penumbra Milestone. They still work closely with LEAP and offer a regular class at the Hive. They are about to start a trauma sensitive yoga programme for women involved in ‘Womenzone’ through COMAS. It’s great when you come across people who can actually work with your community. The girls from Edinburgh Community Yoga are like that. They make yoga really accessible for everyone. They bring it here. They cope with everyone. They make it work. We’re looking forward to them being involved in Womenzone. Ruth Campbell, CEO, COMAS And that’s not all. Supported by KICC Active, they offer a weekly therapeutic class for people living with long-term health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia ME or multiple sclerosis. And Healthy Hibbees is a great fun yoga class, working with Hibbs supporters (mostly men) who want to get fit. Wow. And then there’s the NHS Staff Wellbeing Project. In her day job (yes, she has a full-time job as well as all her work with ECY!), Lorraine works at the Edinburgh University Medical School, teaching clinical skills and resuscitation to medical students. She witnesses the stresses and strains that nurses and doctors face every single day. ECYO works to support NHS staff by providing in house yoga sessions in short blocks in clinical areas.

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Yoga SCOTLAND So how do these two young women find the time for all this? Well, they now work with a carefully selected group of yoga teachers who they trust to deliver their yoga sessions in a way that is in line with the vision of ECY. Laura and Lorraine have discovered that many yoga teachers are fascinated by their work. Yoga teachers by nature have a heart for transformation and would love to be involved. However, Laura and Lorraine know what they are looking for in a teacher when they find it. Many of their teachers have experience in the caring professions. They respond naturally and authentically to their students. They are prepared to take on additional training to make them better equipped and educated. At 3pm, Lorraine started her Drug Harm Reduction Class at the Spittal Street Centre. We’d arrived in good time and gone upstairs to fetch the mats. We moved all the chairs to one side and collapsed the tables. Even though the previous week, no one had turned up. The three young women came through full of conversation. It was one of the girl’s birthdays. It took a while for the energy in the room to settle. There’s no doubt about it, Lorraine is really, really good at what she does. She responds to what is before her. She exudes calm. She invites rather than instructs. She describes it as maintaining an ‘unconditional positive regard’. These aren’t just words. You can feel it in the room. The girls relax. They feel accepted. They feel welcomed. In this room, at this time, everything is OK. The chattering fades away. The nervous giggling is silenced. The fidgeting is stilled. There is peace. There is calm. There is safety. There is grounding. Maybe for only those short moments in the whole day, but this is real right here, right now. Spending a day with Lorraine was an utter inspiration. Seeing yoga being introduced into the chaotic lives of these vulnerable women in such an accepting and accessible way is moving and deeply challenging. Laura and Lorraine believe that yoga can change lives alongside all the other projects that they partner with. Real people, real lives, real struggles. ECYO is committed to putting this belief into practice.Now what can we do to support them?

Helen Redfern is Yogamatters very own in-house writer. Living life to the full for her currently includes Yoga, Pilates, running and contemporary dance and she enjoys encouraging everyone around her to embrace the new. This article and others of interest to yoga practitioners and teachers can be found on the Yoga Matters blog.

Synchronised Global Meditations for Peace

If you would like to join in some of the regular synchronised global meditations for peace – try registering with one or both of these websites: www.worlpeacepulse.com and www.worldpeace.org.


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‘Doing Less, Being More’ Our theme for the 2017 programme is

Below are all dates for seminars in 2017. All seminars 10am-4pm.

Sunday February 26th 2017 ▲ Sn Jayanti, Satyananda Yoga Teacher ▲

With AGM at lunchtime. All welcome but voting reserved for members Venue (new): Boroughmuir Rugby Club, 2 Meggetland Wynd, off Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH 14 1XN

Saturday 27th May 2017 ▲ Andrea St. Clair ▲

Venue: Boroughmuir Rugby Club

Saturday 23rd September 2017 ▲ Johnny Glover ▲

Venue: St. Margaret’s House, Room G25, 151 London Road, EH7 6AE

Sunday 12th November 2017 ▲ Tina Gilbert ▲ Venue: St Margaret’s House

Full details on the EYLA website www.elya.org.uk

For enquiries and to reserve a place call EYLA Booking Secretary Kerry on 0131 445 1355 or email kerry.cooper@virgin.net Our seminars are suitable for ALL levels of experience

All seminars are the same price £30 ELYA members, £33 non members. BYO lunch and a mug – tea and coffee provided. There is the option of a café at Boroughmuir Rugby Club.

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Yoga and Medical Research: The Gift of Belief by Dr Mark Bidliss (PhD)

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice “Can’t you?” the Queen said is a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.” Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for halfan-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast…” – Lewis Carroll, ‘Through The Looking Glass’ Belief in anything that does not have credible rational or scientific support comes very difficult to me. I just can’t help thinking about all the possible interpretations and explanations of the evidence, along with the validity of the evidence itself. I then settle, albeit lightly sometimes, on an explanation – or ‘evidence-based belief’ – that I think and ‘feel’ most likely to be true based on what I know and which seems to explain the evidence and, hopefully, has some predictive value too. If I later discover further evidence that sheds new light, or in some way come to think about the existing evidence in new ways, then I strive to be open to altering my ‘belief’ accordingly. This is the rational approach I teach in my ‘educational’ work and is, in my view, how sceptics and scientists should think if we all strive for getting as close as possible to any absolute truth, as far as we can ever know it. That all said, when it comes to health and wellbeing, people sometimes choose to try a particular therapy or practice – be it Homeopathy, Reiki, Atlantis Crystal Healing or even Yoga – perhaps because they’ve had it recommended to them, or maybe they’ve tried everything else with no observable benefit. In so doing they are effectively accepting and ‘buying in’ to the possibility that this particular therapy or practice may work for them. In accepting this possibility, it may even be necessary for them, consciously or unconsciously, to ‘suspend any disbelief’ they may have about it. Another way of thinking about this ‘suspending disbelief’ is to ‘act as if’ something is true. Such a ‘pretend belief’, if sufficiently vivid and emotionally engaging, has been scientifically proven to be extremely effective in a wide range of human conditions and endeavours. And it’s something we can all do easily enough if approached with the right mindset and techniques. After all, if you are fully engaged by and enjoy any sort of fictional story-telling – such as in the form of books, TV programmes, movies, live theatre or radio dramas – then you must be ‘suspending your disbelief’ or ‘acting as if’ it’s all true at some cognitive level.

For example, a good horror movie can scare the pants off you, or an action-movie excite or disturb you, and stimulate genuine physiological signs of emotional stress and fear to boot, even though, if you stopped to think about it sensibly and rationally, it’s just all a bunch of actors pretending, film crews, make-up, fake blood and gore, and other special effects, and all on the other side of a screen too! And a good story-teller actually in the room with you won’t even need that – she or he will use your own imagination to scare the life out of you! If the idea of ‘suspending disbelief’ or ‘acting as if’ in some sense sounds or feels ‘negative’ or ‘doesn’t feel right’ to you in some way, then a writer friend of mine – who writes excellent and thought-provoking books and presents YouTube videos about magick and the occult (search ‘Ramsey Dukes’) – told me another way to think about it which I rather like. Ramsey calls it offering or giving the ‘Gift of Belief’. Basically, the idea here, as I relate it – and which I think is rather lovely and profound too – is that you offer or give the gift of belief to something or someone in a very deliberate, purposeful, even intimate and personal way, and without any expectations of a ‘return’, akin to how you might give a gift of money or your time to a charity. When you offer a gift of belief in such a way – in effect saying “I believe in you”, even if the ‘you’ is a particular therapy – you are effectively making a commitment of trust, giving ‘permission’ and ‘allowing’ the whatever or whoever it is to work upon you. And there’s no doubt that offering such a gift of belief can, at times, require considerable effort. But the truly wonderful thing about genuine and heartfelt ‘gift-giving’ is that you always benefit in some way, if nothing else in that it makes you feel good. What’s even more wonderful – especially in the case of complimentary/ alternative therapies – is that people who offer such a gift of belief in this way are very often ‘rewarded’ by or for their belief. In other words, they get better. And that being so, does it really matter that much whether a particular form of healing is ‘scientifically valid’ or not, as long as it works? One way I strive to think about such matters is something like this: if whatever (or whoever) you believe in and relate to in one way or another is in some way ‘useful’, of ‘value’ or of ‘benefit’ to you in some way, perhaps enriching and enhancing your life, perhaps helping you to have meaning and purpose – and so in a very real sense contributes to your ‘happiness’, life fulfilment, health and wellbeing – then isn’t it ‘real’ and ‘true’ for you? After all, it is quite literally and scientifically true that your whole personal, subjective experience and perception of ‘reality out there’ is all a construction of your own mind and nervous system one way or another anyway, based on such things as your state of consciousness, your physiology, perceptual experience, expectations, conditioning, and your core beliefs and values. In other words, it’s all in your mind – though I’m pretty sure that ‘objective reality’ is out there regardless of my experience of it!

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Yoga SCOTLAND And I can tell you, from extensive personal training and experience, that if you can learn ways to deliberately, intentionally and purposefully ‘influence’ or otherwise change such things as your state of consciousness, your physiology, perceptual experience, expectations, conditioning, and your core beliefs and values about ‘your reality’ in certain ways for yourself, then life can get really interesting! It’s what I call Real Magick!

If you ‘believe’ that you, or someone you know of, might benefit from working with Mark, either in person, by telephone or by ‘Skype’ – perhaps exploring how some of the ideas raised or thoughts provoked in this or his previous articles might apply to your own life – then please contact him initially via email: mark.biddiss@btinternet.com

Someday by Norman Boyle From the world of TV journalism to yoga teacher training. Student Teacher Norman Boyle describes his journey.

Above Norman hones his teaching skills with Charlie the cat. This simple sentiment really sums up what yoga has meant to me and it describes perfectly where I am on the journey. I started practising in September 2013, effectively under protest. I am a runner and, after the best part of 20 years without significant problems, I began to succumb to regular injuries. Then my running club funded a four week block of classes called Yoga for Runners, so I went along a little unwillingly to stretch better and to improve my flexibility. I was captivated by the practice of yoga from the first session, and greatly blessed as the class was taught by a sensitive and gifted teacher, who has since become a friend He showed me that yoga is about much more than stretching, and encouraged me to attend my first workshop, exploring pranayama and touching on the chakras – I loved it. I started practising at Glasgow club sessions and things just blossomed from there. Teachers seemed to recognise my enthusiasm for yoga – indeed one described me as a "wee sponge" just soaking up all things yogic. It was while chatting with a teacher after class that the first germ of an idea that I could maybe teach was formed. We

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were talking about workshop venues and I said something like..."I'd like to learn a bit more, not that I'd think of doing teacher training or anything like that." She replied..."Why not. You'd make a great yoga teacher.” To say I was surprised would be an understatement, but the thought was planted. She told me about the Foundation Course so I went for it and enjoyed every minute. I soaked up loads more great stuff and it confirmed in me in the idea that I could teach. This year I was accepted on the Edinburgh Teacher Training course and I’m absolutely loving it. The philosophy is a bit brain melting at the moment and the workload is challenging. But we get loads of support from the course tutors and, so far, things have been manageable. It feels like the universe has a plan for me and all is unfolding just as it should. I started yoga simply to try to prevent running injuries and got something so much better – it's no exaggeration to say my life is transformed. I continue to be blessed by being able to work with some great teachers. I have a better work/life balance. I handle the stresses and strains of living so much better. I have a new goal in life and a new career in prospect AND I have been running for well over two years now without injury. So yoga has given me exactly what I was looking for and something much, much greater !!!


Yoga SCOTLAND

The Student Teacher Blog

Norman has very kindly agreed to co-ordinate a new regular feature: The Student Teacher Blog. Please get in touch with Norman if you’d like to put in a few wise words, or comments about your experiences. They can of course be anonymous! All contributions welcome. Email: boylenorman56 @gmail.com

Zoe Knott Strength and Flexibility in Asana

Rooster Cogburn is one of my favourite western characters and this slogan is also one of my favourites. I have to say I don’t know what The Duke would have made of yoga, but for me the obvious connection here is the warrior pose. Sometimes in yoga we need to make a stand – it’s not all peace, love and yogi tea! My first teacher, Mark Russell, always says that a warrior needs to be strong, but he/she also needs to be able to move fast – it’s not good to be too rigid. It’s not always the strongest warrior that wins the fight, as often as not it’s the fastest. Mark is talking about incorporating sthira and sukha into our practice – strength moderated with an element of softness. Now I don’t know how quick, Old Rooster would have been with anything except his six-shooter, but the element of gentleness in his nature transforms him into something more than just another thug with a gun. In the movie True Grit, Rooster’s yang side is demonstrated in his relationship with his Chinese landlord Chen Lee, his cat General Sterling Price and eventually as the story progresses, with Matty Ross, the girl who comes to him for help. This side of his nature is further developed in Rooster Cogburn, the sequel to True Grit as his friendship with Miss Eula Goodnight develops into something quite special and very moving. So there we go – the ancient spiritual teachings of the yogis and cowboy movies go hand in hand! Yoga has something to teach us about all aspects of life.

Tayside Yoga

SEMINAR PROGRAMME SPRING 2017 BOTH SEMINARS IN Nilupul Centre 51 Reform Street Dundee DD1 1SL

th Saturday 18th18February 10am-4pm February2017 10am-4pm Saturday The Centre,Edinburgh Edinburgh TheEric EricLiddell Liddell Centre,

This workshop enjoys delving more deeply into the postures we experience in a general yoga class. Throughout the day we will consider: 1 Why we work in particular poses 2 Stages to allow all abilities to progress safely 3 How to move in and out of postures in the safest way. We will prepare for asana with specific techniques to stretch or strengthen relevant muscles and postures will be broken down and considered stage by stage. You will all find a stage you can work with and be given a path on which you can progress forward. The day is appropriate for teachers, student teachers and keen yoga class attendees. If anyone has a question they would like to ask before booking, do send me an email zoeknott@tiscali.co.uk.

Cost, £50. To book, contact Linda Shand on 07803 523781 or email linda.shand@btinternet.com

Date 26 March 23 April

Teacher Joanne Ewen Jim Fraser

Sunday mornings: 09.45 – 12.45 Admission: £15

Further details from: Frances Morgan 07732 696 802 or, please e-mail: taysideyogaassociation@hotmail.com 21


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Meditation or Mindfulness? What’s in a name? In satsang at Mandala Ashram in the summer, Swami Gyandharma was asked the following question: “Swamiji – mindfulness seems to be very popular these days. Is this not a new name for meditation? What do you think?” Long pause. And then from Swami: “I don’t care what you call it, just do it!”

A Yoga weekend in Dumfries and Galloway with

Swami Satyaprakash Director of the Birmingham Satyananda Yoga Centre

A day of Yoga including Mudras Saturday 10th June in Twynnholm Village Hall, Kirkcudbrightshire

A day of Yoga including Bandhas Sunday 11th June Lincluden Community Centre, Dumfries Cost £35 per day, or both for £60

Please bring your own mats and a packed lunch Teas and coffee will be provided

Booking form: Carol Godridge yoga@cgodridge.plus.com Tel: 01848 200681 22


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Yoga and Medical Research: The science behind the power of yoga by Lucy Edge Claims about the health benefits of yoga date back to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, in which pranayama and asana are said to ‘destroy’ and ‘cure’ disease. Science has been catching up with the ancient sages. Nowadays around 200 clinical trials a year evidence yoga’s effectiveness for over 30 health conditions – from anxiety and depression to coping with a serious illness like cancer. Collating over 300 of them on YogaClicks.Com/YogaMeds, we have evidence that yoga works in 164 ways; from modulating DNA damage in radiotherapy, to improving the handgrip of arthritis sufferers. Visit www.yogaclicks.com/YogaMeds/ for more. Lucy Edge is author of Yoga School Dropout and Down Dog Billionaire and the Founder of YogaClicks.com

Help us spread the word about yoga for specific health conditions ‘Yoga for asthma’ searches run at only 1,300 a month globally on Google, ‘yoga for migraine’ runs at 880, ‘yoga for IBS’ at 720. These figures are tiny – we need to raise awareness of the clinical studies and spread the word. If you are a yoga therapist add your profile at yogaclicks.com/register and get found If you have a study submit it to study@yogaclicks.com If you have a health condition - add your story and help other sufferers.

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Two examples from the Yoga clicks website:

Yoga and Arthritis Yoga can ease movement, improve posture, and align bones. A regular practice can create space and ease pain in damaged joints, and help to prevent the cartilage erosion that causes the pain of arthritis. It can also be a good way to build muscle strength (for example hand grip) because, practised correctly, it doesn’t put too much pressure on the joints – provided you don’t overdo it when joints are flaring. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and pranayama (breathing techniques), can also help you mentally deal with the pain and improve your sense of wellbeing – helping to reduce the stress and tension caused by the discomfort and pain of arthritis. This, in turn, can promote better sleep and relaxation, helping to improve all-round physical health, wellbeing and vitality.

Migraines and headaches At a physical level yoga's deep, slow movements can help relax tight muscles in the neck and shoulders, which can improve blood flow, build muscle strength and, over time,

help correct the bad postural habits that can cause headaches and migraines. Becoming mindful of face and body habits, for example a tendency to round the shoulders, squint or scrunch the face when concentrating, can also be helpful in solving recurring headaches. You may become more mindful of the way you relate to your environment – the quality of light in your office, the chair you sit on, the food you eat – all factors which can trigger headaches. Clinical studies on yoga and meditation have suggested they are a useful headache and migraine treatment. Perhaps most importantly they can help to calm an overworked nervous system – a major cause of tension headaches and migraines. They can reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches, alleviate associated depression, stress, and anxiety, and improve feelings of wellbeing. The Yoga Clicks Website goes on to give the results of specific research related to each health problem.

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From The Yogi Banker: Yoga for Men by Scott Robinson Scott Robinson has lived in London for the last 15 years. Initially from Sydney, Australia, Scott qualified as a lawyer and has worked for international law firms and investment banks in both London and New York. He now works in a regulatory capital advisory role at a leading global financial institution in the City of London. Scott has found that the practice of yoga and all things holistic has really helped him manage stress and allow him to perform at an optimal level at the bank.

The phenomenal rise in popularity of yoga has been remarkable. With more and more focus on wellness and lifestyle choices in the West, yoga fits into this movement like a neat accessory. However, the face of yoga is often female. In my own experience in studios in London and other cities, as well as on retreats, I estimate that classes are filled with 80% or more women students. In fact, at times you can feel like the only male swimming in a sea of females of the species. Not that this is particularly an issue if you are comfortable in your own skin but, for some guys, that's not an environment they thrive in. The irony of this gender transformation is that yoga traditionally was mostly for men. Influential teachers like Swami Sivananda and Krishnamacharya (teacher of BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois) famously opened their schools to selected women (and non-Indians) in the early 20th century, but certainly when you look at early representations of yogis, they are almost exclusively male. I have seen photos of many

Satyananda Yoga CDs

for home practice

Yoga Nidra: 3 practices for first and second year students. Yoga Nidra: 2 practices for more experienced students. Meditation: Kaya Stairyam (body stillness), Ajapa Japa (mantra) and Antar Mouna (inner stillness). £7 + £1.50 p&p each.

From: Carol Godridge, Ben Doran, Ayr Street, Moniaive, Dumfriesshire DG3 4HW Tel: 01848 200681 Email: yoga@cgodridge.plus.com

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ents rienced stud more expe ge

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For more information, check out www.yogibanker.com or contact him directly at scott@yogibanker.com.

yoga nidra m

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male yogis from yesteryear in all sorts of twists and poses, at which you can only stare and wonder how a guy can possibly do that. We all know that women are generally more flexible than men, but yoga has been around for ages. So, all these advanced postures have been performed by men for centuries. After recently observing Nico Luce doing such feats in deft gravity-defying manner, I witnessed first hand that the male body, with enough training and effort, is indeed capable of many things. This post then is not going to tell you why more men should do yoga. I could tell you it's great for your strength, flexibility, sex life, etc... but that's all been said before. No, I'm going to give you a different insight into why more men need to get back on the mat and reacquaint themselves with this ancient practice. Space. Yes, that's right. Space. The space in which we operate and go about our busy working days. For a City male in the high octane world of law firms, investment banks or whatever chosen stress-inducing profession of your fancy, quite frankly that space becomes tighter and tighter, to the point that we cannot (metaphorically speaking) breathe. As was remarked recently, regarding a different topic, the demands of working in investment banking are 'simply insane'. Yoga gives us back that space. As we move through the postures, we breathe through the stress and anxiety of our daily lives. We may hold it there, in silence, and simply observe it as we weave our bodies through the practice. My Friday night practice is a perfect example of this as I ground myself and reflect upon a busy week. My teacher always reminds us to find that 'drishti point', a point of focus for any asana. I liken this focal point to any object that is the centre of attention in our busy lives – look it in the eye and breathe, and move through the posture again. That way, we can take the space that we have created on the mat, back into our ordinary lives. Some would call it resilience. I would call it perspective. So for you corporate guys out there who think yoga is just for ladies, think again. If performance at work is about gaining that winning mental edge, look no further than the yoga mat. You'd be surprised how much of a difference it can make. As Slider said to Maverick in the legendary film Top Gun: "Remember boys, there's no points for second place". I liken my yoga practice to exactly that – despite yoga being totally non-competitive in its mindset. My (not so secret) practice keeps me floating above the surface and performing at my personal best. Come on guys, what are you waiting for?

carol godrid ge

13/08/2012 14:12 Page e1

Yogibanker on social media: Facebook:Facebook.com/yogibanker2

meditation

Twitter:Twitter.com/yogibanker1

Meditation practices from the Satyananda tradition

carol godridge

Instagram: Instagram.com/yogibanker


www.balance.co.uk w ww.balance.co.uk

ÂŽ

balance b alance

Chiropractic

www.balance.co.uk www.balance.co.uk 118/122 Napiershall Street S Glasgow G20 6HT Telephone 0141 332 8800

balance b alance Promoting physical Promoting physical and wellbeing mindful w ellbeing

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In Honour of TKV Desikachar 21st June 1938 - 8th August 2016 by Gill Lloyd TKV Desikachar was the son of Professor T. Krishnamacharya and also his student, living and studying with his father until his death in 1989. They come from a lineage of householder Yogis dating back to the sage Nathamuni, around the 9th century. He leaves his wife, Menaka, three children and grandchildren as well as his five siblings. After the death of his father, Desikachar then founded The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (TKYM) in his honour, and taught there for the rest of his teaching life. He maintained that Yoga is for everyone regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, age etc and the KYM upholds this to this day.

Desikachar and the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) I first came into contact with Desikachar’s teaching in 1976 whilst on a BWY Teacher Training course through a guest tutor, Elizabeth Sharwood, who came to talk about his teaching after spending two weeks studying with him on one of his early visits to the UK. She focussed on his application of vinyasa krama... this asks that we have a goal, a step by step process for reaching it and a way back once that has been reached, whether we are practising asana, pranayama or meditation. In other words, yoga techniques with intelligent application and a rationale for the process. His two senior teachers in the UK at that time were Ian Rawlinson, author of Yoga for the West and Martin Underwood, now an osteopath in North London. They both presented sessions at the BWY Congress the following year, which led to me pursuing the tradition further by taking courses with both these excellent teachers. I had already met Paul Harvey through BWY events and when he returned from a two year study intensive with Desikachar in India in 1981, he set up a four year teacher training programme, I knew this was something I really wanted to pursue. I was already a DCT for the Wheel at this point but knew there was so much more to learn in all aspects of Yoga. Desikachar had always taught that Yoga should be taught 11 i.e. made to measure in all aspects of Yoga and this is what I wanted to know more about. Also, I had always had an interest in Yoga philosophy from which Desikachar drew constantly. This four year course was followed by a two year postgraduate with Paul. During these six years and beyond, we had direct contact with Desikachar both in the UK and India. Paul also brought Desikachar as the guest speaker to BWY Congress. Desikachar’s links with BWY have affected its teacher training profoundly, with his use of vinyasa krama and the concepts of counterpose, breath in asana, modification, use of pin people to name but a few. Also, his book ‘The Heart of Yoga’ is on the book lists for teacher training courses all over the world. The more I learnt from him directly and indirectly, I came to understand what a truly special teacher he was. When I met Indra Devi at a DCT weekend when she was a very young 92, (she lived till 102!), she asked me who my teacher was. When I replied Desikachar she exclaimed, “He is the best teacher in the world today coming out of India!” In all the years since

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nothing has ever changed my mind on this and the same is true for many of his students all over the world.

Personal Reflections Paul Harvey took his trainees out to study with Desikachar in India and also brought him over to teach us in the UK on many occasions. Then he encouraged me to pursue studying in India on my own. I would take classes with Sir, learn to chant with his wife, Menaka and attend his Saturday morning lectures. Gradually he took me under his wing and in these last years of studying with him, he was a strong support, generous and kind and probably more mellow than in earlier years. My greatest joy was to be allowed to sit by his side when teaching 1-1 and seeing his mastery at work. His insight, his wisdom and his loving kindness were the greatest inspiration. For example, on one occasion, I sat with him whilst he was teaching a hyperactive 11 year old boy, who was all over the place and whose parents were sick with worry about the boy’s inability to concentrate. I witnessed this lad become calm, happy and peaceful in the space of 20 minutes. I saw him again on his second lesson a changed boy and his parents anxiety gone. There are so many examples of his extraordinary gifts. When I started to work with him on my own, I was nervous and apprehensive but the reality was that I felt a deep peace when he was teaching me and I treasure those experiences deeply. I am immensely grateful for this for all the times I have spent with him. Even when his health was failing and he was no longer able to talk to large groups, he was still a master of 1-1 teaching, and when he was here in 2010, he worked with my husband who was struggling with recovery from a bike accident which had left him with a broken hip and collarbone, and from that time the healing started. It was truly remarkable. The world has lost many great teachers these past years: Swami Satchidananda, Swami Satyananda, Patabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar (Desikachar’s uncle) to name but a few. May their devotion to teaching inspire us to do all that we can to continue their work. It is needed today as much as ever. One thing to ask, as so many of his students mourn the loss of Desikachar, is to take ‘The Heart of Yoga’ off the shelf and read it afresh. It is a great tribute to a great teacher and an on-going inspiration. I thank him for his devotion to Yoga and his generosity in giving his life to spreading its teachings. I close with two verses of a poem I wrote on the occasion of his 75th birthday. A lineage of teachers has brought this through time, in oral tradition; in Yoga Rahasya enshrined. Krishnamacharya’s pilgrimage rekindled this flame. Carrying forward this light, Desikachar’s focus and aim. So thanks to all teachers, from the past till today who have carried these treasures along the way. I pay homage to them, Sir, but to you, you most of all for the words in this poem at your feet do fall. Gill Lloyd, September 2016


Yoga SCOTLAND

British Wheel of Yoga Pregnancy and Postnatal Modules for 2017 with Judy Cameron BWY, Active Birth,YogaBirth & Midwife

Pregnancy Yoga Modules 2017 In the Moment, Glasgow G3 7DS: 10-12 March; 2-4 June & 9 September Santosa, Edinburgh EH7 5LH: Dates TBC

Postnatal Yoga Module 2016/17 For course outline and registration contact

Judy Cameron cameron.judy@yahoo.com tel: 0779 207 9389

Oxford: 18-19 February 2017 & 29-30 April, 24/25 June 2017

www.yogaofbirth.co.uk

Introductory course

This is an opportunity to explore the rich and influential tradition of Professor T Krisnamacharya and his son, TKV Desikachar. This course is suitable for students who wish to develop and deepen their personal practice and study of yoga; and/or to prepare for teacher training.

It will run over 12 Saturdays 10.00 - 17.00 starting February 2017 to November 2017 at Crossgates Community Centre, 2 Inverkeithing Road, Dunfermline, Fife KY4 8AL (just off the Halbeath Interchange on the M90)

Information morning to be held on 26th November 2016. 10-12.00 Crossgates Community Centre, Fife.

TSYP is a British Wheel of Yoga accredited group; Janet is a TSYP and advanced BWY teacher. Janet Reid

For further details please contact: 07876306147 Janet@atha-yogatherapy.com

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European Union of Yoga Congress in Zinal: 21-26 August 2016 by Joy Charnley

I attended the EUY Congress for the first time in 2015 and got a taste of the way the organisation (which has existed since 1971) works. Following that, YS became an associate member, so in August 2016 I was back in Zinal once again, this time as a delegate, not only enjoying many classes from the vast array on offer, but also attending EUY meetings on behalf of Yoga Scotland (see the summary elsewhere). It was an inspiring week, and this short article will only be able to give you a brief overview of everything that was on offer. I encourage you to go and see for yourselves, I guarantee you will be delighted and amazed! Guest teachers this year were the Mohan family and Günter Niessen and the theme was ‘Svastha/Health/Santé’, which gave the congress the thread that ran all the way through it: how do we use the multiple tools of yoga (asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation, kriyas, sound and so on) to improve and maintain our physical, mental and emotional health? From 7am until 6.30pm, classes (in six different languages, for all levels and in a range of locations, including the church and in the open air) provided participants with varied insights into that question. The vast choice of lectures and workshops, offering a range of different approaches to the topic, left everyone feeling replete, and for those still with energy at the end of the day,

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the evening events offered dance, classical Indian music and a chance to network with other federations. Not to mention the mountains all around us, the glaciers, the waterfalls and the marmots, enticing participants away from their mats to walk or sit in the sun. It would be impossible to summarise such a rich week in just a few sentences, but the emphasis throughout all the sessions I attended was on openness, happiness and doing what works for you. A.G. Mohan, said ‘there are many ways to physical health, but only one way to mental health: yoga’ and Indra Mohan reminded us of the oft-repeated expression, ‘it’s not a workout, it’s a work-in.’ Iia Lappalainen from Finland, with her lovely gentle approach to both asana and pranayama, emphasised that ‘breathing is what makes yoga yoga’ and Günter Niessen exhorted students to not be on ‘auto-pilot’, to try out new approaches, listen to themselves and not do things just because a teacher (or even a ‘guru’) says so. He talked ironically about the tendency in some parts of the yoga world to say in essence, ‘you are free to do what we tell you’, and questioned the appropriateness of some postures (trikonasana, parsvottanasana, halasana) as well as some long-held and much-taught assumptions such as tucking the tailbone in. Specific ways of working for women (Indra


Yoga SCOTLAND Mohan), the power of simple chants combined with breathwork (Nitya Mohan), joyfulness and gratitude (Ganesh Mohan) and the deep sense of peace engendered by music (Geza Timcak and Ivo Sedlacek) are also, amongst many others, experiences I bring back with me. I know that Switzerland is not next door and not the cheapest country in Europe, but there are direct (and not too expensive) flights from Edinburgh to Geneva, and it is then a very smooth, easy journey to Zinal by train and bus. Accommodation costs can be kept down by sharing a self-catering flat or chalet (of which there are many) and the region offers free bus travel and use of cable cars. Currency rates are sure to fluctuate between now and next year, but at the moment registration to attend the congress costs just over £200, which for five very full days of top-quality teaching is an absolute bargain. It would be fantastic to see more members of Yoga Scotland at the 2017 Congress, so please do think about attending and get in touch if you’d like more information. If countries such as Finland and Ireland can be so well represented, then so can we! The dates for next year are 20-25 August, the theme is ‘Yoga is Now’ and confirmed guest teachers are T.K. Sribhashyam, Anouradha Choudry and Vinaya Chandra B.K. A bientôt à Zinal!

https://www.europeanyoga.org

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The Yoga Teacher (Part 2) by Andy Curtis-Payne experience of.” In his commentary of the Yoga Sutras, Vyasa says of the sixth sutra in Chapter Three, “Only through yoga, yoga is known. Only through yoga, yoga progresses. One who practices yoga enjoys the fruits for a long time.” Therefore as a teacher of yoga I must be practicing yoga, continuing my own journey along the path. So personal experience of yoga is essential, but what of knowledge; what sources or reference points do I choose to inform and guide me and thus help me guide others? Traditionally there were the sastras, the texts on yoga and the idea of agamah (a trusted and respected reference point). The texts are still there and rich with timeless wisdom, but not always easy to understand or interpret. Once again therefore, if I am to guide others, I must have or have had a guide, someone to point out the subtle aspects of the teachings and help me interpret them in a way that is helpful to those I work with.

Guidance and right living In the first of these articles I looked at the concept of Yogacarya, one who practices and exemplifies yoga. This was the traditional model for the transmission of the teaching of yoga, generation to generation. In the modern era we now have a myriad of ways to become a yoga teacher; courses, levels and qualifications. So what does it mean to be a yoga teacher, what do I need to know and do to be a yoga teacher? First, if we are to guide others on a path, we must have some knowledge and some experience of that path. How can I guide others if my knowledge is purely theoretical? It would be like reading a map and thinking “I know the terrain and its climate as a reality”. Therefore I must first walk the path I would guide others along, How else will I know the challenges and pitfalls that lie ahead on the path, and the ways of avoiding them?

Practice and experience This important idea is encapsulated in TKV Desikachar’s rendering of the first sutra of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali thus: “Now I am going to share with you the yoga I have

Yoga, Meditation & Walking At Allanton Peace Sanctuary, Auldgirth, Dumfries DG2 0RY 6pm Friday 21st – 4pm Sunday 23rd April 2017 With Jackie Le Brocq £175 (includes meals and accommodation) Bookings and payments to jackie.lebrocq1@btinternet.com 01683 220981/07809 290049 We hold the world in our hands: every action we make, every word, every thought, sends a ripple out into the world which has an effect. So come and join me this weekend sending out some positive, healing ripples. May peace prevail on earth

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So we now have two aspects to our being yoga teacher, personal practice and experience and reliable sources of knowledge and references to underpin my teaching. Does this leave anything else? What about personal conduct, professionally and privately? It seems self-evident to me that if we are choosing to work with a system such as yoga with a strong ethical basis (the yamas and niyamas of the Yoga Sutras) we must consider this as part of our role as yoga teachers. All teacher trainings now have such criteria written into their codes of conduct, yet things can still go awry. Why? It is one thing to think that we are doing what is appropriate and another to do it. In the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Two, verse 50 it is written, “…Yoga is skill in action…” and as yoga teachers this is something we should aspire to, to act appropriately, especially in our interactions with others. Yoga is such a precious gift which I feel we need to care for and to cherish. As yoga teachers we are custodians of this precious gift; torch-bearers carrying the light forward for future generations. This is a wonderful path to walk, sometimes challenging but often extremely rewarding. How often do people say, “Thank you, I feel so much better..” after a class or, “I slept really well after class last week”. We should not underestimate the value of these seemingly small steps forward for our students. As it says in the Gita, ”No step on this path is lost, even a little of this knowledge will protect you.” These moments of release are the lights that will lead people forward on the path of yoga to greater strength, discovery and ultimately joy! Thus I would ask that we pause to reflect on what nourishes us as yoga teachers? How do we stay on the path? What guides and inspires us? Why? Because it is the same thing that will in turn inspire our students. Andy-Payne is a yoga teacher, yoga therapist and teacher trainer, working in the tradition of Sri T Krishnamacharya, Based in Sussex, he is currently the Chairperson of the Society of Yoga Practitioners.


Samkhya A day for students or teachers with Andy Curtis-Payne In The Moment, 72 Berkley Street, Glasgow G3 7DS Sunday 14 May 2017 10.00 ± 17.00 Samkhya is one the of the sat darsanas, the six views of ancient Indian philosophy.It is from these teachings that yoga evolved into the practical life discipline we can follow today. On this day we will explore the significance of Samkhya to Yoga looking at key concepts such as the trigunas and purusa and prakrti. Andy is a yoga teacher and teacher trainer with TSYP and divides his time between teaching workshops, classes and running TSYP training courses. He also teaches yoga one to one and therapeutically and has followed the teachings of TKV Desikachar for over 25 years; he regularly returns to India to further his understanding of these profound teachings. Andy has taught at the BWY Congress and Yoga Scotland's St Andrews event as well as all over the UK. He is currently the Chairman of TSYP, the organisation set up to teach and disseminate the teachings of TKV Desikachar and his father Prof.T.Krishnamacarya.

Cost

£40 one day, (£5 reduction for TSYP members)

Information & booking form Anne Davidson annedavidson19@sky.com

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Yoga and Medical Research: “Science says” – or does it? Some thoughts on trying to understand ‘scientific’ evaluations of yoga practice by Sannyasin Bijam There is an online deluge of research papers on yoga, mindfulness and meditation about all aspects of health, both physical and mental. How can we make sense of it? Can we aim to take in some of the information in a way that may prove useful, especially if we are teaching yoga, either in groups or to individuals, living with one (or more) chronic conditions. Sannyasin Bijam asks how do we know that we are teaching safely, or perhaps being unnecessarily cautious? Sometimes you see the expression ‘science tells us that…’ in a yoga book. I hope that by the end of this article you will at least be able to be sceptical about that statement. Science observes the natural world, gathers data, and then asks questions such as what, how, why? From this a possible answer (or hypothesis) is built up, based on knowledge to date and what is not known or understood. The hypothesis must be written in a way so that an experiment can be conducted; and from which more data result. The data may or may not confirm the hypothesis, and then the hypothesis may have to be changed and more experiments done. So from this very brief account I hope you can see that ‘science says’ as if that’s the last word on the matter, is neither accurate nor helpful. This is only the beginning… then the results must be peer reviewed and published in full with enough data so that others can repeat the study. To illustrate the deluge, according to Caroline Barrow in “The Power of Stillness” there are around 1.8 million articles published each year in 28,000 journals, about half of which are read only by the authors and journal editors. For clinical research evaluates the effectiveness of yoga practice for a particular condition, whether physical or psychological, there are numerous ways in which the question raised – for example “does yoga practice help with...(condition)?” can be studied. Beware false results Sadly, carelessly designed studies can produce false results. Here are a few things that you could try to look for in a well-designed and trustworthy study that has removed as many sources of bias as possible: • Prospective – means the research isn’t analysing past treatment and responses – subject to errors such as false remembering – but is planned to be current, (very yogic) going forward in time, and analysing the results at the end

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• Controlled trial – the ‘experimental’ group compared with a group that is not receiving the intervention, and is as closely matched to the trial group as possible. • Random allocation of study participants to the experimental or the control group – and the study should explain how the randomisation was done. • Large enough sample sizes (hundreds, not tens) to produce significant results. • Date of the research – as scientific knowledge is constantly evolving, information from decades ago may no longer be relevant, although interesting in terms of the history of ideas.


Yoga SCOTLAND • Systematic review – an article that has reviewed several high-quality articles on a particular subject and combined the results. A good way of getting around sample sizes that are too small. Considered (if the original trials were well-conducted) to be the highest quality. • Hawthorne effect – derived from experiments in the 1920s that seemed to show worker productivity in a factory improving as light levels increased – but also as they decreased. It was thought to be due to people being observed and having extra attention as the light levels were manipulated. The expression has come into more general use and is regarded as a source of error. The data from the original study were re-analysed in 2011 and it was discovered that all the light changes were done on Sundays and the observations taken on Mondays, when productivity is higher anyway. Such are the traps of research! • Double blind if possible – neither the participants nor the researchers know who is in the experimental group and who is in the control. This is obviously easier in terms of a medication than either yoga or indeed a surgical operation.

• There’s no evidence that – may be actual research with a nil benefit, but is far more likely to be an absence of evidence (research not done) than evidence of absence of benefit.

• Placebo – a placebo is intended to act as a neutral (i.e. inert) control in a clinical research trial, particularly for medication, as a ‘dummy’ drug can easily be made identical to the active preparation. Sounds simple, but very difficult to apply in psychotherapy, bodywork etc.

I’m no expert Disclaimer – although I was sometimes involved in research during my career, I’m no expert. I just had to read some of the stuff to try to keep up to date. As you see, this is a daunting task. Much easier now to turn to useful websites such as www.yogaclicks.com, The Minded Institute (www.mindedinstitute.com) or The Kaivalyadham Institute in India, founded in 1917 specifically to carry out research into Yoga and Ayurveda – in the knowledge that robust research into the therapeutic benefits of yoga is difficult to do and limited in quality and even these sites need to be approached with due inquiry and perhaps a degree of scepticism. But let’s not give up. As Yoga is essentially a spiritual path maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree anyway.

• Single blind – not so good but better than nothing – the study participants don’t know whether they are in the experimental or the control group, or perhaps they do (difficult not to know you’re practicing yoga) but the observers who are gathering results do not. • Open – both participants and researchers know who’s in which group. Subject to bias due to the hopes and beliefs of both researchers and study participants. • Single case reports – can stimulate further questions and research but are not considered high quality evidence. • Peer review – essential step in publishing reliable research – what do others in the field say about it? Best to read articles published only in peer-reviewed journals.

YOGA and DANCE Be Moved... Funky, handmade and ethically sourced Yogascotland17 visiton w and off yoga clothes that you can wear the mat 10% off for Yoga Scotland Members with code: Yogascotland17 visit www.yogawarrior.co.uk

Join June Mercer (yoga teacher) and Sarena Wolfaard (5Rhythms teacher) in 3 hours of embodied movement on Saturday 4th February in Queen Margaret Hall, Blackness Rd, Linlithgow EH49 7JA. 10-1pm cost £25 To book email: june@junesyoga.com For more information on 5Rhythms www.movetobestill.com For more information on June’s Yoga wwwjunesyoga.com Facebook junesyoga

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Yoga and Medical Research: Where is the Proof? by Nikki Biddiss

Sannyasin Bijam writes elsewhere in this issue about the need to ensure, that research is carried out properly. Medical Herbalist, Nikki Bidliss continues the discussion, pointing out the difficulties of measuring personal experiences in complementary therapies (including yoga therapy) that treat the whole person. The essence of western medical herbalism is that we treat the person, not the condition. We do a full hour-long consultation to record medical history, family medical history, drugs and supplements being taken, allergies, diet, and lifestyle (including details on sleep, exercise, relaxation and stress). We then discuss the functionality of all body systems and from this, discuss with the patient key areas to work on. We then blend a herbal prescription tailored to our patient’s needs, and give specific advice on diet and lifestyle that will support the desired changes. A truly ‘whole person’ or ‘holistic’ approach. In my opinion, a useful approach would be to compare



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patients taking their tailored blends 90 (of herbs) for a specific health issue. This was done in a menopause study (Green et al, 2007) which monitored 45 women over five months and found there to be a statistically significant improvement in hot flushes and libido compared to the control group, when using tailored herbal prescriptions along with diet and lifestyle advice from medical herbalists. I would like to see a lot more studies done like this. Even then the results aren’t recording the full experience of a consultation. How do you measure clients’ positive experience of being listened to? How do you measure changes in physical, mental and emotional health? Or the satisfaction clients feel in being proactive with their wellbeing and making time for themselves? Or the relief they feel in getting structured advice on diet or lifestyle when they have felt overwhelmed by the amount of information (often conflicting!) that is out there? I see parallels with yoga. For example if we measure blood pressure of a group doing yoga, we may see it decrease if gentle yoga is being done. We know that lowering blood pressure is a good thing as it reduces our risk of strokes and other cardiovascular conditions. But is that the only health benefit? For the sake of medical research, one specific measurable hypothesis needs to be assessed at a time, but this may be limiting. Doing yoga may make us feel relaxed, less stressed, and more connected with ourselves. Can these things be objectively measured? And that’s even before we look at spiritual aspects of yoga. Spirituality is a deeply personal experience and cannot be scrutinised scientifically. Experiences of any type of therapy are also personal. Not every drug works for every person: some experience sideeffects; others don’t, some find it fully resolves their health issue but it may not work for others. It’s the same with yoga, herbal medicine or any other type of complementary therapy. What works for one may not work for another. If research is a step in the relentless search for truth, then we need to consider what truth we are trying to uncover. Is it an objectively measurable truth or a personal truth? I recall as a student recording any scientific papers on herbal medicine in case my future patients wanted proof for herbal medicine. When I started clinical practice, I was surprised that none of my patients were really interested in this. They just wanted to experience the consultation process and the herbs for themselves. It didn’t matter what other people’s experience had been, they were interested in examining their own. It is often said that the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’. If we let people just consume the experience themselves, perhaps they can find all the proof they will need. Nikki Biddiss, BSc (Hons), MNIMH is a Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapist and a Cognitive Coach. She is based in Napiers the Herbalists, Glasgow and has her own practice in Bridge of Allan. Please see. www.botanicalhealing.co.uk for further details or call Nikki on 07528 341206


Yoga SCOTLAND

Yoga with June Mercer

Yoga with June is a gentle practice to bring powerful changes to strengthen the body while stilling the mind. June’s yoga has been guided over the last 20 years by ‘’Scaravelli inspired’ teachers

Be Moved – a workshop of joyful free expression • Saturday 4th February 2017

10 -1pm in Queen Margaret Hall, Linlithgow Join June and Sarena Wolfaard (5Rhythms teacher) in 3 hours of embodied movement. We will explore how we are moved from the yoga mat up to our feet - moving inwards and outwards in the space. We will be danced, with music and without, and come to rest on our mats, with breath and awareness of how we are in the moment. Suitable for all. Cost: £20. Contact June to book

Yoga in Orkney • 22nd -28th July 2017

June is looking forward to teaching in Stenness again this year. Join us for a week of yoga, or a weekend or some long morning sessions. Suitable for all.... For details and to book contact June

Yoga holiday to Kissamos in North West Crete • 20th -27th September 2017

Back to the lovely Hotel Peli for the 7th year! The venue has a swimming pool and is just across from the beach. Two guided walks included. Details from www.westcreteholidays.com. To book tel Lynne on 01332833417 or email bookingwch@hotmail.co.uk

June runs regular weekly yoga classes in Central Scotland. Details on the website www.junesyoga.com Contact June on 07835835919 or email june@junesyoga.com Facebook junesyoga …………………………………………………………………………………………… June will be hosting workshops with her teacher

JOHN STIRK

Saturday 18th February 2017, 10am – 3.30pm Greenpark Centre, Polmont (easy walking distance from Polmont station or a short drive from J4 off the M9) cost £60 and Saturday 18th November 2017, 10am - 4.30pm Dalkeith (just off the Edinburgh bypass) cost £75 Contact June to reserve a space

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Yoga and Medical Research: A mindful experience of medicine by Jackie Tweddle

I am a research scientist (since 2002) and a yoga teacher (since 2013). I have practiced yoga my whole life, with different schools through the years as my needs changed. Yoga is important to me in coping with the stresses of everyday life and a variety of health issues. I now live near Aberdeen and continue to practice my yoga and mindfulness every day, even if all I can manage today is totally and absolutely to find joy in drinking a cup of hot tea or seeing the birds out the window. I’m always fascinated by how treatments seem to come back time and time again to yoga, or yoga-like, philosophies and practices. Partly, I suspect, I make sense of the world now through yoga-tinted glasses, so I make connections to ideas and internalise concepts through linking them to my knowledge of and experiences with yoga.

Living in the moment Mindfulness is living in the moment with acceptance, both within meditation practices and throughout daily life. My exposure to MBST, using mindfulness as a specific tool to deal with stress relating to a particular issue, has been through NHS run stress and chronic pain management programmes, and a stress reduction course run by my employer. For many, including myself, the acceptance aspect of mindfulness is difficult when living with, for example, pain – particularly acceptance relating to the pain itself, or the condition causing it. Pain management courses are run by the NHS in most parts of the country, and are considered a last resort for patients for whom nothing else has worked, and nothing more can be done through conventional medical treatments. MBST encourages exercise (to the best ability of the patient) and healthy living, in addition to (or, rather, as part of) a mindful approach to life. The pain management course I was on promoted Qigong and yoga asana for exercise, and included guided ‘mindful’ meditations. There was also learning theory related to MBST and discussing how to incorporate mindfulness into everyday life.

Growing demand Jala Neti My first experiences of explicit yoga-medical overlap came in various GP surgeries. For example, a GP recommended I use a neti pot for nasal irrigation, to help manage allergies. I now ‘rinse’ every morning, and it makes a world of difference – I could come off the seven (yes, seven) prescription allergy drugs I was at one time taking. Definitely a tick for the neti pot! And I noticed a poster in my GPs surgery this morning encouraging adults to move and exercise more, which endorsed yoga as a strengthening option (it’s nice to be recognised for something other than stretching!) I have also attended back recovery exercise courses in the past, and yoga-based practices – the physical asana, the awareness, and the mental attitude – were important components of what we were taught. All this is because research has found conclusively that these activities and practices help what they are being prescribed for. And so to mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBST), an ‘in’ treatment at the moment, and subject to increasing medical research. MBST was created by Jon Kabat-Zin, a professor (now emeritus) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I’ve come into contact with mindfulness through MBST-type programmes in several medical contexts. I highly recommend the books by Jon Kabat-Zin, some as a great introduction to mindfulness (Wherever You Go, There You Are), and some with detailed information on MBST (Full Catastrophe Living).

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There is great demand for all these programmes and similar others across the country, showing not only that the medical profession recognises the benefits, but that patients do too. I have met many people who have gone through these type of programmes, and who continue to meditate and practice mindfulness. And got into yoga! Personally, the ‘western’, secular philosophy of mindfulness suits me, and I am fascinated by the rigorous scientific research being done, with its statistically significant results, reported in peer-reviewed journals, showing the multiple positive impacts mindfulness has on practitioners (of which I am enthusiastically one). Of course, there is a fundamental difference between the very personal, experiential nature of our yoga (and mindfulness) practices, and the external, measurable group data collected in medical research. But I believe they are complementary – knowing yoga has been shown to be good for you can influence a person to start attending a class, or cause a medical professional to ‘prescribe’ yoga or mindfulness. Then, hopefully, the patient’s personal experience will take over as the motivating factor to continue the ‘treatment’.


Yoga SCOTLAND

The Yogic Cook

Place lentils in a pan and pour over cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and fry until softened Stir in the curry powder and flour and cook gently for 2 minutes Add the stock, peanuts, coconut, chutney and drained lentils. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper if required. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve with rice or naan.

Lentil Soup with Lime and Coconut

Cauliflower Dhal Curry 100g/4oz lentils 1 tablespoon oil 2 onions, chopped 2 tablespoons curry powder 1 tablespoon plain flour 1pt veg stock 50g/2oz salted peanuts 25g/1oz desiccated coconut 2 tablespoons mango chutney 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets juice of half a lemon salt and pepper

1 large onion, chopped 50g/2oz butter 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 large red chilli, finely chopped 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin 1 level teaspoon turmeric 225g/8oz red lentils 2 pints veg or chicken stock 400mls tin coconut milk 2 limes squeezed salt and pepper Cook onion in butter until soft Add garlic and chilli and cook 2 mins Add cumin and turmeric and cook 2 mins Add lentil and stir to coat then add stock Bring to boil then simmer for 30 mins Add coconut juice and lime juice Season to taste. Cook for further 10 mins Serve with hot bread/ rolls/ naan

HATHA YOGA TUTORS – TEACHER TRAINING COURSES Yoga Scotland is inviting applications from suitably qualified teachers for two Hatha yoga tutors for the 2017-19 Teacher Training Courses in Glasgow and Aberdeen respectively. The successful candidates will have excellent communication and presentation skills and experience of planning and managing weekly yoga classes and seminars. Strong team working skills and an active interest in contributing to the development of the course is essential. Applicants must be qualified and registered yoga teachers with at least eight years experience of teaching yoga. Remuneration is paid per course weekend with additional fees for marking student assignments. Travel expenses can be claimed in line with Yoga Scotland’s expenses guidelines. Further information and application packs will be available from Monday 9th January 2017. Please contact Elaine Samson, Training Co-ordinator to register your interest at admin@yogascotland.org.uk

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Want to go further with your yoga practice? These courses may be for you. Foundation Courses 2017-18 On this certificated course you will: ■ Explore yoga in more depth ■ Develop a deeper personal practice and knowledge of yoga ■ Acquire the pre-qualification for progression to the Living Yoga or Teacher Training Courses Course venues: Aberdeen, Dumfries and Central Scotland Course dates: Ten Saturdays between September 2017 and June 2018. 60 hours in total. Course cost: £555. Bursaries may be available for those on low income.

Living Yoga Sudy Course 2017-18 This advanced, certificated course will give you the opportunity to develop and enrich your experience and knowledge of yoga through experiential practice, workshops and vibrant discussion. It is particularly suitable for Foundation Course Graduates and Qualified Yoga Teachers. Course venue: Central Scotland (to be confirmed) Course dates: Ten Saturdays between September 2017 and June 2018. 60 hours in total. Course cost: £595 Closing dates for course applications: 26 May 2017 Further information and application packs will be available to download from the Yoga Scotland website from 31 January 2017 The closing date: 26 May 2017

Contact Elaine Samson, Training Coordinator admin@yogascotland.org.uk

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Scottish Charity No SC016624



GRAMPIAN YOGA ASSOCIATION’S (GYA) FORTHCOMING SEMINARS:  



A Weekend of Yoga with Bob Insley Space and Rotation, The Key to Freedom in Asana



Saturday, 22nd April 2017, 10.00am to 4.00pm

Cults Kirk Centre, 404 North Deeside Road, Aberdeen AB15 9TD (hot drinks provided please bring a light packed lunch)

Sunday, 23rd April 2017, 09.45am to 3.45pm

Fraserburgh Community & Sports Centre, Fraserburgh AB43 9TH (food and drink permitted at the centre but can be purchsed at the café)









View Bob’s website for more information: www.bebobyoga.co.uk

Costs: £50 (£60 non GYA members) for both days or £25 (£30 non GYA members) per day



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A Weekend of Yoga with Gerry Kielty A therapeutic practice integrating mobility, stability, strength & stretch within a structure sequence(s)



Saturday 14th October 2017, 10.00am to 4.00pm

Curl Aberdeen, Eday Walk, Aberdeen AB156LN (hot drinks can be purchased at the café, please bring a light packed lunch),

Sunday, 15th October 2016, 09.45am to 3.45pm Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre AB43 9TH







View Gerry’s website for more information: balance.co.uk/yoga/teachers/gerry-kielty

b

Costs: £50 (£60 non GYA members) for both days or £25 (£30 non GYA members) per day

non GYA members) for both days, or £25 (£30 non GYA members) per day

Bookings open now for both seminars by email to gyaseminar@outlook.com

For further information on GYA please go to our website: www.grampianyoga.org.uk

aimsways, to offer yoga to all. Individuals who are restricted financially, or GYA in other may apply

Individuals who are restricted financially, or in other ways, may apply for support when booking.

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Reviews The Inner Power of Stillness.

Filmer-Torch, Barrow and Gill. ISBN 978-1-909 141339 Pub. Handspring

This book is subtitled ‘A Practical Guide for and Therapists Practitioners’. The main author, Alexander Filmer-Lorch, has a background in professional dance and cranio-sacral therapy. He is also a yoga teacher and in 2011 founded ‘Inside Meditation’, a modern school of neutral thought. His work is described as a synthesis of 35 years of experience in movement, yogic disciplines, meditation, applied philosophy and Eastern psychology. The other two contributors are also cranio-sacral therapists but also well-versed in anatomy and physiology and scientific research. This makes for a fascinating blend of complementary health practices, scientific enquiry and deep philosophical musings. The book begins with a compelling account of what brought Alexander Filmer-Lorch to write this book. In 2014, he had an anaphylactic reaction to an iodine-based drug being injected into an artery for an angiogram. He almost died: “the moment the dye was released into my bloodstream, it felt like it shot straight up to my brainstem causing temporary blindness and several months of excruciating agony as my immune system joined battle with the allergen”. An experienced meditation practitioner, he was unable to meditate when in such pain but slowly realized that the more he resisted, the worse the pain was. When he surrendered into the pain, allowing himself to become utterly still and motionless until only inner stillness remained, it felt like a soothing vibration that turned out to be a powerful lifesaving therapy. Gradually the episodes became less severe and frequent, until they stopped. His neurologist was not surprised, linking his recovery with the knowledge of how the central and autonomic nervous systems respond to stillness. From this experience Mr. Filmer-Lorch coined the term stillness-memory, which is explored in detail in the rest of the book. The book is a treasure-trove, enquiring into the philosophical, scientific and practical underpinnings of stillness. There are striking quotations scattered throughout, any one of which could be a thought-provoking theme for a Yoga class – for example: “In order to best serve the moment, you have to be still long enough to hear what it is saying”. Michael Jeffreys “Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself” – Herman Hesse Having for many years sought to make my combined involvement in the practice of both medicine and Yoga into a coherent whole, I found the scientific chapters, written by Caroline Barrow, very stimulating. Science has brought to the table all sorts of insights into the effects of silence, brainwave

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patterns associated with inner stillness, electromagnetic fields produced by the heart and brain – and a state called physiological coherence where we are in in a harmonious state where hearts, minds and bodies are united in a feeling of wholeness (Yoga?). A measure of heart rate variability, (how it varies with the inhalation and the exhalation), which is under the control of the autonomic nervous system, is said to be a window into the connection between heart and brain. And all that just in the first two chapters. The philosophy and practice sections are equally inspiring and worthy of study and reflection. The Inner Power of Stillness is beautifully edited and it’s a pleasure to turn the pages to see the next amazing piece of information or wisdom. Did you know for example that, according to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015, less than the attention span of a goldfish! Some sections are quite a technical read, but leavened by lots of quotations, photographs, helpful diagrams and exercises in stillness to explore. There are contributions on quantum physics and consciousness, how living cells emit light, and the inner power of water; the rich menu goes on and on. Some of the practices, such as in the chapter on breathing, and another one on mindfulness, will be familiar to Yoga teachers. Working with this book will be utterly absorbing and possibly transformational. Sn Bijam Saraswati

The Woman’s Book of Joy by Eileen Campbell Pub. Conari Press ISBN 978-1-57324-670-5 . £11.99 ‘The Woman’s Book of Joy’ is a valuable treasury in affirmation and enthusiasm. The reader is taken on a journey, and through each page of Campbell’s meditative lessons the reader is conditioned to take ownership in experiencing their own Joy. I think that this book should be used as a tool to challenge stale and negative perspectives, develop mechanisms and use these skills to quiet and humble their troubled, hurried minds. The book’s chapters themselves are broken into astute subsections. Within theses pages are reflective lectures which really engaged me. Each chapter is closed with a beautifully succinct compendium. I found these to be self affirming, personable and constructive. I have never been someone who reads self help books. Campbell’s was my first, and it was magical. She takes you on a journey through which she discusses how altering ones perspectives in a positive manner can generate supportive thoughts and feelings to even the most adverse of circumstance and situation. These are discussed by way of the examining what she considers as the core principals which if practiced will actively illicit joy in your life.


Yoga SCOTLAND

Scottish Satyananda Yoga Network Yoga Meditation Seminar 2017

The Power of Awareness A two-day event with

Swami Gyan Dharma

You will be skilfully guided by Swami Gyan Dharma into the mystery of Awareness. Sessions will be centred around the Tantric meditation practice of Antar Mouna - Inner Silence - through which we learn to touch our own inner meditative stillness. Each day will also include a morning hatha yoga class, pranayama and Yoga Nidra. There will be a Kirtan on the Saturday and plenty of opportunity for questions. The programme is best experienced over two days as it is progressive, but attendance on one day may be possible.

Originally from Denmark, Swami Gyan Dharma has been practising and teaching yoga for over 40 years. He teaches all over the world and we’re very excited that he has agreed to pay his first visit to Scotland. The depth of his wisdom is conveyed through his teachings. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



  

 

 

Dates: 13 14 May 2017 Saturday 10am – 6.30 pm (includes kirtan); Sunday 10am -4pm

Venue: Victoria Halls, Dunblane, Stirlingshire FK15 9EX Teas/coffees will be provided. Bring your own lunch.

Cost: Weekend £65; Saturday only £40; Sunday only £35

To obtain more information and to book, contact Carol Godridge on 01848 200681 or email yoga@cgodridge.plus.com

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Yoga SCOTLAND

Reviews cont Supporting these principles are a wide and interesting compilation of arguments used, from scientific research to examples from real life achievers. Campbell’s book is not unlike a written meditation. There are times where you will experience familiarity in the text, hearing echo’s of themes previously discussed in former sections. Campbell continuously interlinks ideas throughout the book. She successfully provides a clear and candid evaluation of how generating joyfulness in ones life can be achieved by simply being present. The message of the book in this respect is simple. Refreshingly written this text is un-biased and open, you could almost be forgiven for feeling a certain companionship with Campbell herself. She writes in such a wonderfully engaging manner; like an old friend, the text is warm and comforting. Notwithstanding the book is also a flock of Campbell’s own private and personal experiences, techniques and reflections. Making the this an intimate as well as uplifting read. I re-read passages (still) because they are written so simply and beautifully. Be warned some of the themes in the book are very heavy and challenging to digest, however thanks to Campbell’s writing technique these are delivered in a concise manner which left me with a strange air of humble acceptance. Campbell has succeeded in supporting me to begin to appreciate that I am not alone; thoughts which isolate you should not be allowed to, there is nothing more certain than the knowledge that Others are also experiencing your fears and doubt. The Woman’s Book of Joy made me feel better and I would strongly recommend it anyone (not just women) who need a shot of happiness. Cathryn Wallace

Every Breath You Take by Rose Elliott Pub. Watkins ISBN 978-178028-981-6. £7.99 Many of us have a copy of one of Rose Elliott’s vegetarian cookery books, but she is less well known for the books she has written on mindfulness. This latest book, ‘Every Breath You Take’, is aimed at two main audiences: those who are beginners to mindfulness, and those who have tried but haven’t enjoyed it. Simple exercises based on breathing are combined with clear explanations, suggestions and comments based on personal experience. The book is based on the structure of the meditation instructions given by the Buddha in the Anapanasati Sutta. This teaching is a series of sixteen steps. Starting with simple breath awareness, it develops the capacity first to become aware of the chattering ‘monkey mind’. With practice, awareness develops of the calm space beyond thinking. This

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can be used to calm the body and mind. Concepts such as impermanence, attachment and the nature of suffering are introduced simply and clearly. Breathing exercises show how to begin to use the clarity of mind that develops from regular practice, to notice and amplify happiness, to develop compassion and kindness, and to understand and dissolve thoughts that cause us suffering. Although the practices are based on teachings of the Buddha, there is no need to be a Buddhist to benefit from them or understand. The underlying concepts can be understood by all religions or none. As I am already familiar with mindfulness practice, I am unable to review from the point of view of a beginner. But the book is easy to understand and written with infectious enthusiasm, and I imagine it would serve a beginner well. Rose Elliott’s beautiful clear writing is infused with the joy and humour that she has found through these mindful breathing practices. The stages are explained simply, with personal stories which help to illustrate the meanings. At the end of the book she describes how useful the practices have been in helping her through the illness and death of her husband, and have provided her with a place of joy and refuge in hard times. There could be no better evidence of the benefits of mindfulness than the fact that she has been able to bring forth this clear, simple but profound book in the midst of her grief. Gillian Flack

The Yo(U)niverse Paradox (Revealing the Mystery of You) by John Ferris Balboa Press ISBN 9781-5043-5915-3 £14.99 This is an unusual book – written after the death of his young daughter from cancer, John Ferris asks questions about life and death and, in the process, discovers the underlying principles of existence. In the process he uncovers the scientific arguments which show that the yoga masters have had it right throughout the ages – that we are all connected not just to each other, but to the whole universe. “The universe you perceive is a holographic illusion you create as a playground to experience the story you are telling yourself.” And he quotes the 13th century poet Rumi: “You are not a drop in the ocean . You are the entire ocean in a drop.” It’s not an easy read; sometimes the arguments are dense and over-technical, and a good editor could have made the syntax and punctuation more reader friendly. But it is ultimately compelling, if you stay the course. He reasons with scientific arguments, but also uses words familiar to us yogis – like duality and awareness – “higher awareness allows you to see life’s patterns” - and the “conscious observer” – known to us as the witness principle. His exploration of quantum physics shows us that “it’s the (quantum) field that our senses convert the electrical stimuli into what we consider to be the


Yoga SCOTLAND real world,” through fractal patterns. The book is the story of his journey to ‘knowingness’ and he takes the reader through the maze of quantum theory, Einsteins theory of relativity, fractals, the multiverse, the space-time continuum and much more. It certainly made me reflect on a lot of things. Carol Godridge

Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventures By Jaime Amor. Pub. Watkins. These books have been published to follow up the hugely successful Cosmic Kids YouTube channel. Norris The Seahorse Takes on the Bullies deals with selfconfidence and bullying, and Lulu the Lion Cub Learns to Roar helps children to deal with feeling of frustration and anger, by finding and managing their inner power. Each story concludes with a relaxation and some affirmations. With bright illustrations, the books are designed to mirror the Cosmic Kids look. There’s also information at the back to help parents and teachers introduce children to yoga, even if they don’t practice it themselves. Daniel is aged 9 from Closeburn, Dumfriesshire and has just started to practise yoga “I enjoyed the exercises from the book a lot. I thought that the story about Norris was very exciting and I wanted to find out the end.” Ruben is aged 4 from Moniaive, Dumfriesshire. His Mum practises yoga too and when I visited Ruben, he was learning to breath like a lion cub. “I’ve done all the exercises”, he told me. “I like finding Greg the Grasshopper and my favourite is Zipping up the Tent (the woodchopper posture). Mum, Ruth, added – “The books are very good but quite long, so we do a small section at a time. The relaxations and affirmations are especially lovely.”

Principles and Practice of Yoga Therapy in Health Care. Ed. Khalsa, Cohen, McCall and Telles. Pub. Handspring ISBN 978-1-909-141-20-9 This is an ambitious book edited by four eminent academics and with over 60 contributors from the fields of yoga, yoga therapy and medicine. The case is being made for yoga and yoga therapy to be taken seriously within the established health care system as a recognised therapeutic intervention. After a very good introduction to yoga and yoga therapy, the main part of the book is split into 6 sections with chapters focusing on specific conditions. An overview of the particular condition is given and then the published research is reviewed. Each section finishes with a few pages entitled ‘clinical insights’, describing possible yoga practices that may be offered to yoga therapy clients/groups. For readers interested in providing evidence from research as to why health care providers would consider yoga therapy as a treatment, this is an important book. However, with regards to qualitative research methodology in general and yoga research in particular, there are problems. The research to date tends to be feasibility studies, single-track pilot trials and some random controlled trials (RCTs). The book acknowledges that self selected populations, inappropriate or no control groups, self report measures, difficulty in replicating studies and deconstructing different areas of ‘yoga’ are all methodological limitations. It is not surprising, therefore, that after lengthy descriptions of research many conclusions are worded tentatively such as “a final assessment of any potential benefits is needed” or “although results are interesting, there was no clinical evaluation... so no conclusion as to clinical efficacy can be delivered”. This is perhaps one of the ongoing challenges when we try to marry current scientific research outcomes and yoga therapy practice. I was pleased to read on several occasions that many of the yoga therapists emphasised the importance of individualising any yoga practices offered to clients rather than giving particular practices for particular conditions. This is vital for yoga therapy to be a valid ‘treatment option’. Sue Mclennan

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YOGA SCOTLAND SPRING SEMINAR JILL PAGET April 22nd 2017 • 10am-4pm Victoria Halls, Dunblane YS members £40 • Non-members £45

Jill will teach a day of Hatha Yoga inspired by warrior posture VIRABHADRASANA, delighting us with the myths surrounding the great warrior and weaving tales through our practice allowing us to experience the strength, endurance and focus of all the warrior postures in strong and flowing sequences. Jill is a Yoga Scotland Teacher and has studied with Paul Grilley. She is fascinaed by the link between Indian mythology and Yoga Postures, researching and relishing the stories within the Sanskrit names of Yoga Postures. Victoria Hall, Dunblane is opposite the train station. Plenty of parking is available. Please bring lunch. Tea and coffee provided.

Bookings: maria@yogascotland.org.uk 46


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 hour’s 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 different therapies and healing. This highly enjoyable weekend will revitalise your body, emotionally and physically. You can attend individual and group

sessions with a variety of professional therapists. Enjoy sessions that can add life to your years and years to your life! And, have 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 Scaravelli’s primary student. Vanda Scaravelli’s legacy is a constant encouragement towards exploration and inventiveness. During the five days in Lendrick Lodge Sandra Sabatini and her co-teacher Michal Havkin will offer five hours of practice a day and an evening meditation. The sessions will incorporate some Feldenkries movements towards

facilitating a playful and different experience of yoga positions. The unfolding of the body will go along with the unfolding of the breath supported by a slow and meditative approach. For committed students and teachers of the yoga path, drawing from the very essence of Vanda Scaravelli’s lineage, within the beauty of Lendick Lodge. Lochs, mountains and beautiful wilderness await you!

Supporting your success in the heart of wilderness

Join us on Facebook

Lendrick Lodge, Brig O’Turk, Callander, FK17 8HR Tel: 0044 (0) 1877 376 263 email: info@lendricklodge.com www.lendricklodge.com


Teacher Training Courses 2017-19 Yoga Scotland has been training yoga teachers for more than 40 years. Our comprehensive and respected 500-hour Teacher Training course includes: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

15 weekends including two residential weekends at Lendrick Lodge. Training and support from experienced Hatha Yoga Tutors Specialist Tutors for Philosophy and Anatomy & Physiology Sessions on Yoga in Pregnancy and First Aid Membership of Yoga Scotland Insurance 3 External Teaching Practice Assessments External verification of written assignments Access to a library of books Access to Ongoing Training Days from Year One of the course Teacher Training Diploma Certificate.

Course venues: Glasgow and Aberdeen Course dates: September 2017 to June 2019 Course cost: £3275. Bursaries may be available for those on low income. Further information and application packs will be available to download from the Yoga Scotland website from 31 January 2017. The closing date: 26 May 2017 Contact Elaine Samson, Training Coordinator admin@yogascotland.org.uk

Yoga Scotland - January 2017 issue 52  
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