Yoga 53 May 2017 issue

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Issue 53 • May 2017



• What we mean by ‘Awareness’ • Yasodhara Ashram Temple rises from the ashes • Ayurveda • Yoga podcasts PUBLISHED BY • Kilted Yogis YOGA SCOTLAND sportscotland Scottish Charity Number SCO20590

Governing Body for Yoga in Scotland

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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 anyway. 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. For the next issue articles or small contributions on the theme of ‘Making Yoga accessible for people of all abilities’ will be particularly welcome. Please send articles, letters, emails, photos, information, news or ideas to the editor.

Editorial Hari Om. Every year I marvel as the days lengthen and the magic of growth begins. Hopefully Summer weather is now well on its way, with possible opportunities for outdoor classes on really good days. There is something very special about practising Surya Namaskara in the sunshine, or meditating in the fresh air. If the sun is shining on 21st June, the third International Day of Yoga, perhaps we can all take our celebrations to the great outdoors, to raise awareness about yoga? In this issue we have some fascinating takes on what the core yogic concept of ‘Awareness’ means to different teachers and practitioners. There’s a lovely interview with renowned Ayurvedic physician Dr Sunil Joshi, and news of the new Temple rising after the fire at the Yasodhara Ashram in Canada. Scottish teachers make use of 21st century technology with daily podcasts and there’s the ‘cheeky’ video of the Kilted Yogis. There’s also news of research into the effects of yoga practice on memory, how yoga and physiotherapy can work together and much, much more. All good wishes for a great summer. Carol Godridge, Editor

Cover photo Yogis at the Edinburgh Pay-it-Forward Yoga Festival in February. Photo: Vytaute Valentaite Please send in any photos you have which depict aspects of yoga. © 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.

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)

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Maria Rawlings 6 Southwick Road Dalbeattie DG5 4BS

Tel: 01848 200681

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View from the Chair Does size matter? It often seems to be taken for granted that bigger is better: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon for example, whose global dominance has come so quickly and become so absolute, or even some of the world’s bigger countries, obsessed with acting tough and becoming ‘great’ (again). But can’t companies, countries and organisations sometimes be too big? Isn’t it sometimes the case that in bigger units people can feel more isolated, less consulted and less connected, whereas in smaller groupings, proximity makes contact more direct and easier? So rather than focusing on forcing growth and expansion, how about savouring the advantages of being small, enjoying the feeling of belonging that that can bring, and accepting that growing slowly and organically is often the best way? How about learning to be content with stability, not constantly looking to get bigger? This is of course already happening around the world, with a push towards smaller political units and many small companies becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of staying small. This picks up on the arguments that have long been made by environmentalists, who question whether constant growth is advisable or indeed even possible, a stance that was illustrated perfectly for me the other day in a local artisan bakery/café. Their ethos is that, although growth would be possible – they could open for longer, find a bigger premises, have more shops, offer more products and so on – they have decided to stay small, because if they overwork they will stop enjoying themselves and have less time to rest and be creative. For me, the photos which emerged a few months ago of an undiscovered tribe in the Amazon also showed the importance of not overdoing and overpushing. My immediate thought was that the very best outcome for those people would surely be that they are left alone and do not have their lives ruined by the desire of others to push ever further into uncharted territory, taking with them socalled ‘civilisation’. It is sad to think that it may well not work out like that, and that the urge to expand into new lands may well win out over the acceptance that there are places we cannot and should not go, things we do not, cannot and should not control. Of course the best situation for our world would be for everyone’s unique place and contribution to be respected, and for everyone to be given space and time to grow in their own way, and the same goes for the Yoga world. In that spirit, YS will continue to do its best to foster mutual respect with other organisations, only growing as and when that is appropriate and endeavouring to remember that if, with around 400 members, we are small compared to many, in comparison to others we are big! Wishing you a wonderful late spring and early summer, with lots of healthy growth of all kinds.

Joy Charnley Yoga Scotland Chairperson

Yoga Scotland Executive Committee Chairperson: Joy Charnley Email: Treasurer: Kirsty Davidson Email: Secretary: Val Belk Email: Minutes Secretary: Kate Reilly-Andrews Email: On-going Training Coordinator: Cathy Swan Email: 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:

Yoga Scotland New Editor for Yoga Scotland Magazine needed! From autumn 2017 for the January 2018 issue, when I will stand down. 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 me for more information.

Carol Godridge Tel 01848 200681 or email


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News and Views Expressions of interest sought for proposed Online Mantra Course

‘Cheeky’ success for kilted yoga video A video posted online by Dundee based Yoga teacher Finlay Wilson has gone global. It depicts him and his friend Tristan Cameron-Harper practising asanas out of doors, wearing nothing but kilts and boots. Ten years ago following surgery on both legs, Finlay was advised to take up yoga for rehabilitation, “I hated it,” he says, “but I’m also stubborn, so I persisted. It took five years for the practise to be comfortable. And now ten years on – here we are.” He is a certified Forrest Yoga teacher, the founder and principal teacher of Heart Space Yoga & Bodyworks in Dundee and is a widely sought-after international yoga teacher. He has completed over 1000 hours of training with Forrest Yoga Certification Programmes along with over 1000 hours of Ashtanga and Vinyasa training. He leads classes all over the UK, features on his online Yoga channel at Mat2Mat, presents at Yoga conferences and performs asana demonstrations at events and fundraisers. He is passionate about working with children and young people and has established the Young Yogis Project to bring free Yoga to toddlers, children, teenagers and young people with special needs and disability in Dundee. Tristan is a professional ice hockey player and ice climber and finds that his yoga practice complements his sports very well indeed. The video has opened up a global audience to interest men in yoga, and Finlay also hopes to build on that audience in other ways. With his twin brother for example, he is making a video to talk about their experiences of dealing with depression.

For information, news and more visit our website: 6

Expressions of interest in an Online Mantra Course are being sought by well-known mantra specialist Muz Murray (Ramana Baba): “Now I am no longer gallivanting about the planet giving mantra workshops, students are asking me if I would create an Online Mantra Course before my lifetime of knowledge is lost. This would mean a lot of work for me, so I would be happy to know if there is enough interest in this project to make it worthwhile for me to study the technicalities for it. Interested parties could contact me with their name and email at this link: My new website is up and running via this new link:”

Celebrating International Day of Yoga 21st June 2017 Grampian Yoga Association and Yoga Scotland 10 am – 4 pm Sunday, 25th June 2017 Major Halls, 7 Trades, Trinity Hall, Holburn Street, Aberdeen AB10 6DA Free to all with any donations to CLAN* and local food banks Tutors: Sandra Cook, Roy Godsman, Rebecca Murray and Adrian Morgan Booking:

Grampian Yoga Association Date: Sunday, 25th June 2017 Times: 11.00am to 3.30pm Venue: United Reform Church Hall, Mid Street, Fraserburgh AB43 9JN Entry fee: Free with any donations to CLAN* and local food banks. * Cancer Link Aberdeen North Tutor: Donna Falconer Booking: All information is on the Grampian Yoga Association website

Glasgow Manjulika Singh will be celebrating International Yoga Day Wednesday 21 June 2017 at Bearsden Burgh Hall, 69 Drymen Road,Bearsden, G61 3QT 6.30 (for 7.0 PM ) to 9.0 PM. For further information, contact, Text 07851009468.

Borders Every year we do an early morning mid summer yoga session at Dawyck Botanic Gardens, Stobo, Scottish Borders, EH45 9JU. This year it is on Sunday 25th June 2017 at 7.30am. It is a celebration of the gardens, of nature, of light. It is essential to book a place as these are limited and this can be done through the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. 0131 552 7171. There is a charge for this with breakfast included and entrance to the gardens for that day. Norma Duncan

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Yoga for Refugees

These girls and thousands like them, all growing up in refugee camps, need training and opportunities. Otherwise they will become a lost generation. Tools for Inner Peace will be teaching three refugee yoga classes a week in Bekaa valley from April onwards - with the aim of training a new crop of yoga instructors who can share these healing practices in their settlements. Please help us expand this work by making a donation.

Now is also the time to sign up for our Summer 2017 retreats. These include a Restorative Retreat for Refugee Leaders from 4-9 June, as well as a Teaching Yoga for Stress and Trauma weekend from 31 August - 2 September.

Summer 2017 Retreats Restorative Retreat, Grempoli, 4 - 9 June 2017 Tools for Inner Peace will be organising a restorative retreat for women refugee leaders in Italy from 4-9 June 2017. The retreat, held at Grempoli - an ancient property in the Tuscan countryside – will offer tools from yoga for managing stress and anxiety and maintaining inner balance. There will also be time for cooking, gardening and singing together. For more information:

Teaching Yoga for Stress and Trauma, Grempoli, 31 August - 2 September

Yoga for Refugees Since January, Tools for Inner Peace has been volunteering in Bekaa valley, Lebanon, where 800,000 Syrian refugees live in informal settlements. According to some measures, half of refugees are experiencing psychological distress and mental illness. With tools from yoga the stress and trauma suffered by refugees can be reduced. The various techniques taught in our classes work on the nervous system to bring about profound relaxation. At the beginning of February we launched yoga classes for a group of refugee women, ranging in age from 13 to 45. It has been wonderful to see them relax into the simple practices, let go of the tensions they hold and breathe a little deeper. In the chats after the classes, we have heard about their persistent anxiety, nightmares and insomnia - and the muscle pains caused by the hard physical labour they do. Even the teenagers in the yoga group work a back-breaking 13 hours planting and harvesting potatoes during the farming season; for this they get paid four dollars a day.

This is a two-day workshop for yoga teachers, psychotherapists or others interested in working with stress and trauma. The workshop will focus on teaching the restorative yoga practices through which healing naturally unfolds. Learn about how yoga helps recovery from trauma and eases stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety. The workshop will be held in Grempoli, in the Tuscan countryside, from 31 August-2 September 2017. It will be led by Ahimsa (Helen Cushing) from Australia. She is the author of Hope: How Yoga Heals the Scars of Trauma and producer of Heroes of Peace, an award-winning film about her experience of teaching yoga to war veterans. Sign up: Get in touch if you would like to participate in our retreats or volunteer with us in Bekaa valley. Looking forward to your support! With best wishes, Tools for Inner Peace team, Minna, Bryan and Yanar


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New Glasgow South Side Mentoring Group

National Occupational Standards Debate Continues

On Saturday 25th February the first hopefully of many mentoring mornings was held in the Couper Institute. Our aim is to nurture and inspire a local community of yoga teachers. That Saturday we numbered about 12. We started the morning with a wonderful breath and movement practice which those of us who were new to the sequence were consulting each other and taking notes during the subsequent tea and cake break. We then enjoyed a lively and interesting discussion of topics suggested from within the group, ranging from the philosophical to the practical; phones in class, the benefits or not of social media and the insurance implications of teaching yoga to pregnant ladies. We rounded off the three hours with a yoga nidra. The feedback from the group was very positive and we decided to come together about three or four times a year. Personally I really enjoyed the morning, meeting wonderful, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and experienced yoga teachers in such an easy and relaxed setting was a joy. If you're a yoga teacher of long or short experience and are interested in joining us please keep an eye on the Yoga Scotland events page and of course Yoga Scotland emails. Thank you to all those who attended for making the morning so enjoyable. The next meeting will be on Saturday 10th June 10am-1pm at the Couper Institute. Judi Ritchie

The debate continues, on the issue of Skills Active and the British Wheel of Yoga proposal to introduce NOS to the sector, despite opposition from the majority of yoga organisations, including Yoga Scotland (see the article in the January issue of this magazine) No minutes were issued after the meeting in October, and a second follow-up meeting (in London), planned for 30th January, was cancelled. As far as Yoga Scotland is aware, the planned ‘regional meetings’, including one in Glasgow, did not take place on 6th March, but recent informal news received from England reports that NOS have now been ‘approved in all four regions and will go ahead.’ If such agreement was reached in Scotland, it happened with no involvement either of Yoga Scotland or the other major yoga organisations. Yoga Scotland has complained to Skills Active about this lack of consultation and has also contacted Sport Scotland to seek clarification on the procedure followed (with no response so far). BWY has said that Tribe Yoga, an Edinburgh studio, would be the Scottish representatives on the expert panel, but Tribe Yoga appear to have a slightly different viewpoint on the matter, and Yoga Scotland will be meeting them soon to exchange ideas. In the meantime expressions of support have been received from the European Union of Yoga and from members of Yoga Scotland: • It would be well worth looking more deeply at the NOS debate. I’ll send the magazine [with an article on NOS] to our Communications Coordinator. • Thank you for your valued opinion in your email; I found it heartening and reassuring. • I think the NOS argument will rumble on for some time to come but the true spirit of yoga will prevail especially if trainings maintain the high standards I know exist today with their balance on all things yoga, not least the importance of 'ahimsa' and 'satya'. Members may not often get a chance to express gratitude for all the fine work the Yoga Scotland team do. I've noticed that the magazine drops on the mat at times when I'm most in need of it – so, thanks. • Brilliant article on NOS.

Yoga Nidra for Dogs

Further updates will be sent to members by email, as the debate develops. Joy Charnley Yoga Scotland Chairperson

David and Jess enjoy their daily yoga nidra. Photo: Alison Boyes

If you have ideas, or articles, for the magazine please contact me to discuss. Carol Godridge 8

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2017 programme of seminars Our theme for this year is

‘Doing Less, Being More’ we have a number of amazing tutors lined up – all seminars run from 10am - 4pm

Saturday 27th May 2017 ▲ Andrea St. Clair ▲

Venue: Boroughmuir Rugby Club 2 Meggetland Wynd, off Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH14 1XN

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 For enquiries and to reserve a place call EYLA Booking Secretary Kerry on 0131 445 1355 or email Our seminars are suitable for ALL levels of experience. They also count towards training/ongoing training for students and teachers! Cost for each seminar: £33 (reduced to £30 for ELYA 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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Boosting the Chakras in Daily Life by Claire Rodgers Working with the Chakras, or energy centres of the body, the subject can seem quite esoteric. One might assume that tuning into the chakras may involve hours of meditation and visualisation. But there are also simple, practical day-to-day activities which can help us to tune into our energy centres, and to strengthen and balance the energy within each. At the recent OGT day ‘A Journey through the Chakras’, we discussed what kind of activities might help us do just this. For Muladhara chakra, housing the element of earth, we may want to spend time in nature, getting lots of fresh air, walking barefoot, connecting with and looking after the earth, recycling, gardening and looking after animals. The connection to the sense of smell in Muladhara, may lead us to aromatherapy oils, enjoying cooking, appreciating aroma. Its connection to the legs and feet, may encourage us to have a pedicure or foot massage, and to look after not just our physical body, but our home, taking time to de-clutter, and consciously to resist the urge to buy into materialism and mindless consumption, opting instead for a more simple life. For Swadisthana chakra, housing the element of water, and associated with our sense of taste, our sensuality and creativity, we may want to spend time enjoying bathing, swimming, or being near the sea or rivers, as well as keeping ourselves hydrated. We may enjoy tasting our food more mindfully, enjoy sensual pleasures such as massage, and nurture our creative side by enrolling in a class where we learn to make something, or learn a new skill, enjoying new experiences rather than staying in our same routine. For Manipura chakra, housing the element of fire and associated with our sense of sight, with our digestive energy, and our sense of will, we may take time to source and cook our food, eat mindfully, take time to digest our experiences and regularly tune into our ‘gut feelings’. We may want to spend time in the sun, or by a fire, or gazing at candlelight. We may want to engage with our own sense of power, learn to say no, prioritise our own needs, and express ourselves when angry, joining a campaigning group to effect positive change in the world. For Anahata chakra, housing the element of air, associated with touch and the qualities of love and compassion, we may want to practise acts of kindness, both in thought and deed towards ourselves and others, cultivating compassion, forgiveness and gratitude in our day to day life. We may enjoy breathing clean, fresh air, the touch and feel of things around us, giving or receiving massage. We could choose to volunteer and take time to express our feelings of love and affection to those close to us, appreciating the positive things in our life. For Visshuddhi chakra, housing the element of space, associated with our voice and communication, we may choose activities where we use our voice, such as singing, reciting


poetry, public speaking or debating. We may take time to think of the effects of our words on others, make sure we both listen to others and express ourselves with clarity and truth, avoiding unnecessary chatter and gossip. We may enjoy listening to music, or appreciating the sounds of nature and contemplating the space within as we breathe, as well as the space in the universe. For Ajna and Sahasrara chakras,both associated with the higher mind, and universal consciousness, we may practise mindfulness in our day to day activities, resting awareness in the present moment, returning time and again to observing the rhythm of the breath. We could develop our intuition by paying attention to inner guidance rather than acting on our habitual responses and practise observing the mind and habitual thoughts with a detached but open and non-judging curiosity. We may want to spend time appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world, appreciating music and art, or studying literature, scripture or philosophy. We could allow ourselves to appreciate the wonder of the universe, be spontaneous and joyful and remind ourselves to see the bigger picture when we become caught up in life’s dramas, tuning into our internal wisdom and guidance to keep us on our true path in life. Claire Rodgers is a Yoga Scotland Teacher, Yoga Therapist and Clinical Psychologist based in Glasgow (More info on the Chakras can be found in ‘Awakening the Chakras through Yoga’, by Claire Rodgers and Mamta Kanaber, 2013, Kalpaz Publications, now available on Amazon UK)

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What are you thoughts about a yoga practice designed to welcome and work with the body you have today, whatever its shape or size? by Lindsey Porter On my yoga journey spanning three decades I’ve been firstly a self-critical slim and fit 20 something, trying to carry on with my practice with swelling baby bumps; then desperately agitated for many months during my mid to late 30s post birth when even a simple sitting my hips back on to my heels was so beyond possible; to now in my 40s working through a deeper acceptance of where my body is at – accepting what is possible and what can be adjusted or supported with the use of props. It’s funny how when the act of surrendering becomes stronger than the act of striving, things can often start to flow a little better too. The more recent part of my body acceptance journey lead me to start following the writings and social media articles by Anna Guest-Jelley the inspirational US founder of Curvy Yoga. Anna evolved Curvy Yoga from her own practice where she found herself almost always the biggest person in the room. She wanted to find a way to explore her practice making room for her curves and finding ways to adjust things to get the best out a yoga practice. In September 2015 I extended my yoga teacher training to encompass her Curvy Yoga teacher certification and became the first Curvy Yoga certified teacher in Scotland. What did I gain from this in addition to my regular teaching practices? I’ve always felt quite strongly about yoga being accessible to everyone and I feel I’ve rounded some of my edges so to speak, by being able to talk and teach with more confidence about body shapes and tuning in to one’s needs. Then we can come to the mat willing to be more accommodating and get the best out of our practice in that moment. Rather than being excluded from postures, it is better to be shown a version that’s accessible and will bring benefit in some way. How would I describe one of my Curvy Yoga lead classes? A Curvy Yoga class is for everyone. It offers a body affirming space for people of all shapes and sizes. This doesn’t mean the class is easy, but it is gentle and accessible including the use of props to modify and support different body needs where helpful, so that you can benefit from your yoga practice. Curvy Yoga is for people who thought yoga was never for them. Equally it is for yogis who would like to explore the body in relation to their practice in a different way. Curvy Yoga is for the body you have today and helps strike a balance between effort and ease.

Anna Guest- Jelley, Founder of Curvy Yoga What can folks expect when they take a class with me? C – curious. You’ll feel encouraged to be curious about how yoga works in your own body U – understanding. Explore more about yourself from within R – revealed. Taking an opportunity to be present with yourself through your practice, tuning in to what is best for your body every time you come to your yoga mat. V – voyage of discovery – feel that you are on it! Y – yoga and lots of it in many ways So far I’ve lead a Curvy Yoga session as part of the Edinburgh Yoga Pay-it – Forward Festival which received positive feedback and I’m running a two hour Curvy Yoga Workshop at The Yoga Tree studio in Stirling on Sunday 4 June 2017. If you’re interested to know more or to find out what other classes may be available get in touch at or go to: Lindsey Porter is a Project Manager in Financial Services who is now running her own business providing Wellbeing Retreats, Yoga classes and Yoga workshops. Her articles and writing have been featured in the YOGA magazine, OM Yoga and the Huffington Post. She is an experienced Akhanda Hatha Yoga teacher (10+ years), Curvy Yoga Instructor, NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master and Holistic Therapist. Based in Falkirk, Scotland. Find her online, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.


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Ayurvedic medicine: Tuning in to the innate intelligence of the body by Elizabeth Roberts Ayurvedic medicine: Tuning in to the innate intelligence of the body. As a young medical student Ayurvedic physician and panchakarma specialist, to Dr Sunil Joshi was inspired to train in Ayurvedic medicine after the experience of seeing his critically ill mother cured, when Western medicine had given her no hope. Elizabeth Roberts spoke to him at his clinic in Nagpur, India. “I don’t want to practice a science where I have to tell someone I cannot help you. I want to be able to say ‘OK, let’s work from here. Where others cannot help you, let’s help you go further’. And that’s when I decided to go into ayurveda.“ Ayurveda is a medical system that comes from the ancient spiritual wisdom of the Vedas – which see the physical, subtle, psychological and spiritual as different aspects/levels of manifestation of the same reality. In his book, Ayurveda and Panchakarma: the Science of Health and Rejuvenation Dr Joshi says “From the perspective of Vedic knowledge, no aspect of life is disconnected from its source.” “Treating the whole person is effortless because every person is potentially spiritual, whether they believe it or not. You are connected with your Self. That’s the definition of ayu. That Self controls the mind and the senses, and they all control the physical body. “We always want to get out of pain and move towards happiness. This is all part of spirituality. I’m not just working on your physical body. I’m working on that manifestation of the physical body that is coming from that awareness that is inside of you. And if I can connect with that, everything opens up to me. And it’s very easy then to navigate that person, to go through it. That’s the beauty of practising Ayurveda.” Ayurveda is a complete medical system that has its own unique system of anatomy and physiology, its own methods of diagnosis and treatment, based on the concepts of the three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha. Natural intelligence “If you look inside the anatomy of the body, we are identical. That’s why the surgeon can dare to open the body, because he knows where to find things. But when it comes to our response, we are not similar because what makes us different are the doshas. You carry something unique in you which shows as a set of likes and dislikes which come from within. There is nobody who tells you to love pink or blue. One person loves the guitar, another the sitar, another loves rock


and roll, another classical music. Some love to meditate, some to dance. It all comes from within. So who is bringing that to you? It’s the doshas. It’s a natural intelligence that is flowing through each tissue, each cell of the body and it is the one who is making the beautiful connection between your mind, your soul, your senses and your physical body. If you were to take a liver cell from my body and one from yours and under a microscope do a biopsy of the liver patterns, you cannot find out why somebody’s liver is overactive or somebody’s liver is sluggish. That cannot be understood by using a microscope because it doesn’t understand the intelligence behind that cell, and that is dosha.” Digestive fire “The digestive system is important in Ayurveda. Everything you take into the body goes to the digestive system where it is cooked and transformed and then goes to the tissues. There is a sutra that explains this beautifully in Ayurveda - Roga api Mandaagno. Agni always makes you eat something. You start each day looking for something to put it. That is a sign that your agni is working. Agni sits in the gut all the time waiting to eat whatever comes in there so that it can transform it and it can go on to nourish the tissues. Basically transformation of food, transformation of experiences that come from the senses; transformation of thoughts that come through the mind whereby they are converted into something positive – all this is done by agni. It expresses its presence in various forms – digestive juices or enzymes or different types of gut hormones that have been identified by today’s science. Agni also helps to balance the nervous system. In fact that’s why today’s modern medicine has started saying that the gut is a second brain. There is a nervous system that sits in the gut, the enteric nervous system, which controls the autonomous nervous system. So this Ayurveda knew 5,000 years ago”. Digestive fire If the agni is not functioning well and the digestive system is not functioning properly, this can lead to problems “The first thing it will do is to affect your nutrition; then your resistance, strength, vitality and that will open up the doorway to viruses, pathogens, bugs to make a house there. We are constantly taking in, sniffing, inhaling these bugs all the time, but they get kicked out and burned up. Who does that job? Agni. Agni comes from and is supported by pitta dosha. So if the agni isn’t working well various functions of the body will be adversely affected. And the immune synthesis is affected when agni is affected. Even depression is an expression of manda agni (low or sluggish agni). Treat manda agni and depression will get better.” Beware the fridge, freezer and microwave There are other key factors we need to be aware of to preserve our health. “In today’s world many of our modern kitchen aids such

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Yoga SCOTLAND acidic and now I’m feeling that acidity’. So that sign is the fourth stage. It’s telling you ‘you’ve got something in the territory of the tissues which is not good to stay there. I’m bringing it out. Don’t send in any more supplies’. You ignore it then it goes to the fifth stage and that is the stage where it can be detected and named. ‘Oh you have got hyperacidity.’ Then if you still ignore that then it goes into the sixth stage. That is called complications. Usually up to the fourth or fifth stage you can help those persons. And today’s science, whether it’s a microscope, endoscope, colonoscope, any scope, any instrument will not be able to detect it until the fifth stage which is already late. “Your doshas tell you. They are your body. They are talking to you. If you listen to them, you’re a happy guy. If you don’t you get unhappiness.”

refrigerators and freezers affect agni. Microwaves too. They are wonderful gadgets that help us get things done quickly. But when you cook something in the microwave it’s not really cooked. You are taking in uncooked food so agni has to work hard. And if you deep freeze something it will remain alive there even if it’s four days old. But it’s stale food. There is no refrigerator inside the gut! There is no freezer there. There is agni there. Fire. Whilst that food that was alright at below 0C, as soon as it goes to 34C it converts to fermentation, affecting agni and creating ama. Ama is indigestion and that’s the foundation of what allows any disease to manifest in the physiology.” Early detection One of the great strengths of Ayurveda, is its ability to detect early imbalances long before they develop into diseases that can be given a name. This enables preventative action to be taken, by observing the early signs and symptoms. “We don’t read the tissues of the physical body; we read doshas. the doshas go into the tissues and every day they come out into the hollow structures of the body bringing the toxins and removing them out of the body. They are moving from inside to outside. When I measure them in the pulse they tell me what is going on inside. Disease progresses inside the body in six stages. The first three stages happen to everyone as part of the natural cycle. In the morning there is more humidity; in the afternoon the temperature rises; in the late afternoon it gets windier. In the same way when one element becomes aggravated, another calms down. Just as when the temperature outside rises, moisture and wind is reduced and wind dies down. But that doesn’t mean they are not there. So this rhythm is always there; that’s why these three things always happen. “However, if you eat something wrong that affects agni, then ama forms and when that happens these stages get disturbed. Then they turn into the fourth stage which is the stage of provocation. For instance if you have eaten something delicious like garlic sauce or garlic naan with tomato sauce, within 6-8 hours your tongue knows what you ate. Within four hours your gut knows what you ate. It’s started coming upwards telling you ‘Oh I ate something very

Panchakarma cleanse “Panchakarma is a cleansing therapy to be used not to get disease. It balances the three doshas and doesn’t allow the stages of disease manifestation to go further. And it builds the agni. So it balances the connection between the physical body, senses, mind and the soul. It has to be done to get cleaned out, naturally. So it builds back your rejuvenation. If you get really sick then at least you get the disease process not to go any further and reverse it. “The majority of digestive disorders get significantly better with panchakarma. Various types of mental illness the patients can get benefited and many psychosomatic disorders or allergies too. Critical areas like arthrosis, arthritis – I get very good results with Panchakarma. And skin ailments like eczema things like that or autoimmune diseases. If you pick these up in the early stages you can really help them.” continued overleaf

Introduction to Ayurveda: the yogic system of medicine for body and mind

A 50 hour, non residential course - 5 weekends from Sept. 2017 to February 2018 with Elizabeth Roberts, Ayurvedic Practitioner & Educator and Yoga teacher Sn. Bijam, Y.S. / Satyananda Yoga teacher and Consultant Psychiatrist @ 151 London Rd, Edinburgh EH7 6AE Sept 9-10; Oct 21-22; Dec 2-3 2017; & Jan 6-7; Feb 17-18 2018

Cost: £500 for existing YS members (£525 non members) Ayurveda is the Vedic science of healing for both body and mind. Yoga is the Vedic science of self-realization that depends on a well-functioning body ). Full course description and booking information from Elizabeth Roberts: Tel: 01450 870564


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Yoga SCOTLAND “Ayurveda can work together with modern medicine, using blood test results from the laboratory for example, and modern technology as well as the pulse to help with diagnosis. “Evaluating what is going on inside the body with blood tests is giving you information. And evaluating the wastes that come out of you, checking them, also tells you what is happening inside. So that is why I take that as a complement to western medicine, to be able to tell me what’s happening in the dhatus and the malas (wastes). But modern medicine just works on the symptoms and Ayurveda works on the base, because modern medicine is missing this natural important intelligence of the doshas . “I just love Ayurvedic medicine. It just comes from within. Probably I have known this science for many lifetimes. And that’s why when I talk about it; it is effortless for me. If you want to talk to me about any disease, sicknesses, I’ll get tired very soon. But if you want to talk about ayurveda I can keep talking to you all night”! Elizabeth Roberts is a Yoga Scotland teacher and Ayurveda Practitioner who studied with Dr Joshi. She, together with colleague Jenni Connaughton (Bjjam) runs the Yoga Scotland approved Introduction to Ayurveda course. To contact Dr Joshi:










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Continuous Personal Development Record Form 2016-17 Complete and Return by 31st July 2017 Use this form to record the events you attend that can count as Continuous Personal Development (CPD). You may be asked by Yoga Scotland at any time to produce this form as evidence that you have completed 15 points of CPD in any membership year. Failure to record or accrue the required CPD may lead to your teaching status being withdrawn. Guidelines on what can count as CPD and categories for exemption are available on the website or on request. Name:

YS Membership Number:

Total CPD points accrued for 2016-2017: Yoga Scotland OGT Days (7.5 points each) Date Sun 6th Nov 2016 Sat 4th March 2017

Venue Glasgow Dunblane

Tutor Margaret Blythe Derek Doyle

Sat 4th March 2017 Sat 18th March 2017 Sat 1st April 2017

Glasgow Aberdeen Edinburgh

Claire Rodgers Yvonne Austen Helen Reidy

Sun 2nd April 2017


Helen Reidy

Sun 23rd April 2017 Sat 13th May 2017 Sat 27th May 2017 Sun 28th May 2017

Dunblane Polmont Glasgow Glasgow

Jill Paget Marjory Watt Andrea Newman Andrea Newman

Topic Inversions Keeping Your Class Fresh & Enticing Men To Class A Journey Through The Chakras Hypermobility Tapas-Svadhyaya-Ishvarapranidhana. A Triple Spiral of Living Yoga Tapas-Svadhyaya-Ishvarapranidhana. Cont studies from the Saturday Function V's Aesthetics Charting the Subtle Body Stability Building upon studies covered on the Saturday


Non-OGT day seminar or training (1 point per hour) Date





Tutor’s signature


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Continuous Personal Development Directed Private Study Record Sheet Name:

YS Membership Number:


Use this form to record 7.5 hours of Directed Private Study, which will earn you 5 CPD points. This is the maximum number of CPD points you can accrue from self study in a calendar year. This form should be attached to the CPD Record Sheet as evidence of compliance with Yoga Scotland’s On-Going Training requirements. Complete the first TWO sections before you begin your self study. What is it that you propose to study? ………………………………………………………………………………....................…… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………............................……

What resources, such as books, will you be using? …………………………………..................…………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………........………………

Reflective Practice. Use the space below to reflect on how helpful the self study exercise was and the ways in which it has or hasn’t helped your teaching. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………............................................................................................................…………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………..


Continue on another sheet if required.

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An Introduction to Awareness by Swami Nischalananda

Awareness is the ability to stand back and to observe one’s mental and physical activities. If you aware then you become a spectator of our activities both internal and external, its implications are profound. If you are able to watch what your body and mind do, this means that your nature transcends the body and the mind. It means that there is something that is able to watch what is occurring; there is something in the background that witnesses the actions of the mind and the body. This experience alone is enough to alter your conception of yourself. It wakes us up to the fact that there is something in the background – a witnessing principle. Few of us however have this experience naturally, for we tend to lose ourselves in the actions of the body and the mind. The witnessing principle in man is called awareness in yoga. Most of us are totally absorbed in our thoughts and physical bodies. So much so that we regard our actions as our nature. By becoming aware we can watch ourselves and to see how superficial our personality, composed of mind and body, really is. Awareness leads to the understanding that our nature is something other than mind and body. The mind and body are only our grosser vehicles. Yoga tries to increase awareness so that you can actually watch yourself, the bodily activities and the mental processes – a though watching a television programme. Let us take this analogy. If we watch television, most of us know that we are not part of the programme, we are only members of the audience. We are not really involved. However, if the programme is interesting, we can completely lose ourselves in the drama being enacted, so that we forget we are watching. We become part of the story. Our thinking processes are like a good film, sometimes emotional, sometimes exciting, other times depressing. Most of us spend twenty-four hours every day lost in these absorbing mental processes. We are totally engrossed in the mind show. When a television film finishes, we automatically remember that we are only watching and that we are not involved. But from birth all of us have been so lost in our own mental shows that we never realise their superficial nature. We see the mind, its activities and the body as the totality of our being. Yet we have this ability to stand back from the mental show and to watch it as an impartial witness. Each of us has this potential, this ability, yet few of us know it or utilise it. Yoga specifically tries to flower this witnessing principle. Perhaps this awareness doesn’t sound very inspiring, even if we believe it is possible. But if we do become more aware and start to witness our activities, then incredible experiences occur. We start to realise things that are

completely beyond present comprehension. We become free and are. taken into a new dimension of existence. Consciousness is within each of us. There are no exceptions. We can never create it or develop it. It is already there: all we have to do is to tune in with it. It is a common misconception that consciousness is a function of the brain and is dependent on it. Nothing could be more incorrect. Many people think that the brain is the master and that if there is no brain, there is no consciousness. If you develop awareness you will prove it for yourself, for how can consciousness watch the activities of the mind or brain if the brain is the master? The consoouisness must be beyond the brain to be able to watch the activities of the brain or the mind. This consciousness is not fettered by the senses, it is infinite and unbound. Our deepest nature is infinite, for it is consciousness. It is not the mind. The mind is merely the instrument of consciousness, and the storehouse of our finite personality. If you practice yoga, then consciousness will automatically show itself or, to be more exact, if you do your practices correctly, awareness will gradually develop. When you do asanas, pranayama and meditation, the emphasis should be on awareness. By directing your attention to something specific – perhaps the breath, for example, it means that you know that you are breathing and you are witnessing the breathing process. You are standing back and watching something that is occurring within you. It is the first step up the ladder to higher awareness. You are becoming a witness to all the activities in the body. This will eventually lead you to the ability to witness actions of the mind and then gradually to the deeper aspects of the mind, which may now seem impossible. This is the essence of awarensss – the fact that you know you are doing something and that you are observing the action. When one practises asanas, pranayama, and meditational practices, it is essential. Without it, these yogic practices lose their significance and ninety percent of their benefits. If you are angry, worried or unhappy and you mind is playing havoc, don’t worry. If you are doing your asanas and you are overwhelmed by streams of thoughts when you are trying to be aware of the breath, don’t by any means become frustrated. Merely watch the stream of thoughts and the breath, witness them, be aware of them. The practice of asanas, pranayama and meditation develops awareness on a temporary basis. They give us the taste of what awareness means at a rudimentary level. From there, it is possible with effort to be a witness to your thoughts and physical actions throughout the day, and beyond that eventually to access the deeper aspects of your self. Swami Nischalananda is Director of the Mandala Yoga Ashram in Wales


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Awareness in the Yoga Class by Alex Bedoes

The book, 'Ten Basic Principles That Inspire the Work of Temenos', by Professor John Carey1 includes an excellent guide to the cultivation of awareness through the practice of the niyama of svādhyāya. Yoga Scotland Teacher Alexis Bedoes reflects on this text. The Temenos Academy is an educational charity that gives lectures and publishes material to forward education in philosophy and the arts in the light of sacred traditions of East and West. I would thoroughly recommend a further investigation of the Academy to anyone interested in such. The increasing use of technologies render some benefit to ease the human situation, but they also have the opposite effect of fuelling the need for speed and escape. It is within the remit of any teacher to mention such things in any philosophical commentary shared with classes. Such commentary can emphasise how much more value it might be to cultivate this awareness, rather than an over-fixation with physical postures, as a key to self-awareness. If a practitioner's asanas fail to provide physical improvement, but their practice irons out the nervous system and stills the mind sufficiently to cultivate that awareness in daily existence, then yoga is fulfilling its purpose. Without the cultivation of such awareness, any multitude of postures on a mat, and any degree of physical improvement, will remain just that – physical postures and bodily betterment. These words therefore, without making any direct reference to yoga, are of great relevance to the understanding, to the practice, and to the value of yoga: “When we speak or listen, the breath which carries the word, the conscious or unconscious empathy of speaker and hearer, all of the ineffable particulars of an encounter, invest the act of dialogue or declamation with far more than mere language can convey. When we write or read, we step out of the immediate world into a place where time moves differently, and where space no longer matters. We hear a silent voice, which may show us an invisible world. Both hearing and reading open up new spaces for us, in which there can be room to grow or to awake. Such virtual spaces constitute the temenos, the sacred enclosure which our Academy seeks to frame with its lectures, seminars and publications. “When we enter the sphere of the Internet, we can enjoy the illusions of limitless space; but there is no stillness, and hence no place for sanctuary. I do not think that my own experience is atypical: when I sit at a keyboard my feeling is usually one of haste, of being on the move, of being tugged from one thing to the next. It can be an effort to read more than a page or two, and my relationship with information is predominantly instrumental. I am easily contented with the mere surface of facts, taking no more than I require to meet some immediate need. And then I am off again, a little giddy with all that is spread out before me, my brain already groping towards its next stimulus.” Who could disagree and not empathise? How delightful it is to 1 Member of the Council, and a Fellow, of the Temenos Academy


read the words of a highly regarded academic and spiritual intellect who is subject to the same messy experiences of mind as the rest of us. And what potential value there is, not least for teachers, to share awareness of this common conditioning with others! Alexis Beddoe is a Yoga Scotland Teacher based in Edinburgh

The Way of Awareness Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused# with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I‘ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go. Pablo Neruda (Nobel prize-winning poet from Chile)

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The degree of our Presence to what we are doing – our awareness – actually determines whether we are practising yoga or not...

by Marc J Acquaviva (aka Marc Woolford) Marc is one of the founders of the AcquaViva School of Yoga (along with Abigail Peck), and runs Yoga Teacher Development Courses and regular CPDs, workshops and retreats in the UK, Scotland and Europe.

...if we mindlessly follow instructions, or repeat what we have learnt to do in a class, we are likely to exaggerate all the imbalances and holding patterns that made us want to go to a yoga class in the first place. Of course, part of the ‘human condition’ is that we are goal-orientated habitual creatures – our brains hardwired to become unconscious of the ‘how to’ of action as soon as we are able to do whatever it is we are trying to do. But yoga practice without awareness doesn't actually offer us liberation from whatever is limiting us. It’s all there in Classical Yoga What I gather from Patanjali’s sutras and other expansions on the subject of yoga, being directly Present, IS the practice of Yoga. As in: if the mind, uncoloured by its own movements, it can shine its light on a subject, any subject, then in this direct Presence, it can unite with that which is being observed. Understanding can arise directly through practice of Presence. Yoga is supposed to move us towards integration and wholeness – uniting the mind, the body and the breath with the support we derive from the Earth. In order to achieve this we need to be prepared to notice where we are disconnected – where there zis either conflict or dullness – so that we can experiment with making enough space for change to occur, and then we can work with finding wholebody relationships that resolve the issue at source. This is impossible without a willingness to feel, to explore the reality of what we are doing – this is impossible without awareness. A Practical Example The theory is borne out in my own practice and teaching. I have used the simple principle of Presence together with the removal of complication and conflict that naturally follows, to ‘solve’ the majority of physical issues that people present me with. A simple example is joint pain. Whatever the diagnosis might be, I look at the whole-body relationships that might be causing the problem in the first place. Then, if I can

p e r s u a d e someone to become aware of this by investigating their bodily responses to support below and the space around them, they will discover that in the moment of wholeness in action, the problem simply vanishes. It’s a simple matter of removing conflict. It is also quite interesting to w i t n e s s people’s response directly after a conflict-free experience – many people will instantly want to show me what it is that they usually do to cause the problem in the first place. Not always though – some make the connection, and simply don’t want to go back to recreating the familiar experience. The mind WILL change – if it spends time practicing being Present to the body’s truth. This I believe is what the physical practice of Yoga is for. Observation of Outcome The introduction to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states "Praise be to Shiva, that gave us the science of Yoga". From what I understand, Shiva represents transformation through the destruction of all that is known – being prepared to sweep away the old to make room for fresh life and perspective. And to me 'science' is the knowledge you gain from scientific experiment. So if you practice yoga, I would say it involves personally performing experiments designed to challenge the basic ideas you are applying in your practice, and then OBSERVE THE OUTCOME of your efforts... Even if your experimentation leads to the assumptions you started with, you refine both the experiment and your direct understanding of the nature of what you are doing. This is why my teaching is centred primarily on bringing people into awareness of what is going on for them right now, and then encouraging them to investigate new, less conflicted relationships in action, so that they can witness the immediacy of the intelligent body’s response to the


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Yoga SCOTLAND This is much more of a challenge than just making shapes of course, but there is a simplicity in intent – to clarify what the conditions are that lead to an integrated body, and then to practice moving with integration into postures. I don't actually mind if people can do the postures or not, I am far more interested in people maintaining integrity in the approach, because becoming whole IS the practice of yoga ... although it can be really quite beautiful to see how people move once they have solved some small part of the puzzle.

removal of some complication. This I feel brings yoga practice back to what it has always been – a physical science based on your own direct experience that liberates you from misunderstanding. (And as Vanda Scaravelli, one of my original inspirations as an adult, states: ‘You practice and you just become happier and more intelligent’)

The Student Blog The Universe Knows “One of the great things about the teacher training course is that we are encouraged to get out there into the great wide world and teach real people. The system of tutoring and mentoring, with regular one to one chats and journaling, the pages regularly perused by our tutors, means that when you're told to go forth and learn on the job, you can be pretty sure the teachers think you're capable. I've been fortunate enough to be let loose on a couple of classes, by teacher friends who needed cover. It's been going not too badly but sometimes all the collected wisdom of my ten and a half hours of teaching has been needed to pull me through. Recently I turned up on a Monday morning at a wee neighbourhood centre, to teach a class of older adults. I'd taught a similar group for six weeks fairly successfully I thought. So armed with a shiny new class plan, complete with vaguely recognisable stick-men, and an hour's worth of yoga music I was all set. Things did not go as expected. The class ranged from a twenty-something, fit as a flea, female rugby player to a lovely lady in her 70s with two new knees, and a hip replacement sitting in a chair. Oops, class plan out the window. The jury's still out for me on whether to have music or not in class but this class is used to music so music they


Principle-based Practice With awareness, Yoga becomes a principle-based practice, and it can transform its practitioner beyond recognition, into a life that is innocent of old physical and emotional injuries and habits. With Presence to this magnificent awareness-tool that is the body, the principles of Yoga will continually reveal themselves, and be recognised directly through the body-mind’s responses. Objective Presence begins with asking a few simple questions: "What am I doing this for? Is it actually working?" Then the yoga practice truly begins, because immediately there is space for change. Consciousness and action put together can transform life Om Nama Shivaya. Visit: Email:

would have. No sooner had I got my playlist up and running, came a cry... "you'll need to turn that down, we cannae hear you." Promising start. By this time my carefully cultivated yoga teacher serenity was getting a bit ragged. Soldiering on in my clear but gentle yoga voice I introduced myself and asked the usual questions about injuries, conditions etc. The cry came from the same corner .."You'll need to speak up son, we're deaf over here." I am in my early 60s so it was nice to be called son, but this was not the start I had envisaged. What saved the day was surrender to the reality. Letting go of fear and ego. Doing the best job I possibly could and letting go of attachment to the fruits of my actions, accepting the result whether good or bad. It was a long hour and I felt things had not gone too well. But that was not the perception of the students. The rugby player loved my churning the mill and navasana sequence – "great core workout." The chair lady for whom I'd been frantically modifying on the hoof, told me she'd moved in ways she hadn't done in ages, and the hard-of hearing gentleman absolutely loved the rotational relaxation. And you know what? They were a lovely bunch of students, warm, open-minded and accepting. Yes – sometimes the universe really does know better” Norman Boyle, Edinburgh Teacher Training Course "Almost half way through the Yoga Scotland Teacher Training. There's a saying along the lines of 'nothing good was ever easy'. The course is challenging and intense, but I know that it will help me become the best yoga teacher I can be." Anne Brown, Edinburgh Teacher Training Course

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Pause for Breath by Fiona Smith

There’s nothing quite like Spring cleaning for bringing things to mind; sifting out what’s important to you and clearing the clutter. There are many ways to develop the habit of mindfulness. We learn it as we go through life. Forty years ago my young husband went off to the pictures with a friend, forgetting to tell me. Meantime his lunch was ready. The next time he put on his jacket to go out he found his mashed tatties in his pocket. The experience of mindfulness can manifest as selfwatching, being aware of ourselves doing things or, on a deeper level, why we are doing certain things. Or we can adopt a nonchalant persona like Winnie the Pooh, similar to the acting ‘as if’ principle, ie. acting as if we are carefree and keeping things simple. The problem here is one of ‘satya’, truthfulness. Our lives are rarely simple and we can’t kid ourselves for long; we need to remember bucket day, to put fuel in the tank, to attend our various appointments, pay the bills, ... oh, and raise the children. (We must remember to prioritise our ‘to do’ lists as well). When I think of mindfulness, I often hear it as ‘mind fullness’. If you like a challenge, next time you’re in a traffic jam observe your thoughts and feelings. Is it natural to remain calm and sweetly smiling if you’re feeling hungry, thirsty or you’re going to be late for work

and people are honking their horns? Again, ‘satya’ but even more relevant, this might be a good time to pause for breath and observe your capacity for ‘ahimsa’, non-violence to self and others. On the other hand, my Jack Russell tends to growl when thwarted and it’s not unnatural for humans to utter low sounds too. Or we can practise visualisation; that doesn’t eat into our time too much. Kicking the leaves as you saunter through the forest you can mentally take a gigantic sweeping brush and sweep the thoughts you’d like to discard from your mind. Or sit somewhere pleasant in meditation and do this (or make up your own visualisation – one that’s meaningful to you to give it power). Or you can set aside time, create a suitable environment, tell anyone who shares your living space that this is your time to yourself (or find a warm, well-ventilated and quiet place where you can find peace), switch off your phone, put any pets out of the room, and give yourself the gift of time to recharge your batteries. You might like gentle music in the background but silence is most conducive to turning your attention inward to your private inner space. I like this way of practising mindfulness. Getting in touch with yourself, your needs, gaining a better sense of perspective, accepting your thoughts as they flow on by, getting from ‘Hmm!’ to ‘Om’. What do you think? Be miserable if you want to. Be happy if you can. But don’t spend too long polishing the soap, there are sights to see, places to be... Fiona Smith has been teaching yoga in Aberdeen for every age and ability since 1990. email:

YOGA for Better SLEEP & REST Asana, Pranayama, Meditation & Restorative Practices ~ how & when to use them for more sleep & more restful sleep. Workshops, courses & individual sessions with Andrea St.Clair, Yoga Scotland teacher & graduate of Lisa Sanfilippo’s Yoga Therapy for Insomnia Teacher Training. For more information, contact Andrea St.Clair

IYN registered 18 month diploma course in yoga therapy Next course 2018/19 (dates tbc) Small group training in the Scottish Borders Please register interest at 21

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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 25 years by ‘’Scaravelli inspired ‘’ teachers Be Moved – a workshop of joyful free expression... Saturdays 24th June and 11th Nov 2017 10 am -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: £25. 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 available Details from . To book tel Lynne on 01332833417 / email June runs regular weekly yoga classes in Central Scotland. Details on the website Contact June on 07835835919 or email Facebook junesyoga

Soapbox! A new regular column designed for members to have their say about something. It doesn’t have to be a grumble, just a thought or an opinion. Contributions for the next issue are most welcome. If you have a view that you want to express, but don’t feel able to write about it, please ring me and tell me about – and I’ll write it up for you! Contributions may be anonymous too. To start the column off, I’m personally getting on the soapbox. (Editor)


Please raise your voice! Whether we realise it or not, we all hear what people are saying to us partly by lip-reading. For people who have are hard of hearing (through age in my case) or have other hearing impairments, that reliance on being able to see a person’s mouth moving as they speak is even more important. When we shut our eyes in a yoga session – practising pranayama for example or in relaxation and meditation, that facility is lost – and it is precisely at this moment that many yoga teachers drop their voices and begin to speak quietly! It’s great for a calming atmosphere – sure, but it’s hopeless if some of the students can’t hear! I have missed great chunks of guided meditations, or visualisations in yoga nidra or instruction for pranayama practices over the years, because suddenly the teacher’s voice has dropped to a level that I can no longer hear – and at a time when my eyes are closed! That’s actually when you need to raise your voice! I have found this with teachers with all ranges of experience. Swami Pragyamurti said at a Yoga Scotland St Andrews seminar some years ago, that she never dropped her voice when delivering a yoga nidra – because her job was to keep participants awake! I would add to that that it’s also the teacher’s job to ensure that students can hear. We are taught to be aware of disability in our Teacher Training, but loss of hearing is such an invisible disability that it is easy to forget. Chances are that a significant proportion of students especially those in the older age group, may have some hearing loss – and I have come across students who had a hearing loss but didn’t like to mention it, so they miss out on much of the classes So please be aware and speak up when students’ eyes are closed. Carol Godridge

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In a comparison of yoga vs. memory training, the clear winner is yoga by Leigh Hopper Crossword puzzles and other mentally demanding activities are well-known as memory boosters for older adults. But what if word games aren’t your thing? What if you’d rather learn to relax, doing something like yoga? UCLA researchers found that yoga is better for both memory and mood. In a head-to-head comparison of yoga versus a type of memory training commonly used in people showing cognitive decline, UCLA researchers found yoga improved memory, depression symptoms and the ability to plan and focus attention to a degree equal to or greater than that in the memory-training group. "All of the results suggest that yoga training provided broader benefit for cognition, mood and resilience,” said Dr. Helen Lavretsky, the study’s senior author and a professor in UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. "This is surprising, because yoga is typically viewed as an effective tool for stress reduction," but not for memory improvement. For the study, which appears this week in the journal International Psychogeriatrics, researchers recruited 81 participants, age 55 and above, with mild memory complaints, such as forgetting names or misplacing items. Volunteers were randomly assigned to either 12 weeks of memory enhancement training or yoga and were followed over a six-month period. The memory training group participated in weekly, onehour sessions with daily, 15-minute homework assignments. Trainers taught techniques such as the use of stories to remember to-do lists or grocery lists. The yoga group had weekly, one-hour sessions in Kundalini yoga, a form of yoga that focuses on breath and is appropriate for adults with physical limitations. They also

received handouts and CDs for daily, 12-minute, at-home meditation practice using a yoga singing exercise known as Kirtan Kriya, which utilizes sound and finger movements to promote focus and concentration. At 12 and 24 weeks of follow up, both groups showed significant, comparable memory improvement when given the task of remembering a list of words after a short delay. In measures of executive functioning and symptoms of depression, anxiety and psychological resilience, however, only the yoga group showed significant improvement. Because the study group was small, the findings will need to be confirmed in larger clinical trials in the future, the researchers said. The research builds on other recently published work by Lavretsky and colleagues. * In a subsample of this study, 25 participants (14 in the yoga group and 11 in the memory training group), researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to document brain connectivity, structure, and chemical brain changes associated with the 12 weeks of active training. In the paper published May 2016 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, they found that yoga was as effective as memory training in improving connections between brain regions involved with verbal memory performance. * In addition, Lavretsky examined changes in the brain structure and chemistry in the same 25 participants and found differences between the yoga and memory training groups. In short, the memory training group showed a trend toward increased gray matter volume (a good thing) and decreased brain metabolites associated with aging and memory loss. Though preliminary, the results suggest that memory training can also produce neuroplastic changes in the brain associated with improved memory performance in seniors with mild cognitive impairment. Further research is needed to determine whether mindbody interventions like yoga yield similar changes and whether seeing this changes could take longer than 12 weeks. This study was published in the November 2016 Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. What's next? Lavretsky is currently testing Tai Chi practice in older adults with depression and is planning a larger study of yoga practices. Helen Lavretsky is the study’s senior author and a professor in UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.


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Galloway Holistic Retreats

Rejuvenate Mind, Body & Soul Relaxing Retreats in South West Scotland Yoga/Meditation/ Massage/Reiki/Chakra and Energy Healing/ Reflexology

Vitality Workshop with Karen Nimmo

St Martins Community Resource Centre, 232 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh, EH11 2JG

3 June 2017, 1 – 4.30pm, £32.50

• What is our experience of our vitality? • What is supportive of it? • What is draining? • What are our choices? • What expectations do we have of ourselves and the word 'vitality'? • How can the tools of yoga support our vitality? A blend of theoretical input, group discussion, creative exercises and yoga practice sessions to investigate the theme of vitality. More information at or email

Delicious Vegan & Vegetarian food tel: 07766104505 Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec 2017 dates available Corporate retreats/workshops + bride-to-be packages

Yoga Workshops with Ann Hunter

Saturday 10.00 – 13.00 20 May 2017, 16 September, 21 October 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 tel 0141 647 1817

Day seminars in Dumfries and Galloway Swami Satyaprakash

Director: Birmingham Satyananda Yoga Centre

“Yoga and the Mudras”

10 am – 4 pm Saturday 10th June Twynholm Village Hall, Kirkudbrightshire

Swami Krishnapremananda

Director: Mandala Yoga Ashram Teacher Training Course

“Pancha Kosha”


(The five levels of our embodied selves) 10 am – 4 pm Saturday 7th October Lincluden Community Centre, Dumfries

“Yoga and the Bandhas”


10 am – 4 pm Sunday 11th June Lincluden Community Centre, Dumfries Cost: £35 per day, or both days for £60.

“Meditation in Daily Life”

10 am – 4 pm Sunday 8th October Twynholm Village Hall, Kirkcudbrightshire. Cost: £35 per day, or both days for £60.

Please bring yoga mats, blankets and a packed lunch. Teas and coffees will be provided. Booking forms from: Carol Godridge: or Tel. 01848 200681 24

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The Elephant and St Francis by Jackie Le Broq explore our attachments. Usually it feels as though we have lost a part of ourselves. Until that sinking feeling overcomes us, we remain ignorant of how much of ourselves we had invested.” And what is losing a brooch compared to a vow of poverty, giving up everything, with no notion of where or when the next morsel of food is coming from, deliberately embracing that which disgusts and frightens as your sadhana (daily practice), trustfully surrendering to Divine Providence?

I didn’t go on retreat to India this Feb/March; instead I had an illness retreat. Reminding myself to enjoy whatever happens in life with equal equilibrium, (Bhagavad Gita 2:15) what a perfect opportunity to be still, to watch my body breathing, to read those books which stubbornly sit on the bookshelf year after year without getting opened. But, once the sweating hot – shivering cold – aching all over – it-hurts-so-much-to-cough phase had passed, all that was left was a grumpy old woman. My daughter said, in the way they do when the tables turn, “You can’t go back to teaching classes until you can do normal things, like take the dog for an up-the-hill walk.” So I took the dog for an along-the-river walk, it being flatter and easier, but not easy enough; I had to stop and sit down and then, when nearly home, I clutched my chest in dismay because there wasn’t any longer my elephant brooch. It immediately became my most treasured possession: I made it 37 years ago from silver with real ivory tusks and my husband wore it as a tie pin on our wedding day. Then it spent several years hiding in a drawer before I started wearing it on my fleece. This was its’ second, no third fleece. And I hadn’t got the energy to go back through the woods and look for it. Serious words with myself about non-attachment. All the years of abhyasa (practice) and vairagya (non-attachment) had obviously not been enough. I somehow wasn’t very far along the non-attachment road; a lot further to go to attain nirodhah (mastery) over these citta vrttis (roaming tendancies of the mind) Yoga sutra 1:1-12 I hadn’t even got a photo of it. Never mind. I had the joy of making it and looking at it and wearing it and I could remember what it looked like. I opened the book I was reading, ‘The Ecstasies of St Francis’, that great 12th century Tantric, and immediately read, “We rarely know what things mean to us, for it is generally only after we have lost them that we begin to

The Prayer of St Francis O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love, Where there is injury, pardon, Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness light, Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I not so much seek To be consoled as to console, To be loved as to love, To be understood as to understand, For it is in giving that we receive, It is in forgiving that we are forgiven It is in dying that we are born to everlasting life. Amen Ten days later, I saw a notice on Moffat-on-line just as my finger hit the delete button, “A silver coloured brooch has been found and handed into the town hall...” My elephant (symbol of muladhara chakra, earth, security) is back home on my fleece again, but somehow no longer my most treasured possession... References: The Ecstasies of St Francis – John Ryan Haule The Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita – Swami Rama The Secret of the Yoga Sutra – Pandit Rajmani Tigunait Jackie Le Brocq is a Tutor on the Yoga Scotland Teacher Training Course. She lives and teaches in Moffat.

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).

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£7 + £1.50 p&p each. From: Carol Godridge, Ben Doran, Ayr Street, Moniaive, Dumfriesshire DG3 4HW Tel: 01848 200681 Email:


Meditation practices from the Satyananda tradition

carol godridge


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The Pay-it-forward Edinburgh Yoga Festival (edyogafest) by Laura Wilson

In its second year, edyogafest brings together the yoga community in Edinburgh. All profit generated by the festival is split evenly between ourselves and one of our partner organisations, Comas (a gaelic word meaning ability). They work to support people living in isolation due to mental health, addiction and poverty issues. ECYO is a not-for-profit social enterprise that takes yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices into under served communities. We work in places like prisons, mental health hospitals and addiction recovery centers and teach people with acute psychiatric needs, learning difficulties, disengaged youth, addiction issues, women affected by trauma, people who self harm and people with long term health conditions. Link to video While some of the work we do is profit generating, much of it needs to be subsidised and this is where the fundraising comes in. And what better way to raise funds than to create a platform to celebrate the inclusivity and accessibility of the Edinburgh yoga scene by bringing everyone together? Amazingly the festival involved all the yoga studios and more than fifty of its teachers across the city. With inclusivity at the forefront, edyogafest offered many different way to become involved; from a seminar on yoga for addiction, to a kirtan party, a sponsored 108 sun salutations and a wide ranging timetable of events across the city. (Alongside some of the more traditional offerings like vinyasa, power, forest, core, there was also men’s yoga, fifty plus yoga, kids and family yoga, chair yoga, trauma sensitive yoga, curvy to name just a few). At ECYO we are extremely proud of the range of classes offered at the


festival and while its true that perhaps our more unknown classes weren’t as well attended as some of the more traditional styles, it is important to us that they are there. Our hope is that as time goes by people will realise that there is a yoga class out there for them, despite any extra challenges they may have. The benefits of yoga and mediation are many and at the heart of everything we do is the belief that everyone, irrelevant of socio economic status, mental or physical heath, age or gender should have access to them. We celebrate the opportunity to come together as a community, to encourage people new to yoga to come and try, to showcase the talent and passion of our teachers across the Lothian’s and to bring yoga classes to a part of town. And the local media agreed – making yoga accessible was exciting and important and something to shout about! We were featured in the Scotsman on Sunday, on STV news and on BBC Radio Scotland in the build up to the event. With more than 5,000 pounds raised and hundreds of people having joined us on the mat to celebrate yoga in our city the festival was certainly a huge success. We are excited about what the funds raised will enable us to do and are

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British Wheel of Yoga Pregnancy Module for 2018 with Judy Cameron BWY, Active Birth,YogaBirth & Midwife

Pregnancy Yoga Module 2018 Santosa, 21 Albert Street, Edinburgh EH7 5LH Dates: 27/28 January; 24/25 March & 26/27 May 2018

For course outline and registration contact

Judy Cameron tel: 0779 207 9389


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Yoga SCOTLAND already looking forward to 2018, making plans for new ways to raise awareness around inclusivity and yoga and finding new ways to take these transformative practices to the people who need them most. We are so grateful to the Edinburgh Yoga Community who embraced our cause so completely. Without the teachers giving their time for free, without the studios offering their space and support and without our sponsors Yogamatters and Lululemon it simply wouldn’t be able to take place. Laura Wilson, Founder and director of ECYO

Yoga Every Day (YED) podcasts by Lindsey Porter Inspired to do something creative to encourage curiosity and interest about yoga in all its aspects and benefits, I linked up with Emma Frame of who created and runs a yoga class directory for Glasgow. We’ve created 31 bite size insights of yoga. We released them daily through January and they remain FREE to listen to or download via my website at: Each week has a theme and includes a variety of topics and ways of delivering information including, interviews with yogi’s and an international teacher, poems, music and more. We recorded a set of videos introducing each week and even a short video of our gaffes, sure to evoke a giggle! Our project of YED Talk podcasts has reached over 1,000 views with listeners from as far away as America, Philippines, Bahamas and Australia tuning in and continues to grow and expand. YED Talks is also featured in the March issue of OM Yoga magazine. Here are a few of the comments we’ve received from listeners so far: "Thank you for these podcasts and their different and interesting perspectives on yoga. I especially like the Yoga in the Community one." "I've literally just caught up on all the podcasts. They are freakin' awesome! Really loving them, really appreciate all the info." "YED Talks inspires me to do yoga every day." Emma and I found the whole project challenging and demanding more than we had expected, but at the same time we learnt so much along the way from using the technology, improving our editing capabilities to creating a


range of different ways to share information. And we’ve decided to continue what we’ve started – watch out for a new series of YED Talks starting called ‘Yoga Voices’ hearing from Yoga teachers of all styles from around the world about what’s important to them about yoga and other interesting insights. Ranging from internationally recognised teachers to the yoga teacher delivering community based sessions. And if you have a story to tell about your yoga as a teacher we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at:


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Working Together: Physiotherapy and Yoga by Michael Hutchinson Michael Hutchinson is a chartered physiotherapist with his own practice in Falkirk. He has recently started to work in tandem with Yoga Teacher Lindsey Porter. Here he talks about this professional collaboration.

Having previously worked in the NHS, I set up my own clinic three years ago so that people could access physiotherapy without spending weeks on a waiting list, and to make it affordable and accessible to people of all ages within the community. I work 8am to 9pm every day of the week – and initial assessments and return appointments cost just £30. Almost two years into business, I have built up a wonderful client base. I love being able to take the time to get to know people and understand their conditions/injuries. When people leave my clinic. I want them to feel better AND to understand why the treatment has worked. I provide care that focuses on treating the cause, not just the symptoms of a person’s discomfort. I take the time to get to know the person and the condition/injury that is concerning them, before treatment takes place and then guide them on ways that can significantly reduce the likelihood of recurrence. The aim was to provide a service where people didn’'t just leave my clinic feeling better, but would also understand the process and the rationale. I also believe that yoga has an important role in the therapeutic process, and I formed a link with Yoga teacher Lindsey Porter. As a result, a number of my clients have begun to practice yoga with Lindsey, and to feel to benefit. Lindsey says “It’s important to listen to your body and its needs. We always encourage this through our yoga practice, and then there are times when it’s right to seek support and advice from a trained physiotherapist, who can delve much deeper into the many layers of your body to help correct any lifelong bad habits or support a path out of injury.” I think that yoga can motivate people with musculoskeletal problems to manage and understand their condition. Many injuries seen in my physiotherapy clinic today are caused by problems with posture, balance, coordination, flexibility or movement control, all of which Yoga helps to improve. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations for the management of low back pain are movement instruction, muscle strengthening, postural control and stretching. Yoga meets all of these requirements. It can also be important for injury prevention. Of course, there are some injuries such as ACL tears and concussions that yoga won’t prevent. But the hips, hamstrings, and calf muscles and, in some sports, the shoulders are taxed heavily during training and repetitive movement. Without stretching and lengthening these muscle groups, injuries are bound to occur over time.

Common overuse injuries among athletes include those involving the illiotibial band (ITB), knee, hamstrings, hip flexors and shoulders. Often, these injuries are directly linked to lack of flexibility, poor core strength and misalignment. Yoga helps alleviate this tightness, builds a stronger centre, and aligns the spine. To minimize and/or prevent injury, athletes should concentrate their efforts on the areas used most in endurance sports. Even if they do a pre- or post-workout, they are usually just stretching the muscles in the same direction and plane of motion in which they will be exercising. Yoga goes beyond simple stretching by working the muscles and joints through all ranges of motion, activating the little-used muscles that support the primary movers. The body must be worked through all three planes of motion to remain balanced and healthy. More and more athletes are turning to yoga to aid their performance and to give them the focus and mental balance required too. Yoga is a great way to stay in shape and improve your flexibility and core strength. Ryan Giggs said when he was playing in the premier league that yoga “strengthens your muscles, improves flexibility, but also keeps you fit and gets you out on the training pitch so you can train every day. You want to be out there so you need to get your body robust and ready for anything. If I do a yoga session the next day (after a game), I’m nowhere near as stiff and I’ll be back training at the right level a lot quicker.” Andy Murray has also given credit to yoga, saying that it helped him recover from persistent back pain. MHphysiotherapy is at Galaxy Sports, Grangemouth, Falkirk, FK20YB and provides affordable and accessible physiotherapy and massage, for people of all ages within the community. See


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Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs – Series 1. What is Yoga?

by Alison Trewhela & Anna Semlyen

Well done for choosing to learn and practice yoga as a positive step to helping the health of your back. The word ‘Yoga’ means union between the body, breath, mind and the emotions. Yoga is a system of knowledge that comes from India and is thousands of years old. It is not a religion. Physical postures or poses are the best known aspects of yoga. They promote strength, flexibility and good health. Our bodies need to be used regularly. A sedentary lifestyle with its limited range of mostly repetitive daily movements does not give the stretching, strengthening and relaxing that we need. Regular practice of yoga postures will raise self-awareness and physical and mental health. Yoga aims to enable people to enjoy a comfortable, steady posture with an alert mind. Learning to relax, attend to breath and mental focus are important aspects. • Therapeutic yoga is used to alleviate problems and for prevention. • Yoga is often taught in classes but can be one to one. • We recommend that you attend regular weekly lessons with a qualified Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs teacher. As yoga is a movement skill, it will take longer to learn alone from books, DVDs or videos. • Once you have learnt how to practice yoga in a class, it is recommended that exercises are done at home. The full benefit is more likely with regular and disciplined home practice. • Aim to keep a positive attitude and remind yourself that you do want to improve. • Stress and emotional factors contribute to back problems. Aim to reduce high levels of stress in your life. • Do not expect improvement in your back pain overnight. But feel your body accepting and enjoying its new flexibility, strength, relaxation, alignment and postural balance. • Do expect to feel better. Yoga can give a sense of well-being that will affect not only your back but other parts of your body, your mind, breathing, emotions and your life. We feel sure that you will enjoy learning yoga and will continue learning and practising it into the future. This painting shows a healthy spine in an advanced yoga pose not included in the yoga programme. Following is a yoga pose that can be especially helpful for some people after sitting and/ or slouching, e.g. in car or on sofa. It is not what you do, but the way that you do it that is important. You are responsible for your own actions. This yoga should be gentle, easy, brief, comfortable and pain-free. Breathe steadily and focus on the relaxing exhalation. Shoulder Stretches: Stretch arms up high (to wall) or ledge. Urdhva Hastasana How to Perform the Pose: Ledge Variation: Stand 1-2 feet away from and facing a high ledge e.g. the top of a doorframe or a stable piece of furniture that is taller than you. Aim to have your back/trunk straight – not arched or curved. Instructions as below in Wall Variation but here place your fingers onto the


ledge and use it to give the tractioning effect of gentle hanging, but with your feet firmly on the floor and legs straight, strong and upright. Hold for 10 seconds and exit the pose on an exhalation. To wall variation: Stand approx 1foot away from and facing a wall with your feet hip distance apart and parallel (or slightly turned in). On an exhalation reach your arms up high to place the palms of your hands flat on the wall; hands shoulder distance apart with stretched armpits and straight arms. Your legs should be perpendicular to the floor with the weight in your heels and you should feel an upwards elongation to your trunk, especially the front of your body. Observations: Keep a comfortable neck by taking the outer armpits forwards towards the wall; keep the neck in line with the spine; take the trapezius and shoulder blades down the back; lengthen the neck and head out of the shoulders. Feel the stretch on the sides of the trunk, armpits, side ribs, side waist. Take the outer side hips out into the middle of the room. Mountain Pose legs. Maintain the natural curve in the lumbar, but realise that this pose can help to lessen the exaggerated curves that can occur in the spine, e.g. lessen the roundedness of the upper back and the inward curve of the lower back (at the lumbar: there should not be a large back-bending hollow) Variations: Turn toes in a lot to stabilise the spine; Turn hands out (when using the wall) and/or take them wider for stiff shoulders Benefits: Encourages mobility in the upper back and shoulders and teaches more mobility in those areas and less in the lumbar; Beneficial space for the discs at the front of the spine; Traction effect for stiff spinal segments (but more stable than ‘hanging’ from bar/ beam) Related Yoga Poses: Virabhadrasana I, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Vrksasana Taken mainly from ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ by Alison Trewhela & Anna Semlyen. Written as a manual used in The University of York’s Dept. of Health Sciences randomised controlled trial funded by Arthritis Research UK to accompany a successful 12-week specialized, gentle yoga programme. It was shown to be cost-effective for the NHS and the workplace (70% reduction in workplace absenteeism). The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Institute continues to train experienced yoga teachers in individualized back-care and how to deliver this ‘best practice’ evidence-based course that teaches long-term selfmanagement skills.

More info:

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Awareness: On Doing with Delight by Muz Murray (Ramana Baba)

Doing something with delight is its own reward. But how often does it happen? In order to do something in that way, we feel it is we who have to choose the task in hand, rather than having it imposed on us. But such eventualities seem few and far between. The demands of daily life distract us so that a great deal of what we do seems nothing but a chore. But how can we do such repetitive chores with delight? Yet if we wholly participate in what we do, with total concentration, everything becomes interesting. Usually we are pre-occupied with other thoughts – with the job to be done after this one, and so we are rarely actually doing the things we are doing now with total awareness. If we truly participate in the activity, we enjoy every moment. Even if it is something we do not like. I once lived in a cottage with no electricity. This meant that I had to light the place with oil lamps, and clean them and refuel them, a daily a job I detested. Therefore I resented the time wasted in such a smelly and distasteful chore. One day I realised that the distaste and resentment were negative elements in a heart striving for a spiritual life. I became aware that the negative anticipation of a task that was inevitable soured my morning, until the job was done. I changed my attitude, pretending to myself that cleaning the oil lamps (all six of them) was a delight. And remembering my animistic impressions of childhood, that all things were ‘beings’ in their own right, I approached them with care and concern for their well-being, and chatted to them as I worked, finding each lamp has a character of its own. I created a rhythm and a dance out of washing the smoky lamp glasses, of refilling them in order of size and shining them up. Being totally concentrated on their care, lovingly, I found that ‘doing the lamps’ became a joy. I knew my child-self had been right. Not that inanimate objects are ‘beings’ themselves, but that the Omnipresence is present in every object as well as in every living creature. Some objects almost develop personalities of their own, depending on the thought energy bestowed upon them: the rag doll, the dogeared teddy bear, the ‘special’ stone, the faithful old car, or the ritual objects of religious orders or shamans. When I have the idea that ‘I’ have to do a disagreeable job, it is aggravating to me. If I do it in a sense of aggravation, I poison my system with self-produced toxins and I colour my mind-flow with dismal hues. Yet if I pause before the task, enter into my heart, and feel the Omnipresence moving there, flowing through me, I remember the magic of my being. Without that Omnipresence energising me, do I exist at all? Can I do

anything of my own volition? When I enter into my heart I am filled with wonder that this bodily object I inhabit is operated by the Presence? This Omnipresence knows all our needs, determines all our tasks, down to the minutest details. When I am stressed with too much work, I remember: the Omnipresence has given me this moment to do this job. May I do it to perfection. Let me see what the Old Guru can do through me. Always remember it is in your hands, your heart and your tongue, through which the Omnipresence works. What are you daily doing with these toils for the welfare of the little world within your arm’s reach? Even if its shining pots and pans, or watering plants, be aware of That which is doing it through you. In this way, you can do things with delight. Muz Murray (Ramana Baba) is an international mantra yoga teacher and mystic. See his website for details of his books and CDs and his Facebook page for uplifting and insightful thoughts:

Yoga with John Stirk

Saturday 18th February 2017, 10am – 4.30pm Dalkeith (just off the Edinburgh bypass) and Saturday 10th March 2018, Greenpark Centre, Polmont (easy walking distance from Polmont station or a short drive from J4 off the M9)

Contact June Mercer to reserve a space tel. 07835835919

Yoga and meditation, Yuva, Turkey With Jackie Le Brocq 18-25 Sept 2017

£575 01683 220981/07809290049 See more at


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Yasodhara Temple Rises from the Ashes by Swami Lalitananda Yasodhara Ashram in southeast British Columbia is the first ashram established in Canada. The founder, Swami Sivananda Radha, returned to Canada after studying with Swami Sivananda in India in 1956. Throughout her life, she had had a vision of a beautiful sanctuary, a little round “temple” she called it, overlooking water in the mountains. Ashram President, Swami Lalitananda talks about the new temple rising from the ashes of the fire which destroyed the original one in 2014 The story of the Temple of Light is really a story of holding a vision. Swami Radha imagined the people of the world coming together and understanding that the Divine – beyond name and form – is at the centre of their different traditions. She used Light as the most subtle image to represent the Divine, and she visualized the Temple of Light as an embodiment of this ideal of unity. In recurring dreams, she saw a beautiful white dome overlooking a lake in the mountains offering eight entries so each person could enter through their own path.


At her Ashram, which she founded in 1963, she discovered the exact location for the Temple and a few years later laid the foundation. It took decades to complete the Temple because as Swami Radha held the vision, she was also starting the Ashram – physically clearing land and spiritually bringing teachings of yoga to the West. At times she wondered whether the Temple was simply meant to be a metaphor for finding unity. But in 1992 she saw the original Temple of Light complete, the vision manifest. And it became the heart of Yasodhara Ashram for 22 years. In 2014 we experienced a tragedy of fire destroying the Temple. For myself, as the new president of the Ashram, it was a significant time of self-inquiry and reflection. What does this mean? Why is this happening? Our community grieved the loss but immediately agreed to rebuild. And we questioned: Do we rebuild it exactly the same or do we change it? We decided to innovate while retaining the essential elements of the original with its dome-like shape and eight entries, central skylight and many windows. We wanted a continuity of vision but we also wanted to make the vision current – to create a new dynamism, an expansion to acknowledge the beauty of nature and to open to the challenged world around us. We were able to find leading architects who created a cutting-edge design that resonated – alive with curves, movement and luminosity. As Ashram residents we have held the vision for the past three years through phases of planning, fundraising and construction. And now, once again, the Temple of Light is manifesting. The time feels right. The world is so divided and in desperate need of such a beautiful reminder of unity and inclusivity. The Temple offers each of us an invitation to find our own way to the centre of our being and to live the commitment to our higher purpose, whatever that is. The Temple stands as a

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symbol for our need to come together in our humanness and in our divinity. The new Temple of Light will embrace people from all traditions, all genders, all ethnicities and offers a promise that we can find common ground, live our highest values, celebrate our oneness in the Light. I hope that many of you will visit Yasodhara Ashram and experience for yourself the intention and the peace of

the Temple of Light. The opening celebrations are scheduled from July 31-August 7, 2017. But Yasodhara Ashram is open year-round for retreats, programs and teacher certification. Come anytime! Much Light to our Scottish yoga colleagues. (Editor: I stayed at Yasodhara Ashram as a karma yogi in 2003 and it is an extraordinarily wonderful place to be, and is set in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, on the shores of Lake Kootenay.)

Left page: Interior of new temple. This page: Exterior views of new temple.


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Yoga is not a Sport! by June Skeggs June Skeggs contributes to the continuing debate on the British Wheel of Yoga and Skills Active proposal to introduce National Occupation Standards. She is Director of the Yoga for Health and Education Trust, in Buckinghamshire, and teaches Yoga, Remedial Yoga and Physical Education; and is a coach and a judge in several sports. She also has a degree in the Art and Science of Movement, and she is baffled by the classification of yoga as a sport by Skills Active. “Why would anybody who understands yoga possibly think that it could be classified as a sport? .In my opinion the person or persons who are pushing for this do not understand yoga or they have other self-interests. The demonstration of yoga at the Commonwealth Games in India and the World Yoga Championships that were held in Malaysia this year would be better described as gymnastics and did not help the public understanding of yoga. Many paths There are many different types of yoga/paths practised in many different ways. It is therefore impossible to categorise yoga into one form. So how could one be chosen to be the national standard? No one path is better than the other and each will suit different individuals at different times. Not sport or exercise Who has the authority, experience, knowledge and respect from the yoga community to decide the standardisations content and needs? Certainly not a body involved in sport! ‘Sport’ is defined as an outdoor game or competitive activity involving physical exercise e.g cricket, hockey, football, athletics etc. ‘Exercise’ is an activity requiring physical effort, done to improve health – a particular body task devised for the above. Or it is a military drill or manoeuvre. It can also apply to mental faculties. But Yoga is defined as a system of philosophical meditation and asceticism designed to reflect reunion with the universal spirit according to the Oxford Dictionary. The Free Dictionary adds – that yoga also involves controlling the breath, prescribed body positions and meditation, and has the aim of attaining a state of deep spiritual insight and tranquillity. That said it is true that some body positions can become ‘asana’, depending on the approach, attitude and practice. Differences between sport, exercise and yoga • Sport and Exercise involve repeated movement of the body and limbs with various degrees of effort, the creation of tensions. Its goals are externally orientated. Asana (posture) is a small part of some yoga paths that involve some physical movement until the position can be held in stillness. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali written around 250 A.D are a gathering of practices and philosophies of yoga into an easy to follow system that is often referred to as classical yoga. Only three of the 195 sutras mention asana/posture: Sutras 246-8.


• Asanas counteract disturbances in the tonic rhythms in the body that create instability. These are the result of disharmony between two opposing neural impulses (pairs of opposites) or in yoga terminology from a disturbance between prana impulses. Yoga texts often refer to dualities/opposites that disturb the mind and body, such as heat/cold, success/failure, joy/sorrow, pain/pleasure that tend to occur in meditation. What sport creates harmony in the tonic rhythms and leaves one undisturbed by opposites or dualites? None. • Unsteadiness of the body or limbs is an indication of the unsteadiness of the mind. Sport and exercise employ the limbs to fulfil their goals. Yoga postures are mastered when we are stable in the posture, stable in the mind and body, comfortable and steady. The body and mind are alert, relaxed and in an effortless state. The mind is free and one pointed to contemplate on the infinite. Once in position a yoga asana/posture can be held for some considerable time (it can be hours). It is inwardly oriented and there is no mind goal. • In sport and exercise the effort needed leads to muscle tone changes that result in tensions that can remain for varying periods of time afterwards and linger in the body. Professor Candace Pert refers to tensions that are held in the gangliated cords near the spine, maybe for years. • Asanas are prepared and maintained by minimum effort as they move towards stillness. There is always some tensions, but asanas should reduce most of them to the minimum and should not develop disturbing muscular, neural, glandular and visceral tensions in the process. They can also release subtle tensions not realised until working experientially on the inner self. Once gross and subtle tensions are realised they can be worked on through gentle movement, the breath or gentle stretching. Mental tensions that surface can be dealt with so they stop bothering us and resurfacing. • Sport usually involves becoming someone else eg a swimmer, gymnast, weight lifter etc. The aim of exercise is to increase fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and power. It also involves our sense organs that give us information and knowledge from outside the body and help us to make decisions. In yoga we are working towards selfawareness/self-realisation and not towards becoming someone or something else. We disconnect from our sense organs as we don’t need information from outside and start to pick up messages from other internal receptors. • In sport we are outward looking and focus on our physical body and objects outside. In yoga we are inward looking and become an observer or witness as we experience and realise the different sensations and events that are happening inside the body and mind. • Sport and exercise can lead to fatigue, exhaustion, injuries, pain, stiffness and discomfort. These all create tensions that disturb the body and mind. Yoga can energise rather than exhaust the individual. • Sport and exercise all create disturbances that interfere with our ability to go inwards such that it would be impossible to feel at ease, stable and comfortable in order to contemplate or meditate in the posture. Going inside our

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Yoga SCOTLAND body with our awareness we start to recognise areas of pain and tension and can then find ways and means of releasing them. • Sport and exercise increase the load on the cardiovascular system. Yoga slows down the cardio-vascular system. • Exercise acts on superficial muscles. Yoga acts on the deeper muscles and nerves. • Sport is highly competitive. Yoga is not competitive. Union would never be achieved with the mental and emotional activity of competition. • Practiced in the right way both sport and yoga can lead to a healthy body and mind. • Only yoga can lead to self-realisation and union. • Different areas of the brain are involved. In sport/exercise a lot of activity is in the motor and frontal cortex of the brain and the sensory areas are heavily

involved. When postures are practiced as the Sutras state, the frontal cortex and motor cortex become quiet. Asanas are then controlled and maintained from the cerebellum which is the part of the brain responsible for maintaining tone, posture and equilibrium. The senses are not involved. Many yoga classes in western societies are really exercise classes with a few yoga concepts thrown in, so if standardisation is the way they wish to go, then they should consider calling it something else and definitely not yoga. It would then fall into the sport fitness section of SkillsActive’s remit. I have to accept that I would rather students were doing exercise that may be called yoga, than nothing. However if we are going to create a teaching standard that will go on into the future, it has to be based on what yoga really is. As human consciousness evolves it will then develop in the right direction and humanity will not lose this valuable healing art on the way.

BWY Scotland In-Service & Events Training 2017

We warmly welcome teachers and student teachers of ALL traditions to our In-Service Training days. CPD points are available for BWY and Yoga Scotland teachers. All timings are 10am to 4pm. Further information and booking forms are on the BWY Scotland website,, under BWY Events. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dealing with Back Problems in a Yoga Class (7.5 CPD points) Maureen McCarthy Saturday 6th May 2017, Wester Hailes Education Centre, Edinburgh EH14 2SU ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Partner Work in Asana (5 CPD points) Sandra Cook FREE TO ALL BWY MEMBERS, to celebrate International Yoga Day Saturday 17th June 2017, Greenpark Community Centre, Polmont, FK2 0PZ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Progressing Students in Yoga (7.5 CPD points) Carol Price Sunday 17th September 2017, In the Moment Studio, Glasgow G3 7DS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pranayama in Perspective (7.5 CPD points) Pranayama and the Chakras (7.5 CPD points) Philip Xerri Saturday 30th Sept 2017 **Also the AGM** & Sunday 1st October 2017, Cults Kirk Centre, Aberdeen, AB15 9TD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 35

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Reviews The Trillion Dollar Stress Solution by Silvia Hartmann ISBN: 978-1-908269-64-5 “Energy is the 6th sense!” is what this book screams at you. For us yogis this is not a surprise but this book is pitched at the general public. Silvia takes us on a journey of psychology and how society treats disease and not the cause. To keep stress at bay she suggests that everyone should follow her SUE scale (Subjective Units of Experience) and that this should replace the traditional SUD Scale (Subjective Units of Distress) which dates back to 1969. The SUD Scale comes from a standpoint of getting everything back to zero whereas the SUE Scale takes the person’s energy from a negative state, past zero and all the way up to a +10. Keeping energy towards the positive side of the scale is the key to keeping happy and healthy. Everyone has an energy bubble that constantly needs topped up and when energy is running low this can lead to stress. The author refers to couples as a “couple bubble” where their energy fields become entwined. Overall, the book is well written and backed up with good scientific data and experience, although the images are sometimes difficult to read. For people who are not involved in any stress management in their daily lives it’s a good read, with lots of useful tips. For yoga practitioners this book may be a good addition if you are looking for a more scientific/psychological perspective of how stress is related to low energy levels. The book comes with a wrist band with the SUE Scale on it that acts as a reminder throughout the day to check one’s energy state. Yvonne Davies

Mindful Relationships Success

Seven Skills for

by B Grace Bullock ISBN 979-1-909141-70-4 Our most basic and innate strategy for survival is arguably relationships. Yet their maintenance both on a personal and grander level could be in jeopardy, according to Bullock. Maintaining healthy, strong and resilient social bonds with others is thwarted both psychologically and physiologically by our failure to address and cope with chronic stress.


She analyses, discusses and evaluates the contributory factors which lead to chronic stress. Firstly discussing with the reader the problems individuals have in addressing their stress and what impact chronic stress has on us mentally, physically and socially. Her second stance is to provide the reader with strategies to address and deal with these issues, using her evidence basis approach – BREATHE model. Alongside her discussions on awareness, tackling negative assumptions amongst others, she gives us a number of exercises. These allow the reader to explore themselves and are an interactive component of the text. Bullock herself is accomplished in the fields of Psychology, Yoga and Mindfulness and the text certainly reflects her passion. She discusses the most basic human and animal physiological function of respiration in a completely novel way, giving us the raw physical basics as well as the strong mental power of the ‘breath’ and how it can be used to strength the relationship we have with ourselves and others. She analyses individual case studies which highlight different areas of stress and how these can affect individuals physically and mentally and how these effectively ruminate, manifest and become hardwired in our mental landscape, finally becoming habitual. Reference to these case studies reappear several times in the text and are cleverly used to support the reader’s appreciation for the arguments Bullock is making. These allow her to discuss technically the three fields of psychology, neuroscience and physiology. This book is quite dense and meaty to digest at some points. Despite the book being written a little like a research paper, I did thoroughly enjoy it. For anyone harbouring an interest in any of the above fields and their influence on how the breath can be used to manipulate our perspective on the world and develop our emotional trajectory on the world really should give this book their time and dedication, you will not be disappointed. Cathryn Wallace

Yoga Anatomy (2nd edition) Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews Human Kinetics, ISBN 978-1-4504-0024-4, £9.99 Yoga Anatomy was first published in 2007 and has since become one of the top selling yoga books in the US. For this new edition, the original material has been completely reviewed and expanded to include additional sections on bandhas, the spine, intrinsic equilibrium and the analysis of asanas. At first glance, this book looks quite technical and very physiological in focus, with its detailed anatomical illustrations. This may put off a potential reader – it certainly didn’t encourage me to buy it when I first came across it a few years ago. But I’m very glad that I persevered with the second edition, because my first impressions were wrong. It’s not only a valuable anatomical reference book of great detail and rigour, but a thought-

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Yoga SCOTLAND provoking exploration of how the key concepts of yoga are manifested within our bodies. The book comprises two distinct sections. The first part is an overview of anatomy within the context of yoga including chapters on breathing, the spine and the muscular and the skeletal system; the second part an illustrated analysis of the joint and muscular actions of over 60 asanas, including information on the effect of each asana on the breath as well as challenges that the pose might present. Its authors’ intention is to present the details of anatomy that are most of value to people involved in yoga – both students and teachers. The key premise is that yoga is about getting at something deep inside of our selves – the ‘true self’ – and that this deep journey is not so much a mystical journey, as a physical journey, to a truly embodied experience of spirituality as the animating and vital force manifest through the breath. Though the book is firmly rooted in the physical experience and processes of yoga, it’s also a profound exploration of the philosophical concepts of yoga in the context of the body’s anatomy. The authors stress that an asana is not an exercise for strengthening a muscle or muscle group, but instead, ‘a container for an experience’, a place where we ‘choose to pause in the continually flowing movement of life’. The second part of the book, providing detailed analysis of asanas, is fascinating and led me to experience some familiar asanas quite differently as a result of a deeper understanding of the anatomical actions involved. However, for me, the most powerful insights came from the first section. I would encourage any reader who struggles with the more esoteric concepts of yoga to read this very grounded explanation of how the concepts of prana and apana and sthira and sukha are fundamental to every aspect of the body, from the cell, to muscle function, to the complex dynamics of the spine. The chapter on breathing provides a compelling analysis of how the universe does indeed ‘breathe us’ through the dynamics of relative air pressures. Yoga Anatomy is not a swift read and requires some concentration. But what rewarding reading it provides – in terms of knowledge and understanding, as well as the addition of a whole new dimension to yoga practice. Kerry Riddell

Yoga for Athletes by Ryanne Cunningham. Pub. Human Kinetics. ISBN 978-1-4925-2261-4. $21.95 This is not a book that will appeal to every yoga practitioner. Its focus, on yoga as a means of maximising athletic performance, is revealed by statements like – “The human body is strong and is capable of being pushed much further than one can imagine,“ and by chapter headings like “High Intensity Training: Function and Power.“ Having said that, this is an

extremely useful book, especially for teachers who work with students who are sports men or women. Lavishly illustrated with high quality photographs, the text gives detailed descriptions of postures and the major muscle groups involved in each stretch. Yoga for Athletes goes into detail on stretches that can improve performance, reduce injury and maximize training for a variety of different sportspeople. The importance of the breath is stressed in a brief section – again mainly in terms of improving performance, and there is a good but simple section on meditation and advice on visualisation, specifically designed to achieve success for athletes. The author is a certified Power Yoga for Sports teacher and an advanced massage therapist. He has worked with a number of athletes including American football players, and the book is peppered with testimonials from a range of different professional sports people. Part 1: The Athletic Benefits of Yoga, has a comprehensive list of warm up exercises, spinal stretches, sun salutations and postures for hips, legs quadriceps and hamstrings. Part 2: Poses for Sport-specific Performance, contains sequences designed for athletes from runners, footballers and cyclists to tennis players, swimmers and golfers. If your students include folk who are serious about their sport, then it is an invaluable source of techniques to aid muscle recovery, prevent injury and reduce stress and tension. I found it a very useful aid in teaching a class of triathletes, ultra-runners and cyclists, with concepts they related to and stretches tailored to their specific needs Norman Boyle

The Art of Breathing. The secret to living mindfully. Just don’t breathe a word of it By Dr Danny Penman. Pub. Harper & Collins 2016 £7.99 ISBN ....978-0-008-20661-1 This short book by Dr Danny Penman, Co-author of Finding Peace in a Frantic World is a secular light touch introduction to Mindfulness. It covers the main mindfulness concepts of being in the moment, accepting yourself with all your faults and treating yourself with kindness, empathy and compassion. The book is easily accessible and well laid out with a mixture of text and illustrations. Often, many different fonts are used on the same page along with numerous illustrations which may distract some readers from the concepts the writer is attempting to convey. This book is likely to appeal to those who enjoy a magazine style of writing rather than a traditional text. I did enjoy reading this short book which successfully blends the psychology associated with mindfulness with short simple meditation practices. Tina Gibson


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The Yogic Cook remaining tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of fig vinegar. Can be eaten immediately or will keep well for later.

Impossible Pie This is another really easy and amazing recipe. I usually make it with rice milk which gives it enough sweetness to avoid adding sugar. If you use ordinary milk you might want to add a little sugar. Makes 4 portions 4 eggs ½ cup plain flour (or gluten free flour works fine) 2 cups of milk or rice milk 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional) 1 cup of dessicated coconut 2 teaspoons of vanilla Blend all the ingredients in a blender for a few seconds. Pour into a 10” greased pie dish. Bake at 350F 180 C0 for about one hour – till the centre tests firm. The mixture will look messy and lumpy as you pour it into the dish, but then the magic happens. The flour settles to form a crust, the coconut forms the topping and the centre becomes an egg custard. Yummy!

Buckwheat with Feta Cheese and Kale This recipe is not only a good main course , but also quick and easy to prepare. Fig vinegar is delicious – you can get it quite cheaply on line – it has a slight sweetness. The recipe might work with other types of vinegar with the addition of a little honey. And if you have never tasted kale roasted like this – you are in for a wonderful surprise! For 2 portions: 50 grams buckwheat 1 egg 30 grams feta cheese A good handful of chopped kale 1 tablespoon fig vinegar Chopped garlic Chopped cherry tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil Boil the egg for 7 minutes and leave to cool before shelling, and chopping. Drizzle the chopped kale with half the oil, chopped garlic and chopped tomatoes and roast in the oven @180 degrees for 15 minutes until the kale is crisp. Boil the buckwheat until cooked (about 10 minutes) in twice its quantity of water, uintil the water has been absorbed. Chop a few leaves of mint. Mix all the above ingredients together and garnish with the


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Successful OM Yoga Show in Glasgow by Carol Godridge

The OM Yoga Show came to Glasgow’s SECC in March for the second year running with thousands of people attending over the two days. The hall was packed with exhibitors displaying their wares – from myriad yoga classes and courses, yoga equipment, to chanting, Ayurvedic products, speciality foods and toiletries, retreats and clothes. There were over 50 workshops on offer too – the majority of them free – including two from Yoga Scotland, as well as from many other yoga traditions and studios. There was even a stand for bringing in your of yoga mats for recycling. Yogacycle uses the mats for homeless shelter, animal rescues and refugee camps. For more information go I was particularly pleased to see so many young people there queuing up for the many workshops offering a wide variety of yoga practices and experiences. I personally enjoyed the subtlety of Scaravelli yoga with Mark Aqua Viva and found the one on Myofascial Release for movement very interesting indeed. The aerial yoga workshops were a wonderful spectator opportunity and it did make we think that it must be very exhilarating to be able to hang upside down without any fear of losing one’s balance or (in my case) compressing my neck bones! I was delighted to meet Susan Johnson from Newcastle whose series of books Thirty Paths I bought many years ago and have used ever since. Kirtan Scotland’s Pop Up Temple in a tent was a joy too. I had a couple of sessions sitting in the tent, joining their exuberant mantra chanting. I even met the Kilted Yogi, Finlay Wilson! (see page 6). We’ll be hearing more of his work in Aberdeen with young people in the autumn issue. Many people stopped by the Yoga Scotland stand to talk about our work and training course and we gave out several hundred copies of the recent magazine and other promotional material people to interest potential students. I take my hat off to Joy, Val and Judi who spent all day manning the stall. Yvonne Davies also taught two lovely workshops under the Yoga Scotland banner. I’m not a great one for shopping of any kind but I have to say that, if you need any yoga clothes or equipment, it is well worth buying at the show as the prices are well below online or other retails prices. I replaced my lovely but broken yoga bag on the Yoga Mad stall for £12.50 and

found excellent quality mala beads (properly knotted and spaced) for £3 for my more advanced students. I also found my bought Indian ayurvedic soap and a beautiful orange throw with an OM in the centre for £10, for my yoga room wall. I enjoyed my day at the show, met many old friends and a good few new ones and talked to some very interesting people – as well as taking part in two workshops and spending half an hour singing my heart out. Do visit next year if you can.


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