Introducing Compassionate Yoga

One of the first questions people ask me before attending a class is ‘what style of yoga is it?’ Interestingly I will get this question from people who tell me they have never practised yoga before and have no idea what to expect. I find myself fascinated by the wider public perception of yoga and the general consensus around what it is.

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The Recovering Rationalist

‘no symphony, no painting, no poem, no art at all was ever reasoned into existence’

-Philip Pullman

 

I tend, these days, to jokingly refer to myself as a ‘recovering rationalist’ when I talk about what led me to become a yoga teacher. Often during this kind of discourse I see a knowing look or a nod to suggest that there is empathy to this idea. I also encounter many people who ‘just want to switch off’ as if they could flick a switch to quieten the inane chatter, the self-criticism or constant unsettling vigilance.

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I practised self compassion, and now I feel worse...

There's so much to say about the benefits of developing a conscious self-compassion practise that I feel it's really important to address something I encounter frequently as a teacher promoting mindfulness and self-compassion. This might take the form of a question like 'aren't I supposed to feel better?' or even when there are no words but a practise including directing compassion towards oneself leads to tears and profound sadness.

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To Chant or Not to Chant?

Recently a friend and fellow yoga teacher and I were discussing the issue of chanting Aum (Om) at the beginning and end of a yoga class.  During  this conversation I had the opportunity to discover why I feel very strongly that this is an important part of my class, more so than perhaps I'd consciously realised before.  Inspired by this I wanted to write a post that shares some of my feelings on this issue in way that hopefully demystifies the topic.

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Mindfulness for beginners part 2.

I decided to spilt this blog into two parts because I wanted to introduce the notion or the 'what' of mindfulness with out getting too much into the 'how.' Mindfulness is immediately available to everyone instantly and can also be a life long practise. Either way, there's really no rush. It is possible to practise mindfulness with literally anything, which might be overwhelming at first, so one of the best ways to begin a mindfulness practise is to keep it simple. So here's a simple meditation you may like to try at any time:

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Mindfulness for beginners part 1.

There is quite a bit of talk these days about mindfulness, especially as mindfulness as a practise is receiving clinical recognition and I've seen references of 'it' being brought into schools.  Some of the way mindfulness is talked about causes me some unease.  This is that discussed as if it's one thing - and we all know what that is, don't we?!

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