What is an Advanced Yoga Student?

We like to label and categorise things: male, female, young, old, overweight, underweight, fit, out-of-shape … the list goes on.  And so it is in yoga:  We have classes for ‘beginners’ and ‘advanced’ students.  But what does it really mean?  And do these labels mean the same thing for all students, studios and teachers?  Are […]

Why Having a Home Practice is a Good Idea

  We all know that fitting in a yoga class at a particular time, duration and location can be challenging.  Similarly, if we are traveling for work or pleasure our yoga practice can get short-changed.  While it is all too easy to just let the practice slip, developing a home practice can help you make […]

How much time should I dedicate to my yoga practice?

One of the most asked questions from students is “How often do I need to come to a class?” and a second (least asked, but most thought) question is “What should I do if I don’t feel like practicing?”  For the first question, the answers will vary depending on your circumstances (work, family, etc. commitments).  […]

I can’t touch my toes!

We can’t help it: it’s difficult to leave the ego, competitive nature or expectations at the door when coming to Yoga.  And although our brain tells us that it doesn’t matter what the person next to us is doing in class, we can’t help compare ourselves to that person or even the physical abilities of […]

Blocks, bolsters and straps – new-age yoga fad or means to a deeper yoga practice?

There is no doubt that foam blocks, non-slip sticky mats, bolsters, straps and yoga chairs were not part of the asana (postures) repertoire of the ancient yogis.  While most yoga practioners have happily accepted the advantage of good quality yoga mats, the opinions on whether to use other accessories (‘props’) during yoga practice vary.  Some […]

Being a Beginner – Again and Again

As we progress in our lives, we are less and less inclined to be referred to as a ‘beginner’.  We completed an education or learned a trade and after years on the lower scale of the pecking order, we like to consider ourselves an expert in at least one field (let it be a home-maker, […]

Thoughts for the New Year: Sankalpa

Did you make one, or many, or maybe have decided to forgo this year’s routine exercise of setting new year’s resolutions? While it is a worthwhile concept, most ‘resolutions’ are abandoned in the first month. One reason for such a short spell may be simply because such resolutions are based on re-enforcements of some negative […]

Ujjayi Breathing in Yoga Practice

“When the breath wanders, the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still.” (Hatha Yoga Pradikipa) Why is there such an emphasis on the importance of breath and particularly on ‘moving with the breath’ in yoga practice? The breath is our life energy (prana) and the in- […]