Variety is the spice of yoga

Here’s a tricky conundrum: to improve in yoga asana we need to practise, practise, practise. Particularly with ones that we find challenging (which will vary, depending on the person), we’re unlikely to be able to physically manage them on the first attempt. Some asana might be achieved after only a few more attempts, others can…

Handmade toiletries

It can be very satisfying to create and then use your own handmade toiletries. I’d been thinking about attempting some for a while, and then came across some useful websites with tried and tested recipes. If, like me, you’ve tried all the natural/eco/vegan deodorants available (in the UK) for the last 20+ years and still…

Mindfulness in mental health awareness week

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK (11-17th May) and for 2015 the theme was ‘mindfulness’. People familiar with meditation and yoga may already know about mindfulness, especially as there has been quite a surge in interest in mindfulness in the media, in politics, in business etc in the last few years,…

Mindfulness for Health – a book review and reflections

The notion that mindfulness and meditation can help someone deal with pain and physical ill-health might, at first, sound unlikely. How can sitting thinking about something (or not thinking about things) reduce your pain? In ‘Mindfulness for Health: relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing‘, the two authors (Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman), both of…

Intelligent Yoga book review

Peter Blackaby‘s book Intelligent Yoga was long-awaited when it was published in late 2012, and here’s my long-awaited review! (Long-awaited by me, maybe not by anyone else!) Intelligent Yoga is a thoroughly enjoyable book to read and is an interesting mix of biology, anatomy, evolutionary theory, neuro-science, humanism, and of course yoga. But at no…

A minister for yoga and an international yoga day

Two recent news stories caught my eye, not only because they’re about yoga but because they are examples of positive news and of potential positive changes in society. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has created a new position of minister responsible for “Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy”. Shripad Naik, the new…