New Year, Same Old Me

Why new year's resolutions deepen avidya (ignorance) New year, New you!So, as January is ticking along – how are your new year’s resolutions going? Suddenly on January first, after two weeks (or more!) of treats, tipples, and eating one serving too many of that tasty thing over there, suddenly we’re all transformed into saints who rise at the crack of dawn (ehh, actually it’s still dark – it’s the middle of winter!), eat only green foods, don’t touch a drop of alcohol, a gram of sugar, or a single carbohydrate. Oh yeah and we’re off social media, reading all those books on our list, going to yoga class every day and running 5k every morning too. right? https://open.spotify.com/track/53aFGAl0Vebwp2bo8wtdWR With…

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How Yoga can Benefit Your Training (and your Life!)

No matter what kind of healthy lifestyle you keep, yoga is a wonderful practice to include in your routine. An excellent way to improve strength and fitness in its own right, it acts as a great complement to any other kind of exercise you are doing, from running to weight lifting to rock climbing or martial arts. If you’ve never done yoga before it can seem a bit bamboozling but fear not! I am here to demystify this centuries-old wellbeing system and show how it can be perfectly relevant here in the 21st century. Yoga is designed as a holistic system to make your entire body work better, and more than that it deepens the connection between your…

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108 sun salutations – the essence of yoga

This weekend I participated for the first time in Merchant City Yoga's annual charity event, 108 sun salutations to raise money for Yogability, a beautiful charity that brings yoga practice to children and adults with special needs. 108 sun salutations is a fairly common practice for special occasions - charity events, international yoga day.. but I've never done it before. To say I was looking forward to it wouldn't be completely accurate - certainly, I was excited about participating in a beautiful community event - but I did have some apprehensions about how physically arduous and even monotonous it might be. In the end the 108 sun salutations turned out to be a remarkable experience that I can't…

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Winter Light

Today is the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year. It's a holiday by and large ignored by most of society because of the fast approaching behemoth of CHRISTMAS and it's a real shame because this is a beautiful occasion, a turning point in the seasonal calendar. This is the day when the night is longest - darkness descends like a velvet cloak wrapped around the sky, and especially in our northern latitudes we see the light only for a few hours.UGH it can feel oppressive! This is the very reason why every culture has a winter holiday that brings the light to the unremitting darkness of mid-December. Diwali, Hannukah, Yule or Christmas - we all…

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The World is Too Big; on perfectionism, disappointment, and chaos.

It’s my birthday next week. Since I was wee my birthday has always been a big deal for me and even though I’m creeping through my thirties now, I still look forward to it like a small child. Every year I inevitably make a huge effort to plan the most perfect day ever. This year, even since January, I planned to go to Berlin for the weekend.Alas the way things have turned out, this is not to be.  However since I am thankfully not 5 years old but 32 (and 359 days!) instead of getting distraught about my crushed dreams, I have used this as an opportunity to ponder the largeness of the world and how our best…

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Are Selfies Yogic?

A while ago I noticed myself posting more selfies than usual - and I started to wonder what that was all about. I have always had mixed feelings about selfies, as something self-indulgent and something that you maybe do, but only secretly! It wouldn't usually occur to me to post them - after all it's 'just my face'.  But then after some recent conversations with friends about the value of selfies I started to reflect on whether they are actually all that bad, and if they can in fact be useful..  Two inspiring ladies have recently been starting interesting conversations about selfies - my sister, a professor at Boston University, who asked her students to take a selfie with…

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Autumn coming – reap what you sow

Autumn is the time of harvests - the summer heat has been filling the earth up for the last few joyful months, and now the sunny days are winding in on themselves and the days are growing chilly, but the end of the heat gives us something else - summer days are over but instead we are rewarded with the abundance produced by the earth. This abundance doesn't appear out of nowhere - the amazing fruits produced are the direct result of the carefully planted seeds, the hours and hours of absorbing sunlight, and patience of letting the growing magic happen.   View this post on Instagram Love love love this time of year! When the garden provides...…

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Sun Salutation C

https://youtu.be/Wf7cr1LLcawAlmost every yoga class has some variation on the sun salutation, and for very good reason. It's not just a 'warm up' - although it does raise your heart rate and through the spinal flexion and extension builds heat throughout the body. Sun salutations contain so many of the foundational movements that come throughout the yoga practice - strengthening the shoulders, opening the pelvis, stretching the legs, working the core, opening the chest, building the foundation of the hands and feet..Not only that, the sun salutations teach us to link breath to movement - inhale look up, exhale fold, inhale extend, exhale step back... When we are so connected to our breathing our bodies and minds come into sync,…

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Late Summer Vegan Quiche

Quiche was one of my favourite foods before I became vegan. When I was wee family daytrips were inevitably fuelled by quiche eaten straight out the box in the car. When I moved to Russia this dish was yet unheardof and so I taught myself how to make it - turns out quite easy. You'd think that for a vegan, a dish made of butter, eggs, cream, and cheese would have to remain a thing of childhood memories.. But no! Some clever blending and flavouring and lo, your summertime quiche dreams can easily come true.  When it comes to eggs in the form of scrambles, omelettes, quiches, the magic ingredient is chickpea (gram) flour. Full of protein and with…

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Parkasana #2, late summer vibes

How lucky we were today to have a break from the Glasgow drizzle, so that we could have our last summer hurrah, 'parkasana', the yoga picnic.  https://youtu.be/fXjbY_UeLuk The last picnic we had was in the middle of July, spirits were high, we were jumping back from bakasana and leaping about all over the place! But late summer is a different pace. The days are getting shorter, the kids are already going back to school - it calls for a different kind of practice.  Clearly with energies slightly lower we want a less crazy vigorous practice, but there are other nice things that we can pay attention to.  In mid to late August we already start to see harvests…

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