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Author Archive: nikki

When Feeling Funky Has Nothing to do With James Brown…

Have you ever woken up in the morning and for no reason that you can fathom, felt a little funky and blah?

This happened to me a few weeks ago and although I can’t put my finger on anything tangible – because nothing actually changed or happened to me personally, “funkyness”, like inexplicable, physical pain, can sometimes seem to come out of nowhere. It’s almost like that one tiny, extra grain of rice that somehow tipped the scales.

The feeling hasn’t entirely gone away, although it has ebbed and flowed and I am starting to feel clearer. I have, on and off, felt tired in my head, flat, sometimes foggy, a little tearful, anxious and easily irritated. It’s not serious, but something is amiss.

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Call Me a Party (Pie) Pooper But the Kids are NOT Alright…

My teacher was accompanying his four-year old daughter to a party when the birthday cake came out, an array of bright green, blue and other intense rainbow colours. Alarmed, he whispered to his daughter quietly that he had some organic mango in his pocket but he didn’t have enough for all the other children. How would she like to come and sit under the tree with him quietly and share it with him while they were busy? She loved mango, so willingly obliged. When they walked back to the group five or ten minutes later, the cake was gone. Mission accomplished.

However, the mother of the child whose birthday it was took umbrage and reacted angrily. She told my teacher he was cruel because, “it was only a “treat”. Cleverly, my teacher responded by suggesting that in maybe 10 years time, when the kids were around 14 or 15, perhaps they would have another party where he might offer the same kids some illegal drugs. After all he said, I could argue the same thing and say ” but It doesn’t happen all the time, it’s just a treat!”.

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The Vital Energy of Master Yang!

On the weekend of 7/8 February, a medium-sized group of natural health seekers came together to find out what they could do to improve their health and happiness. They wanted to understand in simple terms how best to prevent the onset of annoying pain conditions, injuries and chronic illnesses from arising during the course of their lives.

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Techniques to Work Towards a Press Handstand.

I never did think I would be able to do this – and sure, I still have work to do before I can float up effortlessly in the middle of a room, balance for five minutes while doing some upside down fancy things with my legs yet not fall backwards! But, I I can tell you that for most things like this, it is about 20% strength and about 80% technique. Most body builders – indeed most people – are naturally stronger than I am but hardly any body builders can do this. And that’s my point. The biggest clue I can offer you here is to stop thinking and tensing and start feeling and softening. One reason I hit the wall and it wasn’t so graceful in this clip was because I was explaining and thinking so that I could capture the moment on video. I have been teaching somebody who, when she relaxes, actually does float up (with my help). Over-thinking and desire to achieve however, suddenly turns her into a dead weight and then I cannot help and nothing happens.

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As Always, New Adventures Beckon – How Will You SPEND it in 2015?

Happy 2015 everyone and welcome to the next phase of life! The school holidays have gone very quickly – right now, there is only a week or so to go. Then it will be time to make time and begin the process of moving towards some of the goals many of us have put into place for this year. Personally, I am very excited to be able to share my completely overhauled website and logo with you. This beautifully designed and fresh looking site was put together by my friend and fellow yogini, Jennine Rouget of Peach Creative. Many of the gorgeous images were taken by Sophie-Elinor Brown, my partner, Nev Jones, Sally Dunwell (of Sally Dunwell Photography) with the not-quite-so-special probably snapped by Yours Truly!

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Calligraphy Sequence – Master Yang at YogaSphere

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet or to do a workshop with Master Yang, I do hope you can join us the first weekend in June this year for our third. Master Yang’s ancestors were martial artists who were specifically employed to protect some of the last emperors of China.  Master Yang […]

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We Were Meant to Ferment!

Yoga and ayurveda are ancient holistic health sciences. Although we don’t know exactly how old, there is some evidence suggesting things go as far back as 5000 years. The reason it is all still relevant is because what these ancients appeared to know was amazing. Ayurveda and yogic science have always maintained that every illness was an issue that had the guts at its source. And finally, (yet) slowly it seems, some of those involved in modern medicine are getting it.

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What do Physical Postures (Asanas) Have to do With Daily Life or Yoga?

Yoga is far more than just physical postures, but, generally, when we attend a yoga class, that is what we expect to learn and participate in. Yoga philosophy classes, while esoterically interesting, will never appeal to the majority of people who, at least initially, come to class for a bit of a work out. But, while the yoga purists might tut tut and mutter under their breath that asanas are virtually irrelevant, I absolutely beg to differ. Here are some of the reasons why:

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Defining “Asteya” – Non-Stealing

We all know that it is wrong to steal “stuff” – to take things that do not belong to us, to commit fraud or to plagiarise etc but there are other forms of stealing that are more relevant to the average person when it comes to observing the yamas and niyamas. When the class is relaxed, peaceful and quiet, it can be frustrating when someone’s phone rings or buzzes. It can affect the equanimity of the whole room if one person begins to shuffle around, sighing with boredom while everyone else is lying still in relaxation. Then there are those folk who seem to explode into a yoga room, often late and usually loudly, “stealing” others’ rights to some (often) rare quiet time.

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What is TAPAS?

I love tapas – and not just the delicious mini-meals you share with friends and family as part of a traditional Spanish-type dining experience – but the tapas that relates to yoga.

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