Saturday, 10 September 2016



This time a year ago, I was teaching up to 15 yoga classes a week. I was regularly at six different studios. If I’d stopped to consider this, it would have been surprising to me. I never, ever considered being a yoga teacher full time, long term. It was a temporary thing, something to get me by.

Three and a half years after I qualified as a yoga teacher, I am currently teaching two classes a week. I recently gave up the last of my studio classes and I have to admit it was a relief – I was tired. I have taken on a masters and an internship whilst in the midst of planning to get married. Something had to give, and when I give up the majority of my yoga classes, I knew immediately that I had done the right thing. The anxiety I had piled upon myself by overfilling my plate was instantly gone.

I probably should have stepped back from teaching some time ago, but I had become very attached to my students. When I let go of my teaching commitments, my main concern was not missing teaching yoga but losing the relationships I had built with the yogis who came to my classes on a regular basis. That was a tough sacrifice. Ultimately, however, I know full well that they will have a great experience practicing yoga with another teacher and just because I’m moving on to do other things with my life doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning them. And of course now I’ll have time to actually take and enjoy yoga classes for myself – when I’m not reading the twenty books I have to get through in first semester of my masters.


I’ll still be on the mat, just in another incarnation.



This time a year ago, I was teaching up to 15 yoga classes a week. I was regularly at six different studios. If I’d stopped to consider this, it would have been surprising to me. I never, ever considered being a yoga teacher full time, long term. It was a temporary thing, something to get me by.

Three and a half years after I qualified as a yoga teacher, I am currently teaching two classes a week. I recently gave up the last of my studio classes and I have to admit it was a relief – I was tired. I have taken on a masters and an internship whilst in the midst of planning to get married. Something had to give, and when I give up the majority of my yoga classes, I knew immediately that I had done the right thing. The anxiety I had piled upon myself by overfilling my plate was instantly gone.

I probably should have stepped back from teaching some time ago, but I had become very attached to my students. When I let go of my teaching commitments, my main concern was not missing teaching yoga but losing the relationships I had built with the yogis who came to my classes on a regular basis. That was a tough sacrifice. Ultimately, however, I know full well that they will have a great experience practicing yoga with another teacher and just because I’m moving on to do other things with my life doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning them. And of course now I’ll have time to actually take and enjoy yoga classes for myself – when I’m not reading the twenty books I have to get through in first semester of my masters.


I’ll still be on the mat, just in another incarnation.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

I’m currently teaching three to four yoga classes a day. I have been listening to all of my existing yoga playlists A LOT. Needless to say I am getting very, very bored of listening to the same music day in, day out. Hence a new list, with a whole lot of new music. There are bits and pieces of everything in this one. I never thought I’d have two Fatboy Slim tunes in one playlist, but there you go – the result of teaching a whole lot of heated power yoga in LA!



Hip, Hip, Hip – A Yoga Playlist 
                                           
Mars is No Fun – Camille
Ms. Ho – Onra
I’m Leaving – Mos Def
Oudiwa – Aiwa
Don’t Let the Man Get You Down – Fatboy Slim
Still Broke – Onra
Hanuman Chalisa – DJ Drez
Divas and Dunes – Aaron Zigman
Tatouage Bleu – Ben Onono
Words of Encouragement – Onra
Peanut Vendor – Anita O’Day
Mumtaz (DJ Drez Remix) – Bombay Dub Orchestra
Sunrise (DJ Thunda & K-20 Allstars Remix) – Afterlife
Shalom – Anima Sound System
Demons – Fatboy Slim
California Dreaming – Jose Feliciano
Krishna’s Dub – DJ Drez
Mumbai Theme Tune – A.R. Rahman



I’m currently teaching three to four yoga classes a day. I have been listening to all of my existing yoga playlists A LOT. Needless to say I am getting very, very bored of listening to the same music day in, day out. Hence a new list, with a whole lot of new music. There are bits and pieces of everything in this one. I never thought I’d have two Fatboy Slim tunes in one playlist, but there you go – the result of teaching a whole lot of heated power yoga in LA!



Hip, Hip, Hip – A Yoga Playlist 
                                           
Mars is No Fun – Camille
Ms. Ho – Onra
I’m Leaving – Mos Def
Oudiwa – Aiwa
Don’t Let the Man Get You Down – Fatboy Slim
Still Broke – Onra
Hanuman Chalisa – DJ Drez
Divas and Dunes – Aaron Zigman
Tatouage Bleu – Ben Onono
Words of Encouragement – Onra
Peanut Vendor – Anita O’Day
Mumtaz (DJ Drez Remix) – Bombay Dub Orchestra
Sunrise (DJ Thunda & K-20 Allstars Remix) – Afterlife
Shalom – Anima Sound System
Demons – Fatboy Slim
California Dreaming – Jose Feliciano
Krishna’s Dub – DJ Drez
Mumbai Theme Tune – A.R. Rahman



Tuesday, 14 June 2016


There are a lot of different ideas of what actually constitutes a Bound Lizard pose, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a binding of one hand and foot beneath the leading leg.
This one is a doozey! Do not attempt this first thing in your practice or whilst intoxicated. You need to be really, really warmed up, and you really do need to have a strong practice of hip openers already established. There are days when I can pull this one off after a few classes and other days it’s simply too strong for me.

First, find your regular lizard and place a block under the hip of your elongated leg. For the sake of an easy example, bring your right leg forward and place your hands inside your right foot for lizard. With your left knee grounded, place the block under your left hip. If possible, drop down onto your elbows. Lift your left foot towards your seat and loop your right arm under your right knee. Take hold of your left foot with your right hand. If it’s not in reach, you could loop a strap about your left foot and hold the strap in your right hand to assist.


For more advanced yogis who really have the gift of flexibility, you can abandon the block and strap, and reach back under the right knee to grasp the left food without the additional height for the left hip. It's not often that I encourage students to drop one hip to the floor in lizard, but in this circumstance it feels pretty damn good.


I told you – this one is a doozey. When you release the stretch you will feel like your femur has been wrenched out of your hip socket, but in the most fabulous releasing way. But remember, only to be attempted when very, very warmed up, and absolutely never after a few drinks. 


There are a lot of different ideas of what actually constitutes a Bound Lizard pose, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a binding of one hand and foot beneath the leading leg.
This one is a doozey! Do not attempt this first thing in your practice or whilst intoxicated. You need to be really, really warmed up, and you really do need to have a strong practice of hip openers already established. There are days when I can pull this one off after a few classes and other days it’s simply too strong for me.

First, find your regular lizard and place a block under the hip of your elongated leg. For the sake of an easy example, bring your right leg forward and place your hands inside your right foot for lizard. With your left knee grounded, place the block under your left hip. If possible, drop down onto your elbows. Lift your left foot towards your seat and loop your right arm under your right knee. Take hold of your left foot with your right hand. If it’s not in reach, you could loop a strap about your left foot and hold the strap in your right hand to assist.


For more advanced yogis who really have the gift of flexibility, you can abandon the block and strap, and reach back under the right knee to grasp the left food without the additional height for the left hip. It's not often that I encourage students to drop one hip to the floor in lizard, but in this circumstance it feels pretty damn good.


I told you – this one is a doozey. When you release the stretch you will feel like your femur has been wrenched out of your hip socket, but in the most fabulous releasing way. But remember, only to be attempted when very, very warmed up, and absolutely never after a few drinks. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


I love playing Bonobo in yoga classes. 
That is all. 


Black Sands – Bonobo
Downstream – Ribongia
A Walk – Tycho
Gold – Thelma Plum
Learning For Your Love – Marcus Marr & Chet Faker
Ma Jolie – Abd Al Malik
Plans – Birds of Tokyo
Small Planets – Dragon Baby
The Cello Song – The Piano Guys
The Sea is Calling (Acoustic) – The Temper Trap
Monster Vs Angel – WDL
Chasing Cars – Sleeping At Last
Don’t Panic – Clarity
Someone Like You – James Vincent McMorrow
Near Light – Olafur Arnalds



I love playing Bonobo in yoga classes. 
That is all. 


Black Sands – Bonobo
Downstream – Ribongia
A Walk – Tycho
Gold – Thelma Plum
Learning For Your Love – Marcus Marr & Chet Faker
Ma Jolie – Abd Al Malik
Plans – Birds of Tokyo
Small Planets – Dragon Baby
The Cello Song – The Piano Guys
The Sea is Calling (Acoustic) – The Temper Trap
Monster Vs Angel – WDL
Chasing Cars – Sleeping At Last
Don’t Panic – Clarity
Someone Like You – James Vincent McMorrow
Near Light – Olafur Arnalds


Sunday, 3 April 2016

I used to go hiking often with a girlfriend who, for the purpose of this post, we will refer to as THE PUNISHER. She loved doing the super-hard hikes in Los Angeles, like Paseo Miramar and Los Leones. She would storm on, fit as a fiddle, while I dragged behind calling out the usual complaints; “Are we there yet?”, or “I have a stitch! I’m dying!”, or even “You promised me lobster mac and cheese! When is this happening?!” 


Since THE PUNISHER moved back to London, my hiking schedule has fallen somewhat by the wayside and I have been trying recently to get back into the habit of heading out onto a trail a couple of times a week. Now that I have the shared responsibility of a very large, black and fluffy fur child, I have become interested in checking out as many dog-friendly hikes in LA as I can. This week’s new adventure was the East Sepulveda Fire Road (I know, super-sexy name) in Getty View Park which runs alongside the 405 as you head north into the Valley. 


This is a great hike for Angelenos who, like me, love the idea of hiking but resent the possibility of dying of dehydration and savage cramps on a lonely path in the Santa Monica Mountains. Three miles to the end of the trail and back, it’s a pretty easy hike to do in less than an hour, but it inclines enough all the way to the end that you’ll definitely get your sweat on if you’re not an Olympic athlete – or a Border Collie. 

Said fur baby loved this one because it’s currently covered in spring wild flowers and there are plenty of rocky outlooks to perch upon and sniff the wind. For humans, the hike has a great view of the Getty Centre and the ocean, as well as the Mountain Gate Country Club and a number of pretty amazing Bel Air mansions. It’s also really easy to get to – if you think that driving along the 405 constitutes an easy drive. Simply take the turn off the 405 at Moraga (just before the Getty if you’re driving north) and follow a short, winding road up the hill where there is a lot of free and unrestricted residential parking during the week – I’m guessing during the weekend you may have to compete a little more with residents and their guests.


Check out the Hikespeak page for more info and instructions. Take your fur baby, if you have one. 






I used to go hiking often with a girlfriend who, for the purpose of this post, we will refer to as THE PUNISHER. She loved doing the super-hard hikes in Los Angeles, like Paseo Miramar and Los Leones. She would storm on, fit as a fiddle, while I dragged behind calling out the usual complaints; “Are we there yet?”, or “I have a stitch! I’m dying!”, or even “You promised me lobster mac and cheese! When is this happening?!” 


Since THE PUNISHER moved back to London, my hiking schedule has fallen somewhat by the wayside and I have been trying recently to get back into the habit of heading out onto a trail a couple of times a week. Now that I have the shared responsibility of a very large, black and fluffy fur child, I have become interested in checking out as many dog-friendly hikes in LA as I can. This week’s new adventure was the East Sepulveda Fire Road (I know, super-sexy name) in Getty View Park which runs alongside the 405 as you head north into the Valley. 


This is a great hike for Angelenos who, like me, love the idea of hiking but resent the possibility of dying of dehydration and savage cramps on a lonely path in the Santa Monica Mountains. Three miles to the end of the trail and back, it’s a pretty easy hike to do in less than an hour, but it inclines enough all the way to the end that you’ll definitely get your sweat on if you’re not an Olympic athlete – or a Border Collie. 

Said fur baby loved this one because it’s currently covered in spring wild flowers and there are plenty of rocky outlooks to perch upon and sniff the wind. For humans, the hike has a great view of the Getty Centre and the ocean, as well as the Mountain Gate Country Club and a number of pretty amazing Bel Air mansions. It’s also really easy to get to – if you think that driving along the 405 constitutes an easy drive. Simply take the turn off the 405 at Moraga (just before the Getty if you’re driving north) and follow a short, winding road up the hill where there is a lot of free and unrestricted residential parking during the week – I’m guessing during the weekend you may have to compete a little more with residents and their guests.


Check out the Hikespeak page for more info and instructions. Take your fur baby, if you have one. 






Monday, 28 March 2016


Years ago, I went to the Isle of Wight festival with my friend Sam. It was the year the Rolling Stones headlined so everyone was super excited about being subjected to the Jagger Swagger, but I was more interested in seeing Paolo Nutini who, back then, was only 19 and a superstar in the UK after the release of his first album. What I distinctly remember about his performance was that, apart from being very, very good, he was very, very drunk. He was so drunk he could barely keep his eyes open. It was exceptionally entertaining. I had never really been that interested in Paolo after his first album, but recently came across the most wonderful cover he did of The Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down. It’s been on heavy rotation in class ever since.

This playlist is named Tired So Tired because I was so very tired of all of the music I had on rotation in class. 

Straumnes – Sigur Ros
Short Change Hero – the Heavy
Ishq Mush – BC Smith
My Guru – Dan the Automator
Welcome to Bombay – BC Smith
Lost – Coldplay
Time to Run – Lord Huron
Iguazu – Gustavo Santaolalla
All I Need – Radiohead
Staralfur – Sigur Ros
No Surprises – Regina Spektor
Don’t Let Me Down – Paolo Nutini
Solomon – Nathaniel Ratecliff
Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Part
All Right – Sigur Ros




Years ago, I went to the Isle of Wight festival with my friend Sam. It was the year the Rolling Stones headlined so everyone was super excited about being subjected to the Jagger Swagger, but I was more interested in seeing Paolo Nutini who, back then, was only 19 and a superstar in the UK after the release of his first album. What I distinctly remember about his performance was that, apart from being very, very good, he was very, very drunk. He was so drunk he could barely keep his eyes open. It was exceptionally entertaining. I had never really been that interested in Paolo after his first album, but recently came across the most wonderful cover he did of The Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down. It’s been on heavy rotation in class ever since.

This playlist is named Tired So Tired because I was so very tired of all of the music I had on rotation in class. 

Straumnes – Sigur Ros
Short Change Hero – the Heavy
Ishq Mush – BC Smith
My Guru – Dan the Automator
Welcome to Bombay – BC Smith
Lost – Coldplay
Time to Run – Lord Huron
Iguazu – Gustavo Santaolalla
All I Need – Radiohead
Staralfur – Sigur Ros
No Surprises – Regina Spektor
Don’t Let Me Down – Paolo Nutini
Solomon – Nathaniel Ratecliff
Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Part
All Right – Sigur Ros



Wednesday, 20 January 2016

(via)
One day after he passed away, I blasted a trusty old Bowie playlist during an evening class. Afterward, one of my students told me how much she had loved it and began to cry.

The power of music is phenomenal and, as I always argue, any emotion it generates within you has the potential to enhance your yoga practice. I’m not saying that Heroes or Diamond Dogs are always going to be appropriate for everyone during a class …but they’ve been a hit the past week.

Bowie's In Space

The Man Who Sold the Word – Vitamin String Quartet
Ashes to Ashes – David Bowie
China Girl – David Bowie
Starman – Milky Edwards & the Chamberlings
Diamond Dogs – Beck
Heroes – David Bowie
Sound and Vision – David Bowie
Queen Bitch – Seu Jorge
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
Sorrow – David Bowie
Rebel Rebel – Seu Jorge
Where Are We Now – David Bowie
Nature Boy – David Bowie & Massive Attack
Golden Years – James Murphy 


I haven't put a playlist on Soundcloud but I will share just one video from the list. I fell in love with Bowie thanks to Seu Jorge and Wes Anderson. This one is my favourite...


(via)
One day after he passed away, I blasted a trusty old Bowie playlist during an evening class. Afterward, one of my students told me how much she had loved it and began to cry.

The power of music is phenomenal and, as I always argue, any emotion it generates within you has the potential to enhance your yoga practice. I’m not saying that Heroes or Diamond Dogs are always going to be appropriate for everyone during a class …but they’ve been a hit the past week.

Bowie's In Space

The Man Who Sold the Word – Vitamin String Quartet
Ashes to Ashes – David Bowie
China Girl – David Bowie
Starman – Milky Edwards & the Chamberlings
Diamond Dogs – Beck
Heroes – David Bowie
Sound and Vision – David Bowie
Queen Bitch – Seu Jorge
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
Sorrow – David Bowie
Rebel Rebel – Seu Jorge
Where Are We Now – David Bowie
Nature Boy – David Bowie & Massive Attack
Golden Years – James Murphy 


I haven't put a playlist on Soundcloud but I will share just one video from the list. I fell in love with Bowie thanks to Seu Jorge and Wes Anderson. This one is my favourite...


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