Day 7 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - Pranayama and Supported Poses

I woke up with yesterday's supported back bending class, radiating around my body - the combination of long stays with a relaxed diaphragm is a powerful one and although I love backbends and feel very comfortable in them, I can't remember the last time I consciously chose to stay and soften my diaphragm - it's a been a bit more haphazard than that, where if this action has happened spontaneously, then I might find myself staying. Nor do I think I've been to a class where I have done these poses for a long duration, repeatedly one after the other. It was a good lesson for me and bought into clear focus the further potential of these already much-loved poses - I felt a perfect balance of stimu

Day 6 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - Supported Backbends

Penultimate day of Abhi's teaching and today we focussed on supported backbends. She reminded us not to go all out in terms of strong muscular action at this time, we should not be doing unsupported urdhva dhanurasana, dwi pada viparita dandasana. Now is the time to use props to become comfortable and find an ease in the breath so that we can stay longer and receive the benefits of the poses more passively. Guruji used to stay in DPVD unsupported for 10 minutes, because he could BREATHE. For better immunity the adrenals should be stimulated without tiring the muscles. She told us "We are not here to just do more and more asanas, we want to improve our perception, our sensation in asanas. Pro

Day 5 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - The Breath

It was chilly and very breezy when I set out for my walk this morning, so I left my swimming gear at home and set off in boots and coat. I should have known better, as inevitably once I've walked up the very steep hill which is known locally as Blackwards Hill and then descended back down the Cotswold Way into the shelter of the valley, I always yearn to swim. I had to settle instead, for sitting with my feet in the stream, watching the play of light on the water and the lambs come down to drink. As I walked home to prepare this evening's lesson for my class, I refelected on how utterly cheering I find birdsong - it's a completely spontaneous, involuntary reaction that happens inside - I j

Day 4 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - Foward Bends 10th May

I started the day with an early pranayama class taught by Rajiv Chanchani, followed by my own practice, followed by Abhi's class - a lot of yoga! so only a little time to get down to the allotment in the chill of a grey windy day before a virtual Sunday dinner with my children, sisters and parents, all in our various homes eating and chatting together. It is gratifying to see how my parents, who are in their eighties, have got to grips with the technology so that we're now able to continue our tradition of Sunday dinner online, as if it's the most natural thing in the world. In class today we worked intensively on forward bends and explored the concept of ichhati the desire to do, the desir

Day 3 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - 9th May

Another beautiful Spring day today and different location for a swim. Apologies for camera angle, this is what happens if you give camera to a teenager! Much cooler weather tomorrow, so felt we should make the most of the sunshine today and lovely to be out in nature after Abhi's beautiful pranayama where she reminded us that our inner nature and the outer nature are all manifestations of the same Universal Energy. For those who are reading this that are unable to attend the intensive, I'll set the scene a little. It feels like a very intimate meeting with Abhi - kind of stripped down and maybe (on the first day at least) a little vulnerable and exposed. She is teaching from a bedroom at hom

Day 2 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive – 8th May

A wonderful sunny day in the UK today. Morning walk followed by icy cool lake swim and practice on the bank with the promise of Abhi's class to come home to. In years gone by, I strongly resisted the idea of an outside practice as I felt that being within four walls created a helpful containment of the energy. I imagined the energy dissipating into the air - a bit like when a choir sings outside, the sound gets lost. I have now discovered though, that practicing on the earth actually enhances the energy - rather than the energy disappearing into the sky, I get this wonderful grounding into the earth and I can reach much deeper into my practice with a far greater sense of connectness. On top

Day 1 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - 7th May 2020 Standing Poses

OK so I'm swapping pictures of India's crowded and colourful streets, for pictures of England's green and luscious countryside. This is a picture of the local lake where I swim and practice yoga on the bank most days, from April through to November. It's a haven for birdlife - a pair of kingfishers nest on the opposite bank and there are herons, egrets, a swan, moorhens, coots and at the moment, a brood of fluffy ducklings to endlessly gaze at. Over winter we also got a trio of cormorants who came to feed on the rich pickings as the lake has plentiful fish too. Today was the first day of Abhi's Zoom intensive, with over 1000 participants around the globe, but mainly in the US as IYNAUS are

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