The 5 Elements in Yoga and Ayurveda

The basic principles of The 5 Elements Everything in the universe is made up of the 5 elements. They are the base from which everything is formed. The building blocks of life. However; no one element is ever perceived in its pure state, instead every entity that exists in our cosmos is made up of a varying combination of the characteristics of the 5 elements. With the 5 elements we experience the crossover of Yoga with its sister science, Ayurveda. Both of these holistic practices interweave and merge in an act of balancing the characteristics of each element in our mental and physical being. UnderstandingRead More →

Yin yoga post trekking

Yoga for post trekking The other day when on holiday in Northern Spain I climbed the iconic mountain looking over Bilbao, Pagassari. Now being in pretty good shape; due to being a yoga instructor with an addiction to outdoor adventure sports, I shot up and down the mountain with relative ease in what amounted to a very enjoyable 4 hour trek. The problems started the next day when I woke up with extremely  stiff calves and what felt like the onset of shin splints that left me walking like a robot for the whole day. Kicking myself for swerving my post trek stretch out inRead More →

5 secret yoga poses that can be performed anywhere

Undercover yoga for the mild yogaholic! Isn’t it annoying how real life can get in the way of your yoga practice? The commute to work, being stuck in the office, the supermarket run and busy social lives, all get in the way of our precious time on the mat. Don’t you just wish that you could practice yoga everywhere some days, and whenever you needed it? Well with these 5 undercover yoga poses there’s no need to stop your favourite practice just because you can’t get to your mat. And the best thing is the unknowing Jo public will never even know what you’re upRead More →

Breakfast smoothie

In my job as a full time yoga teacher people often ask me how much I practice yoga, what other activities I do to stay in shape and what my diet is like. So as an observational post I’d like to share with you a log of my physical activity, meditation and diet over a 10 day period. Now I’m by no means a yoga purist, I’m not vegan (but do try to have vegan meals throughout the week) and I’m as partial to a glass of wine as the next person. And as you’ll see by my diary below I have a terrible weaknessRead More →

The perfect surf warm up! - the 5 Tibetan Rites

If you only do one land based activity before getting out in the ocean for a surf then do this! The only surf warm up you’ll ever need! The 5 Tibetan Rites The benefits of this ancient practice, which originates from a condensed daily yoga practice created by Tibetan monks over 2000 years ago, are touted as everything from the reduction of anxiety and stress, to reversing the aging process! As surfers though the main benefits of this mini spiritual workout that we’re interested in are: improvement of overall strength and flexibility, the strengthening of core and back muscles, improved respiration, oxygenating the blood stream,Read More →

Knees-chest-chin tutorial

Make vinyasa transitions between Plank and Cobra flow more fluidly with this Knees-chest-chin tutorial. An often challenging pose for beginners, this preparatory pose for Chaturanga dadasana is more about technique and alignment than actual strength to perform correctly. However an engaged core and a degree of shoulder stability gained through strengthening your supporting shoulder muscles, will help you make your way through this vinyasa yoga transition more gracefully Remember to keep those wings in by sliding your elbows along your ribs, which will in turn plug your shoulder blades down onto your back creating more stability when transitioning down to the floor and leaving you setRead More →

5 yoga poses for airport stopovers

Stretch it out on a long haul flight with these 5 yoga poses for airport stopovers Random flight times, passing through a variety of time zones and not knowing whether you’re eating breakfast at dinner time or the other way round! Long haul flying can be trying at the best of times and even more so if you add in a stopover in some far flung airport on route to your final destination. There are of course some basic measures that should be taken to ensure as comfortable a journey as possible; such as wearing loose comfortable clothing and drinking plenty of water. However thisRead More →

Yoga after knee replacement surgery

Yoga after knee replacement surgery Yoga can actually be a very useful tool in the rehabilitation process after knee replacement surgery. Carried out mindfully and with awareness of your limitations at any given point throughout the recovery period, yoga can help to minimise or even eliminate bad postural habits that you may have had prior to surgery and which may have even been a contributing factor to your knee problems. The range of motion in your knee will depend on various factors including: the range of motion you lost prior to surgery, how long ago the surgery was carried out, and if you’ve been followingRead More →

Chandra namaskar/Moon salutations A wonderful alternative to Sun Salutations, this slightly lesser known yoga sequence has a more grounding effect than its sun counterpart making it great for an evening practice. Working a lot with hip openers, which helps free built up emotional tension that is said to be stored in this area, this series of asanas is also great for toning the legs and glutes. This tutorial takes the first one slowly and then invites you to practice 2 more guided rounds in time with the flow of your breath. Don’t worry too much about your breath pattern, just let if flow freely withRead More →

How to do Downdog

The benefits of Downward facing dog Arguably the most well known yoga pose of non yoga practitioners, Downward facing dog is an important base pose that’s about so much more than just wagging your tail in the air. A full body stretch that creates space all the way up the back of your body releasing: your hamstrings, hips, thoracic spine (mid back), between your shoulder blades and even across your chest; this infamous pose is also an inversion and an entry level arm balance that precedes all of the challenging asanas that come under this heading. Added to this Downdog is also an important transitionalRead More →