Thursday, 30 March 2017

Family Yoga class for happy feet

Family Yoga class for happy feet: Who doesn't want calm, confident, happy children who have the skills to cope with the endless activities of their week? Family Yoga is a lovely way for children, parents, grandparents or carers to spend time together improving their health and wellbeing. Come and join Regina's fun class on the lovely Dr. Seuss's famous The Foot Book.Family yoga classes promote physical health along with improving self-confidence, concentration and learning skills in a playful and funny way. The class ends with time to cuddle, snuggle and relax together, leaving you feeling energised, refreshed and connected as a family.
Children from 3-10 years old are very welcome. No experience is necessary. Children must be accompanied by an adult. £20 for the family

Yoga Mudras Workshop

Yoga Mudras Workshop: Mudra means a symbolic and magnetic seal made with hands or with the whole body.We have been using our hands and fingers for such a long time and in so many different ways to communicate, to express feelings and also to lead/support the body movement. Most of these hands movements are unconscious or automatic. In the ancient time, yogis of Tantric traditions perceived this and went deeper into the practice of mudras in order to understand it as well as harness and elevate energy through them. Come and learn about the magical power of the hands and fingers in your yoga practice. The aim is to help you to align, refine, develop and elevate your energy in the Spring with Mudras associated to the asana practice.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

About Naths and Patanjali Karmas… and ours too. 
Why yoga yoga is seen Today as asanas ?
Just a quick thought on how the Nath tribe (Goraskhanath and Matsyendranath being some of their great intellectuals) intention in “cleaning” Patanjali’s Asthanga Yoga from the current Buddhist and Jainist influences had a price and still does nowadays for all of us practitioners…

In the beginning of the XIX century Yoga re-surges in India with the great contribution of the Naths (something to talk about later …but Yoga became a hidden and occult practice there for a while after receiving a huge influence from the current traditions of the time).

The Naths wanted Yoga to get back to the Hindus roots and therefore they needed to divert the focus on the mind and on our true nature as an ultimate goal to the focus in the body as a vehicle to reach the mind and the true nature. It makes me think on how many footprints this intention left as a result of a historical time in which Hinduism should prevail again.You clear the philosophy, give a focus in the body…are we talking about Yoga in the XXI century in the West?

Had been Patanjali’s scientific/doctrinaire view of yoga a bit more firmer would we now been practising real yoga and not only asanas? If yamas and nyamas as they were had prevailed modern would yoga have had a new destiny? At the same time if the Naths haven’t enriched the yoga philosophy with their tantric approach, would we have the same access to the mysteries and power of Kundalini as do now?

What do you think?
Everything has got a price … and a karma…

Sobre o karma dos Nathas e de Patanjali… e o nosso tambem.
Por que Yoga e visto hoje como asanas ?
Apenas uma breve reflexao sobre o quanto a intencao dos Nathas de "limpar" o Asthanga Yoga de Patanjali das influencias jainistas e budisdas nos custou e tem custado...
No inicio do seculo XIX o Yoga resurge na India com a grande contribuicao dos Nathas (coisa pra se falar depois mas o Yoga se tornou uma pratica escondida e ovulta por la por um tempo depois de ter recebido uma massiva influencia das tradicoes da epoca).

Os Nathas queriam o Yoga de volta para a suas raizes Hinduista e , portanto, precisavam desviar o foco na mente e na natureza da mente como objetivo ultimo para o corpo como veiculo para alcancar a mente e a natureza da mente. Isso me faz pensar em quanto essa intencao, resultado de um periodo historico em que o Hisduismo tinha que prevalecer de novo, ate hoje deixa rastros.Voce tira a filosofia e da um foco no corpo…estamos falando de yoga no seculo XXI no Ocidente? 

Tivesse permanecido a visao cientifica/doutrinaria de Patanjali estariamos hoje de fato praticando yoga e nao meramente asanas? Teriam os yamas e nyamas prevalecido e dado um novo destino ao yoga moderno? Ao mesmo tempo, caso nao houvesse os Nathas enriquecido o yoga com sua abordagem tantrica, teriamos hoje o conhecimento dos misterios e poderes da kundalini?

O que acham?

Tudo tem seu preco...ou seu karma...

Saturday, 11 March 2017


Kurmasana or the tortoise pose has been described by 3 important old yoga books: Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and Rudra Yamala Uttaratantra. However not as it has been performed nowadays. According to the Uttaratantra, the pose starts with the retention of prana (life force)through pranayama, then carries on with the yogi opening and purifying his mind for him to be able to do samanasanan (not the pose but a long practice of reciting specific mantras). He sits in a very similar pose as in vajrasana( yes, the pose) however the top of the heel of one foot touches the anus and the other one touches the sexual organ. So it’s said that in this way the lingam rouse. Rather than the sexuality related to the lingam as we know, 3 stones rouse (yes, the book describes 3 stones or lingams inside our body, one on the bottom of the spine, other in the heart and another one in between the eyebrows).

Having said that I keep asking myself why modern masters such as Pattabhi Jois recreated the pose expressing the animal shape itself rather than just sticking with its original form? By the way it has happened before with other asanas...

However what surprises me more in my teacher Carlos Eduardo Barbosa 10th lesson on the mythology of the asanas are 5 points which I will describe here.

First of them is the fact that kurma comes from the root kr which is the root of the verb to do. Therefore might Kurma want to say DO IT?

Well, going deep in the water means sinking into our unconsciousness. The universe is represented by the ocean. We (meaning our temporarily egos or identities) are like waves that fluctuate over the ocean that is our true nature. The final destiny of any river is the ocean so of the waves. Does it mean this pose is an invitation for us to sink deeper into our inner world?

Kurma is also one of the forms of upa-prana or a sub-prana (life force) that generates the movement of opening and closing the eyes or the blinking. Does it mean in this pose the yogi has the perfect condition to open his eyes to the reality and see what is really true and close them for what is not?

The other aspect I love in his explanation is the one that sends me back to the manifestations of Vishnu in the Universe. It is said that the turtle is one of them, others being Krishna and Buda etc. So does it mean we are sent to a space where we should appreciate what is most stable, conserved, preserved, and protected inside ourselves which is what Vishnu represents, the conservation power in the Hindu trinity?

The other most obvious point about kurmasana is related to the pose as it is performed in the XX century as you see on my picture here. The heart being protected facing down in the same way our rib cage defends our heart inside our bodies. The heart is the centre!

There’s a great symbolism in the forms of the animals that inspire asanas. The turtle or tortoise goes deep into the oceans. What does it mean for us? Kurma or the turtle knows the occult, the invisible, subtle and profound in the world. However being a both terrestrial and maritime animal the turtle inside kurmasana has the potential to help us to connect with both worlds material and spiritual  too? So our Kurma has eyes wide open, intense appreciation and a solid and preserved shape that protects our hearts. Therefore we can truly see what goes beyond life and death. All of that in one special mythological sit, Kurmasana♡

Kurmasana ou a postura da tartaruga foi descrita por 3 importantes livros antigos do Yoga: Hatha Yoga PradipikaGheranda Samhita e Rudra Yamala Uttaratantra. Contudo nao como vem sendo executada modernamente.  De acordo com a Uttaratantra, a pose comeca com a retencao do prana no pranayama, segue com o yogui expandindo e purificando a sua mente para poder fazer o samanasanam ( nao a pose mas uma longa pratica de recitacao de mantras especificos) . Ele senta em uma posicao similar ao vajrasana mas com o calcanhar de um dos pes tocando o anus e do outro pe tocando o orgao sexual . Entao e dito que o lingam se eleva, nao o sexual, mas pedras ( o livro descreve  3 delas que temos no corpo, uma na base da coluna. outra no coracao e outra entre as sobrancelhas).

Tendo dito isso eu fico me perguntando por que mestres modernos como Patthabi Jois recriou a posicao expressando a forma do animal e nao se manteve a forma original ? Por sinal, isso aconteceu antes com outros asanas...

Contudo o que me surpreende mais na 10a licao do meu professor Carlos na mitologia dos asanas sao 5 pontos que descreverei aqui.

O primeiro deles e que Kurma comeca com o radical KR que e o mesmo do verbo fazer. Isso quer dizer que Kurma diz FACA? 

Bem, ir fundo na agua significa mergulhar profundo no nosso inconsciente. O universo e representado pelo oceano. Nos (quero dizer nossos egos e identidades temporarias) sao como ondas que flutuam no oceano, que por sua vez e a nossa verdadeira natureza. O destino final de qualquer rio e o oceano assim como as ondas. Isso significa que  a pose e um convite  para nos mergulharmos profundamente nosso mundo interior?

Kurma e tambem um tipo de upa-prana ou sub-prana que gera o movimento dos olhos ou o piscar de olhos. Isso significa que a nessa pose o yogui tem a perfeita condicao de abrir seus olhos para realidade e ve-la como realmente e fecha-los para o que nao e? 

O outro aspecto que adoro na sua explicacao e a que me remete de volta as manifestacoes de Vishnu no universo. E dito que a tartaruga e uma delas, outras sendo Krishna, Buda etc. Entao isso quer dizer que nos somos colocados em um espaco onde podemos apreciar o que e mais estavel, conservado, preservado e protegido dentro de nos mesmos assim como Vishnu representa o poder de conservar na Trindade Hindu?  

O outro mais obvio ponto sobre o kurmasana esta relacionado a pose como e executada no seculo XX como voce ve na minha foto. O coracao protegido apontado para baixo da mesma forma que nossa caixa toracica defende o coracao nos nossos corpos. O coracao e o centro!

Existe um gradioso simbolismo nas formas animais que inspiram os asanas. A tartaruga vai profundo dentro do  oceano. O que isso significa para nos? Kurma ou a tartaruga conhece o oculto, o invisivel, sutil e profundo do mundo.  Contudo sendo um animal terrestre e tambem maritimo, a  tartaruga dentro da pose kurmasana tem o potencial de nos ajudar a nos conectar como ambos os mundos material e espiritual tambem? E entao ela tem seus olhos bem abertos, intensa apreciacao e uma solida e preservada forma que protege o coracao. Assim podemos ver o que esta alem da vida e da morte. Tudo isso em um assento mitologico especial, o kurmasana!