Thursday 12 March 2009

Yin yoga and chores

Over the last week I have taken some time to do some yin yoga in my studio. I found a yin yoga routine in an old Yoga Journal magazine. This was perfect for me. I lit some candles turned up the heating, and with mat, block and bolster I was ready. My back and hips have been aching from the household and garden chores I've been catching up on for the last two weeks. I haven't done much physical yoga except for a few stretches and twists.

Yin yoga is just a softer way of doing yoga. We perform the same poses as we normally do. In this case not the standing poses or flowing poses, but poses/asanas like forward bend in cobblers pose, Bhujangasana - cobra and the sphinx, Janu Sirsasana - head to knee pose and Upavista Konasana - wide legged forward stretch. Sometimes it is really enjoyable to take time in poses and just let go of the tenseness that the body automatically holds. The mind and the body work together. It finds the tension, you let it go, and then the body finds another area and you let that go and so on. And after a while you begin to relax and breathe and it feels so good.

Even if you do not practise yoga you can apply the same principles. For example when you are in the garden digging or bending over and you feel the tension building up in your shoulders, let the shoulders release away from the ears and take a moment to breathe, soften then admire what you have done, smile and continue when you are ready.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Pied Piper

I have had a couple of weeks off, giving me time to do cleaning, clear my filing, do masses of very satisfying cutting back in the garden and finally sort out the garage. It all takes time and it is very cleansing.

I went up to the Barbican in London with my son and I have to tell you about it. Street dancing - you've probably seen the odd lad do it (and dance lovers will have seen the film 'Step Up'). I did not really know what to expect but it was the most amazing dance to see on stage. The scene was an urban setting and they tell a gritty version of the Pied Piper. The dance is superbly choreographed Hip Hop and it was absolutely fantastic. The music was bassy and emotional, and the dancing was so brilliant. These dancers from Stratford are so fit and energetic and they danced with precision, in groups and singularly. The interpretation of movement to the music was astounding and we loved the use of other media to cleverly tell the story. The feel good factor was just huge. Everyone was elated. See it if you can and try and get central seats. It's only on until the 14th March.