Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog
Like most people, I became a yoga teacher because I love the practice. I love its impact on my physical and mental health and the way it benefits my students. I still love that.
However, I have become more and more aware of the need to include care of the environment in the way we manage our retreat here at Griffins Hill. We have always done that, but it feels more urgent than ever before. And all the guidance we need to take is contained in the Yoga Sutra, written by the sage Patanjali at least 1700 years ago.
Women often report pelvic floor problems after childbirth. But men have a pelvic floor too (of course) and sometimes it needs special attention in yoga.
My friend John, a regular guest at Griffins Hill, was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after his Easter holidays a year or two ago. John's a private person, but he kindly agreed for me to write about his experience so he could help other men who might be suffering in silence and might be inspired by his recovery.
The tricky question of the shoulder blades By Frank Jesse
A question that regularly comes up in class regards where to position the shoulder blades when the arms are raised over the head.
Students are often unclear what to do with their shoulder blades and mistakenly believe that they should pull them down to free up the neck.
By Frank Jesse
In 2015, the net was abuzz with the news: sitting too much is as bad for our health as smoking. A study conducted at Queen’s University Belfast and published last year found prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an early death.
The news went viral last year, which isn’t surprising; it’s an extraordinary idea when you think about it.
It caught my attention because there is strong relationship between yoga and sitting. The Sanskrit word, asana, means seat, for example.
By Frank Jesse
It’s not surprising that Iyengar yoga is known for its use of props such as blankets, block and bolsters. Using such props was one of many innovations Mr Iyengar bought to yoga practice. Using props is intrinsic to this system of yoga. However, the reasons for their use are often misunderstood.
Some students, especially those used to flowing styles of yoga, believe that props are hindrance to their practices. However Mr Iyengar developed their use to help students move more carefully into the pose without undue risk.
By Frank Jesse
Over 1700 years ago, the ancient Indian sage, Patanjali, listed the obstacles or impediments to developing a regular yoga practice in the yoga sutras, sutra 1.28: “disease, inertia, doubt, heedlessness, laziness, indiscipline of the senses, erroneous views, lack of perseverance and backsliding.”
Not much has changed. For a beginner student, and even some more experienced students, starting a home practice can be a challenge -- not knowing where or how to begin.
Having a special room or even a dedicated space where you will not be disturbed by the phone or other people will reduce distractions.