Yoga: Skill Over Speed

Every now and then articles are published by mainstream media outlets which warn against the dangers of yoga. This article cites a study by the University of Sydney, which used a questionnaire to find out how many people suffer from musculoskeletal pain as a result of their yoga practice. And this article uses the same […]

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Drawing Meditation: Mandala-making and mindful doodling

Circular symbols exist around the world as part of different cosmologies and religions. They’re often used to represent the universe, the infinite, wholeness. They’re used in serious ways and lighthearted ways, and not exclusively in religious ways. A couple of months ago I was going through some boxes of my old things at my parents’ […]

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On Sangha

Yoga texts old and new talk about sangha, and sat-sangha. Sangha is community, or an assembly of people, and sat-sangha (which is a term often to describe a gathering of people coming together to discuss life and philosophy and yoga) means ‘good company’. Yoga and yogis emphasise the importance of building and looking after your […]

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Yogaskrit at Colourfest 2017

Sunshine in a field; yogaskrit in a tent. The first weekend of this month was Colourfest – a festival of yoga and good feels, in Dorset. I had the pleasure of leading a workshop based on the stuff I’ve been writing about here – a bit of phenomenological anthropology, some asana and meditation, yoga mythology […]

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Niyama in Yoga and Art: Saucha

I’ve been thinking and writing lately about Yama and Niyama: two of the eight limbs of yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. They’re sort of like a yogic blueprint for connecting with the self, the universe and everything – guidelines for how to live well. Loosely, the Yama are about how we interact with things external […]

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Losing It (and getting it back)

Everyone I know loses touch with their practice sometimes. Their yoga practice or their art practice, or their practice in any other form. The thing that makes them feel complete. Life gets busy or hard, or both; distractions become more appealing than discipline; and sometimes they genuinely need a break, to unhook the weight of […]

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Oxygen and Art: breathing practice for creativity 


The breath is the deep inquirer, a practitioner in its own right. Sensitive or powerful, quiet or voluminous, the breath awakens the depth body and leads us towards an unknown experience. (Stirk 2015: 69) Of all of the elements that make up a yoga practice, the breath is perhaps the most important. It’s the thread […]

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Epilepsy, Yoga and the Creative Brain

Brains. We’re all working with brains. I started to write this at the beginning of this year, for Purple Day (international epilepsy awareness day), but I gave up because it felt too personal. And I have written a little about this before, but that was for a popular yoga blog and their editors sort of…edited […]

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Inspiration Pauses and the Unworrying Work of Yoga

“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: “Fool!” said my muse to me, “look in thy heart, and write.” (Sidney 1591) ‘Writer’s block’ is one of those phrases that people argue about a lot; debated and often disregarded, plenty of people – writers included – don’t like it, or don’t believe in it. For […]

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When Yoga Gets Weird: cave art, consciousness and creativity

If you practise yoga for a while, you’re likely to find out that sometimes things come up that you weren’t expecting at all. Time and time again, fellow yoga students and teachers tell me about “this weird thing that happened” while they were in their zone, using their physical practice to work into the depths […]

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