After practicing yoga for over thirty years down in the big smoke we felt called to move back into nature into an environment ideal to go deeper into the higher limbs of yoga practice. The Vedas suggest that when one comes to the middle of ones life (around 50) to change ones mode of life and spend more time on spiritual practice in nature. This mode of life is called vanaprashtha (forest dweller). This same mode of life is suggested in many yogic texts. We took that quite literally and live now on a mountaintop surrounded by ancient rainforest. Living in nature inspires our practice greatly, which we can then share when we come back into the cities to teach workshops or retreats.

This blog will give you updates of what we are currently working on and it will give us the opportunity to stay in contact with the many people and students we have worked with throughout the last few decades. Of course if you want to post any questions, your mountaintop yogis will do their best to answer them.

Janushirshasana the Key to Lotus and Baddhakonasana

In several of my books such as Yoga Meditation, I have written about the importance of having a good-quality meditation posture such as Padmasana, Siddhasana or similar. If you cannot sit comfortably chances are that discomfort will stop you from going deeper into spiritual insight. The key to most meditation postures is to be able to rotate the thighbones internally enough so that the knees are protected and the pelvis is sufficiently tilted anteriorly to keep the low-back lordotic, thus preventing low-back pain.

The Iliopsoas Myth

Yes myth… the myth is that iliopsoas is functionally one entity. Iliacus and psoas and two individual, unique and independent muscles that share the same insertion on our thigh bone. Their important origins are totally unrelated. Akin to partners sharing the same household they can work together to achieve certain outcomes and at the same time have unique qualities that they express totally independent of the other. As both are strong ‘characters’ with important roles to fulfill they sometimes run into trouble and hence the infamous reputation!

Heal Yourself – Reducing Stress on your Neck

Tune into Monica’s new YouTube channel ‘Heal Yourself’. This is a video to compliment her blog on ‘Saving Your Neck’ (link) and is an easy postural correction to apply both on and off the mat! It shows you how to down-regulate the SCM neck muscle to activate your deep stabilising muscles. This helps to correct a forward head carriage (computer head) and reduces the stress and wear and tear on your neck.

Back Bending (Urdhva Dhanurasana)

Urdhva Dhanurasana is one of the most rewarding and important postures, yet also one of the most complex. It is deeply rewarding as it assist in releasing emotional tension, physically manifesting as armor around the heart.

Low Back Pain & Spinal Stabilisation

I encounter many students who tell me they are nursing an old disc injury, which in some cases occurred ten or more years ago. Whether your back pain is recent, long-standing or reoccurring, spinal stabilisation is an important factor that needs to be addressed for complete healing to occur. If we look at the anatomy of the spine from cranium to sacrum we can count (and I just did) 150 articulations where movement can occur! As yogis we tend to focus on increasing range of motion in our joints, however, especially in the spine stability is of utmost importance! […]

Learning from Indigenous Nations and victory for the Sioux at Standing Rock (at least for now)

Our current disconnect with nature enables its exploitation and destruction. This disconnect truly began with the sky-religions’ placing of our spiritual aspiration first outside of the biosphere into heaven and then into nothingness/emptiness. From there the trajectory went to science, technology and industrialism and more recently into cyberspace and virtual reality …

Healing Yourself – Anterior Shoulder Pain

The most common shoulder problem I encounter in yogis is one that is often overlooked even by professional musculoskeletal therapists. It is the displacement of the tendon of the long head of the biceps brachii muscle from its bicipital groove. This usually causes pain at the front (anterior) of the shoulder, which sometimes radiates down the front of the arm even to the hand.

Yoga of Hatred versus Yoga of Love

Not untimely for our current global situation our humble Shalabhasana teaches us about the significance of the yoga of hatred (Krodha Yoga) and the yoga of love (Bhakti Yoga). Although sharing the same destination, they couldn’t be more different in regards to the type of passage that they provide. Both these yogas are the driving forces behind the main characters in India’s three great epics and tales, the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana, which although ancient stories contain characters all too similar to contemporary ones. For those of you who savor Indian myth, this is one of its spiciest legends and one of my favorites.

Mapping Out The Hand

As a student of Yoga my greatest teacher remains my own yoga practice. And the most important aspect of my practice is the awareness that I apply to it. For what is awareness but the light of consciousness, our innate intelligence, prana, the vital life force that animates and lovingly sustains us and all of life. It is from this space that I discovered my ‘Map of the Hand’ that brings awareness and life to all the muscles of the shoulder and connects our arms back into our spine.