what is yoga

Day 10 of 14 journaling my yoga practice of corpse pose

Today when I lay down in shavasana my left hip feels uncomfortable. I wait for a moment then move my left leg about to release the sensation. It softens and my right shoulder involuntarily ‘releases’ and drops a little closer to the ground. My stomach feels pulled together somehow- it’s a sensation I only feel in corpse pose – it’s completely comfortable and taut at the same time. A couple of moments later a sigh rises through my lungs and releases itself through my mouth. And another one. A few more moments pass and I almost fall asleep.
Upon reflection I’m struck by how quickly the body went from full-on prana- fuelled action to the relaxation of sleep.

Corpse Pose Day 1of 14


So I’ve just had a whim to journal and share my shavasana practice for the next 14 days. So here goes.

Today as soon as I lay down in shavasana I had an image of threads of gold surrounding me from above. This image came directly from a meditation I had had years ago. It always fascinates me when meditation images come back. The prior significance is present but augmented by today’s interpretation. The act of relaxing into shavasana immediately brought forward my internal vision. I find increasingly that my internal senses impinge on my external body-world reality. Often there is no separation between the two. So Shava allows Chit Shakti (the power of consciousness) to flow manifesting as internal, subtle senses.

 Shava + Shakti = Shiva
Shiva consciousness constantly acts in the body making continual change. Dissolving and creating cells, muscle, blood, bone, breath, sight . And here I lay suspended in threads of gold – an internal external surrender.

The Yoga of Relationships – join me at the British Yoga Festival


There’s more to yoga than doing postures, chanting ‘om’ and breathing deeply. Its a whole way of life. I love my formal yoga practice but I’ve always been more intrigued by yoga off the mat.

‘Yoga’ means union. I think the most important yoga is between your mind, heart and body. When all your bits are unified with each other you’re on track. I know that whenever I try to do something that’s a struggle for any part of me it fails. Life just works better when you are in ‘yoga’ with yourself.

Romantic relationships is the biggest and best opportunity to bring your mind, heart and body into harmonious union with each other. In fact, its the most important relationship skill because when you are in synch with yourself you can truly share yourself with your partner. You make decisions that are right for you, you communicate better, you don’t become needy. You even become more attractive – because being in synch with yourself gives you poise and confidence.

I’ll be teaching about all this in ‘Head, Heart and Hips: The Yoga of Relationships’
at the British Yoga Festival, Friday 5th December in London. Find out more here http://www.yogamagazine.com/the-yoga-of-relationships/

What does meditation actually feel like? Fizzy fun.


Yoga-meditation aims to change your state of awareness. The final aim of yoga is  ’the cessation of the arising of mind-waves’ (Patanjali, Yoga Sutras) Mind-waves being thoughts, memories or any mind activity.

A meditator experiences many different states of consciousness along the way.  There are various signs that your state of awareness is changing, and they seem to spring up when you least expect them.

One of these signs is a sense that the edges of your body are dissolving. It feels weird and fun at the same time. I feel it as a kind of fizziness – especially around my hands and arms. At other times it feels like my body has gone blurry, like I’m not sure where my skin ends and the air around me begins.

I don’t only feel it at the edges though. Sometimes its like the whole body has become less, well, bony. Less bony and less solid. More liquid-fluid. Like I’m floating in a liquidy sac.

Weird, fizzy fun.