On The Pull In Yoga

Dear Yogis

The shoulder workshop last weekend with Andy Gill shone a light on some incredibly obvious points but things I had never really considered. He said that many people come to yoga not as athletes or gymnasts but from sedentary lives. We come with muscle imbalance, tightness and weakness already in place. On top of this, we immediately rely on the shoulders to carry body weight in Downward Facing Dog, Chaturanga and arm balances. The shoulder structure is designed for incredible mobility, not enormous weight-bearing.

Some of you find Chaturanga totally elusive but it’s not really shoulder design at fault. Here’s why… we’re not working our muscles groups equally in our yoga practice. There’s plenty of push effort but no pull activity, like rowing or pull-ups, so perhaps we’re in the habit of only using half the muscles available to us. By chance, I found this piece about ‘Yoga’s Missing Nutrients’ and advising us to get a pull-up bar! Even just hanging is recommended. The upside-down rowing is doable – just about! (I just did four and a half (!) and you can probably hear my thumping, jumping heart!). The grip action will also strengthen wrists. And here’s a lovely demonstration from Yoga Journal on ‘Cross-training for Chaturanga’!  

Yoga Retreat

There are four full months to go before the need to pack starts nudging our consciousness. Please include your mat, a cork block and a yoga belt. I notice that Decathlon has some good prices. I’ll write to everyone this weekend to make sure you have your tickets and travel plans. And I’ll send out some information about Kapsali village where we will stay: about the people we will meet, alternative activities, tavernas and bars and, to top it all, a picture of the gorgeous infinity pool in our hotel! There’s two places left on my September 9th-16th retreat. You’re very welcome to come.

Home Studio

My lucky Home Studio welcomed more new yogis, more joy and laughter and some really lovely yoga practices. There are plenty of spaces next week. (There doesn’t seem to be any demand for the 6.00 Tuesday class so I might cancel it if no one needs it). See what’s available here. (I update this before posting this email.) You can book here.


May is a packed month for training. Join me on one or all of these. Kino MacGregor is doing a three-day Ashtanga immersion on May 5th-7th at Seymour Leisure Centre – a big venue to pack the numbers in. I have also signed up for AliceLovesYoga  on May 12th. She will teach Yoga with a small team of Reiki healers! Tickets here. At the end of May I’m flying out to Greece for the Ashtanga Workshop on Kythera with Kristina Karitinou. Please come!

Yoga in the news

Business.com has this great article: ‘Yoga in the Workplace: More Than a Wellness Fad’. Absolutely! The writer is a corporate lawyer who says ‘Beyond the physical benefits, we've witnessed a change in the day-to-day interactions around our offices. Collaboration has increased as listening skills and emotional intelligence play a more significant role. Company events often focus around fitness and competition rather than food. Employees are happier, office morale is consistently positive and retention rates have grown’.

The Telegraph gives us: ‘HIIT x Yoga: the rise of the mash-up fitness class’. The mash up combines yoga with Spinning or with High Intensity Interval Training. “Many people don’t want to sacrifice a ‘workout’ for a yoga class but the mash-up option offers a balance between functional strength and mobility and flexibility." Good Grief!

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