How Many Yogis Fit On One Mat?

Dear Yogis

I’m reading a book called Functional Anatomy of Yoga! Can you imagine! Thankfully, David Keil, the author, has a refreshing take on the subject. In describing the complexity of teaching yoga to countless types of body, mentality and emotion, he says that we show up on the mat with: our physical body, our genetic history, our Learned (copied) Parental Behavior, our ways-of-being and patterns-of-thought, our activities history from the sports we do (or don’t do!), our injury history, our nutritional history, our mental and emotional history, and, since this is yoga, our Karma and impressions from past lives. All of this arrives on the mat with us. Blimey!

Teachers see these things. It’s easy to spot someone back from holiday all healthy and happy. They hold their face up to the world like a sunflower. On the other hand, a yogi going through a stressful time might barely hear the instructions and stare into the mid-distance. Some yogis show the child that they were decades ago – a playful child or a heavily controlled child. The confidence that comes from being truly loved is beautiful to see. Lack of belief in oneself is in the posture. Depression makes it hard to look up. Constantly fighting with life is in the tension in the jaw. I’ve yet to spot a past life imprint. David Keil says that the point is “to see beyond the body” and see the whole person.

Movement is a way for us to know ourselves. Yoga can be a way to undo negative patterns and encourage positive and healing patterns. On the other hand, yoga can be the place where we ingrain damaging emotions and experiences. David Keil says of yoga practice: “Does it not bring up issues of our own determination? Doesn’t it reveal our negative or positive thought patterns? Can’t it even help us overcome the negative ones? The impact that regular physical practice has on the mind is huge”.

Home Studio

New Year new yogis are still making their way here; the 2019 fizz is still fizzing! There’s plenty of space next week – for now! You can see class availability on this website (which I update often).


There’s so much going on this weekend. First and foremost, my treasured teacher David Swenson IS IN EALING tomorrow, 23rd. The 9.45am class is his FUNdamentals workshop and,  in the afternoon at 2.15, is his Breath, Bandhas and Pranayama workshop. I can’t believe that I’ll miss it but I urge you to go. (I’m at Triyoga in Soho for Sarah Ramsden’s for Teaching Yoga in Sport.)

Also this weekend, Sri Dharma Mittra is here with ‘A Celebration of Yoga, Teaching and Liberation’ hosted by Indaba Studio and using Lords Cricket Ground. He’s a legend.

Yoga in the news

Time Out tells us that You can do yoga under a giant indoor moon at the Natural History Museum this summer. It’s a class that ‘promises to eclipse other classes! There’s full moon Kundalini yoga and gong bath (£26) on June 17, or the new moon yoga Nidra with a crystal sound bath (£26) on June 3.

The New Indian Express says UK's NHS to incorporate ayurveda, yoga soon. The article says that the NHS has begun consultations to prepare a roadmap to incorporate Ayurveda and yoga into the system and has a 10-year plan to promote traditional medicines. Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman, co-chair of the of the parliamentary group in charge of Indian traditional sciences, was in Kochi this week.