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Why Shivasana is the Most Important Yoga Pose..


Shivasana or Savasana is so much more than a chill after class. It is often called the most important pose in yoga. Your yoga asana practice works your muscles, nervous system and glandular system. Shivasana is the time to allow you to integrate the energy from the exercises fully into your body.

Just like lifting weights at a gym to grow your biceps, placing controlled stress on your body allows it to develop a strength and endurance that allows you to cope with normal life.  However, if you do not rest and give the body time to integrate these changes, but instead jump straight into normal activity, you run the risk of a “over-training”, where essentially your nervous system and your neuromuscular system become too tightly wound and at don’t derive maximum benefit from your practice.  

Traditionally Shivasana lasts for up to half an hour.  In our busy western society, often it is rushed or not practiced at all. We can make the mistake of thinking because it looks easy we are not getting any benefit from it. This is of course a misapprehension.  In fact, Shivasana is considered to be the most difficult of all yoga poses to master, because complete relaxation of body and mind is incredibly difficult to achieve.

Who said this was easy?

If you need further convincing of the benefit of Shivasana you should know it lowers your blood pressure, alleviates stress and fatigue, rejuvinates your body and mind and helps you come into complete surrender to make place for peace and harmony.. Think of it as the cherry on the cake of your yoga practice.

Then get into your busy day.


New Retreat Date



Due to the snow we experienced here in Ireland I had to postpone the retreat which was scheduled for March. Happily a new date has been fixed.It will now be held on June 1st to 3rd 2018.

All details in the November blog post below remain the same for the new date.

Looking forward to it!

Lisnavagh in the snow

Restorative Yoga Retreat.


At Lisnavagh House , Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

2nd to 4th March 2018


Join me for a 2 night retreat in this beautiful historic house, nestled in the Irish countryside.

The weekend will be relaxing and renewing, A chance to nurture yourself with healthy food, rest, fresh air and gentle Kundalini yoga, meditations and Tibetan Bowl sound baths.

No previous yoga experience necessary! Just come with an open mind and a desire to relax and care for yourself.

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Each guest has their own individually styled bedroom, with historic views of the gardens and parkland or there is alternative accommodation in the stables courtyard adjacent to Lisnavagh House.

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Between the classes you can experience a multitude of delights as you unwind, curling up on the sofa with a good book by a big log fire in the oak paneled library, or taking a snooze in the blissful quiet of your bedroom, soaking in a luxurious bath with no time pressure, or sipping tea as you take in expansive views of the pleasure grounds. We will also make time for creative pursuits in the evenings creating our own Mandalas.

Nutrition, and eating with the seasons is an important part of the food ethos at Lisnavagh. Meals are vegetarian, made using fresh organic ingredients from the Walled Garden and local suppliers. All meals, organic breakfast, lunch and dinner are included for the duration of your stay. They are served  in front of the fire in the dining room at the large mahogany table. Homemade snacks are also available throughout the weekend, along with a selection of teas and coffee.


Pricing €395 to €495 per person for 2 nights all inclusive.

You won’t find televisions, radios, or minibars here. The unique and dramatically different bedrooms are tranquil and calm – ideal for sleeping well.

Colonels Room (four poster ensuite) €495 per person

Oak Room (four poster ensuite) €495 per person

Night Nursery (four poster own shower/bathroom) €465 per person

Butterfly Room (double own shower/bathroom) €465 per person

Yellow Room (twin own shower/bathroom) €465 per person

Sasha’s Room (double shared bathroom) €435 per person

Day Nursery (twin shared bathroom) €435 per person

Stable Bedroom ensuite in The Lisnavagh Courtyard €395 per person

10% Discount for shared rooms.

Please note that due to the nature of Lisnavagh House some of the bathrooms contain showers and some baths only. Some of the bedrooms are ensuite and some bathrooms are next door or across from the bedroom so as not to spoil the dimensions of the old style bedroom. Bathrobes and Voya natural products are provided in each bedroom.

Your booking will be confirmed with a non-refundable deposit of €100, with full payment required by February 2nd 2018.

For more information:


I look forward to hearing from you!

Sat nam


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“Poetry Surrounds Us” – Vincent van Gogh


Creative by Nature


“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. People are often unable to do anything, imprisoned as they are in I don’t know what kind of terrible, terrible, oh such terrible cage.  Do you know what makes the prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives.

If only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and…

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Why Kundalini Yogis Wear White & Cover Our Heads


It was great to see so many of you wearing white at Sundays workshop. I really feel it help raise our vibration! See this post for more on why white is worn for Kundalini Yoga.

The Approximate Yogi

Why do you wear all white?

Picture 207 from my teacher training on graduation day, taken by another student

I get this question often as a teacher of Kundalini Yoga. The answer is two-part: 1) Wearing the color white is supposed to expand your aura, since the color white is made up of all of the colors of the spectrum (also all of the chakras’ colors). Conversely, wearing black, which omits all of the colors of the spectrum, shrinks the aura. 2) Teachers of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan are required to wear white for reason #1, which sounds like a good reason to me.

Kundalini students can wear white to class as well. You may play around with the colors of the chakra system. For example, wearing white expands the aura, while wearing green projects the fourth, or heart chakra. (Read my series “Focus on the Chakras” under Categories…

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Inner Peace


 “Before enlightenment I was depressed. Now I continue to be depressed but there is a difference… I am not attached to it any more” – Antony de Mello

The topic of our Kundalini Yoga classes these past few weeks has been inner peace. Something we all desire. And it is simpler to achieve than you may think.

The greatest obstacle to finding inner peace is the belief that there is something wrong with our experience right now or with the way our life is. That is seems obvious, doesn’t it! As long as we are searching for an experience other than the one we have, we will never be content in this moment. “If only this was different… if only someone would change… then I could experience more peace.!”  My peace is dependent on something being different.












Inner peace does not come from self-improvement or changing the other, it comes from  acceptance.We are programmed with so many beliefs that we never stop to question.  For example “Feeling sad is a bad thing.” or “There is something wrong with being angry.” Who says so? A little voice in our head does. And the truth is that it is not the feeling of sadness that robs us of our peace …it is the little commentator that tells us something is wrong. The amazing thing is that we can experience sadness, depression, anxiety and feel completely peaceful. If there is no judgement, then what is the problem?

Peace is experienced when we allow everything to be as it is without resistance, when we learn to say Yes! to every experience. How do we achieve that? If you step out of yourself for a moment and objectively watch your own mind you will see what happens.

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Say you are feeling down for example. First you are aware of the feeling and then comes the commentary “This is bad.”, “Everybody seems to be OK except me.”, “What ‘s wrong with me” …

It’s not the feeling that is bad. It is the ‘story’ around the feeling that robs us of our inner peace.

It’s all about awareness

Becoming aware of the commentator creates space between ourselves and the commentary. When we watch the commentary objectively we are  less involved. Instead of “This is bad” we could say ” There is that  annoying little commentator again.. ”

Finding inner peace is not about changing any of the thoughts, feelings or emotions – that’s far too difficult!. but more about changing your relationship with your mind. What we understand, we become free of. This is a habit to cultivate, and takes constant awareness. But by understanding how suffering is caused, and cultivating acceptance we can become free of it.

Ashram Life.. Eat, Pray, Love it!


After a one and a half hour car journey through the palm forests and rubber plantations of Kerala, in southern India, I arrived at the Sivananda Ashram.

The Ashram is very clean and well run, and I was lucky to get a room on my own with a shower, luxury! I did have a room-mate for one night, as she was an exceptionally large spider, I put her out!
The wake up bell rings for morning Satsang at 5.10. We meditate and chant from 6 until 7.30. The roar of lions in the wildlife reserve accompany our morning chants. After, we have tea under the “tea tree”,followed by the 2 hour morning yoga class.

After brunch (a spicy vegetarian meal not a fry up!) We all have a job to do around the ashram (Karma Yoga). I was sure I would be cleaning the loos, but instead landed the enviable job of manning the internet room. After Karma Yoga there is a daily talk on interesting topics like Spirituality Yoga, diet and Ayurveda. Then, after this, a second 2 hour yoga class. Unfortunately, I sprained my foot a few days into my stay, on an early morning mountain hike. It was fabulous to see the sunrise high in the mountains but my yoga classes were off the menu for the rest of my time at the ashram. Luckily I had the wonderful company of Emily, who is staying in the ashram for several months. She had a very nasty infected bite.. so she was off yoga too. I can thank her for a night out in the local town, when I accompanied her to hospital to get treatment. (Not a place you would want to stay in!)

Getting back to the Ashram schedule. Our second and last meal of the day is at 7pm. It is a similar meal to brunch-eaten while sitting cross-legged on the floor of the large dinning hall- Most people eating Indian style, with their fingers.The food is excellent, but after a few days, I started to miss my morning porridge!

Evening Satsang is at 7- more chanting and meditating, and followed by a talk or film.
I love it at the ashram. I have met some great people. Its a simple life, in a warm climate, with interesting like-minded company.. who needs porridge!

The Ashram Dining Hall.

The Ashram Dining Hall.

Sun and Yoga in Goa.


After 10 days of sun, sea, fun and yoga in Mandrem Beach Goa. I am leaving for Kerala for 10 days at the Sivananda Ashram.
Goa was a welcome break after Kolkata. Just to reassure all those who supported Hope. No funds raised were used for this part of the trip! Yoga classes were Read the rest of this entry