For those of you who have not only being attending class but going one further and paying mindful attention to your practice you'll be aware Parsvottanasana has been on the schedule for a few weeks now...!!so to emphasis my new found love of this Asana, here's a bit more for you to work on at home  or even in the garden.

1. Stand at front of Mat,Tadasana, 2 blocks for support - judge the height of blocks for your body.
2.Come into Uttanasana, forward bend, hands on blocks and start awakening the legs/spine, really focusing on rolling your shoulders back and down, lenghtening the sternum away from the navel. Legs FIRM.
3.Step Left foot back, again the distance relevant to your mobility,keep hips level, legs straight,arms straight, spine on this, abide in the asana and find a way to create levelness and stability in the asana.
4. Remember to breath, lifting front of thighs, drawing outside edge of right hip bone back and left hip bone forward, keep bringing the shoulder blades down away from the neck, back of head in line with spine.
5. Firm that left leg, its' your anchor, press into the outer edge of left heel...use a blanket under heel if it doesn't reach the floor.Are the muscles on either side of the spine working? Do you feel aligned?
6. Relax the breath and be fully in your body, bend the front leg, step both feet together, return to Uttansana, pause before repeating on left side.

Finally - remember to enjoy it - do Adho Mukha Svanasana,( Downward Facing Dog)  before and after this Asana and feel the difference, in your hips, calves/hamstrings. It helps extend and open into these areas and helps develop balance.


Happy Easter to you all, No classes next week, back from monday16th April, Lets hope we can all remain as calm and serene as the Golden Rabbit above!! I'm walking the ' BARROW WAY' with Jess, 4 days, 25km per day, tent on back..she has been busy practising by walking quickly around the kitchen table!! Meanwhile, I've been experimenting with 'Chi Running', guess who'll be first past the finishing line each evening - watch this space. She also does yoga, so at least we can compare hamstring tightness and shoulder pain each day.

After the walk, 13/14/15th April,  I'll be Back in Dublin, with the DUBLIN IYENGAR YOGA INSTITUTE, who have organised for Bobby Clennell ( senior teacher based in New York to come and do a full on weekend workshop. I was at her this time last year and still use her notes...apparently we are doing some work on HANUMANASANA, other wise know as the splits - front guess that will be on the menu for classes after Easter!!  Bobby has a great Book, 'Yoga for Women', that I use frequently, she is also an artist and has illustrated all the pictures in her book, not only does it look beautiful, it is a fantastic book, and the sequences inside can be done by men as well!!

Well, once again, wishing you all a great Easter, looking forward to the break and a week away from Kerry, Computer and Phone as much as possible!! ( Although had a walk/run up the Gap of Dunloe this PM after class in Beaufort and thought isn't Kerry Beautiful, why leave it!!)

One last PS. Watched the 'Men of Arlington House' on RTE tonight, lived for a few years near it, and my  Housemate and Cousin, Sharon,  worked there, often called in, a great programme, very moving.
CARAGH LAKE, FEBRUARY 2012, Molly and a pair of lovebird Swans.

Here in Tuamgraney, at the EAST CLARE YOGA CENTRE, ( where Susanne Sturtton runs a beautiful yoga centre. There is a visiting teacher here this weekend, Julie Brown, Senior Iyeangar Teacher from Manchester, UK. Had a wonderful yoga session with her last night, worked on Standing Asanas, Trikonasana, Parsvakonasana to name but a few and found so many new areas once again that need 'tweaking', I liked her use of the word 'slicing' back the outer arms, outer calves, and outer knees - all will make sense when I regurgitate back to students in classes next week. She emphasised the importance of rolling the shoulders back as well, keeping that chest open - let the heart open.

It's not always about the physical aspects of working in an Asana, what happens in the mind directly effects whats happening in the body...the two are connected, when we focus the mind on the body, one hopes the mind will be tamed, yoga helps us build on this connection, nurture it and improve our lives both off and on the matt.

Returning again this morning for a  3 hour class, was up at 6.30 am (NOT normal for me) and had a beautiful walk overlooking Lough Derg - almost as stunning as Caragh Lake!! It is a lovely part of the country. Some of you have already met Susanne and I hope to have her back in Kerry again for a work shop in Killorglin, perhaps, June, before breaking up for the Summer.

Well, finally, some KARMA YOGA, I will be doing a clean up of CARAGH LAKE on 21ST APRIL, meeting at 10am - 11am. down on lake shore, I have green bags, gloves and some pick up sticks if anyone wants to pop along. Post comment here, or FACEBOOK ' yogainkerry',

Namaste, Bridget

Yoga Versues The Late Late Show.

Friday night, will I watch The Late Late and that Skinny gombeen or will I plan the class for tomorrow!! I was delighted with the turn out from last Saturdays class, Feb the 11th, 9  students turned up and the time seemed to disappear, it was 1pm before I checked the time and it seemed like we had just started, not sure the students felt the same however!! So, I have a few ideas for tomorrow, thanks to students suggestions, it's nice to have a few prompts to perhaps work on Asanas that may interest those who come that I may not think of otherwise doing.

I had another 'interesting' article sent to me from the Sunday Telegraph, 12 February, 2012, in relation to the negative side of yoga, believe it or not there are some, and rather than rejecting it outright and feeling wounded at something I love doing it is a well written article and well worth a read if anyone out there interested. In a nut shell, it discusses how yoga when not practiced, carefully and with good teachers one can sustain a  number of injuries, of which I would wholeheartedly agree. However, when we do any activity, one can sustain injuries, I think that's part of getting up in the morning. Some weakness can already exist in people and when we come to yoga, these can certainly be exacerbated, as they could be no matter what physical activity was undertaken.

Nonetheless, yoga, and the nature of certain asanas, can involve putting your body into many unnatural shapes, which many people find extremely challenging, especially if you spend the majority of your waking day sitting down, or even standing as many jobs require. Our Western hips become very tight, our Hamstrings and lower back, which make many Asanas, even basic ones difficult, painful and if not done with careful attention likely to injure us. As I frequently say, we should be careful not to let our 'ego' rule when we go on the mat. The real thing for me anyway is, not whether you can put your leg behind your ear, but whats really going on in the whole body, both  physically and mentally, and why push yourself if it's unpleasant.

Yoga is a huge lifetime of learning...only one part in the huge cog of life, it's up to each individual to take what they can from it's many benefits. Negativity exists in everything, when it raises it's head and how you deal with it is one of the cogs in life that needs constant oiling. When I practice I take a few risks every now and than, I don't always play it safe, I don't always listen to my common sence, I do ocassionally regret it the next day, and I say to myself, there you go, the 'ego' wins again..but I keep going back to the mat, and hopefully learning and changing as I do. Philosophy of Bridget!


This saturday the 11th Feb 2012, I will be leading a class in A FIT BODY GYM, Killorglin, 11.30am - 1pm - PAY WHAT YOU LIKE. I hope to run a few of these classes over the next few months as and when I'm around, as I am often away on yoga days myself or spending time in Cork, or just hiting the hills of Kerry when the weather gets a bit better. I had great news today - found my precious hiking boots that I had ' LOST' a year ago in the parents hot press...they turned up when we were clearing it out to get ready for the on the hills for today I think. Have a  good weekend and hope to see some of you on Saturday.
My Yoga Quote This week is : Yoga is not about self-improvement or making ourselves better, it is a process of deconstructing all the barriers we ourselves have erected that prevent us from having an authentic connection with ourselves and with the world.
Well, it's 2012, and I have finally decided that once a week I will write on my yoga in kerry, yoga blog, regardless of whether it is read or not...and maybe post a few photos, but I wonder waht is the advantage, and is a blog better than a facebook, account...well, lets see how it goes. Wish me blogger luck
I started this Blog roughly this time last year, and don't think I ever actually got around to using it, so here goes, I have a new website, thanks to Johanne Guillfoyle for doing it all for me, check it out I am hopless at computers so without her patience and support it would never be...I just have to use it now after all her effort. Again, I head off to India, Back to Rishikesh and a daily regime of yoga under the beady watchful eyes of Usha Devi!!! There will be no respite, I do love it there and find it challenging to keep up a full practice daily, but it allows me to be in an environemnt where all that happens is yoga. One can forget about the real world for a while and I'll be focusing a lot on my Supta Virasana and trying to get my lower Lumbar to broaden and not dip, the bane of my life. I will aslo start exploring the asanas for the next level in the Iyengar Certification, having got my Level 1 there in October 2010. If I'm really good, I may even post some Pictures ....all posts and comments welcome. I must try and get peoples emails and put a link on my face book as well I guess, The next step to modernising myself.
This time next week, I will be in Rishikesh, North India, for the begining of a 6 week stay at the home of yoga. I return annually to study under Usha Devi at Omgarananda Ganga Sedan ashram, Iyengar Yoga. Its a beautiful and fully equiped Iyengar studio right on the sacred river to Hindus the Ganges, amazing sunrise and sunset. The day starts early, persoanl practise from 7 - 11am, long breakfast, maybe a snooze, swim and plenty of sweet chai in the numerous tea shops. Back to the Centre before 6pm for a limber up before class from 6.00 - 7.30pm.

Usha has a strict style and ensures we all work to our maximum, showing us how far we can go in a pose and than taking us further. It is a challenge physically and mentally to maintain the 'activity' required in the asana, but progress is always made. Each evenign is finished with dinner and as Rishikesh is a pilgrim site for most hindus, there is no alcohol, meat or eggs available, and pretty much everywhere is closed by 10pm, which prevents late nigths, sore heads and lie ins. Its easy to be disciplined in place with few distractions!!I find the fact I get to do so much yoga 6 days a week a real luxury and don't miss any aspect of the western xmass. For me Rishikesh is a haven. I hope to keep updating this whilst away, but I warn you, it will be yoga yoga all the way.