Emma Lovell Yoga

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Book recommendation

This book is beautifully written and a fascinating read.  One of the reviewers puts it best: ‘The Faraway Nearby is a masterpiece, about nothing less than the story (the myth, the fairy tale) we are living, about how we can step out of that story to become who we are, who we are meant to be.  This book is a gift- it will make your life larger.’ Nick Flynn

I love this quote from the book:

‘The leprosy specialist Paul Brand wrote, “Pain, along with its cousin touch, is distributed universally on the body, providing a sort of boundary of self”, but empathy, solidarity, allegiance- the nerves that run out into the world- expand the self beyond its physical bounds.’

One for the ladies…

‘As women, we have an omnipresent GPS-like system wired into our beings that offers daily mental, physical, and spiritual guidance.  It’s called the menstrual cycle, and it affects us all month long, not just during the few days of actual menstruation.  Yet, all fitness and diet programs ignore it, as our culture pretty much pretends it isn’t there.’ From the 28 days Lighter Diet


I’ve just finished reading this book and would recommend it for anyone wanting a healthier approach to, and better understanding of their monthly cycle.  Whether you want to lose weight or not, this book gives practical advice and plans on diet and exercise which work with, and not against what is going on in your body at each stage of your cycle.


Book recommendation

‘Touch is a reciprocal action, a gesture of exchange with the world.  To make an impression is also to receive one, and the soles of our feet, shaped by the surfaces they press upon, are landscapes themselves with their own worn channels and roving lines.  They perhaps most closely resemble the patterns of ridge and swirl revealed when a tide has ebbed over flat sand.’  Robert Macfarlane The Old Ways

Such a beautifully written book meditating on, among many things, the landscapes, tracks, and paths we hold within the body and mind, and those that the body physically travels by foot.


Raise your left arm into the air. Great. Now check and see if the shoulder joint also went into the air. Did it? Now, put the arm and the shoulder back down and raising your arm without taking your shoulder with it. How? By thinking “pull the left shoulder blade down as I lift my arm.” Why? Because arm movement should happen mostly at the shoulder joint and not so much between the shoulder and the neck. For better long-term shoulder health (and less neck tension) maintain those finer motor skills (look Mom, I can move JUST my arm), which keep the smaller muscles in the shoulder joint more mobile and well-circulating and reduces the pull on the vertebrae of the neck. How’d you do? Try the right side too!’  Katy Bowman, from blog post ‘Want Traps with that?’  Full article here

We’ve been fine tuning our arm and shoulder movement this week and trying to reduce neck tension in the process.  If you want to practice what we did in class at home then take a look at Katy Bowman’s ‘Alignment Snacks‘ which are roughly 20-30 minutes sessions on different areas of the body.  I recommend ‘Rhomboid Madness’ and ‘A Real Pain in the Neck’ if you want to repeat some of the exercises we did this week.

Also take a look at these two videos from Jill Miller’s Yoga Up®:

Finally here’s an interesting article on neck and head position to help avoid neck pain from Alignment Monkey.



Better movement

‘Move playfully, experimentally and curiously, with full attention on what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish.

Focus on movements that are the foundation for your movement health, and have a lot of carryover to many activities, as opposed to movements that are specific and don’t have carryover.

Move as much as you can without injury, pain or excess threat, wait for the body to adapt, and then move more next time.’

Todd Hargrove on how to ‘move better and feel better’ from A Guide to Better Movement.

Retreat recommendation

If you’re looking for a yoga retreat this summer, I recommend taking a look at  Soul Retreats set up by Laura Fisher Yoga.  The retreats are run both in the UK and abroad and aim to ‘bring people together to enjoy yoga, food and travel in one wonderful experience.’

I attend Laura’s yoga classes in Southampton and can thoroughly recommend her as a great teacher.   Laura has a wealth of experience and her classes are varied and fun, with something for everyone, regardless of experience level.   

If you want to deepen your yoga practice surrounded by beautiful scenery, amazing food and a great teacher, do take a look at the Soul Retreats website.

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