Emma Lovell Yoga

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Monthly Archives March 2015

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” John Lennon


“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

This week’s classes are all about spring cleaning.  We’ll be rooting down to spring up, spending time twisting, balancing, and listening to how our feet communicate with our body.

Exploring balance

iyengar headstand

We’ve been exploring balance these last few weeks in class.  Here are some tips to help your balancing:

– Keep breathing!

– Keep the gaze soft but focused

– See if you can soften the pose, even if that just means releasing the back teeth.  Also, you’re allowed to move about in the pose- keeping the pose rigid and still will make it harder to balance.

– Keep it slow and work in stages- rather than rushing to get your arms above your head in vrksasana (tree pose), sort out the legs first and then maybe take the arms up when you feel steady.

– For standing balances start with some toe and ankle exercises (see post below on foot health) to warm-up and bring awareness to the feet.

– Have fun- it doesn’t matter if you fall out of the balance, just keep practicing!  Try balancing on different surfaces (yoga blocks or a scrunched up yoga mat are good), or changing your gaze to look up or to the side- notice the effect this has on the balance.


“I let it go. It’s like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.”

Joanne Harris, Five Quarters of the Orange


Ever wondered what ‘Namaste’ actually means and why we say it at the end of class?

This is a pretty good definition from Yoga Journal:

‘The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.

Definition of Namaste

Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Another interpretation I’ve come across is ‘the light in me recognises the light in you,’ basically meaning we are all one and the same; we are all connected.

Saying Namaste at the end of class also acknowledges and reconnects us with yoga’s roots, whatever kind of yoga you are teaching or studying.

Image from here



Take a bath

‘Our bodies spend their days dwelling between waking tension and sleeping peace.  It’s uncommon for them to reach equilibrium with our conscious mind, but in these rare respites when our intellect stops churning, we can begin to look, listen, feel, bask and relish in our immediate surroundings.  In the seeming weightlessness of water, the mind forgets its faculties and experiences what it is to simply be.’  Taken from ”The Solace of Soaking’ essay in Kinfolk magazine.


Images by Margaret Durow taken from here and here.