I am a yoga practitioner who by some strange quirk of karma has resided in england, virtually the whole of my life, apart from the first 8 years where I lived in africa, but that’s another story. I seem to have flitted around the midlands and north of the midlands of the UK until I found a home with the Mrs, in lancashire. Which is where I have lived for about 8 years. I love the down to earth realism and dry humour of my lancashire friends. I guess it helps that Mrs englishyogi is a lancashire lass. Her down to earth realism and good natured humour keep me rooted in the real world. I also love living in lancashire, there is a some beautiful countryside and the area is framed by even more beautiful countryside – to the north – Cumbria (the Lake District) and to the East – the Yorkshire Dales. Most of the time the englishyogi tends to be out tramping in the hills, fells and valleys around his home. Pretty much all of the time I spend practicing yoga and learning about yoga. This blog is my attempt to share my experiences and insights – and learn more from others too.
Who has influenced the englishyogi?
The first and foremost influence was my mum. She went to an adult education class when I was about 11 and came back and started sitting in wierd positions and chanting om. For a 9 or 10 year old that was pretty intriguing. I loved the names of the postures too. And was impressed that over the weeks and months that my mum practiced yoga, she became more flexible (in body and in mind)(but don’t tell her I said this!).
My mum followed the Green Goddess on TV for a while and I started to join her in her practice. Me, Mum and the Green Goddess.
When my mum stopped – I kept going. She had a few books which looked kind of mystical and esoteric. Of course they were the Upanishads! On and off I kept practicing and exploring.
There are days and sometimes months when I don’t get near the mat – but as I have got older (although not necessarily wiser); these are becoming fewer. I find that yoga is simply an essential part of me and my life and like my mum, it helps me remain flexible in body and in mind.
I have had some great english yoga teachers. Memorable and brilliant have been Cissy Harrison and Amarjyoti in Nottingham, Sheila Baker in Leicestershire. Marilyn Heginbotham in Denshaw near Oldham, Rosemary Board in the Ribble Valley, and Kit Hartley in Burnley.
Iyengar and Desikachar have profoundly influenced my practice. Through Paul Harvey I been privileged to have learnt from TKV Desikachar at a retreat. The Bihar School has also been a mainstay in my practice. More recently I have been influenced by the Mahanya Buddhists – a door that was opened by Geshe Michael Roach.
Mrs englishyogi says that yoga (in all its guises) makes me a better person.
I think she’s right.
Its a life long journey and for sure I have my good days and not so good days, but overall its a great journey and I hope you can share it along the way. Namaste