The Search

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One yogi’s quest to try out different types of yoga I think that whether you like a certain type of yoga or not, depends on your personality and what you are trying to gain from it. People who want a work-out will likely gravitate towards a more active form of yoga than people might who want to be more relaxed. It’s all in personal preferences and goals. I also think that the teacher has a massive influence on whether you’ll like a type of yoga. If I am doing yoga with a teacher that I connect with, I am far more likely to enjoy that yoga style. What is even worse; if I am doing yoga with a yoga teacher I just really don’t have that connection with, I will likely not enjoy the yoga, and might blame it on the style of yoga. Yet, I am embarking on a personal quest: to try different types of yoga. I’m not doing this to find the style that suits me best. Instead I am doing it to share my experiences. There a few purposes to this. The most important one is to give you information about different styles of yoga, but with a bit more of a personal touch. I am also doing it to challenge myself; I’ve tried quite a few different yoga styles, but have not done classes in all styles (obviously). For this search, I will also try the styles of yoga that I’ve previously discarded because I didn’t think they’d suit me (outside of my comfort zone, anyone?).   The template The plan is to give a partly objective review of the style of yoga that I tried. I know this might be hard, as I might really like or dislike the particular style, and it’ll be hard to be objective. That’s why I have come up with a nice template to make sure my personal preferences don’t come into it too much – for at least part of the review. The template: Background information on the philosophy/what this yoga style is based on. What is the most defining characteristic of this type of yoga? What sets it apart from other styles? The experience itself; an overview of how the class went. Who do I think this type of yoga will suit/be good for? My personal preference: does it suit me? This search is an ongoing project, and I will add to it over time. I am not aiming to try a certain amount of styles before a certain date, but instead will try out classes if and when I feel like it or come across them. I hope you’ll enjoy The Search as much as...

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Massage Techniques for Headache Relief

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Ever have headaches that just drive you mad? Want to get some relief from the nagging pain? There are several easy-to-use massage techniques that can be really beneficial if you have a headache. You can apply these techniques to yourself, to someone else, or get someone else to apply them to you! Be aware that these techniques are not guaranteed if the headache is alcohol induced, and I would probably recommend against them if that were the case. While I did my best to make these instructions foolproof, please be careful about using these techniques. If you have any questions about them, don’t hesitate to comment and ask. There shouldn’t be any reason – apart from obvious ones like open wounds and/or swelling – that these techniques couldn’t be used on someone. If in doubt, consult a health professional.   1. Temple Your temple is the soft part of your head next to your eyes. As this is a very sensitive part of your face, you have to be careful and not press too hard. I often find that massaging my temples gives me quick relief, and my headaches tend to centre around my temples. The easiest way to work this area is by using your index and middle fingers together, and making small circles on your temples, using the pad of your finger (the soft fleshy part at the top of your finger). I recommend trying this on your own temples before massaging someone else. The pressure and positioning can be tricky to get right, and by practising on yourself first, you’re more likely to do it well on someone else.   2. Eyes I learned this move during my Thai massage training in Thailand, and it’s been a favourite of mine ever since. Again, although this is an easy technique, I would recommend attempting it on yourself before trying it on someone else, because it is hard to understand the amount of pressure that is needed. When performing this technique on someone else, use your index finger. When you’re trying it on yourself, use your thumbs instead. I will describe this as if you’re massaging someone else: Place your index finger in the upper inner corner of the person’s eyebrow – one index finger on the right, one on the left. Bend your finger and slowly pull up. Make sure your finger isn’t pressing into the eye, but instead resting close to the eyebrow. You should feel a bone underneath your fingers, and essentially it’ll feel as if you’re trying to lift this bone. The correct positioning of your finger is key here; you really want to place your finger in the upper inside corner of the...

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To be or not to be… Yoga Alliance

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For those of you not in the know; the Yoga Alliance (YA) is the international organisation sets standards and provides credentials that are the premier form of recognition for yoga teachers and yoga teacher-training programs (YTT). They accredit trainings so those who graduate from this training can register with the Yoga Alliance. The idea behind this is that students will know the teacher has had a decent training.   The other day, I noticed this article about the Yoga Alliance ( Reading the article and the opinions in the comments made me want to put something out there about this as well. I’ve heard arguments against the Yoga Alliance before, and I can see why some people are against it: there are hardly any rules to become accredited as a YTT (school) and therefore most people who graduate from a YTT can register with the YA, regardless of the level of their training.   The ridiculousness of it There is certainly something to say about the ridiculousness of this; if you don’t control the quality of the training, then how is a registration with the Yoga Alliance a mark of a good quality teacher? The YA portrays itself, and is often seen this way by (prospective) students, as a quality benchmark within the yoga world. If a yoga teacher is registered with the Yoga Alliance, it must mean that they are good teachers and have had a good quality YTT. Turns out, this isn’t true. As long as the YA doesn’t actually control or check the quality of the training, the YA registration is fairly meaningless.   I am registered Now if you would check my website, you would see that I am registered with the Yoga Alliance. Which brings me to my next point: while I agree with the general consensus that the YA’s registration –in its current form – isn’t worth that much, I also think that (prospective) students might see it as a valuable tool of choosing their yoga teacher. I am very confident that my YTT was of great quality and that if nothing else thanks to my training I will be able to keep my students – and myself – safe (which in my eyes is one of the most important jobs of a yoga teacher). Why would I not register, if it means something to my students? I can see why some people don’t want to register with the YA and why some think I’m being a hypocrite for registering with them; complaining about the process, and not doing anything about it.   One day I think my point is that I’d like to believe that one day, the Yoga Alliance will find...

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Am I a yogi?

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Am I a yogi? Ah, the age-old question! Not that the question in regards to being a yogi is that old, but more in terms of ‘when can you call yourself a…?’ [fill in the blank] Think about it; you write lots, every day, for hours. Would you call yourself a writer? Or you paint, would you call yourself a painter or an artist? What are the criteria for you to give yourself a name identifying yourself as part of a certain team as it were?   Deserving it Personally, I always feel I have to “deserve” to call myself by any of these names. ‘I write, but I haven’t been published, so I’m not a writer’ and so on. It’s obviously quite silly, and I think it says a lot about me. It took me quite a while to admit I was a yogi. Even after I did my yoga teacher training, I wouldn’t necessarily go around calling myself that – even in my head. So how come I am hesitant to use that label? It has nothing to do with any kind of judgement on my part about yogis, but more about my self-worth or my perception of myself. But these days are over. Why WOULDN’T I call myself a yogi? So I have decided for once and for all that I am a yogi! That there are no rules for when you can call yourself a yogi, that I would never frown upon someone else calling themselves a yogi, that I wouldn’t even flinch if someone who goes to a yoga class once a year calls themselves a yogi. Why would I accept these things from other people and not from myself? Unfortunately, I think I know the answer to this one, and it’s something that comes back to me time and again – and is, quite frankly, extremely tiring. It’s because the standards that I set for myself are far higher than the standards I would set for anyone else. I know I’m not the only one who does this, and I am sure I can’t be the only one who finds this tiring.   Standards Because let’s face it: if I hold people to a certain standard, wouldn’t I be held to a similar standard by other people? Shouldn’t I accept that it is okay if I hold myself to the same standard I hold other people? Yes. Yes, I should! So from here on in, I am calling myself a yogi. Because I feel like I’m allowed to, because I don’t think I should judge myself for it, because I wouldn’t expect anyone else to come up with rules which you have to...

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