Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Uramuqui: November 3 – 6

March 5, 2017

Workshop in bargaining, China.


Lift your side ribs.


Lift your side ribs!


Side ribs long!!


In Sirsasana, to avoid flopping forward, pull up through your outer hips and thighs and navel back.


Supported Halasana – side ribs up!


My host, my translator Ming, and my minder Cerise, bargaining in the market place. I came home with a large hand carved wooden spoon.


The miniature horses of Uramuqui, China.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Latvia: April 15–17

July 31, 2016

Workshop at Yoga Center Shakti.


Urdhva Danurasana with hands supported on blocks: Turn your upper arms in. Press your hands into the blocks, and your feet into the floor and lift your pelvis and torso off the floor. Place the crown of your head on the floor. Firmly establish this preliminary phase of the posture: connect the heels-pressing-down action with the tailbone- lifting action; lift your shoulders up, and curve your back ribs in until your sternum bone faces the wall. Then, using your shoulder-blades and pelvis in equal measure, push up into the pose.


Urdhva Danurasana with the feet supported on blocks. Start with your feet on the blocks, crown of head on floor, and spread palms of hands pressed into the floor. Roll your elbows in, parallel with shoulders. Bring your knees to the wall. Firm your back ribs and shoulder-blades into your back to fully open the chest. Then, pressing your heels and hands down, push up into the pose.

Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral in Daugavpils is the largest Orthodox church in Latvia.

Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral in Daugavpils is the largest Orthodox church in Latvia.


Outside the Mark Rothko Art Center. Mark Rothko was born here in Daugavpils.

Mark Rothko painting

Mark Rothko painting.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Granada: April 8–10

July 13, 2016

Workshop at Yoga Estudio Granada in Spain.


Parivritta Sukasana at the wall. Before you rotate, first lift your front spine to the maximum.


This modification of Adho Mukha Svanasana with feet on blocks teaches us how to fold at the hips without rounding the back. Don’t be in a hurry to teach your body the language of Iyengar Yoga. It takes patience and persistent practice. Workshops give us an opportunity to work with partners.


Uttanasana with the head up, arms in Paschima Baddhanguliyasana, and chin supported. The helpers are not forcing the arms, just supporting.


Supported Janu Sirsasana with wall and bolster support. Align the center, mid line of the torso with the mid line of the head.


Sarvangasana with Chair Support. Pick up your shoulders and roll them back one-at-a-time and press your shoulder-blades into your back so that the breast bone comes to an upright position.


Granada is without a doubt, one of the prettiest places I have ever visited.


The local gypsies had traditionally lived in caves in the mountains surrounding Granada.


This spirited performance….


….was performed in a restaurant/theatre that was a renovated cave, dug deep into the rock.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Utrecht: April 1– 3

July 3, 2016

Workshop at iYoga Utrecht

Supta Padangustasana variation 2

Supta Padangusthasana 2, with one leg bent: To maintain an even weight on both sides of the pelvis and torso, and to extend the inner thigh muscles evenly, place a thinly folded blanket under the straight leg.

Urdva Mukha Svanasana

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Spread the fingers and press the hands down.Move the upper arms and shoulders back, and the inner elbows forward.

Parsva Sirsasana

Parivrttaikapada Sirsasana: without disturbing the central position of the head or the hands, twist the spine in the direction of the front leg. When turning to the right, hook the right shoulder-blade deep into the back.

The bicycle parking lot was overflowing.

The bicycle parking lots in the city were overflowing.

Hidden in the historical centre of Utrecht, the Saint Willibrord church (Willibrordkerk) figures as one of the concealed treasures of the city. It is an example of the best preserved neogothic churches of The Netherlands and its stunning ornamentation reflects a superb richness.

Hidden in the historical centre of Utrecht, and right next door to iYoga Utrect is the Saint Willibrordkerk church. Its rich ornamentation is stunning.

Decorative column in the Willibrordkerk.

Another decorative column in the Willibrordkerk.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Jakarta, February 2016

April 5, 2016

I taught a four day workshop in late February at Jakartadoyoga, Indonesia.


I’ve never seen so many students in a class get into Malasana II (Garland Pose) so quickly and so well. These students didn’t need any instructions – they just did it! But for the rest of us: keeping your feet together, bend your knees and lower your hips, coming into a squat. If your heels lift, support them on a folded blanket. Find your balance there for a few moments. Separate your thighs so they are slightly wider than your torso. Move your self forward until your armpits extend beyond the knees — your torso should fit in snugly. Join your hands in a salutation as you press your elbows against your inner knees and your shins into your armpits. Clasp your ankles. Fold forward taking your head to floor, close to your toes. To help keep the internal rotation of your thighs, thereby bringing them closer to the side ribs, press down through the inner heels. This pose brings relief for women who suffer from low back pain during menstruation.




Jakarta’s mascot is their version (in this context at least) of Micky Mouse and other cartoon characters on Times Square.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Guadalajara, Mexico

January 17, 2016

Workshop at Practica Yoga.


This student’s shoulder blade was completely “winged” out, causing her shoulder to roll forward.


Understanding the movement of the shoulder blade is important. My adjustment is providing her an imprint so she can remember how to press the inner edge of her shoulder blade in, and move the top of her upper arm back.


Another way of working: interlace your hands and hook them over the top of the trestler.


Can you raise the front armpit chest higher than the back armpit chest — without pushing the lumbar spine forward?


Here in Halasana, the elbows need to be grounded more than they are here. If this student propped her feet on a chair or on bricks, she would be able to ground the elbows and be more stable.


Shoulder stand is one of the best poses to help maintain breast health. Here in Parsva Halasana I am asking this student to further lift up through the spine and walk her feet around even more. The combination of the inversion and the rotation stimulates the internal organs. At the same time, along with the change in blood flow, a healthy stretching occurs in the right breast — all important factors for breast health.



Wonder where this leads to?

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Mexico City

January 11, 2016

Workshop at Yoga Espacio COYOACÁN.


Ardha Uttanasana with the outer wrist bones hooked over the back of a chair. Activate the knees by pulling up the quadricep muscles. Extend out through to the tips of the fingers.


Halasana with The Feet Supported. Press the outer edges of the feet against the sides of the chair as if you were trying to break the chair. Press the outer, upper arms down. Lift up through the inner groins and sit bones until the spinal column is completely absorbed into the back.

Mexico City


I loved the colors of Mexico City.

At La Casa de los Azulejos (The House of Tiles)

At La Casa de los Azulejos….

At La Casa de los Azulejos (The House of Tiles)

…..The House of Tiles.

At La Casa de los Azulejos (The House of Tiles)

More from La Casa de los Azulejos (The House of Tiles).

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

In Frida Kahlo's house.

From Frida Kahlo’s kitchen.

By Diego Rivera.

Drawing by Diego Rivera.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Merida, Mexico

January 2, 2016

Workshop at Namasté Yoga.

This student came into class with a migraine.

While the rest of the class followed the workshop program…

….she practiced a series of seated forward bends: Adho Mukha Virasana, Adho Mukha Sukhasana, and Janu Sirsasana with long holdings. These three simple forward bends (start with the head supported on a level with the chest) are very effective when dealing with migraine headaches.

In the menopause workshop, we practiced Cross Ropes Adho Mukha Svanasana, placing the crown of the head on a support to keep the brain quiet and cool.

Uttitha Trickonasana facing the wall. Sciatic pain is very common during menopause as the groins can become hard and the abdominal muscles tense at this stage. To avoid sciatica, open the front leg pelvis toward the wall and roll the pubic bone up. Facing the wall provides support so that the pelvic organs can be brought into alignment — this is also helpful for those with fibroids, ovarian cysts or endometrial scar tissue.

Uttitha Trickonasana, with back to wall. This variation provides support from behind, so less energy is expended and less heat generated (such as hot flashes or the heat generated during menstruation). Brings life to the spine and hip joints. Facing out is helpful for women when menopause is over to avoid osteoporosis of the spine, shoulders and hip joints. Open the back leg hip and chest toward the wall.

Set up for Sarvangasana with three or (or four for a greater lift) blankets.

Sarvangasana. Come first to Halasana. To avoid collapsing at the base, clip the outer edges of the shoulder-blades in.

Press the outer, upper arms to the floor and lift the cervical spine away from the floor.

Sarvangasana: align the side body along the midline.

My host, Beatrize, with a student in Baddha Konasana in Hanging Sirsasana.



Pretty doors.


Weddings say so much about the culture of a place. The reception was held at the family ranch.


Grand living in Merida.

© 2015 Bobby Clennell.