Colombia: September 16 – 18

February 8, 2017

Workshop at Natural Yoga, Bogotá.

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When the ankles are a problem in Virasana and Supta Virasana, kneel on a blanket stack, with the toes trailing off the back edge.

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It’s a wonderful thing when you get up into Full Arm Balance (Adho Mukha Vriksasana) for the first time. The next thing she has to learn: lift the inner ankles, the inner edges of the feet and the big toe mounds.

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Prasarita Padottanasana (shown here with the head up). Working with a belt will help you to roll and then press the outer edges of the feet down, hit the inner knees away from each other and pull the inner thighs up into the inner groins, and back. Once learned, dispense with the belt.

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© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

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Yoga, Kids and Play

January 25, 2017

For kids, yoga-time and play-time are sometimes indistinguishable.

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Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose. Hey, who put this floor down here? Sonalli Kurlekar sent this photo in of her daughter.

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This is Martine from Bogota, Colombia. How much fun it is push into Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) on a soft, furry rug.

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Dandasana – Staff Pose. I see ten toes!

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This is one of the original pencil sketches from Watch Me Do Yoga.

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Now this is what I call a real Tree Pose (Adho Mukha Vriksasana)!

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Madeline Cook is only two-years-old, but she has yoga in her blood: both of her grandmothers are yoga teachers.

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Here is Madeline’s older sister, five-year-old Amelia. Amelia loves looking at books about yoga, and likes to learn (and pronounce) the Sanskrit names of the poses she copies from the illustrations. Recently, her grandmother Leah Bray Nichols (Evergreen Yoga, Memphis) found her “reading yoga books to Madeline. Looks like teaching yoga runs in the family!”

Neither of the girls has been to a kids class. Just reading, playing and doing. Leah says that when she cleans her studio,” I take them with me and they play on the ropes and make-up poses and make forts with the props.”

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Here is Francesca, daughter of Lara Warren who teaches at the Iyengar Yoga Institutes, of New York, and Brooklyn. The exuberance of this pose says it all! The rope wall was installed by Lee Christie-Irvine.

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Vicky Ewell’s five-year-old granddaughter Marley lifts her chest high and moves her dorsal spine in as she pushes up into a a backbend (Urdhva Dhanurasana) in front of her pink princess tent. Vicky’s studio, the Yoga Loft, is in Sheffield  Village, Ohio.

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Fern likes to create her own poses. This one was sent in by Suzie Dodd, “I call it Fernasana!”

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These knees are sure to please. Halasana – Plow Pose.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me photos of their kids who were inspired by my book, Watch Me Do Yoga; please keep sending them in. I try my best to correctly credit all the photos, but if I’ve forgotten your child’s name, or the parent or grandparent who sent in the photo, please send it to me, and I’ll update the post.

©2017 Bobby Clennell.

Nova Petrópolis, Brazil: September 2016

January 8, 2017

A five day retreat in scenic Nova Petrópolis, Brazil.

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Mulabandasana (Root Lock Pose). Mula means the root, the base, the beginning, or the foundation.

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Bandha means a fetter, bond, or posture. A posture where the body from the pelvic floor to the navel is contracted and lifted up and towards the spine.

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Benefits: Exercises Muladhara Chakra. For men, it exercises the prostate gland and gonads. It helps correct hydrocele – fluid swelling of the scrotum, impotency, spermatorroea and sterility. It controls excessive sexual desire and helps to save energy. It therefore helps control and still the mind.

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For women (as well as men) it stretches the pelvic floor. When practiced with perfect alignment, it aligns the internal pelvic organs (uterus, fallopian tubes). It also elongates the inner thigh muscles and inner groins, mobilizes the hip joints, knees and ankles, and helps correct flat feet.

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Sit on one or more blocks, at the wall, in Dandasana. Then come to Baddhakonasana. Clear some space from inside the folded knees: with your thumbs, slide the flesh and muscles between the inner knees from inside to outside. Roll the upper calf muscles out. Insert your hands between your thighs and calves and clasp your outer feet.

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Raise your heels (move them away from you), keep your toes on the ground and pull your feet toward your perineum.

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Join your soles and heels.

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To maintain the upward position of the feet…

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…and the upward lift of the pelvis, and to bring the pubic bone level with the sacral bone,

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wedge a block or thickly folded blanket between your feet and pubic bone.

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Press your hands down on blocks at your side and lift the anterior spine. Contraindicated: knee or ankle injury.

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My little candy colored cabin.

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The hanging bridge that took me every morning from my cabin to the asana room.

© 2017 Bobby Clennell.

Ljubljana, Slovenia: May 20 – 22

August 22, 2016

Workshop at City Joga Center.

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Pincha Myorasana: press the index finger knuckles, the base of the thumbs, and the inner forearms  down. Lift the shoulders, shoulder-blades, and  outer hips. Roll inner thighs back.

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Some partner work in Ardha Chandrasana: Supporting the upper thigh, lift the belt more from the front of the thigh than the back of the thigh.

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Getting into Padmasana. Allow the weight  of the left foot to open up the right hip socket.

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Another way to get into Padmasana: lay down first.

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Matsyasana with knees belted. Slide your tailbone away from you. If you have any kind of knee stiffness, it’s best to keep the knees wide.

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Don’t force yourself into Padmasana. In Half Padmasana, be sure to “catch” the foot that is underneath, into the belt.

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Supta Virasana combined with Supta Padangustasana I. The student is being helped with a very light touch, helping her to extend her bent knee thigh away from her. To help lengthen the right sacral area, the instructor uses a belt to move the student’s right hip away from the waist.

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Move the extended leg toward an upright position.

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Anyone doing Supta Virasana supported up on blocks and one or more bolsters has limited mobility. Great care is taken not to over stretch his raised leg hamstring.

The kitty thought my water tasted best!

The cat was very kind – he allowed me to stay in his room. He very much liked my water.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Budapest: May 14 – 15, 2016.

August 17, 2016

Workshop at Amrita Jógaközpont

 

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The invocation with Kevin Gardiner.

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Forrai Reka translated my English instructions into Hungarian for the workshop. She also translated Yoga for Breast Care into Hungarian.

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Vasithasana. Move the tailbone in. Keep the inner edges of the feet and big toes together.

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To maintain the length of your biceps: rotate your arms out, and pull the arm-pit chest up.

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My hosts, Erika Repassy and Kevin Gardiner in strong Salabhasanas.

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With Kevin: roll the shoulders back and down. Turn the inner elbow up.

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Parsva Dhanurasana. Turn the chest away from the shoulder that is wedged against the floor.

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Urdhva Dhanurasana with hands on blocks. Press the heels of the hands into the blocks, turn the upper arms in toward each other, and move the chest toward the wall. Stamp your feet down open the backs of the knees: press calves down and raise the thighs up.

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This combination, Baddha Konasana/Upavistha Konasana helps keep the hip sockets healthy and mobile.

Photographs: Jaya Chakravarty.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

London: May 2

August 11, 2016

Workshop at The Iyengar Yoga Studio, East Finchley.

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Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana 1 on The Ropes. We help her roll her outer thigh down while moving her standing leg thigh back to the wall. She presses her standing leg foot down, and raises her spine and chest.

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Uttitha Trikonasana on the ropes. Anchoring your back foot to the wall, and holding the rope will help give you the momentum needed to extend your torso away from the wall.

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Ardha Chandrasana on the ropes. Turn your head back, move your dorsal spine and tailbone forward.

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Rope Sirsasana. Secure the upper arm bones into the sockets — overlap the triceps onto the deltoids, and the deltoids onto the shoulder-blades.

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Rope Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Similarly, maintain the connection of your upper arms and shoulders.

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Viparita Dandasana. Firm your shoulder-blades onto your upper back ribs. Walk your hands along the belt toward the wall.

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I always enjoy teaching for Patsy Sparksman at her studio in East Finchley, London,

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Denmark: April 29 – May 1

August 10, 2016

Workshop at Studie Yoga.

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Press your sit-bones down. Curving back over the chair seat, pull your back ribs up then forward toward your chest. Rotate your upper arms in, straighten your elbows and extend through the tips of your fingers.

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If you are ever in Copenhagen, I recommend you drop into Bob for a delicious bio organic meal.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

County Cork: April 23–24

August 4, 2016

Workshop for the Munster Iyengar Yoga Association.

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Parsvottanasana: In the head-up position, pick up your front leg foot – curling your toes toward you. Pull your kneecap up to reveal and lengthen more of your shin bone. Without shrinking your shinbone, return the ball of the foot to the floor but don’t touch your toes to the floor as you do this. Extend you torso over your front leg and move your head toward your shinbone.

Possibly River Lee?

The River Lee rises in the Shehy Mountains on the western border of County Cork and flows eastwards through Cork, where it splits in two for a short distance, creating an island on which Cork’s city centre is built, and empties into the Celtic Sea at Cork Harbour.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Latvia: April 15–17

July 31, 2016

Workshop at Yoga Center Shakti.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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This spirited performance….

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

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.