september 2015

  • be hippy

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

    by Phil Bishop - join Phil Bishop for Pilates + Gyrotonic week from 02 - 11 October, for a 30 minute one-to-one taster session for £20. Find out more here or call 020 7483 3344 to book your session.

    'Much more of the brain is devoted to movement than to language. Language is only a little thing sitting on top of this huge ocean of movement.' - Oliver Sachs

    From primordial pond to pavement, from four to two legs we have placed our hips in a central role in the way we move and support our posture. Crawling, standing and walking all happen better with the full participation of the hip joints.

    The hips translate the force of upright gait through the pelvis and help distribute load through the spine. The hip joint is supported by a labrum, a fibro cartilage ring or gasket that helps maintain the connection between the ball at the top of the thigh bone and the socket on the pelvis. This joint allows us multi planes of movement and requires a network of attached muscles to function efficiently. The muscles close to the hip are well suited to provide dynamic stabilisation of the hip. All hips are not equal, the structure and range of movement we have available to us varies.

    Static positions such as sitting for long periods often rely on larger multi joint muscles. The body finds the pathway of least resistance and we lose poise and balance within our postures. Areas of tension and excessive mobility occur in order to make our bodies adjust to the workplace.

    Exercise improves motor skills, coordination and proprioception. Proprioception is our awareness of how we are positioned in space, the shape we are in. Improving our nervous systems' messages is a large part of the joy of movement. The small fluid movements used in Pilates place an emphasis on sequencing muscles close to the joints as well as those with larger moment arms further from the joint. 

    A example of this would be standing up from a chair. If the torso is thrown forward the hips are less effective due to the closed starting position of the joints, leading to a secondary movement taking place in the lower back. In this situation not only are the hips compromised but the back may be placed under strain.

    Taking breaks and moving helps us refine our body awareness and improve our quality of movement. The hips and how we move them affect our back and the way we use our knees. Good use of our hips plays a key role in how we move.

    Phil has been a practitioner of Sports Massage for 8 years. He is also the only triyoga therapist who combines his massage practice with Pilates instruction. The Pilates sessions allows Phil to identify and work on specific postural issues that are often the underlying cause of muscular complaints, and then tailor the follow-up Sports Massages to treat the specific problems.Phil's target is to lead to economy of movement for every client through identifying and working on changing habitual body patterns.

  • yoga teacher training: a student's story

    Monday, September 21st, 2015

    by Lauren Franze

    Why become a yoga teacher? Lauren Franze has been training under the guidance of Anna Ashby and Joey Miles and here she gives an insight into her journey and what to expect if you're considering this November's triyoga teacher training diploma.


    Yoga has been a big part of my life for a long time. My first class was in a church hall, I struggled through an hour and a half of bizarre words (sanskrit!), chanting (om) and hyperventilation (kapalabhati breathing), but still I floated out of class with an overwhelming sense that everything would be okay. The more I practised over the years I realised that I wanted to share my experience of yoga and that (maybe) I wasn't so suited to my corporate job.

    So naturally I put it off year after year, always finding an excuse rooted in self-doubt that I wasn't good enough and that I needed to hold headstand for five minutes.

    Eventually a good friend encouraged me to follow my passion and just apply for it! Three months later I was meeting my fellow teacher training yogis at triyoga and freaking out about how to teach tadasana!

    The last two years have been so incredibly transformative for me as a yoga practitioner and on a personal level. Yes, I've learnt to teach but I also got so much more out of it. The triyoga teacher training diploma brought me face-to-face with myself, I learnt a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and about self-acceptance. My personal practice improved 100% - it turned out I didn't have to hold headstand for five minutes. It's more about intelligent practice and learning to understand how the body moves.  I also met a group of wonderful and inspirational people, I'd finally found some yoga peeps who ‘got it'.

    Anna and Joey are fantastic. Their teaching styles complement each other and they're both very down-to-earth. They hammered home the fundamentals of how to teach safely and with precision. They care about training people to teach well. Which is important. I know that as I grow as a teacher and develop my style I'll always have a strong foundation to go back to.

    Everybody's experience of the course is different. For me the philosophy was like a doorway into a world I knew existed but wasn't quite sure how to open it. It answered a lot of questions but also a prompted many more. Fundamentally, it gave me the tools I needed to start meditation and an understanding of a rich and beautiful practice.

    Most importantly I now teach yoga! Eight months in I found a wonderful women's charity called CleanBreak that I volunteer teach at. The first class was terrifying, five ladies expecting me to teach them, but they came back and I still teach there so I guess it's a good sign! I'm also a regular cover teacher at a gym. I'm learning the student's body's and the regulars are starting to trust me. Every class is different and I learn something new each time I teach.

    Teacher training is a fantastic experience but like anything in life you get out of it what you put in. It will change you, you'll make mistakes, you'll have moments of clarity, you'll have ups and the downs. The most important thing is to remember to enjoy the journey.

    triyoga teacher training diploma
    next course starts November 2015 with Anna Ashby and Joey Miles
    application deadline Friday 25th September 2015
    apply now

  • Richard Rosen's visit to triyoga

    Friday, September 11th, 2015

    by Jonathan Sattin

    Some words from the founder of triyoga...

    You may have noticed that the yoga teacher Richard Rosen is coming to triyoga Soho to host a weekend of workshops from the 25th - 27th September. It is the first time that he will be teaching in the UK and I am really pleased and in fact honoured that he is coming to triyoga.

    It has taken us a long time to get him here and my conversations with him have been to say the least, enjoyable. If you can imagine it, he's an American with an English dry sense of humour. He has a humility and honesty that we love to see in the real teachers in these times when we are looking for authenticity (and the ongoing desire to learn) in our teachers, rather than how many Instagram followers they have.

    His yoga background is interesting for me as he has experienced life both as a teacher and the co-founder of a yoga studio. He trained for several years in the early 1980s at the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco and in 1987 he co-founded with Rodney Yee the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. He is a contributing editor at Yoga Journal magazine, and President of the board of the Yoga Dana Foundation which supports Northern California teachers bring yoga to underserved communities.

    When I was working out what to say in this email that could get across why we invited Richard, I came across this piece he composed for Yoga Journal where he talks about B.K.S. Iyengar:

    One of my hobbies is collecting yoga instruction manuals published between the 1920s and 1966, the year of Mr Iyengar's Light on Yoga. From them I've made a kind of "timeline" for several poses, including Trikonasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana. The dozen or so "pre-Iyengar" poses look, shall we say, disorganized, on par with our stiffest, most beginning-est beginners.

    Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, there are Iyengar's poses. There's no obvious progression, as if it's the culmination of a long evolution. It's rather a complete revolution in the presentation of the pose: the perfect integration of its parts, the harmony of its lines, the mastery of its expression. You can't help thinking, "This isn't an asana, it's a piece of art."

    The two most important things he taught us with his work are that yoga-true yoga-doesn't simply change us, it transforms us. Radically. And thus it helps each one of us express the unique beauty inherent in our being.

    Isn't that depth so inspiring, so moving? I'm sure many of you may know that Richard is the author of three books on Pranayama, books on yoga for 50+ as well as a fascinating book called ‘The Original Yoga' which is part history, part philosophy, part yoga instruction manual - this book clears up some of the confusion and misconceptions about the development of yoga, both traditional and modern.

    You may find his newsletters particularly inspiring here's a link

    His workshops are based upon the The Secret Life of Hatha Yoga and you can find out all about them by clicking here.

  • chavutti thirumal: not your average foot massage

    Monday, September 7th, 2015

    by Ramu K Nair

    Ah, but I don't massage your feet, I use my feet to give your body a gentle work-out with oils.  I hold a rope suspended from the ceiling and you lie on the floor. I use one foot at a time to give an appropriate pressure to realign and massage your whole body. 

    Who can have this massage?
    It's different for everyone.  I have treated boxers to ballet dancers, film camera crew to musicians and teachers.  I find it helpful for physical workers as well as the desk bound caught up in the epidemic of back pain in our offices. My oldest patient was an 83 year old former cricketer and Doctor.  He told me that 90% of the massages he had in his life, were not deep enough, but that mine was one of the strongest he had ever experienced. 

    This massage is an intense treatment that accesses and gives an even pressure to the parts that an elbow, thumb or hand may not reach.  It is a deep tissue experience in reality and this technique is practised in Southern India, where I learnt from my Grandfather at the age of 11, though I was not allowed to practice until I had done a University degree in chemistry; my parents wanted me to be an engineer.  But I had a passion for bodywork and though I completed University I took up Ayurvedic therapy as a career.

    What are the origins of chavutti thirumal?
    Its origins are from ‘Kalari' (the martial arts of Kerala) which mix these martial arts with dance and yoga. I combined this with more full time training in Ayurvedic massage and subsequently gave treatments when I worked for 8 years with local Ayurvedic doctors from the renowned College Hospital in Trivandrum South India.  I really understand the flow and injuries in the bodies I work with.

    A much loved ashtanga yoga teacher, Debbie Blunden told me, ‘somehow, my back feels longer, lighter - this massage irons out all my tension and my stress.  However much exercise you do, you can't always manage alone, at times you need some outside help to keep the circulation, and all your systems in complete harmony.'

    I also give table massage, a good introduction to Ayurvedic treatments which are fast being recognised in the West for holistic well-being. In short, a healthy erect spine contributes to longevity. Look after your back, keep it supple and you have the key to a happy life!

    Ramu has been practicing the art of massage professionally for the past 14 years, 7 of which he has spent living and treating clients in London. His practical training includes study of Panchakarma at the Jayabharath Institute of Panchakarma Therapy and at the Dhanwantari Institute of Ayurveda , Wayanad, Kerala for over 2 years. In 2006 Ramu trained to teach yoga with Swami Samarpanananda Saraswati of the International Samarpan Yoga Awareness Foundation (in the lineage of the Bihar School of yoga) in the Himalayas. In addition to deepening his own spiritual path, it gave him a greater sensitivity of understanding his clients' needs.

    Ramu works at triyoga Camden. For his schedule and more information, please click here.