James Russell's Blog

© James Dylan Russell 2017

Cultural appropriation Part 1: India

page-featureTrimbakeshwar, Nasik 4th Jan 2017 - 3am

Its been ten years since I first visited this ashram which is located in a vast & beautiful valley, nestled amongst the sacred hills of Sahyadri. I first came here to train as a yoga teacher in 2007. I’d been practising yoga for about seven years and having been to India a few times before, I wanted to learn how to teach from an authentic school in India.Continue Reading »
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Yoga for Peace 2017

page-featureAfter a year off, Yoga for Peace Day returns once again this autumn. Yoga for Peace is a community fundraising event that celebrates peace and raises money for charities that support people affected by war. Continue Reading »
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World Yoga Festival

page-featureI have just returned from a lovely weekend away with my family at this year’s World Yoga Festival held at Beale Park, near Reading, UK. Continue Reading »
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Is it dangerous to practise yoga on the full moon?

page-feature"The moone is founde, by plaine experience, to beare her greatest stroke uppon the seas, likewise in all things that are moiste, and by consequence in the braines of man.”
(C.16, Moon Lore)Continue Reading »
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Standardising the non-standard

page-featureA recent proposal to create a ‘National Occupational Standard’ (NOS) within the field of teaching yoga has ignited a wave controversy and debate within the UK yoga community..Continue Reading »
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Ashtanga Yoga and God

page-feature'From devotion to God, Samadhi is attained’ (YS 2.45 *)
In Patanjali’s sutra, the final stage of yoga is Samadhi - ‘clear perception.’ Patanjali outlines two methods by which to accomplish Samadhi:Continue Reading »
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The roots of postural yoga

page-featureModern Yoga is a composite hybrid of practices in which the somatic techniques of Hatha Yoga converge with the experiential philosophy of Patanjali’s Eight limbed path..Continue Reading »
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Fast food yoga - commodifying the sacred

Commodification of Yoga
In recent years, a plethora of new 'yoga styles' have emerged. Many have extraordinary names such as: ‘Voga’, ‘Tequila Yoga’, ‘Playboy Yoga’, ‘Glow Yoga’, ‘Rage Yoga’, ‘Chocolate Yoga’, and ‘Baked Yoga’ (for stoners).
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Yoga Korunta - unearthing an Ashtanga legend

The Yoga Korunta
A quest
There is an intriguing legend in the world of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. If you’ve never heard the story before, it usually goes something like this:

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The Kriya Yoga of Patanjali

Patanjali Yoga Sutra
‘The three purificatory actions of yoga are inner discipline, self-study, and surrender. When practised, the obstacles are removed and we experience clear perception.’
Patanjali Yoga Sutra - 2:1-2
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Developing a daily practice: part two

Garbha Pindasana
At last, the spring is on its way and, with it, the best time of the year to undertake or renew a regular home practice. Here are some practical ideas and suggestions to help get you started..
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Developing a daily practice: part one

James Russell Lotus Posture
In this two part blog, I will first be offering some thoughts on daily practice and in the second instalment, practical advice on how to begin a regular routine.
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Which style of yoga?

Perhaps you’ve been thinking for a while that you’d like to try out this yoga thing that everyone else seems to be doing and talking about. You’ve finally made your intention to give it a go.. Continue Reading »
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A few thoughts on yoga mats

Whilst this post may not lead you directly towards samadhi or enlightenment, it may however save you a few quid when you come to purchase a new mat.Continue Reading »
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Origins of modern yoga

A summary of notes from a study day at Heythrop college with guest speakers: James Mallinson and Suzanne Newcombe.Continue Reading »
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