Amsterdam Yoga Nieuw-west members are entitled to a 5-class pass for EUR 25 (normal price is EUR 45) which has no expiry date. I will send the details on how to book with the discount to those of you registered with a Yoga Nieuw-west. If you do not receive the information by email by end of 1 December, then please get in touch.
Yoga and champion may not go hand in hand in your mind. After all, yoga is neither a combative sport nor competitive in any form. A person who is champion in yoga, therefore, is master of both mind and body. Looking to an extreme example of this awareness and discipline in practice is inspiring.
Some back-bending tips from world yoga champion Kasper van den Wijngaard
“There are many different back-bends but in general you have to bend from top to bottom, upper, middle, lower spine. Ideally you get the shape of a circle, no jagged edges. If your spine is open, yes, you can bend the whole spine — ‘whooosh’ — in a matter of seconds. However, in the process of opening up the spine, don’t be in a hurry to go as deep as possible.” Read the full article.
A champion in action
Enjoy seeing this video of Kasper van den Wijngaard in action, but remember, your practice doesn’t ever need to look like this to be beneficial. Just stay with where you are today. Every little step done with feeling, breathing and correct alignment is a step to healing.
A six minute forty second presentation on what hot yoga is can leave you breathless — but if you do yoga…well, it helps! And hey, if it isn’t perfect, then remember three things: Practice, practice, practice. It’s all about the breath.
Breathing through imperfect lines: Sketch by Natasha Gunn
When used as a tool for self-transformation and awakening to clearer awareness, yoga starts the moment a student first pays attention to what he or she is doing in the practice.
If a student is unsteady, falling, in pain, or distracted by discomfort, the tendency will be to go back into his or her analytical or agitated mind. Sthira and sukham— steadiness and ease— give the asanas their transformative potential.
Being steady does not mean being perfectly still in a pose that you hold for a very long time. Asanas, by contrast, are alive, in each moment a unique expression of the human being doing them.
Artist and photographer Siobhan Wall has created a series of ‘quiet’ city photo books using her images to lead the reader to tranquil places she has discovered throughout Amsterdam, London and shortly, Paris (4 April 2013). These locations could be anywhere from a parks, lakes and woods to libraries, restaurants and health spas. This is what quietness means to Siobhan.
Flowers in Beatrix Park, Amsterdam.
For me, quietness is not just about finding somewhere beautiful to look at, although this really helps. It is also about listening to my body and being a bit more aware of how I’m feeling at that moment.