Monday, 30 April 2018


I had the privilege of being in a lovely garden in the hill country in Sri Lanka.  Thanks to all of the people who looked after us there at Kelburne Cottages, Haputale.

It is a 6 hour trip by car along winding roads and it feels nice to move your spine in different ways when you have been sitting for so long.  

I felt like doing some sidebends in particular.  

Spinal side bending is when the spine actually lengthens on one side relative to the other rather than just tipping your body sideways with both sides equal length.  

I emphasised the side bending of the spine with some shoulder/arm movements and it is those that are  deconstructed a little more in this video.  

I lift the shoulder, then the elbow, then I roll the upper arm out (that is where you see the elbow start to point down), then I reach out my forearm and fingers from there.  

In the video I move my head last.  I move it in a way that keeps the sides of the neck feeling long.  Only move your head and neck in ways that feel comfortable.  For many people that might mean you stay looking down.  

I had this lovely grass to practice on with birds singing and a beautiful garden behind me.  In the video that looks amazing.  Yet when I practice my focus is inward and directed more towards noticing how it feels to move.  

This practice is repetitive and the movements start to flow nicely and I could have stayed repeating them for much longer.  The video lasts for 8 minutes and I finished more because I was conscious of how long it would take to upload the video rather than because I was ready to finish.  

When you practice you could go for longer or shorter.  You could try the upper body and arm movements from sitting if you are too tired to stand.  You could even lie down and imagine yourself doing them.  

Do not do anything that hurts.  It is always better to find an actual person and learn from them.  Happy and safe practicing.

Much metta,

PS Canberra yogis, we are back for our outdoor practice from Sunday 6 May 2018.  


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