Articles & Interviews


The moon through sun-blushed clouds


New book!

Brightening our Inner Skies: Yin and Yoga

Brightening our Inner Skies: Yin and Yoga

...is now available. For individual copies click here. Please contact Norman for more information about purchasing multiple copies.


Links to video clips and interviews


Writings

Articles about yoga and self-transformation

Below are pieces I have written about the practical application of practising yoga and ideas of self transformation. (Click on the links to download in PDF format).

Wisdom & Wellbeing in education settings
We are in the midst of a planetary crisis - socially, environmentally and politically. Prevailing economics favour growth, at any cost. Among young people, mental health issues and obesity, among other issues, are dramatically rising.
Against the wider context of increasingly stark environmental predictions, we urgently need to provide children with tools to support their wellbeing today and enhance their resilience to meet whatever demands will come in the future. Wisdom & Wellbeing aims to do just that.
(October 2018)

Helping Hands: guiding, mentoring supervising
A well-known short story is The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Of course, loneliness is very much part of human life – and working on our own (as we often are doing as yoga teachers) can accentuate these lonely feelings… My aspiration is that the mentor groups provide support to enable sustainability. Few yoga TTs offer ongoing support after graduation. Many yoga TTs can be limited and basic. A 200-hour training is a drop in the ocean. Of course, we all have to start somewhere. But continuing learning and continuing support is essential for us to evolve and grow as yoga teachers.
(August 2018)


My Brother: A Eulogy
4.30pm. Friday 8 June. I was in a café near Angel, north London. A text came through: “Are you free for a call in 5 minutes? Bad news I’m afraid.” I guessed what could have happened. Stepping outside the café, I had that conversation…
(23 August 2018
)

This is not Instagram. This is a long look at Ashtanga yoga and the current discussion regarding it. I have attempted to write with love and clarity…
(June 2018) 

Some Words of Advice for People on Yoga Teacher Trainings
Over the past fifteen years, I have been involved in many yoga Teacher Trainings: as a participant, as an assistant, as a teacher. Much can happen! Expectations are disappointed, buttons pressed, hopes disillusioned. Inevitably there are fears, insecurities and negativities.
(June 2017)

Here are some ideas for how we can teach Yin yoga. This is from my experience and the experience of other teachers. 
(June 2017)

Personally I have an addictive temperament. Cannabis, chocolate, sweet things, amphetamines, needing to be seen. All these I have been addicted to at different times…what encourages calm perception and what heightens hysteria? What assists transformation and what fuels materialistic consuming? What clarifies and what mesmerises? 
(April 2017)
Anything does happen; it is true... Life is constantly surprising with its swerve balls and sudden shifts... it happened very suddenly because I had fallen headfirst down the stairs. 14 stairs from top to bottom. En route I banged into an able crystal, breaking it into two with my head. I think that I have a thick skull! 
(June 2016)
An acronym is an abbreviation, used as a word, which is formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. Usually these components are individual letters… I know that there are many more – there could be a growing list of acronyms (GLA).
(November 2015)

"Depending on perspective, savasana is either very easy or very advanced… With savasana, there can be a beautiful letting go of everything. There are many ways of being in savasana… These are a few ideas and obviously you can mix these suggestions… In these deep states of relaxation, we get much more grounded in the parasympathetic nervous system – where we are less reactive, less defensive, less closed; where we are more responsive, more receptive, more open… The body requires proper rest..."
(September 2015) 

"There is great suffering in this world. There are tens of thousands of human beings putting themselves at enormous personal risk in their flight from war, fear, disaster and strife... there are countless individual stories of difficulty and illness, of loss and struggle. A question for us is, 'What can we do?' In asking ourselves this question, we are applying our awareness to what is in and around us. An essential part of awareness is considering our personal behaviour and how we live our lives. This can be called a matter of ethics and morality."
(September 2015)


"When I first taught yoga in 2001, I did not know what hypermobility or being too flexible meant. I remember Richard Freeman saying in June 2005, “the curse of flexibility and the blessing of stiffness”... The way that I practice and teach Yin yoga has changed considerably... In my Ashtanga practice, I used to drop back into urdhva dhanurasana and (sometimes) come back up to standing. Now I don’t. Change happens." 
(September 2015)

"It began on the first Saturday of August... With the participants in something like child’s pose, I head for the toilets to throw up. Now this is a first for me: throwing up in the middle of teaching a yoga workshop!” 
(August 2015)

Notes from The Spark in the Machine: how the science of acupuncture is explaining the mysteries of western medicine by Daniel Keown and Theories of the Chakras by Hiroshi Motoyama 
(August 2014)
Events from my life and the influence of various forms of practice on my life; reflects on a few of these experiences as a way of learning and hopefully helping, a transmission of stories from warm hand to warm hand. 
(August 2014)

Considering the words, comedy and nuggets of wisdom in Neal Pollock's book Stretch 
(August 2014)

Looking at the joys and pains of Bikram with a nod to Ashtanga, inspired by Hell-Bent and Sacred Fire. 
(January 2013)

To start with words from a song by Katy Perry: “lost my discretion…caught my attention” (‘I kissed a girl’). This article is an attempt to make sense of our relationships within the yoga world (particularly that of teacher/student). It proposes specific ways of dealing with some of the difficulties that arise within these relationships. And it is significantly inspired by what has been happening with John Friend and Anusara. 
(May 2012)

Too often we are too stuck in ways of seeing: how we perceive this world and our lives. This piece attempts to encourage a different way of seeing drawing inspiration from Buddhist teachings and radical politics such as the Occupy movement. 
(March 2012)

Words from various people about practice, meditation and yoga.
(March 2012)


A review of three quite different books. 
(February 2012)

The purpose of writing is to encourage debate and dialogue amongst practitioners. Some of what is written might be controversial but this is not a rocking of the boat simply for the sake of provocation. If I see an elephant in the room it needs to be said – even if that elephant is Ganesh. This is a heartfelt attempt towards understanding this tradition and the possibilities for transformation. 
(June 2011)

An examining of the roots of yoga practice and what influences the physical postures. 
(February 2010) 


A comparison of different tendencies within yoga from the commercialised to the radicalised.
(February 2011)

Practical ideas and resources for establishing a meditation practice.
(October 2010)

Reasons to practice yoga.
(2005)

Philosophy, practice, principles, postures of yin yoga.
(October 2013)

by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
(May 2010)

Some thoughts after a meditation retreat.
(September 2008)

Quotes that I have collected over the last ten years.
(updated October 2011)

A catch-up and a chat with yogi blogger Lizzie Reumont after a yin yoga class.
(January 2011)