Articles by Lucy Greeves

Get High with Aerial Yoga

Get High with Aerial Yoga

30 New Road is a narrow, unremarkable terraced house in Whitechapel, a stone’s throw from the Royal London Hospital and the bustle of the street market on the Whitechapel Road. But it's here you'll find Richard Holroyd, former Buddhist monk and now chief flying instructor at Aerial Yoga London. “I was teaching yoga for years and I just couldn’t get my students to understand that this is supposed to be fun,” says Richard. “Then I discovered the swings: now it’s instant”. Swings awaken the child in all of us. If you don’t want to play when you catch sight of the...
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Yoga Through the Ages

Yoga Through the Ages

Yoga for your whole life From baby yoga to chair-based yoga for pensioners: there’s a class for every age and stage of life. When you approach yoga with the right mindset, it’s a truly ‘whole life’ practice that will sustain you throughout the decades. But different times in life call for different types of practice. What suits the hyperactive teenager is no good for the exhausted mother of toddlers, and what engages the retired arthritis-sufferer won’t sustain the driven 30-year-old career-builder. In this article, I want to take a look at yoga through the stages of...
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Yoga: Meditation for the Restless

Yoga: Meditation for the Restless

It was day two of the yoga retreat. We’d just sat for our second evening meditation, in the profound silence of a candlelit limestone cave, and we were sharing some thoughts about our experiences. Suddenly one of my fellow students, in some distress, burst out, “It’s no use! I’m trying and trying and I can’t do it.  I just can’t empty my mind!” Of all the misconceptions about meditation, this is one of the most common – and probably the most unhelpful. Of course the poor woman couldn’t empty her mind – it’s a contradiction in terms. ‘Mind’ is the word we use for...
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What is Scaravelli Yoga?

What is Scaravelli Yoga?

Once, during a chronically busy phase of my life, I bought a self-help book called “Do Less, Achieve More”. Who could resist the promise of that title? Of course it was rubbish: a doomed attempt to fuse the principles of Taoism with those of free-market capitalism. As with any good pyramid scheme,...
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What is Yin Yoga?

What is Yin Yoga?

The American cartoonist Scott Adams once observed, “There are two types of yoga: the kind that hurts like crazy, and the kind that looks like you’re sleeping.” Yin yoga definitely falls into the latter camp.
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What is Kundalini yoga?

What is Kundalini yoga?

In the farthest departure lounge of yoga (next stop, Nirvana), white-robed initiates pursue altered states of consciousness, chanting and panting as they wait for a mystical serpent to rise up through their spines. Kundalini yoga is as far from the tight-buns yoga-cise trends of East London as the Himalayas are from Hackney. Kundalini shakti is the name given in esoteric Hinduism to a potent energetic force that believers claim lies coiled at the base of the spine, like a snake – which is why it’s sometimes called the ‘serpent power’. Kundalini...
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What is Iyengar Yoga?

What is Iyengar Yoga?

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar is the best possible advertisement for the yoga movement he founded. At the age of 95, he still practises regularly; anyone who thinks they are “too old for yoga” should take inspiration from recent photographs of BKS in postures he first learnt ...
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What is Bikram Yoga?

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is the creation of Bikram Choudhury (b. 1946), who began studying asana at the age of three. At 20 (so the story goes) he was badly injured in a weightlifting accident and despite a grim prognosis from the doctors, managed a full recovery with the help of yoga. Since the 1970s,...
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What Yoga is and Why You Should Try It

What Yoga is and Why You Should Try It

Ask a hundred yoga devotees, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. But most will agree that yoga in the modern world is having a bit of an identity crisis. At one end of the spectrum, it's an ancient system of physical and spiritual discipline, with its origins in the Indus Valley perhaps as long as 5000 years ago. At the other, it's a multi-million pound industry, a wellbeing cliché that's used to sell everything from probiotic yogurts to cashmere hotpants. Yesterday I saw a poster advertising “BoxingYoga™” – just the latest of many attempts to...
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