Entries in Yoga Mudra (2)


Woman Yoga Therapy Teacher Training - or Ode to Uma

She’s travelling all over the place to spread her massive knowledge of women’s health and vitality from puberty to menopause. Womb Yoga she calls it. This weekend it was Copenhagen’s turn to learn from the womb guru: Uma Dinsmore-Tuli at Well Woman Yoga Therapy Intensive Teacher Training at Yoga Mudra. 

Uma is a tiny little lady, but it takes only one look at her to see that she’s as strong as an ox. She speaks The Queen’s English but mixes in perfectly pronounced Sanskrit whenever she gets a chance and always has a mantra or a story about the Hindu goddesses to go with her teachings. She has an impressive luggage full of anatomy posters, pelvises (pelvi?) with and without organs, a baby doll, flowers and books. It’d love to see her go through security in the airport... In spite of a cold she has the most beautiful singing voice and accompanied by her scruti box she chants mantras that leaves the shala vibrating with energy. She really is the kind of woman who deserves an ode. Or a lovely Sanskrit mantra.

As you might know I’m often quite hesitant with new styles of yoga (you can’t mess with tradition, right?), but even though Uma has invented her own yoga sequences for pregnancy, fertility, healthy menstruation and menopause, she knows her yoga and tantra and it is obvious that all she does is rooted in the old tantric and vedic traditions. Uma knows her stuff.

Mixing asana, pranayama, anatomy, mudra, bandha and yoga nidra Uma spent nearly 30 hours in three days teaching us how to help and empower women with issues from PMS over endometriosis to hot flashes during menopause. I never talked so much about yonis (yes, that’s Sanskrit for your C U Next Tuesday) and wombs, but as Uma says; we need to respect and honour women’s cycles. My yoga classes do consist of 99 % women, and as yoga is made by men - for men, we need a more feminine approach that embraces the womb, the female anatomy and shakti energy. 

And that is Uma’s dharma. Changing the world one womb at a time helping women awaken to a higher consciousness of the importance of their own health, self esteem and spiritual well being. As a step towards changing the whole planet.

You leave the 18 wombs gathered at Yoga Mudra this weekend a little more enlightened, Uma.

Hari om tat sat. Hari om tat sat.  

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I Heart Kino

I first noticed Kino MacGregor on Purple Vally’s website when I was considering an Asthanga Yoga retreat in Goa some years ago. The website had these two videos of Kino doing an Asthanga practice, making it look effortless. There was no huffing and puffing - just birds tweeting in the background and Kino on her mat doing her thing, floating through every vinyasa and asana like nobody’s business, and making the practice look like a dance.

I later read about her on yoga sites and in Yoga Journal, and found her on Facebook, where I discovered that she is very good at utalising social media to bring the ancient traditions of Asthanga yoga to people all over the world. She does very useful YouTube videos of tricky asanas,  such as scorpion handstand or Kapotasana, and updates her 12,000 Facebook fans and 4000 Twitter followers with her latest footage and posts.

Maybe beacause of her ability to reach a large audience, Kino is often target for comments on too short shorts or too big an ego, but I must say that I admire her ability to be a business yogi getting the yoga out there to inspire people to grow. Her articles and YouTube videos are inspiring and down to earth, and she put forward the very good point that yoga students pick their teachers when the Asthanga world recently threw a fit as Sonia Jones partnered up with the Jois family to launch a new chain of yoga studios. And the yoga students do indeed pick Kino.

The best part about Kino is that she and her husband Tim Feldmann will be in Copenhagen this September for a four day Adjustment Intensive workshop, which means that I will get to have a look at those short shorts myself.

If you don’t know Kino MacGregor have a look at her YouTube channel and 'like' her here.