YOGA BLOG

Dru Yoga teacher Isabel Carter started practising yoga regularly 30 years ago and has been teaching Dru Yoga and Meditation full time for 20 years. She has been teaching others to be Dru Yoga teachers since 2006.

Through these blog posts, Isabel shares her insights regarding diet and nutrition, exercise, yoga and meditation to help you keep your sparkle. 

Please enjoy, share and contribute her posts where you can.

 
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Hello and Welcome to 2019

Moving into sitting forward bend. Hello and welcome to 2019! I have to be honest, I am not big on new year resolutions! I’m never keen on the idea of becoming the “best me” or a “new me” which seems to imply that I am currently “old and inferior”. I prefer to focus on Budhhist monk Shunryu Suzuki’s words of wisdom … “You are perfect just as you are, and you can use a little improvement” 🙂 Of course I have things to work on! I spent plenty of time over the Christmas break thi

Dive into the still space within

I left you at the end of my last blog breathing space into your spine and abdomen, which I hope you enjoyed. Now, let’s Practicing yoga outside take that a little deeper … can you find the space between each part of the breath? A natural pause, a lengthening, rather than a conscious holding of the breath, which would cause constriction. It is in these spaces between the breath and between thoughts where the real magic of yoga takes place. Deeper yoga practices use breath rete

A life well lived

My Nan at 90 As many of you know, I recently lost my Nan. She was 93, had lived a good life and this was the first time she’d been in hospital, so there was much to celebrate, but it did still hurt. Thank you to everyone who sent me good wishes. I’ve spoken many times about how Dru Yoga is always there for me, and this experience was no different. I always like to share what I learn, so here are some ways that my yoga practice have helped me deal with grief and the busy-ness

Discover the energy of silence

View of the Nant Ffrancon Valley, Snowdon My last couple of blogs have been focused on the power of silence, the calmness and the tranquility that it brings. In my last blog on the subject, I want to think about what might be a surprising benefit of silent times – the energy and vitality that it brings. Put very simply, using the senses, uses a lot of energy. Anyone who talks and listens a lot for their jobs will know how draining this can be. Have you experienced being with

Golden Lake Village

View of the Nant Ffrancon Valley, Snowdon Continuing on our theme of silence, have you heard the story of Golden Lake Village? The people of Golden Lake Village were silent, they did not have the power of language. Life there was peaceful and contented, and as a community they were caring and loving. One day some travellers came to the village. The elders of Golden Lake Village were intrigued by the spoken language of these visitors and they prayed to be given a language so t

Keeping on the path

We are well into 2017 now and I hope you are still focussed on your health and wellbeing goals. In my experience it can be hard though to keep your resolve after the initial flurry of enthusiasm has passed! In this new year blog, I’m going to explore some yoga ways of giving your will power a boost. First up I think it is so important to accept that you will “slip”, that’s ok. Don’t be cross with yourself or be disappointed, much better to show yourself love and kindness, you

Give your dreams wings

I hope you’ve managed to dream a bit about 2017, and you’ve got some idea of how you’d like the new year to shape up. In this post I’m going to look at some ways to boost your energy so that you’ve got all you need to let your dreams unfold. The Archer from EBR3 “Awakening the heart” It’s great writing down your goals and wishes, display them somewhere that you will see daily, so that you keep reminding yourself what your inner self asked for. This in itself is a great way to

The Niyamas – tools for personal development

The perfection of nature. For this blog I am returning to our series of articles introducing some yogic philosophy. We’ve been focusing on Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga, starting with the Yamas, disciplines that help us to maintain control in our lives. Today we are going to move on the Niyamas, which simply translates to observances. The Yamas more relate to how we interact with the world around us, whilst the Niyamas are more inwardly. Following these observances is said to h

There’s more to yoga than postures

You’ve been asking me for more yoga philosophy in my blog posts, following my series on the Moving into Dancer, focussed on the now koshas, so for my next series I thought it would be nice to go right back almost to the beginnings of yoga and see how the teachings are as relevant today as they were centuries ago. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years. Stone carvings have been found in the Indus Valley depicting yoga postures that have been dated around 2,5oo years ol

Honouring our teachers

The joy of stillness Did you notice the beautiful full moon last night? If I’ve got my astronomy correct that was the biggest full moon of the year. It’s also an auspicious time in yogic tradition, known as Guru Purnima, a time to honour and thank all our teachers who have brought us to this point in life, a theme I’d like to explore a little in this blog. Throughout our lives we encounter teachers, those who take us a bit further along the path. Some of them are obvious (oft

Where your true self resides

Have you ever experienced moments in your life, however brief, when everything was just perfect, everything exactly where it should be, you felt totally content, never wanting the moment to end? When you experience this sensation you are tapping into the inner most layer of your being, the anandamaya kosha or the blissful sheath. Our silent and still centre, constant and unwavering, unaffected by “life”. To bring us back to this centre is the ultimate goal of yoga and meditat

Breathe yourself healthy

Last time I introduced the yogic concept of the layers of our being. We started with the physical layer. I’m hoping that since my last blog you have been observing your physical body when you’ve been practicing yoga – how you move, where is it feeling stiff or clunky, what bits move freely and comfortably, where do you need to stretch or strengthen – and generally getting to know yourself, then using this knowledge to help your self. In this article I’d like to explore the ne

Becoming the Flame

Dru Yoga Dance “Becoming the Flame” We had a wonderful afternoon recently at our Inside Out Yoga studio, of Dru Yoga Dance, with Annie Raynor from North Star Yoga. She taught us the powerful and graceful “Becoming the Flame” Dru Dance, and by the end of the session 22 of us were moving as one beautiful and radiant flame. At the beginning of the session we spent a little time looking at a flame, contemplating the qualities of a flame, which we hoped this flow would increase in

Meditate your way to a glorious 2016

Happy New Year! This is a wonderful time of year. A fresh start, a clean slate; like starting a new school exercise book, full of promise and hope. The joy of stillness Winter and the new year in particular, is the time of year for reflection and letting go of the past and thinking about what we really want from life. Bringing some stillness into your day is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, on every level of your being. Apart from being fantastic for just abou

Open up to the thousand petaled lotus

Here we are then, we’ve reached the top! Our 7th chakra. The crown, Sahasrara, which very poetically translates to “Thousand petaled lotus”. Strictly the speaking the crown isn’t a chakra like the others, although it is part of the 7 basic chakra system. The previous 6 chakras are all allowing energy to flow unhindered up to this centre, where we are said to connect with our higher consciousness. Particular focus on this chakra is not recommend, without the guidance of a prop

Harness the power of your mind

We are rising now to the Brow centre, Ajna, the 6th chakra in our exploration. All about having a clear purpose in life, ajna rests in the space between the eyebrows. Visualise here a deep, rich indigo, imagine it flowing across your forehead, soothing the brow and settling the thoughts. Although this chakra is connected with the mind and the intellect, knowledge and understanding, it’s also about that which we cannot readily understand or know. It’s that feeling you sometime

A lesson in letting go

In my last blog, I talked about some of the lessons I have learned whilst injured and in particular about the quality of acceptance. In this blog I’m going to think about the quality of being able to Peace Posture let go, a lesson that didn’t come quite so easily to me! I don’t really believe in accidents, I think that things happen for a reason. I also believe that as we go through life we are presented with opportunities to learn various lessons, these are different for eve

Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance

As you know, I have recently had my arm in pot. I’ve been “lucky” (worked hard though!) and healed quickly. I have to be honest I could have done without it, but as I always like to find a silver lining, the experience has had much to teach me. In my next 2 blogs I’d like to share a couple of lessons I’ve learned, and I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me. In plaster The first lesson I actually didn’t have too much trouble with, just a couple of odd blips! It was

Yoga to nourish your tummy

Here’s the third blog in my series about using yoga to help you maintain a healthy weight. This time I’m going to look at how our yoga practice encourages Aid digestion in the fish pose us to make helpful food choices. I am not a nutritionist or dietician, and I am not going to tell you what to eat. There’s plenty of food help and advice out there if you need it. I will, however, just mention a couple of things that have always served me well : Be honest with yourself. Food d

The power of silence

As some of you know, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a few days of this new year away on a meditation retreat, at the Dru centre in Snowdonia. It was a wonderful opportunity and I came away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready for the year ahead. The wild weather on my retreat I’ve had a lot of questions asking me about what I do on retreat and what is the point – all fair questions! Here are some of my answers. In a nutshell, on retreat I spend a lot of time sitting in m