Category Archives: Breathing…

Real Yoga + Real Food = Real Life

This weekend we hosted our very first food based yoga workshop with Hannah Patterson from Make it Healthy.

Three hours just flew by as Mick gave a talk on the gunnas and led a  posture and breathing based routine focused on prana flow emphasising twists and abdominal body work.

Hannah demonstrated the making of a powerful green juice, ginger balls and a very tasty carob smoothie. We finished with a wonderful pumpkin pie made by Hannah in honour of Halloween.

All in all a fantastic workshop designed to show how yoga practice can be taken off the mat and into day-to-day life with the choices we make on how and what we eat.

Thank you everyone for making the event a big success. You can visit Hannah’s web site here for the recipes…


You are Now…

Last night

In our Ready for the Week class we looked at what union means in yoga practice.  We know that the purpose of yoga  is ultimately ‘unitive’ experience of our inner centre of consciousness. But on the way to that goal there are many other smaller ‘unitive’ experiences that point towards the bigger picture.

A deeper connection

Through practice we begin to feel more connected to what we do, to who we are, towards others and what they are doing and how they feel. We begin to notice a deeper connection to the world, to its nourishment,  to its livelihood as we begin to notice more and more those events, actions and attitudes that get in the way of connection. When our sense of connection develops and grows we notice other ‘unitive’ moments. We begin to feel ‘present’. We begin to notice that somehow that feeling of being present is connected to how we perceive,  how we take notice, pay attention – how we connect attention to experience.  Not seeing things as we think they should or shouldn’t be. Just as they are…

We know ourselves

When that happens it will take your breath away as our sense of being present in the now opens us up to a whole multi-verse of possibilities. The body relaxes, the breath softens, the mind hums with creative clarity and potential. We see the world as it is,  as if for the first time. We know ourselves, if only for a moment. We intuitively know that somehow the very content, purpose and form of the moment is directly linked with how we perceive and inhabit it. Once we are receptive to this unitive experience we know, as Eckert Tolle tells us  we are not just in the now. We are the Now



Happy Days…

This weekend at the Om Yoga Show, Manchester Mick led another Happy Spontaneous Me workshop. This Yoga in Action practice is at the heart of the YogalIfe Project, to bring yoga to life out into the world through you. This may look like wild scribbling. It is in fact deep  yoga practice where concentration is on the ‘doing and the making’ for its own sake, not on imagined future outcomes. This is a karma yoga experiment  where you can be free from always trying to judge and evaluate everything you do. To disentangle yourself from getting trapped in thinking about comparisons with others or wether what you do is good enough against an imagined ideal. This is action done without worrying about results leading to inner contentment, a timless feeling of being present in the now through the flowing action of mark making on paper. This sense of effortless, creative, moment-to- moment connection of flow is what is meant by yoga. Being and doing. Union. As the Bhagavad Gita tells us.

2.47 This is the secret to living a life of real achievement.

For those of you who worry about what you are doing –  just stop. Look inwards and let go… Your intuition, inner knowledge spontaneously applied is more than good enough. And because its coming from the true source of who you really are its perfect and right!

Here are two short videos and some pictures.

Next Wednesday we are hosting another session (a little longer) at Chorlton Central as part of the Chorlton Arts Festival. There are only a few spaces left…Book your place here.


The constant architect…

Next Saturday Mick and the YLP is hosting its second workshop of 2015 ;

Inner Architecture: The art and science of Being.

This is a workshop we have been wanting to explore for some time. For many years Mick has given talks on architecture and creativity that were really about yoga. He also gave many talks on yoga that were really about creativity and architecture. So the solution? A workshop that that does both…

Inner Architecture, will distil the art and science of yoga into a three parts, introducing techniques to allow you plan and design and make changes that open you up to your potential and purpose which modern science tells us is almost unlimited. Utilising meditation, physical practice, creative action and guided relaxation, you can design, you can build,  you can inhabit your own world.

A5 Workshop Leaflet - March 15

Book your place here…

You are the architect…start designing.

Architects help to shape the space and matter of the world to meet a specific purpose. If it can be done in a way that creates a little meaning, joy, harmony, without harm and with a sense of place then all well and good. That’s architecture. It gives us meaning. It gives us identity. It gives us a home.

You might think you are not creative, imaginative or artistic. I can’t draw… You think you don’t have the science or the maths. Nevertheless, you are an architect. And a pretty skillful, creative one too…you are the constant architect of your own world, your own life.

This is how it works.

Moment by moment we are all simultaneously creating and experiencing our own reality. That means that everything you experience, think, see, hear, react and respond to is your responsibility. You have a choice, you create it, you make it,  give your experience reality. This reality is shaped by how you have learned to design and build for yourself a set of attitudes, values, beliefs based on what you assume is real. Or what you have been told is real…

As an architect you can decide to design your world based on what you ‘think is real’ or what you feel intuitively is real.

However building your world based on wrong ideas, attitudes means you get distracted or confused and we create for ourselves a fragile architecture. The first thing we need to do as our own architect is to know how to observe the world around you and know the difference between looking and seeing…

The non-permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”

The Bhagavad Gita 2.14,

Get it right we find ourselves inhabiting a happier, fulfilling world of promise and love, seemingly designed to support  your intention and purpose. It’s an architecture that expresses who you are and what you can do. You are the architect. You can decide and shape the world, as you want it more importantly as you need it.

Deciding to be your own architect takes creativity, and compassion, trust and openness. These are tools you already have in abundance. But you only find them once you let go and turn your focus inwards.

Once you turn your attention inward, you can begin to design and create. Through yoga practice you will become aware of your levels of consciousness. You will find that the capacity to design and shape your world, and this realization will become a source of fulfillment to you. It will be your very own architecture from which to observe and operate in the world providing a sense of purpose, timelessness, stillness unaffected by events and external forces. In the world but not of it.

When we our plan our architecture around the present, the now, we you learn to enjoy life from moment to moment and do not worry about the future. If you take care of your present, you see your potential flows…ready to be shaped by you the architect of your life.

architect of you life



It’s the thing…

This weekend we completed our first YLP Beginners and Group meditation classes for 2015. Well done to everyone who, as usual, brought their energy, attention and serious intention to the class, sprinkled with a little humour and delight.

As one of the class realised..

’this is it – meditation is the key, its the thing. I could quite happily never do another downward dog as long as live if I am meditating’.


Meditation is the thing. Its the principal yoga practice. The postures are designed to firstly strengthen your physicality in order to sit still, but more importantly to build a deeper awareness.  If postures are about the mind, than meditation is about the body. They work hand in hand until you learn the core skill…..that everything you do is yoga – is meditation.

Another of our class summed it up like this….

‘Yoga gives you access to what we are’

We are faced with obstacles, challenges and limitations. Yoga teaches us to accept them, know them  and then  move on. That way we really do begin to gain access to what it means to be a human ‘being’. Any previous assumptions regarding what we take to be our physical state  begin to fade away revealing a deeper reality.

Its a transforming process and if we feel a, little more happier, spontaneous, optimistic, clearer in our purpose, more  loving and compassionate, even just for a moment two then we are succeeding.

Breathe in Breathe out – know and let go. How easy is that? That is all you need to do to practice your yoga.


YLP School to start next year…

Today we are delighted to be launching our very own yoga teacher training YLP Prospectus.  From the New Year we will be setting up a special YLP School for those who want to take their yoga further and share the joy of what they have discovered to help inspire others.

The course will be registered as 200hr approved teacher training course with the Yoga Alliance UK and enable those that pass to practice in their own right as YLP trained yoga teachers.

We are planning to enrol our first YLP students in September 2015.


OmYoga Show Manchester…

We all had a fantastic weekend at the Om Yoga Show in Manchester. Our little stand was busy and wonderfully managed everyday by YogaLife friends and students. Mick bought far too many books and cushions. The workshop was a great success too. Mick led a one-hour pocket version of Happy Spontaneous Me, with longest roll of paper we could find. All together there were 30 yogis all getting into the flow.

Look Up…

As you know we don’t politics at the YogaLife Project in the same way New Labour didn’t do God. However if we are to be yogis in the world we have to be active, engaged and help where we can. After all, our mission, your mission is to help make the world a more loving, creative and compassionate place…

This little video called Look Up by Gary Turk described for us why yoga is now more important than ever. With over 1.7 million views its pretty clear that others are feeling the same way. Except of course everyone at Google and Facebook and all the other corporations that prey on our sleepiness, misconceptions and forgetfulness to be productive and present. The last thing these guys want is for us is to be self-actualised, aware and free. In other words choose to be yourself and everything that means rather being reduced to a name on list, targeted by advertising.

Who would of thought that the digital revolution was not a revolution at all but a subtle, powerful coup designed to shape us into yet more compliant consumers of stuff we don’t need with thoughts that aren’t useful.

In our YogaLife Project classes we often talk about observation. Of ourselves, the world we are in and particularly at the people around you. On the tram this morning I did my usual check to see how many of my fellow travellers were asleep, lost or dead. You can always tell by the way their faces are looking into their smart phones. Meanwhile, outside the sun was shining onto the canal creating a cascade of shimmering reflected points light inside the tramcar. I think only a couple of us noticed that, creating for us both, that wonderful moment of place and event coming together inviting a sense of the present….wonderful.

Gary Turk concludes that by not paying attention you miss your life altogether. Practice yoga and you practice being alive. It’s okay to use a smart phone. Just don’t let it use YOU.

Click here to watch Look Up.



Hotting up at Chorlton Central…

Well we know you are desperate to get back onto to your YogaLife mats but we have to wait just a little longer. The heating installation is underway and going well.

We can’t guarantee hot yoga but it will be warm enough…