What is Yoga?

You cannot, by definition take a photograph of yoga anymore than you can take a picture of a dream. And whether you have long or short hair or wear a Saddhu beard or are clean shaven or dress in woolly Ecuadorian coats (fleece lined or not), play the pan pipes, eat only gluten free, sport Ganesh tattoos or are able to do a turn on a didgeridoo whilst juggling flames does not make you more spiritual or yogic 'than thou'.

So 18 years on, to be a Yoga teacher……….

Today, approximately 18 years after entering my first yoga class I am filling in the form to take the 200 hours teacher training. This, has been a difficult and soul-searching decision to say the least. It was all those years ago and being the owner of a security alarm business that stress got the better … Continue reading So 18 years on, to be a Yoga teacher……….

Still My Guitar Gently Weeps

following on from https://kevollier.com/2014/07/25/rishikesh/ Rishikesh before the arrival of The Beatles in 1968 was pretty much unknown to Westerners but there is no doubting that it was indeed this visit by the Fab Four that put Rishikesh, Meditation and Yoga onto the current mainstream map. The Beatles, simply put, is why Rishikesh is what it … Continue reading Still My Guitar Gently Weeps

Care Free Choice

My dad once said to me (he is in his early seventies) that he realises that his generation have probably had it the best in the history of British civilisation though I wonder whether 'British Civilisation' is not an oxymoron if one has ever witnessed or indeed taken part in the hedonistic nights that are … Continue reading Care Free Choice

I am not a Buddhist – McLeod Ganj

following on from https://kevollier.com/2014/05/10/delhi-to-mcleod-ganj/ 'I am not a Buddhist' were words I heard myself uttering at the end of our three day stay in the home of the Dalai Lama - the town of Mcleod Ganj not the big man's house itself of course. We dropped our backpacks into the Pink House Hotel, had a … Continue reading I am not a Buddhist – McLeod Ganj

Delhi to McLeod Ganj

Of all the things to excite you in Delhi there is one 'must do'. At around 5pm take a taxi across the breadth of the city, a journey of about an hour and then get a tuk tuk back and in that 2 hours, apart from having what may well be the most thrilling journey … Continue reading Delhi to McLeod Ganj

Avocado Yoga. The Perfect Day

There are more than quite a few people who think that Avocado is a Spanish resort or an Italian motorbike and others that would swear it's a style of zumba. The rest of us know it as that fruit that unless it has a label that says 'ready to eat' is a lottery to when … Continue reading Avocado Yoga. The Perfect Day

Glastonbury 2013 – the shop fronts

Most years, at the end of June, 200,000 people are steered to pass by or/and encouraged not to go into the town of Glastonbury (logistics I assume) to instead  revel at the makeshift Glastonbury Festival, which, in reality, is 7 miles away from the town. In fact the festival is only 3 miles from the … Continue reading Glastonbury 2013 – the shop fronts

The Human Test

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” ~ The Dalai Lama The UK has on its streets, in every town and city, Big Issue sellers. The Big Issue offers people who are homeless the … Continue reading The Human Test

Five Lads on the Isle of Arran

The day before 'the lads' went over to the Buddhist car free Holy Isle for a few days of reflection - (as previously blogged at https://kevollier.com/2012/10/06/buddhists-peace-and-yoga-turrets/ ) we partook in our annual get together hike - something we've been doing now for twenty years and this year and on that day we all hiked through … Continue reading Five Lads on the Isle of Arran

Kino MacGregor – Bad Girl Yogi

It had to happen and it has. The holier than thou brigade have fired their angry arrows at the rising star of Ashtanga Yoga, Kino Macgregor, and they've thrown these white hot coals because Kino, in their opinion, is not adhering to the yoga philosophy laid down thousands of years ago and that's the point, it … Continue reading Kino MacGregor – Bad Girl Yogi

Gunfight at the Florida Mall

There are times when taking a photo could get you killed and had I found my camera that day, it's likely you wouldn't be reading this because I wouldn't be here to write it. It has been said in a previous blog that as a family, when on holiday, we'd managed to obtain the nickname … Continue reading Gunfight at the Florida Mall

A Night with Thich Nhat Hanh

It was March of last year, you know, that week in 2012 when the sun came out and it was 'unseasonably hot' and we were promised hosepipe bans and droughts, that we were lucky enough to have front row seats at the Southbank Centre in London for the 'Cooling the Flames' talk by Thich Nhat … Continue reading A Night with Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuk Tuks – avoiding death and scam

"Stop this tuk tuk right now or I'll grab your keys" was one comment I screamed at a driver. There were many others. I estimate that we took more than a hundred tuk tuks in the few weeks travelling through South India and were treated to a plethora of scams and dishonest practices - but there is no better way to experience … Continue reading Tuk Tuks – avoiding death and scam

How to Avoid Delhi Belly

The qualification for daring to write such a blog is that we recently spent three weeks travelling through Southern India on dirty, sardine packed buses, on trains that were so unclean that even the flies got off at each stop, to cafes without adequate sanitation such as running water from the one tap in the … Continue reading How to Avoid Delhi Belly

Hello India!

Our trip was blessed from the start because, although unbeknown to us at the time, we were met in the Bangalore arrivals hall by Lewis Hamilton very cleverly disguised as an Indian taxi driver. If you only do one thing on your travels to India, make sure that you pre book a taxi to greet you … Continue reading Hello India!

No Gadgets, No Cry

On the return flight from Bangalore to London via Dubai, a stewardess, whilst pouring out yet another coffee, asked where we'd been. She nodded expectantly and with reasonable un-interest as we said, 'a mini tour of South India' but her whole demeanour changed when we added, 'without phones, without watches and without computers', which she then repeated back to … Continue reading No Gadgets, No Cry

The British Buddhist Holy Isle.

On the 18th April 1992 Buddhist Lama Yeshe Rinpoche bought a whole island off the coast from the Island of Arran which in turn is off the coast of Scotland. It is called Holy Isle and must not be visited, indeed given the widest possible birth, if you can’t cope with peace, beauty, tranquility and … Continue reading The British Buddhist Holy Isle.

Kino MacGregor, London.

I’m writing this with the only things on my body that are currently not stiff and that’s the tips of my fingers (and ok yes the other one). This weekends Kino MacGregor yoga workshops in London are responsible and what workshops they were.! Mrs Ollier and I left home on Friday morning walking to the … Continue reading Kino MacGregor, London.

The West Highland Way

Continuing on from blog 'Ben Nevis' which is at https://kevollier.com/2012/09/13/bennevis/ Leaving the youth hostel the next morning, four things struck me. One was how there was a definite lack of youth at the hostel and having visited quite a few over the years I do wonder why the Youth Hosteling Associations don't simply leave off … Continue reading The West Highland Way

Yoga. Why?

 following on from https://kevollier.com/2015/05/25/so-18-years-on-to-be-a-yoga-teacher/ I think my decision to do the teacher training has brought up a lot of questions, particularly the one that will I ever teach? I'm not sure I will. I have no intention to but then I hear so many teachers say that they said the same thing right up until … Continue reading Yoga. Why?

Glen Behaving Madly

(the 'lads' walks' have taken place most years for the past 20 years to wild places such as Dartmoor and Exmoor and along the West Highland Way, the Isles of Scilly, Brittany, Arran, Hadrians Wall and many more. I think it's time to tell the stories behind the walks. So names of people and hotels … Continue reading Glen Behaving Madly

Bodh Gaya – The Buddhist Theme Park

There are four places which are important and the ultimate pilgrimages for Buddhists. There is his birthplace which is Lumbini in Nepal, his death place at Kushinigar, India, his first sermon at Sarnath, Varanasi (more about this in later blog) and the place where he sat under a tree for a bit, as steady as … Continue reading Bodh Gaya – The Buddhist Theme Park

Love

Love cannot be visual as that would dismiss the blind or audible as that would omit the deaf. Love cannot be speakable as that would exclude the mute or scented as that would eliminate cocaine users. Love is not unconditional as that is still a condition. It's not in the body or the heart or … Continue reading Love

Rishikesh! Yoga capital of the world

following on from https://kevollier.com/2014/07/02/beggars/ The bus from hell pulled in at Dehra Dun at 5 in the morning and still being 10 miles from Rishikesh allowed taxi drivers to take advantage, or try to at least. They should understand that after the last 14 hours my inner yogi had gone awry and I was left … Continue reading Rishikesh! Yoga capital of the world

Why the yoga mat is undermining your practice – Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper. Probably the most down to Earth, un-fluffy, says it how it is, yoga teacher on the planet ruffles feathers with the yoga science of the non - mat. copied directly from http://loveyogaanatomy.com/attached-to-your-mat-why-the-yoga-mat-is-undermining-your-practice/   Attached to your mat? Why the yoga mat is undermining your practice By Brian Cooper PhD and Chris Norris PhD … Continue reading Why the yoga mat is undermining your practice – Brian Cooper

The Karma of Gay Abandon

Before this India trip a neighbour informed me that he'd never get on to a bus in India where the driver believes in reincarnation. I recalled this statement less than one hour in. The day had started with a tad of tension which as the day and night went by descended further. We'd taken a … Continue reading The Karma of Gay Abandon

Holi !

following on from In Search of Gandhi (Part 2) https://kevollier.com/2014/04/23/north-india-in-search-of-gandhi-part-2/ Sitting down for breakfast we were joined by a Swiss couple who looked like they'd been in a road accident - and indeed they had. The night before, the tuk tuk they'd been riding in had been hit, side on by a car throwing both … Continue reading Holi !

Glastonbury to Delhi

After our last trip to India in 2012 we decided not to ever again sleep overnight on chairs at Gatwick or any other airport and so we booked in at a nearby Gatwick Hotel which is a 10 minute shuttle from the hotel door to the North Terminal. The staff here were lovely but for … Continue reading Glastonbury to Delhi

Kino MacGregor Primary Series DVD review

At Amazon UK the amazon link I have been practicing yoga for 15 years now with the last six of those being Ashtanga with a teacher who some consider to be one of the best Ashtanga teachers in the UK - Jane Piddington, who teaches in and around Glastonbury. So my bar is already high. … Continue reading Kino MacGregor Primary Series DVD review

Longleat Safari Park

Just before Christmas I took my grandson Ollie, daughter Emma and son James to Longleat Safari Park (which means I paid for them) and it was very excellent. The Lions were super active and being extremely liony. Ollie hated the Monkeys as one startled him as it jumped on to the windscreen. I had to … Continue reading Longleat Safari Park

Embrace Your Inner Biker

I had a nice surprise this evening to discover that a letter I sent to BIKE magazine, Britain's best selling motorcycle mag that also goes out to the US,  made 'Star Letter' in the December issue. The original unedited version ... So here I am, back on a bike after 28 years and maybe I'm … Continue reading Embrace Your Inner Biker

Yoga Biking

As I understand things, all spiritual teachings are taught, essentially, to allow one to strive for one thing, stillness of mind.  Yoga Asanas are there, as just one limb of eight, to prepare the body for meditation so that it can sit as still and as comfortably as possible without having ones legs turn blue … Continue reading Yoga Biking