Food for thought . . .

The other day, I walked into a shop on a petrol station forecourt looking for the usual coffee vending machine.  Finding it gone, and a range of greeting cards in its place, I chose a cold drink and as I paid for it, commented on the change to the sales assistant. I was met by a look of bemusement and a finger that pointed behind me.  In search of my usual cup of coffee, I had inadvertently walked past the new, and possibly biggest, vending machine in the world – and a well-known brand (that I won’t advertise here).

Apart from making me feel very foolish, the incident cause me to wonder how much else I miss in life when I’m hurrying, busy, focused, on a mission . . . whatever you’d like to call it.  Sometimes we read statements in the press that tell us, for example, that we spend around 6 months of our lives in a queue or 38 hours a year stuck in traffic.  How much of my life do I spend, I wonder, missing out on what’s around me – 30%, 40%, more than half?  Food for thought . . .


Pushy or Present?

“Pushy Mothers’ is a national organisation that started around Newcastle and aims to help young mothers to get or stay fit and well. It’s a great idea and a great name . . . or is it?

We’re working on our first sales strategy and really need to ‘get out there and sell’. But we’re terrified of looking ‘pushy’, especially in yoga circles. I’ve looked it up and the definition of ‘pushy’ is ‘excessively or unpleasantly self-assertive or ambitious’. No. We definitely don’t want to be that.  And yet, when we read all the sales and marketing ‘stuff’ that’s what we need to be if we’re to survive in this terribly competitive environment.  Is it easier to be pushy online?  We could get some lead management software to turn contacts into ‘hot prospects’ (?!) but doesn’t that mean pestering the virtual life out of people until they simply unsubscribe?  Still, then, we’re struggling with the balance between that which we (think we) can control and the the influences of the wider world.  Is it enough just to be present?  To be there?  Will business come to us when we’re ready? Or do we have to push with all the resistance that implies?

What part of ‘Namaste’ is it you don’t understand . . .?


Yoga being about unity, we’re all supposed to understand (and teachers more than anyone perhaps) that its gifts will be better distributed through community.  Here in Newcastle, yoga teachers are starting to get together so that we can find out about each other’s classes and work collaboratively, sharing practice and recommending to practitioners the best classes for them.  In this way we can make sure that there’s a class for everyone and that we can all work together.

How sad then to hear of a teacher knowingly disregarding this union by invading personal and teaching space with no attention to the respect for oneself and others that yoga actively generates.  If we can’t achieve community and collaboration through yoga, what hope for everything else?

Although we mustn’t forget that ‘Namaste’ has a range of meanings, it is generally accepted as acknowledgement of respect, in both greeting and farewell.  Let’s remember, then, every time we bow or speak it, to recognise respect – and then to walk the talk.

A marathon meeting

China Rose Tea

Despite what the tea pot says, the Chinese rose petal tea from Atkinson’s was readied for serious work. Seven and a half hours. That’s how long it took us to minute the following:

  1. We’re good at what we do but so are lots of other people
  2. Our story is about yoga being fun.  Some make serious business of it but we think people have enough to stress them without worrying about perfecting their Mayurasana
  3. We have products and markets but aren’t sure how to get them together now that corner shops have gone out of fashion (yes, yes, we tweet, FB and blog, but being over 27 we’re not yet entirely sure how these replace the string shopper)
  4. We have loads of good ideas for more fun Myoga products but until we master 3 (above), we really can’t justify developing them
  5. People are very busy and we have to do (even) more hard work
  6. It’s a challenge to get others to be as passionate about your stuff as you are
  7. The receipt tin is full to overflowing and we have to start some proper accounts
  8. We don’t know if the sweet chilli prawn wrap from Dene’s Deli is better than the crab and mango but we love chocolate fudge cake and Doddington’s vanilla ice cream.


I am reminded of a recent FB posting of ours:

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mind settles and the water is clear?”
Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?”  Lao Tzu.

So, do we fret, stress, turn ourselves inside out with anxiety and and continue to fight the urge to fold up quietly in a corner with a blanket over our heads or do we follow the wisdom of the masters who have brought us the gift of yoga and wait for the right action to arise?  It just has to be the latter. Nothing else would make sense – except, perhaps for the rest of the Doddington’s that’s lurking in the freezer . . .



A is for . . .



It’s almost here at last – our next board meeting – and it’s been a long time coming, what with all the external demands made on our time, and having to lie down on our own mats sometimes with a sprinkling of fairy dust.  We’re a small board, admittedly, but a board nevertheless, and tomorrow we have a very long agenda to get through. From accounts to yoga pants, we’ll give the alphabet a run through although, as you’ll see, not in any order.

M is for money. We have to remind ourselves of this.  We have cash cards that look like it but we also have a full tin labelled ‘receipts for money we used to have’. It’s in short supply.

Coincidentally, M is also for marketing and we’ll talk about this quite a lot – what’s worked and what hasn’t. With more of the latter probably.  We really need a way to get people to understand our products and what they represent.  But it’s a B hard world out there in the ether.

So, U is for understanding.  Bill Gates once famously said that it’s OK to celebrate success but you learn more from failure (or something like that).   So F is for failure but we don’t even contemplate that possibility because . . .

. . . A is for attitude and we believe that a positive A doesn’t leave room for F.

C is perhaps the most important letter tomorrow because, of course, it stands for . . . cake! At last! And as Lent is over, it can be Chocolate Cake.  Mmmm, CC also stands for cold calling, cost-control and credit crunch.  Oh dear.

Afterwards, we’ll share some of our thoughts with you in the hope that like minds and businesses would like to do the same. After all, a P shared is a P halved, even if we do have to call them challenges these days.

What to wear for yoga

Marzipants!Why, MyogaMarzipants of course!  No unhappy revelations with these (see what NOT to wear). Marzipants are this year’s coolest look – in yoga class, at home, and when it eventually warms up, on the beach, in the park and at the shops. We love them.  Practical and stylish, comfortable (and surprisingly warm), they’re ethically made in a workshop in Goa by Marzipan Clothing Limited.  Myoga branded pants will be available on our website next week.  We’ll post to let you know.  In the meantime, we’re looking at 3D printers. They’re Myogamarvellous. Impossible is a thing of the past.

What not to wear for yoga

A friend of mine is reportedly most unhappy with me.  Having recommended Ucci’s beginners’ courses to him, he turned up for his first class in a pair of baggy football shorts and I (allegedly, and most probably) looked disapproving.

‘Loose and comfortable’ is the common advice given to people wondering what to wear for their first yoga class.  But ‘how loose?’ is the question.  Yoga asanas require of us some unfamiliar postures. In an inversion, a loose top can reveal more than just the pound of flesh that Shylock was after and leave you thinking someone put the lights out.  In aesthetic terms, gravity isn’t kind, and comfort as well as dignity and warmth can be maintained by some light lycra, perhaps sported underneath your favourite kit.  But chaps, football shorts in dog tail or baddha konasana just aren’t kind to anyone nearby, least of all your teacher who is required to look at you to check that you’re positioned correctly. This concern only stretches to major parts of the anatomy. Really.

So I hereby apologise publicly for the offence caused by a fleeting (if rather chilly) look of disapproval.  But better than the alternative I’d say, for all concerned.  There’s no picture to go with this blog. Naturally.