What are you listening to at the moment?

A lot of Bon Iver. I go through phases of having an ‘artist of the moment’, in the last year these have included Zola Jesus (Skin), S Carey (Alpenglow), Daughter (Shallows), Ben Howard (Promise), and Jon Hopkins (Immunity). Bon Iver is perfect at the moment, with Holocene one of my all time favourites.


Where would you teleport to?

The moon. I’ve always been fascinated and soothed by the sight of the moon, its craters, and white surface, and like many people, am also affected by the cycles. If I were to teleport to the moon I would try to roll down a crater (I don’t know how difficult this would be without gravity), and bask in all the mooniness of the moon.


Where do you buy your yoga clothes?

Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I bought yoga clothes, which I think students can probably see! I suppose I go to anywhere that gives a teacher discount such as Sweaty Betty and Manuka as these are good quality and functional. That said, I wear old clothes for teaching and practising too, just anything that keeps me warm and allows my skin to breathe.


What does a regular practice look like for you?

It very much depends on my energy levels and how creative I’m feeling. I like to practice between 90 mins and two hours, but this isn’t always possible and as long as I’m on the mat five to six days a week I’m fine with fluctuating duration. I am increasingly less dictated by what I think I should practice and try to honour what is appropriate in the moment.


Any advice to a yoga beginner?

Keep trying to return your focus to the breath, find a good teacher and learn what you can, remain open yet committed to what makes you feel well.

Following on from our fab light on Yoga Manchester students blogs we are now turning the spotlight on to our own teachers, and who better than to start with than the new kid on the block Lianne Daly. Lianne has just returned from several months away studying yoga in both Thailand and Australia and lucky for Yoga Manchester she is now teaching Mondays in Fallowfield and Thursdays in Altrincham.

What music are you currently grooving to?

Peter Bradley Adams: (I have a tendency to have songs on repeat a little too much, at the moment “The longer I run” is currently on repeat)

Whats your fav food / restaurant ?

I’m a lover of Thai food, there’s a great restaurant in Manchester called Thaikhun, lots of yummy vegetables and noodles!

Name 2 people you’d like to go to dinner with ?

I am a lover of the world and how we create as much equality as possible so Russell Brand would be my first choice; I’m sure we would have some interesting topics to discuss and a few laughs along the way, I also love to read and daydream about astronomy and what’s going on in space (especially the moon) so Brain Cox would be my 2nd choice !

Best piece of yoga advice received / given

Received :

I read a blog Matt Ryan wrote stating he had experienced all emotions on his yoga mat; I too felt my mat had seen me strong and weak, through years of attending Matt’s classes he always repeated “don’t rush don’t rush” this awareness of creating time on my yoga mat really resonated with how I approached my practice.
One quirky Monday evening after class as everyone was walking out of the hall Matt in his manc voice (not his yoga voice) shouted “just to let ya know there’s no prize when you get ya leg behind ya head so enjoy the journey” … I thought about it and from that point on I realised that every step/fold or breath I made on my mat was just as important as any advancing inversion or back bend.
I took this approach forward from yoga practice and into life… Approaching everything big or small with intimate awareness.

Don’t Rush. There’s no prize when you get your leg behind your head, enjoy the journey.

Given :
My advice to students is to trust yourself, don’t work against yourself, be understanding and support yourself, listen to your breath as much as you can, in yoga, in meditation, before bed, throughout your day, you will create an intimacy with the feeling of your own presence and your time here.

We have a very special ‘guest yogi’ for this month’s Yoga Manchester People blog. Yoga Manchester caught up with London based Ashtanga Yogi Charlie Taylor-Rugman. Charlie will be in Manchester at the end of November to teach a Pranayama workshop.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I live in London and I teach yoga privately. I like to go to see stand-up comedy and I also watch a lot of modern circus. A few years ago I started slacklining and unicycling and met someone who was studying Chinese pole. This is what got me into watching circus. These days circus is based on people and there are no animals in the shows. It’s amazing to see the physical prowess of the performers. They are incredibly dedicated to what they do and I find it really inspiring. I am also fascinated by anatomy and physiology so I spend a fair portion of each week studying to improve my knowledge of the body and how it works. My wife and I are also lucky enough to spend plenty of time travelling for fun which is really enjoyable.

What are you currently listening to? Tell us about it…

Two weeks ago I got an earworm, one of those phrases from a song that constantly repeats itself in your head. It was a song from Paul Simon called Graceland. I found the album on Youtube and I have been listening to the whole album over the past week. The Graceland album was one of the first albums that introduced music from southern Africa to a larger audience in the west, so it is pretty significant in a number of ways. I find I don’t really listen to music that much. Living in London can be very noisy and I find that increasingly I prefer silence.

What brought you to yoga and how long have you been practising?

I started reading books about yoga philosophy when I was an undergraduate. I then started learning to meditate with some Tibetan monks who happened to be visiting England. I was taken to my first yoga class by one of my housemates whilst I was at university. It was an Iyengar-style class and I liked the precise way that the asana were introduced. I stuck with it for a while but then one day I saw someone in a martial arts dojo practicing what I knew were yoga postures but in a really flowing style. I had just seen Ashtanga Yoga for the first time and I knew that this was what I wanted to learn. I spoke to the guy who was practicing and he started teaching me. That was in 1992. I have been practicing ever since.

What is your yoga super power?

Pranayama. I have been practicing pranayama for 15 years. I love my daily asana practice but learning pranayama really takes your postures and your internal experience of them to another level. A daily pranayama practice really gives you a deep insight into how you are feeling each day and how calm or disturbed your mind is. Yoga in all traditions is a practice to still the mind. By practicing pranayama regularly we start to see how the mind works and we cultivate techniques which can help us to develop greater levels of tranquillity and vitality.

If you could be a character in a well-known film, who would you be and why?

Since I was a child I have always been interested in Sherlock Holmes, so if I had to be anyone in a film it would be Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles. Jeremy Brett who starred in the ITV adaptations of Sherlock Holmes which were filmed in the 1980s is my favourite actor in the Holmes role. He gives a really strong character portrayal and it is very close to what Conan Doyle, the author of the original Holmes stories, describes. I love Holmes’ analytical, observation¬¬ based deductive style of investigation. I often look at yoga postures in a similar fashion. If one of my students is finding difficulties with an asana I use my knowledge of anatomy and physiology to help find out the cause of the problem and also to help to find a solution to allow the practitioner to enjoy the asana.

Where in Manchester (or where in the world) is heaven?

I don’t know Manchester that well though I have been a number of times. I once wandered around looking for a decent coffee shop very early on a rainy Sunday morning and enjoyed looking round at some of the very beautiful old buildings in the city centre. Mostly I am passing through on my way to somewhere else. Manchester Picadilly is a decent place to change trains. My wife has fond memories of the club scene when she was a teenager.

If you could go back in time to see something or change something, what would it be?

There are so many things that have happened that it might be desirable to change, September 11 or the Second World War for instance. The difficulty with going back in time and changing something is that you never know what might have happened instead, and that might have been worse. Perhaps rather than changing the past we should look to find ways that we can behave with greater clarity in the future. This seems to be one of the key messages in yoga: By acting skilfully we can avoid future pain and anguish.



Step forward the wonderful Lynn Sbaih who is the August Manchester Yoga People . Lynn is a regular at many Yoga Manchester classes and workshops. Enjoy a small insight into Lynn’s world – and remember to leave any of your thoughts in the comments section beneath the blog.

Lynne Sbaih yoga manchester people

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Liverpool but have never actually lived there. I have lived and worked all over the UK and the Middle East and so have, until recently always considered myself a bit of a nomad. However I have lived in Stockport for the last ten years and so now see myself as being from Stockport … sort of.

I’m a nurse by trade, and worked in the NHS, all my working life, up to late last year when I took the brave step to leave and start my own business. I have worked mostly in Accident and Emergency Units in a number of hospitals both in this country and the Middle East, and have also done some work in Intensive Care Units. In addition to this I have worked at Manchester University, for The World Health Organisation and the Department of Health.

Having left school at 16 years, I have also completed a Bsc (Hons), MPhil and Phd, all part time, along the way. Having started my life as a nurse I left as a senior operational manager and am the owner of Bluebird Care (Tameside). I have a growing team of care workers who provide home care services for anyone who needs support to remain independent in their own home.

I have always had sport or activity related hobbies, the gym, swimming, running basically anything that meant I did not have to sit down so to now to love doing yoga is quite a mindset change for me … but more about that later…

What are you currently listening to?

I only listen to music with other people. Usually in public places! This means I like anything I can dance to, usually with other people. Quite a few years ago I discovered salsa and became quite an addict … again another activity that stopped me sitting down and I love the music. My tastes in music are many as long as it has a tune and I am particularly into anything from the 60s at the moment… but that could change at any time. My favorite radio station is Key 103 for leisure and Radio 4 The Morning Programme when I need to catch up with current affairs.

What brought you to yoga and how long have you been practising?

I got into yoga by accident. I was getting fed up of the gym and thought I would try something different. There were some of us at work who got some access to funding to pay for some exercise so I thought I would try yoga. There were some classes on at the gym which I tried and did not really like and so I thought I would go to Kirstin’s Saturday class. Wow did I work hard.. trying to work out what to do, hold postures and breathe!

I have now been practicing for two years. I go to two classes a week, three if I can manage and do a ten-minute self-practice six days a week. In addition to this I also now do meditation each day after attending a fantastic workshop with Brad Warner. My next yoga goal is to attend an early morning Mysore week.

What is your yoga super power?

My favorite posture at the moment is the forward bend. This is a posture that I have achieved over a period of time and so it has gone from one that I found hard to one I now enjoy. I always have the intention to focus and challenge myself before each class and mostly achieve this. I enjoy the relaxation at the end of each class as I still get a sense of having accomplished completing a class and taking myself just that little bit further into some of the postures. I am now much more flexible but still have tight shoulders. My ambition is to be able to headstand and when achieve this I am going to throw a big party!

If you could be a character in a well-known film, who would you be and why?

If I had to describe myself in terms of a character in a cartoon it would be the Road Runner; the character that is seen running, at top speed, along winding roads followed by a stream of dust. The Road Runner sums up the speed of movement of thoughts in my head at any one time, on many occasions. Luckily both yoga and meditation have got me to slow down and focus, particularly on my breathing but my head is still able to accommodate several hundred thoughts all wizzing round in a second.

Where in Manchester is heaven?

I enjoy cycling in Manchester and particular love to cycle in on a Sunday morning, through the empty streets, to Café Nero for coffee. Most Sunday mornings the Curry Mile is full of the smells of cooking from late Saturday night and by the time I cycle back will be full of the smells of Sunday lunch cooking. I also have fond memories of driving home in the early hours of Sunday morning, listening to Key 103, after a night of salsa dancing at Cocacobaba.

If you could go back in time to see something or change something, what would it be?

There are a few times and places I would like to go if I was able to go back in time. Firstly I would like to go back to the court of Henry the 8th and observe all the political intrigue of the time. I would like to meet his first two wives and have tea with them both and get to know what they were really like. Then I would like to meet Elizabeth the 1st for tea and cake and ask her what scared her most about being in charge of the country. From there I would like to jump forward to the French Revolution and meet Marie Antoinette. Then I would jump forward again to spend some time with Emmeline Pankhurst during her fight for the right for women to vote. I would be keen to talk to her about her achievements and whether there was anything she would have done differently. I would finish my historical tour by joining the men as they landed on the moon.


This month’s Yoga Manchester People blog features on Mysore Intensive student Simon Liddiard. Enjoy Simon’s answers and don’t forget to write your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

Yoga Manchester people simon liddiard ashtanga yoga

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I hail from Porstmouth, land of (relative) sun, sailors and bad clubs. I was lured to Manchester in late 2007 by a Siren in black – the grass was visibly greener on the other side of the Watford Gap, possibly due to the rain. After regularly visiting the city for a couple of years it was inevitable that I’d make it my home. Since putting down some fairly deep roots here – even as far as buying a house (with said Siren) – I’ve shifted my career from shirt’n’tie planner to jeans’n’tshirt photographer, a move that has been rewarding and challenging in dynamic measure. Beyond the day-to-day pleasures of living in a major city I enjoy a fair amount of reading, riding around on my bike like a teenager and the odd tipple (usually in partnership with the bike riding). Oh, don’t forget the yoga.


What are you currently listening to? Tell us about it…

Well, my rather large musical bag is almost completely filled by Spotify right now. I unashamedly pay the £10 monthly subscription and in return I have universal access to a massive amount of tunage. Sponsorship cheque in the post yet, Spotify? I have mostly been enjoying a diverse mix of everything, as befits any musically-interested 21st century dweller. I tend to lean towards the heavier end of the aural spectrum but I’m also partial to most things instrumental/ambient/experimental. Right at this moment I’m listening to Weezer. I don’t where that compulsion came from. Anyone interested in plumbing the depths of my collection can search for Simon Liddiard.

What brought you to yoga and how long have you been practising?

I was tuned to yoga by my Taekwondo teacher K.Y. Suh as a way to focus the mind and increase flexibility. He knew what he was talking about, having taught the Pan-American Olympic team and the Paraguayan National Guard, but I short sightedly didn’t follow his recommendation. Nevertheless I was intuitively aware of the importance of a holistic approach to physical fitness and I always combined training sessions with a home-grown series of stretches, many of which I now realise were based on yoga asanas. Coincidentally when I met the Siren in black (2007) she had a regular hatha practice. Fast-forward a bit and we started attending Yoga-Manchester classes and workshops together. In fact, I now benefit from a live in yoga teacher, not that this encourages me to practice any more regularly. When I started practicing I had been though a few years of exercise-desert and too much dessert. I find the yoga learning curve is steep but progressive. I believe yoga helps correct some of the imbalances of a leisure-based existence and the body responds quickly to the good stuff! I do need to keep reminding myself that yoga is not competitive though.

What is your yoga super power?

I’ve always enjoyed relatively good upper body strength and an ok sense of balance so I always look forward to the handstand towards the end of the Ashtanga primary series (everyone should try this sequence at least once to get an idea of the sweat-inducing properties of Ashtanga). Another reason why I like this posture is because it looks cool and I want to be able to show off.

If you could be a character in a well-known film, who would you be and why?

I’ve always wanted to be a bit like James Bond but more freelance. The party-political bureaucracy of working for M16 would do my head in.

Where in Manchester is heaven?

I would have to say the closest place to heaven in Manchester is probably the top of Beetham Tower. I’m being sarcastically literal because I can’t think of any one place I enjoy over the others – I’m easily pleased.

If you could go back in time to see something or change something, what would it be?

When time travel becomes possible I will flit around the centuries armed with the knowledge needed to make some clever investments. I would also buy a load of art work from struggling, yet-to-be-dead/famous artists. I might also be persuaded to tinker with various bad historical decisions but then who am I to decide right from wrong? One must always be aware of the Grandfather Paradox.




Welcome to our fabulous new section of the Yoga Manchester blog site. Yoga Manchester People-light on our students turns the spotlight onto the members of the Yoga Manchester community. Each month we will feature a different Yoga Manchester student (this could be you very soon!). The featured student will answer our questionnaire and give the rest of us an insight into their unique on and off the mat life  experiences. Enjoy !

Introducing Miss Rebecca Daw

Yoga Manchester people light on our students rebecca daw

Tell us a bit about yourself….

I’m originally from Cornwall. I moved to Manchester about 7 years ago just as I was approaching my 30th birthday. Since the move my life has totally changed. It’s a bit like I was sleeping before I got here! As you can imagine, waking up after almost 30 years is practically unimaginable! A combination of excitement, joy, terror, disorientation!

Since that time I haven’t stopped exploring! I love to eat, drink, laugh, travel, talk and I absolutely love film! I loathe chit chat so tend to be a bit fussy about the company I keep and sometimes I’m not sure if this is more of a hindrance than a help! I’m not big on family so friends are important to me.

I work as a therapist in a local primary school. I never intended to work with children but I’m a strong believer in pushing yourself towards something that feels uncomfortable. The chances are, you’re going to learn something important and I have. Working with children forces you to use all sorts of creative techniques to help them express themselves and feel understood. So now I’m exploring creativity and this has been wonderful!

What are you currently listening to? Tell us about it….

At the moment I’m obsessed with the new James Blake album: Overgrown. It is absolutely phenomenal! The man couldn’t do anything other than make music. It just seems to pour from him like it’s no bother! I enjoy this kind of music most, music from true artists. I want blood and guts from them! They have to mean it! Each track on this album is very different. He seems to use a bit of everything. At times Bjork, then Massive Attack and then Hercules and The Love Affair! Meanwhile all sorts of responses are happening: Potential panic attack, needing sex, crying, sweating, laughing! Told you it was phenomenal! I swear to God…You have to listen to this album! Oh God…I’ve just done an album review!

What brought you to yoga and how long have you been practising?

People use the word “lazy” when they talk about not wanting to do exercise but I’m not sure about this. Sometimes I think it’s got more to do with self-neglect or ambivalence. Well, this is how it felt to me. I wasn’t willing to give my body this good thing that made me feel fantastic. My partner got me thinking seriously about it. She recommended Yoga For Sport. This was 2 years ago. After a year I changed to Ashtanga. At this point something changed and I knew I would always do yoga.

Work can be taxing and yoga became one of the only things that would help to ground me. I also have a double curvature in my spine that causes me alot of discomfort. Yoga helped to release the pain and tension. It’s strange really because each class is different. Sometimes I’ll be aware of getting angry during a class. I still have no idea why! Then sometimes I’ll feel more connected to my body then I have ever experienced in my whole life and I can’t believe it cost me less than a tenner!

It helped to find a yoga teacher who seemed like a refreshing change from joss sticks and balloon pants, so nice one Matt! : )

What is your yoga super power?

Turned out I was flexible! You’ll find me sometimes collapsing during downward dog due to hardly any upper body strength but with a little assistance, I can literally become a human knot during Marichyasana! Doing this pose feels a bit like someone is pouring warm honey over your head, shoulders and back!

If you could be a character in a well-known film, who would you be and why?

I couldn’t think of an answer for this one and considering I love films that seems quite odd. I asked for help and quite rightly decided on Rita from Educating Rita. She’s doesn’t quite fit in and knows she wants something different and to better herself.

Where in Manchester is heaven?

My God that’s difficult! Dimitri’s restaurant will always be a special place. It’s where my partner and I had our first date 7 years ago. It’s also where I met my birth Mum after never seeing her for over 30 years but I love to play cards at the bar in the Mal Maison, eat their food and drink their extensive wine list. It’s even worth the horror when the bill arrives!

 If you could go back in time to see something or change something, what would it be?

I’d have seen the light and moved to Manchester in the 90’s. I’d most likely be sectioned or even dead by now but I still can’t help wishing!