About Yoga and Michael

Why Two Birds?

The teachings of Yoga reveal that we have a dual nature. An ancient story likens this to two birds in a tree. At most times, we experience ourselves as a person, subject to the ups and downs of life. In the story, this is the lower bird, that eats of the sweet and bitter fruits of life. Yet it is possible, like an identical bird perched in the same tree, to simply look down on one's suffering self with understanding and compassion. The twin aims of Yoga practice are to reduce our suffering and to increase our understanding.

My History

To these ends, I have been practising Yoga for nearly 40 years and teaching for over 30 years. My first qualification in 1986 was a Teacher's Diploma from the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) www.bwy.org.uk, the largest Yoga organisation in Great Britain. From 1987-90, I underwent further training within Desikachar's then representative in the UK, Paul Harvey, later progressing to Postgraduate level and running a number of 'Stage One' introductory courses. While running Foundation Courses for BWY, I trained and was certified with them as a DCT (Teacher Trainer) in 2007. During this time, I continued to study with Sri Desikachar and other senior KYM teachers on many occasions, including four courses of continued professional development at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram www.kym.org. Between 2007 to 2014, I ran two BWY Teacher's Diploma courses, the second with a provisional DCT, Fiona Wells. In 2011, following recommendation by my mentor, Gillian Lloyd and stringent examination, I was certified by Sri Desikachar as a Teacher-Trainer. I was the BWY representative on the teaching faculty at the European Yoga Union Congress in 2010. I taught at the 2017 World Yoga Festival and have been invited back to teach at the 2018 and 2019 World Festivals. I continue to work within the Society of Yoga Practitioners www.tsyp.org, whose aim is to offer teaching, therapy and training in the lineage of T.Krishnamacharya and his son, T.K.V.Desikachar, throughout the U.K.

My Current Focus

Within this tradition, my main expertise is Breathwork and Pranayama. These practices, involving the breath and subtle locks and points of concentration in the body, have the effect of stilling the mind and bringing it into the quiet state necessary for meditation. They are also reputed to ensure optimum health. This is why I am currently working on a book with the aim of bringing these beneficial practices to a much wider readership. There is much that is not widely understood about the breath, pranayama and yoga inversions and how best to work with these practices and I continue with my study, practice and research. My article 'Headstand Day by Day' can be found in the Spring 2011 edition of BWY's journal, Spectrum. In this research, I was much aided by my expertise in Physics (I am a Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics) and by consultations with a colleague at Imperial College, London, Emeritus Professor Kim Parker.