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Men's Yoga

Nearing the 3-month mark for my teaching of Yoga at the Dorchester Yoga Centre and I have a genuine feeling of gratitude towards my teachers and my students. I am grateful for the opportunity to be sharing. I continue with my daily practices of Samantraka Āsana (coordinating Āsana practice with Mantra) and Prānāyāma as designed and guided by my Mentor, Dr. K. Desikachar.  Thus, enabling me to design authentic Yoga sequences and guide students through these, so they can experience for themselves the joys and benefits of this practice. Not to mention the challenges and achievements that come with it – be it flexibility, strength, self-awareness, breath control, and ultimately the transformation.


From planning the sequences to sharing them in classes, I have noticed the necessity to adapt, alter and suggest modifications for my students.  I am fortunate these gentlemen are a receptive and keen audience, but I realise some of my intended poses are too challenging and therefore make the appropriate changes in the sequence. Despite this, I am already hearing their positive feedback and recognising the benefits students are experiencing. Observing improvements in each one of my regular students, fills me with a feeling of deep contentment and gratitude for my own teachers. It is great to see initial inaccessibility slowly become accessible following diligent and regular practice.


I will change the sequences every 3 months around the time of the Solstices and Equinox. This will enable practitioners to become familiar with the challenges a yoga practice can offer, and experience the improvement in their ability, their focus and ultimately a positive transformation in their practice. I feel a new sequence created every few months will “freshen things up” and the intention really is to discourage any Samskāra-s (habits) setting in. If students are developing and growing, it is not appropriate to keep the same sequence. Where is the room for growth? These Practices will be shared to our website gallery, where members can access the Sequence and practice at home (ensuring they follow guidance of their teacher). Available at

The students attending are relatively new to Yoga-Āsana Practice (Postures). I am ensuring the postures, sequencing and modifications are appropriate and open to adult individuals of all abilities. Function over form!


More important for me though is encouraging students to practice regularly (Daily) with the correct attitude and intention. This draws on the Yogasūtra-s of Pantañjali:


Chapter I.12 ...the state of Yoga comes about from regular, diligent, appropriate practice and the detachment from lifestyle habits.


Chapter I.13 ...and when appropriate, regular practice is sustained one may remain in a state of Yoga.


Chapter I.14 …and only when the practice is sustained without interruptions, and practiced with an attitude of positivity and eagerness that the practice will take root, leading to stability.


Chapter I.15. Once the Practice has be established over a long period of time, a high level of detachment may be obtained from the seeking out of objects both perceived and heard.



I am fortunate that my own learning in Yoga has continued, alongside my daily Practice. I relish coming to my mat each day, and feel blessed that I can practice, and have been shown how to practice by my teachers. I completed a 100-hour Prānāyāma course with Dr. K. Desikachar in February this year.  Prānāyāma is a system of yogic breathing techniques to regulate and extend the prāna or energetic systems in the body. I now incorporate this practice alongside my daily Samantraka-Āsana practice.


I also continue with my Studies of the Yogarahasya – one of the ancient texts that provides commentaries of Yoga by Nāthamuni (circa 9th Century A.D.) This continues on-line, twice monthly throughout the year.


Finally, I completed the 3rd module of the Viniyoga therapy Course. This is the halfway stage on this wonderful 1000-hour course which will allow me to guide students on a 1:1 basis, providing the many tools of yoga to use as a therapy. Not only did we continue with our Chanting and Meditation Practices. This module looked at how a Yoga Practice could be designed for people with certain ailments such as Stress/ Burnout, Obesity, Insomnia. We also looked a Gastrointestinal, Skin, Bone and Joint disorders too. With my background as a Registered Nurse, I found the Course content not only fascinating and but equipped me with new techniques and a whole new approach empowering people with these conditions. I look forward to the next module in September. I am ever the student!

So, if you have an interest in an authentic Yoga practice, then this might be the class for you. Currently this is a men-only class with the aim of encouraging men to Yoga, no judgement, no preconceived ideas of what individuals are capable of. Just Men and their mats….and a few props and supports for the journey!

Please watch this space - and for further updates.


Fred Burnham






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