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Foundation Practices for Yoga

Foundation Practices for Yoga

The course draws on the teachings I received during my training at Mandala Yoga Ashram and explores basic yet profoundly effective breathing practices, movement and relaxation techniques which provide a solid foundation for regular practice.

The course is suitable for complete beginners as well as more experienced practitioners and teachers who wish to share the practices with their students.

Breathing Practices - Breath Awareness and Abdominal Breathing

Breath awareness helps settle the mind and is a useful technique to develop and maintain presence. Breath awareness also helps us recognise the relationship between how we are breathing and how we are feeling.

Once we recognise this relationship we can influence how we feel, by applying the technique of abdominal breathing. Abdominal breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and the natural relaxation response conducive to good physical and mental health, rest, recovery and healing. This helps ease the symptoms of stress-related disorders and mental health conditions.

Movement - Joint Releasing, Hip Opening, Spinal Movements and Core Strengthening

Asana practice helps to improve suppleness, strength and stamina. Through regular practice one's range of movement will increase, and one may feel lighter and more energetic as physical tensions are released.

The Joint Releasing Series helps to loosen up the joints and also strengthen and lengthen weak and tight muscles. The movements help to improve the circulation and are therefore recommended for both arthritic and cardiovascular conditions. Furthermore the series serves as a foundation for all asana, and helps develop body and breath awareness.

The Hip Opening Sequence explores the 7 different movements of the hip joint; flexion, internal rotation, external rotation, circumduction, abduction, adduction and extension in one simple sequence, which if practiced regularly brings strength and stability to the hips as well as increased mobility and agility.

The Spinal Movements Sequence explores the 7 movements of the spine; rotation - twist to the left, rotation - twist to the right, flexion - curving forward, extension - curving backward, lateral flexion - side bend to the left, lateral flexion - side bend to the right and axial extension - lengthening the spine in one simple sequence. If practised regularly this sequence brings greater flexibility and range of spinal movement.

The Back and Abdominal Strengthening Sequence explores safe and effective core strengthening techniques to develop core strength. The sequences are progressive so there is a starting place for all abilities. Instruction is given for supported practice as well as more challenging work. If practiced regularly this sequence brings greater back and abdominal strength.

All the movements above can be slow and gentle and are therefore suitable for complete beginners and those with conditions for which strenuous exercise is not advised. The movements are also suitable for more able and experienced practitioners who may wish to work more strongly.

Relaxation - Yoga Nidra

The practice of Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation which can lead to conscious sleep. The practice is particularly useful for those who have trouble sleeping as it is said to be more effective than sleep.

Create Your Own Routines or use the Practice Sessions on the Course.

Feel free to create your own classes and routines from the practices offered or simply follow the suggested Practice Sessions. You could begin with breath awareness or abdominal breathing and continue with one or more of the joint releasing, hip opening, spinal movement or core strengthening videos. It's up to you what you do. You can then conclude with one of the relaxations.


"Johnny Glover completed our two year Teacher Training Course at Mandala Yoga Ashram from 2005 - 2007. He is trained in both the Yogic and Buddhist traditions and the courses he proposes to give promise to be an excellent opportunity for those who participate and who want to go deeper into Yoga."

Swami Nishchalananda, Director, Mandala Yoga Ashram.

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Acknowledgments to my teachers:

Yoga Therapy and Training Centre;
Marie Quail, Michael McCann (Spandan) and Valerie McCrory.
Mandala Yoga Ashram;
Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati, Swami Krishnapremananda Saraswati, Black Feather Moon, Vimuktananda.


Your Instructor


Johnny Glover
Johnny Glover

Johnny Glover has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2001. He first qualified as a Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Therapy and Training Centre (YTTC) in Northern Ireland where he later qualified as a Yoga Therapist. Wishing to deepen his experiential understanding of yoga he went on to complete a two-year teaching training programme at Mandala Yoga Ashram in Wales.

Johnny is aware of the personal transformation that meditation and mindfulness can bring about and is grateful for the guidance from his main teachers who are Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati and Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche. Johnny shares the practices with an open heart, encouraging participants to do what they can with awareness and acceptance.

Johnny has been delivering yoga for meditation weekends and courses at Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Centre for World Peace and Health since 2003.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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