Welcome to Brian Cooper’s Website

The photo I have chosen as a welcome to my site gives some idea of what I feel are the aims and essence of yoga. I am performing a version of Maha Bandha, or the great lock. I practice this by first doing a round of Bhastrika, then taking the exhale to its limit, I hold Jalandhara Bandha, then Uddiyana Bandha with Mula Bandha. With time the breath can be held for remarkably long periods and the gaze automatically shifts to the eyebrow centre. It brings a sense of peace which is hard to describe. Mastery of this Bandha takes many years of regular practice but is well worth it. The three bandhas are united like a combination lock which opens a door leading to another world.  Although all approaches to yoga are said to lead to the same goal, I have concentrated for the past 40 years on Hatha Yoga. Like many of us who discover yoga, it had an immediate effect on my overall sense of wellbeing. Why this is so remains a mystery, and I am happy to leave it as a mystery. This has not stopped me ‘investigating’ and using my knowledge of western science to appreciate and marvel at the techniques of Hatha Yoga. I think that an inquiring mind, free from preconceptions, willing to make mistakes, but ultimately in search of the truth, is vital for real progress in yoga. And beyond this are two more important ingredients: faith and humility. Faith not only in yoga’s wisdom, but also in oneself, tempered by the knowledge that we are part of a greater whole.