Those of you who have practised yoga with me know I am a sigher. Why hold back? Sometimes yoga is so delicious pleasure begins to burble up from the belly, the kidneys, the heart, and who would want to stifle such an organic impulse. Add voice to it, and, voila, perfection!

I’ve traveled miles on this U.S. trek, now drawing to a close, maybe 450 miles in Arizona alone. Sighs have been too few and far between. So I was smiling all over in today’s yoga session in San Anselmo from almost beginning to end.

The instructor, Tony, of the Turtle Island Yoga studio – www.turtleislandyoga.com – combines his prior Iyengar training with Shadow Yoga vivacity and his own humour, compassion and humanity. I consider myself a connoisseur of great yoga teaching and savoured this resulting blend with great satisfaction and a surfeit of sighs.

Tony posed an interesting question. How come yogis are showing up with hip problems when they have been earnest practitioners, sometimes for decades like myself?

I would say that it is because we may need to balance our practice more, with equal lashings of flexibility and strengthening work. But also with energy work, like pranayama, and the kind of emotional/mental work that arises from meditation. Perhaps we need to look to our whole lifestyle – pace, diet, relationships, and the whole kit and kaboodle of the Yama and Niyama.

The question is simple; the answer is complex. Awareness is everything.