July 2011

Patanjali and Everyone Else

To me, the fun of yoga practice and teaching is to find associations between what we notice when we are on our mats or meditation cushions and what comes up in everyday life.
The sage Patanjali, in his pithy sutra sayings, is really talking about all of our lives, not just what occurs in the quiet of our yoga spaces.
So, for instance, when we read the sutra “yogah citta vritti nirodhah” – yoga is to quiet the fluctuations of the mind, we might think of how we fall short of a peaceful mind when dealing with teenage kids. […]

Newbies

I’ve been teaching in the Yoga Shed here on Mitchells Island now for a whole 15 months now. Most of the people attending my classes, apart from veterans Daniel, Heather, and the occasional drop-in from Sydney, are beginner-ish – whatever that means in terms of yoga practice, as in yoga there isn’t what you could call a really standarised curriculum.
The Yoga Shed students who are regular attendees are progressing nicely and demonstrating some understanding of various postures. […]

Rolling Out the Mat

Rolling Out the Mat

Writing a blog post and figuring out what the content is going to be on any given day is a lot like rolling out a yoga mat in the morning and reckoning what sort of practice to do.
When the writing is good and the yoga practice goes well, it’s because they’ve naturally come toward you instead of having to chase after them madly with a butterfly net. […]

Finishing School

Yoga isn’t everything. I don’t mean to be an iconoclast, but the truth is that Life is also a very good teacher, and there are many good teachers in the world who are not strictly speaking yogis. Think Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi or Mother Teresa.
I’m going to spend this weekend with two of my favourite teachers at a workshop called Love, Intimacy and Sexuality. […]

Good Grief

Good Grief

I was reminded  after class today of the importance of proper grieving by one of my yoga students. We were chatting about his dad’s immanent death and the bitter-sweet process that he and his whole family have been in of letting go.
Earlier this year, when Daniel went to his mother’s funeral in the U.S., I went through my own private grieving at home. Grief for my mother-in-law but also for losses within my own family.
Death unleashes the most powerful emotions, if we let it. […]

Holiday on the Horizon

Holiday on the Horizon

Soon, three weeks from today, I will be in the Sonoran desert. With the speed of air travel, and the fact we are traveling east, we will be landing in Tucson, Arizona, not very long after we leave Sydney.
How much am I looking forward to North American summer? A great deal. It’s been like pushing a big rock up a hill at times getting out into the unheated yoga shed in the early morning to do my practice. […]

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

Yoga teachers sometimes veer from the straight and narrow (if in fact they have been on it) and I admit to having missed a day of practice. This is especially sad as I have been on the road, between Sydney and Mitchells Island. I’ll pun and say that the road certainly takes its toll on one’s body.
On the other hand, by being stuck in the car for many kilometres, Daniel and I have been able to listen to a good deal of an audiobook called Life by Keith Richards. […]

Therapy of Play

Therapy of Play

I was honored today to be taken to the workplace of my friend and yoga colleague, Maarit, in the beachside community of Mona Vale, NSW.
Maarit has lovingly created a space where she can work with individual children in the her special field called therapeutic play.
Drawing on various threads over a lifetime of study – graphic design, art, yoga teaching, psychology and counseling, Maarit’s uniquely trained to work with children and adults for whom “talking therapy” may not be the most effective medium.
I got to have a go at creating a sandplay scene myself, using some of the […]