July 2011

Things Yoga Teachers Say

There are a few tomes around these days that are collections of sayings that your mother said or puns that your dad made. There could easily be a compendium of yoga teacher quips, as the words get stepped down generationally, like parents to kids and guru to acolyte.
Some of the advice you get from a yoga teacher is anatomical, as in “unshrug your shoulders”, or “let your breath animate your body.” Some is mental, as in “let your thought activity slow down as you watch the content of your mind”. […]

The Body/Mind Manual

The Body/Mind Manual

I often think about how there are instruction manuals for the most mundane things, things that you can figure out just by common sense.
But the body, with its complex, interrelated systems comes with no manual at all. Medical doctors study for years to be able to understand, regulate, and heal bodies, but must admit to only a cursory comprehension of this miraculous machine. Anatomists may have in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of a human body and its physiology, but not necessarily understand their own body in any way experientially.
The practice of yoga is a way of coming to […]

The Gift of Presence

When asked what gift he wanted for his birthday, the yogi replied: “I wish no gifts, only presence.” ~Author Unknown
Okay, okay, it’s a corny pun, But the above quip might also be seen as rather clever because it sums up the very aim of yoga practice – the cultivation of presence.
Today I was talking to my friend, Jen on the phone. Like me, she’s a yoga teacher. I mentioned something to her which I’d forgotten I’d told her before. She remembered it in detail. […]

Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For

Like most people, we wanted real estate with a beautiful outlook. So, we had our home built on the top of a rise. We can see mountains to the west, wildlife in the forest, green pastures and distant water views.
What we also got as a result of being so elevated is full exposure to the blustery forty-five km/hr gusts of wind that have been drying out all of the flood plain (good), as well as the cute osteospermum we planted on Monday (bad).
I wouldn’t trade our bucolic outlook for the windless quiet of a sheltered dell. […]

I Heart Yoga Teaching

I Heart Yoga Teaching

I hold teaching to be a great pleasure and privilege. How I lucked into this profession has got to be by grace. I was a 35 year old, wondering what I would be when I grew up, and then I stumbled into a yoga teachers’ training.
Grace was there when I was able to apprentice with a very experienced teacher for several years. Afterwards, I flailed around for a while, attempting to find my own voice. […]

Tummy Rumbles…

…also called “gastric ructions”, caused by peristalsis, are the bane of some yoga relaxations.
There’s something diverting about getting to the quiet time at the end of a yoga class when the teacher has soothed and cajoled the group into a semi-somnolent state, when suddenly the low- pitched rumbling from some quarter starts up. […]

Tribes

This weekend I’ve enjoyed the privilege and delight of practicing yoga with friends and students.
Visitors from Sydney, Carol, Martin and Peter joined Mitchells Island local, Maggie, Daniel and me for a yoga session on Sat. morning. There’s such a lovely feeling of conviviality and camaraderie when kindred spirits practice yoga together. We form a temporary community, “fill our boots” (as Judy says), and then go our ways, happier for the experience.
I also like the experience of practicing alone. […]

Tough Love

Tough Love

Tough love is an expression that goes back to the late 60’s, that was used for someone who would treat another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run.
My friend Peter who is visiting us on Mitchells Island at the moment has been using the phrase to describe a gardening technique that involves severe plant culling.
I’m not very good at getting rid of plants that seem to me to still have some life in them. […]