October 2011

Rekindle Your Fire

Rekindle Your Fire

I admit to having felt stressed recently. A two-week bout of a cold. Chugging away at desk work. A new business in the wings. I promise you I’ve been at my yoga practice (almost) every day, but sometimes it’s not quite enough to thwart the doldrums.
What’s a person to do?
Well, here’s several ideas that are working for me:
• Read inspiring books. If we only read the newspapers and listen to the evening news, we might end up feeling jaundiced about what we see is the sorry state of the world. […]

In the Moment – The Art of Yoga

In the Moment – The Art of Yoga

Are you a long-time yoga practitioner? You probably know then that much of yoga is awareness training – practising to be in the here and now. When we’re doing asanas, we’re working with the vehicle of the body, but harnessing the mind at the same time. One of the indirect benefits of this sort of discipline is reducing tension, simply by noticing it.
Here’s some of my favourite tips for keeping myself in the moment:
• Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is much over-rated. […]

Yoga Practice: Planning Your Time

Yoga Practice: Planning Your Time

I came across this quote I like, attributed to A.A.Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh:
Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.
Perhaps this is also why Patanjali wants us to still our minds, so we are less stressed out and can think more clearly.
Good planning helps. It can prevent inelegant outcomes, for one thing. It supports your well-being by reducing stress. […]

The Yoga of Stress Reduction: Slow Down, You're Goin' Too Fast

The Yoga of Stress Reduction: Slow Down, You're Goin' Too Fast

Think of just one thing you could do to turn your life around, or as a yoga teacher encourage your students to do. Might it be to slow down?
Of course, learning yoga relaxation techniques is a crucial part of knowing how to slow down. Every time you practice savasana, you enter into a process of re-discovering your own rhythm.
Unfortunately, the hurried, harried pace at which most people live is the air we breathe. We’re probably not designed for constant rushing around, but “the urgency addiction” has become something like second nature to us. […]

Yoga = Stress Reduction

Yoga = Stress Reduction

Is yoga really the same as stress reduction? Well, perhaps not according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, but according to popular understanding it is. Doctors recommend yoga for helping relieve tension in patients.  The general public read articles in the newspaper health section every week about the calming influence of yoga, then go out and sign up for 10-week courses. Research resources go toward studies to prove the positive effects of yoga relaxation on the body’s systems.
Not everyone wants less stress in their lives. Some thrive on it. They worry less about burning out than “rusting out”. […]

Stories to Inspire Your Inner Guru

Stories to Inspire Your Inner Guru

One reason we are drawn to and want to commit to yoga, I believe, is that we find the practitioners of this age-old art are inspiring to us.
In the yoga retreats I led outside of Sydney I’d reserve a time for the individuals participating in the weekend to introduce themselves to the group by telling who they were, what they did for a living and what their yoga experience was. There was a discernable difference between the veteran practitioners and those who were relative beginners in terms of their well-being and centeredness. […]

Healthy Hugs

Healthy Hugs

I’ve been doing some research for the workshop I’m leading on the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks entitled “Pelvic Freedom: Yoga Poses and Practices for Women’s Well-Being”. The day-long program is pretty rich, I think, and encompasses information on anatomy, pelvic problems, and asanas and practices for various stages of a woman’s life. I thought I’d pass on something I read today (isn’t Google wonderful?) about the importance of keeping the pelvic floor muscles healthy – something we all know we should be doing, but perhaps need to be reminded of occasionally. […]

Specks and Beams

Specks and Beams

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye?
In the yoga spirit of self-study or svadhyaya, I’ve been thinking about the above quote in relation to a couple of judgments I’ve been harbouring.
Sigh.
I notice I get super critical about how much screen time my hubby spends between iPad, iPhone, Mac and a little episodic t.v. watching. When I finally took my attention off vetting his activities, I realised I do a lot of that stuff too. […]

Gentle Advice to New Yoga Teachers

Gentle Advice to New Yoga Teachers

Does one student equal a yoga class?
I know it’s sort of a silly question, but it’s one beginning teachers commonly face for many reasons.
One problem is that newbie yoga teachers are often given timeslots that are hard to fill, so they are unlikely to generate big attendances. Or, the new teacher is standing in for a more popular teacher, and then as the weeks go by, they watch class sizes dwindle. Or, the small class numbers and lack of experience erode confidence and,  as a result, one’s teaching ability is shaken. […]

Yoga for Back Care – No. 5

Yoga for Back Care – No. 5

Here’s the fifth and last in a series of programs that can gradually get the yoga practitioner back on her feet after back strain or ache.
You’ll recognise these poses from the earlier sequences, presented in a slightly different order.
Adho Mukha Svanasana is done here with a strap looped around the hip creases so I’m able to traction the student’s legs away from the pelvis. You can also do this yourself by looping a strap around a railing to achieve a similar tractioning. Hold for 1 – 2 min. […]

Yoga for Back Care – No. 4

Yoga for Back Care – No. 4

This series of programs that aids you in looking after your back is sequential and relies on gradual improvement from doing the very simple first practice published earlier the week on this blog.
Once any back strain is better, this sequence can be undertaken to build strength through the legs and hips.
Baddha Konasana*, seated on a folded blanket, 1 -2 minutes

Trikonasana, 30 – 60 seconds […]

Important Yoga Poses for Back Care – No. 3

Important Yoga Poses for Back Care – No. 3

Many studies have shown that yoga, practised regularly, can relieve back soreness and improve back function. 
While yoga is contraindicated if you have severe pain, it can be a back care lifesaver with when you suffer from occasional soreness or even chronic aches. Yoga lengthens your spine, stretches and strengthens your back muscles and contributes to proper spinal alignment.
The Supta Padangusthasana Cycle, sometimes just called leg stretches or hip openers, is often “prescribed” for managing backs. These simple poses accomplish three important things. […]

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