The Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand

The Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand

Salamba Sarvangasana takes tenacity
The translated meaning of Salamba Sarvangasana is “whole body pose”. It is often prefaced by Salamba, meaning supported. Your hands support your spine. Your upper arms and shoulders form the bedrock of the pose.
For many years I couldn’t grasp how to get my whole body involved in shoulderstand. The ideal shape of the pose appeared like a shimmering but distant mirage to me. I would struggle to get upright. The effort exhausted me. My kidneys would start to ache. […]

The Meaning of Trikonasana

The Meaning of Trikonasana

An avid reader of Yoga Suits Her posts has made this request:
I’d be interested in a series about the poses, particularly the better known ones.  Not about how to do them and not about how to do them better or any details, but what they mean to you, what they seem to represent and how they relate to your life.
So, in the 12 days leading up to 2012, I’m going to look at the meaning, intention and implications of some poses we all do regularly and give them their due.

Trikonasana jumps out at me. […]

Yoga Worthy Of Note

Yoga Worthy Of Note

It’s said that the world has become like a small town in many ways. The web and mobile phone services connect us instantaneously with amazingly remote places. Inexpensive air travel has made big distances minuscule.
This process has accentuated the differences between rich and poor, haves and have-nots, developed and developing, as we see the disparities so much more clearly. […]

A New Broom

A New Broom

I live in a little community comprised of three couples. Two of them are in Sydney which makes our country home extra peaceful at the moment.
You’d think I’d be lounging about, reading a novel or the weekend papers. But no, something’s come over me and I’ve been cleaning and tidying. This is the kind of high gear we move into when we know company is coming.
We will have various groups of visitors staying a night or two as they wend their way up the Pacific Highway to Byron, Noosa, or the Woodford festival. […]

Yoga and the Silly Season

Yoga and the Silly Season

It’s the height of Australian summer and I’m convinced that this is such a crazy time because the end of year vibe is so expansive. The morning daylight wakes us up earlier and earlier each day. The evenings, even with rainy, cloudy, cool conditions we’ve experienced recently, still feel compellingly summery. We want to get out and socialise and clink glasses with friends.
It’s part of Nature’s estival conspiracy of abundance which we see illustrated everywhere we look by lush vegetation. […]

Light On the Acharya's Book

Light On the Acharya's Book

In 1976 I was shown a book by my then yoga teacher that had photos of a man doing such extreme poses that they almost turned me off taking up this method. Indeed, it took me three years to get myself along to a class taught by a senior Iyengar teacher, and then I got hooked for many years.
I’m a very slow learner, and it’s taken me years to get back to reading B.K.S. Iyengar’s ground-breaking tome, Light on Yoga. […]

The Great Aussie Philosopher

The Great Aussie Philosopher

For inspiration, I have a copy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra by Chip Hartranft in the stack of books by the side of my bed. We all need a slug of encouragement from the written word from time to time. That’s why svadhyaya -self-study – is one of the indispensable niyama.
There have been philosophers from every part of the globe and from all ages. The Greeks had Socrates and Aristotle…Germans had Nietzsche…Americans Emerson and Thoreau. […]

The Great Aussie Way

The Great Aussie Way

At the beginning of 1976, when I arrived in Australia for the first time, there was an annoying ritual well underway: shutting down the country for the month of January. […]

Feedback

Feedback

The more resilient we are in ourselves, the easier it is to take feedback.
When I was first teaching (1980), I lacked confidence and instead of being humble about that, I adopted an air of bravado and carried on. I didn’t really ever solicit feedback about my teaching because I feared I might be told something negative.
In retrospect, I think I could have grown more quickly in my teaching skills had I not been afraid of criticism. […]

Image Conscious

Image Conscious

Part of what comes with being human is that we are born beautiful and  innocent, connected to our divinity, and then we undergo years of forgetting this happy state.
Maybe this is because we live in a culture that says it’s conceited to think well of ourselves. […]

Riding Emotions

Riding Emotions

You’ve heard the expression, you’re not your emotions. It’s true. We are so much more than our thoughts, our bodies, our emotions.
But today I noticed my mind and emotions were like the mid-north coast weather with its unpredictable gusts of wind. I was unpleasantly buffeted about by them. […]

Finding Your Teaching Voice

Finding Your Teaching Voice

Newish yoga teachers worry about whether they are doing a good enough job in their early days of teaching. This is perfectly natural and, if anxiety levels are not too high, their concern may contribute to making their best effort possible.
Part of the making of a good teacher is finding one’s own voice. We tend to imitate our teachers because we need role models; we copy mannerisms, words, and technique. […]