January 2012

Sequences for "Intensive" Week: Day 2

Sequences for "Intensive" Week: Day 2

The word inversions when applied to yoga asanas strikes fear into many a heart. Formerly polite and obedient students will openly rebel against doing them. Previously undisclosed injuries and anatomical asymmetries will be used as excuses for not participating. And, women who stopped menstruating years ago will claim having their period as reason for abstaining.

Now I've Done It – I'm a Yoga Entrepreneur

I didn’t mean to. From Nov. 2009, I really intended to be just a semi-retired yoga teacher in my rural bailiwick. But that wasn’t meant to be. I had so much momentum from 30 years of teaching in a major city that it wasn’t likely I’d disappear off the map. In fact, I had a great 2011 with invitations from various associations, schools and individuals to teach yoga. Writing for and being interviewed by the Australian Yoga magazines, plus almost daily posting on this blog , kept me busy, too. […]

Beginning with the End in Mind

Beginning with the End in Mind

I’ve been learning a new skill this week: printmaking. It’s an art in which it probably takes decades to attain any degree of mastery. I’ve been looking around in our class of twelve and trying to figure out what it is that makes the students who are particularly good at this art stand-out. And what makes our tutor masterful.
I made up this list of qualities which I think also apply to being “good” at yoga and yoga teaching:

Being willing to make mistakes, or not get it perfect from the outset. […]

Important Yoga Practice No. 6: Strength

I’ve never done a Power Yoga class even though one of the most popular expressions of this style is home-grown in Australia. Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and Power Yoga have a well-deserved reputation of being physically demanding. There’s an emphasis on strong breathing, switching on the bandhas, and doing chataranga dandasanas (the yogi’s pushups) to link the flow of poses.
This appoach builds up strength, stamina, and a lot of heat in the body. […]

A Newbie

Today I threw myself in the deep end.
Perhaps this is something many people are doing in January, having made a New Year’s resolution to take up yoga for the first time.
I sympathise with any budding yogis out there as I am taking up a new activity this week: printmaking.
It would be easier for me if I had conquered my competitive nature; it would be more fun if I weren’t comparing myself to the other eleven individuals in my class. […]

Important Yoga Practice No. 3: Surrender

Important Yoga Practice No. 3: Surrender

 

Some time long ago, I heard or read that the purpose of yoga was to learn to surrender.
I tried on that definition on for a while. The concept of surrender sounds good on paper, but I found the practice of it difficult, especially in relationship, the very place where it is best taught.
To me, surrender means being willing to give up being right and having your way. It means accepting things as they are even when you are resisting them with all your might. […]

Important Yoga Practice No. 2: If You Can't Say Anything Nice….

Important Yoga Practice No. 2: If You Can't Say Anything Nice….

I’m sorry to say that I love gossip. I know that I’m not alone in this. I’ve been out to coffee after yoga class too many times and shared tittle-tattle-laced-caffeine with colleagues and students. Gossip can range from “what’s the buzz?” to outright scandal. It’s fascinating to me to hear what other yoga teachers are up to and how their schools are going. […]

Important Yoga Practice No. 1: Have You Said I Love You Today?

Important Yoga Practice No. 1: Have You Said I Love You Today?

I’ve been hesitant to post tonight because I’m feeling sad and reflective. It’s much easier for me to communicate cheery thoughts and inspiring information than reveal a melancholy heart. I guess that’s true for most of us. This morning we received a phone call from our neighbour saying that her husband passed away just five days ago. We were meant to have drinks with them on Christmas Day, but she had cancelled the day before without any excuse. […]