I taught a class to an amazing conglomerate of students today. Of the eleven who presented, the age range went from early 20’s to mid-60’s and comprised various levels of ability. The 4 ‘youngsters’ had very little experience but youthful energy; the ‘older’ group had more experience but less verve, plus an accumulation of injuries and conditions – the ones that come with living longer.
My husband Daniel was missing from this session, his regular yoga class, as he is doing a Mindfulness Meditation course in Taree. […]
We Westerners, having grabbed hold of yoga at the end of the 1800’s, have been in a slow process of moulding it into a size and shape to suit us. We tell ourselves that yoga is big enough to handle being refashioned, but, at the same time, there are plenty of discussions around regarding whether we are doing a good thing, or not.
In recent times the process of modifying this ancient system has quickened, and almost all of us are a part of it. […]
I’ve spoken in earlier blog posts about the workshops that I’ve been involved in for two decades that are produced by the Human Awareness Institute. This last weekend Daniel and I were at one of these HAI workshop in the Hunter Valley.
What are they? I could describe them in various ways. The levels of the workshops have different themes, the first one is called ‘Love is a Miracle’. Level 2 is ‘Loving Yourself’ and the next level is ‘Living at Choice’. […]
When I was in grammar school, it was common for students to submit to an IQ test (Intellectual Quotient). I don’t know whether this is done any more, but I felt pretty proud of my score and didn’t mind telling others who asked what it was.
Those who didn’t score well didn’t confess their scores as readily. Was a high IQ a marker for success or happiness? I’m not sure it was.
In recent times, we read about different kinds of intelligence, as in emotional or social IQ. […]
In the backbend ‘family of poses’, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) has been dubbed ‘a boon to mankind’ by the yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. Apart from its capacity to wake up the senses, Setu Bandha strengthens the legs and hips, massages the spine, and opens the heart.
Holding this pose offers an opportunity to explore the body and its movements with attention and care. […]
Tonight I was teaching the students some abdominal work . One area that gets stressed when people do abdominal exercises is the neck and throat. Have you experienced that yourself? I certainly have, and one antidote to release the neck and soften the throat is to keep the backs of the armpits engaged – as in squeezing in. The trapezium releases the shoulders and pressure is alleviated.
The throat is such an important part of one’s body. […]
I’ve been enjoying doing my yoga practice recently a la Vanda Scaravelli. She’s the Italian yoga teacher who created a style based on simple, natural principles of gravity and the breath.
Vanda wrote Awakening the Spine which is not so much an account of her particular form of yoga as a book of poetry and images.
Although Vanda died in 1999, Diane Long carries on with her work and message. I did a 5-day workshop with Diane and I must say I couldn’t figure out from the way she taught what she was on about. […]
In a city environment, you have to work hard to connect with Nature. For instance, I tried to stay in tune with the cycles of the moon when I lived in Sydney, but living in such a dense environment, I often found it hard to get even a glimpse of the sky. As a Nature exercise, I would try to observe the moon’s cycles and plan my yoga classes to fit in with the full moon, the new moon, and in-between moons. […]
What is it about the sun? It is the centre of our solar system, of course. But the sun is a big deal in so many cultures, systems, and media: mythology, religion, romance,music, literature, and art. In the Hindu tradition, the sun, surya, is one of the gods. Sun gods feature in ancient pantheons in Greece, Rome, Mexico, Peru, Egypt, and Persia, and countless more. Human beings will complement someone’s child, saying they have a sunny disposition. […]
Tonight I was part of what I would call a healing circle. Once a month my husband’s men’s group invites their partners to join them in one of their meetings. The structure of the night varies, but it seems that it always provides a place where we can come together to share deep feelings – some joyful, some soulful, some sad. It’s a safe haven where all emotions are welcome.
I’m always amazed how such profoundly transformational work can occur just by dint of careful listening and being with whatever is. […]