I told an eighty year old friend that I visited the BreastScreen van every two years. She said, ‘Why do that? After age 70, you don’t have to worry about breast cancer anymore.’ Not true.
This is the true story from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which is a fantastic on-line resource.
Cancer rates begin to increase after age 40 and are highest in women over age 70. (The median age of diagnosis of breast cancer for women in the U.S. is 62.)
The reasons that knee problems develop are varied. There are three main knee bugbears that have to do with body imbalances. One is hyper-flexibility which leads to overextending the knee. Another is related to the feet, where one’s arches are overly high or collapsed. Either of these create problems that run from the ground up to the knees and can create uneven wear and tear. For instance, the arch imbalance causes the cartilage on one side of the kneecap to wear out, leading to osteoarthritis. Tight or weak muscles will also create knee pain or injury.
I hoard yoga sequences. When I write out a plan for teaching, I will use it for my own practice and for my classes over the week. But I seldom throw these programs out. I save my designs, and I keep other teachers’, too. If I do a class in San Francisco or Byron Bay or even with local teachers, I will ask for that teacher’s written plan.
After almost four decades of yoga practice and teaching, I have filled seven lever arch files. Each of these holds 500 A4 pages. In addition, I have a box of programs still to be filed which I haven’t been able to face as yet. There’s just one more area of hoarding. These are the folders from my retreat and workshop plans I’ve kept for years.
Every now then I think, yikes!, I’m going to be 74 in a couple of months. I better do something quick as I seem to be losing the battle with ageing.
What’s been happening is that I’m not as strong as I once was. I’m stiffer and achey in some of my joints. I have a bit less muscle and more flesh around my middle. And I get fatigued more easily than before.
Uh-oh. I forgot to mention the occasional bouts of sciatica.
Obviously, I need to join the gym, become more flexible, lose the middle chubbies and have power naps.
Very few people seem completely content with the way their hips work, a sad thing to say about such a pivotal part of one’s anatomy. For some of us, our hips are too tight and for others too flexible.
Here’s a sequence that will give your legs, groins and hips a good workout. For you supple yogis out there, focus on keeping firm to centre, holding the muscles around upper thighs and hips close to the bones. […]
I’ve taught many different aspects of yoga, but I do have my favourite subjects. I was able to teach one of these yesterday–yoga adjustments–at Forster Yoga Studio. I presented theory and practice on the hands-on, physical way of instructing students in postures.
In an article in “Yoga Suits Her, I described three main styles of learning. One of them is kinaesthetic. I’m someone who learns this way–hands-on, experientially. I’ve discovered through my teaching over thirty-five years that a disproportionate number of yoga teachers learn kinaesthetically. […]
My housemate and friend, Michael Hollingworth, has a tried-and-true way to help when you’re feeing down. The practices described here are so valuable that I’ve asked Michael to share them with you. I recommend ‘gifting’ as a beautiful generosity practice that you might want to store in your meditation ‘tool box’ to bring out as needed.
When I started teaching, my first classes were not altogether successful in terms of bums-on-mats. It took tremendous staying power in the beginning to keep coming back week after week to small classes when I wasn’t making a living. One has to continuously calm the negative mind and recreate motivation for practising and teaching. Who knows if or when one is going to make a go of it? How long will it take to be a good teacher? How long will it take to ‘be yoga’?
Back when I was just a just a youngster in my Iyengar yoga training, I attended six weeks of classes at the Yoga Institute in Poona, India. People seldom go to study with the Iyengars without the experience being life-changing; there’s so much to learn.
On one occasion, Mr. Iyengar’s son, Prashant, taught us in a general class. We warmed up for about an hour with standing poses, with special attention paid to tadasana (mountain pose). […]