The Yoga Suits Her Blog

I’ve been blogging for 15 years now. At first, I was quite nervous about publishing my thoughts. Because I was shy about writing, my old posts were almost exclusively photos of the view from our bedroom in our Tambourine Bay house.

Remarkably, my original Ville Blog still exists. Does anything on the internet ever go away?  It ran from November 05, 2006 to January 12, 2010 and it’s still just where I left it.  If you’d like to have a look, the address is http://thevilleblog.blogspot.com.au/

These days, because there are way too many YSH posts to browse through-over 1200-I’ve put some major themes together in The Vault.  I hope this makes it easier to find exactly what you want.

What style of yoga do you teach?

What Style of Yoga Do You Teach?

Ultimately what will give a yoga teacher her style or maybe more accurately her voice is life experience. I learned huge lessons from having had osteoarthritis for nearly two decades, before getting total hip replacements. For years, I’ve been in the classroom of life that teaches the practice of compassion, nurturing and authenticity. Now, ageing is teaching me new lessons that embrace those same concepts.

Audacious as it may sound to your ears, dear reader, I can only say I teach Eve Yoga.

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We are living in interesting/confusing times

We Are Living in Interesting/Confusing Times

There is much that we can be grateful for, even with the virus skulking in the background, but now moving more and more in the foreground.

It is my wish for myself and for you that we make it through these uncertain times holding each other in loving kindness. To me, this is the point of sitting in meditation and doing our yoga practices, isn’t it?

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Every birthday is a big one

Every Birthday is a Big One

I heard a friend say today that she is happy this year is almost over and that next year has got to be better. Then, she added, ‘That’s what I said the year before, though.’ In my opinion, last year and the year before were not bad. This period forced upon me the realisation that I am not really in control. And that uncertainty is the only bedrock that we have and all our machinations will never change that fact. 

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Living legacy: we all have one

Living Legacy: We All Have One

I was hanging out with a dear friend recently and told her that I was pulling together a collection of my yoga classes for my YouTube channel. I referred to what I’d done as creating a kind of legacy. She looked horrified, as though I was imminently going to shuffle off this mortal coil.

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Yoga teacher, yoga community and technology

Yoga Teacher, Yoga Community and Technology

There have been many markers that show I’ve moved with technological advances, but none so compelling as the ones I’ve encountered in lockdown. Where would we be without the video communication apps that seem to have spread almost as rapidly as the Delta variant. 

While we were in last year, 2020, many of us were thinking/hoping that in 2021, we would be free. Back in offices, back in yoga studios, back in theatres, back in airplanes. But no. Here we are in Australia, and for the most part we are sheltering in place.

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First world problems: lockdown haircuts

First World Problems: Lockdown Haircuts

Against the background of global heating, wildfires, floods, COVID-19, war, and oppression, Australia is truly in a relatively safe bubble. I’m not used to hardship, so the disappearance of things I’ve taken for granted is a wakeup call. It’s made me more acutely aware of the need to take care of those in our communities who are not faring so well.

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Yoga: community building or community division?

Yoga: Community Building or Community Division?

Vaccinations are proven to be the most effective way to protect against infectious diseases. 
Vaccines strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against viruses. 
When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and helping to protect the whole community.

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Diminishing dominance: surrendering to age

Diminishing Dominance: Surrendering to Age

At my age, physiology has conspired to make me much more considerate of my energy levels. No matter what kind of yoga I do, how much or how little, let’s be honest, I don’t have the verve of my 40 year old self.

And yet, the last couple of months have pushed me onto a bigger stage. Without seeking renown, some special opportunities have found me. 

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Osteoporosis: is yoga helpful?

Osteoporosis: Is Yoga Helpful?

Osteoporosis, as distinct from osteoarthritis, is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. They can become so porous that they are sometimes described as honey-combed.

Normally the body constantly absorbs and replaces bone tissue, but with osteoporosis new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal.

Risk factors that contribute to the condition are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, familial tendency, low vitamin D levels, inadequate intake of calcium, low body weight, physical inactivity and a history of falls.

The danger with is that many people have no symptoms until they have a bone fracture.

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Women, much more than friends

Women, Much More Than Friends

One of the things we do well as a group of women is act as committed listeners to each other’s life stories. There’s nothing like ‘being gotten’ or ‘being seen’ by those who love you wholeheartedly.

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Maria kirsten: a yoga star gone out

Maria Kirsten: A Yoga Star Gone Out

Maria Kirsten’s credentials included the whole breadth of yoga taught these days: classical, corporate, gentle, hatha, intellectually-challenged, mental health, viniyoga, yogalates, dynamic, postnatal, general, teacher training, therapy and meditation.

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God willing and the creek don’t rise

God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

The problem is the creek did rise. We live next to Scotts Creek, Mitchells Island, NSW, and the creek rose and rose and rose. Then it burst its bank.

Up in our house, safe on a hill, we watched as Farmer John’s next-door paddocks filled. John had seen the flood coming and moved his cattle to safety. That day, it rained and rained, everyone calling it biblical. At 4 am, the caravan park at Manning Point was hit by a flash flood. The proprietor shook the van occupants out their slumber and some, still in p.j.’s, made a run for high ground.

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You don’t get to keep it all: reality check

You Don’t Get to Keep It All: Reality Check

This is the arc of life, with a peak somewhere in there, but for the most part, we miss it.

When you look in the mirror today, you might say to yourself, ‘Gawd, you are looking beautiful today.’ You might as well admire this presentation because next week you will look slightly altered. As I did yesterday when I noticed my hair had ‘suddenly’ become much greyer than I remembered. If you can, avoid the expression ‘for my age’. That negates the little bit of self-love you created upon complimenting yourself.

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Celebrating 50 yoga practice years

Celebrating 50 Yoga Practice Years

I’m forever grateful that my dear girlfriend, Mary Lou, came up with the idea of us doing yoga. She thought we could lose some weight and learn to relax by participating in a 10-week course at the local YMCA.

I was a no-nothing regarding yoga, but I trusted my friend. If I had been able to google the word ‘yoga’ in 1971, I would have found references to the Beatles and Mahreesh Mahesh Yogi, Ram Dass and psychedelic drugs, and television shows with women in Lycra leotards and stiffly sprayed hair. 

Mary Lou and I arrived at the YMCA class and took up our cross-leg seated positions on gym mats. I sneaked a peek at the fifteen or so other students–not a man in sight. That part of yoga has not changed much.

Leading the class was a slim, lively yet calm woman in her mid-sixties. Dorothy Tomarelli told us by way of introduction that her husband had died a few years previously. As a result of her grief, Dorothy went into a rapid emotional and physical decline. Her muscles atrophied and she lost strength. Her doctor, seeing her depressed state, advised her to take up yoga. Dorothy decided that she had nothing to lose and searched for a class. It turned out to be so much of a lifesaver that she decided to teach yoga. 

This is often the way a seed is planted for future yoga teachers. We are inspired by someone. As I listened to Dorothy, something stirred in me. I saw a glimmer of hope in Dorothy’s story–the possibility that health, happiness and even longevity could be mine.

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What makes a yoga practice? Adaptation

What Makes a Yoga Practice? Adaptation

Next year marks the 50th year that I’ve been practising yoga.

Sometimes when I say that to students in class, I’ll add: This is how someone turns out after doing this much practice.

It’s one of my weak jokes. I mean to say, I’m pretty healthy but I’m not a total paragon of health and fitness. I’m a seventy six year old with a collection of old injuries and medical conditions, and some of the infirmities of ageing.

The good thing about staying with yoga all these years is that those injuries, conditions and ageing have taught me how to adapt. They’ve all been teachers, shaping my approach to yoga, and even my attitude towards life. Yoga is an amazing discipline for helping you get in touch with yourself if you are willing to learn.

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