The Yoga with Eve Grzybowski 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.
I’ve met the most fascinating humans through my chosen profession. But none of them more so than Billy O’Riordan who passed away this week.
Then an idea came to us. We could with great authority talk about the stages of yoga we’d traversed. These stages also represented our ageing process, starting as youth and now in our late 70’s. Once we landed on our workshop theme, the content evolved organically.
A beautiful light has gone out with the recent death of my old friend, Kerry Riley.
Kerry is the first of my close contemporaries who has died, so his death, even though we knew it was coming was a blow, a gut punch. We knew it was coming and hoped it wouldn’t. But eventually it did, and, from what his wife, Diane, has told me, it was time.
I had an insight after we finished the weekend, when I’d had a chance to digest the experience of being with our group. I think that there is a call-out from younger, middle-aged and older people for old people like Libbie and me to show up. To participate and contribute.
Stephen Jenkinson, an Canadian writer-performer, wrote a book called ‘Come of Age’. I can’t even recommend it to you as it’s been variously described as a ‘murmuration’ and a ‘agitation’, and I’d have to agree. But it does carry this line, ‘Elderhood is a function rather than an identity.’ Quite the opposite from retiring. Retirement is definitely not on our horizon.
In 2011, I was able to transplant an annual ritual from my Sydney yoga school, which we called the January Intensive, to my studio on Mitchells Island. It’s a program that presents various yoga practices over 5 days at an early hour and offers an opportunity for students to kick off the new year in the healthiest of ways.
As a 50+ practitioner of yoga, and 40+ teacher, I can tell you, there are not too many more things that will make me happy than knowing yoga has been accepted by students as a companion for life.
We human beings have a myriad of ways to identify ourselves. For my part, I am a mother. I am a sister. I am 160 cm. tall. I have two artificial hips. I have been practising yoga for 51 years. And so on.
Sadly, it is less common that even the people who are clearly old will identify themselves as old. Why is that? What are they waiting for? As a concession, someone might admit, yes, I’m getting older, as though landing on being old is always a little bit in the future.
A lovely man died yesterday—his demise spurred on by having been on kidney dialysis for some time.
I didn’t know him well; initially it was by virtue of his reputation as an Aboriginal elder, law man and artist. Millions of people across the globe viewed his art when the image of a giant Wandjina (Aboriginal spirit entity) that he designed was featured in the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Hip replacement surgery is a daunting prospect for anyone. Fortunately, the first suggestion of the surgical option usually comes well in advance of the need for the actual operation. You have time to get used to the idea. Nevertheless, a visit to the orthopaedic surgeon starts to shape your thinking towards the inevitable. This is especially true when levels of pain and physical limitations are increasing.
If, like me, you try to find more natural ways, of dealing with health issues, then surgical intervention can seem scary in the extreme. Now that I’m five years on the other side of double hip surgery, I can say that your hip replacement surgery may give you your life back. I’m thankful to modern technology performed by a highly skilled surgeon.
We have to be very discerning when seeking out elders. One giveaway of elderhood is the acceptance of age. No one wants to become infirm in body and mind but there’s a grace that comes with acceptance of wrinkles, grey and thinning hair and stiffening joints.
Yes, I think that a hallmark of an elder is acceptance of imperfection, one’s character flaws and personal failings. Foibles and follies when cooked in the cauldron of life experience can create something like wisdom.
I’m still in elder training, not that I’m not old enough. The thing that I’m learning and trying to practice is authenticity, speaking my mind, hopefully without doing any harm, and holding to values without being rigid. Performing yoga poses is easy compared to this late stage of focus. It takes perseverance to keep after the truth; it’s often still buried under conditioning and wanting to please.
Bones represent getting down to basics. We might talk about the bones of a story. Diving deeper we say, I knew it in my bones. When Estes features bones in her stories, they represent the stripping away of the outer self – of the persona, or social mask – in order to contact one’s essence.
The theme for my yoga classes during the month of March is ‘The Quality of Balance’. Like last month’s theme–Befriending Backbends, I thought, gee, I wonder if we can make the sometimes pesky balancing poses more enjoyable, more user friendly. Cultivating balance is a key factor in ease of walking, standing, most any movement. And then there’s lifestyle balance, emotional, mental balance, spiritual balance.
The Incident Last week I had an accident with my car. Ironically I was pulling into Old Bar Automotive to get my registration check. The car was sporting four new tyres to help guarantee that my Kia would pass inspection. I missed the garage's dirt driveway by just...
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.
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?
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.
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.
Where do people get their ideas? Often through social media. These days, Instagram and Facebook carry much responsibility for publishing impossibly beautiful and youthful images of people doing yoga. Discouraging to anyone who is trepidatious about taking up yoga in the first place.
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.
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.
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.