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.

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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Cultivating wisdom: the challenge of covid-19

Cultivating Wisdom: The Challenge of COVID-19

This is one of my favourite techniques for gaining perspective when I am confused or conflicted. Imagine climbing a ladder to get a view of the forest, rather than just focussing on this tree right in front of you. From your expanded view, you can see horizons and in all directions.

Consider the billions of people on the planet that are doing it much harder than we are. As well as the past and future generations who are likely to face greater hardships than we have or will.

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Making the most of these strange and challenging times

Making the Most of These Strange and Challenging Times

The pandemic has taken its toll, even for those who have kept their jobs. Perhaps the worst affected are health workers. Tragically, many have died in the line of duty. Overworked, in dangerous environments, these front line workers have also had to sacrifice precious time with friends and family. We owe these people–from doctors to hospital cleaners–a debt that will be impossible to repay. How do we repay days, weeks, months of someone’s life freely given to keep us alive?

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Teach yourself yoga: now is the time

Teach Yourself Yoga: Now is the Time

It feels like it’s breathing down my neck, this pandemic. Thankfully, my immediate friends, family and I are all safe. I feel, though, for the world’s hotspots, especially my native U.S. And I’m aware that my protected status could change any time. The real danger of bushfires is that they can be transformed capriciously by a shift in the wind. This virus can attack us as a result of contact with a sick person, at any time or place.

So in this uncertain period, I depend more than ever on my yoga practice. I am blessed to have developed a dependable yoga practice over forty-nine years.

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R. I. P. Donald moyer, yoga teacher, 1946-2019

R.I.P. Donald Moyer, Yoga Teacher, 1946-2019

Donald was so beloved by his students, yogis who had followed him for years. I was fortunate to be given a place in what turned our to be essentially an Iyengar-type class. However, Donald’s approach was inquiry based: ‘How does it feel to do the pose this way? Where does your effort come from? Might you do the pose in a way better-suited to your body?’

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The beauty of women: twenty years sharing and caring

The Beauty of Women: Twenty Years Sharing and Caring

I wish I could tell you what is so attractive about our women’s reunions. As they say, you’d have to be there. And be there over years and years as layers of trust and love are built. I can describe how our meetings make me feel: like a swim in the gentle and warm waters of a tiny sheltered bay. The reunions feel healthy and refreshing. Together we women create a pool of energy that we continue to dip into long after the reunion has finished or the ‘leave meeting’ button has been pushed.

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The power of rituals in covid-19 time

The Power of Rituals in COVID-19 Time

One of the blessings of this quiet Corona Time is my long-established yoga practice. I’ve always thought of my yoga practice as an investment, as good as superannuation. Nearly 50 years of practice, and I can call on my investment deal with the stress of self-isolation. There are other solid regular rituals, too: walking on the beach, dinner with my housemates, phone calls to the kids and to my family in the States.

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A yoga studio has its own magic

A Yoga Studio Has its Own Magic

A yoga studio is a sanctuary In these 'corona times' we're living through, I'm newly appreciative that I have a dedicated space for doing yoga practice. It's made me think about what the special allure of a yoga studio is. Students have been coming to the Yoga Shed on...

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Self yoga retreat: my first week

Self Yoga Retreat: My First Week

This was the first week of Corona Time when I was not teaching yoga. Not because of holidays or my being ill, but as a community service. I didn’t want to stop, but by talking it over with my dear husband, I arrived at, ‘this is the right thing to do.’

I wasn’t the first yoga studio to close, but I think I was a week ahead of most of the ones I know. I couldn’t quite stop, though. What’s the harm of a pop-up class on the beach? I did end up running a morning session on Sunday at Main Beach, Old Bar.

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‘teach yourself yoga’ is back in print!

‘Teach Yourself Yoga’ is Back in Print!

I feel quite affectionate about this book. I believe it does deliver on its promise of inspiring the reader to do yoga, to follow the simple programs and to reap the many benefits of this ancient discipline. It is written in an accessible, inclusive style to reach a wide audience of young and old, male and female and people from all walks of life.

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The art of ageing: is there really an art to it?

The Art of Ageing: Is There Really an Art to It?

Recently I’ve been thinking about healthy ageing yet again because I’ve been included as a photographic subject in the NSW Government’s ‘Art of Ageing’ exhibition. It was launched at Parliament House in Sydney this week and will be featured prominently there for a month. Then, the exhibition will go on the road for two years, showing in 46 locations across the State.

The stated aim of the exhibition is to improve respect for and social inclusion of older people and to recognise older people’s contributions to their communities.

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Margaret atwood: how hot do you want it to get?

Margaret Atwood: How Hot Do You Want It to Get?

Here in Australia, impossible to ignore, there has been the continuing cruelty of a nationwide drought. And the resultant drying up of rivers and loss of biodiversity.

Then along came the winter bushfires. Winter! Not the ‘normal’ season for fires to occur. Even less ‘normal’ for the rain forests to burn.

And now, there are massive rainfalls, flooding, storms and perilous tidal surges.

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The trees: climate crisis refugees

The Trees: Climate Crisis Refugees

Julie and I have been looking at the trees and vegetation of Saltwater National Park for green signs of rebirth. They’ve been hard to find: tufts of grasses, epiphyte-like growths, occasional new leaves. The enormous heat generated by this fire seems to have nuclear-blasted the paperbarks and grass trees. Some are burnt-out trunks with branches intact, still standing. Others resemble resinated black statues.

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