The Yoga Suits Her Blog
I’ve been blogging for 12 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.
From perimenopause, I made it through to menopause, the inevitable next stage. At this point, I made a conscious decision. No matter how I’d been conditioned as a women to resist menopause, I would open up to it. After all, it’s not a medical condition. It isn’t a personal insult. It’s a natural, organic stage of a women’s life.
The beauty of personal writing is that it can function to enhance our experience of living. To be able to write, we have to pay attention. The more this is cultivated, the more our ability to be present grows. Over time, if we keep writing authentically from our life experience, we see patterns emerge. These are the important threads that give meaning and purpose to our lives.
What are we yogis supposed to do in this time of discomfort and perhaps difficult adjustments? Probably just what we have been doing. Keeping up yogic practices: asanas, pranayama, meditation, relaxation.
And, particularly in the summer heat, let’s do quiet, cooling and calming yoga practice. Save the jumping around and through. Spare yourself sweating the long timings in poses. Keep the goal-seeking, perfection part of your personality in check. And chill.
Why I have I skipped the festival circuit? Because I’ve felt it’s easier to teach to my age demographic, in my own style and to do so locally.
I knew the Lost Paradise festival would be attended mainly by young people between 24-30 years of age. I thought it likely that these young yogis would be used to practising a more dynamic style of yoga than mine. And, a December end-of-year festival was going to be uncomfortably hot and humid.
Also, I didn’t know ahead of time how large the festival was going to be…
I may be an elder but that does not always make me wise. One of my goals in doing regular meditation is to develop the quality of resilience. To be able to get myself out of a heavy mood in a reasonable timeframe. To get up off the floor when I feel like I’ve been run over by a Mack truck. The Japanese have a saying, “Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”
I always felt that Gita lived the life of a nun. She dressed in white and was steeped in the wisdom of spiritual texts. Gita devoted herself utterly and completely to the needs of her father and brother after her mother’s death. She worked tirelessly to ‘reveal’ yoga to the world, travelling and teaching, even as her health was failing.
It’s being said loudly and often by teachers of my generation that modern yoga has become too superficial. In an article in the American Yoga Journal, Ann Cushman makes the case for the importance of asana practice. But then, she then goes on to say that when students become more serious about practicing, they need to take on some of the other instruments in the yogic toolkit.
Thank goodness yoga is for all ages: the baby in utero, her mother and her grandmother, as well as kids in school and older kids in grad school. Sportsmen, mechanics, and musicians do yoga along with retirees and renunciates.
At every age and stage, we know yoga to be a stretchy system that bends to your needs. Not only that, it helps foster well-being, sweetens your nature and confers long life. Perhaps it will give enough detachment so that as you advance in age, you will be merely amused by any belittlers.
In almost every class I teach, I make a point to give thanks for this community we create when we come together. Whether your particular class happens in a gym or in a school hall, you are likely to connect with like-minded people. These may ultimately become fast friends. Lasting friendships are promoted by yoga teachers who make a point of providing time and space to socialise. Having a cup of tea after class, or in our household, one of Daniel’s coffees, we get to talk about more than yoga postures.
By attending classes regularly, there’s the potential for deepening friendships with classmates. Yoga teachers and students get the chance to bond, too.
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.)