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 was privileged to meet Swami Satyadharma Saraswati while attending the Divine Feminine Conference. She spoke cogently and passionately on some aspects of yoga that might ordinarily be deemed esoteric. In her manner of explaining, abstract concepts became alive for me and accessible.
I didn’t realise it would be so hard being in Qld for the federal election. Daniel and I pre-voted in Winton, not knowing where we were going to be on the day. We’ve been traveling the Outback and most recently Central Queensland for the last two months.
Then, on the night, we were in Rubyvale Caravan Park (The Gemfields). Remarkably there was a tv room with a satellite connection. We shared the viewing space with a couple from the Blue Mountains who voted Lib, and a tough old Queenslander who did too.
Daniel and I were crestfallen as we watched the results come in, especially with what was happening in Qld. The results were bought, as we’ve heard, by Clive Palmer. His big election spend on advertising, he said, was designed to ‘polarise the electorate’. The opposition took risks, creating policies to support us into the future. And, taking strong actions in addressing the climate crisis.
Bolstering Our Immune Systems
Does anyone need to be told that we are well into the cold and flu season?
We are approaching the shortest day of the year. But we’re fooling ourselves if we don’t see that the Aussie winter is just beginning to settle in.
As smart yogis, we can bunker down, take care and look after our immune systems so as not to succumb to colds and flues.
For optimum health, all of us know to eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, Vitamin D and lean protein. […]
I do wonder, looking back, why I did push myself in all these activities. Why did I do poses like Ekapada Raja Kapotasana (pigeon pose) or Astavakrasana (8 angle pose) or Ekapada Sirsasana (leg behind the head pose)?Was I testing myself! Showing off? Competing with other yoga teachers? Probably a mix of all three.Another way
I’ve started to realise how important it is, vital even, to get away and see the world. To shake off the cobwebs and get far away from the perfect flat white you order at your favourite cafe.There’s a great opportunity coming up this winter for all you yoga teachers and trainees to give yourself a complete break. You can retreat to the little hamlet of Stroud, NSW.
Don’t assume that what happens was not meant to happen. Don’t think that things were meant to turn out differently than they did. Suffering comes from the expectation of a different outcome and not accepting things are the way they are.I don’t think this view means I will end up being resigned to the sadness of the world, maybe only that I will have a little more perspective and contentment in myself.
It’s nearly autumn in Australia. Here on the East Coast we’ve experienced the hottest summer in many a year. Fortunately, the weather has become cooler recently, but still exceedingly humid.No matter what the weather is like this time of year, Australians are beginning to dream about setting off in their vans for northern coasts, inland lakes and The Outback.
Judith Lasater, author of Relax and Renew, says that it takes courage to rest and relax. It’s means you go oppose the protestant work ethic. But you are complying with the practical Buddhist idea:”When you are hungry, eat. When you are thirsty, drink, and when you are tired, sleep.”
Most people know that meditation is good for them. But that doesn’t mean it’s at all easy to develop the meditation muscle.I’ve had a patchy history as a meditator. I’m now getting more regular as I see I need it. Savasana, the yoga relaxation, has been a key to open the door to meditation for me.In an effort to make peace with my overactive mind, I did Vipassana meditation courses in the 1980’s.Have you ever done one of these ten-day courses? They are conducted in complete silence. You do sitting meditation, alternating with walking meditation. This makes it less onerous for those of us who like to be physically active.I didn’t think that the sitting would be challenging for me. My attitude was, hey, I’m a yogi. How hard can sitting for an hour at a time be? Apparently, very hard!
I’m worried and ready to declare myself a Climate Yogini. I’m not sure exactly what that means at this stage. So far, it’s business as normal. We go about doing our laundry, planting vegetables, walking on the beach with very little threat that the weather will spoil our activities. But it seems to me that the times they are a-changin’, and not that slowly, and not just in Australia. You can google ‘global warming hotspots’ and you’ll see the areas that are most at risk.
There are countless events that can interrupt a disciplined routine. Extended holidays will do it. Being laid low with an illness, or suffering an emotional upset. Moving house and even changing jobs are other meddlesome events.
I tell myself that after taking a long trip, I will to get back into my practice as soon as I’m on home ground. Yet, it doesn’t always happen that way. As the folks of Westeros are prone to say, ‘Words are wind.’
All that matters in the end is that you take action. Getting right back on the mat and into a regular routine.
By making sure you practice a gentle, restorative yoga practice when you bleed, rather than a more dynamic practice, you’re supporting the healthy balance of your whole menstrual cycle. And by taking some quiet, rest time during menstruation, you’re putting ‘money’ into your ‘energy bank’ for later in your cycle, This will boost your overall health, energy and vitality.
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.