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.
I hoard yoga sequences. When I write out a plan for teaching, I will use it for my own practice and for my classes over the week. But I seldom throw these programs out. I save my designs, and I keep other teachers’, too. If I do a class in San Francisco or Byron Bay or even with local teachers, I will ask for that teacher’s written plan.
After almost four decades of yoga practice and teaching, I have filled seven lever arch files. Each of these holds 500 A4 pages. In addition, I have a box of programs still to be filed which I haven’t been able to face as yet. There’s just one more area of hoarding. These are the folders from my retreat and workshop plans I’ve kept for years.
Every now then I think, yikes!, I’m going to be 74 in a couple of months. I better do something quick as I seem to be losing the battle with ageing.
What’s been happening is that I’m not as strong as I once was. I’m stiffer and achey in some of my joints. I have a bit less muscle and more flesh around my middle. And I get fatigued more easily than before.
Uh-oh. I forgot to mention the occasional bouts of sciatica.
Obviously, I need to join the gym, become more flexible, lose the middle chubbies and have power naps.
Very few people seem completely content with the way their hips work, a sad thing to say about such a pivotal part of one’s anatomy. For some of us, our hips are too tight and for others too flexible.
Here’s a sequence that will give your legs, groins and hips a good workout. For you supple yogis out there, focus on keeping firm to centre, holding the muscles around upper thighs and hips close to the bones. […]
Tough times I have the old Bob Dylan rain song running in my head at the moment, A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall. Patti Smith famously sang this song at the Nobel Awards ceremony, as she represented the absent poet/songwriter/performer. Dylan's hard rain is a metaphor for...
I’ve taught many different aspects of yoga, but I do have my favourite subjects. I was able to teach one of these yesterday–yoga adjustments–at Forster Yoga Studio. I presented theory and practice on the hands-on, physical way of instructing students in postures.
In an article in “Yoga Suits Her, I described three main styles of learning. One of them is kinaesthetic. I’m someone who learns this way–hands-on, experientially. I’ve discovered through my teaching over thirty-five years that a disproportionate number of yoga teachers learn kinaesthetically. […]
My housemate and friend, Michael Hollingworth, has a tried-and-true way to help when you’re feeing down. The practices described here are so valuable that I’ve asked Michael to share them with you. I recommend ‘gifting’ as a beautiful generosity practice that you might want to store in your meditation ‘tool box’ to bring out as needed.
When I started teaching, my first classes were not altogether successful in terms of bums-on-mats. It took tremendous staying power in the beginning to keep coming back week after week to small classes when I wasn’t making a living. One has to continuously calm the negative mind and recreate motivation for practising and teaching. Who knows if or when one is going to make a go of it? How long will it take to be a good teacher? How long will it take to ‘be yoga’?
The compulsion to write My friend and colleague, Rachel Zinman, came to visit us and deliver a workshop on Yoga Mudras this last weekend. She and I had time to practice together and we chatted away, as you do. One topic that came up related to writing,...
Back when I was just a just a youngster in my Iyengar yoga training, I attended six weeks of classes at the Yoga Institute in Poona, India. People seldom go to study with the Iyengars without the experience being life-changing; there’s so much to learn.
On one occasion, Mr. Iyengar’s son, Prashant, taught us in a general class. We warmed up for about an hour with standing poses, with special attention paid to tadasana (mountain pose). […]
On questionnaires that ask for me for my occupation, I write in ‘semi-retired’. That’s shorthand to describe that I work sometimes. At other times, I participate in various kinds of recreation, such as singing or tennis. I study a bit, and I also volunteer in the community in Palliative Care.
Though semi-retired, I haven’t cut back on my yoga practice. That’s just as well as I’m busier than I ever was when I worked full-time. This seems to be a common feature of those who profess to being semi-retired.
From time to time, I wear myself out completely.
Why are people reluctant to see a medical or alternative health practitioner when they have a condition or injury that is getting in the way of everyday life?
I’ve run into two friends recently who are dragging their feet about getting treatment. They both have shoulder injuries. […]
When I was first learning yoga, I was a very conservative version of who I am now. I attended high school and university in Arizona. At that time and even now, Arizona was one of the most conservative bastions in the U.S. It was Barry Goldwater country, if that means anything to you.
I married at 22 years old in a big Catholic Church wedding and became pregnant within four months. When Jeff and I divorced five years later, I was ready to do something radical. I enrolled in a ten-week yoga course. […]
I celebrated an eighty-eight year old friend’s birthday on Saturday night. Some of you might know this friend: it’s of course Collyn Rivers.
Collyn’s birthday got me thinking about ageing, especially as I’m reading a book called Ageless Soul. The author, Thomas Moore, could be describing Collyn when he says:
We are ageless people participating in a mysterious and wonderful process in which our eternal unchanging selves become more visible over time. Gradually you discover your original self, your own pristine way of being.
To my way of thinking, this sums up the practice of yoga, too. […]
I’m excited to announce that YSH has a fresh incarnation, one that is simpler to navigate. There’s a new design that lets you easily access all the wealth of my writing in ‘The Vault’ archives. As well, the brand-new site is where you can find all manner of Eve resources in one place: books, videos, practice cards and posters. There’s even a shop.
This is the last post of the month where we’ve been exploring the topic of self-care. My intention has been to have us improve our relationship with taking good care of ourselves. This is obviously a continuous learning. But occasionally bringing a sharper focus to it will undoubtedly foster feeling ease in our lives. I believe that improving this sense of ease is as important as building up our muscles, cultivating flexibility or exercising our brains.
Nearly a month ago, I committed to posting each day to the theme of Take Care. The idea being that, because of writing about self-care, I would pay more attention to caring for myself.
I’m almost at the end of 30 days of posting. Have I done daily posting? Not exactly.
When I woke up on Wednesday morning this week with an extremely sore shoulder, I was annoyed. I knew I should put the brakes on.
Did I want to and did I? Of course not! First I tried to figure out what I might have done to create such a painful shoulder. I went over the previous day’s activities and the day before, too. It was very mysterious, as I couldn’t think of anything I’d done out of the ordinary.
Years ago I had osteoarthritis of both hips. I had hip replacement surgery in 2010 and have gone from strength to strength since then.
However the period when I was first diagnosed was hell for me. My ego felt crushed like a stepped-on grape. I was convinced that the orthopaedic surgeon’s diagnosis spelled career suicide for me as a yoga teacher. The idea of my sporting artificial hips filled me with dread and resistance.
I certainly didn’t want any yoga students to know I was less than perfect. I only wanted to present a healthy, ever-youthful image. […]
I want to address a question raised by one of my readers, Katrina Hinton, about a recent post, Take Care: Self-Reflection and Constructive Feedback. Katrina was a bright and enthusiastic yoga teacher trainee at Nature Care College back when I was part of the yoga training faculty. Now Katrina is an established yoga teacher in the ACT.
Katrina’s comments below were useful in helping me clarify the common idea that another person can hold up a mirror to help you understand yourself.
I love the honesty in your posts Eve. […]
The other night I asked my dear husband, Daniel, to cast his eyes over my draft ‘Yoga Suits Her’ post. He gave me constructive feedback, but, sadly, I became upset when I heard it.
Daniel and I have been married nearly 25 years. That’s plenty of time for marital niceties to have faded just a little. Or, maybe to see there was no need to soften any feedback, especially when he knows I want to keep improving my writing. What he said was honest and incisive, but it just didn’t sit well with me. […]