Chill out at the Summer SolsticeBecause the solstice occurs just twice a year, it is a special event. That means it deserves a specialised yoga practice.In the southern hemisphere, we’re approaching the summer solstice. The living is easy, breezy and expansive. You just naturally want to be out of doors. Even better if you can have an ocean dip.The other night the prospect of a beach picnic called to us. […]
Who hates being exhausted? Me!It’s not sexy to find oneself in a state of exhaustion. It could even be viewed as decidedly unattractive. Worse, exhaustion is often accompanied by low spirits, including a whole lot of resistance to feeling this way.My dictionary defines exhaustion as extreme tiredness, great fatigue, weariness, and burnout. So, we’re not just talking about feeling a little tired after housecleaning or gardening.Okay, I’m going to dob myself in. I’m not here only to write an exposition on exhaustion or to merely define it. I’m here to tell you that I am exhausted. […]
An unexpected benefit that I’ve derived personally from using props is humility. They are truly supportive and remind me that I don’t have to it all myself. I can yield to a ‘helper’, and in this sort of surrender I’ve learned to let go physically. That has a knock-on effect for letting go emotionally and mentally, and releasing the tight grip of ego.
What’s not to praise?Legs up the wall is a favourite with many people because it’s a pose that’s guaranteed to sort you out. With a minimum investment of energy, the pose will return you maximum benefits. It is restorative, regenerative and reviving.Even non-yogis seem to find their way to this pose. I’ve seen bushwalkers take a break, lie down and put their legs up a tree. […]
Some years ago I attended a yoga teacher–friend’s class and shared a cup of tea with one of his female students after class. When my friend’s student heard that I specialized in yoga for women she confided that she suffered debilitating menstrual pain every month. I asked her if she still attended my friend’s yoga class during her period. She replied that yes, of course she did, she just took a pain-killer as she didn’t want to miss her ‘yoga-fix’. “So how do you feel after you do the class?” I enquired, curious, because my friend’s classes were of the dynamic, yang, make-you-sweat type. “Oh, I feel worse!” she replied, resignedly.
I discovered the morning after unpacking our car and camper trailer and doing three loads of washing, that my back was painfully sore and stiff. Perhaps it was cumulative? Possibly too much sitting and driving (15,000 km.), with too few yoga poses along the way. It didn’t really matter what caused my low back ache. I just wanted an effective way to repair it.
Women need to take into account when, how and what to practice, depending on exactly where they are in their menstrual cycle. A well-planned yoga sequence of special poses will usually help with the release of menses, eliminate tiredness and balance hormones.
A Holiday Gift for You
In this busy lead-up to Christmas Day, it’s difficult to fit in a full-on yoga practice. Still, you know you need to do something for your body-mind. But what?
Over this holiday period, I’ve decided to ‘gift’ my readers some of my favourite lazy yoga poses. […]
This restorative pose has a name like a flowing Tai Chi movement or a sweetly sedative acupuncture point. Actually, the name Mountain Brook Pose simply reflects the way a yoga practitioner’s body drapes over the soft props. Like water flowing over the stones in a mountain brook.
For years, I wondered why this posture is called Child’s Pose. Sometimes babies and young children will end up in this posture and even sleep in it. But more to the point, children appear to be at their sweetest and quietest when they’re asleep. And, perhaps never more so than in Child’s Pose.
Supta Baddha Konasana: An All-Rounder
Years ago I did a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. The only yoga pose I did during the course was Supta Baddha Konasana. It helped balance many hours spent in sitting and walking meditation. When my meditation energy was flagging, Supta Baddha Konasana served to make me feel cradled and deeply nourished.
How to Do It
Props you will need: a bolster and a 3-fold blanket. The reason for using props is that you can let them do the work. […]
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Low Back First Aid
I find Setu Bandha Sarvangasana an invaluable pose for the way it helps counteract low back compression. In my world, lower back ache is a result of gardening, long drives or sitting at my computer.
Part of why the pose is so good for my lower back and sacrum is because it stretches the abdomen, a part of my body that tenses when my back is tight. […]
Supta Virasana: Your Stomach’s Friend
Supta Virasana, reclining Hero Pose, is just what I need today after experiencing the Big Xmas Lunch Indulgence. No doubt it will be followed by the Big Boxing Day Seafood Extravaganza. […]
Days of extreme weather might be the way of the future. Who knows? Most scientists say this is the way we are heading.
If so, we need to include reflective practices as part of our yoga routine. We need the tools that create mental and emotional space to deal with difficult situations. It’s not enough to keep up with a strong physical practice. Meditation, savasana, yoga nidra, and pranayama are necessary to weather all conditions. Not only extreme climactic fluctuations.
Insomnia: The Night Prowler
There was a time when I slept the sleep of the innocent. That was in the dim distant past.
Menopause first threw a spanner in the machine, with its 3-4am wake-ups. Once I was wide awake, too bad, that was it for the night.
Man-o-pause sleep, I’ve heard, isn’t any better. No matter what our gender, eventually we all succumb. What is it? The influence of waning hormones?
Recently, my husband went to The Sleep Clinic to investigate the cause of his brand of insomnia. Its likely cause is sleep apnoea. […]
To help deal with the current wet weather pattern, I’ve decided to re-purpose an earlier post called’Rainy Day Practice’. Do poses from this sequence to help alleviate that pesky condition called S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The program below is designed to generate heat and dry out internals organs–and put a smile on your face.
In the U.S., the stifling stickiness of the hot weather season is undeniably upon us so we yoga practitioners need to adapt to this climate. It’s not as humid here in Tucson as in the buildup to The Wet of Australia’s tropical north, but this weather can still be mind-numbing and body-immobilising.
Like many of you, I do gardening. Which means I know firsthand how hard gardening is on the body. When my yoga students arrive at class with achy backs or sore shoulders or gardeners’ knees, I know it’s time to break out the poses that target these complaints.
Maintaining the yoga practice presented here will help us all sail through this Spring gardening season.
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.
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.