Healing

A Healing Pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge)

A Healing Pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge)

 

Every now and then, I like to remind my readers about this healing pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the supported bridge pose.
Using props make this a restorative version of the more active bridge.
I’ve been in the pose every day this week as a way to counter the low back compression I’ve experienced from gardening. Part of why the pose is so good for the lower back and sacrum is because it stretches the abdominal area, a part of your body that tenses when your back is tight. […]

Yoga For When You're Just Plumb Tuckered Out

Yoga For When You're Just Plumb Tuckered Out

I woke up this morning feeling weary. That’s a bad sign because it could have meant that’s as good as I was going to feel all day. I’ve said before in these posts that yoga teachers are not at all immune to exhaustion. So, my current condition has given me cause for reflection.
There are so many words for being bone-tired that you might wear yourself out just reading this partial list:

frazzled
pooped
bushed
sapped
drained
spent
prostrate
enervated

A phrase for extreme fatigue that seems to be popping up more and more is ‘adrenal exhaustion’. […]

Is Your Spine Articulate?

Is Your Spine Articulate?

Do you love words? If you’ve followed these posts for some time, you must know that I love words.
A favourite word of mine is articulate. It relates to two things that are important in my life and particularly in yoga teaching: language and anatomy.
In relation to speaking, being able to articulate well means I can speak precisely to be understood. […]

Nothing Worse than a Man Cold

Nothing Worse than a Man Cold

Today is the second day that my husband Daniel has been feeling unwell. There are few ailments more frightening than a “man cold/cough”. Sadly, he is suffering more today than he was yesterday, so I racked my brain and my intuition for what I might pull out of my yoga tool box for him.
Here’s a simple, nurturing practice I created for the kind of cough that makes your chest hurt. The program is also good for cases of mild asthma.
1. Supta Baddha Konasana – Forehead higher than chin, chin higher than chest, chest open. […]

The Whole World in Our Hands

The Whole World in Our Hands

When I was growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s, there was a popular song called ‘He’s Got the Whole World in Hands’. Back then as a little girl, it was comforting to know that Someone was taking care of everything, even though it seemed to me that there were a lot of problems that were getting overlooked.
Now as an adult, I can see that each of us has to step up to the responsibility of creating a world that works for all of us. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Seated Poses

Families of Yoga Poses: Seated Poses

 

The laughing yogini pictured above (me, c. 1989) is demonstrating the seated pose called Samakonasana. Most people would be crying rather than feeling light-hearted in this position, as they struggled with the combination of external hip rotation and hamstring stretch. The technique that B.K.S. Iyengar describes in Light On Yoga for getting into this pose doesn’t make the pose one bit more user-friendly. […]

Yoga for All Seasons – Especially When You're Under the Weather

Yoga for All Seasons – Especially When You're Under the Weather

It started early this week, a feeling of blocked sinuses accompanied by congestion at the back of my throat. A feeling of yuk that unfortunately had the affect of leaking testiness into my intimate relationships. Sadly, it took me fully a day to realise that physical symptoms of my cold and sore throat had blighted my spirit, too.
This is where forgiveness comes in handy. […]

Making the Most of: Grist for the Mill

Making the Most of: Grist for the Mill

Do you like words? Do you find that when you read a phrase that’s well-written, you stop and savour it? Let it roll around in your mind the way you roll a fine chocolate around in your mouth until it melts.
Do you file away particular expressions that you love to be brought out and displayed the way you would proudly flash a boutinaire or a necklace? I meditate while being guided by the audio recordings of Jon Kabat-Zinn, and, man, does he have a way with words! […]

Yoga Practice: Being Durable and Vulnerable

Yoga Practice: Being Durable and Vulnerable

As a blogger ensconced in my little Mitchells Island retreat, I walk a thin line between being open and revealing in my writing but not so much that I come across as neurotic and narcissistic.
Really, I do rein myself in at times. Also, I don’t want you to lose confidence in me because I don’t show up as the epitome of a strong, well-balanced yoga teacher (which I’m not, certainly not at all times…ask my husband). […]

Context for Yoga Teaching

Context for Yoga Teaching

After I completed two long days of teaching yoga therapy in Byron Bay, I had pause to stop and reflect on my efforts.
The night before my 14-hour teaching day, I typically had sleep difficulties, culminating in just three hours of sleep. It’s not the first time this sort of pre-teaching insomnia has occurred. Part of it has to do with what a quiet lifestyle I ordinarily have in the country contrasted with suddenly meeting 13 new students in a new venue. But I also admit to being somewhat of a perfectionist, still, after all these years. […]

Guts

Guts

Am I a bad yoga teacher? Sometimes I think it’s just stupid to be teaching triangle pose to a student who has a physical complaint that’s causing them mental distress.
Sometimes I just want to say, Whoa, let’s just sit down for a minute and see what’s up. In this moment, what’s going on? Instead of glossing over what appears to be a strong feeling or a difficult attitude.
What’s the point of doing a lateral stretch when someone’s dog just died or they’re in pain in their body or they’ve been depressed for some time. […]

Do You Suffer from Yoga Teacher Burn-out?

Do You Suffer from Yoga Teacher Burn-out?

I led a workshop a while back for the Yoga Australia Association to address the issue of ‘yoga teacher burn-out’. It was an experiential session. We had an energetic discussion about how stressed teachers get in their lives and we tried to get to the bottom of why we behave in such a driven way at times.
While we didn’t get to any handy solutions, it made a difference to hear individuals talk about burn-out. […]

Mother's Day on Kangaroo Island

Mother's Day on Kangaroo Island

We’ve just celebrated Mother’s Day this last Sunday, and I believe it was for me one of the most satisfying I’ve experienced.
First of all, I was on Kangaroo Island, spending 4 days in the company of 6 other women who are known for their wisdom, spunkiness and joie de vie. Our ages range from 40’s to late 70’s, so there are grandmothers and grandmothers-to-be in the mix.
Secondly, we women like to set up meaningful rituals, and on this Mother’s Day occasion, sitting around after dinner, we each shared about our mothers. […]

Good Yoga Practice: Time Out for Renewal

Good Yoga Practice: Time Out for Renewal

One of the beautiful things about living in the country and being ‘semi-retired’ is that I have ample time to connect with people.
Sitting down with a cuppa to chat with a friend and not having time constraints – the conversation can go in unexpected directions. Instead of handling business or talking about what one of you needs from the other, you can just let content emerge organically, if you will.
Tomorrow I’m flying to South Australia, then to magnificent Kangaroo Island, to meet up with six dear women friends. […]

Yoga: When the Phone is Ringing, It Helps You Connect

Yoga: When the Phone is Ringing, It Helps You Connect

Judy is in a rehabilitation centre at the moment ‘finding her legs’, as she is 15 days out from double hip replacement surgery. She is a veteran yogi and also trained as a yoga teacher, and probably has about 35 years of Iyengar yoga under her belt.
Judy’s doing another kind of training now with the physiotherapists at Hunters Hill Private Hospital. […]

Cutting Back Those Tiny Twinges

Cutting Back Those Tiny Twinges

 

 
Out of all the thousands of poses in the world, how do you know which of them to practice.
Or, if you’re a yoga teacher, how do you know what to teach?
Of course, it depends on many of variables, the most important one being, read your body. Another indicator is read the seasons.
At the moment we’ve been doing summer gardening – especially cutting back weeds and hauling full wheelbarrows of them for disposal. […]

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