Healing

Yoga for the Choir (and Everyone Else)

Yoga for the Choir (and Everyone Else)

Thursday night I attend my community choir. It makes me happy to go along and sing with a whole group of people who enjoy joining together in harmonies.
The dedicated choir director, Telly, lets me lead some yoga stretches at the beginning of the 1.5 hr. session, so the group follows along as I demonstrate and instruct.
I think about what will prepare us best for singing, so we do stretches that open up the lungs, loosen the rib cage and release tension from shoulders. […]

Negative Fantasies

The first time I came across the term “negative fantasy” was in the workshops produced by the Human Awareness Institute. Over the last two days I have gone in and out of my own negative fantasies which had the effect of making me feel about as low as I have in a long time. Until I had a chance to talk about what was going on in my head, I was accepting the fantasies as being true pictures of reality – albeit highly emotionally charged ones. […]

Choosing How You Do Elderhood

Choosing How You Do Elderhood

I spent the last weekend with my 7 woman friends, aged late 40’s to mid-seventies. In this company, I participated in many of those familiar-by-now conversations about medical complaints, impending surgeries, and just plain loss of hearing, eyesight, and libido. (Does loss imply ever finding those items again?)
Did we sound like broken records? Absolutely not.
We’ve surprised even ourselves that ageing isn’t really such a scary thing. I can honestly say that each one of us has experienced more wisdom, wholeness, authenticity, and improved sense of humour with the arrival of age. […]

Physical Freedom

Physical Freedom

Tomorrow is a 2 year anniversary of my release from Hunters Hill Private Hospital where I did 12 days of rehabilitation after my double hip replacement surgery.
On my return home, my husband Daniel made a great video clip of my walking up the stairway without needing to use a stick. He put some backing music to it – Patsy Kline’s Walking After Midnight –  and stuck it up on the Internet as a YouTube video.
I tell people now that if anyone is having qualms about the surgery, they needn’t. […]

More on Off the Mat, Into the World

More on Off the Mat, Into the World

 
Have you done workshops, been on retreats, or attended “intensives” where you received a real boost for a short time…then lost the focus or inspiration you received? Soon, it’s business as usual, and you’re hanging out for the next gee-up, but maybe it’s not going to happen again for another six or 12 months.
I had this concern about the Off the Mat, Into the World weekend I did earlier this month. We 26 participants were very enthusiastic and connected with each other at the end of just 2 days. […]

Upside-Down Bow – Arcing the Spine in Urdhva Dhanurasana

Upside-Down Bow – Arcing the Spine in Urdhva Dhanurasana

Symmetry in action, Urdhva Dhanurasana is a challenging pose for most yogis. If we could only get the backbend arc to be even from the top of the spine to the tip, then the experience would be pleasurable and gratifying. Anything less, we feel heavy, pinched and sometimes defeated. Like many adults, by the time I came to do yoga, it had been many years since I’d done backbends. The first ones I attempted in a yoga class made me feel exhilarated. My teacher was a hard task master. We students did 25 Urdhva Dhanurasanas, followed by 10 “easies”. […]

December 25, 2011 Mitchells Island

December 25, 2011 Mitchells Island

I can scarcely remember such beautiful weather for Christmas Day as we’ve had today.
I do remember 40 degree-plus Christmases, chilly and drizzly ones, and one year where we were without electricity through the day and night because of nearby bush fires.
We here have cause for celebration.
Happy campers in the grounds at Manning Point are enjoying perfect summer weather, and rain-free.
The Aussie economy is better than most, maybe better than all, never mind about the two-speeds.
It’s peaceful in our neck of the woods. […]

The Meaning of Trikonasana

The Meaning of Trikonasana

An avid reader of Yoga Suits Her posts has made this request:
I’d be interested in a series about the poses, particularly the better known ones.  Not about how to do them and not about how to do them better or any details, but what they mean to you, what they seem to represent and how they relate to your life.
So, in the 12 days leading up to 2012, I’m going to look at the meaning, intention and implications of some poses we all do regularly and give them their due.

Trikonasana jumps out at me. […]

Yoga Worthy Of Note

Yoga Worthy Of Note

It’s said that the world has become like a small town in many ways. The web and mobile phone services connect us instantaneously with amazingly remote places. Inexpensive air travel has made big distances minuscule.
This process has accentuated the differences between rich and poor, haves and have-nots, developed and developing, as we see the disparities so much more clearly. […]

The Great Aussie Philosopher

The Great Aussie Philosopher

For inspiration, I have a copy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra by Chip Hartranft in the stack of books by the side of my bed. We all need a slug of encouragement from the written word from time to time. That’s why svadhyaya -self-study – is one of the indispensable niyama.
There have been philosophers from every part of the globe and from all ages. The Greeks had Socrates and Aristotle…Germans had Nietzsche…Americans Emerson and Thoreau. […]

Image Conscious

Image Conscious

Part of what comes with being human is that we are born beautiful and  innocent, connected to our divinity, and then we undergo years of forgetting this happy state.
Maybe this is because we live in a culture that says it’s conceited to think well of ourselves. […]

Riding Emotions

Riding Emotions

You’ve heard the expression, you’re not your emotions. It’s true. We are so much more than our thoughts, our bodies, our emotions.
But today I noticed my mind and emotions were like the mid-north coast weather with its unpredictable gusts of wind. I was unpleasantly buffeted about by them. […]

Soul Food

Soul Food

The Divine Feminine Conference November 26 & 27 was a source of joy to me and, I would say, to many of the women in attendance.
The first presentation on the first day was a slow simmer even though Diane Riley was speaking passionately about her area of expertise – Tantra. […]

Rx for Low Backache

Rx for Low Backache

For many years in Sydney, I trained yoga teachers to teach. One of the trainees’ assignments would be to design a sequence for a particular problem, apply it to a student, and assess the results.
Daniel, my husband, was a good guinea pig for the trainees because he had periodic back pain. (Interestingly, after nearly 19 years of doing yoga, he seems to have transcended this particular condition.)
Here’s a “Daniel sequence” for groins and lower back that I came across in my archives. […]

Limping Along

Limping Along

Have you ever torn a hamstring or suffered an inflamed tendon? Then you would know the feeling of limping along, having to do just half-speed yoga poses.
I feel like that today after having had a little mishap with my computer keyboard. A portion of my morning coffee, so much anticipated after my yoga practice, spilled over the board. […]

A Life Well Lived

A Life Well Lived

I was privileged today to read a eulogy that appeared in the NY Times, a sibling writing about her famous and influential brother, Steve Jobs.
The piece reminded me how precious life is, and death too. You know this very well if you have gently paced a relative in the process of dying. This is what we do with our elderly parents in aged care facilities, but also sometimes with someone younger, like Jobs was. […]

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