Healing

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. […]

Mulching the Message

Mulching the Message

For me, the process of sitting down to write an almost-daily blog depends completely on my tuning in to the everyday experiences of life on Mitchells Island. This is partly why I do the writing, to share more or less ordinary stuff that goes on here that can be extrapolated, with any luck, into universal experience.
It’s why I do yoga too. […]

Rekindle Your Fire

Rekindle Your Fire

I admit to having felt stressed recently. A two-week bout of a cold. Chugging away at desk work. A new business in the wings. I promise you I’ve been at my yoga practice (almost) every day, but sometimes it’s not quite enough to thwart the doldrums.
What’s a person to do?
Well, here’s several ideas that are working for me:
• Read inspiring books. If we only read the newspapers and listen to the evening news, we might end up feeling jaundiced about what we see is the sorry state of the world. […]

Healthy Hugs

Healthy Hugs

I’ve been doing some research for the workshop I’m leading on the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks entitled “Pelvic Freedom: Yoga Poses and Practices for Women’s Well-Being”. The day-long program is pretty rich, I think, and encompasses information on anatomy, pelvic problems, and asanas and practices for various stages of a woman’s life. I thought I’d pass on something I read today (isn’t Google wonderful?) about the importance of keeping the pelvic floor muscles healthy – something we all know we should be doing, but perhaps need to be reminded of occasionally. […]

Specks and Beams

Specks and Beams

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye?
In the yoga spirit of self-study or svadhyaya, I’ve been thinking about the above quote in relation to a couple of judgments I’ve been harbouring.
Sigh.
I notice I get super critical about how much screen time my hubby spends between iPad, iPhone, Mac and a little episodic t.v. watching. When I finally took my attention off vetting his activities, I realised I do a lot of that stuff too. […]

Yoga for Back Care – No. 5

Yoga for Back Care – No. 5

Here’s the fifth and last in a series of programs that can gradually get the yoga practitioner back on her feet after back strain or ache.
You’ll recognise these poses from the earlier sequences, presented in a slightly different order.
Adho Mukha Svanasana is done here with a strap looped around the hip creases so I’m able to traction the student’s legs away from the pelvis. You can also do this yourself by looping a strap around a railing to achieve a similar tractioning. Hold for 1 – 2 min. […]

How to Put on a Yoga Retreat: Part Three

How to Put on a Yoga Retreat: Part Three

Be prepared!
In leading a retreat, a yoga teacher has duty of care for any number of people. Most retreats will proceed from beginning to end with no hiccoughs, but you still, as the leader, need to be mentally and physically prepared for different situations.
On one retreat I ran, a participant became gravely ill and I had to arrange for her to be driven home in the middle of the event. […]

Yoga Retreats, Now and Then

Yoga Retreats, Now and Then

On the cusp of the Falls Forest 3-day yoga retreat which begins tomorrow, I can’t help but think of the many wonderful times over the years we enjoyed at Camp Berringa, in the lower Blue Mountains. Pleasurable times, but transformative, too.
Yogis who understand what yoga is all about will book into one or more retreats a year to experience the magical conjunction of our body/minds in Nature.
Being in a natural setting is restful in and of itself. The combination of yoga and a gentle environment renews that part of us that is bone-tired. […]

Great Kidney Poses

Great Kidney Poses

Two very important organs of your body nestle under the back ribs and serve as a vital filtration system for wastes. The kidney organs work to pass urine through the ureters to your bladder for storage and elimination.
If you get extremely run down, you may develop an ache in your lower back that is not muscular and arises when the adrenal glands, situated near the kidneys get overstimulated.
Traditionally, the family of poses that are meant to soothe the adrenals and tone the kidneys are forward stretches. […]

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

Anyone who regularly reads “Yoga Suits Her” will know that I speak glowingly about my life in the beautiful surroundings of Mitchells Island.You can also read the story of the small, intentional community we’ve set up here.) Usually I’m a pretty positive and happy person, I think, in the midst of our island paradise. But last night I sorely tested myself and the merits of all my wonderful yoga philosophy when I was at a cocktail party (yes, alcohol does pass my lips) and spoke my mind, revealing a provocative personal opinion. […]

Our Incredible Shrinking Beach

Our Incredible Shrinking Beach

On my return from holidays, I was quite shocked to hear that our closest beach had lost about a half kilometer of it’s length as a result of recent flooding and storms. That’s a big chunk.
The area concerned is at the mouth of the Manning River, but the dunes all along in a southerly direction to Old Bar Beach are seriously eroded too.
A sad part of our loss is the potential encroachment of the sea on the little tern breeding ground. […]

Happy Hips

Happy Hips

“Lazy Dog Pose” is one for the yoga therapy tool box, especially for hip osteoarthritis sufferers who can use it to postpone their need for surgery..
Another pose that can create release in the afflicted hip is this elevated lunge position:

If you can work with a helper, the following pose can offer relief:

When I had double hip surgery about 1-1/2 years ago, my practice of yoga had managed to forestall the operation for many years. […]

The Year of the Mother

I’ve seen, over this year, the passing of many of my friends’ mothers, including my husband’s.
No matter what the relationship to one’s mother, her death seems to exert a powerful sorting process on the psyches of her progeny. Even my mother-in-law’s death in the USA this year seemed to have a gravitational pull back to Australia, dragging up an assortment of feelings related to my family.
Yesterday I heard of the recent death of the mother of a colleague. She was of a very advanced age and died peacefully, but I still felt sad. […]

Healing the Body/Mind

Healing the Body/Mind

I’ve just been deliberating about what to entitle this post so that it would accurately describe the yoga class I did with Berkeley, California teacher, Donald Moyer, and maybe capture some of what I got out of it.
What I experienced was more than doing asanas under the instruction of a skilled, gracious teacher. […]

All We Need

All We Need

In recent times, I’ve shifted my emphasis in practicing yoga from just focussing on the performance of physical postures to observing my attitude when I do asanas. Who I am and how I approach what I do is increasingly more important than performing a sequence of poses.
I still do my practice of poses, which I love, and what I try to bring to my yoga now is kindness, acceptance, and love. […]

Self-reflection

Self-reflection

There are some coastlines and beaches in the world that would give Australian seaside paradises a run for their money, and this spot that I’m looking out at as I write to you would be one. For sure.

Up until yesterday I’d never really heard of and definitely not seen the Central Coast of Oregon (USA). […]

Privileged

Privileged

I’m on the opposite side of the continent from the battered U.S. Eastern seaboard, afflicted as it has been by Hurricane Irene. I’ve been sheltered for the last two days in the Olympic Wilderness area of Washington State.
My awareness has been opening to include the destruction, even death, on the East coast, even as I take in the awesome magnificence of where I am at the moment.
As a launching pad for appreciating the one-million acre Olympic National Park, I am lodged at rustic Kalaloch with it’s expansive sandy, log-jammed beach. There have been so many first sightings. […]

Getting Familiar with Family

Getting Familiar with Family

The refinement of yoga practice isn’t necessarily the perfection of an advanced pose like Dwi Pada Viparita. For my money, mature yoga practice derives from the expression of yama and niyama – the “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots”..
Nowhere is the practice of concepts like “ahimsa” (non-violence) and “aparigraha” (generosity) more challenging than when we are relating to our families.
The original meaning of family goes back to servants/household/domestic. […]

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