Healing

Tucson Orthopedic Institute

Not a typical holiday destination, but I’m here doing my familial duty – accompanying my sister to her pre-op visit to the orthopedic surgeon.
I don’t mean to be voyeuristic; this is a scary and intensely emotive time for my sister.
But I’m a yoga therapist at heart, I guess. So, I’ve read the xrays with interest. A scoliatic spine unfortunately adds complications to a ruptured disc and disc degeneration. […]

Posture-ing

I am reminded of the importance of good posture everyday in so many ways.
Here in Tucson, Arizona, I’m visiting my older sister whose “bad back” has finally caught up with her. As a seventy-seven year old, and having exhausted many different therapies, she now is facing a lamenectomy and L2-5 spinal fusion, next week. […]

Yoga and ACoA

Yoga and ACoA

Yoga is a rich and powerful path that helps us create a path through life’s thickets. I swear by it.
Still, as I’ve said in other Yoga Suits Her posts, it’s not the end-all and be-all. I was reminded yesterday, while listening to a friend, of my own short and helpful period of contact with the meetings of “Adult Children of Alcoholics”, a spin-off from other Twelve Step Tradition groups.
My friend was talking about how she was encouraged through attending the ACoA meetings to find there are people out there who have had similar childhood experiences to hers. […]

Recovery Practice

Recovery Practice

Transparency is my aim. So I herewith admit to you that I was too tired to write a blog post yesterday. Sigh. Dog tired. Could it have been a reaction to having a week of guests staying at our country home? Including a 13 yr. old boy.
Don’t get me wrong. We were hosting seasoned travellers who never wear out their welcome by being inappropriate or un-housetrained. The whole family is delightful and fun. […]

Transitions

Transitions

I’m generally intrigued by the notion of transitions.
As I apply the word transition to yoga, I mean the part of a pose when one is going into or coming out of it. It can represent a sort of blind spot in one’s awareness, if the transition is not acknowledged.
Take a simple pose like Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). You can go into the pose from Tadasana, stepping out wide (or even, as sometimes taught, jumping out) deliberately and carefully. […]

Finishing School

Yoga isn’t everything. I don’t mean to be an iconoclast, but the truth is that Life is also a very good teacher, and there are many good teachers in the world who are not strictly speaking yogis. Think Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi or Mother Teresa.
I’m going to spend this weekend with two of my favourite teachers at a workshop called Love, Intimacy and Sexuality. […]

Good Grief

Good Grief

I was reminded  after class today of the importance of proper grieving by one of my yoga students. We were chatting about his dad’s immanent death and the bitter-sweet process that he and his whole family have been in of letting go.
Earlier this year, when Daniel went to his mother’s funeral in the U.S., I went through my own private grieving at home. Grief for my mother-in-law but also for losses within my own family.
Death unleashes the most powerful emotions, if we let it. […]

Therapy of Play

Therapy of Play

I was honored today to be taken to the workplace of my friend and yoga colleague, Maarit, in the beachside community of Mona Vale, NSW.
Maarit has lovingly created a space where she can work with individual children in the her special field called therapeutic play.
Drawing on various threads over a lifetime of study – graphic design, art, yoga teaching, psychology and counseling, Maarit’s uniquely trained to work with children and adults for whom “talking therapy” may not be the most effective medium.
I got to have a go at creating a sandplay scene myself, using some of the […]

Please Explain

I heard someone say years ago (maybe it was in a personal development course) that people are meaning-creating machines. If I say something to you, you are going to want to make it mean something, perhaps more, or less, or even different than I meant. In any situation I’m in, I’ll assign it a meaning, give it a flavour, sum it up as enjoyable or tragic or irksome.
So, today my husband sent me a link to an article called, “The Least 5 Romantic Keys to a Happy Relationship.” This arrived in my email with no preamble. […]

The Watcher

The Watcher

I’m not a meditator, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit. Or, am I?
The ancient sage Patanjali – a pivotal proponent of the art of meditation – collected all sorts of wisdom of the times, compressed it into 196 pithy sayings, and gave them to us as a system of meditation.
I’ve read Patanjali’s Sutra from cover to cover, in the 7 or 8 books of interpretations I own. This is nothing against those many dedicated yogis who have learned Sanskrit to commit to memory and be able to chant all 196 Sutra. […]

From Sleep Deprived to Sweet Dreams

From Sleep Deprived to Sweet Dreams

I had the good fortune to meet a number of great yogis while teaching recently in Byron Bay, NSW. One of them, Jenny Beer, put me on to an “affirmation” she uses for nights when sleep is elusive or broken. I love the words and intent of this affirmation. It reminds me of some of the yoga teaching “mission statements”  that the trainees I instructed at Nature Care College in Sydney wrote to help steer them in their new careers. […]

Yoga Works!

Yoga Works!

The bad news is my immune system is a little low at the moment and I’m slightly snivelling with nasal congestion. Dare I say “cold”? Nah. The symptoms I’m experiencing are so mild as to be impossible of invoking any sort of sympathy.
The good news is that this morning I did a sequence I use for fighting colds and my sinuses drained almost completely. I felt so much better afterwards. You might have collected it from 24/2/11, but it’s repeated here without the drawings:Colds SequenceUttanasana, 2 min. […]

Yoga = Belonging

Yoga equals union. Everyone who knows a little about yoga knows that is how yoga is defined.
Is there any relationship between yoga (union) and one’s sense of belonging? I think so.
I had a big epiphany a few months ago and the spin-off from it was that I felt like I belonged with people.
This may sound funny but prior to the Epiphany, I always felt like I was trying to belong. I’d done it for so long that I’d accepted trying as normal. […]

Gym or Hospital?

Gym or Hospital?

An inquiry from an old student got me thinking today about why people come along to do yoga. Or, I guess, even why people teach yoga.
Is it to get a workout and build stronger, more sinewy bodies? Or is it to fix up bodies broken by disease or injuries, and minds run over by stress?
It’s pertinent to hang out with the questions as I head off to teach in a yoga therapy course. Trainees will learn to take case histories, do client assessments, and design programs. […]

Now and Then

I was sad today to note the SMH obituary written  the passing of Bob Gould, a colourful Sydney figure variously described as: founder of the anti-Vietnam movement in Australia, Trotskyite, bibliophile, historian, union agitator, anti-censorship battler, bohemian, polemicist, Irish Catholic.
I only made the acquaintance of this big bear of a man as a frequenter of the ramshackle Third World Bookshop in Goulburn St., a place where you could find imports from the U.S., stuff that couldn’t be found anywhere else in Sydney.
His death got me thinking about two people in my life who have terminal illnesses, one who […]

The Crack in Everything

The Crack in Everything

Today’s blog is something new for me. I decided upon listening to one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs yesterday that I would update one of the most popular posts that I’ve written. It gives a nod to the composer’s well-loved tune, “Anthem”, which has the refrain:

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I’m of the opinion that the song’s sentiment is so popular because we humans don’t want to have work so hard at being perfect. […]

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