Health


Go on: Just Say 'Yes'!

Go on: Just Say 'Yes'!

I’ve recently been experiencing A Rough Patch.
This is the week when Roma Blair died, age 90. She was considered the mother of yoga in Australia; she taught and inspired thousands of students over the years with her verve and commitment to well-being through yoga.
Much less known than Roma, my brother-in-law Jack passed away at 75 years old in California, leaving Becca without her beloved partner. […]

Old is the New New

Old is the New New

I’m a competitive person. I don’t mean to be. I don’t really want to be. But despite having taught yoga for many years, there it is: I’m still competitive. 
A little of this personality quirk leaked out into the class the other day when I was demonstrating chaturanga dandasana – you know, the yoga push-up position – a pose that many people love to hate. I finished up by saying to the students, ‘if the oldest person in the room can do this, then you should at least be able to give it a try. […]

What If We All Pull Together?

What If We All Pull Together?

More than 25 years ago, I saw a movie that crystallised a deep longing I’d held perhaps all my life. You might remember the film – Witness? If you don’t remember the film, you might remember a relatively young Harrison Ford playing a cop who has to hide out in an Amish community. He’s deemed an outsider but the community takes him in anyway and protects him.
One particular scene did me in. The Harrison Ford character participates with the Amish people in a ‘barn raising’. […]

The Silent Centre in the Full Catastrophe

The Silent Centre in the Full Catastrophe

This week Daniel and I exercised our prerogative as retirees to take ourselves off to see an 11 a.m. movie – ‘Gravity’. This amazing film shows the actors, NASA astronauts, on a fix-it mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Bio-medical engineer, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) get into dire trouble as the mission unfolds. […]

The power of letting it all hang out….

The power of letting it all hang out….

The other night we were sitting around having a discussion about what it takes to be vulnerable. The guys had been at their men’s group meeting and vulnerability had been the theme of the night. We continued exploring the topic when they came home. I loved it. I felt close to these men who I know so well, as they explored the defences that keep them stitched up behind their public images.
In case you haven’t noticed, being honest and open, being intimate, being yourself, showing up warts and all, have become thrusts of the New Yoga. […]

For Your Weekend Refreshment

For Your Weekend Refreshment

Sometimes you just don’t have much energy by the time the weekend comes, no matter how much you’ve enjoyed your working week, because you’re just too pooped.
Here’s a restorative yoga practice to recharge your batteries on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon so you can be at your best all weekend.
Supta Badda Konasana Bound-angle pose  Equipment: blanket, belt and a bolster.

Lie back on a bolster or several blankets folded lengthwise to support your back and head. […]

Permission to Rest

Permission to Rest

Generally speaking, I think people (including myself) don’t know how to be tired.
Think about it. Do you recognise when you are weary and stop and rest?
First of all, you have to be in touch with your body and mind to notice when fatigue symptoms are arising. But often, we are out of our bodies when we are driving ourselves to get a job done. […]

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

I watched a video today featuring Richard Freeman talking about yoga while his students were doing Ashtanga Vinyasa – Mysore style – in the background. Some of the poses they were performing were ones I used to do. Others I’ve never been able to do, and, at this stage in my life, am unlikely to achieve.
(If you can’t see the video below, try refreshing your screen….)

Do I feel sad about not being able to do these sorts of advanced poses? Not at all. […]

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’. […]

Singly or Ensemble, Yoga is Good

Singly or Ensemble, Yoga is Good

I was practising yoga in the Yoga Shed early on Monday with my friend and student, Julie. It was a pleasure to share the experience of doing yoga practice with Julie which I often get to do with others from our household. We’re fortunate to have our own yoga studio a few steps from the house, so I can just roll out of bed and onto the mat, even while I’m still in my pyjamas.
Some mornings, I practice on my own, single-mindedly, silently, and happily. When I have company, we might enjoy a chat about things non-yogic. […]