Pleasure

Take Care: Why is it Hard to Indulge Ourselves?

Take Care: Why is it Hard to Indulge Ourselves?

When Indulging Becomes Self-Care
When we first moved to Mitchells Island, we hadn’t yet winterised our house. Like a lot of people, we had mostly completed the interior but still needed to install a fireplace and block-out curtains. That first winter was painfully cold. Temperatures at night hovered around 3 degrees, with high winds and an unseasonable amount of rain.

There’s a windless, sheltered spot on one of our decks. During the day if the sun came out, I would grab fifteen minutes of unmitigated rays. […]

Awash in Gratitude: Yoga, Choir and Pool Communities

Awash in Gratitude: Yoga, Choir and Pool Communities

Pool community
Do you ever feel overcome by feelings of gratitude for the communities to which you belong? I feel awash in gratitude each time I participate in the little pool community at Old Bar Beach. During the warm weather, I wake early, excited by the prospect of an aquarobics session at the pool. 
I should let you know that I was born in Chicago, far from the ocean. Then, as an adolescent I lived in the desert town of Tucson, Arizona. As a consequence, I lacked many of the things that Aussies take for granted. […]

The Beauty of Yoga (and every other) Community

The Beauty of Yoga (and every other) Community

I believe and know from my yoga experience that connecting through community is the most health-promoting and fulfilling activity I can do. Just recently I joined a local pool community for aquarobics classes and am enjoying connecting with a whole new group of health-minded and lively people.

How Can I Know What I Think Till I See What I Say?*

How Can I Know What I Think Till I See What I Say?*

Photo by Julie Slavin
On January 1st of 2010, I launched the “Yoga Suits Her” blog. That was 999 posts ago and lots of writing practice under the bridge.
Writing has parallels with yoga practice. Do enough of it and something changes. It may that your technique improves, or you will get more life experience which gets poured back onto the page or into what you do on your mat. Writing or practising yoga over a long time will change you, you can be sure. […]

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. […]

Best Friends: My Technology Guru

Best Friends: My Technology Guru

Do you have someone in your life who always has your back? (And your front, and your sides!) Someone who you know will always be there for you. Even if you have an argument with them, this person will make sure it’s well and truly patched because the friendship is precious. Maybe the fight was because he or she is one of the few people who will level with you, even when you don’t want to hear the truth.
We’re talking about someone who would do almost anything for you. […]

True Confessions From a Yoga Teacher T.V. Watcher

True Confessions From a Yoga Teacher T.V. Watcher

Many yoga practitioners spurn watching television and some don’t even like reading the newspapers. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll just say that I’m not one of them. In fact, I watch a lot of programming. I am discerning. My interest in good programming started way back with a couple of brilliant shows called, “The West Wing” and “The Sopranos”*.
I felt sad last night when I heard that James Gandolfini,  the star of the “The Sopranos” had passed away. […]

What's the Invisible Ingredient That Yoga Schools Offer?

Source: blogs.yogajournal.com via LINDA on Pinterest

 
I think yoga schools miss the crucial bit of information in their advertising that explains why yoga class attendance can be so enticing. It’s not because of building a body beautiful. And not because all stresses will be dissolved in the arms of savasana (yoga relaxation) at the end of each class. And, it’s not even because any annoying ailments or injuries with which you arrived will miraculously be cured by doing yoga postures.
The thing that is so enrolling about good yoga schools is invisible, in a way. […]

Practice Makes Pleasure

Source: yoga.in via Allied on Pinterest

 
I can tell when students in my classes have taken up doing home practice. I’m such an old hand at figuring this out that I can even guess at how many practices a week they do.
What is it that gives them away? Well, these students are continuously improving in their poses. How quickly they evolve is in direct relationship to how much personal practice they do.
Another thing is the high level of attention these yoga practitioners have when they attend classes. […]

Do You Have a Guru?

Do You Have a Guru?

I have a guru. One who I didn’t actively seek out as a teacher.
He happens to be my husband. He’s a perfect guru, too. You know someone who throws you back on your own resources and holds a mirror up to you so you can see your own reflection.
Most people don’t like to look in the mirror and I’m no exception. However, how else are you going to see how beautiful you are?
In December last year Daniel suggested a sponto* trip to South Island, New Zealand. […]

Here Today, Maybe Not Tomorrow

Here Today, Maybe Not Tomorrow

I’m getting far too good at stopping and smelling the roses. That’s the price I pay to be semi-retired, living in the country. What does semi mean anyway?
I took a small detour on my way to yoga practice this morning to admire and photograph the heavy mists hanging all around our property.

And then, I found myself attracted to the tibouchina that was just bloomin’ its heart out.

Of course, the brugmansia stopped me in my tracks, too.

Finally, just when I thought I was going to get into the Yoga Shed, the butcher bird caught my attention. […]

How Do You Say 'Alert and Relaxed' in Sanskrit?

Source: palmstone.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

 
Do you shut down in yoga class when your teacher uses Sanskrit words and concepts? Or, are you the opposite? You relish the opportunity to extend your learning about yoga, even to the point of assimilating an unfamiliar language.
Probably you stand in the middle; you don’t mind a smattering of the Sanskrit but not so much it keeps you in your head. […]

The Big Wet

The Big Wet

“If, from time to time, you give up expectation, you will be able to perceive what it is you are getting.”
― Idries Shah, Reflections
Australia is a crazy place to reside climate-wise. We live between drought and flood, cyclone and dust storms, biting arctic winds in the extreme south and near-equatorial heat in the far north.
Our household on Mitchells Island has been under a heavy blanket of rain over the last few days. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-28 – Valentine's Every Day

A Sutra a Day: IV-28 – Valentine's Every Day

Illustration by Gretta Kool
By the time some of you read this post, you may already be in trouble. Did you remember that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and did you plan accordingly? Gifts of flowers, chocolates, sweet and sincere cards are expected by many people. Like all expectations, if you don’t meet them, you may be up a creek.
To put this love holiday in perspective, it’s an American import to Australia, much like Halloween. […]

A Very Wise Country! (and, a Patanjali pause)

Source: sunset.com via Sharon on Pinterest

 
Australia as a country presents as laid-back, the home of a ‘no worries’ culture, and at no time more so than December-January.
It used to be the case that the whole place closed down from the time the kids got out of school (mid-Dec.) until they went back (early Feb.). […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-4 – All Together on 31 December

A Sutra a Day: IV-4 – All Together on 31 December

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
source: flicker.com via Gwen on Pinterest
December 31st is an occasion to which many people assign great meaning. It’s not really inherently significant – it’s just another day.  But we seem to agree that the last day of the year signifies an ending and, because we have the opportunity to complete something, that makes it meaningful.
I live in a small community consisting of three couples and for many years we’ve sat down together on New Year’s Eve and shared the accomplishments and sometimes even failures of the previous year. […]

A Sutra a Day: III-15 – Vegie Dreaming

A Sutra a Day: III-15 – Vegie Dreaming

 

I’m a city girl, born and bred. But, I always dreamed about being able to grow my own foods in the country…one day.
I’m also a sort of a know-nothing about how to do this growing produce thing. Fortunately, I’ve had some pretty switched on people around me, notably Peter Nixon and my housemate Heather.
Peter has been trying to teach me to be a patient gardener, starting in a logical sequence with the all-important rich soil. He recommended we make our own soil through the no-dig method, easy-peasy, he seemed to say. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-38 – Brahmacharya = Balance

Source: fuckyeahyoga.tumblr.com via Heidi on Pinterest

 
The ancient sage Patanjali comments on the topic of sexual energy in Sutra II:38, and his writing has been variously interpreted to recommend abstinence (Brahmacharya) – but also, moderation or continence.
I think it’s hardly imaginable that modern day humans could be expected to, or want to, practice complete abstinence from sexual activity.
My experience of sexual energy is that it is just another kind of energy. It’s possible to get carried away with it or be aware of and contain it. […]

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