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Celebrating 50 Yoga Practice Years

Celebrating 50 Yoga Practice Years

I’m forever grateful that my dear girlfriend, Mary Lou, came up with the idea of us doing yoga. She thought we could lose some weight and learn to relax by participating in a 10-week course at the local YMCA.

I was a no-nothing regarding yoga, but I trusted my friend. If I had been able to google the word ‘yoga’ in 1971, I would have found references to the Beatles and Mahreesh Mahesh Yogi, Ram Dass and psychedelic drugs, and television shows with women in Lycra leotards and stiffly sprayed hair. 

Mary Lou and I arrived at the YMCA class and took up our cross-leg seated positions on gym mats. I sneaked a peek at the fifteen or so other students–not a man in sight. That part of yoga has not changed much.

Leading the class was a slim, lively yet calm woman in her mid-sixties. Dorothy Tomarelli told us by way of introduction that her husband had died a few years previously. As a result of her grief, Dorothy went into a rapid emotional and physical decline. Her muscles atrophied and she lost strength. Her doctor, seeing her depressed state, advised her to take up yoga. Dorothy decided that she had nothing to lose and searched for a class. It turned out to be so much of a lifesaver that she decided to teach yoga. 

This is often the way a seed is planted for future yoga teachers. We are inspired by someone. As I listened to Dorothy, something stirred in me. I saw a glimmer of hope in Dorothy’s story–the possibility that health, happiness and even longevity could be mine.

Climate Yogini in Australia’s Coal Country

Climate Yogini in Australia’s Coal Country

I didn’t realise it would be so hard being in Qld for the federal election. Daniel and I pre-voted in Winton, not knowing where we were going to be on the day. We’ve been traveling the Outback and most recently Central Queensland for the last  two months.

Then, on the night, we were in Rubyvale Caravan Park (The Gemfields). Remarkably there was a tv room with a satellite connection. We shared the viewing space with a couple from the Blue Mountains who voted Lib, and a tough old Queenslander who did too.

Daniel and I were crestfallen as we watched the results come in, especially with what was happening in Qld. The results were bought, as we’ve heard, by Clive Palmer. His big election spend on advertising, he said, was designed to ‘polarise the electorate’. The opposition took risks, creating policies to support us into the future. And, taking strong actions in addressing the climate crisis. 

Sunday in the Church of the Outback: Acceptance

Sunday in the Church of the Outback: Acceptance

Don’t assume that what happens was not meant to happen. Don’t think that things were meant to turn out differently than they did. Suffering comes from the expectation of a different outcome and not accepting things are the way they are.I don’t think this view means I will end up being resigned to the sadness of the world, maybe only that I will have a little more perspective and contentment in myself. 

Take Care: Better Wellbeing One Day at a Time

Take Care: Better Wellbeing One Day at a Time

The key is one day at a time
For today’s post, I’m happy to welcome Rebel Tucker of Yoga Rebel as a guest blogger. Rebel is a yoga practitioner and teacher who radiates good health and vitality. Her enthusiasm for yoga, meditation and healing through naturopathy have helped many students and clients improve their wellbeing.

Here’s Rebel:

There are so many tips and tricks for better health and wellbeing. It can be confusing. I like to keep it simple, because if it is too hard, I just don’t do it. […]

Take Care: How Yoga Can Help With Diabetes

Take Care: How Yoga Can Help With Diabetes

We’re fortunate to have yoga teacher,  Rachel Zinman, contributing her wisdom in today’s post.

I met Rachel when she was the twenty-something yogini she describes below–passionate about yoga but needing to push herself to the limits.

Then, as it happens, life intervened. Type 1 diabetes became her unforeseen teacher and has led Rachel to be able to share her learning with many others.

She will be launching her book Yoga for Diabetes in Taree and teaching at the Yoga Shed in early July.

Here’s Rachel:

I’ve often struggled with finding the best way to nurture myself. […]

Alison Rose Gray 1952-2018

Alison Rose Gray 1952-2018

Walking out of the Manning Great Lakes Memorial chapel yesterday, I overheard a couple talking. He said, ‘We used to go to weddings.’ I completely got him. The service that I had just attended was the fifth funeral in the last year, with nary a wedding in sight.

Alison Rose Gray was one of my first students when I began teaching in the Yoga Shed eight years ago. She loved yoga and would often enrol friends in coming along with her. […]

Yoga and Exercising Your 'No' Muscle

Yoga and Exercising Your 'No' Muscle

 
What is exercising your ‘no’ muscle?
Your ‘no’ muscle is not tangible in the way that your biceps are. Your ‘no’ muscle is not really a muscle at all. Yet your ‘no’ muscle packs way more power than your rectus abdominis (abdominals). And it saves your energy, not dissipates it. How you exercise it is simply having the courage to say no when you need to.
I was reminded of value of this sometimes underused muscle the other day. My friend and colleague, Megan, is an enormously busy yoga teacher. […]

Yoga and Being a Healing Presence

Yoga and Being a Healing Presence

I don’t pretend to be enlightened in any shape or form. The fact that I am a yoga teacher doesn’t mean I am immune to frailties and suffering. In fact, I may be more sensitive to them. I end up paying attention to things somebody else might sweep under the carpet. Perhaps exposing my stumbling blocks is better than tripping over them.
I’m 72 years old and still doing personal development. To that end, a few years ago I did a course that had me journaling, reading and pondering. […]

Five Minute Yoga Poses: Block Pose

Five Minute Yoga Poses: Block Pose

‘Block-asana’ (block pose)
I learned this pose in the early 90’s from Iyengar yoga teacher, Alan Goode. Alan had me assisting him for a year in his yoga therapy classes in Newtown. Almost every student who came to do Alan’s remedial yoga programs did this block pose as their ‘arrival’ exercise.
To help me better understand the benefits of it, I incorporated block pose as part of my centring and warm-up practice routine. Apart from obvious benefits for quietening the mind and settling the body, block pose relieved my neck and upper back tension. […]

Put down that yoga book and read a good yarn instead!

Put down that yoga book and read a good yarn instead!

I have many discerning book reading friends, I recently discovered.When I tried googling best books of 2015, and 2015, I found myself uninspired and confused. Then I decided to ask my friends. I threw a line out on Facebook.I asked my friends, ‘Any recommendations for well-written, can’t-put-down reads….your personal favourites?’Remarkably, I received more than 70 suggestions from almost as many people.What am I supposed to do with this sort of cornucopia? Obviously, share it in a post.So, here is the list–some from yesteryear, others hot off the press. Some I’ve read, and some I’m not likely too. […]