Yoga practices


Happy Hips

Happy Hips

Very few people seem completely content with the way their hips work, a sad thing to say about such a pivotal part of one’s anatomy. For some of us, our hips are too tight and for others too flexible.
Here’s a sequence that will give your legs, groins and hips a good workout. For you supple yogis out there, focus on keeping firm to centre, holding the muscles around upper thighs and hips close to the bones. […]

Australia Day '11

Australia Day '11

Australia has a hard, even at times cruel, climate, one that keeps complacency at bay. It seems one of the most extraordinary things to me that our farmers keep going back to husband the land after fires, floods and plagues. Tragic stories of lost properties and livestock  abound accompanied by stories of communities pulling together for mutual support, as in the recent Queensland flooding.
We’ve been very blessed this season on Mitchells Island – spared, as we’ve been from the 40 degree temperatures of the Drought Years and saved from the northern floods of this year. […]

Armpits

Armpits

For reasons that are sometimes all too obvious, armpits are an often maligned part of the anatomy.  Perhaps if we referred to armpits by their anatomical name, axillae, we would be more cheerfully disposed toward them. I find I feel more friendly about my axillae since I discovered the word is diminuative of “ala”, wing.
Axillae are absolutely crucial to many yoga poses. Take adho mukha svanasana, as an example.

This photo of me was taken in my pre-armpit-activating period. […]

Happy Hips

Attitude

There’s Attitude and attitude. The monk I snapped in a Burmese market was obviously not shy about being photographed and demonstrated plenty of Attitude.
Yoga practice is a place where one’s attitude (in Sanskrit “bhava”) shows up. Putting yourself on the yoga mat, you can observe various attitudes and work with them. Here are a few ways things to consider about your attitude while practicing.
• Alignment. […]

Good For What Ails 'Ya

Good For What Ails 'Ya

I first came across this pose (above) at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, where it was used extensively for students in the “medical classes” (read therapy).
So, it seemed like a good one to pull out of the rabbit hat in the weeks after my hips were operated on nearly a year ago. I was reminded of it yesterday, visiting with Maarit who is a couple of months post-hip surgery.
The Institute’s medical classes are like a multi-ring circus. […]

Expectations

My bridge teacher tells me that if I lead a certain card that that promises I have something to back it up. It’s like nonverbal code to let my partner expect a next play will turn out according to his expectations. Better not be misleading.
We went to a Sydney Festival performance last night which had garnered awards when shown in other cities. And the lead performer had had accolades heaped on him from past Festival events. […]

Pain in the Neck

Pain in the Neck

I don’t know how it is for you, but I have a love/hate relationship with my computer. My reliance on, fascination with, and attachment to my Mac has led to many lost hours. Most times, I am productive, but other times, I admit to disappearing into scrabble playing or reading email humour.
My body suffers. No matter how ergonomically smart I am, computer time is just going to end up being one of those out-of-body experiences, like gardening or housecleaning. […]

Retreat and Go Forward

Retreat and Go Forward

January is the month of Good Intentions – the time to do a yoga intensive to hopefully kick off a year of disciplined practice or a time to go away to a writer’s retreat to finally become a writer.
Then, you come home, unpack, do your laundry, fill the empty fridge and think what’s next. Or maybe you don’t have time to think because you have to go straight back to work.
I used to lead country yoga retreats for many years. The participants enjoyed the structure of the weekends. […]

Custodians

Custodians

At the concert tonight we were asked by the emcee to pay homage to the custodians of the Bellingen valley, the Gumbayngirr people. Then, the African drummers who were performing for us said that they were the custodians of the music of their countries – Kenya and Ghana.
This sort of deference, of respect for ancestors, is very much a part of yoga practice. […]

What Do Writing and Yoga Have in Common?

What Do Writing and Yoga Have in Common?

This week I’m stationed in beautiful, though at the moment sodden, Bellingen learning to be a better writer. Enrolled in a course called Life Stories with 15 other pupils, we’re part of the overall turn-out of 1,000 students of the 2011 Camp Creative.
I haven’t felt so moved and excited in a learning situation for a long time. I go into the course room, fully awake and alive to discovering some unexamined part of my life for me to dust off and bring back from the past into the now. […]