Yoga practices


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. […]

Desert Island Poses

Desert Island Poses

At present, I’m exactly 180 degrees direction from the happy sunshine of a desert island. I’m in Bellingen where the creeks and rivers are threatening to overrun, the rain is coming down horizontally at times, and the pastured cows are up to their thighs in grass.
Why would anyone go to the sodden eastern seaboard for a week smack in the midst of the worst flooding in years? To do a Writing Course, so I can be a better writer. […]

Paschimottanasana

Sometimes yoga poses need to be flirted with for quite some time before coming anywhere near forming a relationship with them. Not that you are being frivolous but you just don’t want to get in too deeply at first; an oblique approach works well, rather than a full frontal attack.
This is a particularly useful philosophy for paschimottanasana, the double-legged forward stretch, especially when you are in the getting-to-know-you phase. And, this beginner-ish period could go on for some months or years depending on your anatomy or various tightnesses. […]

Yoga "Abs"

Yoga "Abs"

A question was raised recently about cultivating “core strength” (perhaps stimulated by wanting to lose those pesky kilos which inadvertently crept on over the holdays?).
I don’t think yogis used the term “core” very much until Pilates came along and made it such a focal point. Then, as there got to be more mention of the bandhas in yoga classes, it was natural to associate them with core strength. […]

Janu Sirsasana

Janu Sirsasana

Janu Sirsasana is sometimes called – perhaps somewhat optimistically –  “head-to-knee” pose. It is a posture that I think of having a split personality, like the ancient Roman deity Janus, with two faces. Part forward bend and part lateral twist, these two movements don’t always want to go together harmoniously and can actually end up competing.
For instance, you really want to go forward over your extended leg, and so you turn slightly to go there,  but one shoulder raises, the other drops, and you find yourself in twisted tension. […]

Enough

Enough

“Enough is enough.” That is contentment. – Ram Dass
Doing forward stretches in your yoga practice is a great way to test your ability to balance effort and repose. If you are pushy, your mind will be agitated. If you are slack, you will be left feeling dull. […]