Yoga BeginningsDo you like to be a beginner? At times I think that I don’t, but once I have additional skills and knowledge under my belt, it feels great.The domain of neuroscience and neuroplasticity informs us oldies that we need to keep our grey matter fresh through on-going learning. We especially need the sorts of complicated learning that challenges our brains and creates new neural pathways.The most transformative learning experiences I’ve had have been through the pursuit of yoga.Being a beginner in Iyengar Yoga is still a vivid experience for me. It was mid-week October 1979. […]
What’s not to praise?Legs up the wall is a favourite with many people because it’s a pose that’s guaranteed to sort you out. With a minimum investment of energy, the pose will return you maximum benefits. It is restorative, regenerative and reviving.Even non-yogis seem to find their way to this pose. I’ve seen bushwalkers take a break, lie down and put their legs up a tree. […]
When ‘Ultimate’ is a nounIn the U.S. where I was born, there’s a word–snowbirds–to describe people who head for warmer climes when the first hint of winter chill infuses the air.For some of us, this is the ultimate lifestyle–never ever having to experience snow, wind and ice. Others might want to enjoy the snow-and-cold experience, but only in the ski fields when winter evenings feature warm fires and mulled wine.My smart housemates, Heather and Rick, just before they flip the calendar to June 1st, routinely head for the north American summer season. […]
An unexpected benefit that I’ve derived personally from using props is humility. They are truly supportive and remind me that I don’t have to it all myself. I can yield to a ‘helper’, and in this sort of surrender I’ve learned to let go physically. That has a knock-on effect for letting go emotionally and mentally, and releasing the tight grip of ego.
Who hates being exhausted? Me!It’s not sexy to find oneself in a state of exhaustion. It could even be viewed as decidedly unattractive. Worse, exhaustion is often accompanied by low spirits, including a whole lot of resistance to feeling this way.My dictionary defines exhaustion as extreme tiredness, great fatigue, weariness, and burnout. So, we’re not just talking about feeling a little tired after housecleaning or gardening.Okay, I’m going to dob myself in. I’m not here only to write an exposition on exhaustion or to merely define it. I’m here to tell you that I am exhausted. […]
Yoga is all too often considered synonymous with body contortions. This view is re-inforced by book, magazine and calendar images. But is it really yoga?
Planning to be on the road over the holidays? Here’s a yoga sequence to keep your body on an even keep while travelling.
In the heat, keep your brain cool
One of the definitions of the word ‘flop’ is to fail at an endeavour. Another meaning for the word is to crumble or collapse. Flop-asanas are not poses that you do and then you fail; nor are they done simple by flopping over soft props. Rather, they are supported poses that help you open up your chest and your breathing when the hot weather becomes stifling. […]
To Prop or Not To PropCarrying the crown of Yoga Props Queen was heavy work when I began teaching in the 1980’s. There were various styles of yoga around but unless you were an Iyengar-trained teacher, you were likely to do your poses unpropped.Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga stood out as one of the styles which only required a willing body/mind and a non-skid mat. As this style became more popular and spin-offs were spawned, there was a period of time when yoga instructors looked down their noses at the use of props. […]
I don’t have to tell you it’s winter in Australia. On the east coast we’ve experienced mild weather, then bitter cold, and even snowfall where there isn’t meant to be any. No matter what the winter weather is like, Australians have a habit of fleeing our island continent for tropical paradises as the chilly temperatures bite.In a short time, I’m leaving for a sojourn in the U.S. […]
Over the years, I’ve played with ways of creating practices. The ones I present here are cyclic, i.e., they are based on a week, a month, or the season of the year. They cover every possibility I could come up with. If you happen to think of others, I’d love to hear about them.
These cycles function well for teachers and students. As a teacher, you might use these as sort of ‘coat hangers’ to structure your group classes or one-to-one sessions.
Are Your Hamstrings Wound Tight as Piano Wires?Tight hamstrings are the downfall of many a student who might otherwise have enjoyed a glorious lifetime of yoga practice. It could be one reason that men and peak athletes drop out of yoga classes.Believe me, when we’re talking about ‘screaming hammies’, I understand. Jogging, tennis, and cycling are all activities that toughen up your hamstrings. […]