We need to adapt to this warming climate. We can keep our practice to the cooler morning and evening part of the day. As the heat builds, we can do passive poses which have the effect of cooling the brain and pacify the body’s systems. Forward bends, supported inversions and yoga flop-asanas are the ‘go’.
Judith Lasater, author of Relax and Renew, says that it takes courage to rest and relax. It’s means you go oppose the protestant work ethic. But you are complying with the practical Buddhist idea:”When you are hungry, eat. When you are thirsty, drink, and when you are tired, sleep.”
On questionnaires that ask for me for my occupation, I write in ‘semi-retired’. That’s shorthand to describe that I work sometimes. At other times, I participate in various kinds of recreation, such as singing or tennis. I study a bit, and I also volunteer in the community in Palliative Care.
Though semi-retired, I haven’t cut back on my yoga practice. That’s just as well as I’m busier than I ever was when I worked full-time. This seems to be a common feature of those who profess to being semi-retired.
From time to time, I wear myself out completely.
The healing benefits of supported bridge
Do you have poses that you do rain or shine and in all seasons. Your body and mind say, ‘This is an every day pose. Bring it!’ Supported bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is one of these.
It can be performed in a variety of ways. […]
Adapt your practice
We’re facing a solid week ahead of temperatures in the low 30’s in our region, accompanied by high humidity. (For Americans, that translates to low 90’s.)
For me, that points to doing my best to stay cool when I do my yoga practice. And I use yoga tools, like meditation, pranayama, relaxation and passive yoga poses, to cool my body and brain.
Consider some of the ways you can support better breathing, for instance, lying supine over bolsters to open your chest. […]
In the U.S., the stifling stickiness of the hot weather season is undeniably upon us so we yoga practitioners need to adapt to this climate. It’s not as humid here in Tucson as in the buildup to The Wet of Australia’s tropical north, but this weather can still be mind-numbing and body-immobilising.
Regarding yoga practice, when the temperature is hot in the extreme, do you go to ground? I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily need to skip your yoga practice. Just do cool yoga.
In Australia now, we are experiencing a summer where the atmosphere is heavy with humidity and heat. It’s not as humid here in NSW as it is in the buildup to ‘The Wet’ of our tropical north. […]
Supta Virasana: Your Stomach’s Friend
Supta Virasana, reclining Hero Pose, is just what I need today after experiencing the Big Xmas Lunch Indulgence. No doubt it will be followed by the Big Boxing Day Seafood Extravaganza. […]
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Low Back First Aid
I find Setu Bandha Sarvangasana an invaluable pose for the way it helps counteract low back compression. In my world, lower back ache is a result of gardening, long drives or sitting at my computer.
Part of why the pose is so good for my lower back and sacrum is because it stretches the abdomen, a part of my body that tenses when my back is tight. […]
Supta Baddha Konasana: An All-Rounder
Years ago I did a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. The only yoga pose I did during the course was Supta Baddha Konasana. It helped balance many hours spent in sitting and walking meditation. When my meditation energy was flagging, Supta Baddha Konasana served to make me feel cradled and deeply nourished.
How to Do It
Props you will need: a bolster and a 3-fold blanket. The reason for using props is that you can let them do the work. […]
For years, I wondered why this posture is called Child’s Pose. Sometimes babies and young children will end up in this posture and even sleep in it. But more to the point, children appear to be at their sweetest and quietest when they’re asleep. And, perhaps never more so than in Child’s Pose.
This restorative pose has a name like a flowing Tai Chi movement or a sweetly sedative acupuncture point. Actually, the name Mountain Brook Pose simply reflects the way a yoga practitioner’s body drapes over the soft props. Like water flowing over the stones in a mountain brook.
A Holiday Gift for You
In this busy lead-up to Christmas Day, it’s difficult to fit in a full-on yoga practice. Still, you know you need to do something for your body-mind. But what?
Over this holiday period, I’ve decided to ‘gift’ my readers some of my favourite lazy yoga poses. […]
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. […]
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?
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. […]
Winter is Coming!
Down Under we’ve gone off daylight savings, and the weather has turned chilly. I’ve started to think of the ways I need to prepare for the coming winter. I’ll be putting away those short shorts and sarongs and bringing on the jumpers. But I’m not quite ready to order our winter’s supply of firewood.
Meanwhile, my doctor has reminded me that this season’s flu vaccine is going to be available soon.
At my age, I’m in one of the ‘at risk’ categories for flu. […]