Yoga Therapy

Your Yoga Practice Gets Derailed: It Happens

Your Yoga Practice Gets Derailed: It Happens

I’m heading north to Byron Bay this week to teach for the sixth consecutive year in a yoga therapy course. My friends and students think I am blessed to spend time in this warm, sunny paradise of northern NSW. But the truth is, Byron has had miserable weather each time I’ve been there – rainy and cold (apologies to Byronshire Tourism).What difference should weather make to an equanimous yogini such as myself? Well, gloomy, chilly days can be depressing and even put some of us off our yoga practice. […]

Yoga First Aid for Tight Hamstrings

Yoga First Aid for Tight Hamstrings

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. […]

Yoga And Hip Replacement Surgery

Yoga And Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a daunting prospect for anyone. Fortunately, the first suggestion of the surgical option usually comes well in advance of the need for the actual operation. You have time to get used to the idea. Nevertheless, a visit to the orthopaedic surgeon starts to shape your thinking towards the inevitable. This is especially true when levels of pain and physical limitations are increasing.
If, like me, you try to find more natural ways, of dealing with health issues, then surgical intervention can seem scary in the extreme. Now that I’m five years on the other side of double hip surgery, I can say that your hip replacement surgery may give you your life back. I’m thankful to modern technology performed by a highly skilled surgeon.

As the Seasons Change, Be Prepared

As the Seasons Change, Be Prepared

 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. […]

Yoga and Surgery: Good Companions

Yoga and Surgery: Good Companions

The All-Clear
Five years ago today, I was a patient at Hunters Hill Private Hospital in rehabilitation after double hip replacement surgery.
I’ll give a little time to let that sink in. Yes, two hips at the same time. I had bi-lateral surgery, a 3.5 hour procedure, whereby I received titanium protheses. I had to learn to walk all over again, and I did. Then, within 3 months, I resumed yoga practice and teaching.
Last week my orthopaedic surgeon viewed my recent x-rays and gave my new hips a good report. […]

When Hard is Good: The Challenge of Yoga

When Hard is Good: The Challenge of Yoga

The Challenge of Tennis
Daniel and I played tennis the other day. So, what’s unusual deal about that?
I haven’t played tennis in maybe 15 years. It was too painful for me to play when I had hip arthritis, so I stopped. During the period that I was suffering, I stopped riding my bicycle, too. I didn’t do much bush walking. I let other people do the heavy lifting. You get the picture.
Little by little, the list of physical activities I could participate in dwindled until yoga became my last refuge. […]

'Being' is the Gift of Yoga Nidra

'Being' is the Gift of Yoga Nidra

The Experience of Interconnected Wholeness
I enjoyed the experience of resting in my meditative heart this weekend through the practice of Yoga Nidra .
Two excellent things came out of this experience:
1. I found it very restful. Very.
2. And, I realised that the experience is as near to you as your heart is. In other words, it’s available almost any time.
The Workshop
I was fortunate to be able to attend a day-long workshop in North Sydney led by Dr. Richard C. […]

‘Being’ is the Gift of Yoga Nidra

‘Being’ is the Gift of Yoga Nidra

The Experience of Interconnected Wholeness
I enjoyed the experience of resting in my meditative heart this weekend through the practice of Yoga Nidra .
Two excellent things came out of this experience:
1. I found it very restful. Very.
2. And, I realised that the experience is as near to you as your heart is. In other words, it’s available almost any time.
The Workshop
I was fortunate to be able to attend a day-long workshop in North Sydney led by Dr. Richard C. […]

Yoga and Sciatica: Lessons Learned

Yoga and Sciatica: Lessons Learned

 
The other night at the cinema, riveted by a documentary called “Once My Mother”, I felt a sudden stab of pain in the back of my left leg. I felt like jumping up and running out of the theatre, the pain was so acute. I thought, oh no, sciatica!
My innate good manners had me sit relatively still, all the while praying that the agonising discomfort would go away as suddenly as it had arrived. I tried to do a surreptitious yoga stretch, the one called ‘through-the-hole pose’. […]

Travels Without a Yoga Mat

Travels Without a Yoga Mat

I admire those disciplined yogis and yoginis who arise at 4 or 5 in the morning to do their practice – rain or shine, day in, day out, and year after year. I used to be more that way inclined myself. […]

Supported Sirsasana: An Uplifting Version of Headstand

Supported Sirsasana: An Uplifting Version of Headstand

 

 
Sirsasana is known to be a beneficial posture for dozens of reasons. One of them is that it’s a mood enhancer for many people: it can make you feel happy and uplifted. But not everyone can do it with ease.
A few years ago a student who attended one-to-one sessions learned to do the above version of headstand. Until he found a supported way of doing the pose, he couldn’t do it at all because of his excessive weight. […]

A Little Yoga Hammock

A Little Yoga Hammock

 

 
The head is proportionately a heavy part of your body. The average weight is 6.6 to 8 pounds. So your neck may end up feeling compressed, especially from long hours at your desk or from doing detailed work.
Here’s a way to lengthen the back of your neck. Use a wide strap with a looped to make a sling from which to suspend the back neck. The strap goes over a chair and then round the occiput (base of your skull). […]

The Yoga Therapy Vision

The Yoga Therapy Vision

I’ve just finished my stint of teaching in the Byron Bay Yoga Therapy Course, which will continue until next week.
My contribution to the course is in the area of “Working with the Older Client”, i.e., what are the complaints of the Aged and how can yoga help.
Even though the above photo of the group shows us behaving like silly mugs, these trainees are very inspiring. Yogis decide to train as teachers because of a huge love of yoga. […]

Supported Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

Supported Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

 

Benefits:

Stretches your shoulders and improves the flexibility of your upper back.
Calms the brain and nervous system
Improves digestion ans massages and stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Flushes mucous from your lungs.
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.

Here’s a youtube video to help you find your way into the pose (easier than you think):
  […]

Yoga Therapeutics: The Lazy Dog Trick

Yoga Therapeutics: The Lazy Dog Trick

Here’s a way to get the that delicious back stretch of Adho Mukha Svanasana without having to bear your own weight. Your back muscles will release simply because they are supported in letting go.
You can do this pose over the back of a soft, stuffed chair or by padding a yoga chair with blankets. You drape your body over the blankets, with the top of the chair at the hip creases which tractions your legs away from your hips and spine. […]

The Burgeoning Field of Yoga Therapeutics

The Burgeoning Field of Yoga Therapeutics

Tomorrow I’m heading off to the yoga capital of Australia, Byron Bay.
I’m part of the faculty of a Yoga Therapy course that is run annually at this time of year over the course of 12 days.
My particular contribution to the course is in the area of Yoga for the Aged, which it would seem I am qualified to teach by dint of my advanced years and experience!
I thought it fitting to contribute a-therapy-pose-a-day to “Yoga Suits Her” this week in case you are interested in seeing what some of these poses look like. […]

Two Stories – One Message: There's Life After Hip Surgery

Two Stories – One Message: There's Life After Hip Surgery

(Eve – 3 yrs, 5 months post-op)
Are you having a painful time with your hips and avoiding seeking medical treatment? It’s a good idea to get an x-ray to see what’s going on. The problem may be muscular, structural misalignment, or, as in my case, osteoarthritis of both hips. When I saw an orthopaedic surgeon a few years back, I discovered I needed to have hip replacements, and it was scary news. But ultimately, it was better to face the diagnosis than hang out in denial. […]

Two Parts Bush Regeneration – One Part Yoga

Two Parts Bush Regeneration – One Part Yoga

We’re so happy here at our digs on Mitchells Island! (‘We’ is Michael, Judy, Daniel and me, while Heather and Rick are in Canada.)
Since last night, it’s been raining, a gentle but steady precipitation that’s washed away weeks of accumulated dust. Eight mm of rain collection measured in our gauge and a good slug for our tank. […]

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