Yoga Therapy

The Ups and Downs of Urdhva Dhanuasana

The Ups and Downs of Urdhva Dhanuasana

People keep asking me whether I can do everything I used to be able to do before I had my double hip replacement. What a hard question!
Here’s a shot of me in 1990 doing a backbend, pre-hip arthritis.
 
And, here I am 22 years later teaching my bionic hips how to extend.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Those of you out there with your perfecto-meters will note that as a 68-year old, my shoulders are stiffish, but, hey, I used to be overly flexible.
It’s a funny thing. […]

Hips Are All the Rage

Hips Are All the Rage

Is there an epidemic of hip replacements going on? I know of three yoginis who will have the surgery done within a month time frame – mid-March to mid-April. To be fair, I also know women who haven’t done yoga who, for various reasons, had to have replacements.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know my story of bi-lateral surgery, performed more than 3 years ago. […]

Medical Merry-Go-Round

Medical Merry-Go-Round

Oh my! My head is spinning!
I left paradisiac Mitchells Island at 9 am to drive south as I was scheduled for root canal therapy in Sydney in the early afternoon. The dental specialist that performed the procedure, an endondontist, did the 75 minute treatment while I was looking up at the ceiling watching Mr. Bean videos, hearing easy- listening tracks on the stereo, and, at the same time, trying to do mindfulness meditation. […]

A Sutra a Day: IV-10 – The Most Basic Instinct

Source: dreamstime.com via Debby on Pinterest

 
One of the strange but ever present states of affairs in all beings is the desire to live forever. Even those in the presence of death every day have this illogical impulsion. This is what inspires the instinct for self-preservation in all of us.*
I just finished a must-read novel by Barbara Kingsolver called Flight Behaviour. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-41 – Pure is as Pure Does

Source: Uploaded by user via Emotive on Pinterest

 
I don’t know how you feel about it, but I’ve never really come to terms with the notion of having to make myself pure, although this is one of Patanjali’s precepts, called saucha in Sanskrit.
I was raised in Catholicism to believe that human beings were sinful, a state which is certainly impure. I would go to confession to tell the priest my impure thoughts and deeds, which had to be decidedly innocent as I was still a kid. […]

A Sutra A Day: II:9 – Good for Any Age!

Source: mindbodygreen.com via Kay on Pinterest

 
I’ve been featured in an article in the August/September Australian Yoga Journal that’s entitled “Yoga at Any Age”. The gist of the article is that yoga has a myriad of gifts to offer and the value of them increases with age.
My particular input into the article emphasises that the hip arthritis I dealt with over the years propelled me into more reflective yoga practices. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-34 Simple Breathing

Source: abeautifulrippleeffect.com via Twyla on Pinterest

 
A few weeks ago I was having a great deal of trouble falling asleep. Nervous about teaching 9 sessions in two days to a completely new group of students, I needed sleep, but it eluded me.
One of the yogic techniques I tried was echo breathing. I’d read about this type of breathing in B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Life. Here’s how Mr. Iyengar describes how to do it and what it achieves:
“Exhale slowly and fully. Pause. Then exhale again. There is always a slight residue left in the lungs. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-23 – Love is All There Is

A Sutra a Day: I-23 – Love is All There Is

To be accurate, I haven’t attained a-sutra-a-day over the last little while. I’ve been  plying my trade in the Byron Bay Yoga Centre therapy intensive. And, it was a total privilege to teach such a shining group of trainees.
To be honest, I was pining for getting back in the company of Patanjali, that old master of wise brevity.
I’m here at the home of Paula and Tim in Coolangatta. I would describe them as bhakti yogis who follow a few spiritual disciplines. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-21 Yoga Everywhere

A Sutra a Day: I-21 Yoga Everywhere

I’m on the road, enjoying one of those strange phenomena called a “working holiday”. It probably relates in kind to being “semi-retired”. When I first moved to the country launching myself into retirement, I was not well. I was facing major surgery, after which I needed 3 solid months of recovery and rehabilitation from double hip replacements. My mind was still in working mode, though, so I translated the physiotherapy practice I was meant to do every day into yoga practice. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-18 – Busy Doing Nothing

A Sutra a Day: I-18 – Busy Doing Nothing

Sitting by the fire on a wet Sunday afternoon, I’m glad for the portability of this iPad that lets me communicate to the world in comfort wherever I like.
It’s a quiet winter day here on our Mitchells Island property. Perhaps as a consequence of the peace all around – i.e., the phone hasn’t rung, there’s no music playing, Daniel is at his desk doing our books – my head is empty of anecdotes or wisdom to share.
Part of me is mentally leaning towards Byron Bay where the Yoga Therapy course is just kicking off today. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-16 – To Prop or Not to Prop

A Sutra a Day: I-16 – To Prop or Not to Prop

The air this morning was clean, fresh and cool from last night’s gentle showers.  A good time, I thought for practising pranayama.
I thought of another goal when I went out to the Yoga Shed to practice. I wanted to incorporate the poses that I will teach in one of the sessions of the Byron Yoga Therapy Course next week.
You’d know if you’ve ever been to my yoga classes that I get students to use props for almost every pose. […]

Adaptive Yoga

Adaptive Yoga

I subscribe to an on-line discussion group for the International Association of Yoga Therapists that comes to me via LinkedIn. It’s a useful site. In one thread of discussion on osteoporosis, I found a wealth of information for a workshop I’ll be presenting at the Byron Yoga Therapy course in June.
Tonight I came across a video interview with Matthew Sanford that I found riveting. Matthew has explored yoga in a way that few people have. He became a paraplegic at the age of 13 as a result of a motor accident. […]

Yoga for Sinus Relief

Yoga for Sinus Relief

Here a couple of poses for your yoga tool kit whenever you are plagued by hay fever or sinusitis.
The first one comes via the California-based yoga teacher Donald Moyer and is a version of savasana. In the photo, you see Heather lying on a long double-folded blanket, with a triple-fold blanket under her shoulders. A tightly rolled yoga mat is covered with a soft cloth and supports the occiput (base of the skull).
The second pose pictured shows me in sarvangasana supported on a bolster placed about 25 cm. from the wall. […]

Yoga With Seasoning

Yoga With Seasoning

Half way through autumn and we’re feeling the kind of cold snap that wakes us up out of summer dreaming. As proof, the fireplace is stoked tonight, and I’m comfy on my iPad in front of it.
It never occurred to me when I first started doing yoga that regions, weather and seasons might have such a big impact on how, when and what practice you do. […]

Yoga and Garlic

Yoga and Garlic

I’m a tribal person. I like hanging out with people, and I love doing activities with them.
Stella, our neighbour who grows biodynamic garlic, dislocated and broke her wrist last week, just before the crucial planting time. She and her husband put out a call for help, and Heather and I signed on for the prepatory stage of separating the cloves from the bulbs.
The three hours of peeling that we did this afternoon went so fast. We just turned into machines, and got more efficient and quicker as we went along. […]

Tootling Up & Down the Coast

Tootling Up & Down the Coast

One of the things that you just have to surrender to when you move to the country is travelling huge distances. (Other things to let go of: seeing art house films near-by and having interesting eateries to choose among. The solution – subscribe to Netflix and eat at home!)
When I lived in Sydney, it took me 30 min. at peak hour to travel from Mosman to Crows Nest, a distance of 5.5 km. It takes me about 10 min. […]

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