Healing

The Crack in Everything

The Crack in Everything

Today’s blog is something new for me. I decided upon listening to one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs yesterday that I would update one of the most popular posts that I’ve written. It gives a nod to the composer’s well-loved tune, “Anthem”, which has the refrain:

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I’m of the opinion that the song’s sentiment is so popular because we humans don’t want to have work so hard at being perfect. […]

Twinges

Twinges

Twinge sounds like such a harmless word when it’s applied to conscience, a little tweak, a tiny tickle. Perhaps so inconsequential that it can be overlooked or overridden.
Is it just me or somehow does a twinge seems more significant when it has to do with the body? My husband Daniel learned the hard way (meaning enduring many physiotherapist visits) that he needed to give due respect to any back twinges. A stab of pain works as an early warning system for what might turn out to be a storm of discomfort or even incapacitation. […]

Yoga Practice Rave

To me there’s nothing more that I look forward to than doing yoga first thing in the morning. Well, after my cuppa. Why bother even changing out of p.j.’s?
Even transplanted as I’ve been to Adelaide these last few days, it’s been divine practising with, and teaching a little, my six women friends here.
It reminded me how invaluable it is to have the yoga habit firmly entrenched. […]

Letter to a Hip Arthritis Sufferer Who Does Yoga

Letter to a Hip Arthritis Sufferer Who Does Yoga

Today I received an email from a correspondent facing the prospect of hip surgery after many years of managing his symptoms with yoga. I thought that since many who read this blog are yoga teachers and trainees, or maybe have osteoarthritis themselves, they might benefit from my publishing the letter here.

Dear Joe,
Where do you live? Hopefully somewhere where you can find a good orthopaedic surgeon, hospital and rehab centre – all of which you’ll need for a successful hip replacement. […]

Back Saver

Back Saver

So great to be home again….We encountered no less than 5 rainbows on the journey back as we were showered on intermittently. At this moment, our property is green as springtime and as wet as the washing on the line – beautiful!
The following maybe not be exactly a lifesaver, but is certainly a back saver, after 8 hours in the car over a two day period…. […]

Good Bearing

Good Bearing

One of the things yogis can congratulate themselves on is good posture. I’ve been singled out in crowds because of my straight back – a good signature for a yoga teacher….
No matter how hard you’ve worked your forward and backward bends, there comes a time when you have to work that much harder just because of advancing years. […]

Feelings

Feelings

I’ve had times over the last fortnight when I’ve been overcome with feelings of sadness. I think my mother-in-law’s recent death has precipitated my tears, but then some memories of my parents’ deaths have gotten into the mix. […]

Equipoise

Equipoise

As the numbers of dead and missing in Japan rise each day, I find my thoughts turn to this ill-fated nation, undone so quickly by earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaking into the environment.
What would it be like to wake up into a normal day and by the end of it, your world turned upside down?
It happens every time that someone sits down with a medico and gets a terminal prognosis. […]

Still Standing

Still Standing

I don’t know how you’re travelling these days, but I’m still feeling buffeted by the news from Japan. Do you wonder sometimes how the world is going to make it through with so many things going wrong? I do.
Moreover, recently I’ve had some feelings of grief about my family come to the surface. Maybe they were precipitated by my mother-in-law’s recent death, possibly by the tragedies in Japan, Christchurch, Queensland.
I feel okay about being sad. I’ve been watching my mind come up with a lot of…what? It can only be called crap. […]

Relaxed Attention

Relaxed Attention

One of the skills to cultivate in yoga practice – no, all of life! – is effortless effort.
This doesn’t mean lifting weights without grunting; it means applying an attitude of relaxed attention to whatever you are doing.
For instance, we wouldn’t think of doing trikonasana with tense shoulders or while holding the breath, but we might not notice the diaphragm being tight. […]

Normal

Normal

This morning, perhaps like you, I’m still reeling from the disaster that has struck Japan – a horror that will go on for many people forever.
The above photo shows how peaceful and “normal” it is here on Mitchells Island, New South Wales, Australia at this very moment. […]

Resilience

Resilience

I don’t know how it’s done – how one recovers from difficulty. I’m thinking of grief, and now also, the devastation in Japan.
These things seem to work for me:
Trust feelings, find a good listener, talk, feel some more, cry. Have a cup of tea. Talk, contain the feelings, let what’s underneath surface. Receive love, cry, don’t think, feel. Rest. […]

Sequence for Grief

Sequence for Grief

My mother-in-law passed away today.
I feel very much saddened by her death.
I loved her.
Her dying seems tied to other griefs, and they have surfaced to get cleansed. I thank her for that.
I’m also grateful for the gift of her beloved son in my life, as well as his seven brothers and sisters.
Everyone deals with grief in their own way. When my mother died, I “moved on”. I didn’t know then that skipping over stones isn’t possible. Grief is a stalker. […]

Songlines

Songlines

It’s a very beautiful thing to be present in yoga practice – to do our postures connecting the mind to each part of the physical body. It’s the most subtle kind of touching, the intelligence awakening internal and external anatomy.
Since it’s impossible to simultaneously quicken all of one’s body, the best that we can do is rouse the parts sequentially, a miniscule hammer vibrating piano strings.
I like the image of indigenous songlines, unseen paths that cross land or sky, like invisible Chinese meridians or the Indian nadis of our bodies. […]

Puppy Training

Puppy Training

With even the best intentions, it’s hard to be a good person all the time – or even a lot of the time. Years ago when my husband Daniel and I were relatively new in our relationship, I resolved that I would clear up any bad feelings I had toward him as soon as possible and certainly not go to sleep on them. I’ve done well with that self-promise. Not necessarily because of being such a wise woman, but because it’s more painful to be out of love with him than in love. […]

You're Hot, You're Sweaty & You Need to Relax!

You're Hot, You're Sweaty & You Need to Relax!

We all need to relax. Cyclones and flooding in Queensland, bush fires in Victoria, mega-snowstorms in the U.S., and insurrection in Egypt.
Even over here in peaceful Mitchells Island, this evening the neighbour’s dog monstered the gelding who got loose and ran all around our property. Daniel calmed the horse but the dog bailed me up till help arrived.

Pshew!
So, here’s an Eve Relaxation for you. Of course, it works best if you can put it down as an audio recording.
Lie down with your head and neck supported, arms and legs a comfortable distance apart. […]

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. […]

Fusion

Fusion

Lots of people ask me what the best thing is about having moved to the country. Maybe they are trying to build a case for doing the same?
Every time I get this question, I make it up. I don’t have a pat answer. I also don’t remember what I said the last time.
I know that sounds strange. It’s because describing what’s good about being here is almost beyond words. […]

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

At this time of a brand new year, we are disposed to thinking of moving forward into 2011, into our lives, maybe into a healthier, happier lifestyle. On Dec. 31st we leave behind the old year and wake up into a fresh Jan. 1st.
Let’s take the family of yoga postures, forward bends, as a metaphor for going forward in a peaceful, simple way.
To be honest, forward bends can stir up a range of emotions from love to hate. […]

Stay in Your Heart!

Stay in Your Heart!

May you all have a joyous New Year’s Eve as well as a happy, healthy, rewarding and fulfilling year ahead.

I wish you the very best of the best of whatever life offers you in 2011!

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