Health

Serendipitous Health

Serendipitous Health

Just after sunrise today, I woke up early and drove down to the beach to see if I could sight some whales voyaging north.

Debbie who owns the General Store at Manning Point said she saw about 15 whales yesterday in the early am.
It really is the luck of the draw. You better plan not to be disappointed if your will power and the virtuous early  hour you arose isn’t enough to conjure them. Even though we all know this is whale watching season, we have to surrender to their rhythms.
I’m reminded of a quote from Dr. […]

Self-Healing – Colds

I did a fabulous yoga practice this morning. It’s one that I will present for Yoga Therapy Trainees in Byron Bay next week.
The sequence is a “download” from The Path to Holistic Health by BKS Iyengar and comprises poses for treating colds.
When I was still teaching in Sydney, I can’t tell you how often the teachers and I at Simply Yoga would do this sequence as a way of looking after ourselves. […]

Creation

Creation

In this mini study of the Koshas, we’ve come to Jnanamayakosha, also known as Vinyamayakosha. The level of being that this “sheath” represents is sometimes called the wisdom or intuitive body – the level of intelligent thought and conceptualisation.
I have to admit I don’t fully understand all the terminology and perhaps that is because we have gone from looking at the physical level to more and more subtle ones.
So, I’ve intuited what I think this level is about. […]

Home At Last

Home At Last

It’s time to get back to a yoga platform here, after my efforts to try and save local beaches the other day and yesterday’s bemoaning of the brazen marketing use of social media.
Let’s talk about Koshas, a word that resembles “kosher” but is as far from Jewish dietary restrictions as Grevilleas are from Geraniums.
Koshas, a Sanskrit word, are often defined as the layers or sheaths, of a person. Another way koshas are described is like a set of Russian dolls – five of them. […]

Feeling the Cold

Seven degrees or so outside this morning as I made my way to the Yoga Shed. The kookaburras sitting in the old gum trees looked non-plussed. Even as the sun rose, it was weak as American coffee. Just what you’d expect for the shortest day of the year.
My body felt like I had ice for bones as I started creaking my way through a basic hamstring practice. Who thought up that great idea? The Shed floor, lino in parts and inexpensive carpet in others, is over concrete. […]

My Sunday Yoga Practice

My Sunday Yoga Practice

Some days it’s just so good to be alive!
We left home just before low tide and walked from Smiths Beach to Farquar Inlet – an hour each way.
Our closest body of water, Scotts Creek, meets the sea at Farquar, where Old Bar is just on the other side of the inlet. […]

Seasons

I love words. You’ve probably worked that out. Why would anyone write books, blogs, and articles if they didn’t like words? I really like words, though. J’adore des mots. Take a word like season. It’s a versatile word. We’re in the winter season now. It’s been getting down into single digits temperatures at night on the island. We’ve had a surfeit of rain recently so things aren’t dying off as early as usual, but they will get around to it, as that’s what happens in the winter season. […]

Another Test

Yesterday it was eye pillow-eating mice in the Yoga Shed (two of which have now been dispatched to that big granary in the sky) and this morning my right knee went.
That’s a layperson’s term for what happens when walking down a flight of stairs, and suddenly, a knee decides not to do the flex thing that it’s been successfully performing for 65 years.
How could this happen? My knees have been one of the most steadfast bits of my body. […]

Grooming, etc.

Grooming, etc.

I started today – Sunday – with a proposition to hubby Daniel (men love to be propositioned) that we give each other massages. He accepted.
Actually, this is an activity we often share on a Sunday morning…a way of connecting physically, in the spirit of giving. […]

Bali Belly

I miss my home yoga studio on Mitchells Island, but can I really complain about doing yoga in my current paradisal venue: Our Bali Villa –
www.ourbalivilla.com
I think not.
I experienced a happy surprise the other day when I was practising uddiyana bandha breathing. I decided to follow it with nauli, a kriya or cleansing exercise for the abdominal organs. Here’s a wikipedia link of you’d like more information and even a photo. […]

A Tidy Mind

One of Patanjali’s niyama – precepts – is Saucha (which translates as purity or cleanliness). When I was training yoga teachers in Sydney, I would test the trainees to see if they could recall all 10 of the yama and niyama. Saucha often would be the one left out. I thought maybe, as precepts go,  it was not so cool as Satya (honesty) or Ishvarapranidhana (devotion to a higher power).
How many these days would want to be considered pure? I like Donna Fahri’s interpretation of Saucha as wholesome. […]

Is Yoga Enough?

Is Yoga Enough?

I want to set the record straight.
The choice is not yoga or Pilates. I’d like to have a Lindt chocolate for every time that someone says when asked if they do yoga, “No, I do Pilates.”
Don’t get me wrong, I like Pilates. Feeling the awakening of transverse abdominus (TA) after years of neglect or abuse is a wonderful experience. I think there’s plenty of evidence that strengthening TA can help heal all kinds of back problems.
But really…! Yoga is a holistic system that offers gifts on all the levels a human is comprised of. […]

Dare I? (Y.T.A.P.T.)

I guess not. I’m not game to put it right up there in the title.
Nevertheless, I would like to talk about sex. In the spirit of Yoga Teachers Are People Too.
The ancient sage Patanjali comments on the topic of sexual energy in the Yoga Sutra and his writing has been variously interpreted as Don’t Do It (Brahmacharya). […]

Radical Acceptance

Over the last week I’ve been writing about the ways yoga teachers are expected to behave by their students or the general public. Paragons of virtue and purity, it would seem, is what is wanted, not adulterated weaklings.
In the spirit of coming clean, I’ve been revealing some of my frailities.
Here’s another way I can prove to you I’m human. I get grumpy when tired. Yoga teachers are not even supposed to get tired. To add crankiness to the bargain must certainly threaten the paragon’s credentials.
The problem is I get tired every day. Since my surgery Feb. […]

The Other Drink (in the Series – YTAPT – Yoga Teachers Are People Too)

The Other Drink (in the Series – YTAPT – Yoga Teachers Are People Too)

Yoga and coffee go together like your two interlocked hands. A good yoga class builds thirst and appetite for a good cafe latte, or some version of that delicious brew. Why is that? And, does it matter? The stimulant loosens people’s tongues and makes them want to stay around chatting for hours. It’s the stuff of community-building.
I started drinking coffee when I was 16 because I thought it would help wake me up for my early morning summer school classes. I’m embarrassed to say it was instant coffee, but what did I know of the world of coffee. […]

Drink (YTAPT – Yoga Teachers Are People Too)

Another thing, my friend Maarit reminds me, that some people are shocked to discover about yoga teachers is they like a wee drink now and then. I’m talking about a glass of wine once in a while or a frosty beer on a summer’s day after working up a sweat in the garden.
The trouble that occurs when you do yoga over a long period of time is that you really sensitize yourself to the effects of over-indulgence, so gradually “bad habits” become less attractive.
I really enjoy a glass of fine wine now and then. […]

To Meat or Not to Meat

To Meat or Not to Meat

I wish I had a dollar for every time that I’m asked out for dinner at someone new’s place and they say, “But you don’t eat meat, do you?” The assumption being that if I’m a yogi, I don’t eat animal foods.
Yes I do. There it’s out. As much as I admire people who have foresworn eating meat, especially if they are thinking of the slaughtering of  innocent sentient beings, I haven’t renounced a meat diet.
Actually I’ve come full circle. […]

I'm back!

As of today, I’m announcing to the world I’m back on deck teaching – in the Yoga Shed at Mitchells Island.
Yesterday was exactly 3 months since my surgery, and I’m fit and well. Certainly beach walks, fresh air, green vistas, and daily yoga practice have gone a long way towards my feeling reconstituted. Life is good. […]

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