Health

Lettuce

Lettuce

I’ve never been properly appreciative of growers, being basically a city girl for most of my life. Produce was always something that you bought at the grocery store. These days you get designer or heritage or organic produce and it tastes like the real deal. […]

Something New Under the Sun

Something New Under the Sun

It’s not often that someone beats me to the yoga room, but Mike did today. So lovely to have his deep appreciation and experience in yoga beaming into the Shed. He did some thoughtful backbends, and I did my arm and shoulder weights routine, followed by an abbreviated yoga practice. Mike exited and Heather entered.
All of us Shedders ended up at the Waterbird Cafe for our regular Saturday morning breakfast, with the SMH quiz to tease our brains.
The beach walk is a daily ritual, you must know by now. […]

Heaven

Heaven

What makes for heaven on earth for you? Reading the SMH at your favourite cafe early in the morning before the brunch crowd arrives? Sleeping in on Sunday morning – I mean all morning – with your darling? Seeing a five star movie that really deserves all of its rating? Maybe your kid gets his first paid work doing something he/she really likes? […]

Home

What a treat! I was able to practice with the Simply Yoga teachers this morning. Sigh. I miss having that routine in my life.
Speaking of routine, I waived my regular yoga practice while staying at the Fallows. Good thing it was only a week long. No walks either, but plenty of drinking and dining at Sydney eating establishments. As a result I feel trendified and rather overfull. […]

Finally, I Love Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)

Finally, I Love Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)

I don’t know exactly when the tide turned in favour of doing shoulderstand, but turn it did. Maybe it was 30 years after I started yoga. Was I a masochist for hanging in there for so long? Or merely stubborn? It helped when I discovered supported shoulderstand and halasana. These are the user-friendly approaches to the standard unproved way of doing the poses.

Tired

So unsexy to be tired. It’s something to get over as quickly as possible but how?
A band-aid yoga pose is viparta karani (legs-up-the-wall), which can include Supta Upavistha Konasana (5 min.),  Supta Baddha Konasana (5min.), Supta Sukhasana (3 min. each side) for a little more than 20 min. […]

Do-It-Yourself

Do-It-Yourself

Gradually I have been colonising more and more of the shed space for yoga practice. It’s a building which also serves as two-bedroom accommodation for guests. Most of our guests fortunately have been yoga practitioners. A couple of other guests who were yoga virgins gave it a go, recognising the superb ambience of our sanctum.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little like Kevin Costner in that film “Field of Dreams”. […]

Power

A saying I ran across in the nineties while I was participating in a Human Awareness workshop went like this: Real power is based on vulnerability.
It sounded good, but I don’t think I really understood what it meant.
It’s so hard for me to be vulnerable, and maybe the only shard of comfort is that many other people feel the same discomfort with vulnerability.
And, it’s such a good thing to be vulnerable. There is power in it because a person who is willing to own their weaknesses has nothing to cover up or resist. […]

Oh Happy Day!

What is it about sirsasana that lines people on opposing sides – mainly love-hate. I’m on the love side and I haven’t been able to do headstand for more than eight weeks. […]

Reflection

The moon was exquisite tonight, shining over empty pastures, as we drove home from our community choir. More than half full, like a big bowl of cream, this moon was reflecting an unseen light source.
In my yoga practice this morning, my body – gradually awakening after weeks of dullness, grossness – began to shine a little, too. Intelligence applied conscientiously and continuously over time has the ability to clarify the body’s systems and make it luminous.
With a beginning yogi, at first, there are only intimations of the body reflecting this radiant intelligence. […]

Humble

My computer dictionary defines humility as: modesty, humbleness, meekness, diffidence, unassertiveness; lack of pride, lack of vanity; servility, submissiveness.
Well, maybe humility is not the right word (and I’m open to suggestions), because all those words above seem rather grovelling.
What I want to say is the feeling of humility has come knocking in recent months because certain circumstances have brought me low. Imagine Prince Charming (husband) fitting me with compression stockings every day and several times a day rather than a glass slipper. […]

Never Been Here Before

Never Been Here Before

If you think about it philosophically, each moment presents us with a possible “never-been-here-before” view. This, of course, is the basis of meditation.
However, in our human condition, we don’t often have the experience of life being new, fresh. And, when we do have that experience, just because it is unusual, it can be disconcerting.
This morning as I entered the Yoga Shed to practice, I realised I had no idea what to do. […]

Best Practices No. 7

Everyone can benefit from giving your overworked liver a mini-holiday. I notice what a beating mine got because of major surgery and subsequent medications.
So, here goes:
Liver Balancing
Adho mukha svanasana, supported on ropes
Urdhva mukha svanasana
Supta baddha konasana
Supta virasana
Prasarita paddottanasana, 1 Min. concave back, 1 Min. Hands supporting under legs
Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana, on chair, head supported on bolsters or blocks
Sarvangasana
Halasana, supported on chair
Viparita Karani
Ardha Jatara parvatanasana x 2
Supta Padangusthasna 1 & 2, 1 Min. […]

‘Advanced’ Restorative Yoga: Back on an Even Keel

Feeling depleted can range from tiredness to utter exhaustion. We humans want to be able to keep up with all the demands life makes on us. Career, studies, parenting, even socialising, eventually will take their toll. Supine poses quiet the sympathetic nervous system. And, gentle inversions invigorate your body’s systems.

"Best of…" No. 3

"Best of…" No. 3

Post-Travel Sequence
Australians are inveterate travellers, so this sequence is a handy one to have tucked into your tool box for your return. Notice the interesting mixture of seated poses and backbends.
Supta Baddha Konasana (10-15 Min.)
Virasana (3 Min.)
Upavistha Konasana, hands behind (3 Min.)
Baddha Konasana, head supported on chair, then move chair to left, then right for a lateral forward bend (1 Min. each side)
Bharadavajasana 1, 3 x (1 Min. each side)
Paschimottanasana, head supported, feet apart 30 cm. (3 Min.)
Janu Sirsasana (3 Min. […]

Best Practices No. 2

Best Practices No. 2

Yoga Sequence for Boosting the Immune System
Yoga practitioners are human and subject to illness, despite following the most conscientious lifestyle. So when in recovery from any nasties, this practice based on one of B.K.S. Iyengar’s sequences is an invaluable practice. […]

Great Yoga Sequences – No. 1

Great Yoga Sequences – No. 1

Over the years, I have archived yoga sequences that I found really made a difference to my students. Some of these date all the way back to the eighties! And, some of them are from just last year.
This week my blog will feature “The Best Of”, starting with:
Asana and Pranayama Sequence for Anxiety
Note: These poses are based on the Iyengar approach of using props for some of them. […]

Did you go to the beach today?

Did you go to the beach today?

Before I moved to Mitchells Island a few months ago, I am very sorry to say that whole summers evaporated before my feet had caressed any sandy shores. Even in the December/January holidays, it was catch up time for the rest of the year. Tasks that had been put off over the year, people I promised to see, and even New Year’s Yoga Intensives to teach were more momentous than seashore outings.
And then, poof, the vacation break would be gone. […]

Let's Talk About Sex

Let's Talk About Sex

All of a sudden sex is coming across my desk. Who am I to ignore it?
Actually it started a little while ago in the form of emails arriving from Human Awareness Australia announcing two workshops to be held in the latter part of March – “The Joy of Couples: Creating Depth in Relationship” and “Love is a Miracle”.
Daniel and I met in one of these sorts of workshops. I daresay we wouldn’t be together after 18 years if we hadn’t learned a thing or two in the various levels of these workshops. […]

The Archives