Health

The Silent Centre in the Full Catastrophe

The Silent Centre in the Full Catastrophe

This week Daniel and I exercised our prerogative as retirees to take ourselves off to see an 11 a.m. movie – ‘Gravity’. This amazing film shows the actors, NASA astronauts, on a fix-it mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Bio-medical engineer, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) get into dire trouble as the mission unfolds. […]

The power of letting it all hang out….

The power of letting it all hang out….

The other night we were sitting around having a discussion about what it takes to be vulnerable. The guys had been at their men’s group meeting and vulnerability had been the theme of the night. We continued exploring the topic when they came home. I loved it. I felt close to these men who I know so well, as they explored the defences that keep them stitched up behind their public images.
In case you haven’t noticed, being honest and open, being intimate, being yourself, showing up warts and all, have become thrusts of the New Yoga. […]

For Your Weekend Refreshment

For Your Weekend Refreshment

Sometimes you just don’t have much energy by the time the weekend comes, no matter how much you’ve enjoyed your working week, because you’re just too pooped.
Here’s a restorative yoga practice to recharge your batteries on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon so you can be at your best all weekend.
Supta Badda Konasana Bound-angle pose  Equipment: blanket, belt and a bolster.

Lie back on a bolster or several blankets folded lengthwise to support your back and head. […]

Permission to Rest

Permission to Rest

Generally speaking, I think people (including myself) don’t know how to be tired.
Think about it. Do you recognise when you are weary and stop and rest?
First of all, you have to be in touch with your body and mind to notice when fatigue symptoms are arising. But often, we are out of our bodies when we are driving ourselves to get a job done. […]

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

I watched a video today featuring Richard Freeman talking about yoga while his students were doing Ashtanga Vinyasa – Mysore style – in the background. Some of the poses they were performing were ones I used to do. Others I’ve never been able to do, and, at this stage in my life, am unlikely to achieve.
(If you can’t see the video below, try refreshing your screen….)

Do I feel sad about not being able to do these sorts of advanced poses? Not at all. […]

A Healing Pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge)

A Healing Pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge)

 

Every now and then, I like to remind my readers about this healing pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the supported bridge pose.
Using props make this a restorative version of the more active bridge.
I’ve been in the pose every day this week as a way to counter the low back compression I’ve experienced from gardening. Part of why the pose is so good for the lower back and sacrum is because it stretches the abdominal area, a part of your body that tenses when your back is tight. […]

Yoga For When You're Just Plumb Tuckered Out

Yoga For When You're Just Plumb Tuckered Out

I woke up this morning feeling weary. That’s a bad sign because it could have meant that’s as good as I was going to feel all day. I’ve said before in these posts that yoga teachers are not at all immune to exhaustion. So, my current condition has given me cause for reflection.
There are so many words for being bone-tired that you might wear yourself out just reading this partial list:

frazzled
pooped
bushed
sapped
drained
spent
prostrate
enervated

A phrase for extreme fatigue that seems to be popping up more and more is ‘adrenal exhaustion’. […]

Singly or Ensemble, Yoga is Good

Singly or Ensemble, Yoga is Good

I was practising yoga in the Yoga Shed early on Monday with my friend and student, Julie. It was a pleasure to share the experience of doing yoga practice with Julie which I often get to do with others from our household. We’re fortunate to have our own yoga studio a few steps from the house, so I can just roll out of bed and onto the mat, even while I’m still in my pyjamas.
Some mornings, I practice on my own, single-mindedly, silently, and happily. When I have company, we might enjoy a chat about things non-yogic. […]

Yoga Practice: What's It For?

Yoga Practice: What's It For?

comfortinstylemag.com via Pinterest
If you have been doing yoga fairly regularly, has your practice improved over the years? What I’m talking about is your ability to do more and more advanced asanas over time.
Isn’t this what motivates many people when they take up yoga classes? They have noticed a gradual deterioration of certain physical abilities and they’ve heard that yoga might be able to fix this decline and even improve their condition.
It is true that there are myriad benefits that accrue from doing yoga routinely. […]

Is Your Spine Articulate?

Is Your Spine Articulate?

Do you love words? If you’ve followed these posts for some time, you must know that I love words.
A favourite word of mine is articulate. It relates to two things that are important in my life and particularly in yoga teaching: language and anatomy.
In relation to speaking, being able to articulate well means I can speak precisely to be understood. […]

Nothing Worse than a Man Cold

Nothing Worse than a Man Cold

Today is the second day that my husband Daniel has been feeling unwell. There are few ailments more frightening than a “man cold/cough”. Sadly, he is suffering more today than he was yesterday, so I racked my brain and my intuition for what I might pull out of my yoga tool box for him.
Here’s a simple, nurturing practice I created for the kind of cough that makes your chest hurt. The program is also good for cases of mild asthma.
1. Supta Baddha Konasana – Forehead higher than chin, chin higher than chest, chest open. […]

The Whole World in Our Hands

The Whole World in Our Hands

When I was growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s, there was a popular song called ‘He’s Got the Whole World in Hands’. Back then as a little girl, it was comforting to know that Someone was taking care of everything, even though it seemed to me that there were a lot of problems that were getting overlooked.
Now as an adult, I can see that each of us has to step up to the responsibility of creating a world that works for all of us. […]

Winter's Here: May As Well Put Out the Welcome Mat

Winter's Here: May As Well Put Out the Welcome Mat

It’s so much more satisfying to have the luxury of a whole weekend to spend with friends instead of trying to fit in a meal together in the city. City people should probably be having more sleep-overs.
I thought that, since Daniel and I didn’t have a winter holiday planned this year, we would be feeling the weight of the winter season – and a wet one at that. But no… […]

Yoga for All Seasons – Especially When You're Under the Weather

Yoga for All Seasons – Especially When You're Under the Weather

It started early this week, a feeling of blocked sinuses accompanied by congestion at the back of my throat. A feeling of yuk that unfortunately had the affect of leaking testiness into my intimate relationships. Sadly, it took me fully a day to realise that physical symptoms of my cold and sore throat had blighted my spirit, too.
This is where forgiveness comes in handy. […]

Making the Most of: Grist for the Mill

Making the Most of: Grist for the Mill

Do you like words? Do you find that when you read a phrase that’s well-written, you stop and savour it? Let it roll around in your mind the way you roll a fine chocolate around in your mouth until it melts.
Do you file away particular expressions that you love to be brought out and displayed the way you would proudly flash a boutinaire or a necklace? I meditate while being guided by the audio recordings of Jon Kabat-Zinn, and, man, does he have a way with words! […]

Yoga Practice: Being Durable and Vulnerable

Yoga Practice: Being Durable and Vulnerable

As a blogger ensconced in my little Mitchells Island retreat, I walk a thin line between being open and revealing in my writing but not so much that I come across as neurotic and narcissistic.
Really, I do rein myself in at times. Also, I don’t want you to lose confidence in me because I don’t show up as the epitome of a strong, well-balanced yoga teacher (which I’m not, certainly not at all times…ask my husband). […]

Context for Yoga Teaching

Context for Yoga Teaching

After I completed two long days of teaching yoga therapy in Byron Bay, I had pause to stop and reflect on my efforts.
The night before my 14-hour teaching day, I typically had sleep difficulties, culminating in just three hours of sleep. It’s not the first time this sort of pre-teaching insomnia has occurred. Part of it has to do with what a quiet lifestyle I ordinarily have in the country contrasted with suddenly meeting 13 new students in a new venue. But I also admit to being somewhat of a perfectionist, still, after all these years. […]

Guts

Guts

Am I a bad yoga teacher? Sometimes I think it’s just stupid to be teaching triangle pose to a student who has a physical complaint that’s causing them mental distress.
Sometimes I just want to say, Whoa, let’s just sit down for a minute and see what’s up. In this moment, what’s going on? Instead of glossing over what appears to be a strong feeling or a difficult attitude.
What’s the point of doing a lateral stretch when someone’s dog just died or they’re in pain in their body or they’ve been depressed for some time. […]

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