Health

Now is Available Anytime

Now is Available Anytime

In anticipation of teaching a workshop on “Yoga Teacher Burnout”, I’ve been examining the ways I tend to go over my limits. Without being too self-congratulatory, I’m not as “bad” as I used to be. […]

Burdened by Weight: Does Yoga Help?

Burdened by Weight: Does Yoga Help?

An article on the news today pointed to a problem that is troubling so many people in society these days – osteoarthritis.It’s not just my imagination. Statistics say that two million Australians currently have the disease. However, within 10 years that number is expected to double to four million.We think that osteoarthritis is just what happens as we get older. We call it wear and tear, but in actual fact, osteoarthritis is not inevitable with ageing. […]

A Delightful Yogi's Salad

A Delightful Yogi's Salad

This is a first for me. Perhaps a never-to-be-repeated event. I’m publishing a recipe I found on the Internet (Food Network); I prepared it as a main meal this week for dinner.
My, my…. Was it ever delicious!
I may be the last wholesomely-oriented person on the planet to discover the superb grain, quinoa, but I am completely enrolled in its taste now that we’ve become acquainted.
It’s a perfect grain for the Australian summer. Even lighter than rice and couscous, it’s full of protein, I’m told. […]

The Image of Yoga

The Image of Yoga

Recently I’ve become enamoured of a social media site called Pinterest. It does two things for me: 1) connects me with other lovers of images, and also (2) with lots of interesting, striking images. When I look at the Pinterest section devoted to yoga images, I see a majority of perfect bodies doing perfect poses. The practitioners’ postures are truly works of art. […]

Yoga & Yakka*

Yoga & Yakka*

Over the last two days, we’ve been working our bums off on our little rural spread on lush Mitchells Island. We’ve had fantastic professional help from Peter Nixon, Paradisus Garden Design and our local builder, Matt Peters. But we decided that, to save money, we would do some of the labouring work ourselves. I don’t know that this is necessarily a good idea. […]

Hard work. It's not getting any easier.

Sometimes on our communal property we have big jobs to do…like this one today. The excavator dug out a long swale with the turf left thrown up on the side for us to unroll and replace it. Simple but backbreaking work, made for stocky and stalwart labourers, not for sexagenarians whose exercise mainly consists of clicking away at keyboards. We survived. Heather and Rick came to yoga class tonight, not needing standing poses, but rather inversions and restorative poses. Fortunately I have those in my teacher’s tool box and they were utilised. […]

Yoga Standing Poses are Unbeatable

Yoga Standing Poses are Unbeatable

The asanas can be grouped into families: standing poses, seated poses, abdominals, forward & backward bends, inversions, restorative poses. And, finer tuning might include: lateral forward bends, standing forward bends, passive backbends, prepatory poses, and so on. It’s certainly handy to have a coat hanger to help organise the huge miscellany of yoga postures. The style of yoga called Iyengar, is often taught in a monthly schedule where week one emphases standing poses, week two, forward bends, week three backbends, week four inversions/pranayama/restorative. Standing poses are a stand-out group among the clans of asanas because of their all-round utility. […]

Yoga to Help Tolerate the Temperature

Yoga to Help Tolerate the Temperature

Oh my, it’s been hot here! This extreme humidity feels like it stacks on tons of degrees to the temperature.
I tell the yoga students who venture out on sultry days that they get extra yoga merit points in heaven for attending class when our brains are feeling like they’re simmering in their juices.
Here’s 5 Tips on What to Teach…when it’s 30 plus and 90% humidity.
1. Chest openers of any passive variety – You can’t go wrong with something that promotes breathing when the lungs are approaching pneumatic apathy, block pose, for instance:

2. […]

Choosing How You Do Elderhood

Choosing How You Do Elderhood

I spent the last weekend with my 7 woman friends, aged late 40’s to mid-seventies. In this company, I participated in many of those familiar-by-now conversations about medical complaints, impending surgeries, and just plain loss of hearing, eyesight, and libido. (Does loss imply ever finding those items again?)
Did we sound like broken records? Absolutely not.
We’ve surprised even ourselves that ageing isn’t really such a scary thing. I can honestly say that each one of us has experienced more wisdom, wholeness, authenticity, and improved sense of humour with the arrival of age. […]

Yoga and the Silly Season

Yoga and the Silly Season

It’s the height of Australian summer and I’m convinced that this is such a crazy time because the end of year vibe is so expansive. The morning daylight wakes us up earlier and earlier each day. The evenings, even with rainy, cloudy, cool conditions we’ve experienced recently, still feel compellingly summery. We want to get out and socialise and clink glasses with friends.
It’s part of Nature’s estival conspiracy of abundance which we see illustrated everywhere we look by lush vegetation. […]

The Great Aussie Way

The Great Aussie Way

At the beginning of 1976, when I arrived in Australia for the first time, there was an annoying ritual well underway: shutting down the country for the month of January. […]

Is Women's Yoga Sexist?

Is Women's Yoga Sexist?

When I was first learning yoga in the 70’s, it was the time of women’s lib and the sexual revolution. Many women wanted equality in every way with men, especially in terms of job opportunities and income. In the way I was originally taught yoga, there was no real distinction between the asanas a man and a woman might do in class. I was shocked the first time I attended the Iyengar Institute in Poona in 1984 that some of the classes were men-only and women-only. It seemed like such a backwards approach to this westernised girl. […]

Youth ventures. Age considers.

Youth ventures. Age considers.

On the occasion of my 67th birthday, I’m meditating on Rabindranath Tagore’s* words (above). They fit my experience of yoga practice and teaching weighed against what might be done in various stages of life.
When I was a 27 year-old venturing into what was to me the unknown world of yoga, I couldn’t get enough of physical postures, the more advanced the better. This youthful approach lasted into middle age, until osteoarthritis knocked it on the head. […]

Thank Goodness It's Sunday

Thank Goodness It's Sunday

Here’s a reprise of a popular restorative yoga practice. Have you had a hard week and need to recharge your batteries? Or, are you perhaps recovering from poor health? Or, just feeling weekend lazy? This is a simple sequence for when you’re feeling enervated.
Supta Badda Konasana Bound-angle pose  Equipment: blanket and a bolster.
Supta Baddha Konasana
Lie back on a bolster or several blankets folded lengthwise to support your back and head. Bend your knees out sideways and bring the soles of your feet together, with your heels as close to the pelvis as possible. […]

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato….

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato….

I was so excited today by the output of our potato patch that I wanted to write something about it on this blog. However I couldn’t think of any relationship between growing potatoes and yoga.
So now, we’re going to make a leap and talk about couch potatoes.
Some people are attracted to yoga because they are not particularly athletic. They believe that yoga is an activity that will give them a soft landing when they finally get off the couch and onto the mat.
Don’t be fooled, though. […]

A Walk on the Wild Side

If you read “Yoga Suits Her” for inspiration, I hope I’m not letting you down by saying there was no yoga practice happening for me today.
This is because yesterday Daniel and I headed off for Barrington Tops National Park and here I am – with miracle of WiFi in our lodging – still connected to you.
I’ve heard about this part of the world ever since I moved to Australia from the US 35 years ago, so it’s a thrill to be here for the first time. […]

Don't Equivocate – Meditate

Don't Equivocate – Meditate

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: Don’t just do something, sit there! It’s an obvious way of exhorting us to meditate – meditation being one of the most highly recommended methods of de-stressing.
Maybe like me, you’re not so great at sitting yourself down to meditate. It does take an effort of will, but I’ve managed to cajole myself into it by meditating after my yoga practice and pranayama, when the body/mind is quietest.
Some people, though, prefer doing meditation first thing in the morning, as early as possible, before the mind is disturbed by activity. […]

In the Moment – The Art of Yoga

In the Moment – The Art of Yoga

Are you a long-time yoga practitioner? You probably know then that much of yoga is awareness training – practising to be in the here and now. When we’re doing asanas, we’re working with the vehicle of the body, but harnessing the mind at the same time. One of the indirect benefits of this sort of discipline is reducing tension, simply by noticing it.
Here’s some of my favourite tips for keeping myself in the moment:
• Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is much over-rated. […]

Yoga Practice: Planning Your Time

Yoga Practice: Planning Your Time

I came across this quote I like, attributed to A.A.Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh:
Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.
Perhaps this is also why Patanjali wants us to still our minds, so we are less stressed out and can think more clearly.
Good planning helps. It can prevent inelegant outcomes, for one thing. It supports your well-being by reducing stress. […]

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