Health

Listen Up

Something I learned from Sue in my women’s group today. She started her sharing this afternoon by thanking us for giving her our attentive listening and said: “Unconditional love is giving undivided attention.”
Isn’t that the definition of meditation?
In doing yoga we talk about listening to our bodies, not an easy practice, if done moment by moment. There’s so much learning to be had by witnessing. Our practice of asanas, Our friends. And ourselves.
A great practice is to listen to and remember the things you say to yourself. […]

For Winter – Everybody Upside-Down

For Winter – Everybody Upside-Down

Some yogis love their inverted poses while others struggle with them or find them fear-inducing. Some wonder, “Why bother?”
I admit I’m biased. I’ve been doing headstand and shoulderstand for 35 years. But I’ve also never had whiplash, compressed cervical vertebrae, or even much neck stiffness. […]

Lullaby Land

Lullaby Land

The other night I woke up at 3 in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, a relatively rare occurrence for me. My mind started firing, after having been in lullaby land, and didn’t want to shut up.
Have you noticed how time expands when you’re awake in the middle of the night? It’s said: A sleepless night is as long as a year. The mind keeps buzzing as sleep recedes more and more.
If sleeplessness is a regular event in your world, there are some sensible routines called “sleep hygiene” you might put in place. […]

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. […]

Not Sitting, Moving

I’ve discovered I spend way too much time at the computer. This might surprise you, as I am a yoga teacher. I should know better and do better.
It takes me 30-60 minutes to compose a post for this blog. Snappy and short as they are, they take some crafting. […]

Graceful Ageing

Graceful Ageing

The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum on Saturday ran a piece called “Beautiful At Every Age”. Basically, the article was making a case for doing exercise, especially for the senior population. […]

T.G.I.S.(Sunday)

T.G.I.S.(Sunday)

Sometimes we are so busy and stressed that, even when we have down time, it’s impossible to switch off.
So, here’s a practice for your Sunday restorative or recovery yoga session. It’s an interpretation of a practice by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden.
Remember though, if you keep ending up depleted at the end of the week, it’s time to balance your lifestyle. […]

Cultivating Calm

Cultivating Calm

This is a simple, effective version for restoring balance to the mind and body. I recommend that you record it to listen to. The Voice Memo Ap in an iPhone works very well for this purpose.
Lie down for Savasana with your head supported on a blanket, and a block longways between your shoulder blades. Your forehead should be slightly higher than your chin, and your chin a little higher than your chest.
Relax your eyes and let them look downward and inward. Let the movement of your eyes gradually come to a standstill. […]

Not in My Backyard

Not in My Backyard

We’ve had a lively conversation around the dinner table tonight that was prompted by our viewing of a movie called “Gasland”. It’s a documentary that was made by American Josh Fox about the mining for natural gas occurring right across the U.S in recent years. It’s a little budget movie that’s made a big impact on environmentally-aware people and also the people who ended up with drilling going on in their backyards.
Some of these people are very unhappy about the results of drilling and gas production on their land. […]

Restful and Therapeutic

Restful and Therapeutic

Have you had a hard week and need to recharge your batteries? Or, maybe you’re recovering from poor health? Or, just feeling weekend lazy? Here’s a simple sequence for when you’re feeling sooky.
Supta Badda Konasana Bound-angle pose  Equipment: blanket and a bolster.

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. Let your back settle and your chest open. […]

Getting Older

Now there’s a title to send the reader running out the back door, or checking the bathroom mirror for chin hairs or eBay for exercise bikes.
It’s just a fact of life. Really. We all are getting on.
The Good Weekend Magazine is meeting the need to educate the public  on this topic with “The Getting of Wisdom: Lessons Learnt from Life” column. I read it avidly. Last week Colleen McCullough, author, age 75, featured in it.
If you missed it, here’s a couple of gems.
Getting Older – Old age is an ordeal, of flesh and mind. […]

Joy

Joy

I remember being surprised hearing from a friend who ran a bush regeneration business that we shouldn’t have to do big scale native planting to help bushland recover. We just needed to get rid of the nasties – opportunistic plants, trees, weeds. We had to get horses, sheep and cattle off the land to let it recover. The seeds and sprouts of beautiful natives that are being crowded out and trammelled simply need the right conditions to flourish again.
There’s a connection with yoga in the above view. […]

Up Your Sleeve

Up Your Sleeve

Two yoga practices that are very popular among yoga teachers are the sequence for “boosting the immune system” and the one for “fighting colds”. Too often, instead of taking time off to recover from an acute illness, teachers try to push through, even though they know better, and even though they tell their students to rest and recover. […]

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. […]

Unwanted Fat

Unwanted Fat

Six years ago I lost five kilos. I don’t know where they went. Like yours perhaps, they were the niggley five that I had wanted to shed for years, so I didn’t miss them. Of course we never lose weight from exactly where we want. I’m sure my derriere and thighs are pretty much the same size as ever. One of the many annoying things that happens with ageing is gaunt. You happily lose weight but unexpected hollows appear, or extra skin. Gravity, too, over the years may have deleterious effects on parts of your anatomy. […]

Australia Day '11

Australia Day '11

Australia has a hard, even at times cruel, climate, one that keeps complacency at bay. It seems one of the most extraordinary things to me that our farmers keep going back to husband the land after fires, floods and plagues. Tragic stories of lost properties and livestock  abound accompanied by stories of communities pulling together for mutual support, as in the recent Queensland flooding.
We’ve been very blessed this season on Mitchells Island – spared, as we’ve been from the 40 degree temperatures of the Drought Years and saved from the northern floods of this year. […]

My Dance With the Inner Critic, Writing and Yoga

My Dance With the Inner Critic, Writing and Yoga

Writer’s Block
I’ve been thinking about what to write on ‘Yoga Suits Her’ this week and come up blank. In fact, in the last month I’ve skipped my weekly posting twice. Another of the weeks, my friend Angelika did a lovely guest post on The Beauty of Yoga Practice for me.
My Inner Critic has been wagging her finger at me.
A new post is like a blank Word document or a fresh sheet of paper – a tabla rasa. It’s a page that can be exciting for its clean spaciousness. […]

What Do Writing and Yoga Have in Common?

What Do Writing and Yoga Have in Common?

This week I’m stationed in beautiful, though at the moment sodden, Bellingen learning to be a better writer. Enrolled in a course called Life Stories with 15 other pupils, we’re part of the overall turn-out of 1,000 students of the 2011 Camp Creative.
I haven’t felt so moved and excited in a learning situation for a long time. I go into the course room, fully awake and alive to discovering some unexamined part of my life for me to dust off and bring back from the past into the now. […]

Yoga "Abs"

Yoga "Abs"

A question was raised recently about cultivating “core strength” (perhaps stimulated by wanting to lose those pesky kilos which inadvertently crept on over the holdays?).
I don’t think yogis used the term “core” very much until Pilates came along and made it such a focal point. Then, as there got to be more mention of the bandhas in yoga classes, it was natural to associate them with core strength. […]

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