Health

Enough

Enough

“Enough is enough.” That is contentment. – Ram Dass
Doing forward stretches in your yoga practice is a great way to test your ability to balance effort and repose. If you are pushy, your mind will be agitated. If you are slack, you will be left feeling dull. […]

Stay in Your Heart!

Stay in Your Heart!

May you all have a joyous New Year’s Eve as well as a happy, healthy, rewarding and fulfilling year ahead.

I wish you the very best of the best of whatever life offers you in 2011!

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Discomfort

Any teacher worth their salt – it doesn’t matter if the subject matter is yoga or biology – will be learning from their students as well as teaching them. That’s how teaching becomes an art, and it’s what makes teaching a great profession.
One of the things I had to learn about some students is that they either cannot, or have a great deal of trouble, distinguishing between discomfort and pain.
I believe most pain, especially when it is acute and extremely intense is to be avoided. […]

Honest Work

Honest Work

Heather and I waived our early morning yoga session yesterday morning in favour of a recovery program in the garden.
That is, we were recovering from a very pleasant dinner at our neighbours’: champagne, appetisers, mains, sweets and that odd dessert wine that I believe is related to botox (called “noble rot wine”).
So, armed with mattock, shovels, trowels and mallet, Heather and I installed edging in the Hollingworth’s garden. Heather knew because she’d done this job in another part of our garden how hard it was going to be. […]

Big, Not Better

Yesterday I was shopping in our nearest town, Taree,  and was shocked to see so many obese people around, mainly women. In one store there was a party of three overweight shoppers accompanied by a child who was already seriously chubby.
I don’t remember seeing huge numbers of fat people in Sydney, but as the distance increases from the city, I think the “avoir du pois” does too. New Yorkers living in Manhattan are toned and lithe because they walk everywhere. Even Mayor Bloomberg walks and uses the subway. But rural areas are another story.
Don’t get me wrong. […]

This Morning's Practice

I stumbled out to the Yoga Shed this morning having had fewer hours sleep than I wanted. The reason? I was up late racing to finish “Nomad”, this month’s selection of our book club, which was scheduled to meet this afternoon. I have to admit I didn’t finish the book in time. However, I highly recommend it, mainly because of the courage of the author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s a feminist, writer, lecturer and fearless critic of Islam. I will finish the book as a vote of support.
Fortunately I had a Fatigue-fighting Yoga Sequence up my sleeve. […]

Grey Muscle

Grey Muscle

Seems we’re on a roll on the topic of ageing, and so you might want to read this article: It’s from the Sydney Morning Herald 11/11/10 and is entitled “Mastering the Art of 100 Year of Fortitude” – describing the ways that longevity is more than the luck of your genes.
And, if you needed a convincing argument for the statement ageing can be beautiful, here’s one for you:
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In the Dentist's Chair

Yesterday, on a visit to Sydney i saw Dr. Apte, today Dr. Highfield.
I’ve been a member of a club you wouldn’t want to belong to. A peridontist’s patient. I’ve been attending biannual meetings with these sorts of specialists for nearly 20 yrs.
A peridontist is more than a dentist. He or she is also a surgeon, a practitioner of peridontics, a speciality that deals with gum disease.
There! I’ve outed myself. […]

The Upside of Upside-Down

The Upside of Upside-Down

The scrutineer knocked off early and went fishing, hoping to catch some fish which would eventually become bloaters once cured with careful smoking. Unfortunately, not long after the fisherman dropped his killick, his little dinghy was scuppered by a passing ocean liner.*
Can you pick out the words from today’s Herald crossword puzzle?
Do you believe solving crosswords is aerobics for your brain? Can you merely grapple with the clues, even when you are ultimately defeated by them, and still ward off dementia? I know that my brain sure hurts when I wrestle unsuccessfully with cryptic cross word puzzles. […]

Biorhythms

Biorhythms

On a list of things that are good for recovery from jet lag, I reckon digging in your garden rates pretty high.
What doesn’t work well, I believe, is looking at a screen for hours on end, be it iPhone, iPad or Mac. Also leave out any inordinate amount of thinking, shopping or consumption of alcohol, even in what you deem modest amounts.
Walking on the beach is pretty good, especially smelling sea spray and hearing the ocean pounding. Sunshine in limited exposure will help reset your clock. […]

Sigh

Those of you who have practised yoga with me know I am a sigher. Why hold back? Sometimes yoga is so delicious pleasure begins to burble up from the belly, the kidneys, the heart, and who would want to stifle such an organic impulse. Add voice to it, and, voila, perfection!
I’ve traveled miles on this U.S. trek, now drawing to a close, maybe 450 miles in Arizona alone. Sighs have been too few and far between. […]

Family Take Two

Family Take Two

I’m in Annapolis tonight although I haven’t seen this town’s raisin d’être yet: the U S Naval Academy.
That will happen tomorrow.
So far I’ve had good old quality time with my family – nephew Mike, wife Karen and kids Grace and Nick. Also my totally gorgeous nieces Christa and Whiney (plus boyfriends).
Warren, their dad came with his financee Marion. He sold the family home and moved in with Marion; my sister Sue’s been gone twelve years now. […]

The Brain Gym

The Brain Gym

There’s a lot of positive press these days about the effectiveness of doing crossword puzzles and sudukos to help ward off dementia and Alzheimers.
There was the story a while back about a certain order of nuns who achieved longevity and mental acuity greater than that of the general population by dint of practicing daily mental activities.
So now, many of us emulate the Sisters of Perpetual Brain Gymnastics by doing
our quotidian exercises, ever hopeful….
I saw some good evidence when made recent retirement community visits to Sara Weinstein, my mother-in-law, age 91,.
Self-confessed book-a-day reader, veteran of […]

I'd like to say I'm better but…

I'd like to say I'm better but…

…no. If anything my cold is worse (mucous, hard to write that without the “yuk”) and now something else is happening, a sort of southerly movement of scratchiness down into my chest. I found myself apologising to Daniel this morning for my libido suffering from this cold, too. Sigh. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.
Nevertheless somethings are under control: my yoga practice, for one, and I even managed to teach a class tonight, for another.
Also, I have an unblunted appreciation for the signs of spring that appearing all around our garden and our neighbourhood…. […]

Sheltered

When I woke up this morning completely blocked and breathing from my mouth, I thought of the only thing that would help – yoga practice.
So here I am in the Shed, writing to you, occasionally lifting my head to look out at the view – dewy, green grass with birds swooping in and out. Given this is Australia, the birds are not ordinary: king parrots, eastern rosellas, and kookaburras, for instance. (The magpies have been having sex this week, right before our eyes.)
I have faith that my practice will pull me together on all levels. […]

Crook

What a great word to umbrella over many minor-ish complaints. Crook conjures up bent over or not going ahead in a straight line or something that’s broken.
Oddly, my iPhone WordBook doesn’t feature the “sick” or “ill” definition of the word, commonly used in Australia. But neither does it include that wonderfully descriptive word “lurgi”, which one of my wordmonger friends says came into language via the Goons. Seems reasonable.
Anyway, I’m digressing, possibly because of my weakened condition, that is, being crook.
I started developing the dreaded lurgi on Saturday night when we were out on the town. […]

I Wish You Well

The above phrase could be interpreted as perfunctory, even careless, when applied to someone who has a chronic illness or terminal disease.
We could have the best intentions in saying it but when someone’s condition is so debilitating, “I wish you well” or some version of that could only be seen as empty, unfeeling communication.
I had a number of comments from readers regarding yesterday’s post about dealing with fatigue. They were from people who struggle with poor health every day. […]

Not Sexy

Not Sexy

Being tired is definitely not sexy. It’s not even a good look.
It’s the pits waking up in the morning, feeling fatigued, and then fretting that this is the best you’re going to feel all day.
That was me at 6 am. Even viewing the dawn’s pink cotton candy clouds couldn’t help. […]

Vital Energy

Vital Energy

After the busiest day yesterday that I’ve experienced in a while: yoga practice (good girl), gardening, house cleaning, baked a cake, attended book club, and then a four drive to Sydney – today’s yoga class with John Norris was a dream.
Basically, we alternated doing pranayama with “flopasanas” over bolsters and blankets for chest opening over 1.5hours.
At the end of the session, I felt like a cool, clear, and calm pool of vital energy had collected around my heart.
I’ve been practicing pranayama in much smaller doses than what I did today, at the end of my asana practice […]

Nature Trip

Nature Trip

Today we were a sightseeing party of four, driving out to the very beautiful attraction ellenborough Falls, out past the hills villages of Bobin and Elands.
Never heard of those places? Neither had we till we became immigres to Mitchells Island. Which may be another area unfamiliar to you.
Located on the Bulga Plateau, about an hours drive north-west of Taree, Ellenborough Falls are a spectacular site. […]

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