Yoga Suits Her
I've been teaching yoga since 1980. A lot of my identity is tied up with being a yoga teacher. What does that mean? What should that mean? On this site I explore my personal journey and provide commentary on the state of yoga in the twenty-first century. I invite you to have a look and see what may be here for you.
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The other night I asked my dear husband, Daniel, to cast his eyes over my draft 'Yoga Suits Her' post. He gave me constructive feedback, but, sadly, I became upset when I heard it.
Daniel and I have been married nearly 25 years. That's plenty of time for marital niceties to have faded just a little. Or, maybe to see there was no need to soften any feedback, especially when he knows I want to keep improving my writing. What he said was honest and incisive, but it just didn't sit well with me. I didn't realise I was so sensitive at the time. I had to go sit with myself afterwards (read sulk) and do some self-reflection.
I can go along in life for a while thinking that I'm evolving into a better person. But then, I get thrown a curve ball. It may be in the form of a disagreement with a friend or relative, for example. It's often those people closest to me, and usually the ones I love the most, who will get to me.
The time-out I took for self-reflection eventually reduced my irritability, and so did my opening up and talking to Daniel.
There's a yoga precept that is geared toward counteracting the kind of upset I experienced. In Sanskrit this precept is called svadhyaha - or self study. It's designed to help us develop self-awareness.
Self study is described in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. One of my favourite commentators on this sutra, Australian Vyn Bailey, says that svadhyaya is not the study of oneself in a self-absorbed way. Rather, he says, it's the study that you yourself get involved in. You do your homework, so to speak, by looking into the way you are relating to people and things in your life. If you are annoyed or ill-tempered, you bring those feelings home. See what happens out of sitting with the feelings instead of projecting them outwards.
It may be that those people who seem to get to us are merely holding up a mirror. They are testing us on how strongly we can stand in our unreactive selves. It's the people who show up as irritants who may very well be our best teachers.
There's a huge benefit for us in 'doing our homework'. Ultimately this kind of careful reflection will throw light on the entire structure of one's personality. It can lead to one of the main goals of yoga--the understanding of the self and one's consciousness.
In the end, I took Daniel's feedback and wrote a better post.
The other night I asked my dear husband, Daniel, to cast his eyes over my draft ‘Yoga Suits Her’ post. He gave me constructive feedback, but, sadly, I became upset when I heard it.
Daniel and I have been married nearly 25 years. That’s plenty of time for marital niceties to have faded just a little. Or, maybe to see there was no need to soften any feedback, especially when he knows I want to keep improving my writing. What he said was honest and incisive, but it just didn’t sit well with me. […]
The Previous 4 Posts
We’ve come to understand ‘core training’ from the worlds of the gym and Pilates. In the gym world, people have learned to practice ‘crunches’ and sit ups, the more the better, until six or even eight packs firmly form. Unfortunately there’s often collateral damage along the way, for instance, hip flexors wound tight as metal piano strings.
Pilates works better as it is a more subtle training that doesn’t just rely on toughening up one set of abdominals. […]
Standing poses give fairly immediate feedback about how a student is travelling at any given time. Is the sense of balance shaky? Are the legs dull? Is the mind overactive? Because the poses make one feel more open and free in the body straightaway, the student is more likely to want to persevere in practising yoga.
Upside down is such an interesting way of looking at the world. Beginners in yoga can get quite excited by turning upside down, and that can be good or bad. Too much excitement can take you out of your body; but just the right amount can make you feel elated. However, too much excitement might just give you the practice you need in calming yourself down.
Amazing things happen to your body’s systems and organs when you are inverted. It’s like the tide of a mighty river or ocean suddenly reversing. […]
I was on skype call with my sister today, and she said, ‘You’re getting old.” It was in relation to my complaining about a cold that’s been hanging around for about two weeks now.
Why is it that people so readily say that sort of thing? […]
It's been out of print for 15 or more years but now it's back. It's available as a paperback as well as a range of digital formats for different devices. The design of this edition is modelled as closely as possible on the original release from 1997.
(Note: Book retailers set their own prices that are all different and constantly change. It's worth shopping around for the best price.)
Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Teach Yourself Yoga. Just ask and quote ISBN: 978-0-6487945-0-9.
Please send me feedback about the book. I'd love to hear about any errors or problems with eBooks on various devices. And please review the book wherever you get it. Reviews will help more people discover the book.
Yoga Basics Pack. $24.95
10-week beginners Yoga course.
Specially designed for beginners, Yoga Basics is an easy to follow program for better health, flexibility and peace of mind. This pack contains 10 beautifully illustrated cards, one for each week of a ten-week course that tie a clear, practical and portable guide to getting started in yoga.
Yoga Tool Kit. $24.95
10 beautifully illustrated cards that give clear, practical and portable programs to meet a variety of needs. The customised sequences help provide holistic healthcare – better health, flexibility and peace of mind – so you can stay on top of your daily requirements with a safe and effective regime. Practices for boosting the immune system, insomnia, menstruation, post travel, low backache, stress and anxiety relief, fatigue, encouraging mental balance, managing menopause and regenerating.
No, I'm not selling yoga mats or clothing. I don't even have a t-shirt... yet. But from time to time I find myself with something that someone may want. Have a look, I'm never sure what you'll find.