A Sutra a Day

Between 14 May 2012 and 22 February 2013 I worked my way through the 196 Sutra of Patanjali. I called the project "A Sutra a Day". I tried to relate each of the Sutra to my life in a personal way. Here are the results.
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Eve Grzybowski

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.

 
Photo by: Julie Slavin Photography, Old Bar

Current Post

Take Care: How Yoga Can Help With Diabetes

image of hands cupping tree blossoms

We're fortunate to have yoga teacher,  Rachel Zinman, contributing her wisdom in today's post.

I met Rachel when she was the twenty-something yogini she describes below--passionate about yoga but needing to push herself to the limits.

Then, as it happens, life intervened. Type 1 diabetes became her unforeseen teacher and has led Rachel to be able to share her learning with many others.

She will be launching her book Yoga for Diabetes in Taree and teaching at the Yoga Shed in early July.

Here's Rachel:

I’ve often struggled with finding the best way to nurture myself. When I started yoga in my late teens I thought I had to push myself to clear out toxins and strengthen my system. I spent years moving into postures and holding them until breaking point. Although it definitely opened up my body and developed my ability to stick things out I am not sure it was always effective. Often I would feel strained after practice not just physically but mentally and emotionally.

Then at 42, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I knew right away that fighting my diagnosis by pushing harder wasn’t going to work, I had to learn to soften, rest and take each experience for what it was.

During those first few months after my diagnosis I used my yoga practice to keep my stress levels at bay. I had to work hard not to feel like a failure or embarrassed about my condition. As part of my process, I used the deeper aspects of yoga to help me understand more about what was happening to me. Through my studies I learned that I am not my condition. I have a condition, just like I have a name, but I can never be what I have. I learned that I am not my thoughts either, especially my thoughts about my condition. Giving myself this little bit of distance emotionally and mentally from what was happening to me physically helped me to come to terms with my diagnosis.

As I gently moved into acceptance I developed a daily routine to help me manage. These simple self-care practices have been a healing balm to the day to day challenges. If you don’t know much about Type 1 diabetes. It’s a disease where the insulin producing beta cells are attacked by the immune system. Without Insulin the delicate blood sugar balance in the body is impaired. Too much sugar and your organs are damaged, too little sugar and your brain is starved of glucose.  Injecting Insulin to manage the condition is like a walking a tightrope. Give too much insulin and you go low, too little and you’re high. I often overshoot or undershoot and spend the day trying to rebalance.  Sticking to simple ayurvedic daily regimes has literally saved my life.

These self-care routines are nurturing for everyone, particularly in winter. In Ayurveda a dry, cold aggravated condition is called Vata Dosha. Vata is the combination of the elements of Air and Space. We are all subject to Vata aggravation due to the different 21st century stressors like environmental pollution, excess stimulation through media and general societal pressure to do more and be more.

When I wake up in the morning I make a point of putting my health and wellbeing first. If I am grounded and nurtured I can achieve anything no matter what the pressures.

Here are my five favorite self-care practices

Wake Before Dawn

Make a habit of rising just before 6 am. This is the time when prana (life force) is closest to the earth and the most easily absorbed into the system. Before getting out of bed check to see which nostril is dominant. Then step onto the floor with the opposite foot. This will immediately harmonize the flow between the right and left side of the body and facilitate balance throughout the day.

Scrape Your Tongue

Recently I watched a fabulous summit on Ayurveda with a host of ayurvedic experts. Every single person on that summit emphasized the importance of clearing the tongue in the morning of accumulated toxins. The tongue is a mirror of your wellbeing. By cleaning your tongue in the morning you are placing your wellbeing in your own hands. Cleaning the tongue is also a great way to wake up the system, reset the nervous system and prepare you for the different tastes and moods of the day. I use a stainless steel tongue scraper and clean from back to the front four times while rinsing the scraper in between each clean.

Practice Full and Deep Breathing.

Either sitting or lying down commit to stopping and taking 10 full deep breaths every day. I have added them to my daily yoga practice, but you can do them anywhere any time. Deep breathing facilitates better digestion, respiration, reduces stress and improves sleep. As someone living with diabetes I rely on those deep breaths when I am dealing with a low blood sugar. Each breath reminds me that I am alive and okay.

Drink a warm hot lemon, ginger and honey tea

Sipping a hot drink with a squeeze of lemon, a small slice of ginger and a dollop of honey when you first wake nourishes all the tissues in the body and helps with elimination and detoxification. Ayurveda recommends that instead of drinking coffee or tea you sip hot water throughout the day. Why not carry a flask with you so you can feel warm and nurtured wherever you are?

Have a Gratitude Practice

This is actually my favourite. Take a moment to look around you and see the blessing of being alive. Notice how the whole creation is facilitating your experience. How each item you use, each food you consume, each person you meet is inseparably part of the whole. As an example, say you are eating pumpkin soup, remember that a person planted and harvested that pumpkin, then sold it to a store or brought it to market. Someone else stocked it on the shelf, someone helped you at the checkout line. There are so many people involved in your enjoyment of that soup. Gratitude is a potent way to see the blessings and let go of the burdens.

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Take Care: How Yoga Can Help With Diabetes

We’re fortunate to have yoga teacher,  Rachel Zinman, contributing her wisdom in today’s post.

I met Rachel when she was the twenty-something yogini she describes below–passionate about yoga but needing to push herself to the limits.

Then, as it happens, life intervened. Type 1 diabetes became her unforeseen teacher and has led Rachel to be able to share her learning with many others.

She will be launching her book Yoga for Diabetes in Taree and teaching at the Yoga Shed in early July.

Here’s Rachel:

I’ve often struggled with finding the best way to nurture myself. […]

read more

The Previous 4 Posts

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. […]

read more
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! […]

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Yoga in A Good 'Ole Aussie Shed

Yoga in A Good 'Ole Aussie Shed

For any of you non-native Australian people out there, a Shed (with a capital “S”) is an Aussie institution. In the country, Sheds act as primary residences for people until they can afford the time, energy and money to build a house. If all of those things don’t fall in place, living in a shed might be a long-term proposition.
More often than not, the Shed is the place that a bloke can get away from his missus and the kids for a bit of peace and mind. […]

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What Makes a Bad Day Bad?

What Makes a Bad Day Bad?

photo by leena holmstrom via pinterest
I’ve been having a bad day. ‘Bad’ is such a puny little word to have to act as a bog umbrella over so many kinds of things: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.
What do I mean by ‘bad’? Cold symptoms, a twinge of an old rotator cuff injury, feeling low in myself and out of relationship with my husband, and an extremely slow blog connection right at this moment. […]

read more

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.

Electronic versions:

Paperback version:

(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.

Classes and Workshops

I'm currently teaching two weekly classes on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales where I live. I also lead workshops here and in other parts of Australia.

Visit the Vault!

I've been regularly contributing to this blog since 2009.  There are now over 1250 posts about a very wide range of topics. Click here to explore.

Yoga Resources

Books, videos, teachers, websites, places to buy really hot yoga clothes (kidding), and generally anything I find that I think others might find useful.

A Bit About Eve

I've been teaching since I was 35. I'm now 76. In that time there have been a few changes. Click here if you want to find out a bit about my life.

Shop

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.

I put this Savasana on YouTube in 2012.
Since then it has been viewed (or listened to) over 365,000 times.

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