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
In the New World 'We Are the Spark'
There's something that's been stirring in me. Maybe evoking a little of the feminist 70's era that I was a part of. But it's a much bigger movement than that. You, too, might have felt some of this excitement.
It started mid year as I watched the several queens of Game of Thrones take over that complicated fantasy world. Daeyerys, Sansa, Cersei, Melisandre, Arya and Brienne, all flexing their womanly powers and stepping into their ascendancy. The kings and lords of the seven kingdoms were conceding their might left right and centre. Or even dying at the queens' hands.
Then, I viewed The Handmaid's Tale television series, based on Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel. Was there ever a more cruel expression of patriarchal abuse? Yet, in the last scene of episode 10, the handmaids expressed hope with a rebellious march against their tyrannical masters. What music roused them to this brave act? Have a listen to some of the song here.
Finally, there were all the fabulous women of the television series, Big Little Lies, and even the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. Who will take Luke Skywalker's place? Of course, a woman.
The American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, worked with director George Lucas to create the theme that ran through the Star War movies for decades: the Hero's Journey. Campbell posited that 'myth is often something experienced unconsciously by a collective'. He believed that the myths of the collective unconscious shape us. If he were still alive, he might see the 'Heroine's Journey' taking shape.
I feel it. There's a new day comin' for women around the world and it can't come too fast.
If you haven't been paying attention recently to news and social media, you've missed the millions of women getting out there, telling tragic stories of being sexually assaulted.
They have used the hashtag #MeToo on Facebook and Twitter to declare instances of sexual harassment and abuse. These allegations point to men in all areas of life: the entertainment industry, sciences, academia, and politics. Women are being taken seriously and supported in their allegations by men. As a result of this flood of stories, some men have been fired from executive positions and others have resigned from legislative office.
Spiritual leaders are being are being taken to task for sexual abuse, too, notably the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Sogyal Rimpoche.
Stories of abuse abound in the yoga world and now they are being publicised. Ten prominent teachers have shared their own stories of sexual assault in the Yoga Journal.
I have more than one story to tell myself. In this moment, the one that comes to mind happened about 40 years ago. I was a new arrival in Sydney from the United States. A yoga practitioner, but not yet a teacher.
I was full of enthusiasm for doing dynamic and advanced yoga, and didn't yet know anything about approaching poses safely. I developed sciatica, and went along for treatment to a chiropractor recommended by yoga friends.
This man treated my sciatica. When he finished the treatment, he then forced himself on me and had intercourse. I was disgusted and, at the same time, in shock. I couldn't get out of his rooms fast enough.
What did I do about it? I was ashamed and did nothing, spoke to no one. Doing nothing compounded my shame. I stuffed the experience down. The only person I've ever told about this incident is my husband. He encouraged me to write about it here, but I still feel loathe to name names. I do appreciate the courage that it's taken for other women to name their perpetrators.
Women around the world are aligning at this time to stop this sort of violence. It is and should be intolerable and men know that, or will come to know it.
I ran across this old song, sung by Mama Cass in the seventies. The hope of many generations of women is beautifully expressed here.
There's a new world commin'
And it's just around the bend
There's a brand new mornin'
That belongs to you and me
A new world commin'
The one we had vision of
And its commin' in peace
Is commin in joy
and commin in love... yea... yea... yea
There's a new world commin'
And its just around the bend
There's a new day dawning
the one that's for you and me
A new world commin'
The one we've had vision of
and it's commin' in peace
commin' in love
Commin' in peace
Commin' in joy
and commin in peace
commin' in joy
And commin in love
If you haven’t been paying attention recently to news and social media, you’ve missed the millions of women getting out there, telling tragic stories of being sexually assaulted.
The’ve used the hashtag #MeToo on Facebook and Twitter to declare instances of sexual harassment and abuse. These allegations point to men in all areas of life: the entertainment industry, sciences, academia, and politics. Women are being taken seriously and supported in their allegations by men.
The Previous 4 Posts
Today is weather-perfection where we live on the magical mid-north coast… Mitchells Island, New South Wales.
I think you know what I mean by perfect conditions. (If you are snowed in in Vermont or Toronto, well, winter has it’s own beauty, doesn’t it?)
During the day today it’s been 24 degrees celsius, with a light breeze and mid-range humidity. Best of all, it rained last night, just enough so all the vegetation in our gardens spread its wings in the morning sunshine. […]
Illustration by Gretta Kool
By the time some of you read this post, you may already be in trouble. Did you remember that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and did you plan accordingly? Gifts of flowers, chocolates, sweet and sincere cards are expected by many people. Like all expectations, if you don’t meet them, you may be up a creek.
To put this love holiday in perspective, it’s an American import to Australia, much like Halloween. […]
Source: herblog.com via Rosie on Pinterest
Have you run across the idea that your yoga mat can act as your therapist? I know on one level that sounds facetious, but think about it. You put yourself on your mat routinely and, each time you do, it’s an opportunity for you to watch your behaviour.
What are your responses as you practice. […]
Is wanting a bad thing? Should we be without desires? If we covet something we don’t have, aren’t we incomplete in some way?
For many years, my greatest longing was for a perfect relationship with a perfect man. You must know how badly that turned out! When I was able to be with a partner (Daniel) and accept him the way he was, things went better.
When I took up yoga, I was drawn to something in it – I couldn’t have told you what. Nevertheless, I kept being pulled forward. […]
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.