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
Climate crisis: Hang on to your seats
I have been on a climate crisis roller coaster this year. Maybe you have, too?
Early in 2019, I concluded that what’s been happening in our environment was more than a change. It’s an emergency. I started to use vocabulary and found examples that described what was happening as a dire situation.
I began to educate myself. I researched the global climate crisis through websites, newspapers and videos. As my interest heated up, Australia’s climate was getting hotter and the drought more firmly entrenched.
This 2019 winter, the season when it’s not supposed to happen, bushfires flared up. To date, the fires have hungrily kept expanding. More than 5 million hectares have burned throughout Australia.
I was curious to find out if other yogis shared my concerns. So, I facilitated a forum called ‘Climate Yoga: What Can You Do?‘ at the Ekam Festival in Bonny Hills, NSW.
Concerned about the amount of carbon emissions generated by long-haul flights, I put off flying to the U.S. this year, . Then, I discovered there’s actually a phenomenon called ‘flight shame‘. It stands for the guilt generated by the environmental effects of flying.
Now, nearly at the end of 2019, I need to get myself off the roller coaster.
Loving kindness: a radical act of love
I’ve landed on an action that seems aligned with dealing with my climate concerns and with my yoga practice. Simple loving kindness meditation.
You’ve probably heard of the radical acts of non-violence being undertaken by Extinction Rebellion all around the world. Groups have occupied, blockaded and marched in major cities from Adelaide to Amsterdam.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the American meditation teacher, has a different idea of a radical act. He asserts that loving kindness is one of these: a radical act of love. He says:
As the pace of our lives continues to accelerate, driven by a host of forces seemingly beyond our control, more and more of us are finding ourselves drawn to engage in meditation. A radical act of being. We are moving in the direction of meditative awareness for many reasons. Not the least of these may be to maintain our individual and collective sanity. Or, to recover our perspective and sense of meaning. Or, simply to deal with the outrageous stress and insecurity of this age.
Perhaps you are also experiencing negative emotions at the end of 2019. Emotions which have unsettled you. Or worse, created anxiety or even anger over those ‘forces over which we have no control.’
I recommend Kabat-Zinn’s meditation, ‘Heartscape‘. It’s a beautiful meditation to which I’m committed to doing daily. At forty-seven minutes long, you may think you don’t have time, but it is an investment in your future. It may even create the clear vision we need for navigating 2020.
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.
The Previous 3 Posts
Back when I was just a just a youngster in my Iyengar yoga training, I attended six weeks of classes at the Yoga Institute in Poona, India. People seldom go to study with the Iyengars without the experience being life-changing; there’s so much to learn.
On one occasion, Mr. Iyengar’s son, Prashant, taught us in a general class. We warmed up for about an hour with standing poses, with special attention paid to tadasana (mountain pose). […]
On questionnaires that ask for me for my occupation, I write in ‘semi-retired’. That’s shorthand to describe that I work sometimes. At other times, I participate in various kinds of recreation, such as singing or tennis. I study a bit, and I also volunteer in the community in Palliative Care.
Though semi-retired, I haven’t cut back on my yoga practice. That’s just as well as I’m busier than I ever was when I worked full-time. This seems to be a common feature of those who profess to being semi-retired.
From time to time, I wear myself out completely.
I know, I know. Yoga teachers all want to teach remotely. I’ve been no exception. Here are some video and audio productions that I’ve made. Not many – it’s something that I alway mean to get around to.
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.