What makes a yoga practice? - home

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

What makes a yoga practice? - home

Featured videos from my YouTube channel

I've been adding meditations, short instructional video and an ever-growing selection of complete yoga classes.  Click on any of these below videos to view them directly.  Or click on the button below to explore the entire channel.

If you would like to make a donation to my continuing to create my videos and recordings, please click HERE.

All of my videos are also available on this website. 

Current Post

What Makes a Yoga Practice? Adaptation

What makes a yoga practice? - what makes a yoga practice? Adaptation

Samakonasana

Fifty years of adaption

Next year marks the 50th year that I've been practising yoga.

Sometimes when I say that to students in class, I'll add: This is how someone turns out after doing this much practice.

It's one of my weak jokes. I mean to say, I'm pretty healthy but I'm not a total paragon of health and fitness. I'm a seventy six year old with a collection of old injuries and medical conditions, and some of the infirmities of ageing.

The good thing about staying with yoga all these years is that those injuries, conditions and ageing have taught me how to adapt. They've all been teachers, shaping my approach to yoga, and even my attitude towards life. Yoga is an amazing discipline for helping you get in touch with yourself if you are willing to learn.

One of my greatest teachers has been the nearly twenty years I suffered from osteoarthritis.

As a result of being diagnosed with a serious medical condition, the outcome of which was going to be hip surgery, I began to learn about other healing systems.

I studied the sister science to yoga, Ayurveda, and consulted with Dr. Shaun Matthews. He recommended lifestyle and diet changes that I still adhere to.

I found some miraculous healers who work as physiotherapists. Nichole Hamilton is a specialist in hip dysfunction and trains other physiotherapists. She introduced me to the technique of craniosacral therapy. In her hands I was putty. I always felt spiritually integrated after her treatments.

Currently I have a small stable of brilliant local physios, Aaron Bailey and Meghan Maguire, who deal with my injuries as they inevitably arise.

I value acupuncture. After my hip diagnosis, I saw an acupuncturist who worked with the Sydney Dance Company's ballet dancers. I underwent two hour-long treatments that involved being needled, heat lamps, massage, and electrodes that stimulated acupuncture points. I would be pain-free, sometimes for hours, and then sometimes, miraculously, for days. 

A lifetime of busyness and drivenness had me reappraise how much I was doing. In the 80's and 90's, I was managing a yoga school and teaching, running errands, keeping appointments, attending meetings, rushing in traffic, managing a home and fitting in a hectic social life. Cramming this much in, I was often tired and wouldn't admit it. 

I really needed to relax!

Although I'd been teaching my students how to relax for years, I didn't take the time to practice relaxation myself. I began listening to audio recordings by Dr. Richard C. Miller. I let myself surrender to his soothing voice. I still submit to Miller's yoga nidra and to the meditations of Jon Kabat-Zinn.

I did workshops with Judith Hanson Lasater and Donna Farhi. I expanded my repertoire of restorative poses in my own practice and taught these to my students. Hardly a day goes by when I don't take time out for several of these propped postures.

What does my practice look like now?

What I do now is very different from the decades when I subscribed to a strict Iyengar yoga practice. In my approach to my body and mind, I am gentler and more thoughtful in what I do on the yoga mat.

I've adopted several other strings for my health and fitness bow.

  • Loving kindness meditation, an everyday practice since 2016. My motivation comes from the meditation teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn. He says 'You can think of the loving-kindness practice as tuning your instrument before you play it out in the world.'
  • Doubles tennis and tennis lessons, once a week.
  • Barre classes with Wendie Dawson, weekly.
  • Hour-long beach walks, several times a week.
  • Spinal movements sequences a la Simon Borg-Olivier
  • Free weights workouts, 3 x week.

And I'm still learning. In March, I'm attending a weekend workshop with Clive Sheridan in Port Macquarie. The workshop description says: Clive will guide us in deep and sensitive pranayama sessions, introducing certain important breathing rhythms. These rhythms, which are calming at the time of practicing them, gradually harness a deeper energetic vitality that awakens from within us.

Just the thing to inspire me for my next decades of yoga practice.

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What Makes a Yoga Practice? Adaptation

Next year marks the 50th year that I’ve been practising yoga.

Sometimes when I say that to students in class, I’ll add: This is how someone turns out after doing this much practice.

It’s one of my weak jokes. I mean to say, I’m pretty healthy but I’m not a total paragon of health and fitness. I’m a seventy six year old with a collection of old injuries and medical conditions, and some of the infirmities of ageing.

The good thing about staying with yoga all these years is that those injuries, conditions and ageing have taught me how to adapt. They’ve all been teachers, shaping my approach to yoga, and even my attitude towards life. Yoga is an amazing discipline for helping you get in touch with yourself if you are willing to learn.

read more

The Previous 4 Posts

Yoga suits her: announcing a brand-new incarnation

Yoga Suits Her: Announcing a Brand-New Incarnation

I’m excited to announce that YSH has a fresh incarnation, one that is simpler to navigate. There’s a new design that lets you easily access all the wealth of my writing in ‘The Vault’ archives. As well, the brand-new site is where you can find all manner of Eve resources in one place: books, videos, practice cards and posters. There’s even a shop.

read more
Take care: the ultimate self-care gift is feeling ease

Take Care: The Ultimate Self-Care Gift is Feeling Ease

This is the last post of the month where we’ve been exploring the topic of self-care. My intention has been to have us improve our relationship with taking good care of ourselves. This is obviously a continuous learning. But occasionally bringing a sharper focus to it will undoubtedly foster feeling ease in our lives. I believe that improving this sense of ease is as important as building up our muscles, cultivating flexibility or exercising our brains.

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Take care: daily self care in all sorts of ways

Take Care: Daily Self Care in All Sorts of Ways

Nearly a month ago, I committed to posting each day to the theme of Take Care. The idea being that, because of writing about self-care, I would pay more attention to caring for myself.

I’m almost at the end of 30 days of posting. Have I done daily posting? Not exactly.

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Take care: time to put on the brakes?

Take Care: Time to Put on the Brakes?

When I woke up on Wednesday morning this week with an extremely sore shoulder, I was annoyed. I knew I should put the brakes on.

Did I want to and did I? Of course not! First I tried to figure out what I might have done to create such a painful shoulder. I went over the previous day’s activities and the day before, too. It was very mysterious, as I couldn’t think of anything I’d done out of the ordinary.

read more
What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.

What makes a yoga practice? - home

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.