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
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.
At the beginning of 2020, I took on a powerful resolution: I would do a daily loving kindness meditation. I love this practice as a way of healing not just me, but all beings and the planet too. It's a way of expanding the field of love and kindness on the planet. Never was it a more necessary practice than right now.
I discovered the value of this practice when my husband and I were travelling around Australia with our camper. Over five months of periodic cold and rainy weather, I was often unable to do my physical yoga practice. Fortunately, I had a collection of meditation recordings for the trip. I ended up following these daily, rain or shine.
Have you ever been camping with your spouse and other family members? Then you know that being in close quarters 24/7 will tax you, body, mind and spirit.
I won't say that my daily practice turned me into a perfect travelling companion. But something shifted that helped me not take things so personally. I became more detached from comments that I might have misinterpreted. Petty power struggles about the best way to unpack or pack up became fewer.
What might have been an unpleasant trip instead became the time of our lives.
You'd think I would have embraced loving kindness forever after having such a positive experience. Being human though, when I returned home, I hit the ground running. I almost abandoned my loving kindness practice.
I began the practice again early last year as I experienced heightened concerns about the climate crisis. I thought we'd experienced the worst with Australia's drought and bushfire disasters.
But now, we are facing a global pandemic.
'Now normal'––prolonged uncertainty
Our collective anxiety levels have been seriously ratcheted up by the threat of COVID-19. The word 'unprecedented', which was applied to the drought and bushfires of 2019, is an easy fit for our current emotional reactions. This quote is from the ABC: 'Anxiety is a normal, natural response to an unprecedented threat of illness, stress, and restricted life.'
Another mot du jour is 'uncertainty'. Most of us have not lived through such perilously uncertain times. We crave having the old normal return or speculate on what the new normal will bring.
But the truth is that there never was a time of normalcy. Buddha understood this and made impermanence one of the fundamental concepts of Buddhism.
Wikipedia describes the impermanence of life:
'All temporal things, whether material or mental, are compounded objects in a continuous change of condition, subject to decline and destruction.'
This basic belief asks us to step up to the reality that we need to deal with life as it presents, even when it is being fired point blank at us.
In a recent article in The Irish Times, Dr Maureen Gaffney, a clinical psychologist, offers some inspiration for the dilemma we are in. She suggests that we are asking the wrong question: when is this crisis going to end? She writes:
The question is how we are going to keep going. All we have before us now, and for a long time to come, is the “now normal”, a prolonged period of uncertainty.
A tool for you
The time is ripe for meditation, for learning to live in the now. Loving kindness meditation is a perfect practice for our times as it helps not just us as individuals but all beings.
Here's a YouTube loving kindness practice that we created to help in these uncertain times. It is my wish that it will launch you into a regular loving kindness practice.
At the beginning of 2020, I took on a powerful resolution: I would do a daily loving kindness meditation. I love this practice as a way of healing not just me, but all beings and the planet too. It’s a way of expanding the field of love and kindness on the planet. Never was it a more necessary practice than right now.
The Previous 4 Posts
It might be an expression that’s been around for years, but I’ve just woken up to what a great one expression it is: self-advocacy.
It’s similar in meaning to self-care. But ‘self-care activist and mentor’, Christy Tending says it’s just the beginning. In her blog post, she says:
The art of self-advocacy means boldly declaring what we need in order to feel whole and well and like ourselves.
I was reminded of how advocating for ourselves can be a life or death matter when I read the news yesterday. […]
Restorative yoga helps you recover from illness
As I started up my Take Care blog series last week, I was reminded by my friend Lesley of the healing properties of restorative yoga practice. Lesley speaks from experience when she writes:
Dearest Eve, thank you for your article. As you know, I have used restorative yoga and yoga nidra to support my recovery from illness. It has helped in so many ways – supporting my immune system, helping with pain management & reduction (fibromyalgia), reducing fear/anxiety, and keeping me smiling through some very difficult times. […]
A few years ago, my friend and yoga colleague, Donna Cavanough, told me about a book that she had read called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. When I visited Donna’s home, she showed me the impeccable organisation of her pantry, kitchen cupboards and bedroom drawers and wardrobe. She had followed author Marie Kendo’s notions and created a beautiful environment from what may have formerly been chaotic spaces.
Unfortunately, I am still, at age 73, rebelling against the ideas of organisation that my mother tried to instil in me. […]
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.
I’ve often struggled with finding the best way to nurture myself. […]
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.