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.
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All of my videos are also available on this website.
Home Practice: Time to Take the Plunge
It feels like it's breathing down my neck, this pandemic. Thankfully, my immediate friends, family and I are all safe. I feel deeply, though, for the world's hotspots, especially my native U.S. And, I'm aware that my protected status could change at any time. Similar to the danger of bushfires that can be transformed capriciously by a shift in the wind. This virus can attack us as a result of contact with a sick person, at any time or place.
So it is that in this uncertain period, I depend more than ever on my yoga practice. I am blessed to have developed a dependable yoga practice over forty-nine years.
I started practising yoga at home in the period after my son was born. My post-natal period was a time of upheaval and insecurity for me as a new mother. But my yoga practice was there for me as a refuge and place for self-nurturance.
We modern yogis are fortunate to have countless resources at our fingertips. Even in the lockdown, when we haven't been able to get to public classes, there have been a plethora of videos and audio recordings.
I assert, though, that there is nothing like doing a home practice.
For one thing, it's simple: you only need a few yoga props, a space, some time and a loose plan. Your plan might come from what you've gleaned from yoga classes or from following a book. It's ideal to work with a book rather than with video or audio aids, The book's words and images will translate your experience into a 'felt' sense of body and mind.
In the quiet, less competitive atmosphere of your home, you can easily feel how your body and mind are functioning. You can check in to see how you are going without the distraction of other students or even a teacher. You can assess your own needs, read your mood and then tailor your practice to suit you.
At any given time, you might be feeling energetic and want to do a dynamic practice. Or, maybe you're menstruating and want to do a restorative practice. This careful observation of what your individual needs are––post-natal or current pandemic––is at the heart of practising yoga.
'The Classic Teach Yourself Yoga'
I've written a book, 'Teach Yourself Yoga', to help students bridge the gap between attending classes and establishing a yoga routine at home. I did this because I've experienced that home practice promotes coming home to yourself. To reconnect with your own rhythms, to centre yourself is exactly what we need in today's stressful and unsure times.
Like a little more encouragement about the benefits of a personal practice? Read this guest post from Angelika Knorzer, a many-decades practitioner and former student of mine.
It feels like it’s breathing down my neck, this pandemic. Thankfully, my immediate friends, family and I are all safe. I feel, though, for the world’s hotspots, especially my native U.S. And I’m aware that my protected status could change any time. The real danger of bushfires is that they can be transformed capriciously by a shift in the wind. This virus can attack us as a result of contact with a sick person, at any time or place.
So in this uncertain period, I depend more than ever on my yoga practice. I am blessed to have developed a dependable yoga practice over forty-nine years.
The Previous 4 Posts
Recently, I’ve had two episodes of feeling overcome with sadness. Not depression, but awash in sadness. You might have had times like this, too. They seemingly come out of nowhere and when I experience them, I feel compelled to figure out what’s going on. My hope is that I can defuse the melancholy as soon as possible, once I understand it. Thinking can take me out of the experience of being sad, as I build a narrative around the emotion. Sometimes the sadness is simply a black cloud that envelops and it’s not something to be understood. […]
Recovering from a hysterectomy can be a daunting process. There’s an emotional side to it: the loss of a major organ. A hysterectomy can also precipitate the sudden onset of menopause. On the physical side, the suggested healing time is six weeks, a long time to be dealing with discomfort and restricted activity. Mentally, it’s a time for taking it slow and easy, perhaps a difficult discipline if there are children to look after and home and work to juggle. Yoga was the perfect companion in my smooth recovery from a hysterectomy.
If you are situated high up on a windy hill as we are, or even in one of those urban wind tunnels created by high-rise buildings, be prepared. For winter, rug up, muffler up, and go head down, bum up, in your yoga practice.
It would be a very nice thing if we were able to get through our days and years without pain. I’m talking about any sort of pain–emotional, mental, physical or spiritual. A nice thing, but we know it’s not going to happen.
I’m here to tell you that getting on in years is a further impediment to being pain-free. There are ‘inconveniences’, such as loss of hearing and changes in vision. And there are the discomforts of stiffening muscles and rusty joints. Then there’s the outright pain of that goes with serious medical conditions which can happen at any age.
Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about how I can preserve the relative good health I enjoy. I want to avoid future pain, too, to the extent that is possible.
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.