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
Please Gladys, can I have a haircut?
I've been toying with the idea of going back to my bald headed identity which I adopted for a short time at the end of 2004. On the occasion of my 60th birthday, I had my head shaved by my hairdresser as part of the party celebrations. And I encouraged my friends and family to sponsor me in raising funds for 'Doctors Without Borders'. That was around the time of the Boxing Day Tsunami. My friend Rick and I were able to raise $5,000 for the organisation.
What has caused me to think of undergoing drastic hair measures at this time?
Because in New South Wales we need to shelter in place, Even though we can go out for our basic necessities, hair cuts and treatments are not considered essential services.
How long will we be lockdown? How long will my locks get? Who knows? But I'm guessing another month or two. How long depends on how many of us are vaccinated and how quickly we take up that challenge. Please do get the jab for yourself and for all of our sakes!
I feel so so sorry for my lovely redhead hairdresser, Mel. Her popular New Bar Salon is closed indefinitely, and she still has rent to pay and her family of three kids to support. I know it's not all about me, but in the meantime, my hair is losing the beautiful lines she created.
Perhaps the lack of salons is a first world problem, but we're all getting it on all sides. Our kids are now two years into this thing and experiencing being cut off from many of the delights of childhood and adolescence--growing up together. Aged individuals, many of whom live at home or in nursing homes, are isolated from their families and friends at a time of life that is inherently lonely.
Learning from the lockdown
Fortunately, the erosion of little freedoms is not impacting our Shedders' household of six too much. Judy and Heather got out their hairdressing scissors and set up a temporary salon on the deck. IMO, Judy gave Heather as good a haircut as Heather receives at the hands of her professional hairdresser. And like any great salon experience, there was plenty of gossip sharing and laughter.
Against the background of global heating, wildfires, floods, COVID-19, war, and oppression, Australia is truly in a relatively safe bubble. I'm not used to hardship, so the disappearance of things I've taken for granted is a wakeup call. It's made me more acutely aware of the need to take care of those in our communities who are not faring so well.
I try to be in touch by phone each day with at least one person who might be feeling alone. It's such a simple thing to do: just pick up my phone and call. If someone is hard to get a hold of, it means I just have to work a bit harder to get them.
I've also begun running live video yoga classes twice a week. This has had me jump over a huge amount of resistance to technology. And, I've discovered that this, too, is not that difficult. What's difficult is resistance itself.
So, I'm thinking, maybe a number two on Daniel's electric clippers? What about you, dear readers, how are you faring?
Against the background of global heating, wildfires, floods, COVID-19, war, and oppression, Australia is truly in a relatively safe bubble. I’m not used to hardship, so the disappearance of things I’ve taken for granted is a wakeup call. It’s made me more acutely aware of the need to take care of those in our communities who are not faring so well.
The Previous 4 Posts
Maria Kirsten’s credentials included the whole breadth of yoga taught these days: classical, corporate, gentle, hatha, intellectually-challenged, mental health, viniyoga, yogalates, dynamic, postnatal, general, teacher training, therapy and meditation.
The problem is the creek did rise. We live next to Scotts Creek, Mitchells Island, NSW, and the creek rose and rose and rose. Then it burst its bank.
Up in our house, safe on a hill, we watched as Farmer John’s next-door paddocks filled. John had seen the flood coming and moved his cattle to safety. That day, it rained and rained, everyone calling it biblical. At 4 am, the caravan park at Manning Point was hit by a flash flood. The proprietor shook the van occupants out their slumber and some, still in p.j.’s, made a run for high ground.
This is the arc of life, with a peak somewhere in there, but for the most part, we miss it.
When you look in the mirror today, you might say to yourself, ‘Gawd, you are looking beautiful today.’ You might as well admire this presentation because next week you will look slightly altered. As I did yesterday when I noticed my hair had ‘suddenly’ become much greyer than I remembered. If you can, avoid the expression ‘for my age’. That negates the little bit of self-love you created upon complimenting yourself.
I’m forever grateful that my dear girlfriend, Mary Lou, came up with the idea of us doing yoga. She thought we could lose some weight and learn to relax by participating in a 10-week course at the local YMCA.
I was a no-nothing regarding yoga, but I trusted my friend. If I had been able to google the word ‘yoga’ in 1971, I would have found references to the Beatles and Mahreesh Mahesh Yogi, Ram Dass and psychedelic drugs, and television shows with women in Lycra leotards and stiffly sprayed hair.
Mary Lou and I arrived at the YMCA class and took up our cross-leg seated positions on gym mats. I sneaked a peek at the fifteen or so other students–not a man in sight. That part of yoga has not changed much.
Leading the class was a slim, lively yet calm woman in her mid-sixties. Dorothy Tomarelli told us by way of introduction that her husband had died a few years previously. As a result of her grief, Dorothy went into a rapid emotional and physical decline. Her muscles atrophied and she lost strength. Her doctor, seeing her depressed state, advised her to take up yoga. Dorothy decided that she had nothing to lose and searched for a class. It turned out to be so much of a lifesaver that she decided to teach yoga.
This is often the way a seed is planted for future yoga teachers. We are inspired by someone. As I listened to Dorothy, something stirred in me. I saw a glimmer of hope in Dorothy’s story–the possibility that health, happiness and even longevity could be mine.
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.