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.
The virus: a parenthesis in time
It's called self-isolation by government bodies, but it could be described in other interesting ways: seclusion, severance, reclusion, retirement, separation. My thesaurus has offered up a poetic word, 'caesura', a break or pause (usually in the middle of a verse line). I like the expression, self yoga retreat.
This was the first week of what I'll call 'Corona Time' when I was not teaching yoga. Not because of holidays or my being ill, but as a community service. I didn't want to stop, but in talking it over with my dear husband, I arrived at, 'this is the right thing to do.'
I wasn't the first yoga studio to close, but I think I was a week ahead of most of the ones I know. I couldn't quite stop, though. I thought, 'what would be the harm of a pop-up class on the beach?' I did it. I led a morning session last Sunday at Main Beach, Old Bar.
But that was yesterday and things are changing so fast. I now know that it's time to stay closer to home. Not quite shelter-at-home, as has happened In San Francisco and other major U.S. cities. But that may come tomorrow or the next day in the Manning Valley. There's an expression widely used during the 2019 bushfires: this is all unprecedented.
Yoga retreat, a mixed success
At first I thought of my time-off as a self yoga retreat. I was going to do more yoga practices, weed the garden, organise the garage, practice my choir songs and certainly clean off my desk. I was going to ring, email, text friends with whom I'd been out of touch.
You can see where I'm headed. I did bits of all those things. In between, I likely did too much, too often, looking at FB and the news. One thing I did was clever. I kept a concise diary of what happened in the first week of my yoga retreat. Despite not doing all I wanted, I accomplished a few important things with the help of my tech savvy husband: 1) we made a youtube video class, 2) we promoted my revised 'Teach Yourself Yoga' book, 3) and I practised good self-care (rest, exercise, diet).
At this time, I and those in our household are well. I won't be giving up my avid following of the news, mainly because I know so many on the planet are not well, are in fact dying. It's my reality check. More important for me, it's a way of holding all those people in my heart.
Come to think of it, that's a pretty good benefit of a yoga retreat in these uncertain times...opening one's heart.
This was the first week of Corona Time when I was not teaching yoga. Not because of holidays or my being ill, but as a community service. I didn’t want to stop, but by talking it over with my dear husband, I arrived at, ‘this is the right thing to do.’
I wasn’t the first yoga studio to close, but I think I was a week ahead of most of the ones I know. I couldn’t quite stop, though. What’s the harm of a pop-up class on the beach? I did end up running a morning session on Sunday at Main Beach, Old Bar.
The Previous 4 Posts
Do you ever feel overcome by feelings of gratitude for the communities to which you belong? I feel awash in gratitude each time I participate in the little pool community at Old Bar Beach. During the warm weather, I wake early, excited by the prospect of an aquarobics session at the pool.
I should let you know that I was born in Chicago, far from the ocean. Then, as an adolescent I lived in the desert town of Tucson, Arizona. As a consequence, I lacked many of the things that Aussies take for granted. […]
Adapt your practice
We’re facing a solid week ahead of temperatures in the low 30’s in our region, accompanied by high humidity. (For Americans, that translates to low 90’s.)
For me, that points to doing my best to stay cool when I do my yoga practice. And I use yoga tools, like meditation, pranayama, relaxation and passive yoga poses, to cool my body and brain.
Consider some of the ways you can support better breathing, for instance, lying supine over bolsters to open your chest. […]
Why we don’t make up our own quotable quips? Why do we rely on celebrity or guru quotes, which are sometimes misquotes or misattributed)?
Yoga teachers-in-training tend to spout their teachers’ words exactly when they begin teaching. I still do. My Iyengar teacher from the eighties, Martyn Jackson, pops up in my classroom instructions on occasion. As do more recent influencers, like Donna Farhi or Judith Laseter.
As yoga teachers become more seasoned, they fashion their own phrasing. And then, their quips, quotations and word pictures will undoubtedly plant find their way into the next generation’s repertoire.
My ritual morning cuppa
There’s a certain morning ritual that I have performed ever since I was 16 years old. This is the age when coffee and I started our long and friendly relationship.
I enrolled in a summer high school class which started at 7am. Everyone knows that teenagers are not biologically designed for early mornings. I was in shock when that first alarm went off. Making and drinking a cuppa soon became the ritual that got me going each day. […]
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.