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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

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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.

Current Post

Yoga Calm in the Midst of Holiday Hullabaloo

Calm
"Most people could do with more relaxation, not more stimulation," naturopath Sandra Villella is quoted as saying in the weekend Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum.
In an article about the new 'relaxation' drinks, Villella was addressing the issue of whether these drinks can deliver what they advertise. If you haven't encountered these products, look for the Australian versions called "Koala Karma", "EverydaySunday", and "bChill". What they purport to do is slow you down and even help you sleep as they contain ingredients, such as valerian, lemon balm and chamomile which are said in traditional medicine to induce calm.
While the jury's out as to whether these herbal fizzy drinks work, it is true that we as a society tend to be over-stimulated and need to seek out ways of creating balance.
Overworking, overplaying, overeating and, drinking too much, at the same time as undersleeping and simply not stopping to rest contribute to deep fatigue, insomnia, and generally feeling out of kilter.
I had some recent experience of being overstimulated, leading to sleep difficulties; ironically it had to do with the fact that I have been living in relative rural quiet for the last four years. When I went to the city, I noticed the urban noise, traffic congestion and crush of crowds much more than before I used to, and, as a consequence, I couldn't sleep. I've learned the hard way that if I'm going to lead an out-of-town workshop, I need a day or so beforehand to get my feet on the ground. The night before I gave a keynote address at the Yoga Australia conference, I got less than 4 hours sleep because of high levels of excitement. Sadly, my tool box of yoga techniques failed me, and I had to dig deep to find reserves of energy to get me through.
Ageing seems to contribute to a greater sensitivity to one's environment and fluctuations in sleep patterns and energy. In our household of sixty and seventy year olds, I've observed that we will often take the opportunity for an afternoon nap, a yoga relaxation, several restorative poses, or a mindfulness meditation as a way of restoring balance. My housemate Heather has had some success with doing legs-up-the-wall in the midst of nighttime sleeplessness. And, Michael occasionally uses the Iyengar-style soft bandage wrap around his forehead and eyes while sitting for early morning yoga breathing (pranayama). He swears that this early morning sitting generates the energy he needs for the day regardless of being short on sleep.
If it's proving difficult on your body and mind to plough through the excesses  of this Christmas/New Year's period, here are of my favourite 'restorative poses' to get you through.
1. This pose is about as gentle as you can get as an upside-down position, but it is nevertheless effective. It will stretch the base of your spine, relax your abdominal organs and rest your legs. Hold for at least 5 minutes.

Gentle supported inversion

Gentle Supported Inversion


2. As a passive backbend, this pose can't be beat for opening up your thorax and a bringing a soft cascade of circulation to your throat. The stretch through the front of your body - lungs, heart, and abdominal/pelvic organs - creates space and a desire to just let go. Stay for 5 minutes or more.
Setubandha: a pose for letting go

Setubandha: A Pose for Letting Go


3. This forward stretch is the counterpose for the previous backbend. The support of the chair allows you to keep your chest open to the maximum while resting the weight of your head. If for some reason the cross-leg position is uncomfortable for you, keep your legs wide out in the splits. Put your awareness in the spinal column so it feels supple and elongated. Hold for 3 minutes and then cross your legs the other way and take another 3 minutes.
Cross-leg supported forward fold

Cross-leg Supported Forward Fold


4. Finally, spend 10 minutes or more in lying down breathing, just watching your breath or practice ujjayi pranayama. Notice the spine is supported with a long folded blanket and the back of the head and neck have a blanket support, too. The props keep the chest open and neck and head relaxed. Cover your eyes with an eye pillow or, as in the image below, a soft bandage or silk cloth. You might also want to listen to a yoga nidra or a mindfulness meditation recording, rather than watch your breath.
Lying down breathing

Lying down breathing

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Yoga Calm in the Midst of Holiday Hullabaloo

“Most people could do with more relaxation, not more stimulation,” naturopath Sandra Villella is quoted as saying in the weekend Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum.
In an article about the new ‘relaxation’ drinks, Villella was addressing the issue of whether these drinks can deliver what they advertise. If you haven’t encountered these products, look for the Australian versions called “Koala Karma”, “EverydaySunday”, and “bChill”. […]

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The Previous 4 Posts

Rough and tumble

Rough and Tumble

Our local beach at Manning Point is rough and tumble; the rips are rough and most days the tides will tumble you like a clothes dryers. That’s why it’s such a great place for rock collecting.

My very first visit there more than five years ago I was seduced by the variety of smooth stones and had to have them. […]

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The crack in everything

The Crack in Everything

One of Leonard Cohen’s most loved songs, “Anthem”, has the refrain:
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I’m of the opinion that the song’s sentiment is so popular because we humans would like not to have try to be so perfect. A good idea. It looks good on paper. Sounds good when sexy old Leonard sings it. […]

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How long…

…does it take to make a habit?
Thirty days? Thirty months? Thirty years?
I started yoga in 1971 with a ten-week course held at the YMCA. Over the ensuing years, I did classes with various teachers in a variety of places, but practising yoga for me was intermittent until I went to the Iyengar Institute in India in the mid-eighties.
There I let myself be inspired by the commitment of the senior teachers, and became more like a wheel rolling from my own centre. […]

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The Land of A Thousand Teachers

Day four of a northerly road trip with darling Daniel, of whom Libby says after meeting him for the first time, ” I thought he would be nice, but he’s really nice!”
Libby is one of Byron Bay’s older yoga teachers, in terms of age (same as me) and experience. Her ceevee includes acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, physiotherapy, and now work with sufferers of osteoporosis.
Daniel, Libby & I went out to dinner in Byron where one the waitrers at our restaurant was a yoga teacher. […]

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Eve grzybowski - 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.

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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.

Eve grzybowski - 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.

Eve grzybowski - 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.

Eve grzybowski - 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.

Eve grzybowski - 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.

Eve grzybowski - 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.

Eve grzybowski - 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.