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
Why was Eve doing those poses?
This is a very good question. One we should be considering each time we come to our yoga mats.
I get asked occasionally whether the way I used to practise yoga might have led to my hip osteoarthritis.
I was diagnosed with this condition when I was 47 years old. It’s unusual for a person of that age to have developed such a serious condition.
Who knows why I did? You can tell your stories many different ways. I usually say it’s entirely possible that I simply pushed too hard in yoga. Or maybe that the way I was practising poses wasn’t ‘correct’. But then, to be honest, in those days I was doing mini triathlon training, playing tennis, cycling and pursuing a busy lifestyle, too.
Maybe genetics contributed to the erosion of my hip cartilage. Hard to say, as both my parents died early.
I do wonder, looking back, why I did push myself in all these activities. Why did I do poses like Ekapada Raja Kapotasana (pigeon pose) or Astavakrasana (8 angle pose) or Ekapada Sirsasana (leg behind the head pose)?
Was I testing myself! Showing off? Competing with other yoga teachers? Probably a mix of all three.
Older, wiser, and the owner of a relatively new set of hips (prostheses), I'm scratching my head over why I did yoga that way.
I told myself it was fun. But really, I was avoiding being in touch with myself, with what my body and soul really needed. That is, not to be flogged, pushed or even cajoled into ‘advanced’ poses. Poses that Peter Blackaby, author of Intelligent Yoga, calls 'yoga exotica'.
I needed a more considered approach, one in which I was listening to my body. Doing as my friend, Donna Cavanough says, ‘starting slowly, then easing up.’
Good thing is, it’s never too late.
I do wonder, looking back, why I did push myself in all these activities. Why did I do poses like Ekapada Raja Kapotasana (pigeon pose) or Astavakrasana (8 angle pose) or Ekapada Sirsasana (leg behind the head pose)?Was I testing myself! Showing off? Competing with other yoga teachers? Probably a mix of all three.Another way
The Previous 4 Posts
The Joy There are lots of ways that people express courage. […]
Awareness and AhimsaOne of my first teachers wanted his yoga school to be called ‘Awareness Yoga’. His idea of yoga was all about training people to observe what they are up to on the mat. His style of teaching, like his teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar, conveyed minutiae of information regarding postures. The point was to get students to pay acute attention to physical alignment and to foster a rigorous approach to their practice. He was a good teacher, but had periods of moodiness. Oftentimes his teaching was delivered with an undertone of frustration with his students. […]
An unexpected benefit that I’ve derived personally from using props is humility. They are truly supportive and remind me that I don’t have to it all myself. I can yield to a ‘helper’, and in this sort of surrender I’ve learned to let go physically. That has a knock-on effect for letting go emotionally and mentally, and releasing the tight grip of ego.
A bright ideaOne thing I thought of earlier this year was getting local yoga teachers together for a once-a-month practice. The idea I had was that we teachers would come together with one individual leading a yoga practice, and that that person would nominate the venue. Well, it’s happened. So far, we’ve met three times with an average of six of us at each practice. It’s been a great success, not the least seeing each others’ yoga studios. We meet early…7:30 am for an hour and a half practice and afterwards go out for breakfast. […]
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.
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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.