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

Current Post

Osteoporosis: Is Yoga Helpful?

A woman in Downward Facing Dog Pose.

Oh no! Osteoporosis!

It's taken me more than a year to write about being diagnosed with osteoporosis. I don't know why it's taken so long. Perhaps there's a touch of denial? But the truth is, I have been on medication for it for the last six months.

In the past I've written several articles regarding my journey with osteoarthritis and my subsequent hip replacements. Besides these articles, I've written about the hysterectomy I underwent in 2006. Interestingly, these two topics have been among my most popular posts.

So, here's the deal, as President Biden says.... On Easter Sunday 2020, I was riding my bicycle over some slippery gravel, slid and fell on my wrist and arm. The next morning my hand and wrist was one and a half times bigger than when I went to bed. After many tests and images--one of them a bone density test--it was determined that I had 'only a very bad sprain'.

That was the positive side of my diagnosis. I was told that in six or eight weeks, I would be good as new, which turned out to be mostly true. However, the bone density test revealed that I had osteoporosis.

What is it?

Osteoporosis, as distinct from osteoarthritis, is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. They can become so porous that they are sometimes described as honey-combed.
Normally the body is constantly absorbing and replacing bone tissue, but with osteoporosis new bone creation doesn't keep up with old bone removal.
Risk factors that contribute to the condition are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, familial tendency, low vitamin D levels, inadequate intake of calcium, low body weight, physical inactivity and a history of falls.
The danger with osteoporosis is that many people have no symptoms until they have a bone fracture.
Treatment includes medication, a healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise to help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.
A calcium-rich diet is vital, plus a sensible amount of sunshine to get Vitamin D, as well as regular weight-bearing and movement exercise.
It's a good idea for women when they enter menopause to undergo a bone density test because their oestrogen levels are dropping. Oestrogen is the hormone that promotes osteoblasts, the cells that promote bone. When oestrogen is lacking, the osteoblasts can't produces bone. If you have the test, you will have a baseline to compare with any future losses of bone.

Is yoga helpful?

Yoga teacher, Maria Kirsten, has said in advising about how much exercise and weight-bearing is needed, 'do a little a lot'. Say, 20 minutes a day of yoga...doing strong standing poses to strengthen the legs and weight-bearing on hands, wrists and arms, if possible. Downward-facing dog pose as pictured in the image above is a winner. It can be done with hands on a chair if wrists are weak or even on forearms. Several repetitions rather than long holding, or done by moving with the breath from cat pose to dog pose.
There are so many ways that we can take the body through movement in yoga, which is so good for bones, especially if you add resistance. Working with resistance challenges you and can help maintain the bone you have and possibly even build it up.
Practicing yoga balancing poses will foster strength and, just as importantly, will foster confidence.  This will help reduce the danger of falling.
Osteoporosis can be helped by yoga, but as just one of many possible strings for the bow. Judicious use of weights, barre work, bush and beach walks, tennis, and gardening have become the mainstay of my bone health regime. While it wasn't easy to hear the diagnosis of a serious condition, it's been a tap on the shoulder for me. It's another one of those opportunities we seem to be afforded more and more as we age to recommit to as healthy a lifestyle as is possible.
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Osteoporosis: Is Yoga Helpful?

Osteoporosis, as distinct from osteoarthritis, is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. They can become so porous that they are sometimes described as honey-combed.

Normally the body constantly absorbs and replaces bone tissue, but with osteoporosis new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal.

Risk factors that contribute to the condition are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, familial tendency, low vitamin D levels, inadequate intake of calcium, low body weight, physical inactivity and a history of falls.

The danger with is that many people have no symptoms until they have a bone fracture.

read more

The Previous 4 Posts

Your Immune System: Take Very Good Care

Your Immune System: Take Very Good Care

Yoga Sequence for Boosting the Immune System
Yoga practitioners are human and subject to illness, despite following the most conscientious lifestyle. So when in recovery from any nasties, this practice based on one of B.K.S. Iyengar’s sequences is an invaluable practice. […]

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Self Yoga Retreat: My First Week

Self Yoga Retreat: My First Week

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.

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‘Teach Yourself Yoga’ is Back in Print!

‘Teach Yourself Yoga’ is Back in Print!

I feel quite affectionate about this book. I believe it does deliver on its promise of inspiring the reader to do yoga, to follow the simple programs and to reap the many benefits of this ancient discipline. It is written in an accessible, inclusive style to reach a wide audience of young and old, male and female and people from all walks of life.

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The Art of Ageing: Is There Really an Art to It?

The Art of Ageing: Is There Really an Art to It?

Recently I’ve been thinking about healthy ageing yet again because I’ve been included as a photographic subject in the NSW Government’s ‘Art of Ageing’ exhibition. It was launched at Parliament House in Sydney this week and will be featured prominently there for a month. Then, the exhibition will go on the road for two years, showing in 46 locations across the State.

The stated aim of the exhibition is to improve respect for and social inclusion of older people and to recognise older people’s contributions to their communities.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I put this Savasana on YouTube in 2012.
Since then it has been viewed (or listened to) over 365,000 times.

YouTube player