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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The beauty of doing balanced yoga practice
Recently, I've been thinking about my yoga teaching gig at Shambala Fields Lost Paradise. This music festival is held between December 28th and New Years in the beautiful Glenworth Valley north of Sydney.
It's such an audacious thing, teaching yoga to a crowd who I don't know at all. Especially since I'm so used to 'my' students. They are known to me, regular in attendance and attend local classes that are moderately sized. I'm imagining that the Shambala attendees will be mainly young and fit people. They may want a strong and physical yoga practice with no frills. I'll leave my usual props at home.
Dynamic yoga practice contributes greatly to health and vitality. But yogis need to include other practices to recharge their batteries and/or heal injuries or medical conditions. As we age, there needs to be a directional shift towards more reflective practices. Might as well adopt these practices early on. If you want to go the distance with yoga, build in meditation while you're still young.
Complaints from my cohorts
It's being said loudly and often by teachers of my generation that modern yoga has become too superficial. In an article in the American Yoga Journal, Ann Cushman makes the case for the importance of asana practice. But then, she then goes on to say that when students become more serious about practicing, they need to take on some of the other instruments in the yogic toolkit.
These practices, Cushman says, will bring us to the point of yoga practice:
...to come into direct, unflinching contact with our own unruly and ever-changing minds, our fragile and impermanent bodies.
So, I'm thinking a practice for Shambala that has what I consider to be the important yogic elements is the way to go. I'll do my best to include several levels: physical (balancing poses), philosophy (Patanjali's sutra), pratyahara (quieting senses) and pranayama (breath awareness).
Cultivating balance in asana practice
Here's a practice I like to teach. It's easy to reference Patanjali's first three sutras in this practice. A generous relaxation, followed by pranayama and sitting is greatly appreciated by students.
Try it and let me know what you think.
It’s being said loudly and often by teachers of my generation that modern yoga has become too superficial. In an article in the American Yoga Journal, Ann Cushman makes the case for the importance of asana practice. But then, she then goes on to say that when students become more serious about practicing, they need to take on some of the other instruments in the yogic toolkit.
The Previous 4 Posts
via PinterestWe underestimate the time needed to restI taught a Restorative Workshop yesterday in the Yoga Shed for 12 participants. The students came from all over, expecting me to deliver the goods. That is, everyone wanted to leave feeling renewed. I truly hope that people went away feeling peaceful and rested.This morning after my yoga practice and then cleaning the house, I felt satisfied that I’d done a good job of teaching the workshop. I also felt very tired. […]
It’s hard. It’s very hard. It’s just plain hard, and that’s all there is to it.
When you fall off the yoga practice wagon and try to clambour back on, it’s difficult to find the muscles you need.
I’m talking about those events that upset your disciplined routine: going on extended holidays, being laid low with an illness, moving house, or suffering a big emotional upset.
I have an expectation that because I said I’m going to get back into my practice as soon as I’m on home ground that I will. No so. […]
image via Pinterest
Yoga is elastic. It stretches to fit you now, and then, miraculously, it will give you a perfect fit in the future. All you have to do is jump on for the ride and stay on.
The best thing about yoga for me is the very way it is defined: union. And also that it so naturally cultivates community and connection.
Yesterday I had breakfast with three old students of mine. I don’t mean they are old. They are younger than I am. Actually, we’ve all grown older since we started on the yoga path. […]
In a world where yoga is practiced everywhere and at all times, global travelers who want to sample different schools and styles are fortunate to have countless classes at the tips of their fingers.
This last week I experienced an unimaginable contrast in the two yoga classes I attended, one in Boston, the other in New York City.
Jamaica Plain (Boston) is a lively neighborhood where ethnic assimilation is still going on. Eateries include African, Asian and European cuisines. […]
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.