Pleasure

Today (a pause from Patanjali)

Today (a pause from Patanjali)

  I just have to tell you about what’s going on around our pretty little rural acreage. The place is jumping! It’s spring for real. There are races going on for best soil real estate as weeds and immature vegetables vie for space. Trees we planted last autumn are raising their small arms and flexing tiny leaves as sap is rising. I’m sure if I listen very carefully, I can hear growth spurts. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-11 – Retreating to Go Forward

A Sutra a Day: II-11 – Retreating to Go Forward

 

I wonder at what point in history the word ‘retreat’ started to be associated with yoga holidays?
My little computer dictionary widget thing-o says that a retreat is a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax; or, a period of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation.
Maybe the kind of retreats that have us basking in warm climes, availing ourselves of spa treatments, and shopping for exotic items at half-price should simply be called pleasurable yoga vacations.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m definitely not a wowser. […]

Essential Shopping

Essential Shopping

I’ve never complained about it. Maybe it’s even a sort of restraint. But here is the thing: it’s no good trying to do retail therapy in Taree. 
Maybe I’m just a snob, but what’s on offer in our small burg is déclassé, outmoded, and el cheapo.
So, when I go to the big city, some craving emerges from deep down in me that I guess is related to being a shopaholic.
It starts out as simple window shopping but inevitably something catches my eye – a pretty lure seducing the trout to bite. […]

Everyone's Gift

Everyone's Gift

Here we are in Hobart in the cold, humid, grey of autumn mainly to see the extraordinary gift of a gallery that David Walsh has made to the Australian people, that is, MONA.
The Museum of Old and New Art is the largest privately funded museum in this country and displays antiquities, modern and contemporary art. […]

Tasmania on the way to Yoga Australia Conference

All right, it’s not on the way to Sydney…. It’s a lot further. Our little Aussie island state is on the way to Antarctica. I just had to have a holiday. I’m not a native born citizen, but I’m a naturalised citizen, and I’ve embraced many of the local customs. Especially the way Australians cherish weekends and holidays. This month, while kids and parents were enjoying school holidays, I worked away at my several projects: writing, YogaAnywhere cards, landscaping, and teaching. Now it’s our turn. […]

Books Can Turn You Upside Down

Books Can Turn You Upside Down

My friend Rick is reading Martin Seligman’s Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, and he was telling us about it at the dinner table tonight. It sounds like a good read and possibly aligned with the aim of yoga – ” to raise the bar for the human condition.” Hearing about this book, prompted me to ask whether anyone had read a book that was life-changing. Rick said the works of author Ayn Rand had turned his life upside down and inside out, but in a totally beneficial way. […]

Yoga-Free Day

Yoga-Free Day

I recommend a day of the week that is yoga-free. It helps one’s mental flexibility and makes you look forward to picking up your mat again later. For the last month, I’ve been working hard on promoting  YogaAnywhere practice cards as Mother’s Day gifts. Then today, with the brunt of the toil behind me, Daniel and I headed off for a coastal drive. I felt totally like I’d been let out of school. Away from my computer and with no time constraints, we just drove south. […]

This Moment

This Moment

My housemates have gone off to our community choir practice. I opted to stay home. I’m tired and didn’t think I could generate upbeat energy this evening, despite the general cheeriness of the group.
I thought I’d listen to a new download of an MSIA meditation practice and that might help me rebound. Instead I was seduced by the sunset occurring as I write, so I’m sitting on our deck with my iPad and a drink. I’m telling myself this is just a different sort of spiritual activity. […]

A Blessed Marriage

A Blessed Marriage

I feel hugely fortunate to have had nearly 20 years of partnership from my husband Daniel in my journey along the yoga path. Perhaps some of the yogis out there have that sort of sentiment regarding their spouses.
Daniel doesn’t in any shape or form consider himself a yogi, although he has been practising the discipline with me for these last two decades. […]

Upside-Down Bow – Arcing the Spine in Urdhva Dhanurasana

Upside-Down Bow – Arcing the Spine in Urdhva Dhanurasana

Symmetry in action, Urdhva Dhanurasana is a challenging pose for most yogis. If we could only get the backbend arc to be even from the top of the spine to the tip, then the experience would be pleasurable and gratifying. Anything less, we feel heavy, pinched and sometimes defeated. Like many adults, by the time I came to do yoga, it had been many years since I’d done backbends. The first ones I attempted in a yoga class made me feel exhilarated. My teacher was a hard task master. We students did 25 Urdhva Dhanurasanas, followed by 10 “easies”. […]

Ardha Chandrasana

Ardha Chandrasana

A friend and colleague of mine said that the standing pose Ardha Chandrasana went from being a nasty pose to a nice pose for him when he finally mastered it. As postures go, it will test your balance and equanimity to the hilt. However, once you meet the challenge, it’s going to be a lifelong friend.
When I was struggling with hip arthritis, Ardha Chandrasana was the pose that could realign my femur in its socket when it went out of position. […]

Rotating, Revolving and Reclining – All in One Pose

Rotating, Revolving and Reclining – All in One Pose

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana is balletically beautiful, in my view. I love the way movement into the pose takes me into unfamiliar territory. Think about it. How often in the course of a day or even a week would you rotate your spine, and after having done that, then revolve around that axis and bend laterally. The complexity of the pose means it can’t be done perfunctorily. Its path is always going to be uncharted.
The drawing above shows an advanced version. […]

The Meaning of Trikonasana

The Meaning of Trikonasana

An avid reader of Yoga Suits Her posts has made this request:
I’d be interested in a series about the poses, particularly the better known ones.  Not about how to do them and not about how to do them better or any details, but what they mean to you, what they seem to represent and how they relate to your life.
So, in the 12 days leading up to 2012, I’m going to look at the meaning, intention and implications of some poses we all do regularly and give them their due.

Trikonasana jumps out at me. […]

Thank Goodness It's Sunday

Thank Goodness It's Sunday

Here’s a reprise of a popular restorative yoga practice. Have you had a hard week and need to recharge your batteries? Or, are you perhaps recovering from poor health? Or, just feeling weekend lazy? This is a simple sequence for when you’re feeling enervated.
Supta Badda Konasana Bound-angle pose  Equipment: blanket and a bolster.
Supta Baddha Konasana
Lie back on a bolster or several blankets folded lengthwise to support your back and head. Bend your knees out sideways and bring the soles of your feet together, with your heels as close to the pelvis as possible. […]

Today

Today

Sometimes Nature is right in your face.
This morning at seven o’clock, the forest, meadows and garden were all saturated wet earth.
Visually lush green growing before your very eyes. Viscerally the atmosphere heavy, thickened , where you can only breath in so much richness before getting overwhelmed. […]

An Anniversary of a Vision Fulfilled

An Anniversary of a Vision Fulfilled

It’s been two years this week since we moved to Mitchell’s Island from Sydney.
More than the typical sea/tree change, we three couples were realised a six-year plan of buying a property, building a house on it and living together.
It’s worked better than I could have ever imagined:
*We’ve been accepted into the local community.
*Living in Nature is all it’s cracked to be.
*We’re growing our own vegetables!
*I teach in the Yoga Shed on our property, and I just roll out bed in the morning to do my yoga practice there.
*My housemates are a delight to […]

One of Those Best Kept Secrets

One of Those Best Kept Secrets

Do you have a favourite beach? Enjoying the seaside assumes the proportions of a fanatical religion in Australia. We cling to the coast, human barnacles as we are, even when we know we’re going to get washed over by storm surges and buffeted by cyclones.
I discovered Saltwater Beach nestled in the National Park of the same name when we moved to the mid-north coast two years ago. […]

In the Moment – The Art of Yoga

In the Moment – The Art of Yoga

Are you a long-time yoga practitioner? You probably know then that much of yoga is awareness training – practising to be in the here and now. When we’re doing asanas, we’re working with the vehicle of the body, but harnessing the mind at the same time. One of the indirect benefits of this sort of discipline is reducing tension, simply by noticing it.
Here’s some of my favourite tips for keeping myself in the moment:
• Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is much over-rated. […]

Healthy Hugs

Healthy Hugs

I’ve been doing some research for the workshop I’m leading on the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks entitled “Pelvic Freedom: Yoga Poses and Practices for Women’s Well-Being”. The day-long program is pretty rich, I think, and encompasses information on anatomy, pelvic problems, and asanas and practices for various stages of a woman’s life. I thought I’d pass on something I read today (isn’t Google wonderful?) about the importance of keeping the pelvic floor muscles healthy – something we all know we should be doing, but perhaps need to be reminded of occasionally. […]

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