The Yoga Life: A Good Time and Maybe a Long Time

The Yoga Life: A Good Time and Maybe a Long Time

Around our house we are septuagenarians and sexagenarians who love yoga and do it regularly. The five of us have also been doing yoga for a combined total of about 150 years. Because of our enthusiasm for the discipline of yoga, it doesn’t even feel like a sacrifice to get up in the morning to practice.
This week when we were all out in the Yoga Shed at 7 to 8:45 in the morning, practice was even more enjoyable. We were participating in a six-day ‘intensive’ and joined for it by nine other enthusiasts. […]

Creating a Happy Brand Spanking New Year

Creating a Happy Brand Spanking New Year

A very long time ago, 44 years to be exact, I started a personal yoga practice, and pretty much since then, I’ve kept it up.
I admit that my enthusiasm for doing regular practice has ebbed and flowed along the way. Hey, I’m only human. But I can say unequivocally that I’m grateful to have made yoga my life companion.
On this brand spanking new first day of 2014, I’m wondering if perhaps you may have resolved to do more yoga, maybe even regular practice?
You know that I’m going to recommend it. […]

This Week: Begin Your Home Yoga Practice

This Week: Begin Your Home Yoga Practice

 Hey it’s a brand new week. Maybe this is going to be the week when you are finally going to start doing home yoga practice. I know you’ve thought about it. All it’s going to take is getting yourself organised. Here’s a suggestion that’s worked for me and others. Spend a little time at the beginning of the week, say, Sunday evening or Monday morning, and think out what you want to do in your practice over the week. […]

The Power of Yoga Visualisation

The Power of Yoga Visualisation

via Pinterest 
When I was rather new to yoga, having just completed a 10 week YMCA beginners course, I moved to southern California. I was keen to find a yoga teacher and, in the seventies – way before Google searches – how to do that was to check out the local newspaper classified section.
I discovered Joan in a small ad that mentioned yoga, so I rang the phone number. Joan seemed friendly enough so I booked for a private session to see if I liked her in person. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Abdominals

Families of Yoga Poses: Abdominals

We’ve come to understand ‘core training’ from the worlds of the gym and Pilates. In the gym world, people have learned to practice ‘crunches’ and sit ups, the more the better, until six or even eight packs firmly form. Unfortunately there’s often collateral damage along the way, for instance, hip flexors wound tight as metal piano strings.
Pilates works better as it is a more subtle training that doesn’t just rely on toughening up one set of abdominals. […]

Guts

Guts

Am I a bad yoga teacher? Sometimes I think it’s just stupid to be teaching triangle pose to a student who has a physical complaint that’s causing them mental distress.
Sometimes I just want to say, Whoa, let’s just sit down for a minute and see what’s up. In this moment, what’s going on? Instead of glossing over what appears to be a strong feeling or a difficult attitude.
What’s the point of doing a lateral stretch when someone’s dog just died or they’re in pain in their body or they’ve been depressed for some time. […]

Yoga Standing Poses are Unbeatable

Yoga Standing Poses are Unbeatable

The asanas can be grouped into families: standing poses, seated poses, abdominals, forward & backward bends, inversions, restorative poses. And, finer tuning might include: lateral forward bends, standing forward bends, passive backbends, prepatory poses, and so on. It’s certainly handy to have a coat hanger to help organise the huge miscellany of yoga postures. The style of yoga called Iyengar, is often taught in a monthly schedule where week one emphases standing poses, week two, forward bends, week three backbends, week four inversions/pranayama/restorative. Standing poses are a stand-out group among the clans of asanas because of their all-round utility. […]

The Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand

The Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand

Salamba Sarvangasana takes tenacity
The translated meaning of Salamba Sarvangasana is “whole body pose”. It is often prefaced by Salamba, meaning supported. Your hands support your spine. Your upper arms and shoulders form the bedrock of the pose.
For many years I couldn’t grasp how to get my whole body involved in shoulderstand. The ideal shape of the pose appeared like a shimmering but distant mirage to me. I would struggle to get upright. The effort exhausted me. My kidneys would start to ache. […]

Inspired Teaching

Inspired Teaching

It’s a worthwhile exercise to stop and ponder what it is that makes a good teacher.
I often pose this question to myself as a teacher of yoga but it obviously is an important exercise for any teacher.
On this trip to the USA, I’ve stopped in to a few yoga classes in various cities so I’ve had the opportunity to “check out ” different schools and teachers. Here are a few observations:
Good teaching in yoga is founded on having a deep and practical grasp of the subject matter. […]