When Hard is Good: The Challenge of Yoga

When Hard is Good: The Challenge of Yoga

The Challenge of Tennis
Daniel and I played tennis the other day. So, what’s unusual deal about that?
I haven’t played tennis in maybe 15 years. It was too painful for me to play when I had hip arthritis, so I stopped. During the period that I was suffering, I stopped riding my bicycle, too. I didn’t do much bush walking. I let other people do the heavy lifting. You get the picture.
Little by little, the list of physical activities I could participate in dwindled until yoga became my last refuge. […]

The power of letting it all hang out….

The power of letting it all hang out….

The other night we were sitting around having a discussion about what it takes to be vulnerable. The guys had been at their men’s group meeting and vulnerability had been the theme of the night. We continued exploring the topic when they came home. I loved it. I felt close to these men who I know so well, as they explored the defences that keep them stitched up behind their public images.
In case you haven’t noticed, being honest and open, being intimate, being yourself, showing up warts and all, have become thrusts of the New Yoga. […]

How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here?

 
I had some time this morning – quite a lot of it, actually – to wander around Bondi Junction, my old stomping grounds. Here’s a photo of the entrance to the Australian School of Yoga on Oxford Street.
I was mentally winding back the clock  to 1979 when I had my first experience of Iyengar Yoga taught by this man:

 
It’s fair to say that Martyn Jackson, Iyengar Yoga and the time I spent at the Australian School of Yoga changed the course of my life. […]

A Sutra a Day: I-38 Work Your Dreams!

Source: Uploaded by user via Paola on Pinterest

 
The practice of yoga can become addictive for some people, especially those personalities who have that little bit of a tendency to get obsessive about things, like me.
When I discovered Iyengar yoga in 1979, sometimes I would do more than one class a day. I would definitely be at the studio every day (except Sunday), and I even did a yoga teacher training course only five months after my first class. The course went for six months. […]

Yoga by Accidental Candelight

Yoga by Accidental Candelight

I’ve been struggling today with getting things done on my computer. The problem is, to paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, I’m a girl of very little computer brain.
I couldn’t figure out why, suddenly, postage wasn’t getting charged in the YogaAnywhere on-line shop. I couldn’t get the high resolution photos I needed to email to a magazine editor to send. And, I don’t like to keep asking the Computer Guru who shares office space with me for help. […]

East Meets More East

East Meets More East

An amazing invitation came across my desk today enveloped in an email from the BKS Iyengar Association of Australia. A China-India Yoga Summit is being held in Guangzhou City June 16-19, 2011, which will feature “the greatest yoga master in the world”, Guruji himself.
Advertised as perhaps the last time that Mr. Iyengar, well into his nineties, will teach for the general public, the Master will be accompanied and assisted by a retinue of hand-picked teachers. […]

New York Stripes

New York Stripes

“New New, New York”, a woman standing next to me at the airport newsstand was humming. Not all cities get songs created for them – just the great ones.
I’ve been having a love affair with NYC this week. I admit it. I’ve been romanticizing the warts and celebrating the wonders of the city’s architecture, clothing boutiques, eateries and human verve.
It was a slight jolt this morning to traverse from the chic of East Village Manhattan to the mundanity of Queens for our ride to LaGuardia. […]

Singing Hymns…

A very dear and rather acerbic friend of mine described one of the early yoga classes that he attended as “singing hymns around the piano.”
He didn’t go back, and he eventually discovered and practised Iyengar yoga, which, by contrast, can be described as rigorous, meticulous and strict. […]

Routines Take 2

Happily, a few years ago on another trip to San Francisco, I discovered a yoga school, would you believe based Iyengar-style, nearby.
I can walk there from Cousin Merle’s on 8th Avenue, which I did this morning. Much better using the studio instead of the small floor space of our visitor’s accommodation.
I did a Level one (read “beginner-ish) class with a very good beginner-ish (read 1 year) teacher. […]

Beginnings

Beginnings

It was October 1979 mid-week, I don’t know what day. I walked into the yoga premises on the first floor of a rather run-down building on Spring Street Bondi Junction. Really I was walking into the rest of my life.
I’d heard about this mad Yorkshire man teaching something called Iyengar yoga, but I never got around to seeking out a class until a year after the recommendation.
There was no internet then so I couldn’t check on class availability so I just rocked up. […]