When I woke up on Wednesday morning this week with an extremely sore shoulder, I was annoyed. I knew I should put the brakes on.
Did I want to and did I? Of course not! First I tried to figure out what I might have done to create such a painful shoulder. I went over the previous day’s activities and the day before, too. It was very mysterious, as I couldn’t think of anything I’d done out of the ordinary.
Consistency is the key to successful home yoga practice. It builds a habit, a neuronal pathway or a psychological groove. This momentum will carry you along even when your mind or life tries to pull you in other directions.
I know from experience that there are times when I’m tempted to break my routine. I’m human. But I’m always glad after the fact that I did my practice, not the least because I kept my commitment.
There’s an element of faith in the beginning. You’re hoping that you’ll feel as good at the end of your practice as you do at the end of your class sessions. But your faith in yoga practice will be validated. The more practice you do, the more effective your sessions become.
Patanjali as source
I wonder how many yoga teachers talk about the meaning of yoga in their classes. It’s taken me a long time to acknowledge the importance of doing this, and, to do it.
My reason for not communicating on this topic? Remarkably, I thought it wasn’t what people came for. They came for a workout, for relaxation, for community, but not for talking philosophy.
There’s another reason I’ve avoided talking about the meaning of yoga. I haven’t always understood it. It’s been a slippery edge for me. […]
Breathing is one of those things that is just there. Or, is it? Do you always remember to breathe when you’re practising yoga?
It seems to amuse my yoga students when I ask them to breathe – not because I’m trying to be funny but because they recognise it’s so easy to suppress breathing ‘when push comes to shove’. In the effort of attaining a challenging pose, relaxed breathing gets jettisoned.
There are many theories of how to breathe for best results when doing asanas or pranayama. […]
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The ancient sage Patanjali comments on the topic of sexual energy in Sutra II:38, and his writing has been variously interpreted to recommend abstinence (Brahmacharya) – but also, moderation or continence.
I think it’s hardly imaginable that modern day humans could be expected to, or want to, practice complete abstinence from sexual activity.
My experience of sexual energy is that it is just another kind of energy. It’s possible to get carried away with it or be aware of and contain it. […]
I’ve been a member of a book club for a couple of years now. It’s the first one I’ve ever been a part of. I had high hopes. At our first meeting, we went around the table and everyone had a chance to say what they wanted to get out of belonging to the club. Over time, I’ve noticed that I haven’t gotten what I wanted – that is, more enjoyment of reading because of the synergy and stimulation of the group. […]
Sometimes I feel like a bit of a freak in the yoga world and maybe in the world generally. Here are a few reasons why I might be classified as eccentric:I’m not a vegetarian. I love continental cakes. A glass of really good red wine is a special weekend treat. And, I drink 2 cups of coffee a day.I’m on the high side of my sixties and I’ve chosen to live like an ageing hippie with two other couples of my vintage.I love watching great television with brilliant writing. […]
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I had an opportunity to teach a group of boys a number of years ago who attended Sydney Grammar School. The boys’ music department teacher was a student of mine, and he felt that these boys who were music students would benefit from some sessions.
I prepared my lessons for a group of 14 boys, but only 11 of them came along for yoga. […]
I’m not sure I believe in affirmations. In fact, I think I read a study somewhere that said affirmations can work against you.
Say you pick a slogan such as, “I am happy and free”, and you write up some post-it-note messages to be placed strategically around your home. Everywhere you turn, there’s a reminder of the state of being that you aspire to as though it already exists.
But, here’s the thing that can trip you up: you don’t feel happy and free. […]
Do you have a favourite quote? I was asked to fill one in on a directory profile today. I find my memory is sort of leaky and I can’t remember many adages or aphorisms. However, this one from the Ramayana has always stuck with me as a something to aim for :
When I don’t know who I am I serve you. […]
Sometimes I feel left behind. Someone will ask me if I know so-and-so yoga teacher and more often than not these days I have to say ‘no’. It doesn’t help if I say, ‘Well, I know the old yoga teachers.”
Some of the newer kids on the block are actually quite famous and I should know their names. […]
Am also encouraged by recent findings that the body may cease aging when one is past 91. The study (reported in a 2016 New Scientist) by Michael Rose (a professor of evolutionary biology), says that if you are lucky enough to live that long, you stop ageing. He notes that one’s health may not improve but it certainly does not get any worse. Whilst that advice is far not mainstream, population statistics do show that ageing seems to stop at 93 – and does not speed up again until we get a telegram from Queen Elizabeth (the Last) at 100.
Thus, if one makes it to 99, you are no more likely to die at any given point than someone of 93. (From 110 plus may be a different matter but I’ll let you know). …
In the absence of internet information, I decided to create my own holistic way of dealing with my upcoming surgery.
I started talking with my friends to share my journey. The simple fact that I was willing to be open and vulnerable helped eliminate any residual shame.
I started keeping a journal in which I could collect information on hysterectomies, and more importantly, write down questions and feelings as they arose. …