Nature

Good Grief

Good Grief

I was reminded  after class today of the importance of proper grieving by one of my yoga students. We were chatting about his dad’s immanent death and the bitter-sweet process that he and his whole family have been in of letting go.
Earlier this year, when Daniel went to his mother’s funeral in the U.S., I went through my own private grieving at home. Grief for my mother-in-law but also for losses within my own family.
Death unleashes the most powerful emotions, if we let it. […]

Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For

Like most people, we wanted real estate with a beautiful outlook. So, we had our home built on the top of a rise. We can see mountains to the west, wildlife in the forest, green pastures and distant water views.
What we also got as a result of being so elevated is full exposure to the blustery forty-five km/hr gusts of wind that have been drying out all of the flood plain (good), as well as the cute osteospermum we planted on Monday (bad).
I wouldn’t trade our bucolic outlook for the windless quiet of a sheltered dell. […]

I Heart Yoga Teaching

I Heart Yoga Teaching

I hold teaching to be a great pleasure and privilege. How I lucked into this profession has got to be by grace. I was a 35 year old, wondering what I would be when I grew up, and then I stumbled into a yoga teachers’ training.
Grace was there when I was able to apprentice with a very experienced teacher for several years. Afterwards, I flailed around for a while, attempting to find my own voice. […]

Tough Love

Tough Love

Tough love is an expression that goes back to the late 60’s, that was used for someone who would treat another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run.
My friend Peter who is visiting us on Mitchells Island at the moment has been using the phrase to describe a gardening technique that involves severe plant culling.
I’m not very good at getting rid of plants that seem to me to still have some life in them. […]

Everyday Miracles

Everyday Miracles

Mitchells Island, where I live, is tucked right into Nature’s lap. Because of the island being set down between the ocean, the Manning River and big old Scotts Creek, it’s both blessed and cursed. The floods two weeks ago wreaked havoc locally, not the least with the potholes left behind – big enough to drive your car into their jaws.
The lovely birds of our forests were enlivened and emboldened by sunny, warm days that followed the deluge, and on the hunt for food. […]

A Tidy Desk

I learned something a couple of years ago that I’ve applied pretty well since then: you will never finish everything you need to do.
I put this sort of learning in the category of Really Important Stuff We Should Have Learned in School. Like how to change the oil in your car (well maybe you did learn this but probably not at school). Or, how not to get in arguments with your significant other about differences in driving styles while confined to your car. […]

The Exciting Life of a Yoga Teacher on an Island

When we first bought our rural property, mid-north coast was in drought. Typically for Australia, that went on for a few years. Then, about the same time our builders broke ground for building our home, the drought broke too. How many “rain days” were there? Too many, but I still felt wistful enough about The Wet that I could still enjoy it.
La Nina settled in cozily for the long haul and at times she’s been a veritable pussy cat of a weather pattern. But not this week. […]

Big Wet

Big Wet

I’ve got to put my foot down with our choir director so we stop singing the “Rain Song”. It’s a great melody, and the lyrics are cleverly syncopated and percussive, like rain drops.
We’ve been singing the song weekly. Much more than rain drops have been drawn to our part of the world,  more of a deluge in the last while. […]

What does yoga have to do with digging a hole?

What does yoga have to do with digging a hole?

How hard can it be to dig a hole? Have you ever thought about where people would be without holes dug. Probably still living in caves.
It used to be you could just go ahead and wing it…digging your hole. Now you can do a Google Search and discover “How to Dig a Hole”. It takes 5 steps on wikiHow, as a matter of fact. The first important step is to locate your utility lines, and call your council if you don’t know where they are.*
Today I dug a hole in order to transplant a severely root-bound palm. […]

Stellar Summit

Stellar Summit

Today’s wake-up was at 5 am. Hey, we’re semi-retired, living in the country. Why would anyone wake up at that time if they didn’t have to? For an adventure, of course.
Way before sunrise, rugged up to the eyeballs, we headed out to the beach on Mitchells Island. Even as the car headed in that direction, we saw the objects of our expedition: the brilliant convergence of Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Mars in the northeastern sky.
You know how amazing Venus looks in the early morning. […]

Out of Your Head

Out of Your Head

One of the really good reasons to get out of your head and into your body is that is where all your senses are. There are so many things in the world to appreciate through sense of smell, taste, hearing, sight and touch if only we’re awake in our senses to enjoy them.
Today I went to the beach for a walk, even though there was a mean westerly wind blowing and the chill factor was high. […]

Yoga in Paradise

Yoga in Paradise

Yesterday I paid a visit to Falls Forest Retreat to check it out as a possible venue for holding a yoga retreat in the Spring.
We made a party of it and stayed overnight – Daniel, Rick, and Heather and I – in one of the six two-bedroom townhouses that serve as accommodation. […]

Home Again

Home Again

Don’t get me wrong. I loved being in Melbourne. The Conference was terrific. I especially enjoyed socialising with old and new friends before the Conference started. I even saw a new release art house movie, something that is impossible to do on Mitchells Island.
But I was homesick almost before I left Sydney. I found the pace of the cities took me away from a quiet, peaceful, internal space I’ve come to cultivate here in the country. […]

The Locals

The Locals

Roll Call of Mitchells Island Birdlife:
The kookas are the first order of the day and wake me way earlier than I want, especially when one lands on our deck, right outside my window.
Still early in the morning, as I do my practice in the Yoga Shed, I can hear one lone owl in the pine forest.

Then, while I’m up-side down in headstand, I can see out the sliding glass doors to where a couple of families of king parrots are hanging right-side up around the bird feeder.
The maggies are out and about most of the day […]

Shed in Name Only

Shed in Name Only

Ten months ago I took my maiden flight into teaching yoga in the Yoga Shed. My wings were somewhat under-used as a result of having had double hip replacement surgery in Feb. 2010, followed by three months’ rehabilitation.
I didn’t know what to expect as my Yoga Shed advertising was typically minimalist.  So I was chuffed when some students came along (and are still coming).
The old Shed needed some rehabilitating too, and today you can see the results in these photos – our own version of “Grand Designs”. […]

Not in My Backyard

Not in My Backyard

We’ve had a lively conversation around the dinner table tonight that was prompted by our viewing of a movie called “Gasland”. It’s a documentary that was made by American Josh Fox about the mining for natural gas occurring right across the U.S in recent years. It’s a little budget movie that’s made a big impact on environmentally-aware people and also the people who ended up with drilling going on in their backyards.
Some of these people are very unhappy about the results of drilling and gas production on their land. […]

Joy

Joy

I remember being surprised hearing from a friend who ran a bush regeneration business that we shouldn’t have to do big scale native planting to help bushland recover. We just needed to get rid of the nasties – opportunistic plants, trees, weeds. We had to get horses, sheep and cattle off the land to let it recover. The seeds and sprouts of beautiful natives that are being crowded out and trammelled simply need the right conditions to flourish again.
There’s a connection with yoga in the above view. […]

Songlines

Songlines

It’s a very beautiful thing to be present in yoga practice – to do our postures connecting the mind to each part of the physical body. It’s the most subtle kind of touching, the intelligence awakening internal and external anatomy.
Since it’s impossible to simultaneously quicken all of one’s body, the best that we can do is rouse the parts sequentially, a miniscule hammer vibrating piano strings.
I like the image of indigenous songlines, unseen paths that cross land or sky, like invisible Chinese meridians or the Indian nadis of our bodies. […]

Tendrils

Tendrils

It was so beautiful coming home to Mitchells Island after 5 days away because of:
• The Yoga Shed – I did Richard Miller’s “Meditative Heart of Yoga” practice and fell back into myself (Essential Self).
• Strawberry cuttings that neighbour Mandy had so generously left for me to plant in our garden.
• Fresh cucumbers delivered from Jacqui’s garden to our dinner table.
• A heavenly lavender sunset framed by a balmy, breezy atmosphere.
• My four beautiful yoga students who came for their lesson this evening, and left with love shining on their faces.
This is perhaps […]

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