Wisdom

The Vulnerability Paradox

The Vulnerability Paradox

I’m currently in Byron Bay experiencing incredible music at the annual five day BluesFest Festival. I’ve invited my friend and fellow yogi, Michael Hollingworth, to write a guest post for today on a topic that’s at the heart of yoga for me. I’ll be back next week.
Eve
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For the first time ever, it occurs to me that Winston Churchill may not have been completely right when he urged “Never, never, never give in”, meaning presumably win at all costs. […]

Yoga Teachers as Healers

Yoga Teachers as Healers

Oh dear!
As I edited this post, what stood out in the first paragraphs were all the I’s I used to get my thoughts across. I just don’t know how to write without being personal! It’s a style for which I can forgive myself, and hopefully you will, too.
I don’t pretend to be enlightened in any shape or form. Being a yoga teacher doesn’t mean you are immune to any of the frailties and suffering of humankind. In fact, you might just end up like me being even more sensitive to them. […]

Saying Good-bye to My Monday Night Class

Saying Good-bye to My Monday Night Class

This week I dropped my Monday night class from my timetable of teaching at The Yoga Shed. I thought long and hard about stopping a class I’d been teaching for 4 years on Mitchells Island. I can scarcely believe that I’ve taught in a Monday night time slot going back to the mid-eighties.
I began teaching this class during a dark, cold winter when there was only one other regular student besides my loyal husband. […]

The Bliss of Hanging Out with the Goddesses

The Bliss of Hanging Out with the Goddesses

I’m a tribal person, an extrovert who likes being around people I like, many of whom are women.
For the last eight years, I’ve lived with my husband and two other couples in a co-housing situation. This means that I am blessed to have two other women at my fingertips, who offer female fun, understanding and life skills.
Over 34 years of directing yoga schools, teaching classes, and training teachers, women have formed the majority of my students. That’s yoga for you. I asked a male swami one time why he thought yoga attracted more women than men. […]

On (Self) Reflection

On (Self) Reflection

via Pinterest
If you’ve been patting yourself on the back because you are advancing so admirably in your personal development, it probably won’t be very long before you get tested. It may happen that you develop a disagreement with a friend, or, you feel hassled by your employer, or your kids throw a hissy fit. It’s often those people closest to you, and usually the ones you love the most, who will really get to you. […]

Loss

Loss

It’s been 4 years since I moved to the country from Sydney. One of the things I feared when I left the Big Smoke was that I would be forgotten by the many yoga students and teachers who were my family there for more than thirty years. I used to know everyone who was anyone in yoga. I couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone from my yoga community. I loved that.
I got to test my theory/paranoia when I was in Sydney for a brief time last week. […]

Do "Be Better Lists" Annoy You?

Do "Be Better Lists" Annoy You?

I really, really, really dislike the kinds of lists that tell us: 50 ways to be a better lover; 3 airtight arguments against eating meat; 5 most liberating yoga poses….
It’s too easy to write an article or post in this reductionist fashion, and maybe it contributes to black-or-white, right-or-wrong thinking. Such lists often represent just one person’s opinions anyway.
Nevertheless (you knew that was coming), I like the list below so much that I’ve decided to throw my prejudices to the wind. […]

Old is the New New

Old is the New New

I’m a competitive person. I don’t mean to be. I don’t really want to be. But despite having taught yoga for many years, there it is: I’m still competitive. 
A little of this personality quirk leaked out into the class the other day when I was demonstrating chaturanga dandasana – you know, the yoga push-up position – a pose that many people love to hate. I finished up by saying to the students, ‘if the oldest person in the room can do this, then you should at least be able to give it a try. […]

What If We All Pull Together?

What If We All Pull Together?

More than 25 years ago, I saw a movie that crystallised a deep longing I’d held perhaps all my life. You might remember the film – Witness? If you don’t remember the film, you might remember a relatively young Harrison Ford playing a cop who has to hide out in an Amish community. He’s deemed an outsider but the community takes him in anyway and protects him.
One particular scene did me in. The Harrison Ford character participates with the Amish people in a ‘barn raising’. […]

Meditation: An Inside Job

Meditation: An Inside Job

The small ruby everyone wants has fallen out on the road.
Some think it is east of us, others west of us.
Some say, among primitive earth rocks, others, in the deep waters.
Kabir’s instinct told him it was inside and what it was worth,
And he wrapped it up carefully in his heart cloth. – Kabir  The Kabir Book
This is a poem about what? About knowing what is important and taking good care of it. Keeping the focus on it. […]

You're Only as Good as Your Last Success

You're Only as Good as Your Last Success

You must know that expression. It has a few spins on it: you’re only as good as your last sale; you’re only as good as your last performance; you’re only as good as your last game….
I watch my stats on “Yoga Suits Her” carefully to measure how popular my posts are, that is, how many views I get on a post. My mood lifts when I see numbers in the hundreds. […]

Yoga: The Circle Game

Yoga: The Circle Game

 
via pinterest
After class today, a yoga student and I were discussing the different ways that yoga is currently presented. He’s experienced classes where the teaching came across as shallow… insubstantial. I think I understood what he meant, but it made me think about my own teaching approach.
So much of what yoga teachers present involves the doing of asanas. I’m one of those teachers. Ninety percent of what I ask the students to do involves physical exercise. […]

Take Your Own Sweet Time – Might as Well!

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check it’s watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. […]

If More is Better, When is Enough Enough?

If More is Better, When is Enough Enough?

Do you subscribe to the notion that more is better?
I didn’t think I did, but when I visited my new dentist yesterday, I found out I was over brushing my teeth. Eek! I was just trying to do a good job. I had some decay in one of the teeth in my jaw’s upper left quadrant, and I thought I should be getting in there to give it a good scrub. […]

To Do or To Be?

To Do or To Be?

indulgy.com via pinterest
Do you make to-do lists? If you do, one item currently near the top of your list might be getting your tax information together so you can lodge this year’s return.
That’s what’s going on in our household at the moment. It’s been a perfectly beautiful winter Sunday and instead of going out for a picnic or a bicycle ride in the country, two of the couples in our house are slaving away filing receipts and working in their computer financial programs.
Nobody here is thrilled about doing their taxes. […]

Mulling Over the Meandering Mind

Mulling Over the Meandering Mind

While meditating this morning, I started to mentally create a to-do list. You may have had a similar experience; in the absence of other stimulation your mind starts to fill up the void with the overflow of your too-busy life. These might take the shape of conversations you had with people which you didn’t finish satisfactorily. Or, tasks that you promised completion of and then didn’t deliver. […]

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