Wisdom

Big Sky With Clouds: It's All Meditation

Big Sky With Clouds: It's All Meditation

I did a meditation this morning to the voice recording of Jon Kabat-Zin in which I was able to practice accepting my busy mind.
I know that meditation is supposed to be about stilling a chattering mind, but I think I’ve discovered a precondition to having a quiet mind, which is having a good look at what the mind is really up to.
In the case of moi, at the times when I’m sitting for meditation, my mind is most often planning, and especially busy creating new projects. […]

Making the Most of: Grist for the Mill

Making the Most of: Grist for the Mill

Do you like words? Do you find that when you read a phrase that’s well-written, you stop and savour it? Let it roll around in your mind the way you roll a fine chocolate around in your mouth until it melts.
Do you file away particular expressions that you love to be brought out and displayed the way you would proudly flash a boutinaire or a necklace? I meditate while being guided by the audio recordings of Jon Kabat-Zinn, and, man, does he have a way with words! […]

What Makes a Bad Day Bad?

What Makes a Bad Day Bad?

photo by leena holmstrom via pinterest
I’ve been having a bad day. ‘Bad’ is such a puny little word to have to act as a bog umbrella over so many kinds of things: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.
What do I mean by ‘bad’? Cold symptoms, a twinge of an old rotator cuff injury, feeling low in myself and out of relationship with my husband, and an extremely slow blog connection right at this moment. […]

Arguing with Your Yoga Poses

Arguing with Your Yoga Poses

 
yogashaktiravena.it via pinterest
When you do your yoga practice, either in class or at home, have you been paying attention to the ‘push-pull’ energy that certain poses have for you?
What I mean is that spontaneous feeling of contraction you experience mentally or physically when your teacher says that you are going to do chaturanga dandasana (the yogi’s push-up pose), for instance, or ardha chandrasana (half-moon pose, pictured above).
Sometimes the push feeling might register as strong aversion, like a tightening in your gut or a furrow between your brows.
On the other hand, at times, you […]

Yoga Practice: Being Durable and Vulnerable

Yoga Practice: Being Durable and Vulnerable

As a blogger ensconced in my little Mitchells Island retreat, I walk a thin line between being open and revealing in my writing but not so much that I come across as neurotic and narcissistic.
Really, I do rein myself in at times. Also, I don’t want you to lose confidence in me because I don’t show up as the epitome of a strong, well-balanced yoga teacher (which I’m not, certainly not at all times…ask my husband). […]

Context for Yoga Teaching

Context for Yoga Teaching

After I completed two long days of teaching yoga therapy in Byron Bay, I had pause to stop and reflect on my efforts.
The night before my 14-hour teaching day, I typically had sleep difficulties, culminating in just three hours of sleep. It’s not the first time this sort of pre-teaching insomnia has occurred. Part of it has to do with what a quiet lifestyle I ordinarily have in the country contrasted with suddenly meeting 13 new students in a new venue. But I also admit to being somewhat of a perfectionist, still, after all these years. […]

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. […]

Persistent, Pushy or Plucky?

Persistent, Pushy or Plucky?

Why do people try to keep it together? And, sometimes they have to work very hard at it, too.
I do it myself. I was reminiscing tonight about how I took up bicycle riding again eight months after I’d had hip replacement surgery. I hadn’t ridden a bike for 20 years. I was using the bike at the Burning Man Festival, covering miles of desert on and off over several days. […]

Practice is not about being perfect. It’s about being you.

Practice is not about being perfect. It’s about being you.

Kathy Cooper Yoga Mats via Pinterest
I’ve uncovered a new offence that I’m capable of. I’m calling it creation-envy. What occurs for me when I hear of a great idea or turn of phrase is that I find myself wishing I’d thought of it or said it first.
Occasionally, I’ll hear another yoga teacher say something in class that is so perfectly verbalised that I just have to ‘borrow’ it. […]

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

(via Pinterest) 
Having just completed teaching one workshop, I’m now mentally preparing for teaching in the Yoga Therapy Intensive in Byron Bay.
However, I’m following my own advice to the driven, stressed-out people who take up yoga to relax: chill a little. You may have had the experience of being so intensely productive that you use up all your reserves and end up flat on your back, unable to do anything.
So, for the time being I’m dawdling. […]

"Good at Any Age"

"Good at Any Age"

 

I hope you will allow me a little whinge. I’ve been keeping it to myself for a while but I think it’s about time now to vent a bit.
This is my complaint: I’m tired of the media image of yoga that shows youngish, pretty women (and sometimes attractive youthful men) doing advanced poses in designer clothing.
There. It’s out. […]

Mother's Day on Kangaroo Island

Mother's Day on Kangaroo Island

We’ve just celebrated Mother’s Day this last Sunday, and I believe it was for me one of the most satisfying I’ve experienced.
First of all, I was on Kangaroo Island, spending 4 days in the company of 6 other women who are known for their wisdom, spunkiness and joie de vie. Our ages range from 40’s to late 70’s, so there are grandmothers and grandmothers-to-be in the mix.
Secondly, we women like to set up meaningful rituals, and on this Mother’s Day occasion, sitting around after dinner, we each shared about our mothers. […]

'Nothing Like a Deadline'

'Nothing Like a Deadline'

I’ve been spending time with a friend who has a rare kind of cancer. Her doctor’s prognosis is that she has 12 months to live. With that prediction in mind, she has decided to forego the recommended protocol of chemotherapy and just live her life to the utmost.
How is it possible that people I know, those who are dear to me, and those who are younger than I, can die? It seems impossible. That is because death is usually kept at arm’s length. […]

Should We Be Left to Our Devices?

Should We Be Left to Our Devices?

How  much is life passing us by because of our love affair with screens and devices? Probably more than we want to know, and it’s a question that Google can’t actually answer.
The classic cartoon above, created by Micheal Leunig with great prescience, sums up the situation. And it was published even before iPads and such were a glimmer in Apple’s eye.
Here’s an interesting statistic from this week’s SMH Good Weekend Magazine: On average a US household includes five internet-connected devices (smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.). […]

W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking?

W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking?

Let’s talk about talking. You know the great Aussie expression, ‘he could talk under water’, or even better, ‘he could talk under wet cement.’
Loquacious individuals can be entertaining at times, but they can also be as exhausting as a spin class at the gym. […]

How Elders Thrive and Not Just Survive

How Elders Thrive and Not Just Survive

Ten years ago, almost to the date, we six seniors held a meeting with flip chart and textas with the intention of generating a vision of another way of doing retirement and old age. Let’s face it – prospects of living in retirement villages or moving to the country sans old friends are less than appealing.
So, today is a very auspicious anniversary because our dream has been realised.
Not that we are old yet. Oldish. […]

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