Yoga practices

Getting Familiar with Family

Getting Familiar with Family

The refinement of yoga practice isn’t necessarily the perfection of an advanced pose like Dwi Pada Viparita. For my money, mature yoga practice derives from the expression of yama and niyama – the “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots”..
Nowhere is the practice of concepts like “ahimsa” (non-violence) and “aparigraha” (generosity) more challenging than when we are relating to our families.
The original meaning of family goes back to servants/household/domestic. […]

Tucson Orthopedic Institute

Not a typical holiday destination, but I’m here doing my familial duty – accompanying my sister to her pre-op visit to the orthopedic surgeon.
I don’t mean to be voyeuristic; this is a scary and intensely emotive time for my sister.
But I’m a yoga therapist at heart, I guess. So, I’ve read the xrays with interest. A scoliatic spine unfortunately adds complications to a ruptured disc and disc degeneration. […]

Posture-ing

I am reminded of the importance of good posture everyday in so many ways.
Here in Tucson, Arizona, I’m visiting my older sister whose “bad back” has finally caught up with her. As a seventy-seven year old, and having exhausted many different therapies, she now is facing a lamenectomy and L2-5 spinal fusion, next week. […]

OM Sweet OM

OM Sweet OM

Oh, I know, the above title is so corny. Sorry. It’s just that I’m feeling anticipatory homesickness, if you can put those two things together. Today I leave beautiful Mitchells Island, northern hemisphere bound, and will be gone for about 4 and a half weeks. I’m looking forward to new experiences and seeing old friends and family in the U.S. and Canada. But, there is nothing like home, and I’m feeling wistful. Apart from the beauty of where I live – my home, yoga space and green vistas – there’s comfort, safety and the springboard into my vocation. […]

Yoga and ACoA

Yoga and ACoA

Yoga is a rich and powerful path that helps us create a path through life’s thickets. I swear by it.
Still, as I’ve said in other Yoga Suits Her posts, it’s not the end-all and be-all. I was reminded yesterday, while listening to a friend, of my own short and helpful period of contact with the meetings of “Adult Children of Alcoholics”, a spin-off from other Twelve Step Tradition groups.
My friend was talking about how she was encouraged through attending the ACoA meetings to find there are people out there who have had similar childhood experiences to hers. […]

Recovery Practice

Recovery Practice

Transparency is my aim. So I herewith admit to you that I was too tired to write a blog post yesterday. Sigh. Dog tired. Could it have been a reaction to having a week of guests staying at our country home? Including a 13 yr. old boy.
Don’t get me wrong. We were hosting seasoned travellers who never wear out their welcome by being inappropriate or un-housetrained. The whole family is delightful and fun. […]

Transitions

Transitions

I’m generally intrigued by the notion of transitions.
As I apply the word transition to yoga, I mean the part of a pose when one is going into or coming out of it. It can represent a sort of blind spot in one’s awareness, if the transition is not acknowledged.
Take a simple pose like Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). You can go into the pose from Tadasana, stepping out wide (or even, as sometimes taught, jumping out) deliberately and carefully. […]

Patanjali and Everyone Else

To me, the fun of yoga practice and teaching is to find associations between what we notice when we are on our mats or meditation cushions and what comes up in everyday life.
The sage Patanjali, in his pithy sutra sayings, is really talking about all of our lives, not just what occurs in the quiet of our yoga spaces.
So, for instance, when we read the sutra “yogah citta vritti nirodhah” – yoga is to quiet the fluctuations of the mind, we might think of how we fall short of a peaceful mind when dealing with teenage kids. […]

Newbies

I’ve been teaching in the Yoga Shed here on Mitchells Island now for a whole 15 months now. Most of the people attending my classes, apart from veterans Daniel, Heather, and the occasional drop-in from Sydney, are beginner-ish – whatever that means in terms of yoga practice, as in yoga there isn’t what you could call a really standarised curriculum.
The Yoga Shed students who are regular attendees are progressing nicely and demonstrating some understanding of various postures. […]

Rolling Out the Mat

Rolling Out the Mat

Writing a blog post and figuring out what the content is going to be on any given day is a lot like rolling out a yoga mat in the morning and reckoning what sort of practice to do.
When the writing is good and the yoga practice goes well, it’s because they’ve naturally come toward you instead of having to chase after them madly with a butterfly net. […]

Finishing School

Yoga isn’t everything. I don’t mean to be an iconoclast, but the truth is that Life is also a very good teacher, and there are many good teachers in the world who are not strictly speaking yogis. Think Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi or Mother Teresa.
I’m going to spend this weekend with two of my favourite teachers at a workshop called Love, Intimacy and Sexuality. […]

Holiday on the Horizon

Holiday on the Horizon

Soon, three weeks from today, I will be in the Sonoran desert. With the speed of air travel, and the fact we are traveling east, we will be landing in Tucson, Arizona, not very long after we leave Sydney.
How much am I looking forward to North American summer? A great deal. It’s been like pushing a big rock up a hill at times getting out into the unheated yoga shed in the early morning to do my practice. […]

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

Yoga teachers sometimes veer from the straight and narrow (if in fact they have been on it) and I admit to having missed a day of practice. This is especially sad as I have been on the road, between Sydney and Mitchells Island. I’ll pun and say that the road certainly takes its toll on one’s body.
On the other hand, by being stuck in the car for many kilometres, Daniel and I have been able to listen to a good deal of an audiobook called Life by Keith Richards. […]

The Body/Mind Manual

The Body/Mind Manual

I often think about how there are instruction manuals for the most mundane things, things that you can figure out just by common sense.
But the body, with its complex, interrelated systems comes with no manual at all. Medical doctors study for years to be able to understand, regulate, and heal bodies, but must admit to only a cursory comprehension of this miraculous machine. Anatomists may have in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of a human body and its physiology, but not necessarily understand their own body in any way experientially.
The practice of yoga is a way of coming to […]

The Gift of Presence

When asked what gift he wanted for his birthday, the yogi replied: “I wish no gifts, only presence.” ~Author Unknown
Okay, okay, it’s a corny pun, But the above quip might also be seen as rather clever because it sums up the very aim of yoga practice – the cultivation of presence.
Today I was talking to my friend, Jen on the phone. Like me, she’s a yoga teacher. I mentioned something to her which I’d forgotten I’d told her before. She remembered it in detail. […]

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