Yoga practices

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. […]

Tummy Rumbles…

…also called “gastric ructions”, caused by peristalsis, are the bane of some yoga relaxations.
There’s something diverting about getting to the quiet time at the end of a yoga class when the teacher has soothed and cajoled the group into a semi-somnolent state, when suddenly the low- pitched rumbling from some quarter starts up. […]

Tribes

This weekend I’ve enjoyed the privilege and delight of practicing yoga with friends and students.
Visitors from Sydney, Carol, Martin and Peter joined Mitchells Island local, Maggie, Daniel and me for a yoga session on Sat. morning. There’s such a lovely feeling of conviviality and camaraderie when kindred spirits practice yoga together. We form a temporary community, “fill our boots” (as Judy says), and then go our ways, happier for the experience.
I also like the experience of practicing alone. […]

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. […]

Please Explain

I heard someone say years ago (maybe it was in a personal development course) that people are meaning-creating machines. If I say something to you, you are going to want to make it mean something, perhaps more, or less, or even different than I meant. In any situation I’m in, I’ll assign it a meaning, give it a flavour, sum it up as enjoyable or tragic or irksome.
So, today my husband sent me a link to an article called, “The Least 5 Romantic Keys to a Happy Relationship.” This arrived in my email with no preamble. […]

The Watcher

The Watcher

I’m not a meditator, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit. Or, am I?
The ancient sage Patanjali – a pivotal proponent of the art of meditation – collected all sorts of wisdom of the times, compressed it into 196 pithy sayings, and gave them to us as a system of meditation.
I’ve read Patanjali’s Sutra from cover to cover, in the 7 or 8 books of interpretations I own. This is nothing against those many dedicated yogis who have learned Sanskrit to commit to memory and be able to chant all 196 Sutra. […]

Driving Lesson

Do you remember when you learned to drive? I can remember it just like yesterday because I was so worried about crashing. The driving inspector kept telling me to behave like I was “master of my ship”, even though I felt like a a navvy. At 16 yrs old I got my license and a week later crashed my mother’s car.
Today I had my first go at driving our ride-on mower. Daniel and Rick had made mowing look so simple. […]

From Sleep Deprived to Sweet Dreams

From Sleep Deprived to Sweet Dreams

I had the good fortune to meet a number of great yogis while teaching recently in Byron Bay, NSW. One of them, Jenny Beer, put me on to an “affirmation” she uses for nights when sleep is elusive or broken. I love the words and intent of this affirmation. It reminds me of some of the yoga teaching “mission statements”  that the trainees I instructed at Nature Care College in Sydney wrote to help steer them in their new careers. […]

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. […]

Clear Thinking

Clear Thinking

Yoga practitioners and teachers are not always known for questioning dogma and beliefs. For instance, as a new yogi, you might take in unreservedly all that your teacher says in class, even though it may be somewhat esoteric to you. A commonly repeated phrase is “do your poses with effortless effort”. […]

Yoga Works!

Yoga Works!

The bad news is my immune system is a little low at the moment and I’m slightly snivelling with nasal congestion. Dare I say “cold”? Nah. The symptoms I’m experiencing are so mild as to be impossible of invoking any sort of sympathy.
The good news is that this morning I did a sequence I use for fighting colds and my sinuses drained almost completely. I felt so much better afterwards. You might have collected it from 24/2/11, but it’s repeated here without the drawings:Colds SequenceUttanasana, 2 min. […]

"Excellence is not a skill: it is an attitude."*

"Excellence is not a skill: it is an attitude."*

This morning when I was doing backbends in my yoga practice, I was reminded of how important attitude is in doing yoga. Working the body too hard makes it feel brittle, especially on a cold winter’s morning. Being slack feels like not showing up for the event. I thought of a few attitudinal things that I could communicate when I taught my class this evening.
1. Yoga works to unite the body and the mind through involving the whole person: we are meant to focus our mind meditatively on each movement. […]

Sunday – A Rest Day

Sunday – A Rest Day

When I worked through the week in the city, I had the weekend for “home work”. You know what I mean – doing wash loads, gardening, grocery shopping, catching up on correspondence, cleaning. Maybe there was a little time left over for sparking friendships that may have needed rekindling, or being a culture vulture. […]

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. […]

Home

“Home is where the heart is” is not a very good adage. Does it mean that you can’t leave home and still feel heartful?
I do know that my heart feels fuller when I’m here in our own little 4 acres on Mitchells Island. So, I was ecstatic to get home last night. Not the least to see my sweetheart.
The weather is inclement and probably will be for most of the week – rainy, chilly – but I don’t care.
I did two loads of laundry and a batch of handwash this morning. Such bliss. […]

From Chilly, Cloudy Byron Bay

I came across this bit of writing in my email today and it struck a chord. We yogis try to be good, gooder, goodest through doing various practices, to varying degrees if success.
Natalia describes what happens:
” Often when we come off that mat, and head back into our daily lives, we miss the point. We do not fully realise that we have just spent the last hour and a half digging up our inner child and his/her hurts, or rekindling that old love affair, or revisiting that less-than-realised soul we called mum or dad. […]

The Older You Get…

…the less you know. I’m convinced of it. Ooops. Have I just said I know something?
I think two things happen as you mature and age: 1) you collect more conflicting information along the way, i.e., all those studies you read in the newspaper about the benefits/disadvantages of drinking coffee, alcohol, eating chocolate. One day, the suggestion is “go for it”, and the next it’s “stop”, “whoa”, “ya’ better watch out.”
No. […]

Gym or Hospital?

Gym or Hospital?

An inquiry from an old student got me thinking today about why people come along to do yoga. Or, I guess, even why people teach yoga.
Is it to get a workout and build stronger, more sinewy bodies? Or is it to fix up bodies broken by disease or injuries, and minds run over by stress?
It’s pertinent to hang out with the questions as I head off to teach in a yoga therapy course. Trainees will learn to take case histories, do client assessments, and design programs. […]

Now and Then

I was sad today to note the SMH obituary written  the passing of Bob Gould, a colourful Sydney figure variously described as: founder of the anti-Vietnam movement in Australia, Trotskyite, bibliophile, historian, union agitator, anti-censorship battler, bohemian, polemicist, Irish Catholic.
I only made the acquaintance of this big bear of a man as a frequenter of the ramshackle Third World Bookshop in Goulburn St., a place where you could find imports from the U.S., stuff that couldn’t be found anywhere else in Sydney.
His death got me thinking about two people in my life who have terminal illnesses, one who […]

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