Yoga practices

Yoga Practice Cycles

A yoga teacher trainee whom I was working with asked a smart question: What should I practice when?
If you do the same sequence of poses every single day, as in Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, it’s not a problem. However, what do you do if your practices are more flexible?
Well, it depends on quite a lot of factors – season, age, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause (male or female), time of day, day of the week, etc.
To help my trainee, I sat down and worked out the attached scheme. […]

Sheltered

When I woke up this morning completely blocked and breathing from my mouth, I thought of the only thing that would help – yoga practice.
So here I am in the Shed, writing to you, occasionally lifting my head to look out at the view – dewy, green grass with birds swooping in and out. Given this is Australia, the birds are not ordinary: king parrots, eastern rosellas, and kookaburras, for instance. (The magpies have been having sex this week, right before our eyes.)
I have faith that my practice will pull me together on all levels. […]

Crook

What a great word to umbrella over many minor-ish complaints. Crook conjures up bent over or not going ahead in a straight line or something that’s broken.
Oddly, my iPhone WordBook doesn’t feature the “sick” or “ill” definition of the word, commonly used in Australia. But neither does it include that wonderfully descriptive word “lurgi”, which one of my wordmonger friends says came into language via the Goons. Seems reasonable.
Anyway, I’m digressing, possibly because of my weakened condition, that is, being crook.
I started developing the dreaded lurgi on Saturday night when we were out on the town. […]

Not Sexy

Not Sexy

Being tired is definitely not sexy. It’s not even a good look.
It’s the pits waking up in the morning, feeling fatigued, and then fretting that this is the best you’re going to feel all day.
That was me at 6 am. Even viewing the dawn’s pink cotton candy clouds couldn’t help. […]

Friends

Friends

One of the benefits of doing yoga is that it opens the door to beautiful friendships, ones that can last for decades. It’s easy to find like-minded people in classes, retreats and workshops, and yoga becomes the matrix that reinforces relationships.
I received a phone call from an old friend last week- we’re talking more than 30 years – who asked if he could come for a visit and an overnight stay.
Trevor Tangye and I did yoga teacher training with Martyn Jackson in the late seventies and early eighties. […]

Vital Energy

Vital Energy

After the busiest day yesterday that I’ve experienced in a while: yoga practice (good girl), gardening, house cleaning, baked a cake, attended book club, and then a four drive to Sydney – today’s yoga class with John Norris was a dream.
Basically, we alternated doing pranayama with “flopasanas” over bolsters and blankets for chest opening over 1.5hours.
At the end of the session, I felt like a cool, clear, and calm pool of vital energy had collected around my heart.
I’ve been practicing pranayama in much smaller doses than what I did today, at the end of my asana practice […]

Nature Trip

Nature Trip

Today we were a sightseeing party of four, driving out to the very beautiful attraction ellenborough Falls, out past the hills villages of Bobin and Elands.
Never heard of those places? Neither had we till we became immigres to Mitchells Island. Which may be another area unfamiliar to you.
Located on the Bulga Plateau, about an hours drive north-west of Taree, Ellenborough Falls are a spectacular site. […]

Defining Moments (Take Two)

Defining Moments (Take Two)
We usually think of defining moments as peak experiences or monumental decisions that change our lives forever.
A less common but equally justifiable view is that we are defined by many tiny moments occurring over time. Like the way stalactites or stalagmites are formed – little droplets of water doing their thing over perhaps eons.
I think you know where I’m heading here. Ah, yes, the yoga mat, or, if you will, the meditation cushion. […]

Defining Moments

Defining Moments

I was enjoying listening to the Dixie Chicks this morning on my iPhone while working out with some free weights (yes, I do weights sometimes and yoga). If you haven’t heard of the Dixie Chicks, I’d be very surprised because, as of 2010, they were rated the top selling female group in the U.S.
They also had one heck of a defining moment in their music careers – one of those “S” bends that shows who you are and possibly spins you off in unforeseen directions.
In 2003, on the cusp of U.S. […]

Never Too Late

My sister who is older than I (I won’t say by how much although she looks younger than her years) suggested I follow up my “ageing” topic from yesterday.
I don’t know what to say exactly except something I’ve been noticing for a while. That is, many of my friends have parents who are going into nursing homes or progressive care facilities. They’ve reached an age where they can’t any longer live alone – either for physical reasons or mental decline.
My generation is most likely looking at our future. […]

Self-Healing – Colds

I did a fabulous yoga practice this morning. It’s one that I will present for Yoga Therapy Trainees in Byron Bay next week.
The sequence is a “download” from The Path to Holistic Health by BKS Iyengar and comprises poses for treating colds.
When I was still teaching in Sydney, I can’t tell you how often the teachers and I at Simply Yoga would do this sequence as a way of looking after ourselves. […]

Red Birds

Red Birds

The other day, writing on this blog, I was trying to explain a yoga concept called vinyamaya kosha – not entirely successfully done, judging by a couple of comments I received.
I always put the responsibility for communications which the readers finds are abstruse back on the communicator. […]

Creation

Creation

In this mini study of the Koshas, we’ve come to Jnanamayakosha, also known as Vinyamayakosha. The level of being that this “sheath” represents is sometimes called the wisdom or intuitive body – the level of intelligent thought and conceptualisation.
I have to admit I don’t fully understand all the terminology and perhaps that is because we have gone from looking at the physical level to more and more subtle ones.
So, I’ve intuited what I think this level is about. […]

The Mind

The Mind

Have you ever done a ten-day Vipassana course? I attended a couple of these meditation courses in the 80’s with some of my yoga friends. The courses are conducted completely in silence.
I didn’t think the sitting/walking meditation would be very challenging for me because, hey, I’m a yogi!
It’s true that I didn’t suffer as much as some people did from the hour-long sitting sessions. What I wasn’t expecting was that when the room was quiet and my body was motionless, my mind went into overdrive. […]

Home At Last

Home At Last

It’s time to get back to a yoga platform here, after my efforts to try and save local beaches the other day and yesterday’s bemoaning of the brazen marketing use of social media.
Let’s talk about Koshas, a word that resembles “kosher” but is as far from Jewish dietary restrictions as Grevilleas are from Geraniums.
Koshas, a Sanskrit word, are often defined as the layers or sheaths, of a person. Another way koshas are described is like a set of Russian dolls – five of them. […]

Out There

I was patting myself on the back – a good yoga exercise 😉 for having no trouble writing a post each day. Then, last night nothing came.
But I felt guilty. My blog guru says the way to keep my public profile is to post every day.
But what if my muse doesn’t speak to me?
Writing is a discipline like placing yourself on the yoga mat each day, but blog writing can also overlap with marketing. I don’t want to write just to keep my face in front of you. […]

Feeling the Cold

Seven degrees or so outside this morning as I made my way to the Yoga Shed. The kookaburras sitting in the old gum trees looked non-plussed. Even as the sun rose, it was weak as American coffee. Just what you’d expect for the shortest day of the year.
My body felt like I had ice for bones as I started creaking my way through a basic hamstring practice. Who thought up that great idea? The Shed floor, lino in parts and inexpensive carpet in others, is over concrete. […]

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