Yoga Sequences

How to Practice Yoga: Choosing Poses

How to Practice Yoga: Choosing Poses

Over the years, I’ve played with ways of creating practices. The ones I present here are cyclic, i.e., they are based on a week, a month, or the season of the year. They cover every possibility I could come up with. If you happen to think of others, I’d love to hear about them.
These cycles function well for teachers and students. As a teacher, you might use these as sort of ‘coat hangers’ to structure your group classes or one-to-one sessions.

Yoga First Aid for Tight Hamstrings

Yoga First Aid for Tight Hamstrings

Are Your Hamstrings Wound Tight as Piano Wires?Tight hamstrings are the downfall of many a student who might otherwise have enjoyed a glorious lifetime of yoga practice. It could be one reason that men and peak athletes drop out of yoga classes.Believe me, when we’re talking about ‘screaming hammies’, I understand. Jogging, tennis, and cycling are all activities that toughen up your hamstrings. […]

As the Seasons Change, Be Prepared

As the Seasons Change, Be Prepared

 Winter is Coming!
Down Under we’ve gone off daylight savings, and the weather has turned chilly. I’ve started to think of the ways I need to prepare for the coming winter. I’ll be putting away those short shorts and sarongs and bringing on the jumpers. But I’m not quite ready to order our winter’s supply of firewood.
Meanwhile, my doctor has reminded me that this season’s flu vaccine is going to be available soon.
At my age, I’m in one of the ‘at risk’ categories for flu. […]

Will Dancing Make You a Better Yogi?

Will Dancing Make You a Better Yogi?

 

I’m a yogini, without much expertise in dancing. Nevertheless, I love music and dancing. I identify with a colleague of mine who says the reason that he does yoga is so that he can be flexible and strong for dancing.
Yesterday I participated in a dance class, one of a series of six that are being held at the Mitchells Island Hall. I had a ball – pun totally intended. Our instructor told us he’d been dancing for 57 years. […]

A Yoga Intensive Country-Style

A Yoga Intensive Country-Style

What is a yoga intensive?
We teachers often call yoga courses which run over several days ‘intensives’, but what does that mean? Are they really intense? Is that a contradiction in terms?
Another word that’s used these days for this type of course is ‘immersion’. I think that’s a better expression. Intensive brings up the sense of extreme or severe effort. Immersion is more like plunging in and steeping yourself in the content.
We’ve just completed a week of early morning classes at the Yoga Shed for 15 students. […]

Meditation: All in good time

Meditation: All in good time

via pinterest – calmdownnow.com
There’s a reason meditation is recommended as a tool for training a busy mind to become quiet. Because, if you give meditation a go and stick with it, like yoga, it works.
I’ve had a patchy history of the sticking-with-it part of the equation, although I have tried doing meditation on and off over the years. […]

Self-Care: We Yoga Teachers Are the Worst

Self-Care: We Yoga Teachers Are the Worst

via PinterestWe underestimate the time needed to restI taught a Restorative Workshop yesterday in the Yoga Shed for 12 participants. The students came from all over, expecting me to deliver the goods. That is, everyone wanted to leave feeling renewed. I truly hope that people went away feeling peaceful and rested.This morning after my yoga practice and then cleaning the house, I felt satisfied that I’d done a good job of teaching the workshop. I also felt very tired. […]

Walking the World is Good Yoga Practice

Walking the World is Good Yoga Practice

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since being on an extended overseas holiday, I’ve been contradicting Emerson’s opinion of the civilized person. Rather, I’ve been experiencing what author and philosophy professor Frederic Gros calls ‘a life scrubbed bare’ and an affirmation of the simple life: walking.
Certain cities of the world are made for walking. I’ve just spent three days in one of them, Old Quebec. […]

Travels Without a Yoga Mat

Travels Without a Yoga Mat

I admire those disciplined yogis and yoginis who arise at 4 or 5 in the morning to do their practice – rain or shine, day in, day out, and year after year. I used to be more that way inclined myself. […]

Supported Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

Supported Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

 

Benefits:

Stretches your shoulders and improves the flexibility of your upper back.
Calms the brain and nervous system
Improves digestion ans massages and stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Flushes mucous from your lungs.
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.

Here’s a youtube video to help you find your way into the pose (easier than you think):
  […]

Do We Need Courage to Relax?

Do We Need Courage to Relax?

Long ago, American yoga teacher and writer, Judith Hanson Lasater*, carved out a niche in the world of teaching. She created workshops on the theme of ‘Restorative Yoga’ and her approach to relaxation and renewal has spread across the globe. I teach in this style and was honoured to lead a day long workshop for 20 students at YogaSphere.
This restorative style of practising yoga uses props to support the body in relaxing, so physically, emotionally and mentally the student can move to a state of balance. […]

Two Parts Bush Regeneration – One Part Yoga

Two Parts Bush Regeneration – One Part Yoga

We’re so happy here at our digs on Mitchells Island! (‘We’ is Michael, Judy, Daniel and me, while Heather and Rick are in Canada.)
Since last night, it’s been raining, a gentle but steady precipitation that’s washed away weeks of accumulated dust. Eight mm of rain collection measured in our gauge and a good slug for our tank. […]

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

Advanced Postures: What's the Big Deal?

I watched a video today featuring Richard Freeman talking about yoga while his students were doing Ashtanga Vinyasa – Mysore style – in the background. Some of the poses they were performing were ones I used to do. Others I’ve never been able to do, and, at this stage in my life, am unlikely to achieve.
(If you can’t see the video below, try refreshing your screen….)

Do I feel sad about not being able to do these sorts of advanced poses? Not at all. […]

Yoga For When You're Just Plumb Tuckered Out

Yoga For When You're Just Plumb Tuckered Out

I woke up this morning feeling weary. That’s a bad sign because it could have meant that’s as good as I was going to feel all day. I’ve said before in these posts that yoga teachers are not at all immune to exhaustion. So, my current condition has given me cause for reflection.
There are so many words for being bone-tired that you might wear yourself out just reading this partial list:

frazzled
pooped
bushed
sapped
drained
spent
prostrate
enervated

A phrase for extreme fatigue that seems to be popping up more and more is ‘adrenal exhaustion’. […]

Families of Yoga Poses: Seated Poses – Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Families of Yoga Poses: Seated Poses – Dandasana (Staff Pose)

It would be hard to imagine teaching a beginners yoga class without including the seated pose Dandasana. Why? Because it’s one of those poses that’s simple but still challenging. You start out relatively comfortably sitting on the floor, but then, you find there’s much to pay attention to: hamstrings, the curves of the back, your overall posture, for instance.
Think of Dandasana as being home base when you do a sequence of seated poses. You take a couple of minutes in Dandasana, being mindful of basic alignment points. […]

Gone Fishing….

Gone Fishing….

Gone fishing…. No, not really. Not quite.
I’m heading north for a couple of days of teaching, and then a week of driving around in Queensland with Daniel. It’s his 65th birthday on Saturday and he deserves to be celebrated — perhaps by finding some undiscovered bit of paradise.
What’s different about this holiday is that we have not made a single booking or any real plans. […]

Eve’s Legs-Up-the-Wall Video

Eve’s Legs-Up-the-Wall Video

With some encouragement, I’ve dipped my toe in the water of yoga video production. Here’s the first of what will be a series of how-to-use-props for yoga poses, especially for a restorative effect.
Here at the Yoga Shed, I have the reputation for being the Prop Queen. I’ve introduced many of the locals to the wonders of being propped up in poses as diverse as shoulder stand (sarvangasana) and bridge pose (setu bandhasana).

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