Yoga teaching 

Sight Reading 101

Sight Reading 101

I’ve just completed a two and a half day workshop in northern New South Wales. For a change, the workshop wasn’t about yoga or relationships; it was entitled ‘ Reading Music For Singers’.
I’m proud of myself that I enrolled for and participated in a seminar for which I had virtually no background knowledge. Granted I sing once a week in a community choir and have done so for three years. But what I was learning this weekend was music theory, a field in which I’m a raw beginner. […]

Permission to Rest

Permission to Rest

Generally speaking, I think people (including myself) don’t know how to be tired.
Think about it. Do you recognise when you are weary and stop and rest?
First of all, you have to be in touch with your body and mind to notice when fatigue symptoms are arising. But often, we are out of our bodies when we are driving ourselves to get a job done. […]

This Week: Begin Your Home Yoga Practice

This Week: Begin Your Home Yoga Practice

 Hey it’s a brand new week. Maybe this is going to be the week when you are finally going to start doing home yoga practice. I know you’ve thought about it. All it’s going to take is getting yourself organised. Here’s a suggestion that’s worked for me and others. Spend a little time at the beginning of the week, say, Sunday evening or Monday morning, and think out what you want to do in your practice over the week. […]

The Power of Yoga Visualisation

The Power of Yoga Visualisation

via Pinterest 
When I was rather new to yoga, having just completed a 10 week YMCA beginners course, I moved to southern California. I was keen to find a yoga teacher and, in the seventies – way before Google searches – how to do that was to check out the local newspaper classified section.
I discovered Joan in a small ad that mentioned yoga, so I rang the phone number. Joan seemed friendly enough so I booked for a private session to see if I liked her in person. […]

Yoga: The Circle Game

Yoga: The Circle Game

 
via pinterest
After class today, a yoga student and I were discussing the different ways that yoga is currently presented. He’s experienced classes where the teaching came across as shallow… insubstantial. I think I understood what he meant, but it made me think about my own teaching approach.
So much of what yoga teachers present involves the doing of asanas. I’m one of those teachers. Ninety percent of what I ask the students to do involves physical exercise. […]

Yoga: Head to Toes Embodiment

Yoga: Head to Toes Embodiment

The miracle that our human body is goes unnoticed most of the time. A yoga teacher has the privilege of bringing people home to their bodies in the way she conducts classes – and hopefully to a sense of wonder and appreciation about our embodiment. Over the years I’ve done several studied of anatomy and physiology. One of the reasons I love those sciences is that they present a map for one way of understanding our bodies. […]

Take Your Own Sweet Time – Might as Well!

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check it’s watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. […]

If More is Better, When is Enough Enough?

If More is Better, When is Enough Enough?

Do you subscribe to the notion that more is better?
I didn’t think I did, but when I visited my new dentist yesterday, I found out I was over brushing my teeth. Eek! I was just trying to do a good job. I had some decay in one of the teeth in my jaw’s upper left quadrant, and I thought I should be getting in there to give it a good scrub. […]

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. […]

The Self-Declared Yoga Prop Queen

The Self-Declared Yoga Prop Queen

If you know me as a teacher, you probably also know that I am the Prop Queen. It would be a rare class where I taught without the students using props. I find they are beneficial for beginners to advanced students for a variety of reasons, and they work great for me in my personal practice.
I wasn’t always like this. I learned hatha yoga originally like a lot of people do in a community hall with a hard wooden floor, well before the advent of non-skid mats. […]

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! […]

Yoga in A Good 'Ole Aussie Shed

Yoga in A Good 'Ole Aussie Shed

For any of you non-native Australian people out there, a Shed (with a capital “S”) is an Aussie institution. In the country, Sheds act as primary residences for people until they can afford the time, energy and money to build a house. If all of those things don’t fall in place, living in a shed might be a long-term proposition.
More often than not, the Shed is the place that a bloke can get away from his missus and the kids for a bit of peace and mind. […]

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). […]

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. […]

Do You Suffer from Yoga Teacher Burn-out?

Do You Suffer from Yoga Teacher Burn-out?

I led a workshop a while back for the Yoga Australia Association to address the issue of ‘yoga teacher burn-out’. It was an experiential session. We had an energetic discussion about how stressed teachers get in their lives and we tried to get to the bottom of why we behave in such a driven way at times.
While we didn’t get to any handy solutions, it made a difference to hear individuals talk about burn-out. […]

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