Yoga teaching 

Do Muscles Have Memories?

Do Muscles Have Memories?

I’ve been using the expression ‘muscle memory’ in my yoga classes to explain how students remember to do certain movements. People learn to embody certain movements over time. ‘Neuronal pathways’ is another term for what links the brain to the body’s ability to do activities.
I decided to check out my word use with Dr. Google. […]

Practice is not about being perfect. It’s about being you.

Practice is not about being perfect. It’s about being you.

Kathy Cooper Yoga Mats via Pinterest
I’ve uncovered a new offence that I’m capable of. I’m calling it creation-envy. What occurs for me when I hear of a great idea or turn of phrase is that I find myself wishing I’d thought of it or said it first.
Occasionally, I’ll hear another yoga teacher say something in class that is so perfectly verbalised that I just have to ‘borrow’ it. […]

"Good at Any Age"

"Good at Any Age"

 

I hope you will allow me a little whinge. I’ve been keeping it to myself for a while but I think it’s about time now to vent a bit.
This is my complaint: I’m tired of the media image of yoga that shows youngish, pretty women (and sometimes attractive youthful men) doing advanced poses in designer clothing.
There. It’s out. […]

Yogis 'Commun-ifying' in The Bay

Yogis 'Commun-ifying' in The Bay

I’ve extolled the virtues of community in these blog posts over the years, and I’m sure to keep doing it, as I think that the way kindred spirits come together is a magical thing.
What is it that we humans find so enticing about the experience of joining for a common purpose? I think it is that we have an opportunity to let down our defences a little, and in the process of doing just that, we are immediately closer to others. […]

Do Your Homework and Then Let Go!

Do Your Homework and Then Let Go!

I’m looking forward to teaching a workshop in Corlette in beautiful Port Stephens (NSW) on Sunday sponsored by Nikki Schilling of Yoga Sphere.
I tend to be well-prepared for a seminar that I’m leading. […]

We ♥ Our Yoga Bolsters

We ♥ Our Yoga Bolsters

Years ago when I opened my north shore yoga studio, I ran a couple of beginners courses so I could start the slow process of developing a whole new core of students.
I’ve done this a few times, starting all over in a new location – training up a new crop. After Beginners 1, the students graduate to Beginners 2, and eventually may go on to intermediate, advanced, and even teacher training.
For some students, their first contact with yoga is a revelation. […]

Yoga Manifesto and Absolution

Yoga Manifesto and Absolution

I love it when students tell me that because of attending yoga classes they’ve become inspired to do some practice on their own at home. We’ve designed the yoga anywhere practice cards for that ex press reason.
I love it when yoga clicks with people and they want to attend yoga classes regularly and often.
And I love it when a keen student decides they want to teach yoga and embarks on yoga teacher training to get qualified.
But I also don’t mind if you have no interest in any of the above. […]

Cutting Back Those Tiny Twinges

Cutting Back Those Tiny Twinges

 

 
Out of all the thousands of poses in the world, how do you know which of them to practice.
Or, if you’re a yoga teacher, how do you know what to teach?
Of course, it depends on many of variables, the most important one being, read your body. Another indicator is read the seasons.
At the moment we’ve been doing summer gardening – especially cutting back weeds and hauling full wheelbarrows of them for disposal. […]

W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking?

W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking?

Let’s talk about talking. You know the great Aussie expression, ‘he could talk under water’, or even better, ‘he could talk under wet cement.’
Loquacious individuals can be entertaining at times, but they can also be as exhausting as a spin class at the gym. […]

Remedial Yoga in a Holistic Context

Remedial Yoga in a Holistic Context

In this morning’s yoga class there were six students: one with a pinched neck nerve, one with a strained rotator cuff, one with dodgy knees, one with an arthritic ankle and elbow tendonitis, one with a sore back, and one ‘normal’ (at least for the time being).
In looking at a group ‘remedially’, I saw a collection of ailments. Looking through the holistic lens of yoga, I saw students who are totally fit to practice yoga according to their ability.
For my money, I believe everyone should adapt yoga according to their individual needs and constitution. […]

One for Your "Back Saver" File

One for Your "Back Saver" File

Several years ago I did a workshop with a well-known Sydney physiotherapist who was a practitioner of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. She schooled us in how to assess ourselves for any back problems we might be suffering. […]

Side Wise

Source: etsy.com via Alison on Pinterest

 
This week I came up with a sequence I enjoy doing and teaching. The theme is all about stretching the sides of your body, particularly hips, waist, rib cage, shoulder blades and arms.
Somewhere along my yoga travels, I heard an expression that I like: ” the sides of our bodies are the lonely parts”. I get that. If you think of all the ways a body can move – bending forward, backward, rotating – then, sideways bends are most unfamiliar movements. […]

What's the Invisible Ingredient That Yoga Schools Offer?

Source: blogs.yogajournal.com via LINDA on Pinterest

 
I think yoga schools miss the crucial bit of information in their advertising that explains why yoga class attendance can be so enticing. It’s not because of building a body beautiful. And not because all stresses will be dissolved in the arms of savasana (yoga relaxation) at the end of each class. And, it’s not even because any annoying ailments or injuries with which you arrived will miraculously be cured by doing yoga postures.
The thing that is so enrolling about good yoga schools is invisible, in a way. […]

Practice Makes Pleasure

Source: yoga.in via Allied on Pinterest

 
I can tell when students in my classes have taken up doing home practice. I’m such an old hand at figuring this out that I can even guess at how many practices a week they do.
What is it that gives them away? Well, these students are continuously improving in their poses. How quickly they evolve is in direct relationship to how much personal practice they do.
Another thing is the high level of attention these yoga practitioners have when they attend classes. […]

Know Any Everyday Heroes?

Source: confessionsofapropjunkie.com via Lauren on Pinterest

 
Sometimes I hear about a person in my circle of friends and acquaintances who is doing it hard and doing it quietly and uncomplainingly. It crosses my mind that these people are really everyday heroes, in their own sphere.
We don’t often recognise these stalwarts for their contributions because we think of heroes as being those who lead forces in battle, tie themselves to trees in old-growth forests, or save lives. I’ll never forget the faces pictured on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald after the Port Arthur massacre. […]

Hips Are All the Rage

Hips Are All the Rage

Is there an epidemic of hip replacements going on? I know of three yoginis who will have the surgery done within a month time frame – mid-March to mid-April. To be fair, I also know women who haven’t done yoga who, for various reasons, had to have replacements.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know my story of bi-lateral surgery, performed more than 3 years ago. […]

How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here?

 
I had some time this morning – quite a lot of it, actually – to wander around Bondi Junction, my old stomping grounds. Here’s a photo of the entrance to the Australian School of Yoga on Oxford Street.
I was mentally winding back the clock  to 1979 when I had my first experience of Iyengar Yoga taught by this man:

 
It’s fair to say that Martyn Jackson, Iyengar Yoga and the time I spent at the Australian School of Yoga changed the course of my life. […]

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