Hip Surgery

Posture-ing

I am reminded of the importance of good posture everyday in so many ways.
Here in Tucson, Arizona, I’m visiting my older sister whose “bad back” has finally caught up with her. As a seventy-seven year old, and having exhausted many different therapies, she now is facing a lamenectomy and L2-5 spinal fusion, next week. […]

The Crack in Everything

The Crack in Everything

Today’s blog is something new for me. I decided upon listening to one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs yesterday that I would update one of the most popular posts that I’ve written. It gives a nod to the composer’s well-loved tune, “Anthem”, which has the refrain:

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I’m of the opinion that the song’s sentiment is so popular because we humans don’t want to have work so hard at being perfect. […]

Twinges

Twinges

Twinge sounds like such a harmless word when it’s applied to conscience, a little tweak, a tiny tickle. Perhaps so inconsequential that it can be overlooked or overridden.
Is it just me or somehow does a twinge seems more significant when it has to do with the body? My husband Daniel learned the hard way (meaning enduring many physiotherapist visits) that he needed to give due respect to any back twinges. A stab of pain works as an early warning system for what might turn out to be a storm of discomfort or even incapacitation. […]

Letter to a Hip Arthritis Sufferer Who Does Yoga

Letter to a Hip Arthritis Sufferer Who Does Yoga

Today I received an email from a correspondent facing the prospect of hip surgery after many years of managing his symptoms with yoga. I thought that since many who read this blog are yoga teachers and trainees, or maybe have osteoarthritis themselves, they might benefit from my publishing the letter here.

Dear Joe,
Where do you live? Hopefully somewhere where you can find a good orthopaedic surgeon, hospital and rehab centre – all of which you’ll need for a successful hip replacement. […]

The Gift That Keeps Giving

The Gift That Keeps Giving

Imagine if Beethoven had had his hearing restored and he actually heard his magnificent Ninth Symphony as he conducted it at his Austrian premier. Because of hearing nothing, he wept.
Or imagine if the incredibly prolific Pierre-Auguste Renoir had not been severely crippled by arthritis and wheel chair-bound what his contribution to painting and sculpture might have been.
On February 1st, 2010, my orthopedic surgeon replaced my osteoarthritic hips with 2 shiny ceramic & titanium ones. It’s taken time and dedication to yoga and other exercise, but I’ve restored much of my former mobility. […]

Australia Day '11

Australia Day '11

Australia has a hard, even at times cruel, climate, one that keeps complacency at bay. It seems one of the most extraordinary things to me that our farmers keep going back to husband the land after fires, floods and plagues. Tragic stories of lost properties and livestock  abound accompanied by stories of communities pulling together for mutual support, as in the recent Queensland flooding.
We’ve been very blessed this season on Mitchells Island – spared, as we’ve been from the 40 degree temperatures of the Drought Years and saved from the northern floods of this year. […]

Good For What Ails 'Ya

Good For What Ails 'Ya

I first came across this pose (above) at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, where it was used extensively for students in the “medical classes” (read therapy).
So, it seemed like a good one to pull out of the rabbit hat in the weeks after my hips were operated on nearly a year ago. I was reminded of it yesterday, visiting with Maarit who is a couple of months post-hip surgery.
The Institute’s medical classes are like a multi-ring circus. […]

This Morning's Practice

I stumbled out to the Yoga Shed this morning having had fewer hours sleep than I wanted. The reason? I was up late racing to finish “Nomad”, this month’s selection of our book club, which was scheduled to meet this afternoon. I have to admit I didn’t finish the book in time. However, I highly recommend it, mainly because of the courage of the author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s a feminist, writer, lecturer and fearless critic of Islam. I will finish the book as a vote of support.
Fortunately I had a Fatigue-fighting Yoga Sequence up my sleeve. […]

A Lotus Springs From Muddy Water

A Lotus Springs From Muddy Water

Here’s a photo of me in Padmasana, Lotus Pose. It was taken when I could still do a pretty great one. If I do say so.
Today I surprised myself. First, I did Bharadavajasana II Twist, with one leg in Virasana and the other in half- lotus, not knowing if it was a direction that my prosthesis was willing to go. No worries. I did the other side. It was fine. So, I thought, what the heck, we’re going pretty good here…and voila, full lotus.
Really, I’m not goal-minded. […]

Frisking Vs. Frisky

I like joking. I think I have a reasonably good sense of humour. It’s fun to share a joke even with a stranger, like at the supermarket check-out; it’s an opportunity to brighten each other’s day.
Ever since fears about terrorism have been so widespread in the U.S., airport security checks there have become very serious and very thorough. Homeland Security does not allow joking. There are even signs posted to that effect.
Since my February surgery, by which I gained two new titanium hips, I have a new relationship with Security. It’s a very predictable one. […]

Sigh

Those of you who have practised yoga with me know I am a sigher. Why hold back? Sometimes yoga is so delicious pleasure begins to burble up from the belly, the kidneys, the heart, and who would want to stifle such an organic impulse. Add voice to it, and, voila, perfection!
I’ve traveled miles on this U.S. trek, now drawing to a close, maybe 450 miles in Arizona alone. Sighs have been too few and far between. […]

Routines

Routines

On the road today, it’s still today although I’ve travelled from Sydney to LA to San Francisco in 17 hours.
My early morning yoga routine went skewiff when I was nursing a cold, and then preparing for this long trip.
I pride myself (uh-oh) on being disciplined and now, while traveling, i notice it’s darned inconvenient to reImpose a yoga practice routine.
I know I will, nevertheless, partly for you the reader; […]

Not Perfect

Not Perfect

It’s been almost 7 months since I had bi-lateral hip replacements and I thought it was time to have a look at how my yoga poses were coming along. Through the eye of a camera.
Daniel was kind enough to take some photos of me posing 😉
Now, you probably know that I would have deleted the not-so-hot images. […]

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. […]

Bali Belly

I miss my home yoga studio on Mitchells Island, but can I really complain about doing yoga in my current paradisal venue: Our Bali Villa –
www.ourbalivilla.com
I think not.
I experienced a happy surprise the other day when I was practising uddiyana bandha breathing. I decided to follow it with nauli, a kriya or cleansing exercise for the abdominal organs. Here’s a wikipedia link of you’d like more information and even a photo. […]

Radical Acceptance

Over the last week I’ve been writing about the ways yoga teachers are expected to behave by their students or the general public. Paragons of virtue and purity, it would seem, is what is wanted, not adulterated weaklings.
In the spirit of coming clean, I’ve been revealing some of my frailities.
Here’s another way I can prove to you I’m human. I get grumpy when tired. Yoga teachers are not even supposed to get tired. To add crankiness to the bargain must certainly threaten the paragon’s credentials.
The problem is I get tired every day. Since my surgery Feb. […]

Drink (YTAPT – Yoga Teachers Are People Too)

Another thing, my friend Maarit reminds me, that some people are shocked to discover about yoga teachers is they like a wee drink now and then. I’m talking about a glass of wine once in a while or a frosty beer on a summer’s day after working up a sweat in the garden.
The trouble that occurs when you do yoga over a long period of time is that you really sensitize yourself to the effects of over-indulgence, so gradually “bad habits” become less attractive.
I really enjoy a glass of fine wine now and then. […]

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