Yoga Therapy

Gentle Advice to New Yoga Teachers

Gentle Advice to New Yoga Teachers

Does one student equal a yoga class?
I know it’s sort of a silly question, but it’s one beginning teachers commonly face for many reasons.
One problem is that newbie yoga teachers are often given timeslots that are hard to fill, so they are unlikely to generate big attendances. Or, the new teacher is standing in for a more popular teacher, and then as the weeks go by, they watch class sizes dwindle. Or, the small class numbers and lack of experience erode confidence and,  as a result, one’s teaching ability is shaken. […]

Yoga for Back Care – No. 5

Yoga for Back Care – No. 5

Here’s the fifth and last in a series of programs that can gradually get the yoga practitioner back on her feet after back strain or ache.
You’ll recognise these poses from the earlier sequences, presented in a slightly different order.
Adho Mukha Svanasana is done here with a strap looped around the hip creases so I’m able to traction the student’s legs away from the pelvis. You can also do this yourself by looping a strap around a railing to achieve a similar tractioning. Hold for 1 – 2 min. […]

Yoga for Back Care – No. 4

Yoga for Back Care – No. 4

This series of programs that aids you in looking after your back is sequential and relies on gradual improvement from doing the very simple first practice published earlier the week on this blog.
Once any back strain is better, this sequence can be undertaken to build strength through the legs and hips.
Baddha Konasana*, seated on a folded blanket, 1 -2 minutes

Trikonasana, 30 – 60 seconds […]

Important Yoga Poses for Back Care – No. 3

Important Yoga Poses for Back Care – No. 3

Many studies have shown that yoga, practised regularly, can relieve back soreness and improve back function. 
While yoga is contraindicated if you have severe pain, it can be a back care lifesaver with when you suffer from occasional soreness or even chronic aches. Yoga lengthens your spine, stretches and strengthens your back muscles and contributes to proper spinal alignment.
The Supta Padangusthasana Cycle, sometimes just called leg stretches or hip openers, is often “prescribed” for managing backs. These simple poses accomplish three important things. […]

Great Kidney Poses

Great Kidney Poses

Two very important organs of your body nestle under the back ribs and serve as a vital filtration system for wastes. The kidney organs work to pass urine through the ureters to your bladder for storage and elimination.
If you get extremely run down, you may develop an ache in your lower back that is not muscular and arises when the adrenal glands, situated near the kidneys get overstimulated.
Traditionally, the family of poses that are meant to soothe the adrenals and tone the kidneys are forward stretches. […]

Happy Hips

Happy Hips

“Lazy Dog Pose” is one for the yoga therapy tool box, especially for hip osteoarthritis sufferers who can use it to postpone their need for surgery..
Another pose that can create release in the afflicted hip is this elevated lunge position:

If you can work with a helper, the following pose can offer relief:

When I had double hip surgery about 1-1/2 years ago, my practice of yoga had managed to forestall the operation for many years. […]

Go-To Poses

Go-To Poses

Yoga is portable. If you have been attending classes for umpteen years and have not yet made the transition to doing yoga at home, you may not have made that discovery. So, here’s another incentive talk 🙂
Nowhere is the portability of yoga practice more appreciated than when you’re on the road. Even in the most modest lodging, you’ll find space to do a few back-saving postures.

The “hanging partial squat” or “bed chest opener” are so necessary after driving Highway 101 for many hours, as we are on this vacation. […]

Tucson Orthopedic Institute

Not a typical holiday destination, but I’m here doing my familial duty – accompanying my sister to her pre-op visit to the orthopedic surgeon.
I don’t mean to be voyeuristic; this is a scary and intensely emotive time for my sister.
But I’m a yoga therapist at heart, I guess. So, I’ve read the xrays with interest. A scoliatic spine unfortunately adds complications to a ruptured disc and disc degeneration. […]

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. […]

Recovery Practice

Recovery Practice

Transparency is my aim. So I herewith admit to you that I was too tired to write a blog post yesterday. Sigh. Dog tired. Could it have been a reaction to having a week of guests staying at our country home? Including a 13 yr. old boy.
Don’t get me wrong. We were hosting seasoned travellers who never wear out their welcome by being inappropriate or un-housetrained. The whole family is delightful and fun. […]

From Sleep Deprived to Sweet Dreams

From Sleep Deprived to Sweet Dreams

I had the good fortune to meet a number of great yogis while teaching recently in Byron Bay, NSW. One of them, Jenny Beer, put me on to an “affirmation” she uses for nights when sleep is elusive or broken. I love the words and intent of this affirmation. It reminds me of some of the yoga teaching “mission statements”  that the trainees I instructed at Nature Care College in Sydney wrote to help steer them in their new careers. […]

Yoga Works!

Yoga Works!

The bad news is my immune system is a little low at the moment and I’m slightly snivelling with nasal congestion. Dare I say “cold”? Nah. The symptoms I’m experiencing are so mild as to be impossible of invoking any sort of sympathy.
The good news is that this morning I did a sequence I use for fighting colds and my sinuses drained almost completely. I felt so much better afterwards. You might have collected it from 24/2/11, but it’s repeated here without the drawings:Colds SequenceUttanasana, 2 min. […]

The Older You Get…

…the less you know. I’m convinced of it. Ooops. Have I just said I know something?
I think two things happen as you mature and age: 1) you collect more conflicting information along the way, i.e., all those studies you read in the newspaper about the benefits/disadvantages of drinking coffee, alcohol, eating chocolate. One day, the suggestion is “go for it”, and the next it’s “stop”, “whoa”, “ya’ better watch out.”
No. […]

Gym or Hospital?

Gym or Hospital?

An inquiry from an old student got me thinking today about why people come along to do yoga. Or, I guess, even why people teach yoga.
Is it to get a workout and build stronger, more sinewy bodies? Or is it to fix up bodies broken by disease or injuries, and minds run over by stress?
It’s pertinent to hang out with the questions as I head off to teach in a yoga therapy course. Trainees will learn to take case histories, do client assessments, and design programs. […]

Here and There

Here and There

One of the big draws to living in a beautiful setting in the county is just that: there is so much to sense, look out on and appreciate – distant purple hills, green fields, cocky cockatoos, big-bellied cows, water views, clean, crisp air….
Since moving to Mitchells Island, I’ve become less efficient and probably less productive, too. It’s taken me weeks to prepare for my teaching this coming week in Byron Bay. […]

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. […]

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