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Yoga Moments: Ujjayyi Breathing

Hold up imaginary sunglasses and breathe on them as though to clean them. Feel the back of the throat constricting a little, then keep that gentle gathering there as you now close your mouth and breathe in and out through the nose, feeling the breath at the back of the throat. Hear the ocean sound the breath makes along the whole length of the inhalation and the exhalation. Ujjayi is like

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Yoga Moments: Rest

“..learn to curl up and rest – feel your noble tiredness – learn about it and make a generous place for it in your life and enjoyment will surely follow. I repeat: it’s worth doing nothing and having a rest.” Michael Leunig
 
Our yoga asana and meditation practice is an invitation to rest from the habits of thinking and overdoing. We rest not as in switching off, but evoking the

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Yoga Moments: Yoga = Meditation


The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali open with the quintessential definition of yoga, which is also a quintessential definition of meditation:
1.2 Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.
1.3 Then the True Self is revealed.
With the Western tendency to overemphasis yoga postures, we have seen a strange division between yoga (erroneously equated with yoga postures) and meditation, as though the two were seperate. Yet yoga embraces the

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Yoga Moments: Arms like wings

 

Can we lengthen our arms with support from the shoulders? Experiment: stand firstly with arms overstretched wide and pushed back a little so the shoulder blades squeeze closer to each other with stiff fingers, pressed together. Secondly flop the hands, collapsing. Now find a position of effortless effort for the arms: lengthen from the shoulder blades out to the fingers, let the arms curve forward slightly following the natural position

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Star Weaving Afternoon at One Heart: Weaving Stars to End Violence

MillionStars-stacked-red-pos
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Dr Martin Luther King Jnr
 
This is an invitation to weave stars as a symbol of light, courage, solidarity and commitment as part of the One Million Stars Project to end all

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Is Yoga Safe with one teacher for 30+ students?

Isyogasafeimage
 
 
As a yoga teacher, my first priority is to encourage a safe and empowering practice for students. There is currently a disturbing trend in the Melbourne yoga scene: large yoga studios, on a weekly basis, have huge classes of 30 – 50 (or even more) students. It is great that yoga is so popular. However, I am deeply concerned that these huge classes could be causing an increase

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“I usually hate yoga” – confessions from the yoga mat

hand reaching
 
I was a guest yoga teacher recently, on two meditation retreats. In these retreats we explored yoga as a somatic, mostly self-directed experience, with students following and trusting their inner inquiry, rather than mimicking the teacher. For many this approach to yoga was a revelation.
 
After both these retreats, several students shared with me an outpouring of why they usually hate yoga. A reminder that these students

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The Yoga of Emotions: Messengers on the Path of Wholeness

owlbyReddAngelo
Image by Redd Angelo
 
“Emotions are our faithful guides, like owls that guide us through the dark night, back home.”
 
Yoga is a conscious path of inner exploration. It is a journey of returning, again and again, to our wholeness. Along the way we meet, again and again, our conditioned self. This is the part of us that is reactive, wounded or struggling in some way. There is

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I have never punished my child: parenting for a nonviolent world


I have never punished my child. This is not because I have some kind of freaky perfect child. My 8 year old son is a normal child who engages with the world with a natural childlike intensity. This means he sometimes challenges boundaries by doing what he wants and upsetting others. At times I am very upset by his actions and I have been stretched beyond my own boundaries many times. This can be really tough.
 
But punishment

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The Slow of Yoga

The Slow of Yoga
 
 
When we slow it down, we can meet ALL of who we are.
 
Slow yoga is less about yoga as revolution, and more about yoga as evolution. Rather than a stimulating high-paced experiential buzz, slow yoga is an unfolding evolution of body, heart, mind and spirit. When we slow it down, we meet all of who we are and this fosters courage, stamina, patience

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