Yoga

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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Is Yoga Safe with one teacher for 30+ students?

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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

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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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Yoga asana as Somatic Inquiry – or let’s not mistake the map for the terrain

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I recently had a thought-provoking conversation with fellow yoga teacher Heather Blashki, exploring the question of how do we inspire students to trust and feel their somatic experience as a guide for asana, rather than the common tendency to simply copy the teacher? I came away from this conversation with an urge to describe a somatic approach to yoga.
 
A few days later my friend Ilan Abrahams sent

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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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The Benefits of Yoga in Later Life

The Need for and the Benefits of Yoga in Later Life
by Harriet Morgan, registered Yoga Teacher
 
The Effects of Ageing
Physical:
 Reduction in Muscle Mass and Strength
 Reduction in Bone Density
 Reduction in Cardiovascular fitness
 Reduction in Cognitive Function
 
Possible psychological effects:
 Increased incidence of depression  Decreased quality of life
 Sense of loneliness
 Sense of ‘giving up’
 
What is Yoga?
Yoga postures are designed to strengthen and align

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40 Ways that Yoga Heals

 
 
Yoga The Ultimate Self-Care 8
 

When you invest in a yoga class, you invest in your health.

 
Here are 40 ways, supported by evidence, that yoga facilitates improved health and well-being on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
 
Of course, to maximise the health benefits you need to find the right style of yoga that suits your needs. This may include active practices, gentler practices, yoga asana and

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