Corona birthday

So it turns out I’m now 45! I’m pretty proud of that! Today I am happy to be alive; it wasn’t always so. Today I delight in my body, its health and strength and adaptability; it wasn’t always so. But I’m not really looking back at past darkness. Nor am I extending my hopeful vision... Continue Reading →

Passing greatness

So a modern yoga great has just passed, a renowned teacher, said to be one of the first women to have studied with Pattabhi Jois. The corners of social media I inhabit are full of comment, some of it as banal as could be, some of it genuine and poignant, so much so that it... Continue Reading →

Rupture and continuity

One of my best friends nearly died recently. A ruptured appendix, a bungled diagnosis and delayed surgery. I've been visiting her in hospital, feeling helpless in the face of drips, oxygen, and the indignity of surgical gowns. She was weak and confused. I'm not sure she remembered if I'd been with her or not; she... Continue Reading →

Movie night

How much do teachers share their own practice with their students? I find this a constant balancing act. How to root teaching in my own experiences and practice while generalizing it enough to be accessible to a group? I went to class recently where I was baffled by a lot of what was offered, not... Continue Reading →

Talking back

I try not to be shy about asking my teacher when I don't understand something. I feel some increased imperative now, as I seek to clarify my own knowledge so that I can best support my own students. I take care not to give an alignment cue simply as he does, but to ensure I... Continue Reading →

In good company

On Friday I went to a family funeral. Difficult occasions always. And always such difficulty is compounded by various day to day circumstances. The inconsequentialities of recent snowy conditions disrupting travel plans, minor illnesses creating anxiety, and also the deeper current of entrenched family dynamics... Such are our human lives, even in the face of... Continue Reading →

Playing favourites

I ran a workshop for my students recently to help them begin to establish their own home yoga practice. When helping them think about categorising the poses they knew so that they could define a simple sequence, I asked them to consider what their favourite pose was. Perhaps they could use that as the lynch-pin... Continue Reading →

Optative

I'm learning the optative in Sanskrit. My textbook tells me "the optative is a verb form that indicates possibility. It can be translated as 'should', 'would', 'could', 'ought' or 'may'. I found sentence 3 in the first exercise ironically amusing: "The teacher ought to be content". After all, the last time I had met with... Continue Reading →

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