Monday, 30 April 2018


I had the privilege of being in a lovely garden in the hill country in Sri Lanka.  Thanks to all of the people who looked after us there at Kelburne Cottages, Haputale.

It is a 6 hour trip by car along winding roads and it feels nice to move your spine in different ways when you have been sitting for so long.  

I felt like doing some sidebends in particular.  

Spinal side bending is when the spine actually lengthens on one side relative to the other rather than just tipping your body sideways with both sides equal length.  

I emphasised the side bending of the spine with some shoulder/arm movements and it is those that are  deconstructed a little more in this video.  

I lift the shoulder, then the elbow, then I roll the upper arm out (that is where you see the elbow start to point down), then I reach out my forearm and fingers from there.  

In the video I move my head last.  I move it in a way that keeps the sides of the neck feeling long.  Only move your head and neck in ways that feel comfortable.  For many people that might mean you stay looking down.  

I had this lovely grass to practice on with birds singing and a beautiful garden behind me.  In the video that looks amazing.  Yet when I practice my focus is inward and directed more towards noticing how it feels to move.  

This practice is repetitive and the movements start to flow nicely and I could have stayed repeating them for much longer.  The video lasts for 8 minutes and I finished more because I was conscious of how long it would take to upload the video rather than because I was ready to finish.  

When you practice you could go for longer or shorter.  You could try the upper body and arm movements from sitting if you are too tired to stand.  You could even lie down and imagine yourself doing them.  

Do not do anything that hurts.  It is always better to find an actual person and learn from them.  Happy and safe practicing.

Much metta,

PS Canberra yogis, we are back for our outdoor practice from Sunday 6 May 2018.  

Class Break Until 6 May 2018

Hi from Sri Lanka.  Just a reminder that Canberra classes resume on Sunday 6 May 2018.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Much metta,

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Wild Weather Moves Us Indoors

Wild weather with wind 'damaging' wind gusts (according to BOM) combined with the Canberra Marathon causing road closures all over the place is moving us indoors today (15 April 2018).

Oh well.  That's the way it is.

Call me for details (0466 313 838)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Summertime Yoga

We love our outdoor practice all year!  Practicing outdoors means you need to cultivate a flexible mind and attitude.  We move according to the elements.

On Sundays in summer we move to the grass in front of the High Court.  We have lots of trees for shade but if you want to stand in a sun spot you can as well.

Grass and yoga mats are not always great together.  Sometimes a towel or, if you are like me, just bare feet, are better.

There can be bindis and duck poo and all sorts of things on the grass.  It is nature after all.

And while we try to consistently go to the same place, sometimes people have decided to have a picnic where we normally practice yoga.  So we just find another place.

It is good to keep my phone number handy in case you need to call.

On Thursdays in summer we still hang out by the lake in front of the Water's Edge Restaurant area.  It can still be a bit windy and, as I always say, it is better to bring extra clothes that you can take off rather than come under-dressed!

See you soon.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Some Karma Yoga

Those of you who know me personally know I teach yoga in my spare time.

But I try to practice all of the time.

My day job is as an occupational therapist.  I work with kids with autism spectrum disorder.

Lots of children I work with find it hard to play, and especially to play with others.

Helping some of them share space and time and finding ways to support play skills is a big part of my day.

This morning I made this box toy.  It was a joyful process.  I did it mindfully and intentionally.

When I gift it to the kids today it will bring joy to me to see them play and explore.  This, too, is the practice of yoga.

What joy can you find in your day?  What can you gift to others?

Much metta,

Thursday, 3 August 2017

No Class Thursday 3 August Due to Rain

You could try this indoors instead!  A video my friends in Sri Lanka made a few years ago.  Copy the link to connect.

much metta,

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Mountain Crow

I have made many videos about bakasana, or crow pose.

Here in the mountains in Sri Lanka I have videoed another way of coming into bakasana that I find helps many people.

Remember, you do not need to actually come into the balance--do not rush to get there.

The balance should come fairly naturally, as a consequence of all of the actions that you have been layering.  If you rush you will probably fall.  If you feel scared, perhaps you are not ready.

A few key actions I am doing:

  • raising heels and firming behind my knees to come into a squat (then keeping those actions);
  • in the squat I start by moving my body through my knees, pressing arms out into knees and squeezing knees into arms and just hanging out in this type of forward bend.  At the same time pushing my hips (bottom) through my legs, which should bring some firmness to your tummy;
  • then taking my arms over the top of my knees--trying to get as far up my upper arms onto the top of my knees as possible.  Then pressing my arms down into my knees and pressing my knees up into my arms.  At the same time trying to push my hips (bottom) through my legs and forward.  You should feel firmness in the tummy and around the armpits;
  • lift heels higher, lean forward to a point where my hands rest comfortably on the ground and I can try to lean forward.  Coming high onto my tiptoes.  I do not try to come into bakasana from flat feet or even on balls of feet.  I am really trying to get to my tip toes.  That forces my tummy to work.;
  • I look forward and lean forward. My fingertips are gipping.  If I lean forward enough my feet just float off the ground because I have reached a state of natural balance.
This is best to practice with a teacher.   We might revisit this method in class soon!

Happy and safe practicing.