How to use Feldenkrais Technique to Free up Your Yoga Part 1: Twisting

Christine Cutbush demonstrating a Feldenkrais technique for freeing up twists in your yoga practice

by Kara-Leah Grant I fist came across Feldenkrais in a yoga teacher taught by a friend in Wellington - Oli Wiles. He was smitten with the technique and skilfully wove it through his yoga teaching to great benefit. Now that I've been practicing yoga for almost two decades, I've also become very interested in how the body opens up, or doesn't open up. From my own experience I can see that it's not a simple equation of doing x, y, or z posture enough times and achieving your optimum range of … [Read more...]

When the Price of Beauty and Presence is Sadness

Beauty is all around us

By Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat Yesterday we got home from six days away - my son with his father, and me in Napier teaching yoga classes and workshops. I love being on the road, catching up with the many friends I have around the country, teaching at a variety of studios, sharing my passion for yoga in workshops. I love home too but when I'm at home, I'm reminded of the home I don't have, the life I'm not leading. In that life I'm coming home to a man I love, who loves me. … [Read more...]

How I Took Responsibility for My Toxic Relationship & Found Forgiveness

Why do women stay in abusive relationships? Moments like these.

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat Recently, while choosing photos to put in a Facebook album celebrating my son's fifth birthday, I came across a series of photos that his father and I had taken of ourselves one month before I finally left him. I paused, and looked at us - the happy and in-love us, the good side, the side that kept me a destructive and difficult relationship for nearly four years - and I was grateful I hadn’t deleted the photos as I so nearly did a few months after we … [Read more...]

What Does it Really Take to Teach Yin Yoga? {Video Interview}

Yin Yoga caterpillar

by Kara-Leah Grant Yin Yoga has been around for a couple of decades now. Actually, that's not quite true. Yin is not so much a style of yoga as a way of practicing yoga. It's likely that yoga has been practiced in a yin manner for thousands of years. But it's only come to prominence in the West in the last two decades, largely (but not only) due to the influence of Paul Grilley. Paul's passion for and spread of Yin Yoga comes from combining three main threads of inquiry - an in-depth study … [Read more...]

There is No Space for Me. A Short Journey into Depression

Journey into depression

by Kara-Leah Grant On Sunday afternoon, lying on the grass outside under fluffy white clouds and a lazy blue sky, I felt the snaky tendrils of depression slither into my heart and settle in my being. One moment, everything was as it was. The next, I felt a heaviness of being, a reluctance to move or act or even be, a dragging at my insides, a rising of emotion. Usually the arrival of depression is not so noticeable. It sneaks up on me and I'm not aware until it's taken me down and I'm … [Read more...]

How I Learned to Live My Yoga and Rock My Life

Living my Yoga & Rocking my life: Teaching Yoga Rhythms at Splore Festival

by Kara-Leah Grant Ten years ago I was six months out of an Acute Psych Ward after two psychotic episodes, and was just beginning the process of cutting down the medication I'd been given after a diagnosis of bipolar. The emotional pain of being dumped by my fiance was still fresh and raw, and I'd only just stopped sobbing my heart out every day. Not that I was crying only about our break-up. The psychosis had ripped open decades of unexpressed emotion plus the spiritual awakening I'd had … [Read more...]

Why it’s Important to Enter the P.L.A.Y Instagram Competition

PowerLivingInstagram

by Kara-Leah Grant Last week, Hannah, the marketing guru over at Power Living, emailed me and asked if I would promote an event that Power Living is running from March 23 - 29,  The P.L.A.Y Instagram Competition. The event involves people taking a series of photos of yoga-related topics and uploading them to Instagram with the tag #modernyogachallenge. At the end of the week, a winner will be chosen and receive $2000 P.L.A.Y dollars - money that can be put together toward any Power Living … [Read more...]

The Definition of a Yoga Teacher: Nothing More than a Friend, Nothing Less than a Friend

Mark Whitwell

by Kara-Leah Grant I was fortunate enough to attend one of Mark Whitwell’s classes at Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo 2015. Mark is teacher of considerable standing who spent many years with Desikachar and studied directly with Krishnamacharya, the teacher of teachers and the godfather of Western Yoga. His approach gets right to the heart of yoga. Unfortunately, despite being a born and bred Kiwi, Mark’s many years spent overseas means most New Zealanders don’t know who he is. Plus, now based in … [Read more...]

Tara Judelle on Embodied Anatomy in Yoga {Video interview}

Tara Judelle

by Kara-Leah Grant Meet Tara Judelle, an international yoga teacher and featured teacher with Yogaglo. Tara has over 27 years’ experience working with movement, and now focuses her yoga classes, and her own practice, on the discovery of embodied anatomy. I had the pleasure of attending a weekend workshop with her last November, at a time I was beginning to become disillusioned with the yoga I was finding. Tara restored my faith in yoga teachers. She taught 100% out of her own practice, in … [Read more...]

How Wanderlust Helped Me Become the Best Yoga Teacher

What does it take to be the best yoga teacher you can be?

by Kara-Leah Grant And by that I mean the best yoga teacher I can be, not the best yoga teacher in the world. :-) Yes, the four days of Wanderlust were the best four days of my life. It's my ideal way to spend time - hanging in community surrounded by literally hundreds of heart-open people, practicing yoga, listening to music, dancing, eating amazing food and spending time in nature. Oh, and having the privilege of speaking and teaching too. Last year, watching the teachers deliver … [Read more...]