The road to happiness

Growing Younger - Help for would-be meditators

From the time we learn to speak we are told how we should and should not be, what we should or should not believe to be true, how we should and should not behave.  Small wonder we grow up conflicted, confused, insecure, guilty.  So what can we do?  How can we find that elusive thing called happiness….. and if we do – how can we make it our default setting? 

Spiritual exercises such as yoga, meditation and religious rituals  would like to be the answer. And often claim to be the way.  But are they?   Chances are, despite all your best efforts, you will have to admit you are still swimming along with the rest of us in an ocean of self doubt and insecurity.  If you are still judging yourself or concerned about the impression you make on others, feeling guilty about any past actions or relationships or harbouring any other negative images of yourself or the world, it’s no big deal.  This is where we all live.

And yet  all the masters and saints and yogis tell us that our true nature is radiant bliss.  They assure us that we are eternal beings, peaceful, compassionate and joyful beyond measure.   How can we begin to fathom what they mean? [Read more…]

Are older yoga teachers the best yoga teachers?

Sue GrbicThis article of mine was published in The Yoga Lunchbox on the 21st October 2013.  Hope you enjoy it!

‘So many younger people are taking to yoga these days as opposed to thirty years ago when I was cutting my teeth as a student and yoga was still considered way too esoteric for your average citizen.

And what an assortment of choices on the yoga menu today!

Back in the day you were either an Iyengar student (and this was truly cutting edge) or doing what my teacher somewhat disdainfully and condescendingly called ‘fruit salad’ yoga (or old lady’s yoga).

Nowadays there’s a dizzying confusion of yoga ‘styles’ to choose from.

 And precisely because yoga is attracting so many young people, hundreds of young yoga teachers are emerging and trying to get established.

I started teaching when I was forty-five, pretty old by today’s yoga teacher standards.  I’m now in my early sixties so I guess that makes me really old by today’s reckoning!

So how do I manage to compete with the flood of gorgeous young things, all of whom look a whole lot sexier than me?  And who may well be able to bend and stretch and pivot and hold and reach rather better than me? [Read more…]

The most powerful intention in the world

“I Release and my Heart is at Peace”Welcome To Growing Younger

When I first heard these words, spoken as a centering thought at the beginning of a meditation by Deepak Chopra, I was caught by their rhythm and the fact that they slotted together so well.  I now realize that the strength of this little sentence lies in its construction.  The fact that it is so simple, and that the two ideas rhyme makes it so easy to remember and repeat.  (Do you, like me, often read or hear affirmations that you like and then promptly forget them?)

The more I think about my new little mantra the deeper I go. It’s uses are endless.

If it bubbles up when I am anxious I feel my shoulders relax, my breath exhale and my heart let go.  If it pops into my mind when I am getting irritated, my jaw softens, my eyes quieten and the irritation dissolves.  If I recall it when I’m trying to maintain control of a situation I feel my whole body take a breather and my mind settle down. [Read more…]

Could this be you or me at 95?

95 year old yoga teacherThis amazing lady seems to have earned herself the title of ‘The World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher’.  Now I’m not going to comment on that except to say I have no doubt that countries other that the USA would certainly be able to put up their own candidates.  I would be far more comfortable with the title ‘America’s Oldest etc”  However there is no getting away from the fact – this is one inspirational woman. It’s simply astonishing how physically agile and strong she is at 95, but it’s her shining joie-de-vivre that appeals most to me.  Take a look at this link.

Taken by Surprise

Growing Younger - Please Contact Us To Find Out MoreI went to a 70th birthday party recently. My first.   Looking around the room crowded with conservatively dressed, neatly coiffured strangers I wondered what I was doing there.  Surely I had walked in on the wrong do.  These people all looked old enough to be my parents.  In fact my late grandmother came to mind too, with her neat twin sets and costume jewellery.

What little mechanism is in our heads that makes everyone  get older except us?  (Other than kids we don’t see for years at a time and then we are extremely puzzled as to where they went and who these young adults are that have stepped into their shoes.)  The big shock usually comes the first time we catch an unexpected glance in the mirror, having had no chance to arrange ourselves properly, and we see our mother (or father?) looking back. [Read more…]

Earthquake-proofing Ourselves

Sue Grbic WritesFollowing the recent earthquakes around New Zealand the media were once again quick to admonish us for our lack of preparedness. And eager to dish out advice as to what we should be doing to best equip ourselves to withstand future natural disasters.

But who or what can help us to earthquake-proof ourselves? How do we prepare ourselves for those earth-shattering experiences that are part of the fabric of life? Death of a loved one, relationship break-ups, serious illness, moving far from home, losing our job…………. Or even those little earth tremors we are all susceptible to at some time in our lives – feeling like we don’t really belong somewhere or don’t really fit in, or perhaps feeling restless and longing for a change, but to what, and why? Maybe it’s just that very deep longing for a connection to something we can’t define. A homesickness for a place we don’t remember. [Read more…]