Friday, July 10, 2009

Guru Poornima

Jignasu sannyasa
Jignasu is the first of the lifestyle initiations. At this point, we move beyond the approach to yoga as a set of practices that we do at specific times, and begin to practice yoga as a lifestyle, to adopt yoga as a way of life. Jignasu means “seeker or novice”.
The sadhana of a jignasu sannyasin is to get to know their personality. The primary method for this is the SWAN principle. The jignasu should learn what are their strengths and their weaknesses, ambitions and needs, and learn to manage these things to ensure the appropriate outcome.


I of course forgot to mention the Guru Poornima gift I received...actually, two -one from a girl at the ashram, who kindly gifted me with a white shirt to wear for havan, and a book from Ratnasagar titled The Child within the Lotus by Margaret Stephenson Meere. Lots of reading and thinking and doing for me to do!

Thoughts of a pug

LUCY: "Ooh, look, six little boxes of business cards.... my mommy would LOVE me to spread them all out for her so she can see them properly!
Now, I'll carefully empty each box onto the floor, and gambol joyfully through the resulting stack so they're ALL spread out nicely.
Then I'll sneak the little boxes outside so I can rip them into a million tiny pieces and DESTROY the evil boxes who for so long have been the oppressors of the beautiful pictures.
Oh, the beautiful pictures. I'd really better go back inside and spread them out better so I meet them ALL. Oh dear. Here comes Mommy. She doesn't look very happy. She has a towel on her head and she's waving her arms about and shouting!
Think I'll just have a little siesta in the sun and stay outside for a while."

ME: I'm going to kill you! (I know, not terribly inventive, but I'd just walked in ona clearly delighted pug spreading about a thousand little cards on the lovely SIX designs, so a little bit of tidying away effort required there.) Sigh.

Yep, AWESOME....except that the six little boxes were all different TYPES of cards and so I had 1500 little cards to pick up and sort.....while pug happily ripped little boxes to shreds...which then needed picking up because she'd sneakily snuck them all out to her kennel.....ARGH!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

And very quickly....a friend posted this meme on his blog at
Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

Being a sucker for punishment, I yelled "Words!" and was rewarded with the following:



Terry Pratchett


Accelerated Learning

Oh man....

Now, I have pointed out that this is technically seven words, but what the hey, I'm a rebel.
This guy is an old, old, OLD ex and has heard me carrying on about MANY ballet concerts. I probably wouldn't have it any other way. My mother's a ballet teacher, I was homeschooled; many of my friends were met through ballet and now I teach too. It's good. It's good discipline, it gives the kids skills, it's challenging and dancing (not JUST ballet) is a huge part of my life.

Oh, the happy carefree Sundays of sitting about at Toby's house in Frankston, doing The Age Sunday crossword and batting balloons about laughing hysterically. We had a LOT of sweet Sundays. Billions. It was actually one of those collections of days that seem idyllic in retrospect; mostly broke, doing bits and pieces in a random and motley fashion, flirting in a random and motley get the drift....happy days! :) Yep, good times.

Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors. And we would get HUGE mileage out of Pratchett quotes on these aforementioned Sundays. Between my husband and I we mostly have two copies of his books. And we couldn't agree on whose set to give away so we've kept all the duplicates (groan).

Violin...Did I mention this guy knows me pretty well? It's a big thing. I've played since I was four. I've taken it EVERYWHERE with me since. I can't remember a holiday where it stayed home. I've busked in heaps of places and met heaps of people doing it, I've done a million concerts, played at Poppy's funeral, taught kids who are uni now, become a qualified teacher, played kirtan at the ashram and in orchestras....I'd have a very different life if my mother hadn't started me in lessons.

Accelerated Learning.... Ah, my favorite drone-worthy topic. I can go for hours. HOURS. I met Crazy Elf when I was doing Yr 11...age Tafe...because I'd left a private girls' school in Year 9 aged 12 and on a full-fee academic scholarship. I finished Yr 12 at Frankston High and took a gap year before starting my degree at Melbourne Uni just after my 17th birthday. It's meant having a lot of choices, a lot of freedom, starting down the great road of home ownership early... and yes, I plan to homeschool my future children. Contentious? You betcha. Do I advocate? Yes. Am I done now and shall I go to bed? Definitely!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Well, seems like as good a place as any to start. I had a delightful lesson with E this morning. He's four.
When you're four, your teacher is a spectacularly sneaky person who SNEAKS into the room and startles you so much it's necessary to hide under a chair.

A rather small, foldout chair which conceals absolutely nothing. It's very funny.

But then we have a great lesson. He brings me his (tiny) violin to tune. It's a 1/32nd, which means about 34 cms from scroll to tailpin. He stands on his foot mat and takes a perfect bow in rest position, bow dangling from right forefinger just like it's supposed to.

Play position!
We blow our left-hand fingers off the fingerboard, ready to play open A. When you're 4, it's hard to wait, but E. has mastered the skill of getting ready...and listening to my introductory pitches.

We play "Busy Busy Stop Stop" together with only gentle (and probably unnecessary) cues from me. E. can 'bridge' his three fingers beautifully now so only the tips are on the strings.
Tone is good today and we pass some BBSS's on E back and forth to polish the sound and get rid of the scratchy bits.

Then we play a bit of string bingo, with and without the violin in place.
Keeping the bowhold consistent and pinky strong is a challenge, but can be done.
Then we play ALL of BBSS.

The focus is great and SO improved from where we were a month ago.
Heck, we're READY to focus for two whole minutes now on one sequence of sounds... and after a cuddle break with Mum we finish up our lesson with a coherent and pretty straight-bowed Twinkle.
Didn't even need Fat Panda to help us keep the bow straight today, but we DID put stars on Mum's violin so she knows where her fingers go.

And my second lesson? Eleven-yr-old girls are very different to four-yr-old boys, but sometimes they impress you just as much.

This E had started Pachelbel Canon by herself and done some really nice work on Seitz 3, and her golden comment of the day was "You know, when you just learn one bar at a time, it really adds up!" Yes, yes it does.

We're trying to pull a bit more tone out of her violin, and learn that just because the left hand is having a tricky time doesn't mean right hand drops it's bundle (so to speak!) but the awareness that she COULD learn and I'm just the enabler was priceless. Hope she takes it into her school and family life too.

Goodie boxes. Yep, little pastel chinese takeout containers :) Thanks, Riot Art & Craft!

My awesome single-sided business cards without text from vistaprint. Hooray for cheap!

Mantis, Fat Panda, dots, bow monsters, stars for Mums... just a few of my helpers.

This term? Implementing my goodie boxes and cards - whether for enabling review or skill development...I'm not sure which yet. Maybe I'll let children choose how they're used - I think they'll enjoy that more. I'm really happy with the designs I chose and hopefully they'll appeal to the kids too!