Fiona Marsden: freelance writer/editor

Yoga & meditation

I’ve been practising yoga for more than 14 years, and find it a staunch ally in dealing with the stresses of life. I also wrote about it for many years. Here, you’ll find some of my articles about yoga and related topics in Australian Yoga Life (AYL) and other publications.

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The show must go on - cover

“The show must go on”
AYL, Issue 37, December 2012–February 2013

“Ever been to the circus and wondered how acrobats keep their bodies so strong and flexible? Perhaps you’ve attended a ballet performance and marvelled at the dancers’ stamina and grace. For some of these professionals, practising yoga helps provide that vital ‘edge’ to deliver an outstanding performance, time after time … “

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“Give me strength! How yoga can help us endure hard times”


AYL,
Issue 35, June–August 2012

“Can something as simple as doing a few postures or observing our breath give us the strength to get through difficult times in life? AYL senior feature writer Fiona Marsden finds out …”

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“Giving back through yoga”
AYL
, Issue 33, Dec 2011–Feb 2012

“In the West, yoga is often seen as an individual pursuit, rather than a way of reaching out to others. Senior feature writer Fiona Marsden speaks with two yoga teachers who [are giving] their time, expertise and passion to lend people a helping hand … “

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“Born again?”
AYL, Issue 31, Jun–Aug 2011

“The idea that we get multiple rides on the merry-go-round of life is a core principle of many Eastern religions and philosophical traditions. But what exactly is meant by reincarnation and its close relative, karma? Is there evidence for their existence? Can yoga help change our karma? Senior feature writer Fiona Marsden explores …”

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“Yoga: a partner for life”
AYL
, Issue 29, Dec 2010–Mar 2011

“The combined responsibilities of paid work, volunteering, family, social and leisure commitments add up to a busy lifestyle for older Australians, at a time when some of them may be physically less able to deal with it. Fortunately, the ancient practice of yoga can be a valuable tool in tackling this very modern challenge. I spoke with five yogis to find out how they are going about it …”

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“Yoga for enlightened living: a conversation with Donna Farhi”
AYL, Issue 28, Sep–Nov 2010

“Donna Farhi’s teaching skills and yoga knowledge are in demand across the globe. Yet for this rural dweller and avid horsewoman, the richest expression of her decades-long yoga practice lies much closer to home. Fiona Marsden spoke with Farhi on her recent visit to Australia …”

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“Yoga in the workplace: paying dividends for staff and employers”
AYL, Issue 27, Jun–Aug 2010

Around 11 million Australians participate in the workforce. Many spend hours each day sitting at a desk and using a computer, creating potential implications for their fitness, strength and flexibility… With its low cost, minimal need for equipment and ability to cater for a range of fitness levels, yoga is becoming an activity of choice for many employers and staff …



“Yoga beyond the mat”
AYL
, Issue 26, Mar–May 2010

It‘s great to feel light, calm and balanced after a yoga class or home practice—but how do you translate that feeling to the rest of your life? Fiona Marsden speaks with five yogis who are trying their best …”
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“Yoga at school: an education for life”
AYL, Issue 25, Nov 2009
Mar 2010

“I don’t know about you, but when I went through primary school, the curriculum focused firmly on teaching the three Rs, with some science, history and sport thrown in … It was pretty conservative stuff — and, though I’m eternally grateful for my solid grounding in the three Rs, I can’t help but feel a little envious that today’s kids are learning something that takes them beyond the academic and sporting sphere…”

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“Meditation for the rest of us”
YourLifeChoices, Issue 36, Spring 2009

“For many Australians, the word ‘meditation’ conjures up an image of a long-haired guru sitting cross-legged in a cave for hours on end, at absolute peace with himself and the world … Fear not. Guru or otherwise, everyone can experience the benefits of meditation. All it takes is practice, and a bit of discipline …”

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Yoga and serious illness - cover

“Yoga: a valuable ally in facing serious illness”
AYL, Issue 24, Jul
Nov 2009

“In late 2007, 33-year-old Donna Gianniotis was about to move from Sydney to start her ‘dream job’ as a yoga teacher on Hayman Island off the coast of north Queensland. She had no reason to be worried about her health … or so she thought. Then she found a lump in her br–st …

“‘Being young and healthy, I didn’t think anything serious could happen to me.’ … Two months and several tests later, a doctor delivered the stunning news. Donna had br–st cancer.”

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“Yoga’s slice of the health & wellness pie”
AYL, Issue 22, Nov 2008–Mar 2009

“Yoga in Australia may be more popular than ever, but some yoga studios still struggle for financial viability. How can they compete with big budget operations such as gyms, to carve out a sustainable niche in the crowded health and wellness market? …”

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“Practice is the greatest teacher”
AYL, Issue 21, Jul–Nov 2008

“Ever wondered where yoga teachers get all that energy, alertness and patience? How can they give so much of themselves? When they feel drained, how do they recharge?

How do they stay motivated to teach … day in, day out? When they’re busy teaching others, who’s teaching them? …”

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Nurturing the legacy of yoga”
(interview with TKV and Kausthub Desikachar)
AYL, Issue 19, Nov 2007–Mar 2008

“…Desikachar’s father was T Krishnamacharya, one of the world’s most highly regarded yoga masters … Desikachar travels extensively giving lectures and workshops, and has written well-known books including The Heart of Yoga and Health, Healing and Beyond. In 1976, he established the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) in Chennai as a centre for disseminating his father’s teachings …

Despite these achievements, Desikachar is gentle and unassuming. On meeting him, there is no particular sense of being in the presence of greatness. With genuine modesty he says, “I don’t want to talk about myself —that is for others to do.”

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Betty Trevers story - cover

“Yoga and acceptance”
AYL, Issue 18, Jul–Nov 2007

“A childhood in Depression-era Australia may not seem an obvious starting point for a love affair with yoga – until you meet Betty Trevers. Thirty-five years of yoga teaching and practice have proved a source of strength and perspective for a lively octogenarian who has had her fair share of ups and downs…”

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Emotion in motion - cover

“Emotion in motion”
AYL, Issue 17, Mar–Jul 2007

“It’s often said that yoga calms the emotions and stills the conscious mind, but it can be a confronting experience when the opposite happens and our practice unleashes emotions stored within us for many years. How does this process work, and how can we use it as a tool for self-development?…”

Read the full article here.

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