September 2016

Contents:
Podcast of the Month – Living Yoga, Practising Life with Maurice McCann
Article of the Month – July 2016: A New Chapter in My Yogic Journey
Reflections on the 2016 Bali Retreat
Upcoming Events; Spring Morning Yoga Intensive (starting next week)
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Pete Crossley
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

 

Podcast of the Month: Living Yoga, Practising Life with Maurice McCann

Maurice_McCann

Instead of a video this month I have included a potcast of an interview I had with Deb Ozarko who describes herself as a cultural revolutionary, status-quo crusher, wannabe dancer, Ironman triathlon finisher, unapologetic vegan, voracious seeker of truth, radical critical thinker, and passionate lover of life. It was a lot of fun chatting with Deb. Check out her webpage http://www.debozarko.com/

Click here to listen to the podcast.

 

 

 

 

Article of the Month – July 2016: A New Chapter in My Yogic Journey

Just over a month ago I returned from attending classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (the Institute) in Pune, India. People are still asking me how my trip to India was. As with the four previous visits to the home of Iyengar yoga, the experience was profound.

 

Anyone and everyone who has attended classes at the Institute will tell you that it has changed their outlook on yoga and probably on their life.

 

The first couple of days there were extremely difficult for me. I had just finished teaching a retreat in Bali and spending a couple of days with a very special friend whom I had recently realised a deep love for. The monsoon rains were heavy and relentless and I felt alone, as there weren’t many people in the practice hall the first day and very few westerners in the first class of the month. I questioned my reason for being in India and my motives for practising and teaching yoga.

 

My previous two visits to Pune coincided with some significant life events for me. In August 2013, my mother died and I came back to Australia after only attending three classes. This opened the window for my return in 2014, and it was 20 August of that year that BKS Iyengar (Guruji) died. I was blessed to be present to say goodbye to this wonderful and amazing man and to witness his cremation. Added to this the separation from my wife in July 2015, and some of the apprehension I was feeling the first few days into the July 2016 visit seem understandable.

 

The Institute, although nothing much to look at, has an amazing feel and is one of the few places in the world where I feel very much at home. In the past, the presence of Guruji in the hall always brought a sense of reverence to everyone present. This time around, although his physical presence was absent, there was an even greater feeling that the great man was still in the hall as everyone worked at their own pace to deepen their practice of the art and science of yoga and to connect to their Self. Added to this the wonderful teaching of Prashant Iyengar and the other teachers there, and it is no wonder that profound changes occur.

 

A typical day consisted of a two-hour class and a three-hour practice session. On some days the practice session immediately followed the class. This provided an amazing opportunity to integrate the teachings of the class into the desired outcomes of the personal practice.

 

This was my fifth trip to the Institute and I’m just starting to understand that yoga is much more than a physical pursuit. I have always recognised that asanas are a way to access the mind and to quieten the fluctuations. I started practising yoga in the early 1980s as a way to deepen my spirituality. After studying some of the texts, I heeded the warnings not to go too quickly into the “mind stuff” and decided to work with the body and the breath to build a solid foundation for the more intense practices. Having practised for over 30 years, I still feel that the foundation is not yet secure enough to unlock the power of the mind. I have tasted some its power and with it some of the possibilities of the “madness” referred to in the texts. This has prompted me to be even more cautious and to continue building on the foundation of the body and breath whilst slowly integrating the power of the mind into the practice.

 

Since my first trip to Pune in 2005, I have heard Prashant say, “Body for the mind, breath for the mind and mind for the mind.” The “mind for the mind” has always been a challenge for me. Through some amazing pranayama classes conducted by Geetaji and Pranshantji, I’ve experienced the powerful effect the breath can have on the mind. I have experienced this in my own practice in asana and pranayama. The tools for allowing the mind to work for the mind have always been there for me. They are quite clear in the texts I read in the early 80s, and on my first trip to Pune the details of the techniques were clearly taught. I have been experimenting with these tools all this time; however, in this most recent visit, I decided to increase my efforts of learning how to utilise these tools. Now I can see how the mastery of these tools is the way forward on my journey of yoga. I’m feeling confident in the practice and am now just starting to integrate my understanding of these techniques into my teaching. It is wonderful to see the students taking some of these techniques on board in the class and in their practice. It is also inspiring to see that some students are erring on the side of caution (as emphasised in class) when working with these techniques… they are not advanced techniques. They are basic techniques that have subtle but profound outcomes.

 

It’s always important to ask the big questions and review one’s life path. Having reviewed my reasons for practising and teaching yoga, I’m excited to say I still feel blessed to have found this path and I offer my deepest respects to the teachers in Pune, especially Prashant S Iyengar, and my thanks and gratitude to my friends and family and to the students at the Yoga Room for your ongoing support.

 

Namaste

 

 

 

Reflections on the 2016 Bali Retreat

Pete Crossley (studio@fotomeida.com.au)

As a couple, we were looking for a holiday away with something different. Being occasional students of the Yoga Room, we thought it a good opportunity to get away and practise.

 

We decided to go with the flow of the group arrangements and see where it took us, in the spirit and philosophy of Iyengar.

 

This meant trusting in Maurice’s itinerary, arrangements and the people in the group (who we didn’t know), although we believed they would have a similar outlook or at least a shared interest in yoga. We met some great people who we have cemented good friendships with.

 

Our approach to this yoga retreat proved to be as enriching as the retreat itself. We were exposed to new experiences, environments and best of all, great people who had some great knowledge to share.

 

Being new and occasional students of yoga, we had in our minds that five hours of yoga a day was probably something we would not be able to manage, and so we decided to take it as it came and see what happened. Well, five hours of yoga a day did happen!! And best of all, it was tailored to the individual people in the group and was a terrific opportunity for almost one-on-one/small group tutorage at a high standard. The yoga was amazing and the discussions of yoga philosophy deepened our understanding of ourselves and our practice…absolutely invaluable.

 

The two different locations and retreats were simple, run by Balinese locals that Maurice had built a respectful and trustworthy relationship with over the years. That allowed us to relax and go with the flow. We were also able to undertake our own activities such as riding around the islands, swimming, massage, exploring, shopping and some fantastic snorkelling with the other yoga members arranged by Maurice …stunning scenery and all arranged with local Balinese people.

 

The food at the first retreat and surrounding restaurants was diverse and tasty, very much in line with Balinese culture as well as western style. The service and feasts we were provided with in the second retreat were outstanding and have helped reshape the way we feed our bodies and minds beyond the yoga retreat.

 

We are very grateful for the fantastic experience and were genuinely able to relax and focus thanks to our yoga mentor and holiday guide, Maurice. BEST HOLIDAY EVER!! (we are not sure how we are ever going to match it).

 

Jodie Paul (www.agelessandmindfull.com)

My time at this year’s 12-day yoga retreat in Bali far exceeded my expectations. I went wanting a relaxing holiday and to deepen my yoga practice, but what I received was much more.

 

The first six days of the retreat was in Nusa Lembongan, a small island off Sanur and only reached by boat. The island was a great way the begin the retreat. It gave me the time and space I needed to slow down and settle into the daily yoga routine of early pranayama (breathing) and yoga asana (postures) as the sun rose, and restorative yoga as the sun went down. I had time to myself during the day to relax and explore the island, if that’s what I felt like doing.

 

The next six days was at a retreat in the hillside village of Sideman, a couple of hours from Ubud, where I felt I could ‘go deeper’ into my practice. The environment was tranquil, extremely beautiful and without distraction.

 

As we were only a small group, the time we had with Maurice was invaluable because we had the time to explore, ask questions, and gain insight and understanding about yoga and the Iyengar method during our daily practice. The daily massages were pretty good too, as was the food that was organically grown and prepared by the local villagers working at the retreat.

 

I thoroughly recommend the Yoga Room Bali Yoga Retreat and can’t wait to go again next year. The best holiday I’ve had in a long time.

 

Thanks Maurice.

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

2016 Spring Equinox
Yoga Intensive

When: Monday 12th Sept. to
Saturday 1st October
(except Sun. 18th & 25th) 6:00am to 7:30am
Where: Yoga Room, James Street, Burleigh Heads
Price: $345

 

This intensive will introduce and develop the concept of balance of body, mind and breath to the yoga practice.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Pete Crossley

 

In this section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

 

 

Pete Crossley, who attended this year’s Bali yoga retreat with his wife Joanna, has been attending yoga classes at the Yoga Room for the past six months. Joanna, who has been practising yoga for two years, believed it could be helpful for his flexibility. And she was right.

 

“I love how Maurice encourages students to focus on their individual practice,” he says. “This creates a unique experience where I get to focus on me – and I’m not distracted by engaging with others.”

 

Pete says he doesn’t currently attend enough classes, about one a month, but he feels the benefits nevertheless. Aside from more flexibility, he appreciates Maurice’s mentoring, and has experienced focus and an internal peace such as he has never experienced before.

 

Originally from Sydney, Pete moved to the Gold Coast 35 years ago. He has run his business Fotomedia for the past nine years with business partner Lincoln Williams. It is a boutique creative agency with studios in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Fotomedia provides full campaign, video production, animation, brand, digital and print. They film and edit TV commercials and corporate videos, and create campaigns from inception through to delivery. As an example they have worked with the Gold Coast Titans for the last four years, coming up with creative concepts through to TV campaigns for each season.

 

Pete plays golf and surfs in his leisure time, and as a foodie, he loves cooking for his family and friends.

 

For anyone interested in the services that Pete’s business provides, you can call anytime on (07) 5535 4015 to discuss how they can help you, or drop in for a coffee to see their work. You can also email at studio@fotomedia.com.au and check out their website www.fotomedia.com.au

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 49
tasminsati ?v?sapra?v?sayorgativiccheda? pr???y?ma?||49||
Pranayama is the regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath with retention. It is to be practised only after perfection in asana is attained.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 152

 

 

 

 

Quote of the month

 

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed”

Albert Einstein


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

June 2016

Namaste

Winter is here and I’m off to Bali for the annual retreat. All classes at the Yoga Room will continue as usual with some amazing locum teachers. The Yoga Room congratulates Dominik Mueller for successfully completing his teacher training and welcomes him to the teaching team.

 

The other exciting news is that I will be attending classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune (the heart and soul of Iyengar Yoga) for the month of July and very much looking forward to continuing my learning as a student again.

 

Also, the Yoga Room has moved premises. We are now 15 metres closer to the beach and on the other side of the corridor, still in the same arcade at the top end of James Street. The new room has more wall space and is more intimate than the room on the north-side of the building. Thanks to everyone who helped with the move.

 

The articles and videos in this newsletter look at Yoga as an Art and Science.

 

Keep coming to class and experience the wonderful teaching of all the teachers and I look forward to seeing you in class again in August.

Maurice

Contents:
Video of the Month – Questions on Science and Yoga with Kofi Busia
Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; System of Practice
Upcoming Events;
Bali Yoga Retreat,
2016 Beginner Courses
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Dominik Mueller
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga Video of the Month: Questions on Science and Yoga with Kofi Busia


In the American summer of 2002, upon a recommendation from a friend, I was very fortunate to attend a week-long intensive with Kofi Busia in Santa Cruz, California. I have followed his teaching ever since and always find his presentation of the subject insightful. This video was made in response to an article published in the NY Times in 2012 and shows some of the deeper meaning of yoga. Always good to remember yoga is not all about asanas and asanas are not all about stretching.

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

 

Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; System of Practice

This is the fourth of a series of articles we will run on B.K.S. Iyengar, paraphrased from the book 70 Glorious Years of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar (Commemoration Volume), Light of Yoga Research Trust Bombay 1990.

 

This fourth article covers Iyengar’s system of practice and the ‘creation of an art form’

Development of a System of Practice

According to Indian philosophy, darshana and religious truths must be experienced (darshana: the auspicious sight of a deity or a holy person). People hope that analysing the scriptures will lead to religious experiences. This has popular appeal and calls for little effort and less discipline. For Guruji, the sequence was always the other way around: ‘Experience first and explanation later’, is a hallmark of Iyengar.

 

Guruji was not an ‘ivory tower’ yogi, negating the body and the world. His method is an affirmation of the body and through it, the affirmation of spirit. He systemised the practice of Yoga to cater for the needs of ordinary men and women. Though demanding and exacting, this systematic approach appeals to people of all walks of life. It offers the best of both worlds. It strengthens the body and mind, enabling the practitioner to face life with courage and clarity. At the same time, it purifies and elevates, silently enlivening the spiritual dimension without setting up religious barriers.

 

Guruji made Yoga into a science, an art and a unique spiritual quest, refusing to turn it into a dogma, creed or cult. It is founded on universal ethical principles fundamental to all religions. The techniques he evolved are so universal that they are compatible with diverse religions and political systems.

 

In evolving his system of Yoga, Guruji started with the gross body, then went on to the subtler mind and subtler spirit. He emphasised practice and experience, leaving the speculative interpretation of the ultimate to the individual. The interplay between the gross and the subtle, between practice and experience – a recurring theme of his Yoga – is what had made the system so universal.

 

Creation of an Art Form

For yogis, unlike artists and scientists, creativity is not an occasional episode of their life. The mind freed from fear and longings unlocks creativity. In Guruji, as a true yogi, creativity flowed continuously, both with his body and mind. This can be seen by watching the unceasing innovations in his practice and teaching, the harmony, grace, strength, motion, vitality and inward serenity.

 

Yehudi Menuhin spoke of Guruji’s art. “His is an art that has been reduced to its simplest form because it requires no instrument at all except this first and most complex instrument of all: the body. There is no formal choreography, no script and no rule laid down for form. But all the rules of the choreographer, the artist and the writer are inherent in the body itself. However, it requires a lifetime of patient, dedicated and persistent effort to perfect this body.”

 

Robert Engman, a world-famous sculptor and former chairman of the graduate department of arts at the University of Pennsylvania, said after watching a demonstration by Guruji, “lyengar is a great man – a supreme artist.” Engman created a monumental bronze sculpture capturing the elegance and beauty of nature and named it After B.K.S. Iyengar. At the dedication ceremony, he proclaimed that Guruji’s performance was the most incredible physical and mental expression he had ever witnessed, barring none.

 

A leading American photographer, E. Simmonds, wrote to Guruji to say that ‘Iyengar was to Yoga what Renoir was to painting, Rodin to sculpture and Sterchen to philosophy’

 

Next month: Perfection of the teaching method; Iyengar as cultural ambassador of India; and his unique contribution to health and medicine.

 

Upcoming Events

 

2016 Bali Yoga Retreat

 

When: 13th to 25th June 2016
Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali
Price: Full Price AU$2,090 Shared or AU$2,390 Single

 

Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day-to-day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

2016 Beginner’s courses

 

When: Starting Wednesday 29th June and also Tuesday 19th July

6 week course

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $95

For anyone who has never done yoga before or is new to the Iyengar method.

 

See the website for details.

 

Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Dominik Mueller

 

In this section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

Many Yoga Room students will soon be seeing a new face at the front of the practice room.

 

Dominik (Dom) has recently completed his teacher training, and will be helping out by taking some of Maurice’s classes while Maurice is busy with this year’s Bali Yoga Retreat (June 13 – 25) and attending classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in India.

 

Dominik first started practising yoga about five or six years ago. At the time, he was living in Broadbeach, regularly visiting the local gym and training for a marathon. His leg muscles became very tight from all the running so he joined a yoga class at the gym to incorporate stretching. Quickly discovering the huge benefits, he then joined as many yoga classes as the gym had on offer. His yoga teacher at the time was Nicky, also an Iyengar certified teacher who has taught at the Yoga Room, and she recommended that he join one of Maurice’s classes. He joined the Yoga Room after moving to Burleigh about three years ago.

 

For Dominik, yoga provides the obvious physical benefits of a healthy body and a healthy posture, also “undoing all the imbalances daily life throws at us…at work, in the car.” More significantly, Dominik noticed the psychological and spiritual benefits gradually and now realises that yoga has changed his whole outlook on many things. Slowly and steadily he has changed his diet, often without being aware of it, to the point of gradually eliminating animal products from his diet altogether.

 

“The reason for that is the fact that I feel much more connected to the whole human and non-human cosmos. And I can only relate that back to yoga. It ultimately led me to the point where I decided to become a teacher guided by the desire to help people and take them on the journey I am currently on.”

 

The journey to becoming a yoga teacher has had the dual benefit for Dominik of helping others gain similar benefits from yoga practice, and deepening his own practice.

 

Off the mat, Dominik works for a luthier on the Gold Coast, Hancock Guitars (a luthier builds and repairs string instruments). Dominik enjoys working with this small, tight-knit team that custom builds guitars, and the company also has a repair business, GuitarTech.

 

Born and raised in Koblenz, Germany, a small town in the very west of Germany about an hour from the French border, Dominik came to Australia almost eight years ago to study business at Griffith University. After he completed his degree, he was sponsored to stay and hasn’t left Australia again. His parents, who run a successful car rental company in Germany, come to visit him here once a year.

 

Yoga and work take up a lot of Dominik’s time, but in his limited spare time, he likes to swim and bodysurf. He also reads and enjoys watching movies and TV series.

 

“Initially, I came to study in Australia to improve my English skills. But who would want to leave a beautiful place like this if you don’t have to?”

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 1 Verse 49
?rut?num?naprajñ?bhy?manyavi?ay? vi?e??rthatv?t||49||
This truth-bearing knowledge and wisdom is distinct from and beyond the knowledge gleaned from books, testimony, or inference.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 95

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“We are sick with fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas. Meditation is therefore the art of suspending verbal and symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin.”
Alan Watts

 


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

April 2016

Namaste

 

This newsletter features the third article in the series of the life of BKS Iyengar, and a video showcasing Dr Geeta S Iyengar’s surgeon-like accuracy in aligning the body, teaching trikonasana at the Iyengar Institute in Pune.

 

There are still some places available for the Bali Retreat in June. Book now!

 

Any comments, suggestions please email me. Maurice

 

Now is the time to practise Yoga…

Contents:
Video of the Month – Trikonasana with Dr. Geeta Iyengar
Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; Widening Recognition
Upcoming Events;
Bali Yoga Retreat,
2016 Beginner Courses
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Jamie Agius
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga Video of the Month: Trikonasana with Dr. Geeta Iyengar


From the Road to Bliss series of videos. Their description identifies the aim of the video to give you a taste of the uniqueness of Dr Geeta S Iyengar’s teachings. Not so many have the opportunity to go to India and experience the Living Tradition of Iyengar Yoga as taught by the Masters themselves. Notice how Dr. Iyengar brings to her teaching of Trikonasana the concept of Ekagrata (one pointedness of the mind). To quote her brother, Yoga Master Prashant Iyengar: “the mind needs to be taught the pose since the mind has to assume the pose too.”

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; Widening Recognition

This is the Third of a series of articles we will run on B.K.S. Iyengar, paraphrased from the book 70 Glorious Years of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar (Commemoration Volume), Light of Yoga Research Trust Bombay 1990.

 

This third article covers Iyengar as a family man and his character

 

Yogacharya as a Family Man (Yogacharya: the respectful title for a teacher of yoga)

 

Guruji, unlike many other yogis of India, was a family man who had six children. (Guruji: a guru or spiritual teacher.) While the world may associate the saffron and white attire as the symbol of a true yogi and of spiritual liberation, Guruji showed that a real Sadhaka did not need to be a recluse who turned away from the turmoil and temptations of the world but could be someone who strengthened their spiritual mettle by facing and overcoming such problems. Guruji successfully combined family with yogic life. (In Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism, a s?dhaka is someone who follows a specific way of life in order to achieve an ultimate ideal.)

 

Fiercely dedicated to yoga, he nevertheless did not neglect his responsibilities to his family and friends. In 1952, he declined an invitation to accompany Menuhin to Europe because his family needed him in Pune.

 

Character of Yogacharya

Guruji was a man who was ‘fresh’, always free from bias, a man with unparalleled courage and optimism. Fear, lethargy, depression and despair were not words in Guruji’s vocabulary. At an age when other boys played and laughed and were carefree, Guruji’s calling was to far-off places where he was to teach people double or treble his age as well as socially and economically better off. Economic hardship, indifference, neglect, ridicule and humiliation did not cause him to deviate from his chosen path – the pursuit and propagation of Yoga.

 

Guruji wandered like a stranger through the cities of the West wearing scant clothing and eating little food. He faced freezing cold conditions, and chilling indifference. He would perform difficult poses on steep cliffs which people were afraid even to climb.

 

While Guruji was tender-hearted and kind, in class he often displayed a stern exterior and apparent temper. They were just masks to intimidate students out of their fear and lethargy, pushing them to do their best. He sometimes had to appear cruel to be kind.

 

Fame and prosperity did not make Guruji forget his days of wilderness living. He continued to live a simple and unassuming lifestyle and, remembering his early poverty, he donated generously to worthy causes, including to educational institutions and humanitarian and cultural activities and charities.

 

Guruji popularised the subject of Yoga throughout the world with some help from well-known artists and musicians. This allowed him to carry his Yoga to the poor and the unknown, irrespective of their socio-economic status. He resisted the temptations of staying in contact with the rich and famous.

 

Next month’s article: Developing a system of practice, and the creation of an art form

 

Upcoming Events

 

2016 Bali Yoga Retreat

 

When: 13th to 25th June 2016
Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali
Price: Full Price AU$2,090 Shared or AU$2,390 Single

 

Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day-to-day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

2016 Beginner’s courses

 

When: Starting Tuesday 26th April and also Wednesday 18th May

6 week course

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $95

For anyone who has never done yoga before or is new to the Iyengar method.

 

See the website for details.

 

Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Jamie Agius

 

In this section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

Jamiehas been practising yoga, along with his wife, Jacqui, for about four years, when they began a beginner’s yoga course with Maurice at The Yoga Room. He attends around two yoga classes a week.
Leading a very active lifestyle, including practising martial arts and going to the gym for many years, along with working in a physical job, Jamie realised he needed to stretch more and that he wasn’t doing enough of this after exercising.
Some of the benefits Jamie receives from practising yoga include feeling very relaxed after a class, and noticing that his shoulders, which are always tight, much more open. His general feelings of wellbeing also increase. He finds yoga beneficial even at work, as he often has to get into really tight or awkward places or positions and being over 6 foot, being able to bend and stretch helps prevent back or other injuries that people often get from working in physical jobs.
While Jamie currently does not practise yoga at home, he does do some stretching.
Originally from Broken Hill, Jamie has lived on the Gold Coast for most of his life.
Jamie is a self-employed licensed plumber/gas fitter with a restricted electrical licence. His business, J & J Plumbing, covers all areas of the Gold Coast. He has been running his business for about the same time as he has attended yoga classes, around four years. If you would like to contact Jamie, call him on 0423 147 166.

In his spare time, Jamie enjoys surfing and skateboarding and hanging out with his gorgeous wife!

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 27
tasya saptadh? pr?ntabh?mi? prajñ?||27||
Through this unbroken flow of discriminative awareness, one gains perfect knowledge which has seven spheres.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 130

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

Bob Marley

 


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

February 2016

Namaste

 

Wow… already more than halfway through February. As a reminder, the end of the month is the last day for the early-bird price for the Bali Retreat in June. Also, due to the early Easter, the Autumn Yoga Intensive starts March 7th this year. Register now to ensure you get a place.

 

This newsletter features the second article in the series of the life of BKS Iyengar. And the video interview with Iyengar further exemplifies the amazing achievements of this wonderful man.

 

Any comments, suggestions please email me.

 

Practise with joy in your heart… Maurice

 

 

Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; Widening Recognition

This is the Second of a series of articles we will run on B.K.S. Iyengar, paraphrased from the book 70 Glorious Years of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar (Commemoration Volume), Light of Yoga Research Trust Bombay 1990.

 

This second article deals with the widening recognition of Iyengar
First Book ‘Light on Yoga’

Iyengar –  or Guruji, as his students and followers referred to him, a title of respect meaning spiritual teacher or mentor – had for several years been working on his first book on yoga. This was a massive effort involving writing, editing, proofreading, and posing for many photographs. Finally, Light on Yogawas published in 1965. It instantly became a classic, the ‘bible’ of yoga, accepted by students and teachers alike as the authoritative reference work for the practice of yoga.
In 1965, the National Defence Academy in Pune introduced yoga into their curriculum and many educational institutions followed. The educational authorities in London introduced yoga as taught by Guruji in their Adult Education programme in 1969. The explosion of yoga awareness created a massive need for teachers, and so Guruji started programs of intensive training and workshops for teachers.

A Home for Yoga

It was time to provide a ‘home’ for Iyengar Yoga. Students, friends and followers raised funds to build an institute in Pune. The building was inaugurated in January 1975 and dedicated to the memory of Srimati Ramamani, who had passed away soon after laying the foundation stone in 1973. The institute continues to be a temple of yoga and a place of pilgrimage for yoga enthusiasts around the globe.

Iyengar Yoga Established

On the day of Guruji’s 60th birthday, the Light on Yoga Research Trust was formed. His birthday celebrations were presided over by India’s renowned Ayurveda physician and Guruji’s pupil, Pandit Shiv Sharma, and attended by students and well-wishers from India and abroad.

Second Book ‘Light on Pranayama’

Guruji’s second book was published in 1981. It was immediately hailed as the most comprehensive and definitive book on pranayama. By this time, Guruji had finalised the methodology and standards of teaching and had invented many props and aids for learning. He continued his visits abroad – including to England, Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, France, and Germany – to attend conferences, conduct workshops, inaugurate Iyengar Yoga institutes, and give yoga demonstrations.
‘Iyengar Yoga’ has grown and found acceptance and appreciation in many countries, with thousands of teachers conducting Iyengar Yoga classes. A significant milestone was reached when the First Iyengar Yoga Teachers Conference was held in San Francisco in 1984. Some 800 teachers from over the world attended the conference and benefitted from Guruji’s presence, advice and teaching.

Third Book ‘Art of Yoga’

Guruji’s third book, a pictorial and aesthetic delight, full of inspiration for yoga practitioners, came out in 1985.

70th Birthday

In December 1988, students and followers from around the world gathered in Pune for a weeklong celebration of Guruji’s 70th birthday. Events were held throughout the year, in conjunction with the Light on Yoga Research Trust, and the year saw the start of a massive teacher’s training programme.
In October 1989, Guruji visited the Soviet Union at the invitation of the then USSR Ministries of Health and Sports to participate in the First International Yoga Conference.

 

Next month’s article:  Yogacharya as a Family Man

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

16-day Autumn Yoga Intensive

with Maurice McCann

When: 7th – 24th March, 2016

6 – 7.30am every day (except Sun 13th and 20th)

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $275

Autumn is a time to focus on boosting vitality and optimism. It’s a time to strengthen our immune system and declutter our bodies and minds after the excesses of summer. The Classes are designed as a course building up day by day over 16 days.

 

To book, call us on 0438 837 244, or email

 

 

 

2016 Beginner’s courses

When: Starting Tuesday 15th March or Wednesday 6th April

6 week course

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $95

For anyone who has never done yoga before or is new to the Iyengar method.

 

See the website for details.

 

Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email

 

 

2016 Bali Yoga Retreat

When: 13th to 25th June 2016

Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali
Price: Full Price AU$2,090 Shared or AU$2,390 Single
Earlybird Price: Book and pay by 29th Feb. for 15% discount.

 

Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day to day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Len Goldsmith

 

In this section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

 

len

Len’s ”first real yoga class”, as he describes it, was in January 2015, when he began the Yoga Room Saturday morning class as a newbie. His only previous knowledge of yoga was doing a few warrior poses in a body balance class at a local gym once a week for a couple of years. ”I mean, yoga isn’t really for men, is it?” he comments tongue-in-cheek.
What made him decide to take up yoga more seriously was when the strategically placed signboard on James Street caught his eye. ”Great marketing, Maurice!” he says. He then began with the Yoga Room six-week beginner course. While it seemed a random decision at the time, he felt drawn to yoga and it coincided with what was happening in his life. ”It feels yoga somehow aligns with me as a person in this phase of my life. I’ve discovered a major part of the yoga system is a practice called ahimsa, which as I understand means living life with non-violent thoughts and actions to all living things which once again, aligns with my expanding love of animals. I’m also really digging on the meditative effects and challenges that asanas offer plus the bonus prize of being a whole lot more body aware and being able to guide it to a better state over time.”
For ten months, Len then did one or two classes a week at the Yoga Room until December last year when he attended Maurice’s 17-day intensive, which inspired him to exchange running for more yoga. Now he’s settling in to three or four practices a week. He also recently started one practice a week, sometimes two, at home.
Yoga provides Len with ”a big package of benefits”. Aside from increased calmness and flexibility, he feels very connected with others who practise yoga. ”Somehow it gives me great satisfaction to know that around the world, the millions of people practising yoga are contributing to the world in positive ways through their increased awareness of body and mind.”
Outside of yoga, Len is busy in his service-based lighting business, Fantastic Lighting, which he started in 2000 in Sydney and set up the same business model when the family moved to the Gold Coast in 2008. The business specialises in retrofitting existing lights in homes and businesses to lights that last longer and save energy. Len is clearly enthusiastic and passionate about his business. He loves serving others and gets great satisfaction from sharing his knowledge and transforming homes and businesses with new lights. A recently completed branding exercise expanded on everything the business stands for, embodied in the words, ’Passion, Professionalism and Helpfulness’.
It is a busy business and they offer a free trial to discover the benefits. You can learn more atwww.fantasticlighting.com.auwww.facebook.com/fantasticlighting
In Len’s spare time, he is grateful for his health in being able to enjoy the outdoors. He has tried plenty of sports, from diving to triathlons. Right now, yoga is ’numero uno’. He loves spending time with his family – his ”amazing and talented wife, Helen”, and their three sons and one daughter. It won’t be long before he and Helen become ’empty nesters’.
”I have a grandmother aged 96 who lives in Burleigh Heads. She teaches me plenty about resilience and the benefits of a simple, uncluttered life and being willing to serve others. I really like this notion, although my carport is currently messy so I still have a way to go.”

 

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 26
vivekakhy?tiraviplav? h?nop?ya?||26||
The ceaseless flow of discriminative knowledge in thought, word and deed destroys ignorance, the source of pain.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 129.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Stephen Hawking

 


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

January 2016

Wishing you all the best the rest of 2016…

 

The feature article in this month’s newsletter describes briefly BKS Iyegnar’s early years.

 

Also check out the cool pic of my grandniece I couldn’t resist publishing along with a happiness quote from the Dalai Lama.

 

Namaste Maurice

Contents:
Video of the Month – BKS Iyengar in 1977
Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; The Early Years
Upcoming Events; 2016 Beginner Courses, Bali Yoga Retreat
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Dianne Benadretti
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga video of the month: BKS Iyengar in 1977


Love the beauty of the black and white images of this amazing practice.

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – BKS Iyengar; The Early Years

This is the first of a series of articles we will run on B.K.S. Iyengar, paraphrased from the book 70 Glorious Years of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar (Commemoration Volume), Light of Yoga Research Trust Bombay 1990.

 

This first article deals with his early years

Sundararaja Iyengar was born on 14 December 1918 at Bellur in Karnataka state, the eleventh of 13 children. His father was headmaster of the village school and the family’s financial condition, which was never good, worsened after the death of his father in 1927. Sundararaja was a sickly boy who suffered from malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis. He was also undernourished. At 16, he weighed only 32 kg, had a chest measurement of 50 cm and his height was less than 1.5 metres.

 

Initiation in yoga

In 1934, he moved to Mysore to live with his sister and continue his high school education. His brother-in-law Yogacharya T. Krishnamacharya was running a yogashala – a yoga studio – for the family of the Mysore Royal House. Young Sundararaja was roped in to assist Sri Krishnamacharya in June 1935 and was initiated into yoga. Only four months later, he won a monetary prize from the Maharaja of Mysore before whom he gave a yoga demonstration.

 

The rigorous yoga practice and teaching at the yogashala left no time for his final high school studies. He passed the matriculation examination but discontinued further studies. In October 1935, it became clear where his dedication and priorities lay when he scored 98% and was placed first in the diploma course of the yogashala.

 

Beginning teaching

Guruji’s first independent teaching assignment was to teach yoga to the families of the staff of Karnataka College in 1936 (guruji is a term meaning spiritual teacher). He joined the Pune Deccan Gymkhana as a yoga teacher in 1937 and although this source of income ended in August 194o, he not give up his yogic career. He secured one or two private tuitions and somehow subsisted. He also gave a few yoga demonstrations, which drew praise from eminent persons like the Raja of Aundh and the Governor of Bombay.

 

iyengar_family

Marriage

In July 1943, Guruji married Smt. Ramamaniand and they set up home in Pune. She was an understanding and compassionate companion in his struggle for existence. In 1945, Guruji and his wife each had identical visions of divinity in their dreams. These dreams indicated an end to their struggle. Soon after, increased tuitions began bringing in a steady income. Guruji’s name and fame as a yoga therapist, artist and teacher spread and many eminent people became his pupils – including J. Krishnamurthy in 1948.

 

Invitation to Europe

Yehudi Menuhin, the celebrated violinist, visited India at the invitation of the Indian prime minister. Menuhin was suffering from exhaustion and stress during his concert performance and he was looking for a yogi teacher who would help him. Menuhin found his Guru in Guruji. Guruji could not accept Menuhin’s invitation to visit Europe in 1952, but he subsequently did so in 1954. Guruji’s teaching and demonstrations were widely appreciated and this made his frequent subsequent visits abroad inevitable. He taught yoga to such eminent personalities as the Queen Mother of Belgium, Clifford Curzon and Aldous Huxley.

 

Next article: Widening Recognition of B.K.S. Iyengar

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

2016 Beginner’s courses

When: Starting Tuesday 2nd February

6 week course

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $95

For anyone who has never done yoga before or is new to the Iyengar method.

 

See the website for details.

 

Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email

 

 

2016 Bali Yoga Retreat

When: 13th to 25th June 2016

Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali
Price: Full Price AU$2,090 Shared or AU$2,390 Single
Earlybird Price: Book and pay by 29th Feb. for 15% discount.

 

Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day to day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Dianne Benadretti

 

In this new section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

 

 

Dianne, who’s been a Yoga Room student since 2015 and currently attends classes every day, is enthusiastically involved in helping the less fortunate.

 

“It has always been a great passion of mine to assist children who’ve been orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, my country of birth, by providing them with the things we take for granted in the first world – food, water, medicine, education, and most importantly, the ability to be self-sufficient…yet feel part of a community.

 

“The conditions that these children endure are heart-breaking, yet I am always amazed at and humbled by their happy souls and their ability to find joy in the simplest of pleasures. They are always polite, cheerful, so grateful for the little they have and so spirited.”

 

Dianne, who has called Australia home for 15 years now, discovered a passion for watercolour painting five years ago. “Before that, I was not aware that I could paint in watercolours,” she says. Dianne’s paintings are based on photographs taken by her daughter, Ashleigh, who has the same heartfelt desire to help the underprivileged in Africa and also the Indigenous in Australia. The proceeds from the sales of these paintings have all gone to charities, such as Burleigh in Pink, Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims and supporting orphans in Zimbabwe and the children in Kununurra.

 

In recognition of her work, Dianne was asked if she would stand for nomination for the 2012 International Women’s Day Leadership Award. However, Dianne declined the opportunity because of her extensive commitment to Rotary Club of Surfers Paradise. Having served a short time as Rotarian of the Year, and a member of Paul Harris Fellowship, Dianne is currently serving as vice-president of the Lions Club of Gold Coast Mermaid Beach. Dianne says that the tireless work of the entire committee goes towards supporting many local charities and they are proud of the dormitory they have built at a school in Chang Mai.

 

Dianne personally mentors women who are in local shelters. Lions also assist many other local charities such as hearing dogs and they have recently donated a defibrillator and a chainsaw to a volunteer fire brigade, to mention but a few of the many projects they have undertaken.

 

On a personal level, Dianne has worked with her aunt, Kiki Divaris, in Zimbabwe who passed away on 5th December 2015. As chairperson of Zimbabwe Child Survival and Development and also Models against Hunger in Africa, Kiki has left a huge void. Kiki Divaris was given a State Funeral and has been called the ‘Mother Theresa’ and ‘Queen of Zimbabwe.’

 

Dianne has practised yoga for over 30 years, which has given her the strength to get through some very difficult personal circumstances. “That’s why I keep going to yoga. It’s the strength that’s kept me going. And it is definitely going to keep me strong enough to achieve what I would like to do in Zimbabwe.” Dianne hopes to use yoga as a tool to empower the women in Zimbabwe by introducing World Yoga there, an organisation that teaches yoga to indigenous women who would otherwise have no exposure to this beautiful and empowering practice. Domestic violence is entrenched in many African societies. So far, World Yoga has proven successful in North Africa.

 

Dianne, in her personal capacity and through her art work, has raised funds to complete a borehole at Zinatsa School in Zimbabwe. She is intending to return to Zimbabwe in April this year, where she is teaming up with the Lions Phoenix Club of Harare who will assist her in the many projects needed to be continued and commenced.

 

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 16
heya? du?khaman?gatam||16||
The pains which are yet to come can be and are to be avoided.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 116.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
Dalai Lama

 

…by the way this is my grandniece; Paige Sarah McCann


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

December 2015

Christmas is almost here…

 

In the busyness of this time of the year it is wonderful to see so many students embracing the challenge of the early morning yoga intensive. There are many ways of progressing the practice of yoga and in this month’s newsletter we explore the aspect of self-practice.

 

The Yoga Room will be open during the break; however there will be limited classes between Christmas and New Year. See our timetable for details.

 

Thanks to everyone for your support throughout this year and the Yoga Room wishes everyone a peaceful Christmas and happy and prosperous new year.

 

Namaste

Contents:
Video of the Month – BKS Iyengar Teaching Yoga asana class London 1985
Article of the Month – Yoga Asana Self-practice
Upcoming Events; 2016 Beginner Courses, Bali Yoga Retreat
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Carla Bierhuizen
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga video of the month: BKS Iyengar Teaching Yoga asana class London 1985

A great video linking Iyengar’s descriptions of a deeper practice of yoga asana with a class he taught in London in 1985.

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – Yoga Asana Self-practice

by Gail Tagarro
Self-practice means practising yoga on our own, without a teacher’s instruction. While we all need the discipline and instruction of classes to ensure we are practising the asanas correctly and to help with motivation to continue our yoga practice, self-practice is beneficial physically and mentally, and our practice of yoga improves more quickly.
Even practising only 15 minutes a day yields benefits. It’s more important to practise regularly than to practise for a long time: regularity is more important than duration.

 

Some benefits

1. Faster improvement in the asanas

2. Feelings of well-being and joy

3. A feeling of achievement

4. A more peaceful mind

5. Obvious benefits like improved health and flexibility

6. Increasing familiarity with the Sanskrit names of asanas

7. …and last but not least, we are incorporating yoga into our life, with all the benefits that flow from this.

 

How do I start?

If you’re not used to practising on your own, the best way is to get hold of a quality Iyengar yoga book with photographs demonstrating the asanas. Then you can plan your sequence before you go to the practice.
While ‘Light on Yoga’ by BKS Iyengar is the classic text, it may be too challenging for when you first begin a self-practice.
You might like to start with a 28-week course by Geeta Iyengar in Chapter X of ‘Yoga in Action – Preliminary Course’, or the 10 sequences in chapter V ‘Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga’ by BKS & Geeta Iyengar.
Two other very good texts are ‘Yoga: the Iyengar Way’ and ‘How to Use Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Iyengar Method of Yoga for Relaxation, Health and Well-Being’, by Mira Mehta.
It’s preferable to follow the Iyengar gurus’ suggestions, as their sequences are specifically designed and consist of asanas from all the basic groups, including standing, sitting, forward bends and backbends, inversions, and twists.
As you become more confident with your practice, you’ll probably want to add one or two days of self-practice at home, and maybe gradually build up to more.

 

Additionally, the Yoga Room is available three mornings a week and at no additional charge to any current Yoga Room student who wishes to do their own yoga practice in the studio. The days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 6 am to 7.30 am. They show as ‘Group Practice’ in the timetable.
You can use any of the props, just as you can in yoga classes, but the asanas you practise are your choice, and you practise at your own pace. This is a great resource, and you are encouraged to take advantage of it.

 

Whether you practice at the Yoga Room or at home a self practice is the “next step” on the journey.

 

Do I need props at home?

It’s easier if you have some basic props, like one or two blocks, a strap, a bolster, and perhaps a yoga blanket. You can add further props later. What props you need will depend on your particular requirements, your level, and any injuries you may have. When in doubt, check with your teacher. Don’t let an absence of props stop you from commencing a self-practice though; your yoga mat is usually enough to begin with.

 

A tip

When practising at home, always change into your yoga clothes and use a yoga mat. By starting the same way you would start a yoga class, you are getting into a familiar mindset.
Iygengar once said that the most difficult asana was unfolding the mat!

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

2016 Beginner’s courxes

When: Starting Wednesday 13th January

6 week course

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $95

For anyone who has never done yoga before or is new to the Iyengar method.

 

See the website for details.

 

Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email

 

 


 

 

2016 Bali Yoga Retreat

When: 13th to 25th June 2016

Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali
Price: Full Price AU$2,090 Shared or AU$2,390 Single
Earlybird Price: Book and pay by 29th Feb. for 15% discount.

 

Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day to day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Carla Bierhuizen

 

In this new section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

 

 

Carla started yoga about 15 years ago through a friend. Originally from Toowoomba, Carla settled on the GC with husband Richard about 17 years ago. She and her friend had just had children and wanted to try something new, get back into shape and have a bit of time to themselves. Later, back injuries forced her to give yoga up for a few years until her friend Tracey, another Yoga Room student, kept telling her about Maurice’s class at the Yoga Room and saying it was “the best”.

Carla has now been attending Iyengar yoga at the Yoga Room for about 18 months. “I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do what I can do now because of my back issues,” she says. “Iyengar yoga is the best for strengthening and I’ve experienced increasing improvement.” Carla currently attends two classes a week. “I’m totally hooked. Maurice is the best teacher I’ve ever had. He doesn’t miss anything. He’s very thorough. The props have really helped with my confidence and improvement.”

Because it has helped her back issues so much, Carla is passionate about her yoga, saying, “I never feel bored with Maurice’s classes, they are different every time. I can’t sell it enough to people, I could rave on and on about it!”

She occasionally does a practice at home, especially if she’s been sitting down all day at the desk or driving. Carla and her husband Richard run a business called Footlogics Australia Pty Ltd. They design and sell premade medical grade orthotics, selling their product online as well as to pharmacies, physios, chiropractors, and podiatrists both in Australia and internationally.

Their business has operated for 10 years now, with Carla joining Richard around seven years ago to do the administration as well as some sales and marketing. She spends a couple of days a week on the road meeting with pharmacy clients. They employ another staff member on the Gold Coast and have various distributors in Australia and overseas.

Carla would love to offer any interested Yoga Room students a 20% discount on orthotics. Details can be found on their website Click here.

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 28
yog??g?nu??h?n?da?uddhik?aye jñ?nad?ptir?vivekakhy?te?||28||
By dedicated practice of the various aspects of yoga impurities are destroyed: the crown of wisdom radiates in glory.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 132.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Aristotle


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

November 2015

“The Only Thing that is Constant is Change -” Heraclitus

 

Those of you who are coming to the Yoga Room regularly are aware of the many changes. Along with the personal changes associated with the ongoing practice there is the evolution of the space we are practising in… the storage/shoe rack has changed and there are two fans (very useful now the warmer weather is upon us).

 

Also, Daniela has left the Yoga Room. We wish her all the best for her future. Sarah and Maurice are teaching all the classes now, see the timetable for details.

 

This newsletter has a great article about the 2015 Bali Yoga Retreat and lots of other good stuff.

 

Enjoy….

Contents:
Video of the Month – Alan Goode- Abhyasa & Vairagya (Iyengar Yoga practice)
Article of the Month – Bali yoga retreat with the Yoga Room June 2015
Upcoming Events; Summer Yoga Intensive, Bali Yoga Retreat
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Gail Tagarro
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga video of the month: Alan Goode- Abhyasa & Vairagya (Iyengar Yoga practice)

Practice and detachment, the two pillars of Yoga according to Sage Patanjali, are key concepts in the teachings of BKS Iyengar. Senior yoga teacher Alan Goode helps us explore these challenging yet fundamental aspects of any authentic practice.

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – Bali yoga retreat with the Yoga Room June 2015

by Gail Tagarro
I’d always wanted to go on a yoga retreat. I’d been on a spiritual retreat way back in the 70s in rural England, a silent retreat, but last year, circumstances and mindset finally aligned and I was able to commit to the 2015 Bali yoga retreat. It was also my first trip to Bali.

 

Arrival in Denpasar, Bali

At Ngurah Rai airport, we were met by Made (‘Marday’), Maurice’s driver friend. All of our transfer and transportation needs were included in the trip and ably taken care of by Maurice and Made. This included airport pick-ups and drop-offs, transport by car from our Sanur accommodation to the boat, boat trip to and from Nusa Lembongan, car trip to and from Sidemen. Not needing to concern ourselves with transportation made the travelling experience worry-free.

 

On our first day, I was struck by the distinctive Balinese architecture, and it was pleasing to see that even many modern buildings – including the tollgates on the new highway – were built in the Balinese style with that characteristic Balinese roof.

 

Our teacher

Maurice is a gifted and dedicated teacher, as all of us who practise at the Yoga Room know. As we were a small group – there were just four of us – it was a unique opportunity to receive so much individual attention. All of us learnt a lot and benefited tremendously.

 

The yoga program

The retreat consisted of 10 days of yoga classes, twice daily. We rose early each day for a 6 am start. The class always began with guided breathing exercises, followed by meditation. We began with 20 minutes and gradually built up to 35 minutes over the fortnight. The breathing and meditation were a gentle way to begin the day, especially for someone like me who isn’t naturally an early riser. After this part of the practice, we had a tea break (or Bali coffee, which we all developed a taste for), during which we were encouraged to remain quiet to benefit further from the breathing and meditation session. The one-and-a-half hour yoga class then followed. At 9 am, it was time for breakfast. I’d wondered before the trip how I’d cope with getting up so early and not having breakfast until 9. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one! We were so focused on each aspect of the morning’s practice that there were no rumbling tummies. Having said that, we always enjoyed breakfast, with the sort of pleasure that comes from having first put in some hard work.

 

The afternoon yoga practice began at 4 pm. In the first hour or so, Maurice introduced us to yoga philosophy, new for most of us, and then we’d do an hour’s practice, usually forward bends and ending with a headstand and shoulder stand before savasana. Both our morning and afternoon yoga classes began with chanting three oms followed by the invocation to Patanjali. Only one of the attendees knew the words before she arrived. By the end of the first week, we were all confidently repeating each line of the invocation, and during the second week, we were able to repeat the full invocation without referring to the sheet. Another area of progress, apart from the asanas themselves, was in learning a fair few of their Sanskrit names, thanks to Maurice’s forbearance in repeating them a zillion times each practice.

 

If you’re wondering if you would be able to keep up with the program – rising before 6 am, yoga twice a day – I’d also wondered this. Before the trip, I’d only been going to yoga classes twice a week, and hadn’t been doing any regular practice on my own at home. After the first two days on the retreat, my muscles felt pretty sore and I was physically tired, but after the third day, the aches settled down. I had no hesitation in sneaking in sleeps during the day if I needed them, and I wasn’t alone in that. After all, chilling out is what holidays are all about. In summary, I managed just fine – and I’m one of the Yoga Room’s more ‘mature’ students 🙂 I’d also had a hip replacement one year previously. That’s the beauty for me of the Iyengar style: no matter your age or your physical limitations, you are guided to work within your limits while at the same time constantly challenging those limits.

 

The lifestyle

Like many people visiting Bali so recently after all the media attention over the Bali executions, I had some apprehensions about the safety of travelling there. However, in all my travels so far, I have never known a more serene and peaceable and patient people than the Balinese. In the metropolitan areas, the traffic is dense – with more motorbikes than I’ve ever seen on the roads, as well as an increasing number of cars, vans and trucks – and yet we never saw an instance of road rage or impatience. The traffic seems to flow endlessly, never seeming to stop (unless there’s a traffic light), but slowing down to allow pedestrians to cross and other traffic to change lanes.

 

The places we visited

Sanur

On the main island of Bali, Sanur is about 45 minutes’ drive from the airport. From what I could see, it is essentially a long, narrow road containing many shops, cafes, restaurants, money exchangers, and massage places, with the beach and beachfront walk containing more cafes and restaurants just one block away. All five of us had opted to stay at Swastika Bungalows for the two nights before the retreat began. The accommodation was very pleasant, located in lush grounds with quiet bungalows and three different swimming pools. It was good having a couple of days to wind down before beginning the retreat.

 

Nusa Lembongan (Mushroom Bay)

The boat to Nusa Lembongan departed from Sanur on the morning of Monday 15 June. Seeing the crowds gathering on the foreshore, we wondered if we were all going to fit in the boat. We did. We had a giggle watching a group of beautifully dressed and made-up Chinese girls screaming to avoid getting wet with the not-insignificant swell as they clambered into another boat, but when it came to our turn, we also had to wait between swells and then make an undignified dash for the boat. After the 30-minute boat ride, we arrived in Mushroom Bay and walked up the sand the few metres to our beachfront accommodation, Tanis Villas.

 

At Tanis, we were greeted with a welcome drink, a lovely custom on arrival at all Bali accommodation. Then we were shown to our rooms, some of which had that delightful Bali outdoor bathroom (completely enclosed and private, it just has no roof, perfect in a warm climate). After unpacking, we were free to do our own thing the rest of the day, meeting Maurice at 4 pm for an informal yoga practice, the first of the five-day yoga sessions commencing the following day. While on Lembongan island (‘nusa’ means ‘island’), we did two trips as a group. The first was on an outrigger canoe with a local fisherman who took us around the whole island at a placid pace, stopping in two places so that we could snorkel and enjoy the abundant reef life. The second was a short walk from our accommodation with our group to view the sun setting over the sea, a spectacular sight, with huge waves crashing onto the rocks below, after which we all went to dinner together at a restaurant located dramatically on the oceanside cliffs. This was an ‘upmarket’ place where dinner and drinks cost us about $23 each instead of the usual $5 to $8. That’s one of the things about Bali: it’s still very cheap for Aussie travellers, despite tourism having claimed Bali for its own.

 

After breakfast each day, we did whatever took our fancy: sightseeing around the island by motorbike or exploring on foot, swimming in the ocean or in the pool, having a massage or a manicure, or simply catching up on sleep. You never realise how tired the year makes you until you leave your familiar environment and habits and begin to slow down your pace.

 

There is no shortage of eateries in Mushroom Bay. In the six days we were there, we could have had lunch or dinner at a different place every day. My favourite was the hilltop restaurant with a spectacular view over the ocean and the bay, enjoying the fresh juices and meals, the cool breeze, and the chance to spend a couple of hours happily practising photography.

 

Sidemen

Departure day from Nusa Lembongan was Sunday 21 June and after meditation and an earlier breakfast, we were boarding the boat around 8 am for the trip back to Sanur. Made, our trustworthy driver, met us on Sanur beach with a second car and driver for our luggage. On the narrow road to Sidemen, winding through the countryside, we saw a local farmer wading calf-deep in his rice paddy, planting rice. The trip to Sidemen took approximately two hours, with a stop at a village called Klangkung to visit the local markets. They were authentically local, as we were the only westerners.

 

Going through the village of Sidemen by car is a don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it experience, although we visited it on foot several days later and found there was more to it than we’d realised. Sidemen and surrounds is rural, rice paddy fields everywhere, and as authentic as encroaching tourism has allowed. On the outskirts of the village, home stays and rural villa accommodation is springing up, along with some local tourist attractions like weaving, and small tourist offices offering tours to places such as Mount Agung, the sacred mountain.

 

A special event marked our arrival in Sidemen. It coincided with the first-ever International Yoga Day, the idea for which had been promulgated by BKS Iyengar himself, although Iyengar didn’t live to experience it. Our classes formally began the next day, but Maurice suggested an afternoon practice to mark this special occasion.

 

Nirata Centre where we stayed, located about 2.5 km outside of Sidemen, is a haven. Especially set up for retreats, it is located in expansive grounds with its bungalows widely spaced apart and separated by individual garden ‘rooms’. A river rushes by in the valley below. Nirata overlooks rice paddies and fields, the river, and the surrounding hills. The only sounds we ever heard were the lowing of cows, and the chanting of priests accompanied by the percussive gamalan. Nirata’s staff, ever industrious from early morning onwards, and always with ready smiles, were gentle and obliging. The (mostly vegetarian) meals were all included and so delicious that Maurice became concerned the food might overtake the yoga in our priorities!

 

While at Nirata Centre, most of the group did a four-hour hike together up into the hills accompanied by a guide from Nirata. We crossed the river – that means through the river – and then passed through villages even smaller than Sidemen, walking through rice paddies and fields planted with crops such as chillies, sweet potatoes, water spinach, and peanuts. There were a good many tree crops as well, including bananas, cloves, coconuts, jackfruit, and mangoes, all pointed out to us by our guide. While the appeal of the hike was in exploring the area generally, the principal destination was a temple at the top of the hill, Pura Bukit Tageh. I call it a hill, but it felt like a mountain, and it is a foothill of Mount Agung, so we’ll go with mountain. Once we reached the top of the mountain, the guide said, “There’s 300 steps to the temple,” and being optimistic, I thought, good, just 300 steps more. However, he meant that after we’d tackled another not-insignificant uphill path, we then reached the steps leading up to the temple at the top, which he said numbered 300 but which we were certain were more like 1,000. However, as with all such things, the sense of achievement in reaching the top was worthwhile, and then the temple itself and the view of the surrounding countryside were a bonus.

 

We were all sad to leave Sidemen, departure day being Sunday 27 June, having adapted to the slow and serene pace of life, the twice-daily yoga practices, and the daily luxury of our housekeeping and meals being taken care of.

 

Ubud

For two of our group, leaving Sidemen meant returning home. The remaining three of us (including Maurice) had booked a night in Ubud. Ubud has been attracting tourists since the rise of mass tourism in Bali in the 1970s. I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it, as mass tourism isn’t my thing – its often disastrous effects on the environment and local economies, the shabby practices that arise from locals fed up with dealing with tourists – however, although it is far from ‘typical Bali’, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the numerous healthy/organic/raw cafes, shopping in the markets, and purchasing a couple of items of silver at very reasonable prices. The Balinese are superb artisans.

 

The learning

My idea of a retreat is taking time out from everyday life to slow down, reflect, hopefully come away with something I didn’t have before – in a non-material sense. All this and more were the outcomes for me of the Bali retreat. My practice generally and my understanding of alignment in the postures improved. I learnt the invocation and the Sanskrit names of some of the asanas. Being on retreat helped me discover the benefits of following a regular routine, getting up early, and going to bed early. I have continued with breathing exercises as needed and yoga practice at home. It took going away on retreat for me to realise the value of this practice. Five months later, I generally sleep better, have had only one migraine, and my anxiety has diminished to the point where I dare to hope it’s gone for good.

 

Thank you, Maurice, for the opportunity of going to Bali and for your teaching. I hope to be able to go again in 2016.

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

16 Day Summer Morning Yoga Intensive

Maurice McCann

When: 7th – 24th December, 2015

6 – 7.30am every day (except Sun 13th and 20th)

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $275

The Summer Solstice Yoga Intensive not only celebrates the change in season, and the longest day of the year, it gives us the opportunity to bring 2015 to a neat completion.

 

This 16 day intensive is designed to systematically challenge and develop perceptions of alignment, while building strength, stability and stamina.

 

Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email

 

 


 

 

2016 Bali Yoga Retreat

When: 13th to 25th June 2016

Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali
Price: Full Price AU$2,090 Shared or AU$2,390 Single
Earlybird Price: Book and pay by 29th Feb. for 15% discount.

 

Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day to day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.

 

Click here for more details, or Email us. Or call 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Gail Tagarro

 

In this new section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.

 

 

Gail was introduced to yoga in her early 20s and has practised on and off since then, with the ‘off’ times sometimes being longer than she’d like to admit. She’s been attending classes at the Yoga Room for about 5 years. She trained as a journalist after leaving school, travelled overseas for several years, returned home and became a ‘mature’ uni student in her 30s, emerged with a Masters in Arts that didn’t seem very practical out in the real world but which eventually opened the door to a 15-year career in technical writing.

Having essentially worked with words most of her life, in 2008, she qualified as an Accredited Editor. After many ups and downs and working in ‘day’ jobs to support the family and pay the rent, she finally managed to leave the rat race mid-last year and now runs her own editorial services business, helping authors achieve their dreams of being published.

See Gail’s website editors4you.com for more details.

 

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 1 Verse 12
abhy?savair?gy?bhy?? tannirodha?||12||
Practice and detachment are the means to still the movements of consciousness.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the yoga sutras of Patanjali Pg 57.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion”
Albert Camus

 

 


Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

June 2015

We have a challenge for you this month. Every day, stop for 5 minutes and contemplate the following quote ‘I am not a human having a spiritual experience, I am spirit having a human experience’. You can do it while you’re on a bus, or waiting for an appointment, or having a coffee break or any window of opportunity that presents itself. Let us know how it effects your outlook.

Contents:
Video Asana of the Month – Genius In Action: BKS Iyengar
Article of the Month – In Conversation With Mira Metha
Question of the Month – Can Positive thinking be Negative?
Bali Yoga Retreat – 15th to 27th June 2015
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Yuki
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga asana video of the month – Genius In Action: BKS Iyengar

To inspire your home practice this video is an excerpt from a film tribute shown in Boston during Yogacharya Sri BKS Iyengar’s Light On Life tour of the United States in 2005. Narrator: Patricia Walden.

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – In Conversation with Mira Metha

by Marina Jung
Mira’s more than 40 years of teaching has its roots in a fine yoga lineage. She, and her brother Shyam, began yoga as children with the world-renowned guru BKS Iyengar. Her mother, Silva Mehta, was one of Mr Iyengar’s principal students. Silva started the first teacher training courses for yoga teachers in the UK- very much pioneering how yoga is taught in the West today, projecting it into mainstream activity. The Metha family are well known as a ‘yoga family’, and their best seller, Yoga ‘the Iyengar Way’ has been highly influential throughout the world, inspiring countless people to commence their own personal practice… to continue reading click here

 

 

 

Question of the Month – Can Positive Thinking be negative?

Daniela Casotti
It’s important to make a distinction between healthy positive thinking, and unhealthy positive thinking.

 

Healthy positive thinking works to purify the mind. It is a process of healing negative thoughts. The Dalai Lama described it beautifully when he said ‘see the positive side, the potential, and make an effort’. It’s not about just ignoring the negative thought. Effort is required to reconcile the negative thought, and rebuild it into a positive thought. That way it can become established as a positive thought. It is not about neglecting the negative thought. It is about encouraging the thought to become healthy. It’s about becoming accountable for your thoughts, and requires honesty, courage and time!

 

Unhealthy positive thinking is when you use positive thinking as a form of escapism. This is a form of suppression used to evade the issue. Research has indicated that this behaviour can be counterproductive, helping to assure the very state of mind one had hoped to avoid. Using thought suppression in this way, shields the negative thought with a bandage of positivity. This actually protects the negative thought, allowing it to eventually grow in strength. In addition, ignoring the negative thought leads to ignorance. Not dealing with it does not make it go away. Prema Chandron says “nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know”. This kind of ‘positive thinking’ is unwholesome and harmful.

 

Undoubtedly positive thinking is beneficial. It has the capacity to improve our ability to deal with stress, it can improve health and it can facilitate good relationships. However, if we don’t put an effort into actively changing the behaviour that creates the negative thought, positive thinking may stop us from seeing reality with necessary clarity.

 

 

 

2015 Bali Yoga Retreat

When: 15th – 27th June 2015

The Yoga Room annual Bali Yoga Retreat is about 5 weeks away.

 

Here’s a review written by a student after attending our 2010 Bali Retreat.

 

Click here to view our website for more details, or Email us. Daniela’s always up-to-date on cheap airfares, so call her on 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Yuki

 

In this new section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours. This month we are excited to offer and invitation from Yuki…

 

Yuki, who’s been one of our students for over 3 years, is a passionate surfer. If he’s not in the ocean or on his yoga mat, he’s sanding surfboards, shaping and creating amazing equipment to make surfing exhilarating!

He also designs and handmakes body surfing hand-boards. these are great for increasing speed and maneuverability in the waves. He’s put one in the Yoga Room, and has invited all our students who are into to surfing to try it out and give him feedback. Maurice raves about it, and Daniela bought one for her brother-in-laws birthday. Let us know if you want to try it out… And support Yuki in his new venture!

 

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 28
yog??g?nu??h?n?da?uddhik?aye jñ?nad?ptir?vivekakhy?te?||28||
By dedicated practice of the various aspects of yoga impurities are destroyed: the crown of wisdom radiates in glory.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the yoga sutras of Patanjali Pg 132.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“Allow your intelligence to penetrate evenly throughout the body extremities, like the rays of the sun”
BKS Iyengar

 

 


Daniela and Maurice
Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

May 2015

We’re a quarter of the way through 2015, and progress is evident. The endangered southern resident community of orcas appears to be thriving in the waters around the San Juan Islands. Baby tortoises have been found on Galápagos island for the first time in a century, and the UN says the planet’s damaged ozone layer is “well on track” for recovery by mid-century. Not everything comes instantly though. Many years of groundwork has gone into building these achievements, and there are many more to go.

 

Yoga is a way to lay the ground work for permanent change in our individual lives. As long as there’s an intention, a starting point, action and endurance- with yoga, realization is assured. Keep up your yoga practice. It not only restores physical, emotional and mental health, it keeps you on track in your journey to freedom.

Contents:
Video Asana of the Month – Yoga Kurunta (the use of ropes for the practice of yoga)
Article of the Month – Yoga Remedies for Body and Mind by Mira Mehta
Question of the Month – Why practice the Yamas and Niyamas?
Bali Yoga Retreat – 15th to 27th June 2015
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Yuki
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga asana video of the month – Yoga Kurunta (the use of ropes for the practice of yoga)

This video shows Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar (BKS Iyengar’s daughter) explaining the significance of using ropes during Yoga Asana practice.

 

Click here to view this video.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – Yoga Remedies for Body and Mind

by Mira Mehta, MPhil (Oxon), AAPA
Introduction

It is common knowledge that Yoga promotes health and well-being. Having stood the test of time, this ancient subject is enjoying unprecedented popularity, no doubt because people feel the need to counter the pressures of modern living. What is not so well known is that Yoga has very specific techniques that act on the body and mind to maintain efficiency and remedy ills. It can alleviate all sorts of health conditions, including back pain, aches and pains in the limbs, respiratory and circulatory problems, digestive complaints, menstrual and eliminatory dysfunction, problems of the throat, and memory and mood disorders. In this article we give an overview of how Yoga deals with some different conditions: back pain, asthma, digestive problems and depression. We also look at how it helps the mind.

 

The tools Yoga employs are postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama) and sensory inhibition (pratyahara). The practice of postures is an important feature of Yoga. Postures are not mere repetitive exercises; they involve a systematic, structured and intelligent way of moving the entire musculo-skeletal system. They improve muscle tone, circulation and physiological efficiency and build up strength, stamina and flexibility. They also affect the psyche, in that they develop confidence and physical and mental stability. Breath control is a more advanced, subtle practice which must be based on the foundation of a regular practice of postures. It increases respiratory capacity and body tissue oxygenation. The breathing and relaxation methods are calming and very effective in relieving stress and emotional distress. Control of the senses likewise is a subtle practice, which goes with deep relaxation and breath control. The effect is to harness the energies of the mind, thereby increasing concentration and decreasing distracting thoughts and cravings.

 

Yoga can be practised by everyone, young or old, fit or unfit. This is because it is progressive, starting with simple methods and postures. As the postures can be done with the help of supports they are also suitable for the elderly and people with physical difficulties. There is no age limit for improvement.

 

Yoga Postures and Back Pain

There are various groups of related postures, which build a sound and healthy physique, amongst them standing, sitting, twisting, inverted and back-bending postures. In all of them a major aim is evident: that of creating a perfect alignment of the physical structure – bones and muscles – in whichever posture is performed. In everyday life the limbs are limited in their range of movement, and they function more or less adequately with a fair degree of misalignment. For harmonious movement, however, certain actions are required:

Extending

Muscles, and later the bones, need to be stretched so that the joints can be straightened or flexed to their maximum degree. Using the muscles strengthens them so that they give better support to the bones. Revolving

Bones are turned deliberately to their full capability, where appropriate. This can only be done if the muscles are also extended.

Creating Space

This is between bone and bone, as between the spinal vertebrae, or above and below a joint. In normal life bones are compressed, causing pain and stiffness. Once space is created, mobility is increased.

 

These various actions not only increase the mobility of the limbs and joints but encourage a healthy circulation of blood to those areas, with obvious beneficial effects. They also redress the imbalance between over and under extended muscles and over and under functioning inner organs. Similarly, they balance out the areas of the body which are under stress and those which are sluggish due to non or under use.

 

Conditions affecting the back vary considerably according to the nature and cause of the pain, and whether the pain is due to structural or organic problems. If it is the latter the condition is likely to be complex and needs careful and expert handling. Structural problems fairly obviously lend themselves to correction by Yoga postures.Again, these need to be divided into two types: congenital or caused by growing too quickly, such as abnormal curvatures of the spine, and those caused by continued bad posture or repeated awkward movements that strain the back. Sitting wrongly for long periods, performing repeated, strenuous movements at work, and lifting heavy weights are well known causes of back pain. Carrying bags or cases in one hand, particularly in childhood, causes uneven postural development, which often leads to back pain. The postures, which are extremely effective for lower back pain or generalized backache are a series of standing poses and seated twists. Bharadvajasana (Chair); Trikonasana (Triangle)

 

An important principle, wherever there is pain, is to stretch away from that pain. A great deal of pain is due to compression. Thus, by systematically extending and moving the arms and shoulders in various ways, lightness and relief is felt in the back. When the chest expands as a result of these stretches breathing improves and so immediately the person feels better.

 

It is important to perform movements with an exhalation. Usually when pain is felt the tendency is to hold the breath. This makes a person tense. One relaxes, and relaxes the affected area, on an outward breath. Another boon to back pain sufferers is to be inverted, so that relief is gained from the pressure of gravity as the spine freely lengthens from base to top. If there is pain inverted poses can be done with support. Ardha Halasana – Half Plough

 

The principles outlined above also apply in more serious problems, such as severe arthritic conditions and back pain due to injury. Here, of course, great care must be taken to gear the Yoga programme to the individual’s particular capacities and needs. It is helpful here to perform the postures against a support such as a wall. This allows movement without strain.

 

Yoga Postures and Asthma

When the respiratory process is impaired, as in asthma, the practice of Yoga postures can help considerably. Of greatest help are poses in which the rib cage is supported in such a way that the lungs can expand without strain. There are two types of postures that achieve this: supine poses and inverted poses.

 

In supine poses the back rests on a bolster or higher support while the legs are crossed simply or placed in different positions. The bolster support allows the diaphragm to extend and the spine to relax so that the nerves become soothed. All this brings relief of tension and feelings of fear. Because of the shape of the bolster the chest expands and therefore the lungs open better.

 

Inverted poses also improve the expansion of the lungs. When the body is inverted, the shoulders and upper chest have to be active in order to resist the compressive force of gravity. This makes the tops of the lungs open more. For asthmatics, whose breathing difficulties reduce their overall level of physical energy, these poses should be done with support. For example, Shoulder Balance (Sarvangasana) should be done using a chair. With no strain at all the chest expands well and breathing becomes easier. There are a number of other poses which have similar effects. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Balance on chair.

 

Only when the lungs have been strengthened by these poses is it appropriate – in fact, safe – to attempt breath control techniques (pranayama). To increase the capacity of the lungs it is most helpful to concentrate on inhalations.

 

Yoga Postures and the Digestion

A sluggish or impaired digestion can be helped by Yoga practice. Digestive problems are often triggered by stress. Poor posture, where the organic body is compressed, is also a contributory factor.

 

Three types of Yoga postures are particularly beneficial: supine poses, forward bends and extensions and inverted poses. They work on the digestive organs and tract by extending them, massaging them and inverting them, giving both stimulation and relaxation.

 

In supine poses the front of the body is extended as the arms stretch over the head. As the intestines stretch there is more room for their peristaltic action and the downward passing of gas. The liver is decompressed, and this promotes its healthy functioning. In fact, one particular pose (Supta Virasana, Supine Hero Pose) is said to aid digestion to such an extent that doing it for a mere 20 minutes after a heavy meal enables one to eat again! When the trunk bends forward over the legs the abdomen becomes soft. In this way seated forward bends relieve tension, which accumulates in the digestive system. Paschimottanasana – Back Extension.

 

Inverted poses counteract the compressive effect of gravity of the body and alter the position of whatever is contained in the digestive tract. (This is why it is necessary to practice them on an empty stomach.) This helps to move material that that is not passing along as it should and to expel blocked gas. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand.

 

Yoga Postures and Depression

Depression is a condition, which affects both the body and the mind. A depressed person often has a slumped posture with a caved-in chest. Positive thinking, self-esteem, laughter and optimism cannot find room in this posture. Even in cases where depression is deep-seated and medication is needed to maintain mental stability, Yoga can be a powerful tool that goes to the root of the problem and helps to sort it out. The Yoga programme to counter depression consists of postures, which invert the body, bringing a refreshing flow of blood to the head and those, which bend the spine backwards so that the chest is expanded and the adrenal glands are stimulated. Ustrasana – Camel. Both these types of postures build up concentration, will power and strength of the nerves. They also alter mood, promoting a positive frame of mind. In cases of severe depression, where lethargy and weakness of limbs are also present, the postures need to be done with support and under the guidance of a teacher. The breath control technique of dividing the inhalation into stages is suitable for people who are depressed. It is not strenuous, and it increases the intake of air gently and effectively.

 

One of the most important features of Yoga is that it is an activity that is done by oneself for oneself. Although initially it has to be taught, once familiarity is gained with the postures it can be practised independently. This gives a tremendous psychological boost. Instead of relying on medicine or another person to remove pain, one learns to relieve it oneself.

 

However, Yoga is not primarily a system of healing. Its health benefits occur almost as side effects during the pursuit of its main spiritual aim.

 

The definition of Yoga, as given by the two-thousand-year old authority Patanjali, is the restraining of the mind. This is a definition in the realm of psychology. It stems from the recognition that consciousness has waves that fluctuate constantly according to moods, thoughts and desires.

 

In order to conquer the mind, Patanjali enumerated various practices which, when followed and mastered, lead to mental poise and inner harmony. The three practices explained above – posture (asana), breath control (pranayama) and sensory control (pratyahara) – are based on a foundation of ethical conduct (yama) and a disciplined life-style (niyama).

 

As a result of these practices the mind becomes stronger and more focused and can engage in prolonged states of concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana). The goal of Yoga is said to be exclusive absorption (samadhi) in the soul; in this state of realisation the pure, spiritual soul is disentangled from the material world. This is the eighth and final aspect of Yoga. Yoga philosophy notes that the mind is the controller of the senses; however, the pull of the senses can be so strong that the mind loses control.

 

How do Yogic practices act on the senses and therefore the mind? Some of the practices, such as the injunction to ethical living and personal discipline, have a clear connection to psychological factors. However, postures and breath control appear to operate on a physiological level. What is the relationship here between body and mind? We shall look at postures (asana), breath control (pranayama) and sensory control (pratyahara) in turn.

 

Postures

The postures involve physical actions and as such have physical effects such as flexibility and muscle tone. However, they also have a direct result on the subtle systems of the body, the endocrine and nervous systems, and regularize the secretion of hormones. Different poses and sequences of poses have different effects.

The stimulation of the pituitary gland

The pituitary gland is the ‘master’ gland, controlling the adrenal cortex and the thyroid. It plays a central role in integrating the nervous and hormonal system. It is situated at the base of the brain in line with the space between the eyebrows. Head-Balance (Shirshasana) is the pose which activates this. The effect of Shirshasana, therefore, is as much mental as physical. The brain becomes refreshed and energised. Overdoing Shirshasana or neglecting to do the poses which have the opposite effect of calming the mind can produce irritability.

The stimulation of the adrenal glands

The adrenals are situated at the top of the kidneys. The postures, which work on the adrenals are backbends and twists. In back-bending poses, the anterior spine, which faces inside the body, is extended as the back is made concave. In so doing they stimulate the adrenals to produce adrenaline, thereby encouraging both physical and mental agility. Back-bending poses produce a sense of exhilaration which can be seen in the face.

This is related to the release of adrenaline and endorphins. In the long term they strengthen the nervous system. Urdhva Dahmurasana – Upwards Bow. The adrenals are also activated in twists. Again a concave action is required, but it is coupled with an axial rotation of the spine. These actions together produce freedom of movement in the spine and a concomitant relaxation of the neck muscles. This releases tension in the brain. (Marichyasaana – Marici’s Pose).

The stimulation of the thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is situated in the throat, on either side of the windpipe. The poses which help regulate this gland are the Shoulder-Balance (Sarvangasana) and associated poses It is important in these poses that the neck and throat are not compressed or constricted in any way. This is why the shoulders are raised on a support such as a set of folded blankets. These poses have a calming effect. The mind becomes peaceful, and the thought process, if not completely arrested, is slowed down. The eyes, ears and other sense organs become quiet. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Balance.

 

Breath control

Breath control (pranayama) involves techniques for training the inhalation, exhalation and the period of retention in-between. It deals with the physiological process of breathing and with the management of energy (prana) in the body.

In pranayama the basic sitting position is one of dynamic stillness. The trunk is held erect with the spine straight and chest lifted. The head is taken down towards the chest. This quietens the front of the brain, which is usually active with thoughts. The heart centre is lifted up. Breathing is done either through open nostrils or with the fingers of the right hand placed carefully on the nose where the nasal bone begins. Their job is to manipulate the flow of breath. Pranayama can also be done lying down. Pranayama – Breathing.

Different pranayama techniques have different effects: for example, concentrating on inhalations combats depression as it exercises the lungs and stimulates mental energy. By means of exhalations, blood pressure can be lowered. This is because during exhalations one lets go of tensions. However, the overall effect of pranayama is serenity.

 

Sensory Control

Sensory control (pratyahara) involves withdrawing the senses from the objects that stimulate them.

The Corpse Pose (Savasana) is aimed specifically at calming the sense-organs. The eyes are trained to rest in the sockets, and the ear passages are relaxed so that the eardrums are not disturbed by external sounds. The nostrils are relaxed so that the breath flowing in and out does not alter their shape. The tongue is rested on the floor of the mouth and tension in the mouth cavity is released by keeping the lips only just touching. The skin, which embodies the sense of touch, is relaxed and made to lie softly on the muscles. Through watchful awareness the senses can be maintained in this withdrawn state for prolonged periods. Savavasana – Corpse Pose.

The deep relaxation, which the Corpse Pose brings, cannot be attained without the regular practice of other postures. These stretch and re-align the body and improve the circulation of blood and oxygen, and in so doing, release tensions, which have built up over the years. By the same token the practice of breath control (pranayama) is also necessary, as it deliberately encourages the tranquilization of the senses.

 

Motivation

It might appear from the above that postures, breathing techniques and sensory control automatically purge the mind of distractions and bring about equilibrium and calm. While they are certainly powerful agents, they are not all-powerful. The body is not designed to control the mind, but to subserve the mind. Motivation is a crucial factor. If the purpose of practising Yoga is physical benefit, that is the level on which effects will be felt. Physical alignment in a pose will not automatically bring mental balance. If practice is undertaken for mental or spiritual gain, that intention will determine the results. Harmonizing heart with mind and mind with body is the key to achieving the goal of Yoga – inner peace.

The photos are from Mira Mehta’s Health Through Yoga, published by Thorsons 2002, and from Yoga: The Iyengar Way1990, published by Dorling Kindersley. Many thanks to Mira Metha for allowing us to reporduce her article here.

 

 

Question of the Month – Why practice the Yamas and Niyamas?

Daniela Casotti
If we look at the yamas and niyamas as muscles, the yamas are those we use when we interact with the ‘outer’ world. The Niyamas are those we use when we interact with our ‘inner world’. The way to keep these muscles toned is by consciously interacting with the ‘outer’ world in the same way that we would like the ‘outer’ world to interact with us.

 

Many of us see the Yamas and the Niyamas as a moral ‘list of things to do’. The Yamas list consists of: don’t be violent, be truthful, don’t steal, practice the science of celibacy, and don’t be possessive. The Niyamas list consists of: be pure, be content, persevere, study yourself and be devoted to unity. But treating them as something you have to remind yourself to do deprives them of their fundamental value. The yamas and the niyamas have the power to build and destroy. They have the power to create the world you want to live in.

 

Practicing yamas and niyamas is the yoga you do ‘off’ the mat. Doing it nurtures a peaceful, harmonious and generous attitude to yourself and others. It gives you experiential understanding that being human is fraught with change. We get to feel (not just theorize) the strong physical, emotional and mental currents that make up our lives, and sometimes distort our vision. We learn to accept and move beyond the mental constructs we use – often unknowingly – as excuses to sabotage our own efforts, and hold us back from achieving our goals.

 

Strengthening our inner muscles (niyamas), provides sustainability to the practice. You can change yourself but you can’t change others. Advancing with the qualities of purity, contentment and burning enthusiasm, when old unproductive habits distort our vision, develops inner strength. Commitment to self-study keeps things real, and brings about permanent valuable change. Devotion to unity balances our emotions. Niyamas engender faith in ourselves, human kind and divinity. It is a practical way to contribute to the soul of humanity.

 

Seeing the world through the eyes of niyamas, gives us the innocence to accept the world around us as an artwork in progress- and in so doing, allows us to experience the ultimate freedom of unity.

 

 

 

2015 Bali Yoga Retreat

When: 15th – 27th June 2015

The Yoga Room annual Bali Yoga Retreat is about 5 weeks away.

 

Here’s a review written by a student after attending our 2010 Bali Retreat.

 

Click here to view our website for more details, or Email us. Daniela’s always up-to-date on cheap airfares, so call her on 0431 837 244 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Yuki

 

In this new section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours. This month we are excited to offer and invitation from Yuki…

 

 

Yuki, who’s been one of our students for over 3 years, is a passionate surfer. If he’s not in the ocean or on his yoga mat, he’s sanding surfboards, shaping and creating amazing equipment to make surfing exhilarating!

He also designs and handmakes body surfing hand-boards. these are great for increasing speed and maneuverability in the waves. He’s put one in the Yoga Room, and has invited all our students who are into to surfing to try it out and give him feedback. Maurice raves about it, and Daniela bought one for her brother-in-laws birthday. Let us know if you want to try it out… And support Yuki in his new venture!

 

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 28
yog??g?nu??h?n?da?uddhik?aye jñ?nad?ptir?vivekakhy?te?||28||
By dedicated practice of the various aspects of yoga impurities are destroyed: the crown of wisdom radiates in glory.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the yoga sutras of Patanjali Pg 132.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

“Allow your intelligence to penetrate evenly throughout the body extremities, like the rays of the sun”
BKS Iyengar

 

 


Daniela and Maurice
Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244

February 2015

When the Ho Ho Ho of the Christmas season, becomes the ‘Ho Hum’ of ‘business as usual’, it’s time to remember our new year’s resolution! February is the month to anchor our ambitions for 2015. This newsletter is all about expanding our energy to reach new heights!

Contents:
Video Asana of the Month – Backbends
Article of the Month – Energy Fluctuations
Question of the Month – What is Pranayama?
Autumn Yoga Intensive – 9th to 28th March, 2015 (exc.15th & 22nd)
Bali Yoga Retreat – 15th to 27th June 2015
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Branka Doncevska
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Previous newsletters

 

 

Yoga asana video of the month – Backbends

This is a video of BKS Iyengar practicing his backbends. Filmed in 1991- he was 73 years old!

 

Click here to see this amazing man.

 

 

 

Article of the Month – Energy Fluctuations

Daniela Casotti
To bring about lasting positive change, we must break negative patterns, and transform the energy that creates them. This is easier said than done! On the bright side, through their exploration of mind, body and breath, ancient yogis discovered how human energy works, shedding light on how negative and positive patterns are formed. Pranamaya Kosha, a sanskrit term used for our body of energy, holds the key.

 

Pranamaya Kosha is a complex organization of action and reaction, which operates similarly to wind currents and electricity. One of its aspects is ‘vayus’, which literally means ‘wind’. Made up of five different forms, vayus can only be recognised by what they accomplish. Like wind, they move in different directions depending on the location they influence.

 

Prana Vayu (depicted in green). The word Prana is broadly used to define energy. One aspect of Prana is prana vayu. Without it, all the other vayus are inoperable. It is stored in the heart, and governs the heartbeat. It directs everything from the upper abdomen to the base of the throat, and moves in an upward direction. It controls our body temperature, and sustains our vital organs. It absorbs and delegates nutrients from the food and liquids we take in. It allows information to be received by our five senses.

 

Apana Vayu (depicted in pink) governs the lower abdominal region, and has a current that flows downwards from the navel to the pelvic floor. It is stored in the anus. It is the force behind the elimination of toxins. It looks after the kidneys, colon, rectum, bladder and genitals. Fertility depends on it, as does the birthing process. If it’s not working properly we lack motivation and determination. Confusion and indecisiveness reign.

 

Samana Vayu (depicted in yellow). Stored in the navel, it forms a band that moves sideways between the navel and the heart. It balances and unifies the opposite forces of prana vayu and apana vayu. It is the “digestive fire”. Whilst Prana Vayu absorbs and delegates nutrients to different areas of the body, Samana vayu separates the nutritious from the toxic. It also manages the absorption of oxygen. If it’s faulty, we experience shortness of breath and gastric disorders. Mentally, Samana Vayu integrates information coming in from our five senses, influencing our decision making process.

 

Udana (depicted in blue). Stored in the throat, it governs the head, and co-ordinates muscle function in our limbs. It is associated with sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. It moves in a downward spiralling action in the limbs, and an upward spiralling action in the head.  It generates strength, regulates growth and determines balance. It facilitates enthusiasm and will.  It influences the articulation of ideas and how they are expressed in the form speech.

 

Vyana vayu infuses the whole body. Centrally located it moves in an outward direction to the periphery of the body. It coordinates and connects. The functioning of the nerves, veins, muscles, joints and the circulation of nutrients and energy depend on it. It can be felt in the skin, in the form of goose bumps, perspiration, rashes etc. It has a unifying force. When unstable, coordination between mind and body suffers, our ability to focus is reduced and our thoughts become disjointed.

 

Pranamaya Kosha (our body of energy) is a strong force that needs close supervision. It follows our instructions, whether they are conscious or unconscious, positive or negative. We can train it to be peaceful or erratic. Yoga helps us to consciously control and cultivate Pranamaya Kosha, pointing us in the direction of progress. Proper Asana, pranayama, correct relaxation, and meditation, cleanse and filter our energy, culminating in evolution.

 

 

Question of the Month – What is Pranayama?

Daniela Casotti
Prana animates us. It is the force that drives us. It motivates movement, thoughts, learning and creativity. It’s the ‘pep’ and the ‘get up and go’. It is present in every cell of our body. It is always working, and is in constant flux. Pranayama is the process of extending and spreading Prana, whilst managing its fluctuations. Pranayama practice is usually done through a variety of yogic breathing techniques. Specific techniques purify, regulate, cultivate stabilize and direct Prana for the purpose of health, and ultimately enlightenment.

 

Before starting, it’s important to be in tune with our energy patterns. Expanding our awareness beyond muscle usage while we practice asana, into what actually energizes our body, can tell us a lot about our energy. Watching how our breath gets affected by different postures will show us how the energy body fluctuates. Holding postures can teach us how to ‘tame’ our energy. Without this understanding, pranayama can actually hinder our growth.

 

There are three aspects to Pranayama: the external breath (rechaka), the internal breath (pooraka) and the balanced state in between the two (kumbhaka). In the practice of pranayama, rechaka, pooraka and kumbhaka, are controlled and regulated by space, time and number. Kumbhaka is said to increase the life-span of an individual.

 

Pranayama helps to break habits. It transforms negative qualities in positive qualities in the practice of yama and niyama. It enhances vigour and vitality. It facilitates the concentration process in meditation and ultimately it connects us with cosmic energy.

 

 

2015 Autumn Yoga Intensive

Yes! The autumn intensive is here again. Three weeks of concentrated effort to pep you up and bring focus to your strengths. It’s a great incentive to re-assess where you’re at, both on the mat and off the mat. Maurice’s energy packed intensives are just what’s needed to boost your inner resolutions. Reawaken, Re-evaluate and get ready for the Resurgence this intensive will inspire. See you there.

 

When: 9th to 28th March, 2015 exc.15th & 22nd

Time: 6am to 7.30am Monday to Saturday

Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads

Price: $295

 

Book now to secure your place. Email us or call 0438 8372 244

 

 

 

2015 Bali Yoga Retreat

Book your holidays this year to include 15 – 27th June. By then you’ll need a reminder that your life is yours for the taking! A retreat with Maurice and Daniela in the stunning setting of Bali will enhance your commitment to health, well-being and inner peace.

view of Bloody Bay at sunset
view of Bloody Bay at sunset

 

This year our Bali retreat will take you to two locations. To unwind from our daily routine, we start at Mushroom Bay, connecting with paradise. Then we move on to Sidemen- Bali’s beauty at its best. From the beach to the mountains, simplifying and re-connecting with your essence.

 

Maurice is a certified Iyengar teacher, with more than 20 years of experience. He is dedicated and down to earth, with a sense of humor that will inspire you to connect with your inner strengths. Daniela has over 15 years of yoga experience, and focuses on the restorative power of yoga. She is dedicated and supportive. Her light and fun approach inspires you to connect with your inner authenticity. The teachers work together to bring back balance and harmony.

 

 

When: 15th – 27th June 2015

Where: Nusa Lembongan & Sideman, Bali

Price: Full Price $2,090 Shared or $2,390 Single

Price Includes:

– 10 days yoga tuition
– 6 nights accom. with breakfast
– 6 nights accom. with all meals
– 2 group vegetarian buffets
– Land and sea transfers

Note: Airfares are not included in the price.

 

Book now to secure your place. Email us or call 0438 8372 244

 

 

 

Our Yoga Students “off the mat” – Featuring Branka

 

In this new section of the newsletter we plan to introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours. This month we are excited to introduce Branka.

 

 

Branka has been a student at the Yoga Room for nearly 4 years. She’s an amazing artist, and dedicated to living life authentically. True to her inspiring comment ‘Love is my Economy’, she works with what she loves. She has hand printed her intricate work on recycled T.Shirts, and is selling them on-line, as well as at the Currumban Sanctuary Markets. To see them and her other amazing talents – visit her website: my arty freind. Her T.Shirts are truly spectacular!

 

 

 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month

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Chapter 2 Verse 51
v?hy?bhyantaravi?ay?k?ep? caturtha?||51||
The fourth type of pranayama transcends the external and internal pranayamas, and appears effortless and non-deliberate.

BKS Iyengar. Light on the yoga sutras of Patanjali Pg 157.

 

 

 

Quote of the month

Without peace, we are in pieces

BKS Iyengar

 

 


Daniela and Maurice
Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
www.yogaroom.com.au

info@yogaroom.com.au
+61 438 837 244